More casual than allies, contacts are people with whom your character has developed a mutually beneficial arrangement. Contacts use their talents, information or resources to help your character, but they always expect some favor in return. This favor could be a service, trade or even payment, but it generally matches the value of the contact’s assistance. These associates don’t risk themselves as Far as a follower or even an ally will (although a well-cultivated contact could grow into one or the other over the course of the series).
Each dot represents major and minor contacts. Major contacts are individuals with whom your character interacts frequently. Major contacts know him personally and are from any walk of life, of any field of study, with access to a variety of information and resources, and they are willing to cut a deal. A contact could be a data-retrieval specialist at the local library, a fence specializing in vehicles or a Project Utopia field agent. Minor contacts specialize in fields of influence, like their major counterparts. They aren’t as knowledgeable or resourceful, though. They may know of your character by nothing more than reputation or rumor, but they may be willing to work out an arrangement.
Tracking down a major contact doesn’t usually require a die roll, but finding a minor contact does (typically Bureaucracy, Streetwise or Etiquette). Whether or not a contact feels inclined to help is another story, one that depends on the request. Of course, the more contacts your character has, the more people your character can go to if one doesn’t come through.
- 0 – No useful contacts; you have to do your own legwork.
- 1 – One major contact (with whom you likely have a special arrangement) and a few minor ones.
- 2 – Two major contacts in different areas and a smattering of minor contacts.
- 3 - Three major contacts and a respectable number of minor ones.
- 4 - Four major contacts in different areas (although you may double up in a given field) and a large number of minor contacts.
- 5 - Five major contacts and a minor contact virtually anywhere you care to look.