Not every victory is achieved at the end of a blaster barrel or by the signing of a treaty. Spies do the majority of the work, finding out where the soldiers need to deploy and what would make the enemy wish to surrender. By engaging in the most unconventional of warfare, spies save lives—and take them—in secret. Often uncelebrated, their vital work is necessary if there is to be any hope of toppling the Empire.
Cyphers and Masks is a sourcebook for the Star Wars™: Age of Rebellion Roleplaying Game that greatly expands the options and opportunities for the Spy career. At 96 full-colour pages, Cyphers and Masks includes new specialisations and species perfect for starting a new campaign or integrating into existing ones. New vehicles, equipment, and droids designed to be assets and adversaries to characters engaging in clandestine operations are included with new rules for utilising the skills most often associated with Spies and their tradecraft. Gamemasters are also given additional tools and guidance for building stories for Spy characters with an emphasis on Intelligence and Counterintelligence operations.
The Alliance to Restore the Republic—more commonly known as the Rebel Alliance—is known for its military tactics, like lightning-fast attacks on Imperial convoys, and its more diplomatic approaches, such as convincing a planetary government to shelter Rebel cells. But there is another war being waged in secret, a shadow war that most citizens of the galaxy never see or recognise. Now, you have the chance to enter this world for yourself as you fight for the Rebel Alliance in the Age of Rebellion roleplaying game.
With three brand-new specialisations to push your Spies into new territory, new species that are suited for subterfuge, and an arsenal of easily concealable gear and weapons, Cyphers and Masks offers enough new tools for customising your character to fulfill any Spy’s dreams. Of course, the Game Master isn’t left out either. An entire chapter of the book is devoted to new resources for the Game Master, with suggestions for running an espionage-focused game, expanded rules for slicing, and other tools.
Running in the Shadows
In Cyphers and Masks, you’ll find a full assortment of new player options dedicated to the Spies of Age of Rebellion, including new backgrounds, motivations, and duties. Each of these helps you to flesh out your characters that infiltrate Imperial strongholds, carry out deadly scouting missions, or slice their way into heavily protected databases. Still, the biggest new additions to your games from this chapter are three new species and three new specialisations.
The new alien species featured in this sourcebook are each naturally suited for the Spy career. They’re clever and crafty, adept at gathering information, and as non-humans, they have a traditionally adversarial relationship with the Empire. You may play as the silver-tongued Balosars, escaping the industrial espionage of their polluted homeworld to put their talents to a better use. You may sell secrets to the highest bidder with the Kubaz, gathering forgotten whispers and trading them for credits. Or, you may embody the strange and insectile Melittos—with hairlike cilia covering their bodies that gives them uncanny skills for gathering information.
You can take any of these species into the Spy career (or any other career), but you may decide that they are especially suited to the new specializations introduced by Cyphers and Masks—Courier, Interrogator, and Sleeper Agent. Couriers recognise that even the best stolen intelligence is worthless if you can’t get it to the specialists, and they’re always ready to start a dangerous run behind enemy lines. Interrogators specialize in getting secrets out of captured Imperials—forgoing physical threats in favour of more subtle machinations. And finally, Sleeper Agents encompass those Spies who can operate in isolation for years if necessary—staying deep in Imperial territory, and all the while feeding information back to the Alliance.
You don’t have to know much about Spies to know that even the best rely on specialised gear and weapons to complete their missions successfully. Cyphers and Masks opens the vaults of the Rebel Alliance to support their undercover agents with easily hidden blasters, powerful infiltration and mimetic suits, deadly chems and poisons, cutting-edge cybernetic enhancements, and a full assortment of slicing tools. Combine that with new droids, drones, weapon attachments, and starships—all specially designed for the high-stakes, shadowy life of a Spy—and you have enough equipment to satisfy even the most demanding undercover operative.
Whether you’re running an adventure with just one Spy, or your entire campaign is built around a team of secret agents infiltrating the Empire, you can benefit from the chapter of advice for Game Masters included in this sourcebook. You’ll find common mission assignments for Spies in the Rebel Alliance and special rules for covert ops, with new ways for your Spies to use their most important skills. With the outlines for undercover campaigns and tempting rewards for your Spies at your fingertips, any Game Master can take advantage of the information in Cyphers and Masks to bring their campaign into the shadows of the Star Wars galaxy.
What Will You Become?
For a Spy, gathering information and slipping past security can be easy. But if you’re willing to take on any task for the Rebellion, can you be sure that you won’t lose your very humanity?