In true gamer style, here are some more achievements one can earn in Night’s Black Agents by Will Plant.
Some Achievements for use in a game of Night’s Black Agents
Rusty: You’d need at least a dozen guys doing a combination of cons.
Danny: Like what, do you think?
Rusty: Off the top of my head, I’d say you’re looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) Directed by Steven Soderbergh
At the end of March Simon tweeted for suggestions of PC/Console Gaming style achievements that could be applied to a Night’s Black Agents game.
I was inspired and seem to have written an unhealthily long list of achievements that could be used in your campaign.
Some of the achievements suggest potential plot elements or scenes for the time pressed GM or one who is seeking a few twists for her game.
And as for players there are plenty of cool stunts, heroic actions, and otherwise idiotic escapades that you could aim for and, of course, improve upon.
Scenarios based around physical skills lend themselves to being more easily measured than mental skills so the bulk of the achievements tend to fit the Burn end of the game style continuum compared to the Dust style of play. Think “rappelling into the secret volcano base” rather than “interrogate suspected double agent for 72 hours solid”.
A Good Vintage: Find incontrovertible proof that your target has been ‘alive’ for more than a hundred years.
Amateur Hour: Use the local Mall Ninjas to distract the enemy from your true operation.
Angel Falls: Swan dive into water from a height that most would consider fatal.
Armchair Sportsman: Identify key information about a target’s background purely from their fighting style. E.g. that throat strike is a favoured technique of French Foreign Legion paratroopers.
Baracus: Fit armour plating to a civilian vehicle.
Big-Ba-da-Boom: Over estimate the amount of C4 required for your op by at least a factor of two. (This achievement is almost certainly going to be awarded by the GM after the fact.)
Birdman: Infiltrate an enemy compound via parachute or hang glider.
Boothroyd: Custom build a gadget that is used to turn a final showdown in your favour. E.g Silver-tipped tazer.
Chef de Partie: Have a shootout in or chase on foot through a working commercial kitchen.
Cornering on Rails: Complete a successful driving manoeuvre despite having four blown tyres.
Dead Man Walking: Encounter the bad guy you iced on the previous op.
Dead Man’s Hand: Use a dismembered hand to open a palm lock. Also available as the [I’ve Got My Eye on You] variant.
Everyone’s a Critic: Break into Interpol’s Top Ten Most Wanted as a result of your activities.
Full Fathom Five: Survive a fight whilst submerged in scuba gear.
Guava Half: Kill a bad guy with a weapon improvised from something innocuous.
Gypsy Rose Lee: Establish cover ID as a psychic. This could be just excellent psychological techniques (‘cold reading’ etc.) or could be based on in depth research (with or without hacking) of your mark’s family, medical, and hidden personal history. (‘No one could know that about me!’)
Hard Landing: Jump from a bridge onto moving truck / train below.
Heisenberg: Get trapped in a situation where you are forced to run two live false identities in the same city. E.g. the Camorra know you as X but the Columbians who happen to be in town at the same time know you as Y. Try not to get invited to a meeting with both of them at the same time!
Hi Ho Silver: In a city – escape your pursuers on horseback.
Hidden Knowledge: Infiltrate a fortified target location by using long forgotten sewers, tunnels, catacombs.
Hush Puppy: Clear an area of mooks using a silenced gun – before any can react.
I’ve Got a Bridge to Sell You: Successfully pass on tractor parts, talcum powder, blocks of newspaper when your mark thinks that they are buying arms, drugs or dirty money.
In the Balance: Come up against an opponent who has had exactly the same training / martial arts master/ military service.
Inside Job: Plant evidence that fatally compromises the position of a Node leader. (Provincial or Higher in Conspyramid).
It Is a Present From My Country: Meeting a native of the obscure town/village/nation used in your current cover ID at the most inopportune moment.
It’s All In The Reflexes: Catch a thrown weapon and return to its origin. Successful completion will almost certainly surprise your opponents giving you a free action.
Janus: Confront the mole in your org with incontrovertible proof of their guilt.
Little Black Dress: Gatecrash an Embassy Ball.
Le Mans: Radically improve the performance characteristics of a standard car. E.g. Adding twin turbos to a Smart ForTwo.
Le Pique-Nique: Destroy an open air restaurant by driving a vehicle through it at high speed. (Preferably an establishment with plastic tables and few elderly customers).
Lifeline: Climb to safety from a high window using knotted sheets or a fire hose etc.
Look No Hands: Drive a vehicle with your knees or feet because you are otherwise engaged fighting another occupant of said vehicle or trying to shoot pursuers or your quarry.
Lucky Punk: You have exactly the same number of rounds left as bad guys.
Lucky Seven: Fleece a casino to fund your ongoing fight against evil.
Mincemeat: Provide entirely convincing false data to a mark so that they are completely thrown off your plans or are led in a direction of your choice believing it to be their own decision. (Negotiation with GM required for the exact nature of the latter!)
Mother Superior: Impersonate a religious figure of any sort
Night Shift: Steal ‘remains’ from a mortuary or funeral parlour.
On the Couch: Psychologically manipulate a enemy agent and turn them to your control.
On the Sidelines: Engineer a violent showdown between two competing criminal factions.
One Armed Man: Complete your theft / intrusion / termination whilst leaving cast iron evidence that implicates someone else.
Prometheus: Use the last match in the box to do something epic.
Radio Free Europe: Earn total access and control over your enemies communications system.
Ramming Speed: Use a speedboat to take out a target on land.
Ready Player One: Use an RPG to destroy a moving helicopter.
Red or Blue: Stop a countdown clock with less than 10 seconds left.
Rockefeller: Acquire enough cash that it requires more than one person to carry. Extra points if they are EUR500 notes!
Smooth Operator: Lift, skim and return a target’s ID / credit card without them noticing.
Surf’s Up: Traverse the exterior of a moving train or tram this achievement is upgraded to [Hang Ten] if you are fighting too.
The Regiment: When challenged, you know the colour of the boathouse.
The Reichenbach Gambit: Fake your / your group’s death to throw pursuers off your tail.
Torino: Engineer a massive traffic jam to your benefit.
U-boat Commander: Escape a submerged road vehicle.
Walking On Air: Use the air conditioning ducts to move around a building (I know this almost certainly doesn’t work in real life but it is well established movie trope and always tried by PCs.)
Watch The Birdie: Replace the live footage of a security camera with your own footage either by hacking, physically ‘looping the tape’, using mirrors or a picture in front of camera.
Weissmuller: Swing between buildings or ledges etc using improvised material like power cables, comms cables or washing lines.
West of the Pecos: Impersonate a cop.
What’s Cooking: Mix some easily available household chemicals into something that goes BANG.
Wild Geese: Take ‘one last paying job’ for the local (non-vampire) crime syndicate – which may of course turn out to be dealing with the new competition in town.
If the idea of using Achievements works for you then you could add them as a mechanic to the game – if one of your players does (survives!) something really impressive, heroic, superhumanly skillful, or just plain lucky AND she can come up with a name that describes it succinctly whilst nodding towards the genre source material then she gets a free General Abilities refresh.
Example – Julia’s character Anika van der Waals, previously of Dutch Military Intelligence Service (MIVD), has just decoupled a freight car from a moving goods train. She brakes the slowing tank car (which contains thousands of litres of highly flammable liquid) to bring it to rest in path of the on-coming private train being used by the Bad Guy. Anika just manages to scramble to safety as the fireball engulfs the viaduct.
Julia reckons this is worthy of an Achievement – mounting a moving train, decoupling a freight car, braking in the right spot and escaping – so she calls it Chemin de Fer – as it is railway related and also as a nod to certain Mr Bond’s preferred type of Baccarat.
Just for reference I reckon that I’ve consciously alluded to at least 14 different books, movies or TV shows quite apart from achievements based on standard genre tropes – some of my references are a bit obscure.