The Liberation of Jorge Ramirez

Last week Steve Jackson Games released GURPS Ultra-Lite, a simple but complete role playing game in six compact pages. In the spirit of this simple practicality, I thought I'd try something different this month. I gave you lots of theory over the last few months, and your eyes are rolling up into your heads. So this time, I'm going to give you a simple adventure, one you can play with GURPS Ultra-Lite.

Player Characters

This adventure is a cinematic caper, so characters should be created with 5 levels (this would translate to roughly 200-300 points in regular GURPS). Player Charcters are members of a discrete team of semi-reformed thieves operating as Saint Judas Consulting. They fight the good fight for those who can't.  The available professions are:

Demolition Man: Good at making things go bang! Also, if something needs to be burned down, you can do it reliably.

Cleaner: When you get done, it's like you were never there. You make evidence disappear, like fingerprints, broken glass, hot guns and dead bodies.

Assasin: You specialize in creating dead bodies. Silent but deadly, nobody knows you were there until it's too late.

Face Man: You're the con artist, the guy with the people skills. You could sell shoes to a snake. When the crew needs somebody to talk their way into or out of a situation, you're the go-to guy.

Hacker: If you read this column, you know this role pretty well. You're the guy who gets into the computers, takes over the computers, and gets out of the computers.

Cat Burglar: When you steal the dog's bark, the mailman came and went before the dog realizes what's happened. You specialize in getting into and out of places where you're not welcome, without getting noticed.

Shooter: If it shoots, you know how to shoot it. You aren't stealthy, you don't spend days working out how to get the perfect shot. You make sure when you're done it has enough holes in it to stay dead.

Wheel Man: And good caper includes a plan for getting away. If the plan goes poorly, they need somebody who is really good at getting away.  You're the one that makes that happen. You know how to trick out a car, how to get one in a hurry, and how to make it deliver its best performance in time of need.

All these professions come from GURPS Action: Heros. If you would like a better idea of what they can do, I strongly recommend this product.

The Job

Jorge Ramirez works for Aerocorp, an aerospace firm specializing in private jets. He feels his work there isn't valued, and his ideas, if implemented, would be a big boon to the company. When he was contacted by a recruiter for a position at Flitec, a rival firm, for which he was well qualified, he took the meeting.

After signing a non-disclosure agreement, they laid it out for him. He was the man who could get them the designs for Aerocorp's latest powerplant design, and they would make it worth his while. In addition to financial recompense, they would take him on in their own engine division once he delivered the design. A fine carrot by itself, but with an implied stick: if he didn't deliver, they would hand over a video of this interview to the human resource department at Aerocorp, which would ruin him financially and kill any chances of ever working in the field again.

Jorge played along, but over the last two months the pressure has been building. When his wife Theresa finally found out what was eating him, she contacted St. Judas to help him get out of this situation.

To do that, St. Judas will need to remove any evidence of this activity from Flitec's files, including data backups, computer files, visitor logs and paper documentation. This data is contained in three places.

Flitec

The most immediately damning evidence is stored in the personal files of Luther Wixom, the Director of External Research and Development. He has copies of the NDA and a video recording of the interview in a locked fireproof cabinet in his office. Wixom's office is in an interior space with cinder block walls. It backs up to the machine shop, and has no windows. A mezzanine sits above it where old prototype designs for aircraft components are stored. The floor of the mezzanine is reinforced concrete. Additionally the locks on the doors are fairly advanced, with a -5 to lock picking attempts. He has a secretary who sits in an outer office, between Mr. Wixom's office and the main hall. The office, as well as all of the Flitec facilites, are protected by an alarm system (-5 for a burglar to defeat) which sounds at the sheriff's office.

Electronic copies of the evidence are kept on a secure server in the Flitec data center, located in the basement of the building. Access to the server is restricted and entry can be gained only through the technical support staff. There are heavy metal double doors into the room that can only be opened from the inside. There is also a human sized steel door with an electronic lock used by the staff. The lock is controlled by a fingerprint scanner. The scanner is fairly advanced, and will resist electronic lock picking at -5. Brute force against either of these doors will be very difficult. Treat them as having DR 7 and HP 30. There is also a backup power generator, located behind the building, with an underground diesel tank.

A backup of this data exists in a bank safe deposit box. The key is kept in the technical support staff manager's desk. It is secured only with a cheap desk lock (+2 for lock picking attempts). The technical support staff area itself it adjacent to the server room, and is secured by the magnetic stripe on an employee ID card.  Only a technical support employee card will gain access, or the CEO's card.

Getting the backups out of the bank vault will be a different task entirely. The town is small, and all the bank staff know Diane Black, the head of technical support. Access to a safe deposit box requires both the account holder's key and the key of the bank manager. Robbing a bank is not generally the path to a quiet operation. Two obvious possibilities:

  1. Steal or destroy the backup tapes in transit from the bank to Flitec. Hand-held magnets which are bad for magnetic media can be purchased.
  2. Cause Flitec to destroy the data on their own, possibly by getting a staffer to take an emergency backup (preparatory to software upgrades) and rotate the backup tapes out.

Finally, there is the visitor's log where Jorge signed in on the day he did his interview. While less damning than the other evidence, it would be very unfortunate if Aerocorp were to find his name on a Flitec visitor's log. The visitor's log is stored in the receptionists files, in the front office.

Flitec does not have any armed security, but police are aware of the sensitivity of their work and the value of equipment at the facility. The research facility is out beyond town, within a quarter mile of the sheriff's office. Response will be swift, and because the owners are friends with the sheriff, there will be a no-nonsense attitude about dealing with intruders. What Flitec does have a lot of is machinists. These are men who shift metal around all day and usually have something heavy, sharp or both close to hand. All machinists have at least one level in ST and IQ, and will gleefully detain anybody caught on the property until the police arrive to deal with them. Assume they are able to use any melee combat skill at their ST, with no penalties.

Compensation

Ramirez does all right as an engineer, but he's not rolling in cash. He can offer to pay five thousand dollars. Thats pretty chump change for risking prison though, especially when split among the whole team. One alternative is using the compromise of Flitec's systems to harvest other important data, such as their own plans for upcoming products. That data could certainly be ransomed. Collecting that ransom may be an adventure all on its own.

Until next month, happy hacking.

What are others saying about this?

My favorite so far is from the GURPS Forums: http://forums.sjgames.com/showpost.php?p=729123&postcount=83