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Clandestine Operations

Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 112
The base organizational influence system assumes that the PCs act as a unified group and do not take extraordinary effort to conceal their identities and activities. In an intrigue-based campaign, these assumptions are not always accurate. The simplest type of clandestine operation to adjudicate is a single secret favor. If the PCs perform a favor for an organization and conceal their actions, do not decrease the PCs’ influence points with that organization’s enemies. The PCs can use secret identities to perform more complicated maneuvers, such as playing multiple sides of a conflict, or perhaps even infiltrating an organization as spies. As long as an organization knows that the PCs are infiltrating its rivals, that organization’s members continue to believe that they have the PCs’ loyalty; they typically overlook minor actions that the PCs take against the organization, so long as the PCs provide a plausible justification for their misdeeds.

If the PCs use secret identities, track their influence under each set of identities separately as long as they maintain the ruse. Maintaining two distinct sets of identities over a long period of time should be challenging, but not impossible if the PCs are careful. Common features between the identities—anything from physical features or mannerisms to equipment, fighting style, or associates— present the threat of exposure. If the PCs rise to high influence ranks in two opposing organizations, their risk of being caught increases significantly. The vigilante class is particularly well suited to the challenge of maintaining multiple identities.

If an organization figures out that the PCs are maintaining two separate identities, the PCs’ influence point total for that organization may change drastically. If both sets of the PCs’ identities are aligned with an organization, the PCs’ influence point total may go as high as the sum of the points they earned under both identities. Conversely, if both sets of the PCs’ identities are aligned against an organization, the PCs’ influence point total may go as low as a negative number equal to the sum of the two. Adding the two values sometimes allows a single action to count twice—this reflects that the organization may either respect the PCs’ dedication to their cause, or revile the PCs for their dedication to opposing it. In most cases, however, the resulting change in influence should be less extreme than a direct sum, even if the organization has a favorable opinion of both identities. If the PCs are working for two opposed organizations, see the last paragraph of Losing Influence for details on how an organization responds to being betrayed.