Sometimes the best way to gain the information you need is to break out the doughnuts and coffee, and settle in for a nice long stakeout. A stakeout is one of the actions a detective may take during the day phase. Detectives should go on a stakeout when they believe that some activity of import will happen at a particular place at a particular time, or when they wish to learn more about a location and its inhabitants.
To go on a stakeout, a location is determined, the detectives on the stakeout are named, and a timeframe of 8 hours is named. The action spent for the stakeout is the same as the time of day (morning or afternoon) if the stakeout takes place during the day phase. If the stakeout is at night, the action spent may be either the prior afternoon's action or the following morning's, at the choice of the players.
The detectives will then drive (or walk, take the train, etc.) to that location and after being given a brief description of the area, they determine a suitably inconspicuous place to hide out. The GM will then narrate in order chronologically any important or interesting events that take place during the period of observation. At any time, the detectives may ask a Q about the goings on. The number of Qs allowed is determined by the number of detectives involved [see Investigation]. The GM will answer these questions within reason given the detective's ability to observe and any equipment that might be aiding them. For example, a detective in a car across the street from a drug deal might not be able to make out a logo on the dealer's shirt, but he might be able to if he's using a camera with high magnification.
If at any point during the narration some of the people being watched leave the location of the stakeout, the detectives may opt to trail them if they have the means at hand. If a suspect gets into a helicopter and flys away, it is unlikely you'll be able to trail them---but you could ask a Q about which specific direction they fly in and at what altitude. Trailing is determined similarly to Combat, and involves rolling a d6 and looking at the result.
1: Extreme Failure; some number of detectives are wounded, the suspect is alerted to the presence of the detectives, and evades the trail.
2: Serious Failure; the suspect is alerted to the presence of the detectives and evades the trail.
3: Failure; the suspect evades the trail.
4: Partial Success; the detectives make it most of the way and lose them at the last moment, or are placed in a difficult position to continue the rest of the stakeout.
5: Success; the detectives trail the suspect to the next location, and establish a stake-out position at end.
6: Magnificent Success; the detectives trail the suspect to next location and have the option to take an extraordinary stake-out position (follow them into the underground club, onto the shipping boat, etc.).
After any trail roll, a detective may take the option to re-roll for 1IP. Unlike Combat, the detective has the choice of which two rolls they use.
Furthermore, the detectives may ask Qs while trailing. Unless they roll a 1, they may ask Qs at the new stakeout location (4/5/6) or return to the old location and ask the remainder of their Qs (2/3). That said, if the result was a 2, there is a good chance that anyone else at the original location has been tipped off to the existence of the detectives.
Should more detectives on a stakeout make it harder to trail a suspect? (For example, three detectives means you treat all 6s as 5s? Four+ means 5/6-> 4?) Number of questions?
- V: This basically gets answered with current investigation rules. It seems like the various ways we're thinking of solving investigation will answer the stakeout question already.
Is there a better way to make this more interactive than just a GM monologue with a couple of interjections?
Is this interesting or boring?
What about trailing a subject? Is the same reservoir of Qs used? Does a new set of mechanics need to be introduced?
- V: I think this parallels the sense of combat fairly well. I want to encourage finding more info out here, though, so no possible penalty for doing a re-roll.