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I am building a Mastermind/Grifter for an upcoming Leverage campaign. As part of my concept for the character, One of the major tropes I want to hit with the character is "Chessmaster," though I want to subvert the trope by having him play the game Diplomacy instead.

I'm compiling a list of possible talents for the Recruitment Job that we are planning on playing to establish our characters, and I'd like to have a talent that represents this character's skill at Diplomacy (especially in juggling ten or so play by mail games at the same time.)

I'm trying to make a talent that represents his skills at getting people to agree to actions that aren't in their best interest without awareness of the downsides. Right now, I'm refluffing "What's it worth to ya?" to fit, as it tends to make assets and complications more extreme, but it's not a perfect fit.

Is there a better "off the shelf" talent that matches what I want? If not, what is a good formulation of that talent?

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1 Answer 1

Opportunist is very appropriate to a chess player, since that is essentially the nature of chess at a high level. You wait for your opponent to make a mistake and then you seize the opportunity.

Archangel covers the "keeping track of everything at once" aspect of the Chessmaster trope nicely.

You might also reskin Slip of the Tongue, though since you'd have to change the die (Mastermind), activation (observing instead of interacting) and question nature (What will he do if I...?) it's almost not the same Talent at all.

Okay, so I kind of like that last one but it doesn't quite address your request, so let me try "rolling my own".

Going Once...

You pressure the target into agreeing before he has time to think through the consequences, but you'd better keep on them just in case.

  • Role: Grifter
  • Activation: You initiate a Face action and the Fixer gives you an Opportunity.
  • Effect: Regardless of the outcome of the roll, the target agrees to do what you wanted them to without considering the consequences. If the Fixer successfully raised the stakes, the target "needs some time" to meet the terms, giving another character a chance to worry for them.
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