1-The Agent Provocateur
This agent has thoroughly infiltrated the group he was sent to, but he has decided to bend and in some cases break the law. He has incited the group to greater levels of violence then before he entered it, and whilst many of the members of the group have been arrested by the police before they can do their dastardly deeds, some of them escaped capture. His handlers suspect what he is doing but let him get away with it, partly to avoid blowing his cover and getting him killed, and partly because they are corrupt themselves.
2-The Bumbling Fool
This person was sent into a country who knows almost nothing about it or its customs. He does things like trying to order hard liquor from pubs when the pubs in the country he has sneaked into only sell beer. If he does not start behaving properly he will soon be placed under arrest, and what in peacetime only earns a few years in prison is a hanging offence in wartime.
Although not actually a child, this vertically challenged person has used plastic surgery and some skilled voice acting to impersonate a young child of 9-13 years old. This allows her to go places others cant and overhear things as no one pays attention to a child 'listening in on stuff.' And even if caught she would only be told off for being somewhere forbidden and allowed to go instead of being arrested.
4-The Double Agent
Captured by a rival secret service and facing the gallows as he was captured during wartime, this man was made an offer he could not refuse. Either hang, or become a double agent and feed false information back to his spymasters, along with the odd titbit of real information of value so they dont find out what has happened. He regrets what he has done but sees no other option as he wants to stay alive.
5-The Mentally Challenged
This person is eloquently capable of impersonating those of lesser than average intelligence, right down to the shambling gait, vacant stare and lisp of speech. Often willing to work for a mere pittance of what others demand, this spy can employ themselves in janitorial services easily, suing a mop, bucket, and scrub brush to
go where most would not be allowed and gather useful info. Not to mention going through the trash for valuable Intelligence wouldnt be at all uncommon.
This agent infiltrated a rival secret service more then three decades ago and in all that time he has never been activated. As a result he has risen to be the deputy head of the secret service with access to the records of every agent, every informant and every code and code word. When he is activated then his information will be devastating to the rival secret service. Before activating him his handlers are figuring a way to get him back to his home country alive, where he will be well rewarded.
7-The Mata Hari
This beautiful female agent used to be a professional singer before she was hired to win valuable secrets from high-ranking military officers through pillow talk. She is unhappy with her lot, not because she feels in danger of being revealed as a spy and executed, but because the generals that she has to have nookie with are all rather old and fat, instead of the dashing young officers that she expected. However, she opens her legs, closes her eyes and thinks of her country.
8-The James Bond
Less of a spy as such and more of an assassin, this man is one of the few secret service operatives with a license from his country to kill in the cause of his duty. He has faced down and killed several major international villains and prevented several terrible acts from taking place. None of those on his hit list are world leaders, however, as there is an unofficial convention that world leaders do not send assassins to kill each other.
Whilst most spies are paid well for risking their liberty and in some cases their lives, this agent has turned down money and does what he does because he thinks the country he is spying for is much better in every way then the country he is betraying.
He hopes that one day he will be able to get citizenship in the country he is spying for as a reward, and emigrate there.
This person started spying out of frustration at not being promoted as fast as he thought he deserved to be, and because he thought that his bosses were not listening to him enough. He does it just to get back at them and for the money he gets as a reward, not through any sense of idealism.
11-The Bent Copper
Instead of spying for a country, this bribed policeman is spying for a major criminal syndicate, giving them the names and addresses of rival criminals to rob or murder, witnesses so they can be threatened or murdered before getting protection, and even the names and addresses of some of his fellow police officers. In one case he rose in rank after giving information that led to his immediate superior being gunned down by the syndicates gunmen. He keeps his hidden wealth in a numbered bank account and is very careful not to spend too much of it at one time.
12-The Blackmailed One
This one was caught doing something moderately naughty-having an affair. The spies bugged the bedroom and then threatened to send the recordings to his wife, if he did not give them the information that they wanted. After that they warned him that if they were caught he would be in as much trouble as they were. He hates the fact that he is betraying his country but is too scared to admit to the damage he has done.
This agent has spent many years learning his role, which is to pretend to be somebody else of high rank and to play the role perfectly. His target was waylaid one dark night and kidnapped and the agent took over his role. He fears that he will slip up one day and be revealed for who he is, leading to a speedy execution. Meanwhile he bends policy in subtle ways so it will benefit the country that he is an agent for.
14-In Too Deep
This agent was sent to infiltrate a gang that was regarded even in organized crime circles as more dangerous then most. He managed it and has spent several years undercover, living 24/7 with gang members and being just like them. In fact, he has almost become one of them, and is starting to think better of them then he does of his bosses. He is beginning to have fantasies of giving up his undercover role and becoming a full time gang member and hardcore criminal.
A skilled necromancer has bewitched this man and his body has become a puppet. At the moment the necromancer is only using him to gather information, but he could be used for anything including assassination. He knows what has happened to him but is unable to tell anybody in any way, or refuse any command, a helpless prisoner in his own body.
16-The Drugged One
This agent was dependable and trustworthy, hardly the sort of person who would turn traitor. But a rival agent smuggled a live Silverspider into his bed, and he was bitten on the toe by it before he crushed it underfoot with much frantic stamping. The venom gave him a high and was enough to make him an addict. Shortly afterwards he was approached by the agent and offered a steady supply of Silverspider venom in exchange for a steady supply of secret information. Hooked on the drug, he agreed to the deal.
This agent is another who is not being paid. Instead he is hopelessly in love with a beauty from a foreign country and under her influence has decided to actively betray his own country. Unknown to him, she does not love him in the least and has coldly decided to arrange for him to be found out and arrested when he is of no further use to her, instead of marrying him and living the rest of her life with him.
18-Burning Both Ends
This agent is a double agent who is working for two rival agencies, giving both of them equally valid information, betraying them both and leading them into confrontations with each other. Neither side yet suspect that he is giving away their secrets to their rivals, and when they find out, both sides will be united in their desire to punish him for what he has done.
This spy avoided being caught, stayed faithful to his organisation, rose through the ranks and has become the head of the entire secret service. He knows the identities of everyone in the service and would never think of turning traitor, and would be horrified if he knew that his deputy was a sleeper agent for the other side.
Not all spies are undercover agents. Sometimes it is necessary to break into a building to steal well-guarded files. Captured when a break in for criminal reasons went wrong, this agent was given the choice of serving a lengthy prison sentence or doing further break-ins for the state. He is an expert at picking locks, disabling alarms, dodging guards and cleaning up after himself, and never uses violence unless he really has to.
This spy was uncovered by someone who made the foolish mistake or trying to blackmail him, and the spy strangled him to death in the heat of the moment and is now uncertain what to do, as he had made no plans for the disposal of the body and it is lying under his bed, where it will soon start to rot. The spy is quietly in a panic as he tries to work out what to do next and how to avoid getting caught.
This national park ranger is in the pay of an organised gang of poachers. He lets them know of the locations of his fellow rangers, as well as where the wildlife they are looking for is so they can get in, shoot the animal and leave with all or part of the carcass. He is not totally without scruples however, as he has warned them not too poach too much and risk emptying the park of wildlife, uncovering him as one of them, or both.
23-On The Run
This agent was uncovered but managed to escape arrest and is on the run. His supply of cash is fast dwindling and his bank accounts have been frozen, whilst the customs agents at the borders, even in the more remote places, have been put on the lookout for him. He is considering trying to sneak across on foot, knowing that otherwise he will not be able to evade capture for much longer.
This is another former criminal who escaped prison in exchange for putting her illegal talents at the states disposal. She used to send viruses, spam people and hack into computers. Now she hacks into the secret computer records of a neighbouring country to steal all kinds of useful information. Her bosses do not fully trust her not to return to her old tricks and keep a close eye on her.
Somebody needs to come up with false identities for agents in forgin countries and this is the woman who comes up with them and the false documents needed to support the identity. As well as helping the secret service, she also provides new identities for criminals who switch sides, defecting spies and on occasion, very unlucky people who saw something they should not have done, along with their family members. She is proud both to have helped her country and to have protected witnesses and their families from being murdered by organised crime.
This secret agent uses some very complicated technology not just to get information from people, but also to make them forget afterwards that they have been approached for information. Only a handful of deeply trusted agents have such technology and they are ordered to defend it with their lives if they have to. If it were ever to fall into the hands of organised crime, the consequences would be horrific.
This high ranking military officer is preparing to sneak over the frontier of his country and defect to another, bringing with him a treasure trove of useful information about troop numbers, weaponry, battle tactics and the like. He is paranoid that his plans to defect have been discovered but knows that he has to brass it out and hide his fear, or he will end up under suspicion and then under arrest.
Most agents try to bribe information out of people, persuade it out of them or trick it out of them. But when all three options fail and the information is important enough sometimes there is no option but to torture it out of them using as much violence as is necessary. He has all kinds of Torture Devices & Techniques and actually enjoys using them to their fullest extent. His victims normally end up thrown into a crematorium whilst still alive. Only a few people of the organisation he works for have seen his face, as he keeps it masked when on duty.
29-The Hypnotised One
This one is one of those who was hypnotised by the high technology of the MIB. He has no idea that he has become a security leak as it has been blocked from his mind. As such he can pass lie-detector tasks with ease and his colleagues have no idea that he is the mole. If he got caught they would not know if he should be punished or if it was not his fault.
Whilst many of these spies and agents could be considered traitors, they generally either feel they have no choice but to do what they are doing or are doing it out of misplaced idealism. This one really enjoys betraying his own country and seems to be doing it out of malice. Privately, his handlers despise him for what he is doing, although they value what he gives them.
31- The Family Gal
This agent has infiltrated close to a prominent member of the the enemies government, right down to full wedding and joint house mortgage. Unfortunately for her, genuine feeling of affection and the desire to enjoy a life of relative luxury have curbed her loyalty to her former employers; to say nothing of the child she will be giving birth to any week now.
This agent was discovered by their enemies a long time ago. which decided to use her as a pipeline for false information and other useless bits of propaganda they wish to feed to their enemies without them being suspect to it's credibility. So far the agent hasn't questioned her good fortunates and continues to faithfully route everything she discovers back to her people believing it to be utterly reliable. When the truth comes out she will likely find herself on the run, or accused of being a double agent.
33- The Psychic
A natural for this line of work, she has undergone all the necessary training and discipline to put her mind reading talents to good use for her homeland by scanning the thoughts of their rivals, giving them the power to ready a counter to their plans before they are even implemented. Unfortunately such power works both ways, and she is all too aware the distrust her own employers have of her; and their reluctance to ever welcome her among them after her mission is complete.
This agent exists only as a collection of electrons of electrons within the network, a literal Ghost in the machine. Either the creation of advanced artificial intelligence or an attempt at transferred intelligence gone wrong, this intelligent program can infiltrate all but the most well guarded networks, scanning and downloading top secret information in the blink of an eye.
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? Responses (10)-10
Very nice, another useful 30 that can slip into almost any game; and once again brims with plot ideas.
A nice collection you've got here. I liked The Child, and The Mentally Challenged most - some good examples in there.
I really have to teach you HTML some day. :)
Those two were a couple I passed along to him to help kick start the list, glad you liked them :)
I think these 30 lists are one of the most useful parts of the Citadel.
Then, dig deeper I say!
We have some more hidden treasures, if we only could remember where we've put them. ;)
Your 30's are getting better cheka - though with the amount of work this shows, I wonder why you don't bold the headers? We've mentioned them many times and help make the 30's look better.
Ditto what Val said, both in your 30's getting better, and the needed usage of bolding. Also I would like to offer you kudos on your continued exploration of the 30 meme. Nicely done.
I play fantasy almost exclusively and still I can use most of these.Outstanding 4.5/5
This submission has been featured on Roleplayingtips.com, Issue 461. There is no need to hide your good ideas!
This is very useful, easily adaptable for a Medieval RPG
Oh well done! Each one of these could be adapted into an existing game with ease, and provide a lot of fuel for a political or espionage game. I would like to see the party confronted with a few of the more unwilling or unwitting ones, just to give them a small moral dilemma. The only one who is kinda weak is number 30, but I realize that you've got to include the classic archetype in there somewhere. The added ideas from Silveressa are a nice bonus.