The scenario (S)Entries from the Night’s Black Agents core rulebook is a quick and open-ended intro to the shadowy world of the undead. The players are hired to steal a laptop containing a dossier on the vampiric conspiracy; they steal the laptop, then get doublecrossed, forcing them to track down their former employer and steal the laptop a second time.

Adapting (S)Entries for GUMSHOE One-2-One is relatively simple. All the investigative elements map directly over – clues are clues. The trick is boiling the action sequences down into Challenges. You’ll need a copy of (S)Entries to follow these conversion notes.

 

The Lift

In the first action scene of the adventure, the player needs to sneak into the NATO base at Camp Butmir.

Challenge #1: Getting into the base

The simplest approach is to start with an Infiltration challenge to get in. An Advance means the player gets in easily and gets a bonus Filch die for the next challenge; a Hold means the player just gets in; a Setback means the player still gets in, but the alarm’s been raised and they’ll have to use Evasion to escape the base after grabbing the laptop. Note that the player still gets in even on a Setback – if the plot hinges on the player succeeding, then the player succeeds, but it might be a success with complications.

Challenge #2: Grabbing the Laptop

This is a binary challenge, with only Advance and Hold – steal the laptop undetected, or don’t steal it undetected. If the player’s spotted, run the third challenge. (S)Entries suggests lots of clever things the player might do to hide the theft (spying on the office with Electronic Surveillance, getting Lennart drunk with an Interpersonal Push) – reward clever tactics with bonuses to the roll.

Challenge #3: Escaping the Base

This is an Evasion challenge, with plenty of scope for Stunts. As it’s a challenge that the player only blunders into if they screwed up earlier, you don’t need to be generous with the rewards. An Advance might just mean getting away cleanly, a Hold means you get away with a Heat Problem, and a Setback means you escape but get both Heat and an Injury.

 

The Meet

In this scene, the bad guys ambush the player when she shows up to make the exchange. As written, it takes place out in the countryside, and they’ve got a sniper hidden in the hills. For a Solo Ops, consider switching to a more confined urban location. With only one player, you don’t need plenty of space for a firefight, and a lone player is going to be more cautious and paranoid about going out into the middle of nowhere than a group of players.

Assuming you go with the scene as written…

Challenge #1: Spotting the Sniper

This is a binary Sense Trouble challenge, at a high Difficulty. An Advance means the player spots the sniper and gets the option to flee; a Setback means the player goes right into the Fighting challenge.

Challenge #2: Car Chase

As we want to give the bad guys every chance of getting the laptop, a Hold or a Setback here means the player’s escape attempt is thwarted and the player’s car is knocked off the road or has a tire taken out by the sniper. A Setback means the player picks up an Injury. An Advance means the player gets away with no other benefit. It’s a Driving challenge, but with scope for a Shooting stunt.

Challenge #3: Anton’s Goons

This is a straight-up Fighting challenge; the main complication is that there might be a sniper with a bead on the player. In a multi-player game, that sniper shot might take out one of the player characters, but the rest could keep going. In a single-player game, instant-kills like that must be avoided. Model this by forcing the player to expend a valuable Stunt on countering the threat of the sniper – Evasion to dodge, Shooting to counter-snipe, Athletics to leap into cover.

An Advance means the player keeps the laptop; a Hold means the player loses the laptop, but keeps a goon to interrogate; a Setback has the player left for dead with a Serious Injury.

 

The Trail

This scene’s mostly investigative, and doesn’t require significant conversion. It’s a good scene to introduce the Network rules, letting the player bring in Contacts to help the search for Anton. Optionally, the final Surveillance might give the player an Edge for the final fight – or a Shadow problem on a Setback, penalising her when fighting the paymaster.

 

The Payoff

This is a two-stage or three-stage fight – taking out Anton and his remaining goons, then a battle against the paymaster. The paymaster challenge might use Cool instead of Fighting or Shooting if it’s a supernatural threat instead of a physical one.
The Laptop, when the player finally gets to hold onto it, is obviously a Continuity card.

You used to be a spy. You were part of the clandestine world, backed up by the full strength of the shadow state. Then you asked the wrong questions, discovered things you shouldn’t know about who really rules the world.

You found the truth. You found the vampires – and got burned.

You’re all alone against them.

One player. One Gamemaster.

The odds are against you. You’ll have to use every edge you can muster, every contact you can blackmail, every weapon you can find just to survive. But maybe, just maybe, you can fight back against the monsters.

Create your own Agent, or take on the role of Leyla Khan – an ex-MI6 officer who must confront her own half-remembered past as a thrall of the vampires!

Use the GUMSHOE One-2-One rules, designed for the thrilling intensity of head-to-head play. Navigate complex mysteries with investigative abilities! Overcome challenges with luck and mastery edges! And if you fail, pick up Injury, Heat and Shadow problems that’ll cause trouble later on.

Play through three complete adventures for Leyla Khan, or use them as templates to create your own mysteries:

  • Never Say Dead: Leyla wakes up in a hospital with only fragmentary memories of her past life. She was left for dead at the side of the road. Who’s trying to kill her? Who’s trying to save her? Who can she trust?
  • No Grave For Traitors: A drug war in Spain. Mysterious intrigue in London. Haunted castles in the Carpathians. Can Leyla unravel the mystery that connects these events, and stop her rivals from unlocking the door to an ancient horror?
  • The Deniable Woman: Leyla’s tasked by her old allies at MI6 to investigate the disappearance of a British spy in Moscow. Can she find the missing man – or will she, too, vanish into the shadows of the Kremlin?

We’ll give you the tools you need to battle the undead princes and crime lords, all alone. But will it be enough? Find out, with Night’s Black Agents: Solo Ops!

Stock #: PELGON01 Author: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
Artists: Jérôme Huguenin, Gislaine Avila, Lauren Covarrubias, Evanleigh Davis, Marisa Erven, Jen McCleary, Georgia Roan, Runa I. Rosenberger, Jorge Fernández Sanz, and Quico Vicens Pages: 280 pages, casebound, B&W

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