Hell on Earth - Taking Back the Wasted West
If you do enough work or one big enough favor for an NPC you may gain that person as a contact.
Depending on the type and quality, contacts can help out with surveillance and information gathering, loan you money or gear, point you in the direction of quests or trouble and will probably get killed on a regular basis.
Everyone will start with a few contacts considered to be “unsolidified” which will eventually be loosely derived from your character’s history. The number and quality will be randomly generated.
A contact is “solidified” whenever you choose to. Give me a brief summary of the person at the time and what you’re trying to use him for and we will work out the details and backstory between sessions.
Example: A PC was on the run from an unstoppable killer. Literally, unstoppable, the guy had been shot, stabbed, poisoned, stuck in a botched teleportation accident (messy) and just got back up and kept coming. You may run into some people like that. So the PC had an unsolidified exotic contact. It turned out that he had helped out the director of the witness protection program with a sensitive issue at some point in his former career in the FBI and managed to get himself an escorted ticket out of the city, and a new identity. The bad guy found him again of course, but the PC had gained time to rest, heal and prepare (alien parasites were resurrecting him and making him super strong).
In general they add flavor to the world and make your job a little easier. They will generally not solve the big problems for you.
Quality of contacts falls into three categories – common, uncommon and exotic
A common contact could be a convoy merchant you know or an old CSA military buddy.
An uncommon contact could be a law dog or the leader of a local mercenary group.
An exotic contact could be one of Throckmorton’s upper echelon, or a martial arts master who lives on top of a mountain and has a reputation for ripping the eyes out of those who displease him.
I’m still working out what the costs should be to buy a new contact at character generation.