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Text Editor Tips, Random Workouts, Secret Agent Roleplaying

Saturday July 3, 2021

Aston Martin aside the road on a cloudy day

Get your spy music ready for today’s post…

Just some stuff I’ve been working on lately…let’s do the (kinda?) boring stuff first!

Text Editor Journaling for Productivity

I just published a video showing some of the ways I journal for productivity using Geany:

There’s a ton of stuff in here really, so I think the video maybe looks more boring than it is.

Or…I REALLY hope so.

Random Workouts

Here’s an article with a list of random workouts and some methods for selecting one.

I’ve been using it for the last week and it’s been pretty fun.

I usually roll a few and then pick the one I like.

Secret Agent Roleplaying: SIFT-CADS

Here’s the skeleton of a new tabletop roleplaying system I’ve been working on. It’s meant for games with that James Bond vibe.

To keep it simple, the mechanic is D100 based, roll-under percentage. So if you are 75% good at something, you try to roll at or under 75. With some modifiers as specified below.

Facets (SIFT)

Assign these scores to your character in any arrangement: 25, 25, 75, 75, higher is better.

(Do these look familiar…?)

  • Sensory (Body, sensation, awareness of surroundings, awareness of personal health)
  • Intuitive (Inner prediction, brainstorming, profiling people or places)
  • Feeling (Charisma, relational thinking & negotiation, emotional prowess, manipulation)
  • Thinking (Logic, analysis, definitions / labels knowledge, facts, trivia)

Facets help you determine what kind of character you’ve got on your hands. More mentally prepared, more physically-focused, more charismatic, or cold and logical?

And yeah, one of the lowkey goals of the game design was to see if I could integrate the various personality functions.

Attributes (CADS)

Attributes are like special weapons the character can deploy at any time. To really get the most out of a super spy, a good player-character will use a mix of these in every adventure.

When the player uses these, they are allowed to change the scene, and the GM defers to character prerogative or tries to accomodate the player’s changes. (Some negotiation over this is OK) A player can use each Attribute once per basic adventure, for a scene change and automatic roll-at-or-under 75 to get the result.

  • Command (Take charge)
    • Bark orders at people and watch them obey
    • Stare people down and intimidate them into doing what you want
    • Taking opportunities in such a way that others come along
  • Anticipate (Work from Concrete Intel)
    • Call up or signalling a source / contact
    • Thank God You’ve Come (a friend arrives to help)
    • You trick your opponent into a trap you set before you entered the scene
  • Demonstrate (Gain extra motivation by technical display / peacock)
    • Show off a sick gadget
    • Operate nearby machinery or vehicles
    • Use the scenery or nearby people / animals as a jungle gym
  • Sacrifice (Gain motivational energy from great pain or suffering)
    • Soak up extra damage
    • Gain accuracy, strength, flexibility when task involves great pain


Skills provide an extra 10 or 20 points to the high-end goal of any Facet roll. So if you were rolling under 25, it could be increased to 35 or 45. Distribute 100 points for first adventure.

  • Academia (2 higher-education years per 10 points)
  • Fighting / Formal Martial Arts
  • Fighting / Rough and Tumble
  • Shooting, Long Distance
  • Shooting, Short Distance
  • Acrobatics
  • Languages (1 Language per 10 points)
  • Military (4 years per 10 points)
  • Household and self-care (Cooking, making up a room, cleaning up their attire, calming down with a distraction)
  • Medical


  • Players can choose any gear but they use Facets, Attributes, or Skills to use it.
  • The difference between a PPK and RPG is in how you describe its effect—this is to emphasize the narrative aspect of the game.


  • Facets (SIFT, above) can be Cocked or Half-cocked.
    • Cocked Facets give you a boost of 25 to your roll-at-or-under target number. 2 Uses.
    • Half-cocked Facets give you a boost of 25, but instantly add an extra danger factor to the scene. 2 uses per adventure.

Danger Factor

  • The GM should specify things that are dangerous about every scene.
    • A good scene needs at least 3.
    • For example a mix of dangerous persons, places/objects (huge lasers; a cliff), animals, or events (natural disasters).
    • GM decides whether they are used, but they are usually available.

Core Mechanic

  • When a problem needs to be solved and difficulty is involved
    • Roll at or under Facet + Skill percentage. Add Cocking factor. Subtract difficulty modifiers.
    • Use each Attribute at any time, but only once; describe the change in scene and roll under 75.
    • Facets are reduced by 20 points for every damage taken.
      • Payers determine to which Facet damage is taken.
    • Any Facet reduced to 0 or less results in an incapacitated character.
  • When an enemy character does something…
    • Give them 50, 60, or 70 points:
      • Mook, henchman, or agent. Or a group (divide up the points per character)
      • The player’s character generally does 30 points of damage, or 60 points if they roll higher than their Facet
    • Or for enemy super-spies, stat them up like a player’s own character, without Attributes and with no Cocking.
  • Other enemies
    • The weather, a damaged vehicle one is trying to control, etc.
    • These modify the roll by subtracting 10 or 20.

That’s it for now…enjoy the weekend!

Filed in: Interests /111/ | Productivity /119/ | Therapeutic Practice /144/

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