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Basic Information

Espionage or Spying is the art and act of gathering information that is secret, private, or confidential.

But, of course, it's also much more than that. It's a genre of those who engage in these sorts of tasks, but also often including assassins and mad scientists and other "cloak & dagger" trappings that go beyond merely gathering information. Agents, spies, whistleblowers, and eavesdropping technology is employed by goverment agencies, private industry and individuals, all with their own motivations. Big Brother is watching, and so are a few of his siblings.

Espionage is frequently a government conspiracy.

Espionage Equipment & Technology

Espionage Locations

Famous Spies

Famous Intelligence Agencies

Spy Types

This list is a mix of actual espionage terms and positions as well as character tropes from the espionage tropes list. They should get you started on generating the characters you'll need for your game.

Espionage in the News

See Also:


2. Non-Fiction Book: International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying by Jack Barth
3. Non-Fiction Book: The CIA Catalog of Clandestine Weapons, Tools, and Gadgets by John Minnery

Game and Story Use

  • Espionage, it's themes and character types can be incorporated into many role-playing games. From over-the-top James Bond to all-too-real Wiki Leaks, there's a great deal of territory that could fall under an espionage banner. Most of the links above lead to pages that have their own game use ideas.
  • There's essentially a sliding scale in the espionage genre (leaving out silly things like child spies) ranging from larger than life stuff like cinema Bond and the Mission Impossible series, through more realistic (but still far too exciting) material like the Bourne series and the Bond novels to material closely based in reality like Le Carre's work. Make sure you know which end of the scale you're at before starting play as standard practice in one will be a war starting game over in another.
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