Contacts are people or groups that you can generally rely upon for assistance now and then, should the need arise. They are available as resources for characters to tap during play, whether they offer information, materials and supplies, or just a favor on occasion. They're a great thing to have, as sometimes one's contacts will have precisely what a body needs to progress in an adventure or other endeavor.
Contacts are rated in levels. A level one contact occupies one contact 'slot' or costs one character point, a level two contact occupies two contact 'slots' or costs two character points, and a level three contact occupies four contact 'slots' or costs four character points. Level two or three contacts are denoted with a digit to express their import, though level one contacts lack this for simplicity's sake.
For example, a simple pilot you keep on retainer may be a mere expert, while that world-famous US Senator qualifies as a government 3 contact. The former costs one contact 'slot' while the latter costs four. But you definitely get what you pay for, as a more important contact can provide bigger favors. But keep in mind that, above all else, contacts are people too.
Should you lean on a contact for assistance too much, said contact will want a favor in return - that's what friends are for, right? This can become difficult with more 'important' contacts. After all, a lowly street snitch from Detroit isn't about to ask for as big a favor as, say, the President of the United States. And it pays to keep one's contacts happy, or your neglect may cause you to lose them.
The Gamemaster will usually keep track of how happy a contact is with your character, which is often a great way for them to involve you in all manner of encounters - without your even having to do anything!
Unlike traits, quirks and most other attributes of a character, one's contacts need not be entirely determined before play begins. Sure, most characters will start with at least one contact, who must be specifically identified. This can be any manner of contact, from a trusted family servant to the Prime Minister of Canada. But a player may hold contact 'slots' in reserve; such contacts are called floating contacts.
What this means is that the character has contact 'slots' he or she has not actually used yet. These may be retained until a situation where the need for one in a specific area arises. For example, say a character finds herself requiring the services of a lawyer due to a botched fight with some super criminal. Having a few 'spare' contacts handy, she invokes one and declares that her brother is the family lawyer.
Alternately, one can use a floating contact to impose themselves into the origins of an existing NPC. If the Gamemaster hasn't developed that character's back story yet, a player may decide the lawyer their PC knows is that 'ambulance chaser' introduced two adventures back, assuming previous play didn't obviate that choice. This not only develops the player character's story, but lends more weight to NPCs already in the game.
Floating contacts can also be cashed in after interactions of opportunity with NPCs. For instance, if a hero group rescues some irritating teen pop idol from a gaggle of deranged fans, maybe one of the players decides to make the little twerp a contact. His life having been saved, the teen singer has begun to idolize the hero, and is happy to return the favor with... whatever it is that pop stars do for their friends.
Purchasing New / Old Contacts
After play begins, one might gain new contacts 'automatically' over time, but players must usually buy them if they desire more (once floating contacts are gone). This can be done with small amounts of Fortune, as a new contact costs five hundred Fortune plus an amount of Fortune equal to ten times their Lifestyle rank value. A new contact with rank value 50 Lifestyle, then, would cost the character one thousand Fortune.
Similarly, 'old' contacts lost due to a character's actions (or inaction, as the case may be) may be restored at a similar cost - along with the appropriate behavior to regain their trust. Say a contact in the CIA disavowed the PC after they wound up on the Terror Watch List, but the character has made amends and is trying to clean up their behavior. Paying the listed cost will return him or her to that contact's good graces.
'Fixing' an old contact may not seem worth the bother, but it sometimes beats buying a new one from nowhere - in the short and long term for both the character and the campaign as a whole. On the other hand, if one's bridges are just a little too burned, it may very well be in their best interest to start over in some ways, particularly if a former contact has become fully hostile towards the character.
The above assumes a level one contact is involved. If a character wishes to purchase a level two contact, they must pay twice the Fortune (the contact above, with rank value 50 Lifestyle, costs two thousand Fortune instead of one). A level three contact may be purchased at quadruple the price of a level one contact, in addition to there being a compelling reason for such an important person to start working with the hero.
And usually, merely rescuing the kitten of an alien overlord isn't enough of a justification for this (unless they're rather eccentric).
Below is a description of the various types of contacts available. Suggestions are given for each type, detailing just what they can be and generally what they can offer during play, broken up by their relative value:
Aide: contacts of this sort are those who specifically work to assist the character in some capacity. They function above and beyond a mere employer-employee relationship, and can be considered friends of the character. Most often, aides know of the character's super-human activities, and gladly assist him or her in the perpetration of such - or if applicable, will help them to maintain a secret identity.
Level 1 aides might come in the form of a dedicated secretary or butler, one who knows of the character's fantastic activities. This sort of aide might handle one's 'mundane' affairs while they're off adventuring, or perhaps does the 'grunt work' necessary for them to engage in such in the first place. A level 1 aide typically won't willingly participate in combat, and may require rescuing or assistance if they do so.
Aide 2 contacts go one step further in their jobs, and might often be seen in the field with a character. This type of aide may take the form of a Kung Fu servant or perhaps a heavily armed body guard - they're generally less powerful than the character, but have practical combat applications nonetheless. A level 2 aide may also take the form of a small support organization or technical and/or scientific staff.
A level 3 aide is incredibly active in the character's life. It can come in the form of a large support organization or technical staff, one who is highly motivated towards helping them do whatever it is they do. Level 3 aides can also come in the form of competent sidekicks or partners in crime, those who either have training in multiple combat techniques or are otherwise fully capable of taking care of themselves in a fight.
Artist / Performer: contacts of this type are the creators within a society. They make beautiful works of art, they can sing like nobody's business, or they are writers of some renown. Such individuals may not be famous, but their works may be above and beyond anything the world has ever seen - or will ever see again, once they're gone (or quit out of frustration).
A level 1 artist or performer represents any number of hard-working creative stiffs. This can be a graphic artist toiling away at an uncaring corporation, that technical writer who's far too good with words for what she's doing, or even 'that guy' you see on local commercials a lot. They're the kind of creator that others take advantage of under the pretense of 'helping them out by getting them exposure' in exchange for free work.
Artists or performers who rate a level 2 contact designation are somewhat famous. They include pop singers whose songs come and go on the radio, movie stars who repeatedly get jobs despite a lack of acting talent, and writers whose material catches on for a time with the public zeitgeist. They can be low-grade celebrities or less-known creators who have a small but intense following around the world.
Level three artists or performers are those whose works truly move the world - or at least a large portion of it. Whether you like them or not, their material will haunt the media long after they're gone. Writers will see their works ripped off and adapted into television and movies, performers will see their songs covered and sampled ad nauseum, and actors will live on in syndication until the end of time.
Business: businessmen and businesswomen are the citizens of corporations, workers who make those financial entities go - even if the higher-ups forget this more often than not. A business contact can be anyone working in a corporate environment, ranging from that old fogey in the company mail room to the new chief executive officer - or even one of the creepy HR operatives.
Business contacts of the level 1 sort are the cogs in the corporate machinery. These people often have little official authority, but a company may well grind to a halt without their diligent work. Business contacts such as these include secretaries, delivery personnel, stock brokers, and so on. This class of contact may also include independent contractors or the owners of small businesses.
Level 2 business contacts are people who are somewhat highly placed in a major corporation. They include upper management, human resources 'people', leaders of one company subsidiary or another, or others who serve a vital, yet occasionally under-appreciated role in the company. A level 2 business contact can also represent the owner of a small corporation, or perhaps a contractor in very, very high demand.
A level 3 business contact is a mover and shaker in the financial world. This category of business contact includes chief executive officers, the owners of massive corporations, exorbitantly wealthy financiers, and so forth. These individuals rarely worry about money, and are often responsible for the generation of vast amounts of it. When level 3 financiers make a business move, people pay attention - intently.
Criminal: sometimes it pays to know somebody working in the unseemly underworld. Perhaps a friend who launders money, deals drugs, or trades on the black market. Such people are often limited to what they do or know, but they usually have criminal contacts of their own, and often know a guy who knows a guy who knows something. Criminals are evildoers without powers to speak of. Mostly.
Criminals who fall into the tier of a level 1 contact are those who are self-made folks - and haven't really made all that much of themselves. This can be anything from a street walking 'consultant' to an illegal arms dealer to a fence who works out of the back of that notorious pawn shop. Typically such criminals are on their own, but can call upon others of their ilk who might have what a body needs in a pinch.
Level 2 criminals are bigger sharks. They're often the head of a small gang or mob, and have successfully held onto their territory for quite some time. These people have much better connections, usually dabbling in smuggling, high volume drug dealing, money laundering, or all of the above. Such criminal contacts can also represent elite criminals, solo law breakers who are the best of the best at what they do.
A criminal who qualifies for a level 3 status is the kind who is not to be trifled with. In a world of cutthroat evildoers, they've risen to the absolute top of the heap. These are the ringleaders of international crime syndicates, drug cartels, slavery rings, and sometimes worse. They have connections on a global scale, and can usually manage to do almost anything they want, maintaining a legitimate guise all the while.
Doctor: it's always handy for adventurers of any stripe to know a doctor. Heroes, villains, vigilantes and fugitives are constantly getting into fights, either with each other or highly motivated normals, and somebody's got to patch them up. Such medical contacts can range from a simple general practitioner to a specialist in a given area of medicine or even the 'black market' doctors common in comic books.
Level 1 doctor contacts aren't world-famous neurosurgeons or notorious misanthropic diagnosticians, but are nonetheless dependable medical personnel. A general practitioner falls into this category, as do any number of nurses, medical students or interns. Whether or not they've got a flashy degree framed on the wall, contacts of this variety are always skilled in most essential medicinal techniques.
A doctor with a level 2 rating is usually a highly skilled specialist of some sort. This can be of almost any nature, whether a neurologist, an oncologist, a cardiologist, a dermatologist, or even an urologist. These doctors have the skills of a general practitioner plus their expertise in a specific area. A level 2 doctor might also represent a general practitioner or nurse with several decades of experience to draw upon.
Level 3 doctors are the best of the best in their given fields. This sort of doctor is usually renowned within that field for skill or experience, and people will come from far and wide for their help in said field. Of course, a level 3 doctor can also represent medical personnel working above and beyond the pale, perhaps with capabilities beyond their time - though some doctors of this variety are often considered 'mad scientists'.
Expert: expert contacts are those who excel in a given professional area, those that do not fall into other categories (like doctors or businessmen). These are contacts who either have a skill the character lacks, or otherwise possess the tools and resources to do things with that skill the character doesn't have access to. Experts are often in high demand, since they save oneself the bother of 'grunt work'.
Experts of the level 1 sort are usually those who have a like level of skill in a given area. This can be anything from a mechanic to a pilot to an electronics engineer. These professionals often run their own contracting business or work for a larger company that retains their services. Either way, they usually have all the tools, supplies and equipment on hand necessary to perform the duties of their given profession.
A level 2 expert is really good at what they do. This can be a highly experienced skill holder, or perhaps someone with a level 2 in some skill or another. These folks often own a company dedicated to whatever it is they do, or manage a subsidiary of a larger corporation dabbling in their field, but may often be highly eccentric experts or even hobbyists who just enjoy toying in this profession a great deal.
Level 3 experts are known world-wide - at least in professional circles - for their capability. They may or may not have a level 3 in the skill they offer, but have the power to back up their skill with extensive experience and natural ability. These experts are in very high demand, and it can be hard to get some of their time for oneself as busy as they are - and they usually charge an arm and a leg for services rendered.
Foreign Power: a contact that falls within the foreign power category is one who is a governmental official of some sort in a nation that is not one's own. For people outside of the United States, any of the contacts of the 'government' variety can apply. For Americans however, this describes any civilian (usually) working for any government that is not, in fact, American.
Level 1 foreign power contacts represent minor dignitaries and officials. They can range from the mayor of a small city or governor to a province with a tiny population or economy (such as England's town of Telford or Russia's Krai of Krasnoyarsk). This form of contact can also be any minor or intermediate government representative, busybody or the like, for example an employee of the United Kingdom's Department for Transport.
A level 2 foreign power has a bit more authority. This can be a member of groups such as the United Kingdom's Parliament (whether an elected House of Commons official or an appointed House of Lords representative), or the mayor or governor of an important city or prefecture (like London or perhaps Okinawa). Level 2 foreign power contacts may also be the leaders of agencies like Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst.
Foreign power contacts that are of level 3 import are the rulers of their nation, if not great movers and shakers on the world stage. If someone can be addressed as Caliph, King, President, Prime Minister, Queen, Tsar, or even Dictator for Life, they likely fall into this category, even if their country isn't necessarily a global super power. Immediate minions and advisors of such individuals fall into this category as well.
Government: government contacts are those who work for the state, either out of a wish to help others or to further their own political ambitions. These individuals may be elected, appointed, or may perhaps earn their way into their position through hard work (or simply being on the job the longest). Either way, these contacts provide a service to the people, who ostensibly pay their salary.
'Standard' government contacts don't get things done on a national scale, but are instead local in nature. This can include the mayor of a small town or medium sized city (anything named Springfield, for instance), the governor of a state with a relatively small population (like South Dakota), state congressmen and senators, or even someone running a government agency, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A level 2 government contact is often a serious mover and shaker in political affairs. In the United States, for example, this can be most members of the House of Representatives or the US Senate, as well as political appointees such as the heads of the FBI, CIA, and the like. This can also include the mayors and governors of high population areas, such as New York City or the state of California.
Government contacts that rate a level 3 indication are those who hold serious sway over public policy. In the United States, they can include elected individuals such as the Speaker of the House, the Vice President and even the President himself. This level of governmental contact may also include highly placed political appointees, the President's Cabinet of advisors in particular.
Hero / Villain: a hero or villain contact is just that, a costumed adventurer that the character may rely upon for aid of some sort or another. Usually it makes sense for a hero to have hero contacts and a villain to have villain contacts, but sometimes the world isn't so cut and dried - and on occasion, a hero or villain will switch sides a few times, complicating matters for everyone.
Hero or villain contacts that rate a level 1 indicator are those who approximately match the power and/or capability of the character in question. A level one hero or villain contact might also consist of a team of less powerful individuals, like a group of sidekicks. Such contacts may idolize or respect the character, or perhaps the character did some great service for them in the past that warrants swapping assistance now and then.
A level 2 hero or villain contact is often a potent individual who has more capability than the character, or is perhaps a duo or small group of adventurers with their approximate power or skill. Such contacts might come into play when the character gets in a bit over their head in some mess or another, or perhaps they have a significant 'history' and are willing to help each other out on occasion, for the benefit of all involved.
Heroes or villains that have a level 3 status are either a large band of adventurers, a small group of heroes or villains that are each a bit more powerful or skilled than the character, or even a singular individual with world-shaking power in his or her own right. These individuals may be part of a loose association with the contact, or perhaps they owe him for some spectacular favor or service the character provided them in the past.
Informant: informants are people who would otherwise fit into another category of contact, save for their inherent function. You see, an informant is a source of information above all else; whether willing or otherwise, the character has a relationship with this contact that facilitates the transfer of information from the latter to the former. This can put an informant at considerable risk.
A level 1 informant is a low level operative in a criminal or other organization who acts as a stoolie. Most likely, this form of contact has a slightly adversarial history with the character, and will give the character information to avoid a resumption of hostilities between the two. Level 1 informants may alternately just be people who are well connected, or happen to have useful information 'fall into their lap' on occasion.
Level 2 informants are more highly placed members of an organization, whether criminal, governmental or otherwise. They might be plants sent by another group entirely (such as law enforcement), or may simply be disloyal to their patron group for some reason or another. These informants will usually have rather juicy information on a group's ringleaders or managers, and revealing what they know may get them killed.
An informant of the level 3 sort is someone who is very highly placed in a syndicate or other organization that has turned... though said group may not know it yet. This informant is happy to dish the dirt on their former friends to the character, usually in exchange for bringing them down or 'getting out'. An informant of this level that is discovered will usually be killed before they know what hit them in most instances.
Journalist: sort of the opposite of an informant, a journalist is the kind of person who digs up information, instead of merely sitting on it. These intrepid men and women of letters are either intensely curious about the world - or some aspect of it - or have a specific crusade that lights their fire. Either way, they have the means to reveal unsavory secrets to the world that others would like to keep hidden.
A level 1 journalist is probably the easiest to get in touch with, both for availability as well as willingness to follow up on some strange story or another. While they may not be recognizable to the world at large, they'll happily dig and dig in order to get to the bottom of something, usually for their own benefit but sometimes out of curiosity. While they may not be an anchor, they can normally get their stories out with some effort.
Level 2 journalists are those you recognize from television or newspaper bylines. These folks have done their time out in 'the world' and worked their way up in the media such that they have a cushy job reading (or serving as an editor to) the news. While they don't get out much, they still have amazing connections on their own, and can do just about any story they want to given the proper motivation.
Journalists who rate a level 3 aren't just folks you see on the television every night at 11 o'clock - they're the true makers of news. These experienced veterans of journalism know how to pry information from just about anyone, no matter how well hidden it may be. They know how to dig, turn over informants, and otherwise raise a ruckus until the truth comes out - and then inform others in the most convincing way possible!
Lawyer: a lawyer is an individual who is well-versed in the inner workings of the laws of the land. These individuals may serve as either defense attorneys, prosecutors for the government, highly paid consultants, or may still be interns who are yet working to master the byzantine paths of law. Either way, it pays to know such a person if you're engaged in 'risky' or downright illegal behavior.
Lawyers who embody a level 1 contact rating are those who know the law well but aren't necessarily famous for such. This can be anything from a relatively inexperienced lawyer to a legal intern to anything in between. Whether or not such an individual has 'passed the bar' yet, they can nonetheless offer a wide variety of legal information, though they'll usually do so with a lot of disclaimers all the while.
A level 2 lawyer is a more experienced individual. They not only know the law in and out, but can act as a lawyer in multiple jurisdictions, and are aware of both the politics and personalities of the judges at play where they serve. Alternately, a level 2 lawyer might in fact be a judge themselves, a highly experienced official who has managed to earn the respect of their peers (to an extent) and gain this prestigious title.
Level 3 lawyers are those who are famous for either their ability, position, or clientele. High-powered attorneys of the rich and famous, Supreme Court justices, and others of their ilk fill this niche. A level 3 lawyer can also be a non-practicing lawyer of the retired sort who has decades of experience to draw upon, and knows where all the bodies are buried in their bailiwick (in a manner of speaking).
Mentor: a mentor is a contact who aids the character in the mastery of some subject or another, whether mundane, fantastic or even spiritual. They may feel partially responsible for the character and their advancement, or they might just be earning a paycheck. Either way, mentors possess immediately practical knowledge the character lacks, and are usually willing to share it - although not necessarily in a free manner.
Mentors of the level 1 variety often include instructors of 'mundane' skills, individuals who excel at education and readily pass their knowledge on to others. This may involve something as academic as physics or as physical as martial arts. This brand of mentor isn't just teaching from nine to five, however; they actually enjoy what they do and sharing everything they know with their students.
Level 2 mentors include garden variety teachers of the fantastic. These are the people that itinerant students seek out in order to learn the secrets of high technology, psionics, sorcery, or even immortality itself. Such mentors are not necessarily the most knowledgeable in their field, but are willing to teach others some or all of what they know... though sometimes this information comes at a great cost to the character.
A mentor who qualifies as a level 3 contact is often one of the best such teachers available. Whether they educate others in mundane or fantastic skills, this mentor works hard to see their charges excel both in and out of their area of influence. Such a mentor is usually in very high demand, and there may be a 'waiting list' just to talk to them - in fact, most of the time a character may only converse with their underlings.
Military: military contacts represent people a character knows that have a military background. All such individuals will have the military skill, and as such can wield most modern firearms with some competence. A military contact tends to overlap with either government or police contacts, depending on the country involved, and may or may not currently be an active member of any armed service.
Military contacts of the level 1 ilk are primarily enlisted men and women. They can be anything from someone fresh out of Boot Camp to a highly experienced Sergeant. While these folks are relatively low-ranking personnel, they nonetheless have a wealth of skills, experience and other contacts to draw upon. Level 1 military contacts can also be retired personnel, those who aren't active but served for many years of their life.
A level 2 military contact is the kind that has considerable rank. This can be anything from a fighter pilot to a freshly promoted Brigadier General. These folks have quite a bit of pull and, while they usually don't have a command to speak of, they've got connections and privileges that allow them to do a lot. A level 2 military contact can also represent a specific unit, whether covert or overt in nature.
A military contact with a level 3 rating is very high up in the command structure of a given armed force. Perhaps they're a Major General, or even a Rear Admiral. Either way, such individuals usually have a significant command, whether it be an aircraft carrier or an Army base. They can always pull a lot of strings, and have access to innumerable other contacts and resources when they need to draw in a few markers.
Organization: an organizational contact is one that is representative of neither a criminal, government or military group - it's a society of sorts all its own. This may be a secret society, non-profit organization or association of some kind or another. An organizational contact may offer considerable resources or aid when necessary, and may even serve as a patron of sorts for a character.
Level 1 organization contacts might be groups with a relatively small reach. A 'small' union falls into this category, as do various self-contained industrial associations, churches, charities, or task-specific conspiracies. Such a contact may also represent a singular member of a larger organization, one who has taken a shine to the character in an unofficial capacity, and not necessarily with that group's blessings.
An organization that rates a level 2 contact has a bit more reach. This can be a charity group that services an entire nation, a church with multiple denominations, international trade associations, or mid-range conspiratorial groups. A level 2 organizational contact may also be a representative of a level 3 group that, without official sanction, has taken to sponsoring or aiding the character in some capacity.
It usually takes a rather large organization to rate a level 3 contact. These groups normally have a pervasive global reach, and can include organizations such as (or similar to) the Catholic Church, the Red Cross, or even the Bavarian Illuminati. Organizations of this type have massive personnel and even more followers, though some may not precisely be aware that they're a tool of such a far-reaching group to begin with.
Police: police contacts are men and women who are duly appointed law enforcement officials, which can sometimes overlap with either government or military contacts, depending on the nation in question. Such officials can have an authority which is primarily local in nature or can range throughout a nation or even beyond, all of which depends on their jurisdiction and rank in their respective organization.
Level 1 police contacts enforce the law but have little authority to make big decisions, and are primarily local in jurisdiction. This can be a city beat cop, county sheriff, state patroller or the like. Police contacts of this type may also be retired members of regional or national enforcement agencies, those who no longer can make arrests or engage in law enforcement but still have the experience from a lifetime of such work.
A police contact who rates a level of 2 is often a low-ranking member of a national law enforcement agency. Such groups include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Marshals (in America), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP, or Mounties, in Canada), the Policìa Federal (Federales, in Mexico), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI, in India), or even the Cuerpo Nacional de Policìa agents (in Spain).
Finally, level 3 police contacts are those with serious pull on a national or international level. They mainly include veteran or high-ranking members of the previously mentioned organizations, or arms of a government's law enforcement which reach beyond its borders. Such contacts may also be those with international authority, most notably in the International Criminal Police Organization (or Interpol).
Scientist: scientists are slightly different than experts, in that they are less professional in nature and more theoretical. A doctor or a pilot usually falls into the category of 'expert', while a nuclear physicist or a geneticist would qualify more as a 'scientist'. It's not necessarily a 'hands off' approach so much as an emphasis on research over experience.
A level 1 scientist is generally a qualified master of their field, and will typically have either a level 2 skill in their chosen science, or a level 1 skill in multiple disciplines. These can know anything from physics to archaeology to mathematics. Such contacts make great sources of information on the obscure when a character needs it - or at the very least serve as peers to bounce ideas off of if they possess like skill.
Scientists of the level 2 sort are a bit more out there. They may possess a science skill at a level 3 effectiveness, or multiple scientific talents of level 2 prowess. This individual may or may not have problems dealing with other people, but they are generally consumed by their work in some capacity or another - and are always expanding their knowledge further... or cashing in by consulting for various characters.
Level 3 scientists are highly sought out. These people often have various level 2 sciences to back up a primary, level 3 pursuit. They are veritable founts of scientific knowledge, and are typically considered the world expert in one area or another. This kind of contact easily fits the mold of a 'mad scientist' (as do certain doctors), and may be on the bleeding edge (or beyond) of global knowledge in their area of expertise.
Trivia: a trivial contact is not as, well, trivial as they may at first sound. This individual is similar to an expert or a scientist, but has knowledge that is a bit less... marketable. It's easy to make a living as the world's greatest botanist, but a bit less so when you're the undisputed master of all things Pokémon ™, whether in their trading card, animated series or video game forms.
Level 1 trivia contacts know a whole lot about something obscure and usually irrelevant to most people. This can be the long-buried rules of a thirty year old super hero role playing game, everyone that ever appeared on Hollywood Squares ™, or even a thorough history of McDonalds ™. There are reasons someone might know this stuff, but such reasons escape most folks.
A level 2 trivia contact is well versed in materials that are a bit more common knowledge. This is where your Pokémon ™ masters come in, as well as film buffs, those who know all things concerning baseball cards, and so on. Such contacts will have knowledge of these kinds of trivial matters at level 1 or 2, or alternately knowledge of the level 1 trivia categories at level 2 or 3.
Trivia experts of the level 3 variety, these people know a whole lot about 'nothing'. This person might be a walking encyclopedia on a far-reaching subject, such as Anime, and have a level 3 knowledge of such. Alternately, they may have level 2 knowledge on multiple related subjects, such as baseball cards and baseball statistics. These people rarely get out, but they're almost always ready to share their knowledge. Exhaustively.