Syndicate: Execution Committee
The year is 2008. The Avatar Storm has come and gone, leading to a massive shift in the Technocracy power structure. Without its extradimensional backers spreading their lies and corruption, the Special Projects Division has come under fire. From many corners... and you are one of them. You are the men and women of Internal Affairs Section 6, an Enforcer amalgam whose primary enemy is your fellow coworkers. Your job is to tear out the corruption and malaise at the heart of the Special Projects Division, and find if there's anything worth saving in the end.
First off, this is starting in June, so be a little patient. Second off, use Revised. Yes, Revised. Since you know, this is a test game for the whole Syndicate submission thing I'm planning.
Second off, everyone is playing an Enforcer. Yeah, they get a bad rap as gangsters and thugs, but we're going to reform this.
Third off, I may try some alternate chargen ideas (and possibly multiple characters per player) so hold up on character sheets, just give me concepts. Plural, given the multiple characters-per-player thing. However, I will likely only allow one real mage per player anyways, so there's that.
Loyal Technocrats have the advantage of well-developed infrastructure, Inventions, and Devices over filthy superstitionists. As such, any loyal technocrat can get the half-price discounts for mental or physical attributes. However because this is done via Devices (read: Talismans) and Inventions (read: Artifacts) rather than the personal attention of a mage with Life 4 or Mind 5, there are some problems.
In general, they come with significant flaws until they "stick", which is likely to take a few sessions dependent on how well you roll on a Charisma/Manipulation + Arete roll. These flaws are generally things like dependency on drugs to keep retroviral adhesion until you get viralled off when the regimen is complete (for NWO or Progenitor agents), a constant drain of time and resources (i.e. no access to backgrounds) to buy really good personal trainer attention (for Syndicate members), or losing the use of some of your spheres because your implants are running biofeedback regimens to strengthen your brain and body rather than having spare processor cycles for Enlightened Science.
If you don't know what these are, who issued you your security clearance? Range from the standard HITMark V to the HITMark IIX Hostile Environment Atomechanical variant (it is entirely made of nanoscale clockwork and uses a sword for those places where chemical reactions and electricity are unreliable).
Men in Black
If you don't know what these are, you seriously should retire since you're clearly going senile. Men in Black are common as hell. They're mass produced autonomous Devices of a sort, with a fair few inbuilt rotes and an Arete ranging from 2 to 4. Many of them have reasonably high physical and mental stats too.
NWO Gamma Projects
Project INVISIBLE BEAR and Project IRON MOUNTAIN are seeing field agents replacing standard MiBs due to the latter having more genetic flaws (pale skin, odd mannerisms, you know the drill) making them more obvious than, you know, Jason Bourne. An upgrade variant, Project BLACK BRIAR, is a participant in the 2012 Joint Light Combatant/HITMark Replacement competition.
- Gamma Project subjects are actually living Inventions/Artifacts, with the baseline subject built by taking someone and giving them 30 successes of Intelligence + Instruction after going through Life 4/Mind 5 indoctrination and pharmaceutical augmentation. As such, use the Arete of their Enlightened controller to cast their effects. Gamma Project subjects tend to have up to 5 dots of sphere effects (the most common setup being an Entropy/Forces/Mind 1 Combat Training rote that drops their attack/perception/dodge difficulties, and either a Life 2 self-heal, a Forces 2 athletics booster, or a Time 2 precognitive ability.
Progenitor HITMarks. Think Chibi Alex Mercers. Shoved full of Enhancements and full of delicious paradox.
- Low-end Combat Constructs have physical attributes in the 4-6 level (and soak agg/lethal with stamina), 2d of countermagic, 10 HLs with no wound penalty, and regenerate 1 HL a round. Higher end ones may have extra actions, additional armor and physicals, acid blood, and even more HLs.
Were these true or are they retroactively true due to changing consensus and paradigm? Who knows? What matters is that they're the truth as it exists now. It's nice living in a post-objective truth world, isn't it?
DEIs were never intentionally designed to remove emotion and ethical thought from their personnel. Sadly, the science of the 1940s and 50s wasn't nearly good enough to figure out how to interface a computer with a brain without some level of risk. DEIs eventually caused minor but noticeable brain damage, with a depressing trend of sociopathy and psychosis. But hey, we fixed that.
We didn't actually encourage it. No sirree. That is just superstitionist bullshit right there.
Yes there are four previous models to the HITMark V. No they aren't as goofy as the 1E ones. (The Terracotta army may still be a hidden army of golems). As an OOC note they were probably much more capable "Back in the day", but the shifting paradigm and consensus of reality ("military hardware improves over time") has meant that they haven't aged well at all. The first two models date from the 1940s and are hydraulically-motivated, electrically powered robots with distinctive robotic gait and movement. The Mark I is incapable of posing as human, while the Mark II is capable of looking vaguely human from a distance. Both are armed with .50 HMGs and robot fists. The Mark III was the first use of synthetic muscle, while the Mark IV and V are related projects, with the Mark IV being a extrasolar security design and the V being capable of passing for human as well as accepting modular upgrades.
Formed in the 1800s after Adam Smith's work shook up economics and markets forever, the Syndicate's functioning right now is more a testament to the talent of the men and women in it than the competence of Control. A hastily assembled task force of members of the High Guild, the Cabal of Pure Thought, and Difference Engineers, the Syndicate, then the Invisible Exchequers, was formed. But their control has never been fully solidified, and too often shocking revelations have kept economic control difficult. The increasing mechanization and quantification of economics gave them hope that they may have finally found what they were looking for.
But then the Great Moderation ended. And the Avatar Storm happened. The Ascension War was over... and without the protection of that war, without their astral allies, the connections between Pentex and the Special Projects Division started getting a little bit of scrutiny. Then a lot. And that's why you're here.
The Enforcers are the Syndicate's 'muscle'. Although given a bad rap by the ones who work in crime, their primary raison d'etre is not criminal pursuits and thuggery. They exist largely to carry out the operations the Syndicate is uncomfortable leaving to other parties in the Technocracy that may involve violence, and lots of it. Enforcers take many forms in their sleeper facade, from Private Military Contractors to private investigators to government inspectors to cops specializing in white collar crime. The most critical mission they carry out, though, is keeping the Syndicate clear of internal threats to the sanctity of the Union and its greater mission.
The Syndicate of S:EC is made up of talent thieves and very, very cosmopolitan. The Enforcers especially, because internal affairs and investigation is one thing that Associates can do quite well, but sometimes you just have to kick down a door and how many accountant schools teach that? You might have come from Iteration X's cyborg ninja factories, or a Void Engineer Space Marine team. Maybe you were a member of
BLACKWATCH Damage Control, or a ex-MiB. Or maybe you did, actually, learn how to investigate financial crime first and then learn to kick down doors later.
But in general, the Enforcers don't recruit from their own-they search out talent from other organizations and then give them incentives to work with them. So yes, you can play your Huge Gay Space Marine if you can give me a reason why he's on IA.
Your Construct, such that it can be termed one, is an office owned by Charon Financial Management Services, an international financial analysis firm which specializes in reducing investment risk. The Enforcers have been (deliberately) starved of equipment and resources in the Pentex heydays, which is a bit of a problem.
The building is nice enough-a well-engineered highrise building filled with various offices, with the top 12 floors reserved for your use and the penthouse secured by keycard/biometric access. In the penthouse floor is where the firing range, armory, and special equipment storage. There are showers in the restrooms and the offices are spacious enough to keep changes of clothing, and below the penthouse there is a miniature gym.
Your security consists of a dozen rent-a-cops of varying but depressing competence, a pair of Kamrads who went through direct neural induction to learn commando skills, and a HITMark V (base model) who acts as your attractive brunette receptionist. Electronic security is top notch... for mundane use, but there are surprisingly high-level wards against teleportation and remote viewing via technological, psionic, and reality deviant means. The Internal Affairs department recommends to not use any non-proprietary technology with active wireless connections (and definitely not to connect them to the office computers) because of the potential security risk.
The armory has some light firearms-no heavy hardware, just like how the special equipment storage is a mishmash of stuff that in some cases may have dated back to before the Virtual Adept defection.
For analysis, you have a Ultimax Supercomputer taking up half of a floor, dating to the 1960s but compatible (sort of) with modern Union programs (it's a focus), access to standard databases, and your personal connections.
(note: Security and amenities likely to change due to investment of dots into Construct)