Friday, August 29, 2014

Bloodlines: A Supers Campaign Seed (Part Five)

Bloodlines Template
This series draws from supers campaign I put together almost ten years ago, "Bloodlines." That focused on inherited super-powers limited to certain bloodlines around the globe. This material sets up some of the groups in the setting. You can see the first post here which lays out the general concept.

Part Two: Bloodlines 1
Part Three: Bloodlines 2

GM Note: I'm a big believer in a larger cast of NPCs- as you can see below. This was a twelve session campaign IIRC; it might have been even shorter. We had one player die, Barry, just before the finale. It was hard but we pressed on and wrapped it up. As you can see from there's a mix of new concepts with team names and ideas borrowed from existing super games. I really wanted the feel of a campaign world with an absolute mess of heroes and villains- a chunk of which I killed off in the first session. I managed to bring a couple of these groups to the table, but that was less important than the feeling of a complicated and jam packed world. Some of these ideas I still like (The Nursery for example), but others feel more than a little lazy when I re-examine them. If nothing else, I hope this might be useful as a grab-bag of concepts for other GMs to throw into their game. 

CAMPAIGN PLAY
CAST
Based out of Chicago, the PC superteam has chosen the name, the Untouchables.
The PC's
  • Shutdown (Symanski Power Nullifier)
  • Cruel Butterfly (Bradock Flyer)
  • Grey (Xiaomin Mentalist)
  • Roaming Wolf (Rakepaw Tank)
  • Onyx (Muzenda Elementalist)
  • Bolt (Hunter Speedster)

Supporting Staff
  • Abbey Relihan: Administrator and liaison with their mysterious patron.
  • Davis Holden: Driver
  • Carrie Ming: On-staff tech and support officer
  • Dana Klemanski: On-staff tech who has Demolitions
  • Lieutenant Solis Montoya: Contact on the police force
  • Jesse Pergrom: High strung contact in the Minion underworld

Other Notable Characters
  • Detective Badger: Man on scene at Brookfield incident
  • Ace Braddock: International singing sensation and Cruel Butterfly's cousin
  • Firstborn: Anarch; Shutdown's father
  • Holly Glenn: Troublesome Reporter
  • The Kangaroo: Bolt's father
  •  Arthur Karnak: Low level ex-Sinistry agent with fade powers
  • Trey Karnak: Ran "The Minion Bar"
  • Timothy "Wizard" Loring: Vanished Sorrentino tech
  • Patriarch: Leader of Justice
  • Karl Rody: Head of A-SWAT
  • Transcendance: Shutdown's ex-wife now involved with Firstborn
  • Lennox Braddock aka Paragon III: Cruelbutterfly's cousin with the DHPD
  • Manifest: Independent hero who apparently survived the Zero Moment event. Bloodline uncertain
  • Caliber Saint: Notorious Anarch weapon-maker from the 1960's and 1970's. Apparently Abbey Relihan's father.
  • Tate Morgan: Sidekick to the late Durandal. Murdered in Chicago. Created the Zero Moment Video

GOVERNMENT SUPERGROUPS
Frontline
One of three government sponsored super-groups, this one specifically under the auspices of the FBI. The group generally operates in high-risk environments and deals with the most unpleasant situations. Current team leader is Bane. Killed recently in the Zero Moment.

Justice
Government sponsored and made up of the most visible and powerful supers presently in the service of the US, they are generally portrayed in the most favorable light possible. They handle operations with clear black and white players and incidents. Current team leader is Patriarch.

DPHD
Also known as Homeland: The department of Parahuman Defense is made up of those Bloodliners with more subtle powers and abilities who still want to carry out active duty operations for the government. Their membership roster is not officially known, though a few key agents have been made public. Most come to the organization through the Parahuman Civil Service system. Visible representative is Marvel Vaughn aka Quantimite.

CORPORATE SUPERGROUPS
Team Future
A group brought together by a conclave of research organizations and technical teams, ranging from IBM to MIT to Verizon. The group's mission is the development of ways in which the skills and abilities of Bloodliners can be used to better aid the world. They have, at times, fought crime and supervillains, but their operations tend to be about the maintenance of order and stability. They do, however, have a strong rivalry with Vision. Team leader is Impact, a Braddock.

Vision
While there have been other corporate superteams, none has been as stable and long-lived as Vision. They have operated both in the United States and in other regions with the permission of local governments. The network and support backbone developed for the group is second to none. Among the Bloodlines community they have a reputation for being the best and most elitest of the super teams. Current team leader is Avalon, a Rakepaw.

INDEPENDENT SUPERGROUPS
The Sentrymen
One of the first "super" groups devoted to fighting crime and protecting society. The team came about in the late sixties and lasted until the mid-seventies. Refounded in the late 1980's by some of the big hitters, including Black Havok, Patriarch, Professor Risk and the White Sword, it managed to steer the group out of the negative publicity and public feeling of the time. The group changed membership quite a bit over the years, until by the late 1990's it was made up of what might be called second string supers. Finally even they left resulting in an underpowered group that was annihilated by Ravage less than a year ago.

New Centurions
The primary West Coast superteam. They operate outside of corporate control and government authority. They have a reputation for being more than a little free-wheeling in their approach to stopping crime. Current team leader is Galileo aka Ben Holt, a Drammen.

Arsenal
It is unclear is this group still exists as they have not been seen in a number of months. They operated across the East Coast, usually deliberately offending local government officials while carrying out their duties. Known leader: Anthem.

The Valkyries
An all-female team that operates across North America.

The Untouchables
The newest superteam in the US. Formed hours after the Zero Moment killed off scores of Bloodliners. The group flew into Chicago, a notorious Anarch stronghold and set up shop in a former Sentrymen base. So far they have met only success. Team leader is Shutdown; other members include Onyx, Cruel Butterfly, Bolt, Roaming Wolf and Grey.

ANARCH TEAMS
Syndic
Associated with the Cosa Nostra organization. However, recent reports indicate that they also have ties to Latin American Drug Cartels. This is believed to be indicative of the growing reports of ties between these two groups. They have a high variable membership and seem more interested in low level crimes than anything else.

Ravage
One of the most feared Anarch teams, this group has alternated between effective leadership with calculated planning and brutal unplanned assaults. Ravage is known for drawing the most dangerous and high powered super-villains in the country. Their various attacks have been unbelievable in their audacity, notably their destruction of the Denver Mint in 1999.

Kabal
An anarch team with a decidedly mystical bent. The group has ten members, each associated with an aspect of the Sephiroth, a kabbalistic pattern. Their activities have been bizarre, ranging from money grabs to complex mind-control operations, to simple assaults on super hero teams. It is believed that the leader of the team, Kether, is a deranged Sorrentino Bloodliner.

Pantheon
A more recent group, known to be affiliated with a number of criminal and terrorist organizations. Believed to be apolitical, instead focusing on high-profit robbery and extortion. Apparently has a sophisticated support staff, judging by their ability to evade the authorities. They primarily operated out of Europe until the year 2002, at which they apparently moved operations to the US . They take their names from Greco-Roman mythology inconsistently. (Note, many of these names have been used before, but current classification assigns them to these members). It is uncertain how the team was recruited, but their leader, Augustus, is likely to be the mastermind. Four former members are dead or in custody (Apollo I (dec.), Mercury I (dec.), Pluto I (incar.) and Hercules I (incar.). Two other members have been replaced; the whereabouts of their originals is unknown.

Pantheon tends to concentrate on fast and brutal force in their operations. It is believed that both Augustus and Zeus operate as commanders in the field. They have killed before, but seem to be more interested in concluding their operations. Not afraid to cut loose members if they are captured, and have taken hostages before. It is believed that the group will likely trip themselves up in their extreme lack of subtlety. Members: Augustus, Apollo II, Athena, Hercules II, Zeus, Mars, Mercury II, Neptune, Pluto II and Vulcan.

Redact
Little is known about this group. It is believed that a number of Bloodliners make up its membership. However, as of yet, only one is confirmed, Nathaniel Jensen (of the Edige bloodline). It operates internationally with a focus on corporate targets. It operates through long-term, subtle infiltration projects. Information regarding the exact nature and method of this is closely held by the various law-enforcement agencies involved.

It is commonly believed that they use their resources and powers to place their agents inside corporations. Thus far, they have not targeted governmental or public institutions. Strong Hacker access is suspected as well given their likely ability to manufacture false information and identities. It is also suspected that they have access to mental powers and precognitives. Unfortunately, the censored nature of reports on this group makes it difficult to evaluate them. It is uncertain if their motives are ideological, materialist or other. Approach with caution. Members: Nathaniel Jensen (only confirmed).

Chimera
A classic villain organization that has operated over the years in various guise across the globe. They have a mixed record of success, with many of their members having been captured at one time of another. However, their leader, The Rook, has managed to evade jail and has always reformed the group within a few months with a new roster.

The Word
A gathering of distinctly anti-religious anarchs. While they carry out very few operations, those they do are particularly noted for their viciousness. They attack any and all religious authorities and icons. Even when planning robberies or other typical criminal operations, they make sure to target the faithful. Members: Lilith, Belial, Kali, Heretic, and others.

Overrun
Said to be a mercenary for hire superteam.
Sinistry
Known to operate out of Chicago.
The Shadow Margin
Uncertain if this is a single figure or a group.
Prometheans
Said to be devoted to organizing resistance of Bloodliners to any form of control by normal humans
The Foundry
Bloodliners who seem to supplement their powers with mechanical means
Black Dawn
Anti-Bloodliner assassination group.

OTHER GROUPS
Lockdown
The general name given to the semi-private corporation that works with the government to hold super-powered criminals. Their main facility lies somewhere in the badlands of South Dakota. They also have smaller transport stations located in Oregon, Virginia, and St. Louis. An important point is that while the Syzmanski family possesses the abiltiy to neutralize powers, this has not yet been mechanically reproduced. The suspension tubes used by Lockdown for transport do not, in fact, neutralize powers. They are suspension and sleep generating systems used to keep Anarchs from activating their abilities. Lockdown uses a variety of methods to keep Anarchs secure, but the details of that are covered by national security.

The Nursery
The name given in the West to the Chinese Bloodliner project. It is an open secret that China kidnaps or assassinates Bloodliners as the opportunity presents itself. The few Chinese Bloodliners who have managed to flee the program have been hunted relentlessly. Despite that, little is known about the Nursery. Their agents prefer to work quietly in taking out tehir targets, avoiding situations which could draw attention to themselves or create a diplomatic incident.