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Old 12-29-2018, 11:21 PM   #11
dcarson
 
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

For former Coast Guard he would probably look for ones that had been part of MSRT -- Maritime Security Response Team

The Maritime Security Response Teams are about as close to Navy SEALs as the Coast Guard gets (and many of them are trained by SEAL instructors). The MSRT includes snipers, dog handlers and explosive ordnance disposal technicians who are so highly trained they can detect and dispose of a chemical, biological or radiological weapon.

MSRT Coast Guardsmen are the counter-terrorism force within the service (as opposed to an "anti-terrorism" which is primarily defensive in nature), with missions to take down terrorist-infested ships, hit bad guys from helicopters and assault objectives like Rangers or SEALs. The force is also trained to recover high-value terrorists or free captured innocents.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:21 AM   #12
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Default Mr. Kessler's Longtime Armourer and Armsdealing

I have two potential characters who might occupy the role of senior armourer for the organisation as a whole. That involves running the Azazel Arms, a small custom gun shop in Galveston.

The first of the two competitors:

a) John Declan ("J.D.") Griffin
b. November 12, 1940; Galveston, TX.
This son of a local mechanic was tall for his age and tough for any age.
When he was thirteen, he felt he had learned enough welding and machining, so he struck out on his own, informing a local loanshark that the Bellinis could not pay him what he was demanding on their foundry, but that he would assume their debt, free and clear, and all he'd demand was an altered payment schedule, one which would ensure that both men made money.

The club-wielding thug did not appear to be interested in discussions of competitive ratings and rudely paid no attention to Griffin's several point business plan. As it turned out, the thug serviced notice of eviction on Griffin, and by extension, his impromptu clients, with a severe beating.

Never loath, the thirteen year old started to fill a large bucket with diesel oil while he blithely told his bloodied and battered clients to have faith in him and not agree to anything without consulting him first.

As Griffin walked back into the foundry with his heavy bucket in his left hand and a tire iron wrapped in oily cloth in the other, Griffin found welding torch and lit the oilcloth on fire. Placing the full bucket of diesel oil next to the man in charge, the one giving orders to the thug who'd beat him, and moved the burning cloth right next to it.

"I done heard you lot burn down stores where the owner can't pay your bribe money. Get the insurance that way. I don't know if'n it works with varminters on the inside like, that is a to say, will y'all lot count as prior damage to the place or can we count y'all as additional accessories, no matter that there weren't no one asked for ya. I don't reckon it counts either way, seeing as we'll all be burnt up and heading to join Jeebus, leastaways those of us who weren't Popists, Baptists or worse."

Before sticking his burning cloth into the diesel oil, J.D. Griffin looked deep into the eyes of the well-dressed, olive-skinned gentleman at his side.

"Or we could always go with my original proposal, cain't we? I take over the debt, I pay it all, because I'm good for my debt, but I get a readjusted payment schedule because I'll be changing this her old foundry into a modern firearm emporium with custom service."

The shaky and sweating gentleman had many questions for J.D. Griffin, but none of them were about his willingness to touch the burning cloth to the diesel oil. In the end, they shook hands on a deal substantially similar to Griffin's first offer. With a pen in one hand and needing to shake with another, J.D. Griffon dropped the tire iron, and the burning cloth, into the diesel oil. As his now-partner paled and looked for cover, Griffin simply tapped the oily cloth with his shoe and sent it deeper into the diesel oil, where the fire suffocated.

J.D. Griffin had been pretty sure that city boy Houston racketeers don't pump their own gas and certainly don't use it for anything personally, so they'd neither know the difference between diesel and gasoline, nor realize that while fuel fumes burn furiously, submerging a small blaze in diesel oil will simply serve to prevent oxygen from getting to it.

As Kessler came back to the city of his birth after a sojourn in Europe, Africa and Asia which included WWII and the Indochina War, he heard about the little kid who'd backed down Rosario Maceo's most ambitious crew chief. Kessler was amused and did his best to see that there were no repercussions. He also started to patronize the kid, minor jobs of cleaning guns and he like. Kessler was surprised to discover that Griffin knew a lot about gunsmithing, from magazines and from attending every gun show in the neighbourhood and talking to the old farts there until they had nothing more to say.

Kessler will have employed the services of a custom gunsmith in Texas since 1955. At first, as merely a valued client, but then, as his operations expanded, the role for a federally licensed gun dealer who was also a very good craftsman grew into something where you need to trust that person with your life and freedom.

According to Kessler's stories, he ran guns into Cuba after Castro's revolution and in the 1950s, he also moved armaments to many other countries in Latin America, the Caribbean. Africa and Asia. The way he tells it, his burgeoning mobile import-export organisation was talent-scouted by some boys from an agency that shall remain nameless and J.R. Kessler finally ended up serving the country of his birth, albeit without uniform, honour, public acclaim or legal authorization from the NCA.

It's not implausible that J.D. Griffin's personal gunsmithing service grew with him. Nor is it implausible that in 1963, perhaps sensing what was coming, Kessler offered Griffon to use his influence to get him exempt from the draft. Which Griffon declined. He put his store under the temporary management of a trusted employee and then volunteered for the United States Marines.

J.D. Griffin spent the years of 1965-1972 mostly in country, serving as rifleman, armourer, sergeant and anything else the Corps needed from him. When Saigon was abandoned, Griffin felt that everything he had fought for had been given up.

It didn't take much convincing to get Griffin to accept a full-time position in Kesser' organisation, especially as he could keep running his gun store, now with more assistants and expert help. The fact that Griffin became a cross between bodyguard and mercenary didn't bother him either, as he'd learned to forget about navigating by the True North of some idea or institution in his life and preferred to be loyal to his friends and ensure a good life for his family.

In 2018, Griffin is in his 78th year, which makes him, at least in theory, retired. In factual fact, he spends most of his time at Azazel Arms, micro-managing his sons, drinking a lot of bad coffee and kibbitzing with friends he made in more exciting times.

His duties are probably carried out by his eldest son, J.D. Griffin Jr., a charismatic and driven manager, though the middle brother Henry Wyatt Griffin, is actually the best craftsman of the three brothers. Jacky Griffin, the youngest, actually went ahead and joined the US military after 9/11, and is usually away on deployments. Without Elsa Mae Griffin, his unmarried eldest, and Alamo Rose Carter, his middle daughter, it's anyone's guess if Azazel Armaments would turn in any annual statements, let alone stay in the black.

----

The alternative would be an ex-SAS operator from Britain or the Commonwealth, born around 1930, and so ten years older than even Griffin. Kessler's chief of security from 1965 until around 1990 and probably unwilling to retire completely retire. A qualified armorer whose mercenary service was as much arms dealing and education in new weaponry as it was traditional military services.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
For former Coast Guard he would probably look for ones that had been part of MSRT -- Maritime Security Response Team

The Maritime Security Response Teams are about as close to Navy SEALs as the Coast Guard gets (and many of them are trained by SEAL instructors). The MSRT includes snipers, dog handlers and explosive ordnance disposal technicians who are so highly trained they can detect and dispose of a chemical, biological or radiological weapon.

MSRT Coast Guardsmen are the counter-terrorism force within the service (as opposed to an "anti-terrorism" which is primarily defensive in nature), with missions to take down terrorist-infested ships, hit bad guys from helicopters and assault objectives like Rangers or SEALs. The force is also trained to recover high-value terrorists or free captured innocents.
By the latter era in my questions, he likely will.

However, how old is MSRT?

Assuming such training existed, was it socially acceptable to accept a job with a foreign firm, as a euphemistic term for 'mercenary', working for the highest bidder?

For the new recruits in the 2010s, I'd want to have a few Navy SEALs, one or two Special Forces operators (ideally intelligence or medics in terms of specializations) with cultural expertise in the Caribbean and then get the rest of the deck crew and security personnel from the Coast Guard.

But a lot of people will have to be hired much earlier than that and, in any event, the contacts of the existing hires will guide where they can obtain trustworthy recruits from in the next hiring attempt.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
However, how old is MSRT?
Seems to have been founded as part of the Deployable Operations Group in 2007.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

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Seems to have been founded as part of the Deployable Operations Group in 2007.
Indeed, prior to that, one might look to individuals with LEDET experience, later as part of TACLET. Depending on whether Kessler plans to offer helicopter support or medevac*, he might want people with HITRON experience.

All acronyms aside, long service Coast Guardsmen would be valuble for their combination of boating and law enforcement experience.

*He can afford it, but employing experts with magical talents also means accepting that technological devices around them will be less reliable. Does anyone really want to get on a helicopter with someone known to go through several laptops a month, not to mention being notorious for ending up crashing cars due to unexplained glitches, shorting out and technical problems?
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:44 PM   #16
naloth
 
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Default Re: [MH] Caribbean by Night

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Sous chef: Name needed. Classically trained chef, who might walk into a head chef position on any luxury yacht or even have an excellent chance at re-starting his promising restaurant career, but owes Kessler an unspecified debt. Considers Aunty Genie an amateur in culinary matters and resents her authority, but must admit that she is a gifted amateur. Is also terrified of her and therefore complains to the crew and guests, never to her face.
Armourer: Needed.
Crew chef: Name needed. Former SOF operator who lost a leg. Texan, early forties. Not a haute cuisine chef, but a good fry cook and excellent barbecue man. His main duties are perimeter security and he is allowed in the kitchen only on sufferance by Aunty Genie, which means that he mostly cooks for the night shift or when an away team needs a meal at odd hours.
[/SIZE]
One of your chefs should be "Ryback". Owes the captain an unspecified debt which he doesn't discuss. Mocks the first officer. Good with knives and you get the impression that he could take back the ship singlehandedly if it was ever under siege...
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Left Hand Path Demonologists

This is not especially helpful, but in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina there is a town called Black Mountain that "everyone knows" is the "center of Satanism on the East Coast". This would be the dark Satanism, not the fun Chuch of Satan types.

Black Mountain is near Asheville, NC, which is a very eclectic place. There are a lot (A LOT) of various neo-pagan groups there as well as a lot of evangelical Christians. This makes the city council meetings very interesting. There is also a bohemian university there with a fantastic meterological program. More possible RP weirdness: there is a castle someome moved brick by brick outside the city and a cannon on a hill overlooking the main street, pointed inwards. Biltmore House is also there, the l argest private residence in the US (though parts of it are available for events).

The place is also lousy with breweries now.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is full of Cherokee stories and spirits (and pagans running around). It's also full of quartz, if you need an energy sink or giant battery or something.

I may or may not have personal experience with many of these things.

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Let us say that there was a coven / cult of New Age satanists on the West Coast, specifically connected to, say for the sake of argument, UC Berkeley. Charismatic, plausible leader, preying on spiritually searching, socially awkward or just plain lost college kids, selling pop psychobabble in a condescending, post-colonial, glorifying Krishna and Vishnu (or Kali, Durga, Ahriman, etc.) kind of way.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Left Hand Path Demonologists

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocRailgun View Post
This is not especially helpful, but in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina there is a town called Black Mountain that "everyone knows" is the "center of Satanism on the East Coast". This would be the dark Satanism, not the fun Chuch of Satan types.

Black Mountain is near Asheville, NC, which is a very eclectic place. There are a lot (A LOT) of various neo-pagan groups there as well as a lot of evangelical Christians. This makes the city council meetings very interesting. There is also a bohemian university there with a fantastic meterological program. More possible RP weirdness: there is a castle someome moved brick by brick outside the city and a cannon on a hill overlooking the main street, pointed inwards. Biltmore House is also there, the l argest private residence in the US (though parts of it are available for events).

The place is also lousy with breweries now.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is full of Cherokee stories and spirits (and pagans running around). It's also full of quartz, if you need an energy sink or giant battery or something.

I may or may not have personal experience with many of these things.
How is this a thing and no one bothered to tell me?

I would have somehow managed to find an extra day or two and drive down there, last time I was in Virginia. Well, no, I wouldn't, because this looks really far from Manassas, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, requiring at least three extra days to enjoy travelling this far south before starting the drive up to New York, with frequent stops at battlefields and tourist spots, and I already wanted to visit Richmond, Appomattox, Shenandoah Valley and other places, but there really wasn't time, but I would have thought about it.

Well, this will certainly be an option for somewhere the unpleasant visitor that the PCs are dealing with now could have come from. After all, he was at UC Berkley some three to five years ago, before leaving for an as yet undetermined location to finish his PhD, where he made new friends and learned new ways.

Places of Power, intersections of ley lines and 'Sacred' (or differently flavoured) Places are very important to be able to work any powerful rituals, so even the most secular occultists need to think about securing access to places with folkloric and historical associations with the proper kind of energy.

So even if our unnamed occultist was away for a PhD in Europe or some East Coast metropolis, he might have moved to Black Mountain once he got his degree, in order to pursue some as yet unspecified occult goal. Doesn't really matter whether he can really be meaningfully described as any existing flavour of Satanist or neo-pagan from a religious point of view, it's enough that the place be aspected toward working with some nasty spirits, beings or outsiders.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:34 PM   #19
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Default Airboats/Fanboats/Aerosleds and GURPS

In terms of Boating and Mechanic skills, do I subsume airboats/fanboats/aerosleds under Motorboat or are they a separate specialty?

'Nonc' Morel, the Cajun swamp druid from the Atchafalaya Basin, and his various back-country, swamp-smelling kinsmen from East Texas on through Florida want to know.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: Airboats/Fanboats/Aerosleds and GURPS

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In terms of Boating and Mechanic skills, do I subsume airboats/fanboats/aerosleds under Motorboat or are they a separate specialty?
I think they're a familiarity of Motorboat.
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