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Old 03-09-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
macphersonrants
 
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Default Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

I'm working on building a secret organization like Delta Green or the Ordo Veritas from Essoterrorists for a secret magic/conspiracy/horror setting I'm working on. I want it to draw on small cells of intelligence operatives, so I can riff off of shows like MI-5 and The Sandbaggers. For opposition, I'll be sending them up primarily against occult Nazis, with the odd monster thrown in for a little variety.

I want to give the organization a history going back to the 1930s, so I can use it for pulp era, WWII, and modern adventures. I definitely would like for it to have a British component. I'm toying with the idea of making it an Anglo-American conspiratorial group with cells operating independently under the umbrella of an intelligence organization in each country and maybe in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa as well.

My thought is to have an initiatory group (probably pseudo-Masonic) at the center of the conspiracy, with members that can manipulate resources within their nation's intel communities in order to give the field cells the PCs would be part of both resources and latitude to operate independently.

I'd like general feedback on how to create something that is going to seem very plausible- to create an everything is real, but the supernatural bits feel. I'd also like some ideas on where to stick the cells. I figure that I'll work the British component into the SOE by WWII. The American element might start out within the Black Chamber and end up in the OSS. I'm not certain where I want to go after the war though.

I'm toying with setting up MI-6 as an obstructionist sort of adversary for the Brits in my little conspiracy. I could stick the British cell in MI-5, but that would deny them the ability to operate internationally under the cover of the organization they would be leeching off of. Maybe within the Army? Something to do with the SAS or military intelligence?

I have a similar dilemma with the Americans. Could a group working within the CIA remain completely secret for 50 years? If not, where should I put them? Something like the ISA/Grey Fox might be fun. Special Forces get created fairly early, so I could probably make the chronology work, I'm just not sure I want to put them within the military. Maybe the State Department?

If I were to go with Commonwealth components as well, I really have no idea how to handle that.

Creating something independent is possible, but I'm not sure it is realistic that a small intel unit could be funded for decades without attracting unwanted attention. Operational groups within bigger organizations seem more plausible.

I definitely want something more tightly structured than the approach in Delta Green, where you have ad hoc groups brought together from a variety of organizations. Like I said earlier, I'm looking to emulate the sort of set up you see on TV programs like MI-5/Spooks, The Sandbaggers, or NCIS.

Feel free to throw in any other ideas you might have that would be fun in an espionage/horror game.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

How about the BIS in the center ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_fo...al_Settlements

Cells would be in national central banks and especially national law enforcement agencies dealing with counterfeiting, like the US secret service.
The US Mint Police might also be involved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Mint_Police
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

Have a quick look at wikipedia

Mi 5: supported fascists and infiltrated by russians and attacked communists.

Very 'school boy network', you get in if you went to the right 'school'.

There were plenty of occult stuff going on, might as well use pagans, see the Wickerman for ideas.

Or go the 'Fu Man Chu' route.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

You could also have the group be quasi-independent or fully independent of government. Perhaps it's sponsored by a religious or academic organization. Or maybe a private foundation set up by Henry Ford or Cecil Rhodes.

Or, if you want to keep it withing government, you could have it be a bunch of intelligence agency types operating unofficially, sort of like Oliver North's Contra support organization. That might with keeping it both secret and independent.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

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You could also have the group be quasi-independent or fully independent of government. Perhaps it's sponsored by a religious or academic organization. Or maybe a private foundation set up by Henry Ford or Cecil Rhodes.

Or, if you want to keep it withing government, you could have it be a bunch of intelligence agency types operating unofficially, sort of like Oliver North's Contra support organization. That might with keeping it both secret and independent.
The idea of going with some sort of non-governmental body could fly, especially if they had an investigative or information gathering mandate. I want the patron organization to be able to provide a certain amount of legal cover. As I mentioned in the original post I'm also looking for a group with an Anglo-American focus, which probably could include a lot of the major NGOs.

The secret teams sort of approach was the default for Delta Green. The downside was it somewhat precluded things like permanent teams or a fixed headquarters. The upside was you could bring together a pretty diverse variety of operatives. For example, you could have a financial investigator from the fed working with a ranger from the park service and an ISA operative from the army.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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The secret teams sort of approach was the default for Delta Green. The downside was it somewhat precluded things like permanent teams or a fixed headquarters.
A secret team of government types acting unofficially doesn't have to preclude a permanent roster. It could be that a few people in government in the US and UK, after WWI, saw a new kind of threat forming, but couldn't risk acting on it in an official capacity. So they formed "The Group," using what resources they can divert without attracting attention, and inviting new members in when they need fresh blood and find someone they can trust. Kind of like how Will Smith gets recruited in Men in Black. Except not with quite the same vibe.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

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A secret team of government types acting unofficially doesn't have to preclude a permanent roster. It could be that a few people in government in the US and UK, after WWI, saw a new kind of threat forming, but couldn't risk acting on it in an official capacity. So they formed "The Group," using what resources they can divert without attracting attention, and inviting new members in when they need fresh blood and find someone they can trust. Kind of like how Will Smith gets recruited in Men in Black. Except not with quite the same vibe.
In Delta Green and Conspiracy X I toyed with the idea of something along the lines of a standing inter-agency task force. If you have a member or members at a high enough level to get resources and personnel reassigned to such a group it becomes reasonably plausible. I've heard rumors of special operations soldiers getting pulled from their units for this sort of assignment in real life.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

If it's a secret organisation, it doesn't have to have any sort of official sanctioning. If it's the "fighting branch" of a mason rip-off, it could easily have contacts with chapter houses all over the Americas and the Commonwealth - with members in high enough places to just smile and tell whatever forces might interfere to back off quick as hell and that's an order.

In an occult horror game, their primary foes would probably come from similar organizations. Personality cults would be easy to start if you have the backing of a succubus and there would be plenty of divisiveness. A fighting force backed unofficially by a group of politicians and CEOs who think that the supernatural should not rule unopposed is not at all implausible. Where they get their manpower from would be easy to imagine, if they have the Secretary of Defense and the head of the FBI among their members, for instance.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help Building Secret Organization for Occult Horror Game

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If it's a secret organisation, it doesn't have to have any sort of official sanctioning. If it's the "fighting branch" of a mason rip-off, it could easily have contacts with chapter houses all over the Americas and the Commonwealth - with members in high enough places to just smile and tell whatever forces might interfere to back off quick as hell and that's an order.
I like this idea. A bunch of smiling men in fezes holding a door open for the grim men with weapon cases, here to deal with a certain "problem."

No one takes the Masons seriously anymore as anything but a bunch of old guys who dress funny and donate to charities. It'd be an intelligence coup to be widely perceived as relatively harmless. And hell, there's Masons everywhere...
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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You could use Interpol. The real Interpol was of course small beer, just an organization that passed information between national police forces. But you could turn them into a monster-hunting agency with a bit of truth fudging. Of course the real Interpol fell under Nazi control in 1938, but there's potential in that.
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