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Old 04-13-2019, 11:42 AM   #1
Icelander
 
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Default [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

In my Caribbean by Night campaign, most national governments are either unaware of the scope of the supernatural threat or at least officially do not believe in monsters and magic. Among the most important exceptions is Brazil, which has one of the the the Vile Vortices in my campaign located right next to its largest city of Rio de Janeiro.

So, I imagine that there would be a secret monster hunting faction of the National Public Security Force for internal matters and another in the ABIN for external matters.

Do forumites believe that there would be secret teams in other Brazilian agencies or forces?

Should there be seperate military teams and if so, under which commands?

Where should these forces be based?

What kind of equipment are they likely to use?

Where would most recruits come from?

Also, in real world terms, which intelligence and security services are rivals of Brazilian ones?

On whom do they spy and who spies on them? For the purposes of my campaign, I'm particularly interested in this for the Caribbean and areas of South America relatively close to the Caribbean.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
On whom do they spy and who spies on them? For the purposes of my campaign, I'm particularly interested in this for the Caribbean and areas of South America relatively close to the Caribbean.
There is a long-standing three-way rivalry between Argentine, Brazil and Chile although they're on pretty good terms at present. There are some Caribbean islands where a Portuguese-based creole is widely spoken, and the Brazilian agencies probably have a few stringers there.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
one of the the the Vile Vortices
You stuttered here a bit.

Anyway, here's a few ideas:
I think Pedro II is a particularly interesting individual in Brazilian history and considering his fame for being intelligent and well traveled, perhaps he could have been influenced by foreign monster hunting organizations to create one such group in his country. He also lived in Rio de Janeiro, so maybe he encountered one such supernatural threat and his travels might have been him seeking knowledge on how to fight it. Pedro II also brought many artifacts from his travels and some of these might have been actually magical.
Rio de Janeiro houses one the nation's top universities and while in real life it's not as impressive as, say, MIT, in this parallel world Pedro II might have had stronger involvements with to create his monster hunting organizations. Perhaps it has a department dedicated to study magical artifacts and integrate it with modern technologies to create effective weapons against supernatural threats (you could use stuff from Technomancer, like depleted necronium).

Other than that, South America in general has strong criminal organizations. If one such organization in Brazil has to deal with supernatural threats, it's to me only logical they'd have their own hunt squads. Unlike Pedro's high tech monster hunters, these organizations would rely more on their abundant manpower and money, threatening the population to report any weird activity to them, flooding suspicious areas with poorly trained grunts to see where they're dying to find the monsters and sending trucks full of veterans to kill anything that moves in such area.

Brazil also hosts the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, maybe that's a good excuse to have a sort of modern day samurai demon hunter (like Minamoto no Yorimitsu and Abe no Seimei).

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Old 04-13-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

Ok, to narrow down the timeline a bit, the informal beginnings of individuals within the intelligence and security services in Brazil encountering anomalous phenomena is probably in the 1990s and any kind of organized response probably started around 1999-2005 or so.

At the end of 2018, the democratically elected government, whether local or federal, is still probably mostly unaware of the existence of the supernatural, but powerful individuals within the intelligence, military and security apparatus recognize supernatural monsters, rogue occultists and ultraterrestial entities as the greatest threats to Brazil.

Occultists and a variety of paranormal entities are integrated into many organized crime networks and often rise to positions of power. Crime rates are higher than in the real world and unexplained disappearances are at an all time high.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

I cannot imagine an official organization, even a shadow one, being able to act in FBI or CIA style. But in your version of reality it could exist. The Polícia Federal (federal police) can be a strong candidate to have such division. Also, in Brazil we have 2 different polices, Polícia Militar (military police) who do patrol, answer emergencies and so on. The Polícia Civil is the investigative one, they have forensics and detectives. They also have the Delegado, who is responsible to start an guide the investigation, and give the obtained information to the prosecutor. These two only have state jurisdiction and they are subordinated to the State Governor (there are not municipality police). The Polícia Federal are subordinated to the President and are an investigative police like the Polícia Civil.

If you want I can go further in the details.

I can also sugest some Folklore beings.

The Saci-Pererê, the Mula-sem-Cabeça (Headless Mule), Curupira, Cuca (in wikipedia is Coco folklore), Boitatá, Boiuna, Mapinguari, Boto-cor-de-rosa legend, Corpo-Seco, Capelobo, Iara…

some of them have good wikipedia articles.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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I cannot imagine an official organization, even a shadow one, being able to act in FBI or CIA style.
Please elaborate.

The CIA, for example, is largely an ossified, risk-averse and highly bureaucratic organization, much less able or willing to carry out covert operations that are potentially sensitive or controversial than the intelligence organizations of dozens of other countries. What is it that you believe that the CIA could do that no Brazilian official organization could do?

And I don't know what the FBI might do that Brazilian federal police cannot do. I know that Brazilian police kill people at roughly 5:1 compared to US police (ca 8:1 corrected for population), which argues that it would be a lot easier to hide extrajudicial executions of occultists and human-like monsters in these statistics, but, obviously, the FBI are involved in very few shootings compared to local police in the US. I don't know whether the Policia Federal has more or less firefights than local police in Brazil, but I strongly suspect that the same holds.

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But in your version of reality it could exist. The Polícia Federal (federal police) can be a strong candidate to have such division. Also, in Brazil we have 2 different polices, Polícia Militar (military police) who do patrol, answer emergencies and so on. The Polícia Civil is the investigative one, they have forensics and detectives. They also have the Delegado, who is responsible to start an guide the investigation, and give the obtained information to the prosecutor. These two only have state jurisdiction and they are subordinated to the State Governor (there are not municipality police). The Polícia Federal are subordinated to the President and are an investigative police like the Polícia Civil.
Thank you. I'm most interested in intelligence and security personnel from Brazil who could operate out of the country. As Brazil will be the largest, richest and most powerful polity in my campaign that has any kind of even remotely coordinated response against supernatural threats in the part of the world where my campaign is, I anticipate that the PCs will inevitably encounter Brazilian monster hunters in their adventures at some point.

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If you want I can go further in the details.
Yes, that would be great, especially about what you might expect in other countries relatively close to Brazil, if analysts had come across indicators that could suggest some kind of supernatural threat that could threaten Brazil.

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I can also sugest some Folklore beings.

The Saci-Pererê, the Mula-sem-Cabeça (Headless Mule), Curupira, Cuca (in wikipedia is Coco folklore), Boitatá, Boiuna, Mapinguari, Boto-cor-de-rosa legend, Corpo-Seco, Capelobo, Iara…

some of them have good wikipedia articles.
That can't hurt, though adventures will be set mostly in the Caribbean, with perhaps a few Brazilian intelligence officers investigating something that might conceivably pose a threat to the mainland.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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There is a long-standing three-way rivalry between Argentine, Brazil and Chile although they're on pretty good terms at present.
Indeed.

I've made no decisions about Argentine in my campaign, but Chile is like most of the nations in the world, with no coherent response to supernatural threats, only small groups of believers within disparate agencies who keep their personal beliefs private to avoid being derided as superstitious or even delusional.

Considering the size of the Argentine and Chilean economies, as well as the geographic distance from their borders to the Caribbean, how plausible is it that these two nations run intelligence operations of their own in the Caribbean?

I know that Chile, in my campaign, has a rather more serious crime problem than in reality, largely as the result of Andean criminal organizations that have grown more powerful in the 2010s. Homegrown Bolivian, Chilean and Peruvian criminals have formed business ties across national borders and are financed not only through the drug trade, but also illegal mining. There also appear to be some recent contacts between such Brazilian organizations as the Red Commando and at least one Andean organization.

To those in the know, the rapid expansion of these Andean criminals, the degree of superstitious fear they engender among other criminals and their ability to make apparent agreements in their favour with much larget and more established criminal organizations are all indicators of supernatural powers involved.

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There are some Caribbean islands where a Portuguese-based creole is widely spoken, and the Brazilian agencies probably have a few stringers there.
I never even considered that the Dutch possessions in the Caribbeans might have connections with Brazil, as the closest historical tie I knew about was the 17th century.

Does knowing Portuguese allow any understanding of Papiamento?
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Considering the size of the Argentine and Chilean economies, as well as the geographic distance from their borders to the Caribbean, how plausible is it that these two nations run intelligence operations of their own in the Caribbean?
They'll have people in their embassies whose job is to report on local events. Those will be most interested in places that Argentina and Chile have a lot of trade with, especially wherever their oil supplies come from.
Quote:
There also appear to be some recent contacts between such Brazilian organizations as the Red Commando and at least one Andean organization.
It sounds as if Argentina, Brazil and Chile might be starting to plan countermeasures to the Andean criminal organisations. This will result in them acquiring evidence of the supernatural in a while, but probably not for a year or two.
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I never even considered that the Dutch possessions in the Caribbean might have connections with Brazil, as the closest historical tie I knew about was the 17th century.
Neither did I: I looked up the Portuguese language and found them that way.
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Does knowing Portuguese allow any understanding of Papiamento?
I have no specific knowledge, but I would expect Papiamento to be easy to learn for Portuguese speakers.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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They'll have people in their embassies whose job is to report on local events. Those will be most interested in places that Argentina and Chile have a lot of trade with, especially wherever their oil supplies come from.
Good point. An excellent stsrting point is to check if a particular Caribbean nation has an embassy from Brazil, Argentine or Chile. If it doesn't, then it would require very special circumstances for there to be any kind of clandestine intelligence presence. If it does, then there is at least a possibility, especially if important national interests are involved and/or there is the potential for a major security threat to that nation.

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It sounds as if Argentina, Brazil and Chile might be starting to plan countermeasures to the Andean criminal organisations. This will result in them acquiring evidence of the supernatural in a while, but probably not for a year or two.
Brazil is usually secretive about its knowledge on the supernatural, largely because attempts to reach out to allies have in the past resulted in disbelief and ridicule almost regardless of evidence. It seems more productive to ally with powers already aware than try to educate allied powers who deny the existence of the supernatural.

Of course, this doesn't prevent Brazil from working in concert with other nations when they can frame the actions as counter-terrorism or law enforcement cooperation. On the other hand, from the perspective of any security service where supernatural explanations are not accepted, Brazilian monster hunters are seen as extrajudicial death squads operating on the behalf of some sort of Deep State inside the Brazilian intelligence, military and security services. This tends to limit how willing neighbours are to cooperate on law enforcement issues of mutual concern, especially if Brazil wants to run operations against their citizens or inside their borders.

The fact that Chile, to take an example, has no coherent supernatural threat strategy and most politicians and officials disbelieve in the paranormal also tends to mean that the machinery of government is vulnerable to supernatural subversion. Men who might not be subject to bribery or criminal intimidation might be more vulnerable to mental influence, supernatural seduction, coercion through undetectable and unstoppable magical threats or even full-blown mind-control.

I'm not proposing that Chile is governed by puppets of supernatural powers, but the generals and intelligence chiefs who control Brazil's supernatural defence are hesitant to trust anyone who isn't vetted by their counterintelligence people. To some degree this is sensible, but the Brazilian monster hunters also take a very hard line against the supernatural, considering any use of magic or paranormal powers a sign that a person is in league with dark powers.

Another reason I think I need to develop the Brazilian hunters early is that they are easily the most active of all the factions aware of the supernatural and consider themselves to be at war with an invading force from beyond this world, albeit a secret and undeclared war. If they perceive something as a threat to their borders, citizens and interests, they'll destroy it with extreme prejudice, whether it's a vampire gangster with delusions of grandeur or a naive academic messing with forces he doesn't understand.

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Neither did I: I looked up the Portuguese language and found them that way.

I have no specific knowledge, but I would expect Papiamento to be easy to learn for Portuguese speakers.
From minimal research, it seems that the link with Portuguese is distant enough to be legitimately disputed by linguists and even if Papiamento developed from 17th century Portuguese (rather than other Iberian languages), it's at least as much West African as Iberian and in any case heavily influenced by Dutch, Spanish and English as well.

It might be no easier to learn for a Brazilian than it would be for any other person from Latin America or Spain, i.e. it could take years of study as with any language, despite a theoretical historical relationship. Despite being more closely related to Icelandic linguistically, I never found Danish or German meaningfully easier to learn than Spanish (but I'd rate Spanish as simple enough to be a full step easier than ordinary languages to learn enough to get by).
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
You stuttered here a bit.
Yes, I attempted to cut out a section of text while doing something else, but it resulted in this mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
Anyway, here's a few ideas:
I think Pedro II is a particularly interesting individual in Brazilian history and considering his fame for being intelligent and well traveled, perhaps he could have been influenced by foreign monster hunting organizations to create one such group in his country. He also lived in Rio de Janeiro, so maybe he encountered one such supernatural threat and his travels might have been him seeking knowledge on how to fight it. Pedro II also brought many artifacts from his travels and some of these might have been actually magical.
Rio de Janeiro houses one the nation's top universities and while in real life it's not as impressive as, say, MIT, in this parallel world Pedro II might have had stronger involvements with to create his monster hunting organizations. Perhaps it has a department dedicated to study magical artifacts and integrate it with modern technologies to create effective weapons against supernatural threats (you could use stuff from Technomancer, like depleted necronium).
Until the 1980s, the history of the setting is to all appearances exactly the same as the real world. And until the mid-1990s, only a few individuals in the world would have known about the rare and minor supernatural phenomena that had been encountered up to that point.

After 2005, the rate of supernatural incidents accelerated and in the 2010s, the world is clearly distinct from our world, in that in the setting worldwide crime and disappearance rates are much higher, the crisis in Venezuela has escalated into civil warfare and Mexico is in the progress of disintegrating into a failed state due to endemic violence between supernaturally influenced cartels.

That being said, actually proving supernatural causes behind the general trend toward violence and instability has been elusive. Some mental block seems to exist with most people, so that even if they witness a blatantly impossible incident (which rarely happens in modern urban centers, anyway, at least not blatant), they'll rationalize it as something they are more prepared to believe.

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
Other than that, South America in general has strong criminal organizations. If one such organization in Brazil has to deal with supernatural threats, it's to me only logical they'd have their own hunt squads. Unlike Pedro's high tech monster hunters, these organizations would rely more on their abundant manpower and money, threatening the population to report any weird activity to them, flooding suspicious areas with poorly trained grunts to see where they're dying to find the monsters and sending trucks full of veterans to kill anything that moves in such area.
There is a strong tendency in rogue occultists, sorcerers, shamans or supernatural beings that can masquerade as human to gravitate toward positions of power in the underworld. That being said, many 'Ordinary Decent Criminals' (who are often Catholic and many sincere in their religion) despise evil supernatural creatures just as much as the official monster hunters do, of course.

In fact, the PCs will make use of Contacts among the criminal classes, who nevertheless are firmly on the side of humanity and Earth against the supernatural and other worlds, just as they might make common cause with Brazilian monster hunters from time to time.

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Brazil also hosts the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, maybe that's a good excuse to have a sort of modern day samurai demon hunter (like Minamoto no Yorimitsu and Abe no Seimei).
I suppose that there might be members of monster hunting special units in Brazil that are of Japanese descent, but the campaign is gritty enough so that covert operations are carried out by teams of modern specialists and anyone trying to use movie or cartoon logic will just end up dead.
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