Thursday, June 9, 2016

Campaign Sketch: Psi World: Black File

Art Inspiration
Psi World: Black File

Precis: Player characters are psionically enhanced spies who serve their faction on espionage operation. GoldenEye meets Psi World meets Spycraft.

Background: It is a period in the cold war where nation states are suspicious of each other. Development of military technology is at its peak. Espionage between the great superpowers is at an all time high. The culmination of these factors leads to the creation of the wonder drug known as "Batch-5" a drug capable of unlocking an individuals psychic potential. As is known in modern fringe science, all humans are capable of psychic abilities, they just lack the correct enzymes to properly access the powers within their brain. Batch-5 is an artificial replacement and steroid that not only allows psychic energy to manifest but coaxes the brain to further produce the chemical. Rumors of psychics becoming mad from overdosing on the wonder drug are unproven and denied by the intelligence services.

Role of the Players: Player characters are teams of spies who serve one of three factions.

The Alliance (the West): The Alliance represents the western allies and their belief that what they do is spread democracy and peace throughout the world. Western agencies emphasizes fields such as kinetics, including such examples as pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and cryokinesis. They also emphasize body enhancements for temporary boosts in speed, strength, or endurance. A Western agent is about flash, explosions, and sending enemies into what is known as "Shock and Awe".

The Block (the East): The East represents the Eastern states of the world and their dedication to self-defense and spreading their ideology to other nations. They emphasize psychic powers of the mind, including telepathy, precognition, and postcognition. Eastern agents are often responsible for turning loyal agents and citizens against their government through varying degrees of mind control.

The Brotherhood (the Shadow): The Brotherhood is an organization dedicated to making money by playing off the two powers. Their agency emphasizes, among other disciplines, the art of Anti-Psionics. Thus they serve as counter agents to the flash or mental domination of the East and West. Typically the agency will stay bought to one side or the other for the duration of the mission, though it is not unheard of for a sub-faction within the Brotherhood to be working for the opposite side, leading to a brief period of in-fighting within the Brotherhood.

Themes, Ideas, & Things to See

-Atompunk Aesthetic: Nuclear reactors, Steamline moderne and googie architecture populate the world that is stuck in a perpetual cold ward. Science fiction elements such as death rays, robotics, and varying sizes of nuclear weapons crop up during an agent's tour of duty.

-Paranoia Unbound: Despite working and pledging allegiance to a faction, an agent always remains under constant scrutiny of being in league with "the Enemy." This can lead to a feeling of bitterness among agents and perhaps a catalyst of switching sides during the course of a campaign and causing further mayhem.

-Part Spy Story, Part X-Men: Further adding to the paranoia is the treatment of psychic agents themselves. They are the most valuable assets to the East and West, yet, they are hated and feared by the countries that raised them due to their strange powers.

-The Black File: Always at stake is the "Black File" this file contains the true names of every agent working for a faction (depending on what faction the player's are working with). If this file ever falls into the hands of the other factions, it could have a crippling effect on the player's faction in the intelligence world.

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