Factions Apr 1, 2016 10:43:48 GMT -7
Post by Kitten4u on Apr 1, 2016 10:43:48 GMT -7
Emerald City Bulwark
Superheroes have little legitimate place in law enforcement, as steel-shattering strength tends to lead to collateral damage and psychic powers aren't admissible in court. Those who still want to do their part in stopping supervillains have formed the vigilante organization known as Bulwark. Though unified in the common principles of upholding human rights and the spirit (if not the letter) of the law, each city's branch of Bulwark is otherwise entirely independent. The Emerald City Bulwark is loosely democratic, with the members voting on whether to induct new recruits and when to take unified action.
Bulwark operates in Emerald City with the very tacit consent of the local police force. Bulwark heroes do their best to avoid collateral damage as they capture criminals and leave them to be arrested, and the police in return don't try too hard to track them down. But the agreement is a very fragile one. When superheroes blatantly appear in front of police officers, the police are obligated to attempt to apprehend them, and a superhero who causes too much of a stir will find that the police are a lot more serious about arresting him in particular. The leader of the Emerald City Bulwark, a superhero named Docket, has the ability to schedule future versions of himself to appear later than they otherwise would, allowing him to disappear for long periods of time in exchange for having multiple incarnations present at once later on. He has been completely absent of late, not even showing up in the most recent dragon attack, which has damaged the Bulwark's standing among supers and unpowered alike. Combined with the Bulwark's recent inability to stop high-profile supervillain attacks across the city, this means that the Bulwark's status as one of the city's major factions is in jeopardy.
Members of Bulwark can leverage successful Schemes to greatly increase Prestige, both for Bulwark itself and for unaligned supers who benefit from being part of a functional city that prospers as crime is suppressed. Their influence is largely constructive, and even villains can benefit from stability and the investment it brings.
Teamwork powers involving at least one Bulwark member get a +4 level bonus instead of +3.
Unbeknownst to the general populace, the US government has assembled a team of paramilitary supers to protect the country's interests at home and abroad. They have no official status and operate with plausible deniability, which means that the police consider them common criminals and they can't count on their government contacts to bail them out if things go bad. While it's rare for them to be deployed on US soil, the developing situation in Emerald City has been deemed to require their assistance.
The supers of the Rein Initiative have been tasked with bringing the city to heel at all costs. Any number of innocents is an acceptible sacrifice so long as it helps to avert the chaos that would ensue if Emerald City were taken over by supervillains. They answer only to the head of the NSA - even the President isn't aware of their existence. The super in charge of the Emerald City operation is Seraphim, although there are signs that other unseen supers with puppets in the government are truly pulling the strings.
Rein Initiative schemes tend to involve keeping order and mitigating the destructive actions of other supers. They keep Emerald City running smoothly, which means that it can respond more effectively to true crises. The more successful they are, the more they can use the marshalled resources of the city and their contacts among unpowered military members to provide bonus combat advantage during dragon attacks.
An ancient organization of superpowered individuals with rumored ties to the Illuminati of previous eras, the Keepers exist today as the widest-reaching supervillain network. They follow a strict hierarchy, recruit only the deadliest supervillains, and maintain intricate plots to tighten their control over world affairs. Recruits are initiated with arcane rites, hearkening back to the organization's ancient roots, and members are expected to live up to their predecessors' example. The leader in Emerald City, a rare elderly super known as Athanasia, is rumored to know of a way to ward off dragons, and this alone motivates many supers to seek the Keepers out.
To be considered for membership in the Keepers, a supervillain must follow her own guiding principle, and she must demonstrate the mental strength to do so unflinchingly, even when it requires sacrifice. This principle need not necessarily match up with the rest of the Keepers, and there are bitter rivalries within the organization between those who have very different priorities. Members are expected to build their own personal power and to be willing to exchange favors with other Keepers toward the eventual end of complete world domination. Athanasia, the highest-ranking Keeper in Emerald City, only rarely interferes in the matters of the other Keepers, and her attention currently seems to be focused on wiping Pandaemonium from the face of the city. Her power is rarely seen, but it's speculated to involve transferring some sort of vital essence from one target to another, which is presumably how she remains young and flawless despite being over a hundred years old.
Successful Schemes by the Keepers often lead to subtle leverage, forbidden knowledge, and advancement within the organization. It is not the way of the Keepers to seek blatant glory, and the power dynamic in Emerald City is considered to be ultimately irrelevant, but there is greatness of a different sort to be had.
What started out as nothing more than a slum street gang has become infinitely more dangerous with the addition of superpowers. Pandaemonium is made up of supervillains and unpowered both, and it lacks anything resembling a unified command structure. Although its operations are limited to the Emerald City metropolitan area, it has earned a reputation far and wide as one of the most brutal, violent organizations around. Members of Pandaemonium have total control over parts of Emerald City, extorting money and valuables from the residents there and using their homes as a staging area for riots and looting in neighboring districts. Anyone is free to call herself a member of Pandaemonium, but considering that they fight each other as often as they fight the authorities, it doesn't offer much protection.
Notably, Pandaemonium is one of a very few organizations where supers and unpowered exist on more or less equal terms. Even unpowered members frequently wear masks and flashy clothes that could pass for a costume, while supervillain members often don't bother with a costume in the first place. The present leader (or at least most influential member) is a supervillain named Aurora Disicio who slew the previous leader a very short while ago.
Pandaemonium supers will have to choose between helping the faction's objectives of creating a utopia for supers on one hand, or causing chaos within the current social order on the other. Depending on how amenable members are to its new leader's goals, the faction's ultimate fate remains to be seen.
Due to Pandaemonium's recent ascendant position, starting Pandaemonium characters can be made at Power Level 17 rather than Power Level 15. Characters of other factions who switch to Pandaemonium get 160 bonus Notoriety.
Supers who remain separate from the above major groups are considered unaligned, even if they run with their own smaller circles of supers. They might call themselves superheroes, might call themselves supervillains, and might eschew such labels entirely. Though their motivations can be close to those of one organization or another, they have little stake in how that organization fares.
An unaligned super who succeeds at a Scheme will have choices similar to those offered by all other organizations together, though they might be less powerful or less useful to the super herself. Especially prolific unaligned supers might even be able to start their own organizations.