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Thread: Conspiracy X - As Long As There Are People

  1. #1
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    Default Conspiracy X - As Long As There Are People

    This is the first of the informative posts about the ConX game entitled "As Long As There Are People."

    Introduction

    You all know that Conspiracy X is a game of conspiracy, though it naturally has the range to readily mimic many different extant spy, mystery, and conspiracy shows including the campy 60s Bond films, mysterious and occasionally paranormal serials like X-Files and Fringe, and more brutal shows like 24 and The International. My players have been fairly unanimous in showing a desire for a heavy focus on a cross between The International and X-Files. I set the game in 2025 to allow for a few changes to the world dynamic and to remove the sense of complacency and familiarity we as players have with a modern setting.

    I plan for the game to span several years, so while it will start in 2025, I expect it to actually end (assuming completion) in 2030.

    Setting

    The year is 2025 AD and the planet has seen a fair amount of social and economic change. The hardship of the first decade was met by a previously unprecedented show of humanity. These efforts were stymied by the relentless evil of the world until an amazing political breakthrough and economic assertiveness. Combining strength and gentleness lead to great success in third world countries and the world achieved a new level of peace and prosperity. The facts, though, are never so pretty.

    Founded shortly after the success of drug legalization within the US in 2015, the Addictive Substances Pact sought to legalize, fairly tax, and regulate addictive substances. The Addictive Substances Enforcement Committee, an international group similar to the UN, was devoted to international regulation of addictive substances from alcohol to opiates and beyond. They use tax revenues and international contributions to pursue their mission. The introduction of the ASP and ASEC impacted criminal organizations around the world by cutting off or massively reducing their primary source of revenue and creating enforceable regulation.

    Many of the world’s rich and powerful banded together to donate to charity after the end of the world-wide recession in 2010. This effort was met with mixed international success for all the usual reasons until the stunning introduction of ASP and the use of private military contractors for humanitarian security efforts. By 2017, the charitable efforts had broken through the long time barriers to progress and started making a massive difference. A lot of the efforts were focused on places in need and war torn areas where aid could not previously be delivered effectively. As of 2025, profound successes in humanitarian and education efforts in Africa, South Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe changed the face of the world.

    Many of the nations of Africa are in talks to set up a federation of states similar to the US. Certain countries are not so comfortable with the idea but others are coming to the table with surprising enthusiasm. South America and South Asia each seem intent on creating an economic union like that of the European Union. ASP has done a fair amount to quell some of the hardships of Eastern Europe and the countries there are looking to join the EU. For all intents and purposes, world peace came through money, just like Penn and Teller predicted.

    Humans are a violent species and if they are not killing one another, something is missing. The world is not nearly as peaceful as it is believed to be. Resources continue to be contested and despite the headway made regarding rampant population growth, the demand continues to exceed the supply. However, it is impractical to engage in open wars, so private contractors fight private wars on private battlefields over important resources. The facts are hidden under a sea of misinformation and propaganda. Life hasn’t really improved; people have just become a lot more sheltered. For the people in the know, if they are not literally shooting at one another, they are fighting for ideology in a dirty war of information.


    Technology

    Arms technology has benefited from several years of R&D and the advent of new and groundbreaking metamaterials. The ceramic trauma plates and Kevlar vests are being slowly replaced by expensive but wildly effective reactive armor. Weapons systems are the rule of the day, where before a rifle was just a rifle, customization of caliber, barrel length, and accessories dominate the landscape of the modern warrior. The introduction of exoskeletons for common use is on the horizon thanks to the development of advanced battery and computing systems. Of note is the introduction of cloaking technology that allows the wearer to literally become invisible. The warfighters of 2025 must specialize in the precise application of extreme violence (MoH).

    Computer technology had reached the end of Moore’s law at around 2019, but the introduction of optical and quantum computing helped push development even further. As of 2025, there is a war between the two technologies and the term of victory is the creation of Artificial Intelligence—neural networks are already bridging that gap so much that a layman would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a person and a well developed computer. Personal computing has reached an all time high, with people embracing tablet computers over old desk and lap top models. The latest trend is toward three dimensional interfaces built into a set of stylish glasses that will make talking to oneself look positively sane compared to flailing about at images only the wearer can see.

    Energy technology has been a hotbed of contention for the longest time. At first the Green Movement sought to tap into renewable resources and all manner of other hippy ideals, but the rapid development of the previously 3rd world countries made that a pipe dream. Instead, efforts focused on more efficient use of existing power sources and new approaches to old technologies. Oil is still used in most vehicles, but it is just as likely a biologically engineered chemical as it is a fossil fuel. Further, the cross between nanotechnology and energy technology has resulted in the creation of new battery cells with amazing life, stability, and capacity. The prohibitive expense is an important barrier to market entry for these new “nanocells” but research continues in pursuit of cheaper and more efficient production cycles. Nevertheless, governments, military contractors, and overeager technophiles with more money than they need readily buy into the latest developments in order to get an edge over their competition.

    Medical technology has finally made some amazing breakthroughs. Stem cells led the charge by providing a readily available means to induce regeneration. Nanotechnology was vital to making stem cells viable, but has yet to really be applied medically. Many of the world’s most deadly diseases can be treated or cured if caught in time. Research into the details of the brain has become a hotbed of ethical debate and only becomes even more heated as computer technology approaches genuine AI and robotic prosthetics approach formerly science fiction bionics. Information and energy technology allow medicine to be practiced the world over, even with remote clinics staffed by machines and advanced robots that almost indistinguishably simulate a live environment. Despite a great deal of hardship and complaining, the standard of care around the world has reached an impressive level: almost any life saving procedure can be done anywhere thanks to remotes and advancements in prosthetic robotics.

    Robotics is one of the fields that has been in development for a long time but could not rightfully expect much publicity until the creation of anthropomorphic machines. Researchers had already accomplished this by 2010 but quickly ran headlong into the uncanny valley. It wasn’t until the early 20s when this valley was crossed with startlingly lifelike prosthetic robotics meant to completely simulate lifelike features in patients that could not receive or afford regeneration therapy. Still, most people prefer robots that are openly robotic—that is, robots that approach the uncanny valley but do not actually cross into or over it. Rumors abound about androids used for military applications and law enforcement but so far, many of the governments of the world have expressed distrust for this technology. Some theorize it is because of the generation raised on media like Terminator and The Matrix that imbedded a certain degree of nervousness about using robots in such powerful positions.
    Last edited by Xychotic; 10-15-2010 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Formatting corrections

  2. #2
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    Game Over

    Well, it’s a bummer that the game had to end, but since no one was bringing the level that was required, it could not possibly hope to continue. Anyway, for anyone that was interested, here’s the rundown of the history to come.

    Mission 1

    LA Councilman Guy Whitbeck works for the Opposition, using his rank as a way to avoid having the Organization or anyone else track down their activities. His son, Lance, is a playboy that also happens to be bisexual with his personal trainer, Tyrone. The Councilman does not want this to get out because his platform has always been pretty far right and he believes his constituency would not like him anymore if this came out (it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s true, at his heart, he just hates gays).

    In order to get the Main Cast going as a functioning Cell, their handlers staged a simple plot. They would film Tyrone and Lance together and show it to the Councilman, threatening to release it to the public unless they were paid an exorbitant sum. The handlers then set the Cell on the case and told them to make inroads into the Councilman’s cabinet so the Organization could influence him. The Councilman’s response was to kidnap Tyrone and try to find out who is trying to blackmail him. Tyrone doesn’t know, but it’s not like the Councilman or any of his people believe that. The loose cannon in all of this is actually the Councilman’s security chief, Guy Figgins. Figgins had a close cousin commit suicide when he was outed as gay and has since been trying to redeem himself for not being there to help. The record is under years of other activity, but it is there and is the primary window to figure out the facts.

    Things went awry. The cell decided that there should be a helicopter parachute into the Councilman’s house and something about a disguise to steal data from a bank. Quite frankly, the game launched itself into the sewer and no one bothered to try to stop it.

    Anyway, the uninterrupted plot was supposed to have Tyrone transported out to sea, shot, and sunk to the bottom. Lance would be overcome with grief (he gets infatuated) and commit suicide. The Councilman would then become an even stronger proponent of the Opposition.

    The Handlers set the whole thing up, so what was actually going to happen was that they would sweep in, save Tyrone, give him a new life in another part of the country, and tell Lance that he ran away, but never actually release the tape and instead use that as leverage.

    Ideally, the Cell would track down Tyrone, rescue him (he wants to bail, anyway), tell Lance about the truth, and use Figgins and Lance as their window into the inner workings of the Councilman’s network. The success will allow the Cell to be officially adopted by the Organization and given access to the HERMES network.


    Mission 2, around a year later

    The Handlers have finally found a former Agent that went native a couple years ago. They do not know what happened, but they tracked him as he got back on the grid in the South. Unfortunately, recent events which the Cell is not privy to have them tied up in their locale, so they send the Cell to go find out what happened and ideally, bring him back and save his skin if he is being hunted by the Opposition.

    Well, this is the “wtf” mission I like to include. The Agent is being chased by two parties. The first is a group of people that seem like an Organization covert death squad, but they are not. And the second is what he thinks is a “relay” race of Opposition agents, but they are not. He has been trying to stay under the radar, but something about the “Opposition” lets them track him down and the “Organization” follows him.

    The Opposition agents are actually just normal people being ridden by a demon very similar to the one in Fallen (Denzel Washington movie) that targeted the Agent, a hero in the Organization, for humiliation and death. The death squad is composed of members of “The Covenant” (the occult subculture that represents WitchCraft) and they are after the demon but they are forced to chase both the Agent and the Demon. That’s right, folks, misunderstanding and paranoia is the root of this story.

    While trying to catch up with the Agent, one of the Cell (Monique, the arms dealer) will be possessed by the Demon whether by accident or by design because they slipped up (don’t worry, this bit of railroading was specifically requested). Together, they are to hunt down the Agent who has made it to Jamaica and may very well disappear into South America and beyond if he gets much further.

    When the team finally catches up to him, the Agent would be completely exhausted, unkempt, and overcome with paranoia. Hopefully the Cell will offer refuge for which the Agent will be overjoyed. This are intended to go rapidly south as the Demon makes its move to finally possess and utterly corrupt the Agent. However, in the middle of the potential subsequent fight (assuming the Cell doesn’t just outright kill him), the Covenant team arrives to exorcise the demon. They are protected from the possession and will do what is necessary to help out the Cell and save the Agent.

    Ultimately, the best results are that the Cell now has contacts with a Covenant team (which they will likely never actually need) and the Agent is returned, debriefed, and returned to full operative status. In the process, the Cell gains favor with their Handlers and recognition amongst the Organization as people who get stuff done. However, Monique is corrupted by the supernatural and her pre-existing evil will corrupt her until she completely loses her humanity and turns into a monster like the demon that possessed her.


    Mission 3, 4, and 5, each at least a year apart

    During the interim, the Cell is assumed to have taken a more active role on behalf of the Organization. However, Monique’s corruption only gets worse, but she does what she can to hide it.

    For Mission 3, a large company that is under the direct support of the Organization will be marked as a target by a government official. The Handlers specifically tell the Cell to stay out of it, but prior to this, the Cell will have inside knowledge about what can be done to save the day. For some reason, possibly because the Handlers take this mission personally, they will issue orders to stay out of it. It is up to the team to ignore those orders and take matters into their own hands.

    If the Cell got involved, saved the day, and even got out without leaving a huge mark, they would become even more appreciated and someone would fall in love with them along the way.

    If they got involved, but failed, they would lose face to the Handlers and the rest of the Organization.

    If they did not get involved, the Handlers would fail at their mission and the Company would be forced to close down. They would execute effective damage control to minimize the impact, but it would delay important projects indefinitely.

    For Mission 4, the activities of the lead Handler would put her in hot water with the Opposition. They finally tracked her down and will take action. This particular mission was meant to be like 24, in that the events that transpire are going to be happening at a breakneck pace and everyone will have to be on their toes the whole way through. Important codes, computers, data, reports, etc. are necessary to make the right moves to reach the ideal conclusion

    Ideally, they save the Handler and find out some major facts about the Conspiracy. That fact is that the Opposition is using the vast donations from the billionaires as well as the growing economies throughout rapidly growing Africa to build an army the likes of which has never been seen before. The Councilman from Mission 1 was involved in machining hundreds of parts and making sure they were not inspected regularly. The Agent from Mission 2 stumbled onto an occult aspect of the Conspiracy and was targeted. The company from Mission 3 was targeted by the Opposition because one of their moles identified important breakthroughs about to be made that needed to be derailed.

    If the Cell failed, they would likely have become known and would be made into public outlaws and identified as criminals and conspirators and a misinformation campaign would be launched against them. The States would not be safe.

    For Mission 5, entitled “Then They Came For Me,” is named as such on purpose. The Opposition has grown sick of catching glimpses of the growth of the Cell and intends to take action against them. If the Cell has been doing poorly, then they are making their move to finish them off and not give them the chance to make a comeback.

    There was supposed to be a secret getaway, a chase, important documents, and inclement natural events. It was supposed to be a huge finale where members of the Cell had to hold off waves of enemies in order to complete their mission where they find out exactly what’s going on and how deep the rabbit hole really goes. Ultimately, they cannot succeed.

    The Opposition will be going all out on this one and Monique’s corruption will make her snap, becoming the monster she was destined to be. The heroic efforts of the party are what matters here. People they befriended along the way, contacts they made, knowledge they gathered… everything comes together here. Ultimately, the survivors of the subsequent battles are captured and imprisoned. The day of reckoning is the day that the African Union launches their first satellite. It’s not a satellite.

    The subsequent detonation triggers other private and government satellites rigged to do the same to launch a coordinated global EMP. The armies created by the Opposition were shielded in subterranean bunkers. A plan decades in the making finally reaches fruition and the people that knew were in prison. Just as the lights go out, one of those allies that the Cell dismissed as just a fan that didn’t know what (s)he was getting involved with comes back. (S)he provides the escape… maybe they still have some time…

    Game End.

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