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  • Fatebinding and Government Agencies

    Assumption: The intelligence agencies of the major world powers are aware that Fatebinding exists and have a vague idea of how it works. Sane leaders in these organizations (as well as their counterparts in federal law enforcement agencies) also realize that they don't want anything like this near themselves and their organizations, since they don't want to become mere subordinate narratives to nascent gods (insane leaders will likely see this as an opportunity to Harness The Power Of The Gods Themselves. This is likely to backfire spectacularly, and the "Top Secret" files of these agencies on such incidents would likely make for some highly entertaining reading).

    Still, Scions and the battles they fight cannot be ignored entirely. For this reason, such agencies have "Scion Liaison Officers" - the exact title varies, but the job description remains the same. These tend to be bright young officers who don't have sufficient clearance or knowledge to know just what they have gotten themselves into. If they are made aware of Fatebinding, they will get reassuring platitudes like: "Yes, it can be a problem, but if you follow these procedures we are fairly positive that you can avoid destiny entanglement." This isn't a complete lie - one thing that is made clear is that they are to act as information brokers and as someone who can prevent entanglement between the mundane and the divine in their section of the world. They are not to go on, say, monster hunts with Scions - just make sure that law enforcement agencies stay out of their way.

    But that's the theory - in practice, regular contact with Scions makes some form of fatebinding almost inevitable. Agencies differ on what they consider the best approach for dealing with this - some rotate liaison duties between different officers and hope that this prevents lasting fatebinding, while the more ruthless agencies use a single liaison officer for a large number of Scions and thus make strong fatebinding almost inevitable.

    Either way, too many liaison officers will end up being compromised - i.e. fatebound to one or more Scions.Some agencies will reallocate such officers to another part of the country in the hopes that the time spend apart will losen this bond, but Fate being what it is this means that the same Scions end up in the neighborhood regardless.

    So what do agencies do with compromised agents? In the past, some ruthless agencies simply killed such agents - but as the saying goes, "Mistakes Were Made", as even death cannot end the bonds of Fate at times - and such agencies not only found themselves having to deal with vengeful spirits of former agents, but the angry Scions bound to them.

    These days, a more convenient approach is to give such compromised agents a "Golden Parachute" and release them into a new and lucrative career in the private sector. And indeed, there are now a fair number of private companies who do liaison work with Scion for the highest bidder. The turnover rates are high, but the profits are staggering.



    So, what are your thoughts on how government agencies and Scions interact? Any other suggestions beyond the ideas outlined above?


    Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

    A German Geek - my gaming blog!

  • #2
    Your idea sounds interesting. But I don’t know how far the Fate mechanics are measurable from in game. I mean, if they can somehow notice that the same guys are always around the agents, there are 2 ways to explain, the first is that Harry Potter quote, “where ever there are problems, it seams you are around”, the other is the agent is designed to follow them as part of the mission. In both cases it would look like the same from the point of view of the office, the Scions are somehow linked to the case.

    I would even say that the characters themselves may not be fully aware of the fate mechanics, as that would make it harder to fate to bind it. The gods are aware of fate, but even them can’t control or predict it, why would a mere hero understand it? Even worse, a mortal.

    The heroes don’t know they are fatebound, they don’t know what are their relation to their fatebound, they don’t know how much legend they have they don’t know how much legend they spend, same way we don’t know how many dots we have on Might. That’s the way I see those mechanics.

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    • #3
      Id go for a more WoD approach with the best guess on how much they know being confused.

      Their being no "Liasons" like you suggested

      instead some X-files Esque Investigation like the SAD in CWOD.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
        Your idea sounds interesting. But I don’t know how far the Fate mechanics are measurable from in game. I mean, if they can somehow notice that the same guys are always around the agents, there are 2 ways to explain, the first is that Harry Potter quote, “where ever there are problems, it seams you are around”, the other is the agent is designed to follow them as part of the mission. In both cases it would look like the same from the point of view of the office, the Scions are somehow linked to the case.

        I would even say that the characters themselves may not be fully aware of the fate mechanics, as that would make it harder to fate to bind it. The gods are aware of fate, but even them can’t control or predict it, why would a mere hero understand it? Even worse, a mortal.

        The heroes don’t know they are fatebound, they don’t know what are their relation to their fatebound, they don’t know how much legend they have they don’t know how much legend they spend, same way we don’t know how many dots we have on Might. That’s the way I see those mechanics.
        The agencies themselves do not fully understand fatebinding either. But "people who get involved in the affairs of Scions do so again and again in a statistically highly improbable manner" is something they should be able to figure out - indeed, that kind of statistical analysis is bread and butter to modern-day intelligence agencies.

        And it helps explain the setting of the World - if they understand some of the basic effects of fatekeeping, they will want to keep Scions and their dealings away from government affairs instead of simply seeing them as an exploitable "resource" to control.

        Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
        Id go for a more WoD approach with the best guess on how much they know being confused.

        Their being no "Liasons" like you suggested

        instead some X-files Esque Investigation like the SAD in CWOD.
        I don't think this quite works for the setting of Scion. In both the X-Files and the CWOD there exist conspiracies to keep the uncanny secret. But there is no secrecy as such in the World - the existence of Gods and their Scions, as well as assorted other supernatural entities, is known to the public at large. Instead, the motivation of all those government agencies becomes to keep the mundane and the supernatural separate - ideally, the government and ordinary people would tend to their affairs and Scions and other supernatural beings tend to their own as well, and the two would mix as little as possible. Of course, this isn't always possible in practice - which means that such agencies and organizations must develop some policy for dealing with Scions and their affairs.


        Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

        A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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        • #5
          Ok. I got your point and make sense the ability of detection. They for sure would put the Scions on a list to keep their eyes on and probably would stay away from bringing the power of the gods to the table, at least often.

          But...

          Intelligence agencies tend to involve themselves to what they see as problematic, and agents suffering weird stuff is usually problematic. Identifying that keep distance makes everything safer is usually the hardest part for people that want to control the world.

          Once they see there is an guy that causes random weird stuff, they would go after him and try to kill him, no matter what he is doing, it’s dangerous and out of their control, so must be eliminated.

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          • #6
            "Absolute Control" is an illusion - even for intelligence agencies. Maybe American agencies - and during the Cold War, Soviet ones - had the ambition in real world history to "control the world", but for most other intelligence agencies there were always other groups that were beyond their control - that was just something they have to live with.

            And really, the official missions of most intelligence agencies are to "advance the interests of their nation" and "stop threats to their nation". "Stopping a threat" is not the same as "killing a threat" - dangerous people or organizations can, for example, be directed against other problems or even be turned into (temporary) alliances, while killing someone might arouse the wrath of their friends and relatives. This is especially a concern with Scions - who are, after all, the direct descendants of gods.

            Thus, it's best to try to cultivate Scions as an asset - at an arm's length or two. Point them at any supernatural problems, have them deal with it, and then turn a blind eye to any legal problems their "solutions" might cause and maybe help with the cleanup.

            And if it's Scions themselves who are the problem... it's still better to have other Scions deal with it, since then the wrath of the divine relatives will fall on them instead of the government agency or the nation in question. That's what "deniable assets" are for.


            Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

            A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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            • #7
              This is how you get National Heroes, like the Legend of John "Mad Jack" Churchill.

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              • #8
                Incidentally, a good example from a slightly different genre (at least, until the Mythos shard is out) is Bob Howard from The Laundry Files series. He gets "destiny entangled" in the second volume of the series (at the latest), and things go progressively worse for him even as he becomes more powerful. The Laundry itself might also make a good model for how government agencies might tackle the supernatural. And they certainly don't seek to kill everything supernatural that they cannot control...


                Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                  Once they see there is an guy that causes random weird stuff, they would go after him and try to kill him, no matter what he is doing, it’s dangerous and out of their control, so must be eliminated.
                  "The office of the President can't co-exist with a living God that won't submit to it... I mean, besides Poseidon, but he's locked up in Area 51 already, so that doesn't really count."

                  Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post
                  This is especially a concern with Scions - who are, after all, the direct descendants of gods.
                  Not necessarily the case anymore. With both Chosen and Created being an option, now literally anyone or anything can become a Scion, depending on the God's whim at the time. That pebble you stubbed your toe on? Loki injects it with some magic god juice, and within seconds, it grows into a fully mature Scion of Chaos!

                  And, while I haven't read about Incarnate yet, I'm assuming it has something to do with the Scion being an actual God who has taken on a mortal avatar?
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-16-2019, 02:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I really don't think that the major governments of the world seek to control the Gods - apart from a few, largely self-correcting attempts. Instead, they would be perceived as "foreign powers" with frequently unclear goals. You can't really get rid of them, outright war instigated by either side would be unwise, so it's best to keep them at an arms length and observe from a safe distance.

                    And let's not forget that many of these gods have powerful lobbies in the form of their cults. Do you really want to piss off these potential voters-slash-donor groups?


                    Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                    A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                      Your idea sounds interesting. But I don’t know how far the Fate mechanics are measurable from in game. I mean, if they can somehow notice that the same guys are always around the agents, there are 2 ways to explain, the first is that Harry Potter quote, “where ever there are problems, it seams you are around”, the other is the agent is designed to follow them as part of the mission. In both cases it would look like the same from the point of view of the office, the Scions are somehow linked to the case.

                      I would even say that the characters themselves may not be fully aware of the fate mechanics, as that would make it harder to fate to bind it. The gods are aware of fate, but even them can’t control or predict it, why would a mere hero understand it? Even worse, a mortal.

                      The heroes don’t know they are fatebound, they don’t know what are their relation to their fatebound, they don’t know how much legend they have they don’t know how much legend they spend, same way we don’t know how many dots we have on Might. That’s the way I see those mechanics.
                      I hesitantly point out that there are several powers in game that deal directly with fatebindings. Prophets and Scions with the Fortune Purview can actively sense and manipulate Fatebindings. So it's not outside the realm of possibility that the knowledge would have spread to intelligence agencies, especially if they employ Scions themselves.


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                      • #12
                        My thoughts on how many governments interact with Scions is... Well, there's gonna be different results depending on how openly and officially religion is part of the ruling class and government structure.

                        For the sake of my example, let's assume that we're dealing with governments that nominally try to avoid being theocratic in nature (inasmuch as a government made of people, many of whom ARE religious, can be)

                        I assume most of them would keep tabs on known Scions that are active in their territory. The idea of having liaisons and contacts also makes sense. Hell, I can see them noticing "Hey did you notice that sometimes people get swept up in a Scion's bullshit?" and wanting to keep those people on tab as well. They probably don't call it Fatebinding, but mostly just Tangential Association. Though the thing about Fatebinding is that... There aren't mortals especially prone to it. Keeping a bunch of Easily Fatebound people probably won't work (unless a government has a bunch of people who fit Quirky Archetypes that they regularly disperse in Hero-rich areas)

                        But the way I run things, I keep one thing in mind:

                        Most government officials would hesitate to tell a Hero what to do. On the technical levels, a Hero doesn't work for a government, they form a bridge between the Mortal and Divine. What I often do in my games is note that governments often very politely ask a Hero to help them. Because giving them orders could be seen as trying to issue orders to the representative of the Gods, and you can probably already see why some people would have problems with that.


                        Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                        • #13
                          Starting from the same point - how do governments handle scions - I went a different route. I made an international organization called ICON that handles government and law enforcement interactions for registered scions and other mythical beings. It was created by a collaboration between scions of the Shen, Devas, and Netjer.

                          A scion of Susano-o with a history of property destruction is trying to get a travel visa to China.
                          A scion of Itzpapalotl is looking for a relic in Iran.
                          Poseidon just hit part of Florida with a tidal wave.
                          A group of scions murdered cultists in the middle of a summoning ritual in Times Square.

                          As I thought about civilization being aware of scions there seemed to be too many things that governments would need to deal with but really wouldn't want to - too many potential international incidents. I imagined the Devas would already be tracking scions and giving them special privileges. The Shen I imagine cataloging and having paperwork for everything. And the Netjer have all the libraries of bloodlines and deeds. While mass media information is new, these issues with scions would have been going on for thousands of years. I couldn't imagine that something wouldn't have developed to deal with them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post
                            I really don't think that the major governments of the world seek to control the Gods - apart from a few, largely self-correcting attempts. Instead, they would be perceived as "foreign powers" with frequently unclear goals. You can't really get rid of them, outright war instigated by either side would be unwise, so it's best to keep them at an arms length and observe from a safe distance.

                            And let's not forget that many of these gods have powerful lobbies in the form of their cults. Do you really want to piss off these potential voters-slash-donor groups?

                            That being said, I am almost positive that every major government has at least one branch of the R&D department exploring Sorcery as an avenue to level the playing field, in the event that Scions and their pantheons ever decided to conduct a more hostile takeover.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                              I assume most of them would keep tabs on known Scions that are active in their territory. The idea of having liaisons and contacts also makes sense. Hell, I can see them noticing "Hey did you notice that sometimes people get swept up in a Scion's bullshit?" and wanting to keep those people on tab as well. They probably don't call it Fatebinding, but mostly just Tangential Association.
                              I like the term "Destiny Entanglement" from The Laundry Files. But each government agency has probably its own official name for the effect... and several unofficial ones.

                              Though the thing about Fatebinding is that... There aren't mortals especially prone to it. Keeping a bunch of Easily Fatebound people probably won't work (unless a government has a bunch of people who fit Quirky Archetypes that they regularly disperse in Hero-rich areas)
                              The thing is that people who hang out around Scions in high-stress situations are more likely to be Fatebound than others. "Scion Liason Officers" are thus at an especially high risk of being Fatebound, unless they take steps to distance themselves - and even that is only going to work some of the time.

                              The government agencies probably aren't looking for "Easily Fatebound people" - Fatebinding is more of an occupational hazard of the profession that they have to live with, like Lifetime Radiation Exposure in the nuclear industry.

                              But the way I run things, I keep one thing in mind:

                              Most government officials would hesitate to tell a Hero what to do. On the technical levels, a Hero doesn't work for a government, they form a bridge between the Mortal and Divine. What I often do in my games is note that governments often very politely ask a Hero to help them. Because giving them orders could be seen as trying to issue orders to the representative of the Gods, and you can probably already see why some people would have problems with that.
                              Oh, definitely. Scions don't have diplomatic immunity, exactly - since nations don't exactly establish diplomatic relationships with the Gods, either. But it amounts to something very similar. The Liaison Officers will inform the Scions of problems that are likely part of their business, and in turn expect the Scions to inform them of any problems they know of that encroach on the government's turf. The government will have better relationships with some Scions than with others, of course...

                              Originally posted by Stixs View Post
                              Starting from the same point - how do governments handle scions - I went a different route. I made an international organization called ICON that handles government and law enforcement interactions for registered scions and other mythical beings. It was created by a collaboration between scions of the Shen, Devas, and Netjer.

                              A scion of Susano-o with a history of property destruction is trying to get a travel visa to China.
                              A scion of Itzpapalotl is looking for a relic in Iran.
                              Poseidon just hit part of Florida with a tidal wave.
                              A group of scions murdered cultists in the middle of a summoning ritual in Times Square.

                              As I thought about civilization being aware of scions there seemed to be too many things that governments would need to deal with but really wouldn't want to - too many potential international incidents. I imagined the Devas would already be tracking scions and giving them special privileges. The Shen I imagine cataloging and having paperwork for everything. And the Netjer have all the libraries of bloodlines and deeds. While mass media information is new, these issues with scions would have been going on for thousands of years. I couldn't imagine that something wouldn't have developed to deal with them.
                              Originally posted by Stixs View Post
                              Starting from the same point - how do governments handle scions - I went a different route. I made an international organization called ICON that handles government and law enforcement interactions for registered scions and other mythical beings. It was created by a collaboration between scions of the Shen, Devas, and Netjer.

                              A scion of Susano-o with a history of property destruction is trying to get a travel visa to China.
                              A scion of Itzpapalotl is looking for a relic in Iran.
                              Poseidon just hit part of Florida with a tidal wave.
                              A group of scions murdered cultists in the middle of a summoning ritual in Times Square.

                              As I thought about civilization being aware of scions there seemed to be too many things that governments would need to deal with but really wouldn't want to - too many potential international incidents. I imagined the Devas would already be tracking scions and giving them special privileges. The Shen I imagine cataloging and having paperwork for everything. And the Netjer have all the libraries of bloodlines and deeds. While mass media information is new, these issues with scions would have been going on for thousands of years. I couldn't imagine that something wouldn't have developed to deal with them.
                              Hmmm... personally I think that both governments and the Pantheons are too protective of their own turf to establish something like that. Historically, the Pantheons have largely stuck to the lands of their followers out of a desire to avoid inter-Pantheon wars, and the idea of "international cooperation" is likewise a fairly recent one among the governments of the world - or presumably, World.

                              That being said, if such a organization did exist, it likely wouldn't have been created by the Gods themselves - who tend to view mortal nations and governments as temporary affairs - but by their Scions, who have a far better grasp of modern-day politics.

                              "An international bureaucratic organization that coordinates between Scions and the governments and helps us fight the Titanspawn more effectively? What a great idea! I think you should implement this immediately! In fact, I insist!"

                              "...yes, dad. Thanks, dad."

                              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                              That being said, I am almost positive that every major government has at least one branch of the R&D department exploring Sorcery as an avenue to level the playing field, in the event that Scions and their pantheons ever decided to conduct a more hostile takeover.
                              Naturally. As long as everyone behaves, there is no need to bring out the big guns. But the big guns are there, all the same.


                              Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                              A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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