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  • #46
    Originally posted by Reasor View Post
    Obviously corrupting the flouride would be the next step after corrupting the ice cream *with* the flouride.

    It's the only way to make sure.
    See, it's ideas like this that get you promotions at Pentex.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

      See, it's ideas like this that get you promotions at Pentex.
      Pentex is a group that I think makes a lot more sense in other splats actually. Vampire and Mage almost feel like they would be better to have them as an enemy in.

      Like in an alternate universe you'd have the Technocracy fighting Pentex or the Camarilla for domination of the world and it'd be both fighting their A game.

      The werewolves versus Sabbat or Nephandi.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        Pentex is a group that I think makes a lot more sense in other splats actually. Vampire and Mage almost feel like they would be better to have them as an enemy in.
        How? Mage is only sometimes about combating the rotten spirit of capitalism, and Vampire almost never is (usually, it's the opposite).

        Like in an alternate universe you'd have the Technocracy fighting Pentex or the Camarilla for domination of the world and it'd be both fighting their A game.

        The werewolves versus Sabbat or Nephandi.
        That would be one hell of a strange AU for the Technocracy to be fighting Pentex instead of tripping over themselves to invest in their subsidiaries. You'd have leave out the Syndicate, at the very least.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          Cointelpros

          SAD is planning to do some of the kind of psy-ops that the NSA has been running to get vampires, mages, and werewolves to fight each other. Unfortunately, this almost destroyed the agency when Charles Horner ran it and they haven't actually learned much more since. Fiske believes they can pull it off but he's obviously wrong and who knows what could happen next.
          I LOVE this idea! God, why didn't we get this as the premise for V5, instead of "LOL London and Vienna were wiped out."

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
            How? Mage is only sometimes about combating the rotten spirit of capitalism, and Vampire almost never is (usually, it's the opposite).
            Because ideology shouldn't be the primary motivation for a war against Pentex. Pentex should fight the Camarilla and the Technocracy because, in the end, there can be only one Master of the WorldTM and they don't share power. It's like the Illuminati Card Game by Steve Jackson Games. You don't fight the other Illuminati because you believe you can do better, you do it because you want to rule the world.

            That would be one hell of a strange AU for the Technocracy to be fighting Pentex instead of tripping over themselves to invest in their subsidiaries. You'd have leave out the Syndicate, at the very least.
            The Syndicate is certainly not going to cede its dominion over finance to a bunch of petty Harvard School of Economics Satanists. They are YALE men, Mamnon dammit.

            Originally posted by Reasor View Post
            I LOVE this idea! God, why didn't we get this as the premise for V5, instead of "LOL London and Vienna were wiped out."
            Amusingly, the NSA canonically WERE doing this the entire time and had some degree of success before vampire subversion.

            Which gives a GREAT possibility for who killed the fake Melinda Gailbraith.

            The Second Inquisition.

            Unknowing how much of a shitstorm this would release on the ENTIRE WORLD.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-03-2019, 09:22 PM.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

              Because ideology shouldn't be the primary motivation for a war against Pentex. Pentex should fight the Camarilla and the Technocracy because, in the end, there can be only one Master of the WorldTM and they don't share power. It's like the Illuminati Card Game by Steve Jackson Games. You don't fight the other Illuminati because you believe you can do better, you do it because you want to rule the world.
              Vampire and Mages already have plenty of megalomaniacs and their organizations to work with; Pentex wouldn't stand out to anyone unless they happened to be in-tune with Werewolf's milieu.

              The Syndicate is certainly not going to cede its dominion over finance to a bunch of petty Harvard School of Economics Satanists. They are YALE men, Mamnon dammit.
              Except that they canonically did this by accident with the SPD and didn't realize it until SPD was completely, hopelessly compromised. And even then, they still don't know the whole of the situation, because their vidare has a terminal blind spot for elemental cosmic corruption.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                Except that they canonically did this by accident with the SPD and didn't realize it until SPD was completely, hopelessly compromised. And even then, they still don't know the whole of the situation, because their vidare has a terminal blind spot for elemental cosmic corruption.
                Random aside but the Syndicate Revised book established Pentex's Wyrm masters ate the entirety of the Special Projects Division. So the Syndicate is now free of corruption!

                By default.

                Mind you, Revised's Convention books were kind of terrible about apologia for the crypto-fascist looter capitalists.

                I hope M20 is a lot harder on the Technocracy's morality.


                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                • #53
                  SAD part 3

                  The third part of the SAD gives us some more interesting tidbits:

                  What Does the SAD know?

                  The SAD knows pretty much all the basics about vampires. They know the names of about half the Clans, that Clans exist, how to kill them, what ghouls are, and the central organization is the Camarilla. The SAD thinks the Camarilla is the "lesser evil" to the Brujah, though, and have concluded that the most monstrous as well as dangerous of clans is the Nosferatu. Recently, they figured out the existence of the Sabbat and the Giovanni with an idea to possibly using them against the Camarilla or vice versa. They have also fallen into the stereotype that the Giovanni are into organized crime.

                  I assume that they will, post 9/11 learn about the Assamites and Followers of Set before falling into the most hideous stereotypes they can about them. Or at least the Minutemen will do so.
                  They know werewolves exist but have suffered a complete failure to learn much more than this despite the irony of two infiltrators working at cross purposes. Fiske certainly wants werewolves to be known about by the SAD while Marsha Crowe doesn't. They have the very racist view that Werewolves are (to quote "What we do in the Shadows") an Indian thing. Martin Fisk's knowledge of the Garou has tipped his hand a few times and the SAD is wondering what the hell is going on (specifically Marsha Crowe). The SAD thus only knows about the Uktena, Wendigo, and Black Spiral Dancers.

                  The SAD is in kind of an amusing position with mages as the Traditions have been known to lend hands to law enforcement as psychic consultants. The Technocracy also has one of its operatives in the SAD with Cynthia Forest. This has resulted in the SAD getting its computer files raided by the Virtual Adepts a couple of times despite the fact that they have otherwise nothing to do with them (and the VA hated that they raided Steve Jackson games--probably).

                  The SAD would know NOTHING about it if not for the fact their Tech Guy IS a hedge mage and has basically just filled them in on a basic rules of the universe. They've since come to the conclusion "magic is real, there's a bunch of weird pagan as well as drug cults out there, and you don't have to be otherwise supernatural to use it." The SAD doesn't know the Traditions exist but despises the whole anti-establishment counterculture aspect of the Cult of Ectasy that is the only one they're sure exists.

                  Ironically, the SAD pretty much know Wraiths exist and have the most proof of any supernatural they do. It's just fairly useless because most people believe in an afterlife already and Wraiths are genuinely harmless. They've identified numerous haunts, have photographic evidence, and have even conducted seances.

                  The Most Wanted of the SAD

                  This is a love it or hate it part of the book for me because the SAD keeps a "Top Ten Most Wanted" list of supernaturals they've encountered and it's essentially, "What if real life law enforcement encountered a bunch of kooky Player Character Concepts." These include a couple of supernaturals they have vague evidence of (the vampire who bit Charles Horner, a werewolf they caught on security footage in Crinos form) plus an actual Garou Wendigo they've identified and who killed two agents.

                  It also contains a Marauder/Order of Hermes named Shelly Holmes who pretends to be the World's Greatest Detective, a Malkavian taunting them with regular vampire attack photos while dressed as a flapper, The Hook serial killer/Bane, a Black Spiral Dancer Voodoo Queen, a Cult of Ectasy LSD professor based on Timothy Leary, and a Nazi vampire who attempted to sabotage the USA during WW2. It is SURREAL reading this and discovering that the kind of off-the-beat 2nd Edition concepts of the setting are canonical to it.

                  Less funny is that apparently a force wiped out an entire US town in the World of Darkness (population 751) via "mass murder disease." The SAD is trying to figure out what the fuck this is not a bigger deal. Apparently, it was created with Ebola and was designed to compel everyone to kill each other as well as a link to vampire blood. The CDC knows about it and is carrying out their own investigation. What nutcase did this is anyone's guess. Pentex? Sabbat? Cultsts? Son of Ether Barrabi? Pentex experiment gone wrong? The government? The villain from Kingsmen?



                  Lots of mood whiplash in this section.

                  Headquarters

                  Their HQ is basically a miniature version of the FBI's headquarters except it has a high tech dungeon as well as laboratory equipped for all manner of kooky paranormal experimentation). It's a nice little map and while I rarely need to be specific about what I'm going to need in a location, this is something that details a place the players will visit regularly.

                  Finally, we get a short one paragraph profile of the leadership. All of which get more detailed in the latter part of the book. I've included possible V5 fates for them but they are non-canon.

                  Notable NPCs

                  - Gerald Osbourne: The George H.W. Bush appointee who is the most normal member of the Department and a career bureaucrat.

                  V5 Fate: Retired and less than pleased about being brought out of it by the SI that he feels are a bunch of fanatics. Amusingly, in my games, I had him show up as the substitute for Robert Mueller in making the Pentex Report on the President's corporate ties.

                  - Martin Fiske: The hyper-racist ultra-masculine leader of the Minutemen. Martin Fisk claims to be a Navy SEAL and a bunch of other heroics that aren't true.

                  V5 Fate: In my games, he eventually left the SAD and founded the Pentex equivalent to Blackwater. He's basically the WOD version of Eric Prince.

                  - Cynthia Forest: Basically just imagine the slick black hair, pale-skin, shades wearing Woman in Black and you have the stereotype. This is because she is a Woman in Black and working for the NWO. How much she actually knows as an NSA agent and Technocracy plant is a bit debatable. She killed Edward Snowden in this universe.

                  V5 Fate: Cynthia Forest is now one of Project: Firstlight's Board of Directors. She is only partially Awakened, though, and this irritates her as it prevents her from ascending the ranks of the Union that she is now fully aware of. Cynthia is fully committed to the idea of genocide for all supernaturals as well as rulership by an enlightened Technocratic Elite--the treaty with the Traditions offends her ideology.

                  - Marsha Crowe: A New York City Police Detective, beautitul blonde woman who is also a Silver Fang Kinfolk and Blue Blood. She's the kind of character that players would want a love interest if she wasn't their boss and is "good" but also, well, a plant for the Garou as well as traitor.

                  V5 Fate: In my games, she was eventually exposed and escaped to join the Garou. The SAD now have a kill on site order for her.

                  - Alan Kenchlow: A man suffering Lou Gerrig's disease and basically is Stephen Hawking. He has a number of mundane cybernetics, is a Medium, a psychic, and a Hedge mage. Alan Kenchlow probably knows the most actual "truth" of the group aside from Marsha Crowe as he's a member of the Arcanum in addition to the SAD.

                  V5 Fate: He's supposed to have died in my games but actually awakened to join the Order of Hermes (House Thig obviously) and healed himself. He has since tried to help the Second Inquisition go after "evil" supernaturals.

                  - George Thommason: The previous head of the SAD that has since been utterly driven mad by a Malkavian with dementation or just plain old Dominate.

                  V5 Fate: Had his mind cleared by Marcus Vitel after his decade-long imprisonment in an asylum showed how bad life COULD be in preparation for the Embrace. You know, standard Lasombra Embrace procedure. George is now a 6th generation Lasombra and fully willing to turn on his former co-workers. He has embraced his fiendishness and believes humans are destined to be cattle.

                  The SAD would want to kill him most of all if they knew he existed.
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-07-2019, 08:10 AM.


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                  • #54
                    You forgot to note how SAD thinks that BSDs are a Hatian thing. Kind of funny when, even given their extremely open policy of recruitment post-corruption, they originated in what would become Scotland.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                      You forgot to note how SAD thinks that BSDs are a Hatian thing. Kind of funny when, even given their extremely open policy of recruitment post-corruption, they originated in what would become Scotland.
                      Yes, the book is very clever in the way it dances around the SAD being enormously racist.


                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        Their HQ is basically a miniature version of the FBI's headquarters except it has a high tech dungeon as well as laboratory equipped for all manner of kooky paranormal experimentation). It's a nice little map and while I rarely need to be specific about what I'm going to need in a location, this is something that details a place the players will visit regularly.
                        Except? This is the World of Darkness we are talking about - the regular FBI might well have its own high tech dungeon as well as laboratory equipped for all manner of kooky mind control, Big Brother surveillance.

                        Joking aside, this is all interesting. And the parts which have aged poorly are also interesting. It is easy to see how in the wake of 9/11 and with the S.I., such groups would have gotten massive budgets. And with the larger budgets, they will have more information, more lethality, but also more enemies inside the government and more problems.

                        How many of those fates are V5 canon?

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                          Except? This is the World of Darkness we are talking about - the regular FBI might well have its own high tech dungeon as well as laboratory equipped for all manner of kooky mind control, Big Brother surveillance.

                          Joking aside, this is all interesting. And the parts which have aged poorly are also interesting. It is easy to see how in the wake of 9/11 and with the S.I., such groups would have gotten massive budgets. And with the larger budgets, they will have more information, more lethality, but also more enemies inside the government and more problems.
                          Yep, mind you it's also funny how the guy who used to keep them in check canonically (Marcus Vitel) got replaced by someone who is indifferent at best to the Masquerade (Vykos while possessed by the Dracon). It's also a time when everyone thought the world was ending due to Gehenna, lots of infighting among the sects, and with the Beckoning a strategic loss of Elders keeping things under control.

                          Throw in the fact the Technocracy goes from focusing on the Horizon Realm in Revised to focusing on the Earth's mundane affairs as well as having their first Ragnarok Protocol since Czar Vargo's attack.

                          How many of those fates are V5 canon?
                          None sadly. However, Felicity Price's fate in V5 is canon. Which is that she broke free from the Camarilla's control and told the NSA everything.
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-04-2019, 04:56 PM.


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                          • #58
                            Review of SAD Section

                            As mentioned, I really enjoy the SAD section and think it's one of the better written pieces for anything in the World of Darkness. I'm going to say it actually rather disappoints me that the Special Affairs Division follow-ups in THE HUNTERS HUNTED II and THE CAMARILLA pretty much jettison everything here.

                            The canonical fate of the SAD in V20 is that the organization is re-absorbed into the FBI following 9/11 and ceases to be an independent agency that just so happens to have the same name. It then becomes a "occult style crimes" division that is presumably a much bigger and respected division of crime in the World of Darkness. This, of course, results in the FBI wanting actual reports and oversight that makes things very troubled.

                            V5 has since gone from this with the SAD having gained a patron from with Project: Firstlight. Not much is depicted as having changed except for a new character having taken it over and reorientating them to being vampire hunters first and foremost while maintaining the veneer of being occult criminal investigators. They also have an additional layer of protection against intervention.

                            Honestly, I feel it's kind of sad we dind't get more use out of the NPCs as I think they're characters with pizzaz. I would have liked to have seen an "official" ending for characters like Fiske, Dolph, and Crowe even if they're going to vary at tables. It's the benefit of having Signature NPCs like Modius, Jackson, and so on.

                            I think the SAD serves as both a very interesting potential antagonist for player characters as well as a potential source of good chronicles as well. Thomas Harris, the X-Files, and Twin Peaks offers plenty of narrative opportunities for investigation. Indeed, there's a very well done Chronicle at the end of the book.

                            However, as antagonists, the book doesn't quite do its job as it doesn't offer many suggestions for how the SAD might screw up people's lives among the undead or werewolves. It's also left to inference that killing Federal agents is only likely to make things worse. I felt the "Most Wanted" list was also a bit on the silly side with Nazis, Sherlock Holmes, and weird cult leaders. Still, I really think this was a great chapter and very inspirational for both my games as well as others.


                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                            • #59
                              Something about a small, and largely ignored, department feels dated. Now we, society, are used to massive and opaque (and vague yet menacing) government agencies which are supposed to keep use "safe" from everything, except massive and opaque (and vague yet menacing) government agencies. Still, a campaign based on being agents for such a government department would be interesting.
                              Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 12-05-2019, 04:56 PM.

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                              • #60
                                Given the amount of time that has passed, it would be a missed opportunity if some of the named NPC's aren't described in a future update as having taken the express route from government service to the private sector and ended up in one Pentex subsidary or another.

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