Unless stated otherwise, each background may be taken ONCE only. Some backgrounds include other backgrounds as part of their cost.

Major Backgrounds

Major backgrounds represent periods of your life that are particularly significant - they have furnished you with skills and contacts that could prove useful as you try to find out what is going on in the world.

Please note: There is only so much that one person can achieve alone, so you will find that your contacts are far more useful to you than any personal abilities you might have.

In Deep (5 points)

“I don't go to them, they come to me.”

You are one of the movers and shakers of your Organisation. Instead of being introduced to #CLASSIFIED# by an old friend or senior contact, you're the one who does the introducing. You will receive more details in your faction brief at character generation, and have an easier time searching out information with NPCs inside the faction. This background does not put the entire group at your beck and call; internal hierarchies are complex, and other PCs will not be obliged to follow your orders.

Time in the Military (Grunt) (3 points)

You've been through basic training in the national military of your home country. You know how to handle firearms, you are - or have been - physically fit, and you're good at following orders.

Contacts: War buddies, some of whom may now work for private security firms or your government.

Abilities: You can handle a gun, act as part of a unit, and your survival skills are good.

Time in the Military (Officer) (5 points)

You have served as a commissioned officer in your national military. You're used to handling a unit of men, you know how to give orders that will be followed and you don't scare easily.

Contacts: Some of your war buddies may still be senior in the military, and have access to all kinds of interesting classified documents.

Abilities: You're good at cutting through red tape, your leadership skills are honed and you are always cool in a crisis.

Basement Hacker (3 points)

You have spent a significant amount of time on your computer, hidden away from the world, trying to hack your way into computer networks. Whether it was out of intellectual curiosity, a way to fight the system or something more unsavoury, you know how networks work and where the holes are.

Please note: #CLASSIFIED# is a very secure channel.

Contacts: You have a number of contacts in the Black Hat hacker community. You know some very skilled hackers, but remember that black-hats are very intelligent and paranoid about getting caught.

Abilities: You're an expert at computer use. You could probably hack your local school's records or maybe get into the local council's databases.

Alternative Medicine Specialist (2 points)

Whether acupuncture, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, crystal healing or some other speciality, you have training and/or experience in an alternative form of medicine. Doctors and biologists are generally skeptical and look down on what you do, but you know that your therapies really help those that mainstream medicine cannot (or maybe you just say that..)

Contacts: You know a number of other people involved in alternative medicine and lifestyles. Some may claim to be psychic, some may believe they can perform magic.

Time Inside: Asylum (2 points)

You have spent some time in a psychiatric hospital due to severe psychiatric disorder - maybe voluntarily, maybe not. Eventually you were discharged, considered cured. Most of the people you met inside are still there, but you're still in contact with a few who've also been discharged.

Contacts: You meet a lot of different kinds of people in a psychiatric hospital, from a lot of different backgrounds. Some of these are paranoid and delusional, and sometimes they learn to hide it even from trained professionals. Your contacts have insane-sounding theories about what is really going on in the world, and are continuing their researches by themselves.

Local Law Enforcement (3 points)

You are - or have been - a member of the local policing authority, such as a State Trooper, Detective or Gendarme. You are motivated by a desire to keep the peace and fight crime, and are willing to go beyond the call of duty to do so.

Contacts: Other members of local law enforcement, as well as upstanding members of the local community - civil servants and other civilians.

Abilities: Good physical abilities and a keen, analytical mind for crime scenes.

National Law Enforcement (5 points)

You are - or have been - a member of your country's wider law enforcement, for example a Federal Agent or Special Branch member. With your nation's best interests at heart, you work tirelessly to prevent subversion.

Contacts: A wide contact base amongst the bloc's law enforcement. Most low-classification information will be available to you on request.

Abilities: Good physical abilities. A ruthless, calculating understanding of criminal behaviour.

Health Care Professional (3 points)

You work or have worked for your country's healthcare system; you may be a doctor, a nurse, a paramedic, or similar.

Contacts: A large number of other health care professionals and a smaller number of long term patients

Abilities: Knowledge of biology, medicine, and use of pharmaceuticals.

Academic (3 points)

You are - or have been - an academic in one of the following fields: Maths & Physics, Biology & Chemistry, Engineering, Psychology, History, Literature. You have a keen analytical mind and an indepth knowledge of your subject area.

Contacts: Your work means that you have worked with a number of academics from around the world, many of whom are good friends of yours.

Abilities: Your knowledge of your subject is extremely detailed, if you don't already know the answer and can't find it out with a bit of research then the information is probably not known by anyone.

Local Journalist (2 points)

You work - or have worked - for a local newspaper or news agency as an investigative (or otherwise) journalist. You have a good knowledge of the local area.

Contacts: As well as the other members of your local media agency, you have made some interesting contacts with various diverse people in your previous investigations.

Abilities: You're good at getting the information you need out of people. You're not bad at getting into places you shouldn't, provided the security isn't up to scratch.

National Journalist (5 points)

You work - or have worked - for a large newspaper or a national broadcasting corporation. You can travel internationally, expenses paid, and look into stuff. Snooping around and finding things out aren't just the job, they're the perks too.

Contacts: As well as the other members of your newspaper or corporation, there are all sorts of people out there who might want to be the contact of someone like you. Of course, that might turn out to be a mixed blessing.

Abilities: Your investigation and information-gathering skills are high class. You reckon you could get past some fairly good security, provided you knew what you were looking for and were prepared to get out in a hurry.

Part of the Family (Small time player) (3 points)

You are part - or have been - of one of the world's many organised crime operations. The Mafia is the classic example, but you also be part of a Chinese triad, a Mexican drug smuggling operation or something more small time. You are, or were, one of the foot soldiers.

Contacts: You will have contacts among the organisation you are involved with, as well as perhaps those in related groups. Your superiors are unlikely to have an especially high opinion of you however.

Abilities: You are likely to have some practice at avoiding law enforcement, and be perhaps a little tougher than your average individual. You are also likely to have a better idea than most people how to get hold of items of dubious legality.

Part of the Family (Major player) (5 points)

You are - or have been - one of the bosses of a criminal syndicate. Whether you built it up yourself, or joined an existing one, you now lead a serious force in the underworld. You are likely to be on several “most wanted” lists. If, of course, they know who you are.

Contacts: You will have contacts who are fellow major underworld players, and probably some corrupt law enforcement officials as well.

Abilities: You are likely to be really quite wealthy, and will have underlings that you can order around. You can also get hold of most things for the right price. Avoiding law enforcement is your bread and butter.

Local Government (2 points)

You are - or have been - a local government official. You could be a council member in the UK, a mayor of a US town, a party official in China or any other equivalent.

Your name is known. You are watched.

Contacts: You are likely to have contacts among the media, as well as higher-ups in whatever party you represent.

Abilities: You are likely to be a better than average public speaker, as well as having administrative skills. You can also probably front a pretty decent information campaign.

National Government (4 points)

You are - or have been - a politician directly involved in the running of a major country. This is MP or senator level.

Your name is known widely. You are watched closely.

Contacts: You will have major media contacts, as well as contacts within your country's government, as well as possibly some abroad.

Abilities: You will have serious campaigning ability, and will either have major administrative abilities or excellent oration.

Company Man (3 points)

You have been working in industry, possibly high up in management. You know how the business world works, how it ties into politics, and how networking is essential in both spheres. This doesn't mean you are exorbitantly rich, but you will have some income and a wealth of contacts.

Please tell us what sector your company works within. Examples include the IT sector, the Creative/Design sector, the Manufacturing sector, the Finance sector, and the Entertainment/Journalism sector.

Contacts: You will have contacts throughout that industry and potentially in politics as well. They might or might not know more than you do, but they will certainly have different perspectives.

Abilities: You have an income and some influence over how a certain company acts. In terms of resources, you might be able to piece together more than the average person.

Celebrity (2 points)

You are successful in your field and you might be known on the public stage as a performer or up-and-coming in your discipline. This isn't national level yet, but you're on your way.

Contacts: You know people within the media, and as a minor celebrity you will probably have the ability to get media exposure when you want it. You may or may not have contacts in the government who are interested in your success.

Abilities: You can command the inside pages of the newspapers with spectacular enough actions, and you have some income to waste.

Service Worker (2 points)

You are a - or have been - worker who provides a service. Yes, that service. THAT SERVICE. You are used to being discreet, dealing with individuals and charming people when you need to.

Contacts: You know people from all walks of life and the people you know have dirt on other people. It is rarely evidenced dirt, but who needs evidence with contacts like yours.

Abilities: You are someone who deals with people all the time, are familiar with the law and have learnt the discretion that many people lack.

Homeless or Charity Worker (1 point)

It is a hard life for some and you are one of those some. Whether you are one of those who has lived on the streets or walked extensively with those who have then you have lived through the school of ultimate hard knocks

Contacts: You have contact with a number of people with no fixed abode, either because you are one yourself, or because you work with them as part of your work. Being off-grid, the information they have is untracable, but that can be both a blessing and a curse.

Minor Backgrounds

Insider (2 point)

You have a contact inside one of the other Organisations. You can only take this background once.

Contacts: You have a contact who is a Junior Member of another organisation. You may be able to acquire the Faction Brief through them, if you work on it.

Dual Nationality (1 point)

You have dual nationality and 2 passports, you will often find it easier to travel across international boundaries. Just be careful which passport you use.

Forum Lurker (1 point)

You keep a watchful eye on many forums around the internet that are not primarily connected to the discussion of conspiracy theories. However, this can still throw up interesting information.

Contacts: You are in contact with several random forum members who are aware of your interests, and infrequently pass you useful nuggets of information.

Hooks (0 points each)

Hooks are unusual events or circumstances in your character's life, generally with unresolved issues that they may want to look into. These are free backgrounds that provide more interesting background and inspiration to hang backgrounds from. You may take up to one of each of these, and you should tell us what happened.

The available Hooks are:

  • Blackouts
  • Amnesia
  • Missing Person
  • Cultist
  • Headaches
  • Survivor
  • Watched

Feel free to interpret these as you like. Perhaps you've seen lights in the sky following you (Watched). Maybe your entire home village was wiped out by a mysterious disease, leaving only you alive, oddly immune (Survivor). Maybe you once vanished for three days and were found by the side of the road on the other side of the country with no memory of what happened (Amnesia).

Mysterious Events (1 point)

You must have taken at least one Hook to take this background

When you take Mysterious Events, choose one of your Hooks which will give you some solid proof of something strange for you to follow up. You have more concrete information to go on - perhaps the lights in the sky always appear when you're driving past an abandoned quarry. Maybe you saw some men in a GeneCo van dumping chemicals into the nearby swamp just before your village was wiped out. Perhaps you woke up with a mysterious tatoo on your skin, that you have discovered bears a strange resemblance to the symbol of a prominent Occult society.

Mysterious Events will provide you with a piece of plot that immediately gives you a line of research that will lead to something interesting.

backgrounds.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/11 17:10 by gareth
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