Brother Aldway, Hexenhammer Magic Cop, played by Carpe DM
Carlyle, Disavowed Spy, played by Orsino
John Blackwell, Redeemer Supernatural Creature, played by Toras
Zak Ackerman, SHIFTO Techie, played by Kai Tave
ExSect characters have access to the following Group Schticks (from Friends of the Dragon):
Headquarters: +3 AV Info and knowledge checks made at Headquarters with a research montage.
Library: +5 skill bonus to Info/Malefactors when at Library; takes a few hours.
Secret Lair: +1 AV bonus to Intrusion checks to secure the Lair.
Weird Arsenal x2: The group gets 2 devices that penetrate, circumvent, ignore, or counteract one Creature schtick or Sorcery schtick. They each operate for one fight or until the GM says it does. Alternatively, the group can design a generally impairing device that lowers a target's Sorcery or Creature Powers AV by 3 per hit for the rest of the fight. The group picks their devices at any point in three scenes. They can pick new ones for the next three scenes.
General ExSect Gear
EMF Field Detector
Electronic Sound Amplifier
Fangbuster (protective metal collar)
Headset Communication System
Inspection Mirror Kit
Stink Tag (sticky fluid that emits persistent noxious odor)
White Noise Generator
Autoloader Crossbow (7/4/10: Takes 5 Shots to Reload)
Crossbow (7/4/1: Takes 9 Shots to Reload)
Crucifix dagger (Strength +3 damage)
M9A1 Flamethrower (sets motherfuckers on fire; 15 damage each sequence until put out)
Rosary Garrote (Strength +2 damage)
UV Grenade (No damage unless Malefactor target has sunlight related Bane, in which case it acts like a regular grenade)
UV Projector Cannon (No damage unless Malefactor target has sunlight related Bane, in which case it acts like a combat shotgun and does 13 damage)
White-Phosphorous Grenade (does grenade damage and also does 10 damage each sequence until put out)
Wooden Stake (Strength +2 damage)
Wooden Fighting Stake (Strength +3 damage)
Any of the following modifications can be applied to ExSect ammunition and melee weapons. All types do less (-1) normal damage against most standard targets but full damage to Malefactors who have a Bane related to the substance or property of the ammunition.
Other special modifications can be requested from the Vigil given advance warning and intelligence supporting its utility.
The following devices and enhancements are available from SHIFTO through the Weird Arsenal group schtick (see above).
Tau Neutrino Transference Rounds (TNT Rounds): Take a supercollider, sample some faster-than-light exotic particles, then find a way to stabilize them in a fragmenting tip that can be used in most firearms, and you get TNT rounds. The rounds glow with blue light and prolonged exposure to them is not recommended by SHIFTO labs. These bullets ignore Damage Immunity to Bullets, doing 8 base damage instead of the gun's usual damage.
Psychical Kinesthetic Trigger Response Emitter (Witch Switch): SHIFTO has found some unique signal emissions can be picked up by Malefactors with supernatural sensory powers, particularly Warlocks. This cell phone sized device sends out a very annoying screech of these emissions in bursts, theoretically distracting (or attracting) such monsters. Characters with the Sorcery skill can detect its unique signal, and they suffer a -2 to using Sorcery powers as long as they are in 30 feet of it. It may also draw the attention of Malefactors in the vicinity, at the GM's discretion.
Rhombencephalon Enhanced Stimulant (Doggie Treats): Study of captured Beasts has found that many if not all shapeshifting abilities of Malefactors involve the utilization of primitive R-Complex functions found in the brain. SHIFTO has been able to isolate this function and develop a synthetic biochemical compound that can over-stimulate and confuse this part of the brain. Malefactors exposed to this stimulant (often in the form of darts or drugged substances) cannot use Transform powers until they succeed in a Willpower check against the relevant initial check result (Guns for darts, Deceit for being slipped a mickey, etc).
Tachyon Flux Variability Measurement Unit (Sniffer): This SHIFTO device detects minute changes in nearby exotic particle matter, Kirilian auras, temperature levels, and other paranormal trace-factors, does some calculations, and then displays relevant data in easy-to-read LED format. Roughly palm sized, it is able to make some distinctions in probable sources of supernatural activity it detects, but it is known to occasionally give false positives or erroneous classifications. It provides a +2 to any check to locate or identify a Malefactor.
Dispersed Pattern Suspension Field Generator (Corporealizer): About the size and shape of a water bottle, this device contains a battery, a coiled generator, and a complex light filtering system. When deployed, it casts a sphere of light roughly thirty feet across which can solidify Malefactors attempting to utilize phasing abilities. Anything caught in its radius loses the use of its Insubstantial power for the rest of the fight.
Extrasensory Perception Enervation Module (Null-Scry): Functioning on principles similar to that of a white noise generator, this gadget emits random masking psychical transmissions which frustrate attempts to use paranormal senses to listen in. Anyone who is ten feet of the baseball-sized orb is immune to all Divination magic. It battery has enough power for 24 hours of continuous use.
5-ht1a Seratonin Receptor Supplement (Spirit Pill): 5-ht1a is a receptor of seratonin that has been found to be related to feelings of self and transcendence. SHIFT offers a supplement that excites this receptor in order to combat Malefactor powers based on absorbing or draining spiritual energies. Taken with saltwater, it provides immunity to all Fertility magic for one fight.
Neuropathic Lucidity Regulation Cipher Helmet (Braincase): Some Malefactors (particularly Behemoths) utilize powers that enhance feelings of panic and hysteria in their victims, sometimes resulting in catastrophic mental disorders or even death. By using soothing alpha channel waves and a protective barrier of signal scramblers, however, SHIFTO has developed a helmet that can protect operatives from these effects. Those who wear this helmet are immune to the Brain Shredder power and get a +2 to Willpower to resist Intimidation and fear-related effects from Malefactors.
Visual Pass Effect Filtering Headset Device (SHIFT Shades): SHIFTO has developed these headsets to help operatives deal with the visually impairing and illusionistic effects of Malefactors. Worn like a pair of sunglasses, it uses miniature cameras and extremely quick delay HUD projection to provide a nearly realtime HD image of the environment unimpeded by supernatural effects. Users suffer a -1 to skill checks while they are active due to the minute delay, but they are immune to illusions such as those created by Influence magic. They are also able to utilize IR, UV, and night vision functions.
Ectoplasmic Stasis Beam Projection Unit (Boozooka): Confronted with the task of trying to capture and detain phantasmal Revenants, SHIFTO scientists turned to these backpack-sized device. They emit streams of accelerated particles known to physically attract manifested spiritual projections in a manner similar to that of a magnet on metal. Often used in conjuction with Corporealizers, they allow characters to use their Guns skill to attempt to Hold or Throw ghosts, spirits, and other spectral Malefactors. See Golden Comeback for these supplemental fighting rules.
Common ExSect Bundles
Vampire Hunter Bundle:
Large valise (to store bundle)
Silver holy symbol
5 uses of Holy Water
5 Wooden Stakes
50 crossbow bolts
UV tactical flashlight
Werecreature Hunter Bundle:
Large valise (to store bundle)
Silver holy symbol
Machete w/silver coating
20 silver 20 gauge slugs
Mossberg Model 500 20 gauge shotgun
Monster Hunter Bundle:
Large valise (to store bundle)
Silver holy symbol
5 uses of holy water
5 wooden stakes
2 white-phosphorous grenades
IR tactical flashlight
A Spycraft Campaign
Premise: A secret organization dedicated to combating occult evil, The Vigil is the only thing standing between the monsters of legend and world domination. The PCs are the ExSect division, the front line soldiers in the shadow war.
Setting: The setting of ExSect is a 21st century world much like ours but with a hidden history of war between mankind and supernatural bad guys. The demonic Malefactors have broken through to begin plans for a mass invasion. In response, the agency known as The Vigil has been recently formed from the uniting of several orders of monster hunters.
Theme: The primary theme of ExSect is heroism in the face of evil. The agents will confront nightmare creatures that reflect man’s capacity for wrongdoing. In so doing they will embody mankind’s potential for good and the courage of the common man. A secondary theme of ExSect is the necessary cost of defending those ideals against fear, doubt, and hate. The agents’ adventures may require them to sacrifice much that they might otherwise take for granted. The final theme is a refusal of the nihilism and misanthropy commonly found in contemporary horror stories. People are not sheep, they aren’t easily destroyed, and they will resist when what they care about is threatened. While their victory is not guaranteed, neither is their doom.
Tone: ExSect is an action-adventure with elements borrowed from horror stories, mythology, comic books, and super spy movies. While any one of those elements may take center stage for a while, the focus is primarily on action movie heroics.
Atmosphere: The world of ExSect is one of heightened reality, with exaggerated but familiar attributes. Those that gain special focus are grittiness, high contrast, and cinematic style. The grittiness comes from texture and background rather than documentary-style realism, with a certain “lived in” quality to the world. The high contrast refers to a great deal of shadows, powerful light, and general variety and conflict. In terms of cinematic style, ExSect is just as often about what looks or sounds cool as what is actually effective; drama and narrative are preferred over rules and logic.
Roles: The player characters will be agents of The Vigil’s elite ExSect division. Exceptionally well trained, well armed, resolute, and cunning, they are the best defense mankind has against their monstrous foes. They can come from anywhere on the globe but should have a strong personal motive for confronting supernatural evil. Given the action orientation of the game, as well, they should exhibit some martial and physical ability beyond the norm. While stealth and subterfuge can be useful, as well, subtlety isn’t the Vigil’s forte; it’s more interested in results than secrecy.
The following sources had some impact on the creation of the ExSect setting.
Blade, Blade II: Wesley Snipes shoots, kicks, and slices bloodsuckers by the bucketful as the comic book half-vampire hunter. His buddy Whistler is a particularly good model for what some of the older members of The Vigil could be like.
Dracula: The famed Abraham Van Helsing is Vlad’s polar opposite and a worthy nemesis. A man of enlightenment, a man of moral strength, and a man who kicks vampire butt, he is the very personification of the ExSect hero.
Ghostbusters: A classic sci-fi horror comedy blockbuster, but also an illustration of the central ExSect conceit; with some know-how and guts, even a bunch of wacky screw ups can find a way to face off against Things Man Was Not Meant To Know and come out on top.
Hellboy: Comic or film. A demon turned good guy monster killer works for a secret division of the FBI, jumping out of planes and cracking wise whilst struggling to find his humanity.
Hellsing: Anime about people fighting vampires with big guns. Haven’t seen much of it, be enough to know its ExSect-ish.