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Old 01-21-2010, 11:34 PM
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Default Federal Agencies

DeaconR 11-01-2005, 02:03 PM What if any federal agencies to players depict as still operating in their games? The game books of course mention the DIA, CIA and there are supplements online or from Challenge that talk about the FBI and other organizations. But the USA has a whole plethora of groups that are not brought up. While largely the game depicts military governments or the like I'm curious about how gms have dealt with other government organizations.

For instance, would modern games include the office of Homeland Security? Because if they did then the Coast Guard and Secret Service are under this office, not the Department of Transport or Treasurey as they formerly were.

Also, the last version of the game permits you to play a federal agent if you wish to. One player in my game is playing a government intelligence agent. (MI6)

For my part, I read through the government handbook that the US produces every year and located the field offices of major agencies. Unfortunately, many organizations would have been decimated by this, but this does not preclude smaller local operations or some groups having sucessfully moved out of areas that are depicted as having fallen into anarchy. In the CONUS I have used the FBI and Secret Service more than the CIA as the principle intelligence agencies of Civgov, for instance.


TR 11-01-2005, 08:27 PM Yeah Federal Agencies are a real mixed bag, they would not remain as a national coherent and organized group... we all figuered that would happen. You would have greater chances of coming across state or regional cells of such an organization with milgov or civgov backing of course. Considering that the FBI, BATF, DEA, Federal Marshals, Postal Inspectors, Border Patrol, etc have regional offices you would have greater chances I think of running into these elements more. The intel type elements of the CIA, NSA, DIA, NRO, etc normally only have a number of "official" locations so these areas ran the risk of being in already exsisting target zones... if they survived their first priorty is to themselves and family if they have any.

PC's from these classes though make for interesting types, they have a vastly different take on things as for most they would have been stateside when the nukes dropped so their interactions with returning vets can always be played up by the GM. One of my later stage Twilight characters (after we semi-retired our Intel Colonel to head up a new SOCOM command) I created was a DEA Special Agent Hamilton (Ham) Tyler. He had done the traditional drug raids but also spent time in Columbia (etc) in field operations there as well so he had gone through the DEA's Ranger Course... an interesting character as his first solution wasn't always shooting everyone dead.


DeaconR 11-02-2005, 04:36 AM As you say, a character from such an organization would have an interesting take on things. I have tried in my game to suggest many elements from different backgrounds who are working to try to help put the nation back together again. In mine there are NPCs along with the player group who are from USAMRIID, the CDC and the NOAA, part of a largely research and science based mission.


graebardeII 11-02-2005, 10:06 AM I've played a federal agency mid-level 'officer' from the USDA. Does that count?


DeaconR 11-02-2005, 01:24 PM I'd be very interested in hearing more about that.


abaumgartg 11-02-2005, 01:47 PM I can't think of a federal agency that would still be operational if that is what you are asking.

I ran a NPC that had been a USDA agent in a game. He was quite knowledgeable in Ag & conservation practices (which may not be too believable). The former agency status made him a respected personal in the area and the skills made him valuable. I think that being a former federal, state, or county official could have a big impact on how people respond to them (good or bad) based on personal experience with the individual or the agency.

As a GM I do what I can to make non-military PC's viable characters. Some skills that have limited use (computer programming, artistic skills, administrative skills, etc) I generally make 1/4 to 1/2 the normal cost. I also let PC's set aside skill points during creation for combat skills so the character can acquire these skills quickly once play begins. A lot of player and GM discretion is required, but an example would be:

Greabarde has decided that as GM my life is far too easy and only through making an abnormal PC can his life be complete (nothing personal Fred). He has decided that making a USDA mid-level "officer" will help him achieve enlightenment. But that would be far too easy. So he has stated that this PC, Bob, was a hunter and is therefore a great shot. Greabarde feels that when hunting he is the equivalent to CRM 8. But CRM is much more involved than just aiming and shooting.

I cannot remember what I used to give as a max CRM for a non-military PC, but let's say that max is 3. Bob starts with a CRM of 3 and sets aside 5 points that will not be spent during generation. For every exp Agent Bob earns towards his CRM, he can spend one of the points he set aside during creation.

There are problems with this, but with a good amount of caution and discretion PC's can make the players they want and you get *a lot* more diversity in the characters. Anywho...


DeaconR 11-02-2005, 02:49 PM That is pretty cool. Actually for a USDA character you could justify it by stating that he mostly works in rural areas and therefore has spent a good deal of time hunting.

I'm not sure that there would be many federal agencies fully intact, except perhaps on a local basis. But for instance the Call of Cthulhu campaign "Delta Green" has a huge list of US and foreign agencies, and many of them would have useful experts who could help local governments. I was mostly thinking in terms of other kinds of agents players could play, and your idea is a good one.


graebardeII 11-02-2005, 06:53 PM The PC USDA character I developed was for a 'rebuilding' T2K game. The character is in his 50's. He was raised on a diversified farm, got drafted/or volunteered for draft in the late 60's, spent two tours in the Nam and got out. Went to college on GI bill, worked as a consultant and farmer for several years, then the farm crisis hit. He went back to college under a state program, and went on to earn a PhD. His undergraduate work was Agronony (Production) and AgEcon (Farm/Ranch Mangement). His MS and PhD were in AgEcon, with emphasis on Small Farms and Rural Development. He obtained a position with the USDA working towards viability of small farms/family farms. He traveled around the US a lot, met many many farmers and families in his travels.

He and his wife and children lived west of DC on a small farmstead he purchased with monies from the sale of his farm in NoDak. His interests were 'organic' farming/gardening, carpentry, and blacksmithing (which he learned as a youngster from an uncle). His son was killed in action in Poland in 97. His daughter was killed Thanksgiving day as she went into DC with some friends when the bombs reined down.

Together with his wife, a registered nurse, and a co-worker and his wife who were T-day guests, the four people lived and survived on the small holding. The visitors died over a two winter period, the wife from pheumonia/flu, while the husband was killed by brigands while hunting. The place was attacked, and the neighborhood was getting worse.

He say an 'advertisement' at the local market about a relocation project. He and his wife were accepted due to their expertise. He's found himself the head of the local 'agricultural' department. An administrator (as well as worker). He's working to increase the open-pollinated corn stocks before the meager seed supply of hybred corn the governement allocated them is depleted. His wife works with the doctor running a clinic for the community.

Is he a fighter, only when pushed. His goal in life is to better the community he's in, hoping for some return to normal under the circumstances.


thefusilier 11-02-2005, 09:32 PM Wow that is a really well done and original character. It was a short read but I was totally interested in the background story. Well done.


firewalker 11-02-2005, 10:37 PM you no if you wanted you could add delta green itself as a surviving federal agency (well qusiy black agency any way). the deep one's would probably be having a field day in the Twar, lot's of isolated costal settlements that could really use a little help filling there nets . depending on your tolerance for weird ness in your game that is.

some interesting federals to run into, forestry rangers (law enforcement ) or what do ya'll think would have happened to the shadow wolves from the border patrol.


Targan 11-02-2005, 11:42 PM I've detailed probably 30 to 40 NPCs in my current campaign, who are members of SOG One, Team Alpha, and many of them are former Govt agents of one kind or another. In my campaign, Delta Force went over to CivGov, partly as Fort Bragg is inside the CivGov zone of control, and one of the NPCs working with the players is an Australian named Patterson, a former member of the SAS who joined the US army and became a Delta Operator (he looks like the actor Eric Bana from Blackhawk Down). There is a group who works for the players who were US and allied personnel trapped in Panama when the nukes came down, and had to get back to the States. When Patterson got back to Bragg and discovered that his unit had gone over to CivGov, he left and joined up with MilGov forces, eventually being assigned as a "hitter" out of the Norfolk enclave. In the pregame for a new character in the same campaign, the pregame PC's NPC off-sider is a female former US Customs Service helicopter pilot named Veronique L'Strange (she's from New Orleans). Other NPCs with the main group include foreign agents and soldiers who were in the States for exchange proograms and/or specialist training, and include a Sayaret Matkal agent who is an Ethiopian Jewish guy, a Japanese SDF technician, a Pakistani soldier, A Panamanian anti-drugs paramilitary, a British Army Gurkha, and a British Royal Marine. And, of course, the CO and main PC in the campaign, Anthony Po, is a former "Scully"-type FBI Forensics Specialist.


thefusilier 11-03-2005, 12:04 AM [QUOTE=firewalker]you no if you wanted you could add delta green itself as a surviving federal agency.[QUOTE]

Never heard of them, who are they?

Not so much of Federal agencies, but do you think 5th and 6th Army would have employed city swat teams for urban fighting with the Mexican in Texas and California? I figure border guard units would have already been working with the Nat'l guard units working the border anyways since prior to the invasion there were refugee problems.

For Fed Agencies, personally I think after the nuc strikes surviving regional cells would hook up with pretty much whoever was in locally in charge, Milgov, Civgov, or state governments that declared for neither. A number probably would have dispersed for various self preservation reasons.

Unless it was something as large as CIA, FBI, DIA, etc, I don't think they would have the resources to maintain one coherant body.

Then of course I don't have too much resource material to go on, or knowledge of US agencies (Canada is more my background and strength) so I will probably easily change my mind based on other people's opinions on the mater.


ReHerakhte 11-03-2005, 01:57 AM Hey Fusilier,

Delta Green is a modern day Call Of Cthulhu setting where Delta Green itself is a "special" agency providing personnel to investigate and curtail the activities of the Old Ones and their minions.

The material is very well done and as pointed out, there are two game books that have a massive list of intelligence, military or police agencies. I can't think of them offhand but I believe the first is simply 'Delta Green' and the second is 'Delta Green: Count Down'

Go to http://www.delta-green.com/ for a better explanation than mine!




DeaconR 11-03-2005, 02:24 AM Yeah, it's a good sourcebook for that alone, and the game itself is fun if you enjoy a bit of the occult in an investigative game.

BTW, graebarde, that is an excellent character background, very inspiring. What I love about it is something that I try to put into my games, namely the sense that there is something serious at stake, that people are suffering and dying and that civilized people need to do something about it. In real life when I think about what we are doing to help street youth here in my city, for instance, I think that we are staking a claim in the future of the place we live. So the character you are describing is like a real person, who has to face a difficult situation with courage. Very very nicely done.

Tarquan, you've got a seriously mixed bag of people in your group. It sounds a bit like mine; mine consists of a royal marine officer, an MI6 agent, a usmc force recon, a USAMRIID disease detective (NPC),a royal marine NCO (npc) an aviation pilot(NPC), and a civilian(NPC) who is simply a very good hunter and tracker. They also are security for a group of CDC and USAMRIID scientists and investigators.

Fusilier I believe that law enforcement agents or officers, especially those who were elite, might very well work directly with military units. Partly it would be a matter of survival but also in some cases they might find it the only way to do their duty. Especially if there were no police headquarters to report to or receive resources from.

I can't help but think too though of law enforcement in countries that are breaking down in the real world. For instance, in some nations in Africa the officers are not payed in months. This sort of thing was part of what brought down the Shah of Iran as well.


Targan 11-03-2005, 02:38 AM I forgot to mention one of my favourite NPCs, a long running character that Po found sheltering in some crappy village in Europe: Lt John Truman Johnson, USAF, an "Eagle Driver" whose F-15 fell out of the sky due to mechanical failure during a photo recon mission over Poland in early 2000. Johnson's father had been an astronaut and he had wanted to be one too, but settled for the next best thing in being a pilot for an ASAT launch from an F-15 (conveniently) the ASAT launch which brought down the satellite in the Satellite Down module. Johnson is the stereotypical ace fighter pilot, athletic, blonde, blue eyed and handsome, and has acted heroically many times during the game. He still has his flight suit and flight helmet and flies SOG One Team Alpha's gyro and chopper, as well as currently acting as Company S-5. Johnson's callsign is Renegade (heh heh).

Oh yeah, and the company's other military qualified chopper pilot is a former South African military pilot named Veldtman, a Warrant Officer who was formerly a Loadmaster.


DeaconR 11-03-2005, 02:42 AM Did you get that idea from one of the Poland modules? I seem to remember that in the "Free City of Krakow" I believe that there is a USAF officer who is either wounded or being held in a small village.


Targan 11-03-2005, 03:15 AM It could well be where I got the idea, but it was years and years ago (the campaign has been going for six or seven years) so I am not sure. But I am happy to shamelessly steal ideas where I can find them. If I can remember where an idea came from I try to acknowledge the source (heh heh).


firewalker 11-03-2005, 11:03 AM thefusilier: i was kind of wondering about the shadow wolves them selves.

this is a specific unit of tracker's within the boarder guard. specifically a unit of Indian (or native American what ever float's your boat) trackers. most of them are from the same tribe and a lot of there work if not most is done on there reservation (if i'm not mistaken there a cross border tribe with people in both the US and Mexico). if i could rember the name of the tribe in question it would help

speaking of using swat in urban combat (dose anybody rember that show combat missions from a couple of years ago? reality show, groups made up of military and police/first responder's that competed in deferent simulated combat exercises) i think this would be a slam dunk especially if you could arrange to use men in there original city's (lot's of area knowledge and probly a number of preplans for high value buildings)


Targan 11-04-2005, 01:37 AM The Shadow Wolves sound cool. Any info would be appreciated. Here in Australia we have an Army Reserve unit called the Pilbara Regiment, which draws are large proportion of its personnel from indigenous people living in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. The Pilbara Regiment plays an important role in patrolling through the incredibly harsh and vast terrain of the Pilbara and Kimberley Regions, and provides ongoing border security. Because of its long years of experience and the presence of so many traditional land owners among its ranks, the Pilbara Regiment is renowned for being able to survive and operate in areas where virtually any other conventional military force would perish en-masse without continuous resupply. Many of the Australian Army's reserve units are actually quite highly regarded (one of our Commando units is manned by reservists, for instance).


firewalker 11-06-2005, 08:29 PM Tohono O'odham, in Arizona. the reservation borders mexico.


not much but it seams to be kind of a comen nick name


ReHerakhte 11-07-2005, 02:23 AM Although they are a Customs/Border Patrol unit, the Shadow Wolves are very similar to some units of the Pilbara Regiment here in Western Australia.

A similar unit exists in Queensland patrolling the waterways and land of the tropical rainforest and coastal regions in the far north of that state. Little wonder they are called the Far North Queensland Regiment (FNQ Regt.).

There is also another regiment of the same type but even more heavily staffed by indigenous soldiers called NorForce. It operates in the Northern Territory amongst some of the harshest terrain in Australia. The aboriginal soldiers in NorForce have a reputation for being able to survive in places no-one else can and they are intimately familiar with the regions they patrol as they are often tribal lands or lands that the tribe has access to.

The main differences between these three regiments, although they are all Region Force Surveillance Units, is that Pilbara Regt. operates a lot of long range vehicle patrols, they are almost on the same level as the SASR in regards to this. NorForce spends a lot of time doing foot patrols and are quite possible some of the hardiest light infantry in the world. FNQ Regt. uses a lot of boat and vehicle patrols and are some of the sneakiest Mothers in the jungle in this part of the world - soldiers' myth claims they can sneak up on a crocodile (of which there are a lot in that part of the world)!

These personnel all operate in the region they grew up in and are very good at operating within it. They notice things the average Aussie soldier misses and they can find food and water in places that others would ignore.

The main reason I bring this up is that units of this type, whether indigenous Americans, Australians, Africans etc. could make quite formidable friends (or enemies) in the Twilight setting, specifically if they are operating in regions similar to their 'homelands'. Generally speaking, if their high-tech gear goes to crap, they can survive just as happily without it.

Just some food for thought!




DeaconR 11-07-2005, 02:35 AM A good in game example of such a unit is the Czech recon unit described in "The Black Madonna" which is somewhat independant in its thinking but still serving its country. Have you guys ever had such units in your games in an active role?


thefusilier 11-07-2005, 04:09 AM Wasn't that the Czech Air Assault Brigade.


DeaconR 11-07-2005, 10:10 AM Yes, you're quite right. I couldn't remember what they were called off the top of my head.


Last edited by kato13; 02-08-2010 at 08:28 AM.
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