This week’s seed is the 100th I have shared on the Casting Shadows blog. When I started putting these story seeds forward, it never occurred to me that this particular series of posts would run so long. I have put up ideas of varying length and complexity over the past 100 weeks for games like Call of Cthulhu, Aces & Eights, Shadowrun, Blue Planet, Palladium Fantasy, Hollow Earth Expedition, All for One: Regime Diabolique, Brass & Steel, Unhallowed Metropolis, Deadlands, A Time of War, and SLA Industries. I have even put up seeds for supers games like Aberrant and Mutants & Masterminds, but they are fewer and farther between.
I initially thought about holding a contest, or taking a poll to decide what the 100th seed should be, but in the end decided to go a more classic route. I made up a random table, and decided to roll a die. I chose a D12 because… I usually don’t.
- Call of Cthulhu
- Blue Planet
- Unhallowed Metropolis
- Mutants & Masterminds
- Brass & Steel
- A Time of War
- Beyond the Supernatural
- All for One: Regime Diabolique
- Aces & Eights
- SLA Industries
- Palladium Fantasy
To make it more of a special challenge, I will roll a D6 with the D12 and if I roll a 3 on the D6, I will reroll the D12 and do a crossover seed, mixing the two games. I do not like crossovers, generally speaking, but this is a celebration and they lead people to do all sorts of silly things.
The D12 roll turned up a 2, thereby selecting Blue Planet for my 100th Saturday Seed celebratory post. The D6 roll produced a 1, so any hope I may have had of being the goon with the lamp shade on at the end of the party have been thoroughly dashed. C’est la vie~
Saturday Seed ~ 100 (Blue Planet)
This seed is appropriate for a team of law enforcement professionals on Poseidon. The seed itself is designed to appear in two stages. The basic idea is that someone is attempting to neutralize the effectiveness of the Justice Commission by launching attacks on the reference databases.
Planting the Seed
The first stage of the seed can either be played, or presented as small talk and news of the day. Players may either be assigned stage 1 or 2 as regular duty, or choose to get involved of their own accord as befits your current campaign. It is quite possible to involve normal members of the population in this scenario, but the usual caveats apply.
The Seed, Stage 1 – Details
A small, but professional infiltration team launches a two-prong attack on the evidence storage vaults and the Criminal Information Center database. The odds of success are obviously very much against them, but their high skill and planning gives them at least a fighting chance at pulling it off. The players may be involved in their apprehension, or in tracking down potential leads to inside sources in the aftermath. Unless the forces that seek to stop them royally screw the pooch, however, the mission fails…. or more precisely, it appears to fail. The CIC resource files remain accessible, and little evidence was destroyed in the attempt to raid the vaults. The items which were taken, were all recovered.
Law Enforcement Agents of various designations are at a loss as to what the group was trying to accomplish, and more importantly with whom they might be affiliated, but these lines of investigation move slowly and yield very confusing fruit.
The Seed, Stage 2 – Details
Life goes on, until all of a sudden, investigators discover that DNA, fingerprints, and other indicators accessed via the CIC are returning unreliable results. Fingerprint evidence recovered at a crime scene returns IDs of citizens whose fingerprints are clearly different. DNA evidence likewise returns incorrect IDs. Someone has been able to completely disrupt the file structure of the system and cause it to randomly sort and mismatch the evidence and information stored inside it.
Barring a computing miracle wrought by the PCs, the criminals behind the plot have thought of every trick and the data stored in the system originally is beyond recovery. New data, stored since the attack, might be recoverable with some excellent programming work and a lot of patience. The result? Known criminals, whose operations would normally be operating with a great deal of care, are now put into high gear, and honest citizens are taking the fall. Enforcement resources are lagging behind as each citizen must be cleared of the charge, and their DNA and other biometric data tagged in a new, separate system. Criminals are literally getting away with murder.
Every available agent, active or not, investigator or not, has been called in to help sort out this mess and apprehend those responsible.
In holding, when someone eventually realizes that the crew from Stage 1 might know something, they discover that a group of completely unrelated cons are occupying their cells and using their identities. The real culprits are G O N E.
This stage provides opportunities for a manhunt, investigative work, interrogation, and if appropriate, links to further mysteries deeper into the conspiracy. How was it done? Who planned and prepared it? Why? Was it a cover for something specific, or a general attack on law enforcement….?
What’s going on
Depending on the type of game you are running, there is much to work with here and a lot to modify. In a general sense, what is going on is that a what will appear in hindsight to have been a two-pronged attack on the data base and evidence vaults, was actually a diversion which set up the destruction of the database. The disappearance of the crooks from detainment once they are flagged as potentially responsible for the crime, gives clear proof that there is a powerful backer running them. How many layers of action are actually in play will be called into question.
A neat and tidy approach to the seed could be that a very specific crime, requiring a very specific set of hands to perform on a very tight timeline, is set up, and to ensure that these very well-known hands do not get caught, this over-the-top scheme is concocted and executed in order to have investigators biased toward something larger and perhaps more to do with security and terrorism than simple misdirection. Players can be put on to the crime as a matter of course, or as a matter of history in an established campaign, and from there their investigation can springboard naturally into the larger investigation.
A longer-range approach would be that the crime families are serious about wresting control of how things run, and are taking extreme action to limit the efficacy of the Justice Department while simultaneously eroding support for it among the common citizenry. The group will have to gear up for all out war against the criminal underworld, and possibly be at the forefront of sweeping changes in how the law works on Poseidon.
The choices, as always, are yours. The seed is there for planting, in your campaign you and your players will make it grow~
For more story seeds click here.
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