Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Most Wanted Conspyramid 7: Top of the Heap: Motivator

Anyone whose read Most Wanted has to know Motivator would be behind everything. It’s her style. Adding this final column to the Conspyramid brings a secret magical war into the mix.

Level Six Node: Motivator
Motivator: Karen Frost is exactly as presented in the book – power hungry genius telepath with a penchant for cruelty. She is gunning for subtle world domination and the only people really opposing her are the circle of Tibetan monks, the Men With Green Gloves, the ones who once trainer her before seeing th evil in her soul. To that end the Men with Green Gloves have constructed a network of Asian magical powers to stand against her. Motivator, in contrast, has taken control of an international criminal cartel that steals the very best in weapons for her to improve on, and taken control of the European Witch Cults and their entire magical apparatus. The PCs will likely have to team up with Fu Manchu to see victory over her.

* The only change required is that she has, through training, expanded her Emotion Control to Love and Trust.

If the players are nosing around here they have likely realized either that a) Virgo of the Zodiac is just one of Motivator’s many cover identities and she has been pulling Leo’s strings since the beginning or b) that the Grand Mother of the Witch Cults is, well, another one of Motivator’s man cover identities and she has been pulling their strings for a decade or more. Neither one is terribly comforting. Motivator has potentially been underestimating the PCs, right up to the point where they either deny her major assets in her war or they ally with the Men in the Green Gloves she’ll take the , er, gloves off. This means revealing and attacking their secret IDs, arming their opponents with their detected weaknesses, turning whatever assets are left from her organization against them. It should quickly feel like their world imploded.

If that still doesn’t work she’ll turn her mind and emotion control directly on them, making them fight each other as much, as often, and as publically as possible. This battle, if it happens, should almost be a campaign ender, as it will take a lot for the heroes to recover from what she will put them through personally and in the public sphere. If they win, however, the shadow of her mental cruelty will be gone (the Men with the Green Gloves will see to that) and the world will instantly become a kinder, gentler place – plus the ‘end of Planetary’ scenes where the authorities start distributing the miracle inventions in her vaults to the world.

Level Five Node: The Witch Cults of Europe
Samhain, Nightmare, Mountain Man, Jaws: The cults teased at in Samhain’s background are real and extensive, and these two men act as their agents. Neither are truly in the upper echelons – a circle of mystics who get most of their power from slow, coordinated rituals. They can change the world, just not a Super-Hero Pace. This means creating their own agents – Samhain and Nightmare (who now has a magical rather than mutant origin).
* Increase both to Level 10
* Training for Samhain is another +1 with knives. A to 12 and I to 15
* Training for Nightmare is E to 12, A to 15 and +2 to Emotion Control attacks.

If the PCs are nosing around here it means they’ve made the Virgo to Witch Cults connection or they have worked they way up from University College London. In either even the Witch Cults will target them back, using Nightmare to capture one of the heroes and replace them with a homonculous to lead the rest of the team into a trap. That trap is exiling them to Hell, which out to be fun to escape from.

If that doesn’t work, the Witch Cults will make a deal with at least one hero, promising something good for a devoted NPC if they make a simple arrangement to go away. Or alternately they will explain the nature of the shadow war against the Asian magical forces, and taking out the Witch Cults would leave the West defenseless. They will definitely play up the yellow peril aspect and it’s true that without the Witch Cults Europe would have fewer magical defenses, but since the Witch Cults are the ones on the Offense….. If none of that works then it’s showdown time, where the PCs have to race against their agents (and whoever is left of the Virgin Antiquities monsters) to stop them from casting a spell that erases the PCs entirely.

The super-villains at this level are pawns of the cults, but powerful, dangerous ones that know how to be patient. Everything about them is either delaying tactics or distraction/kidnapping.

Level Four Node: University College London Cryptozoology Department
Mountain Man, Jaws: Both of these monsters are unchanged from their original conception, save that they have been located, tagged and are now magically controlled (as needed) by the UCL Cryptozoology department, founded and funded by agents of the Witch Cults of Europe. The control is subtle and, in most cases, the commands are indistinguishable from their normal behavior. The PCs would need to have a magician on hand to even think to look for the evidence of control.

* No changes to either villain

The UCL Cryptozoology Department is very obscure and staggeringly well-funded due to several quiet bequests. The staff are a dedicated branch of the Witch Cults specializing in control rituals that let them place commands on the creatures they find, tag and release back into the wild. Often times these are what we today call super-humans, but no matter – a monster is a monster, and UCL Crypto leashes them.

If the players are nosing around here its because they either made a side entry into the conspiracy by finding one of the leashed monsters, detecting their leash and tracking it back (unlikely) or they managed to backtrace Mother Superiors support and funding (more likely). UCL Crypto will present a superb false front when the PCs look into them, and have a standing cover story inside their records that, when uncovered, will direct the PCs to an Asian criminal organization in London, a way to make the PCs switch target conspiracies and get the Men with Green Gloves against them.

Looking into UCL Crypto’s funding finds the bequests date back to Murray and Frazier’s heyday in the 20’s. Of the still extant families that set them up they are seen as an embarrassing but difficult to unravel testament to their kooky ancestors, and all will point to articles in the 1970’s in the conservative press mocking them for funding Nessie hunts. The magical work that created the funding was done nearly 100 years ago and has vanished with time. To get higher up the chain the PCs have to realize the witch cults exist at all and flip one of the 13 members of the department.

If the original distraction doesn’t work the UCL Crypto people will sic a monster on a nearby community as a distraction, aid the heroes in driving it off with their specialized knowledge and set themselves up as an allied agency. Monsters are monsters after all, and they’ll find ways to leash the PCs too. If all else fails they’ll just disappear, using a magical ritual to shift to the Black Forest in Germany, which can be traced back to the Witch Cults  – it’s best if you can have a mini-arc with the UCL Crypto people sending the heroes after various monsters first.

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