Sunday, December 2, 2018

AGENTS OF MONARCH (Grit and Vigor)

As the winter proceeds to bury my home region, I start pondering campaign settings (usually set someplace warmer). As I am a huge Godzilla fan, I have been thinking on a campaign setting for the Grit and VigorRPG by John Stater, wherein the player characters are all agents of the Monarch Organization of the MonsterVerse franchise. As this is a worldwide organization, player characters of every sort are possible. With all player characters having the shared knowledge and experience that monsters are very real, and a growing threat to the world.
As well as existing in the MonsterVerse franchise, heavy inspiration and details will be taken from the following; Jurassic Park, Outer Limits, Penny Dreadful, Stephen King’s Multiverse, and assorted Urban Legends and science fiction monster films that feature mutant monsters.

“Millions of years older than mankind. From an age when the Earth was ten times more radioactive than today. This animals and others like it consumed this radiation as a food source. As the levels on the surface naturally subsided these creatures adapted to live deeper in the oceans. Furter underground. Absorbing radiation from the planet's core. The organization we work for, Monarch, was established in the wake of this discovery. A multinational coalition formed in secrecy to search for him. Study him. Learn everything we could.” – Dr. Vivienne Graham, Monarch Scientist
Monarch is a scientific organization founded in secrecy in 1946 as a joint coalition between several governments in order to hunt and study massive unidentified terrestrial organisms (MUTOs) or Titans. With a worldwide increase in monster sightings and “incidents” after The Battle of San Francisco in 2014, the Monarch organization is now publicly known and is working hard to stem the tide of strangeness.
Monarch has offices and research centers around the globe, with offices in San Francisco, New York City, Janjira Japan, McMurdo Station Antarctica and others. Large research bases in Isla Sorna (in cooperation with Masrani Global) and Isla de Mona (Puerto Rican archipelago) where it maintains a large holding center for MUTO’s and other creatures.
Notable members: Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, Dr. Vivienne Graham, Dr. Emma Russell, Houston Brooks (retired), San Lin, Dr. Elsie Chapman, Dr. Mendel Craven, James Conrad, Monique Dupre, Mason Weaver, Aaron Brooks, General Douglas MacArthur and Dr. Zamalek.

Monarch agents pursue all leads relating to mutant creatures. This includes not only Kaiju (titans, MUTO's), but any dread creature. They are not the military, nor are they police. But they work with both as well as maintaining their own security. Overall agents are much like BPRD agents, hunting down weird monsters.
re drawn from all over the world and from all walks of life. Clever GMs and players can fit in any of the classes and the main Subclasses into a campaign. However Occultist and Vampire Hunter characters dont fit particularly well in the setting as-is. A case can be made for Psion characters, as monster movies often have Psychic characters.

Methods of operation
While most of how Monarch carries out their work is unknown, it is known that they prefer a non-lethal approach at best, as Aaron Brooks' recording to his father stated that the "Monarch Field Manual" says "If you must resort to weaponry, in all likelihood, you've already made a mistake."
However with the growing tide of genetic mutants, kaiju and other issues, a modern agent can expect to be dealing with violent scenarios. 

Monarch Timeline - 1915 - Present
This is a brief history of the Monarch Organization. 
1915 - Splitting the Atom: Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity ultimately leads to the splitting of the atom and the dawn of the Atomic Age. This epoch-defining stage in human evolution will act as a beacon that awakens ancient superspecies sustained by nuclear energy.
1943 – Lawton Incident: The U.S.S. Lawton is destroyed by the sea dragon like MOTU known as Manda.
1946 - Monarch Founded: In the aftermath and cover-up of the U.S.S. Lawton Incident, President Truman unofficially establishes "Monarch Unit", a small, off-book research team established to engage in the systematic study of "massive unidentified terrestrial organisms". Privately, many of Truman's allies question the validity of the group's theories and work to keep their existence a secret.
1952 - The Great Smog of London: Baffling meteorologists and defying atmospheric physicists, this unexplained phenomenon saw London's streets overwhelmed by huge clouds of air-polluting smoke. Monarch theorizes that the beating wings of a giant creature could have created an anticyclone that unleashed airborne pollutants across the city.
1954 - Monarch Goes Global: Monarch begins working with allied nations, the military and corporate assets in its efforts.
1954 – Giant Ant Outbreak: Atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization. Monarch agents in cooperation with the U.S. Army, F.B.I. and the Department of Agriculture hunt down most of the more aggressive nests.
1955 - The Mindanao Deep Monster: An octopus like MUTO attacks a US atomic submarine and proceeds to threaten Pacific shipping lanes. Cooperation between Monarch agents and the US Navy manages to kill the creature.
1957 - The Deadly Mantis: A 200-foot-long praying mantis flies into U.S. airspace and wreaks havoc until destroyed. The creature is found to be from a species also found on Skull island.
1959 - Siberian Mystery: At the height of the Cold War, aerial photography taken from a Russian spy plane reveals a huge containment facility established around an ice cap in Siberia. The Monarch symbol can be seen emblazoned across the canopy of the structure.
1973 - Mission Skull: Monarch surreptitiously partners with Landsat and the 1st aviation brigade, 3rd assault helicopter company to mount an expedition to the mythical "Skull Island" in an uncharted corner of the South Pacific. Encountering the god-like superspecies known as Kong, they soon discover that mankind does not belong here.
1980 - Arrowhead Project: The town of Bridgton, Maine is engulfed in a very thick supernatural fog and is assaulted by several kinds of otherworldly beasts. Government agents and Monarch operatives contained the situation only after significant loses and damaged psyches.
1986 – Brundlefly Incident: Dr. Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist accidentally merges his DNA with that of a fly. The catastrophic mutation that this creates results in further mutations.
1988 – Arbeville Blob Incident: The town of Arbeville, Colorado comes under the attack from an amorphous acidic amoeba-like organism that devours and dissolves anything in its path as it grows. The containment of this “Blob” is only managed through great effort. Viable specimens have been acquired.
1991 - Isla de Mona: A covert Monarch team establishes a quarantine zone around the island's dormant volcano, under the guise of "environmental research". Over the coming years, what began as a small scientific outpost will expand to become a full containment facility around the mouth of the volcano.
1993 – Isla Nublar Incident: The Bioengineering company InGen’s experiments in cloning dinosaur for use in its island facilities ended in disaster as the re-cloned dinosaurs ran wild and devoured personnel. The escape of Compsognathus and Deinonychus specimens to the mainland remain an issue.
1995 – Valerie 23 Incident: The Innobotics Corporation creates a prototype android companion that revolutionizes the field. Unforeseen difficulties puts the project on hold, but developments continue.  
1995 - Return to Skull Island: Monarch security officer Aaron Brooks defies his father, Houston Brooks, and leads an off-the-books mission to Skull Island, to not only determine what has become of Kong since the 1973 expedition, but also for assurance that Kong is on their side.
1996 – Paradise Murders: Monarch agent Dr. Christina Markham and Sheriff Grady Markham investigate a spate of strange incidents involving young and apparently healthy women suddenly growing old and dying. Black market biotech stolen from the BioSyn corporation is to blame.
1999 - Janjira Meltdown: The Janjira nuclear power plant was destroyed when the parasitic Hokmuto burrowed into the reactor and began to feed, causing the reactors to rupture, spewing out their radiation contaminated water. The plant then collapsed under the strain of the M.U.T.O. feeding, causing more casualties. The Hokmuto then cocooned to continue feeding on the radiation which was released, as Monarch took the plant and the city of Janjira under quarantine.
2002 – Prosperity Spider Mines Incident: An exotic spider farm in Prosperity, Arizona is exposed to mutagenic compounds resulting in the rapid growth and mutation of the spiders. The situation is barely contained with many lives lost.
2005 - A Mysterious Mercenary: Former British Army Colonel and MI-6 agent Jonah Alan is locked up in Pakistani prison after an encounter with Monarch agents. Alan and his band of mercenary accomplices were caught trying to breach the walls of a subterranean M.U.T.O. dig-site.
2009 - Temple of the Moth: Mythographic studies of Chinese temples leads Monarch to the high-altitude jungles of the Yunnan province. Dr. Emma Russell and her team follow a mysterious bio-acoustic signature to a previously undiscovered megalithic temple, within which lies a gigantic cocoon. A quickening heartbeat is detected inside.
2012 - Message in a Bottle: Days before retirement, Monarch veteran Houston Brooks receives an encrypted recorder bearing a message from his son. His unauthorized mission to Skull Island has resulted in the death of the whole crew (except himself) and revealed dramatic new information about Kong's origins, his role on the island and how Skull Island had evolved since his dad's "visit".
2014 - The Battle of San Francisco: The existence of giant superspecies is revealed to the world as Godzilla clashes with two M.U.T.O.s in the center of San Francisco, unleashing devastation upon the urban center. The world watches as Godzilla defends our world and restores balance to the natural order. The time has come for Monarch to step out of the shadows.
2015- Isla Nublar Incident II: With the creation of a hybrid dinosaur named the Indominus rex by the genetics company InGen for Masrani Global Corporation's theme park Jurassic World, the hybrid specimen breaks loose and proceeds to cause property damage and many deaths to both people and animals throughout the park.
2016 - Monster Zero: When Monarch discovers an extraordinary superspecies sealed beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, Dr. Vivienne Graham leads the effort to build a covert containment and research facility around the dormant creature. Her classified field notes contain a mysterious footnote: "The devil has three heads."

NOTE: I will be posting further details of a "Agents of MONARCH" campaign. So stay tuned!

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