View Full Version : PCs as Secret Police

2013-09-12, 01:29 AM
I'm creating a more-or-less evil-friendly campaign where the PCs are taken from prison dungeons and are made to be like DC Comic's Suicide Squad: perform a number of missions and they are released. Eventually, their master will send them to quash a slave rebellion. Depending on how they handle that mission, their master may give them increased freedom to enforce his will - that of secret police.

While this campaign is fairly railed (though their methods of completing their missions are entirely up to them), I think the ability to become secret police may provide some stretching room.

What would be some ways to use secret police as protagonists in a game?

2013-09-12, 02:55 AM
Off the top of my head:
- Stop terrorists attacks/plots
- Investigate/infiltrate a revolution group
- Kidnap or "disappear" political enemies or corrupt government officials
- Uncover a secret plot that replaces government officials with doubles... (cliche I know)
- Assassinate a foreign diplomat, frame rebels for the kill

2013-09-12, 03:04 AM
Cyber oedu anime series bet I got the name wrong but I think the anime series where three long serving criminals have control collars put on and are sent out to solve crimes is something like what you're talking about.

The trio included an Elvis Presley lookalike a bishonen and a I think bald or mohawk cybercriminal, thought it was worth mentioning!

2013-09-12, 07:49 AM
Recover a powerful magic artifact that the rebels want to use. Find kill the prophesied chosen one as a child before he is old enough to overthrow the government. If no such thing exists, plant a false story in the population about such a child, so the rebels will waste time looking for it. If you are wondering if that that's inspired by the Evil Overlord List, and depending on how clever you want the NPCs in charge to be, one can get a lot from that list.

Dr. Yes
2013-09-12, 09:23 AM
Be aware that your players will probably/definitely try to join the uprising given half a chance.

2013-09-12, 10:20 AM
I ran a somewhat similar campaign once, with the PC's as inquisitors.
As Secret Police, the Pc's theoretically have considerable power, since Secret Police usually means "accountable only to their superiors".

One thing I did was keep two Scores: A Cover score and a Loyalty score.

The Cover Score reflects how much their enemies know about this band of secret police. What they know about their appearances, abilities, identities, and location. The Cover score goes down as the PC's do flashy things like launch frontal assaults or wave around their badges. As it goes down, the enemy begins to recognize them, prepare for them, and eventually send assassins and lay ambushes for them.

The Loyalty score represents how much the PC's masters trust them. Going "Off Book" reduces this score, meaning that the PC's gradually lose access to resources and support. Finally they get disowned, and other Secret police are sent to bring them in.

2013-09-12, 12:03 PM
The Cover / Loyalty Scores are awesome ideas. And I'll definitely be consulting the evil overlord list as plot hooks. Thanks Playgrounders!

Mr Beer
2013-09-12, 02:55 PM
Sounds like an ideal campaign to throw plenty of moral ambiguity at the players, I don't think I could resist having at least one doe-eyed child gazing sorrowfully at the party and asking why they're taking her Daddy away (while eyeballing the players who actually have children, he he he).

2013-09-14, 03:09 PM
The PCs could have been fitted with cranial explosives, so that the secret police can pop their heads if they start acting too suspiciously. It gives them a strong incentive not to immediately disregard their boss.

Also means that the PCs can only truly rebel if they do it "quietly" (so the boss either doesn't notice, or thinks they're more useful alive than dead), or if they get another faction to disable/remove it for them.

Bastian Weaver
2013-09-14, 03:52 PM
Send them - secretly - against one of the Master's official allies or his own masters. What fun is having Secret Police if you can't use it for your own sinister agenda?