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(unofficial, and mainly tongue-in-cheek)  As the co-leads of the Department of the Extra-Physical and Inconsistent-Logic Experimental Sciences (Ex-PhILES), David Mulder and Dana Anderson had the argument, or one much like it, a hundred times.

 

"There's no magic at all to Lemurian so-called techno-magic!  Take that, for example."  Anderson waved a hand at the crystallo lens on her desk.  "Just because current physics can't explain how the shape and composition of the lens exponentially increases the light going through it, doesn't mean there's not a perfectly valid scientific explanation behind it.  And once we figure that out, I'm sure we can find a way to mass-produce them.  Imagine a laser powered by a watch battery lighting a handful of LEDs, but using a lens like this to generate enough light energy to burn through armor plating!"

 

Mulder shook his head.  "It's always science and logic with you.  Stop trying to cram Clarke's Third Law down my throat.  The truth is out there!  Way out there!  And the sooner you accept that, the better!"

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(Unofficial)And talking about another word for silver...

 

In one of the various "Backworld" dimensions (dimensions where the heros are villains and vica versa) ARGENT is an illegal organization dedicated to the benefit of there fellow men, and to stop the continued conquest of the world by PRIMUS, UNTIL, the Eliminators, the Champions of Darkness, amoung others. They usaly work with the liberation groups VIPER, ANGLE, The Crowns Of Glories, Professor Preserver, Lifestroke, amoung others.

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Actually, someone I corresponded with on the Champions Online website had a really interesting concept for a backworld version of ARGENT. For those unfamiliar with that part of the setting, the current official Champions "backworld," officially called "Left-Handed Earth," is much more than a place where roles are reversed. To quote Book Of The Empress p. 133, "LE Earth is just like Champions Universe Earth -- but everything is the opposite of what it is on CU Earth. The average person is left-handed rather than right-handed. The same languages are used, but they're spoken backwards. In a few cases, genders even change. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Evil, cruelty, treachery, and injustice are regarded as virtues (or at least, ordinary behavior), while Justice, hope, and charity are sinful. On LE Earth, things that are good on CU Earth become bad or dangerous; things that are already bad or dangerous on CU Earth may become beneficial... or just get worse." As examples of that, Foxbat is a competent and outright murderous villain, not a buffoon who thinks he's in a comic book. Teleios wants to end disease and genetic disorders worldwide, but governments and pharmaceutical companies who exploit the sick try to stop him.

 

That CO player's suggestion for LE Earth's ARGENT was that it pretends to be another of the legion of ruthless, money-grubbing corporations on the planet... but secretly disseminates the benefits of science to the poor and oppressed free of charge to try to better their lives.

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Lord is right ARGENT wouldn't have a mystic department. It's not like their going to sell wands to DEMON. It would be in the special projects division with the alien spacecraft, time travel relics, and interdimensional portals.

 

ARGENT may have a department for the identifiable, weird, and un-classifiable stuff.  The fighting over trying to to research what the loot is and move it before the stuff kills you may be epic.   LOL  Most people would not want to be in the department.

 

The above raises an issue that needs to be kept in mind: ARGENT exists in a comic-book world. It's well known in certain circles on Champions Earth (and in the worlds of the mainstream comics companies) that there actually are alien spacecraft, time-travel relics, and interdimensional portals. In some cases a great many people have witnessed them in action, publicly and repeatedly. And on a world where such "weird science" is real and accepted, ARGENT is in the upper ranks of its development. This is a company that builds teleporters, anti-gravity transports, dimensional shunts and devolutionizer rays. Its classification of the scientific "fringe" is going to be hella smaller than in the real world. And what resources would be devoted to analyzing the few things remaining in that category would be directly proportional to the apparent likelihood of learning something profitably reproducible.

 

I tend to think that ARGENT's leadership accepts the existence of actual magic as separate from science, but views it much as Doctor Destroyer does: a force that can't be rationally analyzed or precisely predicted, therefore unreliable and dangerous to employ. Again, Lemurian sorcery resembles technology enough that further analysis would seem warranted.

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You know LL the argument could be made that even if they accept magic as real, I can't believe that a) they would accept the notion that is still couldn't be understood by science. B) if they are thst power hungry, to let a resource go without investigation.

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I agree with Ninja-Bear. They are not going to sell wands and cast spells, but they are not going to ignore a source of income which selling fake stuff to new agers would intitle. Also, if they could use magic to increase profit, they will.

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Yes, an argument could be made. An argument could also be made that Honda should get into pharmaceutical research, because there's money to be made manufacturing medications as well as cars. ;)   Like AIM which so many of you thought it was, ARGENT's focus and strength is advanced technology. In the CU the role of "evil occult organization" is amply filled by DEMON, the Circle of the Scarlet Moon, the several cults to the Dragon, and others. They all have more history, knowledge, and resources devoted to that than ARGENT would ever be able to compete with.

 

But ultimately I think this involves the theme and tone you want an organization to set in your campaign. IMO ARGENT's tech focus is a huge part of what makes it distinctive, what makes it memorable to PCs, and what also allows them to anticipate what they'll be dealing with. AIM doesn't steal the schtick of the Sons of Satannish. When you start mixing flavors you may like the taste, or just find that it dilutes what you like about each flavor. 4E DEMON attempted to mingle the magical and technological motifs. For my part, I found that marriage to be uneasy and awkward, and welcomed the all-magic focus of the 5E DEMON. But I've heard from other Champs players that they preferred that version.

 

For the official version of ARGENT, I really believe magic just doesn't fit with them thematically or stylistically. But if you want ARGENT to deal with magic in your own campaigns, it's not for me to tell you what would be fun for you. By all means, play what you enjoy. :)

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With all of the above being said, I'm aware that 5E DEMON does include Herr Doktor Pandemonium, one of DEMON's Inner Circle and leader of the "Black Scientists," who explore exactly that grey area between science and magic. FWIW I think Pandemonium is a very cool character, and his gimmicks are unique; but from my viewpoint he and the Black Scientists stick out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of DEMON.

 

Current official VIPER is also almost totally devoted to the pursuit of power through science, but does include a small faction of snake cultists and Serpent Mages. But at least those fit within the motif of the organization as a whole. As always, though, YMMV.

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I do like the idea of ARGENT's magic arm being both the laughing stock of the company and totally ineffected. So, why do they exist? Because, why not. Again, YMMV.

 

As for the tech vs magic angle, you forgot what ARGENT's true angle is. Profit at any cost. They are involved in the drug trade, human trafficking, human experimentation, among others. If they can see dollar signs in magic, they will go after it.

 

If you want them as evil scientist, that is fine. But the problem are that they are both evil scientist and evil businessmen.

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To be frank, "profit" is another of my issues with bringing in magic. ARGENT does science extremely well, and can assess whether a particular scientific project is likely to yield bankable results in the foreseeable future. Yet the history of the corporation is littered with experiments which failed at first, and consequently were scrapped, implicitly because they were ruled not worth the continuing expense. The idea of ARGENT's management allocating ongoing funding for something they have no expertise in, and which no one else is known to be making money from, on the vague hope that they might possibly discover something they can work with at some undefined point in the future, sounds like bad business. That would be my reply to the question, "Why not?"

 

Let's also be clear, there's absolutely no suggestion in any of the material about ARGENT that it's involved in the drug trade. Nor in gambling, smuggling, human trafficking (aside from obtaining experimental subjects), or many other classic criminal activities. ARGENT does not pursue every possible avenue for getting money. Its mission statement is clearly to be a scientific research, consultation, and manufacturing corporation; just a totally amoral one.

 

Now if you want to change ARGENT's priorities and methods for your campaign because that would better suit your purposes, you absolutely should go for it. I just recommend thinking of what you're changing, and why, and how that will affect how everything else fits together.

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Excaliber & M.I. 13's Secret Invasion. The Skrulls used advanced technology to control and counter magic without ever creating there own.

 

Something they'd never been shown to be able to do before; but this was a change to serve a particular story. My opinion of the Secret Invasion storyline is not a subject for this thread. :)

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No more magic talk. What else can we speak of about ARGENT till the cows come home?

 

Ah, the branches of science they ARE working in.

 

Cybernetics: This is a given seeing how Interface use to be an agent of the group, till bad blood drove a wedge between them.

 

Bio-Science: In my write-up of Megacrusher, they were responsible for his eyesore of a costume and Power Transfer Gauntlets. Since I gave the explanation of the gauntlets and costume tapping into his bio-electrical field, this is probably the science at work on that.

 

Energy Studies: Where else could Beamline come from?

 

Any more?

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Doktor Pandemonium and his branch fit within DEMON because, despite the name, 5e's DEMON isn't a bunch of Satanists or other traditional occultists. The organization uses such people, but at its heart lurk the Kings of Edom, who break categories. They are madness, Things That Should Not Be. The Black Scientists use the forms of science, but they too are category-breakers. They *might* be Wild Talent mystics... but even that might be just an attempt to tame the underlying madness with a bland and comforting label.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Let's also be clear, there's absolutely no suggestion in any of the material about ARGENT that it's involved in the drug trade.

 

 

 

I would consider it quite likely that they would be involved in developing and producing super drugs and other designer drugs.

 

If they could monopolize such products, they would no doubt attempt to do so.

 

Running meth labs, on the other hand, would mainly be beneath them, unless they needed a quick injection of money fast. Such labs might be unusually efficient.

 

A more typical level of involvement in the drug trade would be selling submarines/submersibles to drug smugglers.

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Also fwiw LL im thinking.that if Argent did have a magic branch, it would be small and maybe not. effective.

 

Which doesn't make it sound very profitable.

 

But I've said my piece. I intended this stuff as a springboard, not a straitjacket. :)

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