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Lord Liaden

The Full Scope of ARGENT

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(Unofficial) Since I started researching ARGENT, I've been thinking about defining what the various Departments in the organization might be, and how ARGENT's unique nature would influence how they would function and what they'd emphasize.

 

We previously brought up the Research and Development Department. This is probably the largest segment of ARGENT, and could have as many specific science-related Divisions as you can think of.Given their history I would expect Cybernetics and Bionics divisions to be quite sizeable.

 

As mentioned earlier, the official Military Sales and Services Division would logically fit in the Marketing Department. Since business with superhumans is repeatedly brought up as a significant market for ARGENT, I would expect it to also have a Superhuman Sales and Services Division. The Public Relations Division of Marketing would be less about presenting a positive public image, than about concealing ARGENT's true activities, and probably smearing the reputations of any heroes who interfere in ARGENT's affairs.

 

I would include a Security and Intelligence Department, with a Physical Security Division for systems at installations, and a Division for Soldiers, as well as Cyber-Security and Cyber-Espionage Divisions (protecting ARGENT from hacking while engaging in their own cyber-infiltration). Maybe an Infiltration Division of corporate spies, and informers among their rivals.

 

The Human Resources Department would not only recruit employees and see to their welfare (a happy criminal is a productive criminal), but screen personnel in ARGENT's front companies for the right temperament and motivation to be inducted into the true corporation. Human Resources would likely also be the vehicle for "subcontracting" manpower from other criminal groups like VIPER and mercenary supervillains. They could also be responsible for acquiring the many human subjects ARGENT experiments on. I could even see Human Resources functioning as a kind of internal secret police, monitoring employees' loyalty as well as their productivity.

 

I would put a Director at the head of each of these major Departments, probably serving on the Board. I think the average secret ARGENT base would be headed by a Group Leader.

 

Feel free to add, clarify, question or suggest changes to any of the above.

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(Unofficial)The Department of Inhuman Resources exists within ARGENT to market ARGENT created superbeings to the underworld. They have acquired and created many a villain, and they consider them a resource to be exported (and to make a profit).

 

Some notable Inhuman Resources "products":

 

* Wyvren.

* Griffin.

* Hideous: Ron Jones, a security worker and struggling actor who got into an accident in an ARGENT warehouse when superheroes raided it while he was illegality firming a low budget horror movie on the premises. Now he believes himself to be a real life horror movie "hero".

* Powerhouse: A janitor at a collage who had a shard of kelvite lodged in his skull, giving him great strength and durability, and the ability to fly. Unforcently, removing the shard is impossible and will, over time, kill him.

* Beamline: When his powers emurge he will split his time between being the head of the Department of Energy Resources and a member of this group (and hating it, since he is surrounded by mussel headed jocks).

* Plasmaroid falls under this department untill Beamline can mass produce it.

* Punchdrunk is a mutant boxer who uses a modified power transfer gauntlets (see Megacrusher), but with a twist...drain only, and upon impact.

*Tech Lords are a group of teenage science related supervillains designed to counteract Nova.

 

(I'll add more when I think of them).

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(unofficial)The Department of Mystical Research exists to apply the scientific method to magic. This department is not rather large, but operates with both weird science and out and out magic books and wands.

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I have to say, that last one I would have a problem with as a GM. It seems really far outside ARGENT's style and focus. It's also not the kind of thing that would appear likely to generate a profit for the foreseeable future.

I admit I was gasping at straws for the last one. But I do think that a extremely small section of ARGENT could be intrested in the more 'scientific' sections of magic (alchemisty, tecnomancy). The other sections make fun of them, and there budget is extremely tiny, and the department is constantly on the verge of being cut. But it exists (for as long as the others can stand that they exist and they can wrangle some profit off of new age wannabe wizards).

 

It is also good for a few chuckles. See Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 for what could be "science/magic" with the Deathbusters.

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(unofficial) Professor Shiniro Takata is the head of the Department of Mystical Research. He is extremely interested in alchemical research and techomancy. Unforcently they are sequestered in an extremely dark subbasement, extremely underbudgeted, and made fun of by the other branches. Any "results" of the department is quickly watered down to non-mystical means and sold to subcompanies as new age non-magic.

 

Unbenounced to the other departments, the Professor was contacted by an extra-dimentinal being who is slowly teaching him how to create 'soul eggs' which when infused into an object changes the object into a monster. Once he has enough soul eggs, he plans on using them to prove to the others that they shouldn't be laffed at any more.

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(Unofficial)There are times when the underworld has to have some item and can not go through any of ARGENT's shell companies. This is where ARGENT Salespeople come in. Dressed in a three piece sute, dark sunglasses, and a briefcase, the only evidence that he is not a typical business person is the time of day and neighborhood he worked in.

 

ARGENT Salespeople are heavily armed and armored. There briefcase contains a portal to an ARGENT warehouse and a 3d printer. They usally work solo, but tend to be on great terms with various gane bangers. And he can hold his own with most street level solo heros.

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Also, a collation like this is useful even for GMs like me who don't use the CU, just as an outline of what their setting's Big Evil Corporation could be like. I've never used VIPER either, but Bennie and Christiansen's VIPER sourcebook is still one of my favorite Champions supplements.

 

Dean Shomshak

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sure, they are not going to sell wands to DEMON. And they are not going to use and/or investgate THAT type of magic. But remember Clark's Law (advance science enough and it seems like magic). Chemistry came from Alchemisty. Modern engendering came from building "infernal machines" and "weird science".

 

But that is enough defending what is, to ARGENT management simply a con job to con money from the gullibul and those who are delusional.

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The Clarke's Law analogy is actually a fair one. ARGENT wants observers in Lemuria to study Lemurian mechano-mysticism, because they're convinced it's a type of science that is not yet rationally understood. Then again, Lemurian magic has a nearly technological motif that would make that an easy assumption. Most magic bears no resemblance to any known science.

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Also, a collation like this is useful even for GMs like me who don't use the CU, just as an outline of what their setting's Big Evil Corporation could be like. I've never used VIPER either, but Bennie and Christiansen's VIPER sourcebook is still one of my favorite Champions supplements.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

That's really what I was hoping the reaction to this thread would be. The info is CU-based by default, but much of it could be translated to most comic-inspired campaigns without great change, like the published Champions sourcebooks. It could also hopefully spark GM and player ideas for how to use a group like this that might not have occurred to them; or maybe provide elements that could be grafted onto their own villainous orgs.

 

And yes indeed, I love the 4E VIPER book myself. My own uses of VIPER have blended elements from the 4E and 5E versions.

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The Human Resources Department would not only recruit employees and see to their welfare (a happy criminal is a productive criminal), but screen personnel in ARGENT's front companies for the right temperament and motivation to be inducted into the true corporation. Human Resources would likely also be the vehicle for "subcontracting" manpower from other criminal groups like VIPER and mercenary supervillains. They could also be responsible for acquiring the many human subjects ARGENT experiments on. I could even see Human Resources functioning as a kind of internal secret police, monitoring employees' loyalty as well as their productivity.

 

 

I've actually worked for a company that had a Human Resources Dept. that was very much the 'Secret Police' i.e. monitoring web activity, actually enforcing a dress code, etc. so you're analogy rings true.  I could see unsuccessful ARGENT employees becoming lab rats as punishment.

Referencing my earlier mention of ominous threats... 

 

"I'm afraid you've made too many mistakes, Director So-and-so.  Human Resources has been notified.  Expect your reassignment to be...unpleasant."

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This is fascinating.

 

I always picture ARGENT as the latest incarnation of a series of older sinister scientific cabals stretching back at least to the Victorian period if not earlier.

 

My UK version was the worshipful company of silversmiths (steam punk villains attempting to overthrow the establishment to create a rational technocrats society or at least that's the excuse for human experimentation on the lower orders)

 

I imagine them getting broken up by agents of the crown with a splinter group fleeing to the lawless western States of America.

 

Following an infiltration into the Manhattan project and some operation paperclip based recruiting they come out into the open as silicon Valley is exploding.

 

Eventually with all the new found corporate money they initiate a hostile takeover of the older European organizations.

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This is fascinating.

 

I always picture ARGENT as the latest incarnation of a series of older sinister scientific cabals stretching back at least to the Victorian period if not earlier.

.

 

Glad you found it interesting. :)  FWIW the current official incarnation of VIPER has a comparable venerable history and similar focus to what you describe, essentially filling that role in the setting.

 

I think of ARGENT as presented in the books as a true product of the modern era, as it combines the worst excesses of empirical rationalism (human beings must be sacrificed for the true seekers of knowledge) and capitalism (human beings are to be exploited for profit by the strong and smart), with the most heartless efficiency of automated industrialism. ARGENT exists to build a better future, but only for ARGENT. The rest of the human race doesn't even rate consideration.

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(Unofficial)Branches of magic ARGENT might be intrested in.

 

Alchemisty: The mystical forefather of the science Chemistry.

 

Numbermancy: By using mathmatical equasions, manipulate the universe.

 

Techomancy: By using boxes of metal, tubes, steam, and the elements, build things which manipulate the universe in spite of the fact that, scientifically speaking, it should not.

 

Crystalmancy: Using crystals and "vibrations" to manipulate the universe.

 

Geomancy: Using the position of things to manipulate the universe.

 

Again, the belief is that magic is a lost science. Reality might just prove them wrong.

 

While the main branch is focused upon Lemurian techno-magic, the Department of Magical Research is focused haphazardly upon the other more "scientific" branches, and getting almost no results (except for providing not so genteel teasing and providing not magical results they can sell to new agers and the like).

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(Unofficial) From the magical to the more mundain, lets look at some more acceptable hooks of ARGENT.

 

Tech Lords are a group of science minded teenage supervillains brought together and sponcered by in secret ARGENT in order to counteract Nova. (since I don't own Teen Champions, I can't even speculate on the individual members).

 

Punchdrunk is a former boxer and current mutant similar enough to Crusher/Power Crusher/Megacrusher that they decided to test there tweaked out power transfer gauntlets upon. Finding that his bio-electrical field was different enough that he could only assess the draining portion of the gauntlets, they were then redesigned as hi-tech boxing gloves which punch the strength or smarts right out of you. He became a member of the Department of Inhuman Resources.

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ARGENT's Legal Department probably won't be as focused on mundane contract law, case settlements, and the like, as would be that of a more legitimate corporation (although I'm sure their front companies would still require such services). I see Legal's job as more hiding the connections between ARGENT and its fronts; creating layers of plausible deniability between ARGENT management and any illegal activities; forging licenses and permits; falsifying environmental impact reports;  building portfolios of blackmail evidence (real or not) against public officials, or interfering heroes; creating false trails of evidence leading to scapegoats for their crimes, or implicating opponents they want to remove.

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