Sunday, September 11, 2016

There is a strange agency at work in the city

 
What strange lords and ladies might wander these streets. Art By: Quique Alcatena

Boxed in, trapped, conscripted, and isolated defines Works Agents. One day normal, next day badged and in 'training', no memory of the between time. Made to love the city, they become its servants, its agents of control. Agents to keep the city safe from the truth, safe from things that may cause populations to know. The City Works Agency, hated by neighborhood states and their constables, their authority trumps all others. Everyone knows what happened to City Cell 7, we all know that it wasn't snow covering those buildings. Learn the truth, and end up like them. What truth? Why, the best kind dear reader, the kind that makes YOU powerful.
- Peculiar Author

Encyclopedia Infinica No. 2 – City Works Agents
City Works Agents protect the city from threats both internal and external, working with local governments to ensure peace and cooperation across our city.

Each agent is given special privileges and responsibilities in order to keep our city in tip-top shape. It is an honor to be chosen as a City Agent, and everyone from age 13 until death can be chosen by the Agency.

Worry not citizen, it is only a wholesome City Works Agent going about his business. Art By: Harry Clarke

Below are some of the many exciting opportunities that wait for a lucky individual to be chosen for:

Sanitation Agent Exterminators – P.A.
Transportation Agent Mess with the trains, and you'll encounter these folks – P.A.
Cooperation Agent They threaten neighborhood states with awful things to ensure the cooperation of said states – P.A.
----- Agent They were created after the Dreamtime Revolt, and started the Storyteller Wars – P.A.
Financial Agent They ensure that economies are stable and counterfeiters disappear – P.A.
Technologies Agent Ever wonder why innovation is so slow in the city and the rest of the world? They are why – P.A.

Those who do not meet their final training exams for Agent status are still kept in the employ of the city. These individuals are referred to as Assets, and are a part of every City Works Agency department save for the Department of -----.
They return home without memory of where they were and how they acquired all their 'skills'. - P.A.

A 'photograph' of an Agent from Publedina's prohibited 'Camera' invention.

The Department of ----- has a very special purpose and should not be investigated too closely, otherwise ----- might happen again. We don't want that, do we citizen?
Can't see the word '-----' can you? Don't worry no one can. Its there, you just can't 'see' it. - P.A.

REMEMBER CITIZEN: While Assets may dress is specialized uniforms, Agents dress like you or I. It is always a wise course of action to treat all citizens you meet with respect, you never know if you might be talking to a courageous Agent.
You'll know by their dead eyes, monotone voices, and all that awful buzzing. - P.A.

Agents live in special city cells that normal citizens do not have access to. These special places give our fine Agents a place to relax without having to worry about protecting non-Agents.
No one knows what these places are like, even those people who escape them to become 'rogue'. Somehow escaping causes people to lose their memory of the place. - P.A.

An illegal depiction an event during the Storyteller Wars. Art By: Pieter Bruegel

Agency Cells provide everything an Agent could ever need. Assets are allowed to live in the same city cells as normal citizens, and rejoin their communities after they finish their training.
They just can't remember where the have been, and how they came to have certain skill sets. - P.A.

Assets can live next door to any citizen, and go to work just like you or I, citizen.
The difference between you and them? They can't remember what they did at work that day, or why they always have different amounts of money in their pockets at the end of their day. - P.A.

The badge of an official Agent.

Now, for an interview with one of our city's courageous Agents.

City Works Agent
Description
They could be anyone: an elderly man, a comely young woman, a teenaged boy, or matronly woman. They could dress like anyone: rags, finery, oil stained overall, or ball gown. Always embedded on their left hand (or their breast in the case of female Gamayun) is an inverted golden five pointed star badge, the badge emblazoned with a bee and an eye. Voices a monotone, with an almost imperceptible buzzing of insect wings marking their presence. Any race, any ethnicity, they are pulled from the masses but are placed above them in authority.

An Agent can appear from any doorway, step out from around any corner. They speak with a monotone, their eyes dull and seem to stare through any individual they may be 'looking' at.

They work for the city itself, surpassing any level of authority an individual city state would present. Their purposes are as varied as the appearances of the agents themselves: appearing to let a citizen know that they really didn't see a door appear from nowhere to disgorge a strange man in a hurry, or perhaps to ask a citizen a series of questions about a recent invention they have created, only to take said invention with them whether the inventor consents or not.

It is best to give them what they want, otherwise more might show up to take the unwilling target away for 'further interrogation'.

A female City Works Agent.

OSR / AD&D / LotFP
Type: Humanoid
Activity Cycle: Whenever duty calls.
Diet: Normal.
Intelligence: Normal to Intelligent (Int: 10 - 13).
Treasure: None
Alignment: Lawful (Neutral)
No. Appearing: 1D3
Armor Class: 18 / 2 (They possess the immovability of the City Works Agency.)
Movement: 30 ft. Ground / 60 ft. Flight
Hit Dice: 5
To-Hit: +5
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage: 1D6 + Poison (Sting)
Special Attacks:
Sleep – This ability functions exactly like the Sleep spell, save that the Agent needs a free hand wave before the target's eyes and the target must be able to hear the soporific buzzing the Agent emits from their open mouth. The agent may use this ability at will, but anyone who makes their save versus spell is immune to the ability for the next 24 hours. The duration of this ability is 20 minutes.

Sting – A large stinger emerges from between the Agent's middle two knuckles. The stinger appears to be a smooth 8 inch (20.32 cm) spike of chitin, though once in a target the tip becomes barbed and detaches from the Agent's hand. It still has a long string of viscera attaching it to the Agent's hand. After a successful attack, and each round the stinger is embedded in the target, the target must make a save versus Poison or take an additional 1D4 points of damage. The stinger can be ripped from the target's body for an additional 1D4+1 points of damage either by the Agent or anyone else. The target may move up to 20 feet away from the Agent before the viscera ends, and the stinger is ripped from the target's body. While the stinger is embedded in someone, the Agent is unable to use said stinger on other targets.

Memory Holes – An Agent may cause individuals to forget any interaction with the Agent that lasted less than 15 minutes. This ability functions as the spell Forget, save that the targets must be able to hear the strange buzzing the Agent produces when they open their mouth. Agents may use this ability at will. Anyone who successfully makes their save versus magic against the ability becomes immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Release Swarm of Kin – An agent may release a swarm of bees to assist them in terminating a target. The bees emerge from hexagonal holes that open in the Agent's arms, hands, neck, and face. This swarm has ½ of the Agent's maximum hit-points, and only take a single point of damage from attacks made by hand weapons. However, damage done by magical spells and effects, as well as any attack that has an area of effect, does full damage. Attacks on the swarm only require that the attacker does not roll a 1 on their to-hit roll. The swarm occupies a 10'x10' square. Anyone within the square during the Agent's turn automatically takes 3 points of damage. The Agent may only use this ability once per day.
Special Defenses:
Sprout Wings – The Agent may sprout insect wings and fly at a base speed of 60 feet.

All Doors Lead to Home – An Agent may use any unlocked door to teleport back to City Works Agency Headquarters.

Special Weakness: While in areas of thick smoke, the Agent must make a save versus poison at the beginning of their turn. If they succeed at their save, they take a -1 penalty to all rolls until they leave the smoke. If they fail, falls into a coma like sleep that they only awake from when the smoke is no longer present or if they take damage. On taking damage, they immediately awaken and may make another save with the same results for a failed or successful save.
Magic Resistance: 15%
Size: Medium (5' to 6' tall)
All Saves: 12

The City Works Agency is always watching... For your safety.
 
Into the Odd
Str 10, Dex 10, Wil 12, 7 hp. Armor: 1
Driven to fulfill their strange mission and maintain order in the Infinite City.
Attacks with Stinger (D4).
Sleep – The Agent needs a free hand wave before the target's eyes and the target must be able to hear the soporific buzzing the Agent emits from their open mouth. A target must make a successful Will save or immediate lays down to go into a deep sleep. Only taking damage will wake the target from their sleep, they will wake on their own after 20 minutes of rest. The agent may use this ability at will, but anyone who makes their Will save is immune to the ability for the next 24 hours.

Sting – A large stinger emerges from between the Agent's middle two knuckles. The stinger appears to be a smooth 8 inch (20.32 cm) spike of chitin, though once in a target the tip becomes barbed and detaches from the Agent's hand. It still has a long string of viscera attaching it to the Agent's hand. After a successful attack, and each round the stinger is embedded in the target, the target must make a Strength or take an additional 1D3 points of damage (ignoring armor). The stinger can be ripped from the target's body for an additional 1D3+1 points of damage either by the Agent or anyone else. The target may move up to 20 feet away from the Agent before the viscera ends, and the stinger is ripped from the target's body. While the stinger is embedded in someone, the Agent is unable to use said stinger on other targets.

Memory Holes – An Agent may cause individuals to forget any interaction with the Agent that lasted less than 15 minutes. Targets must be able to hear the strange buzzing the Agent produces when they open their mouth, after which they must make a Will save. Agents may use this ability at will. Anyone who successfully makes their save versus magic against the ability becomes immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Sprout Wings – The Agent may sprout insect wings and fly at twice the speed of a human on foot.

All Doors Lead to Home – An Agent may use any unlocked door to teleport back to City Works Agency Headquarters.

Release Swarm of Kin – An agent may release a swarm of bees to assist them in terminating a target. The bees emerge from hexagonal holes that open in the Agent's arms, hands, neck, and face. This swarm has 4 hit-points, and only take a single point of damage from attacks made by hand weapons. However, any attack that has an area of effect does full damage. The swarm occupies a 10'x10' square. Anyone within the square during the Agent's turn automatically takes 3 points of damage. The Agent may only use this ability once per day.

Special Weakness: While in areas of thick smoke, the Agent must make a save versus poison at the beginning of their turn. If they succeed at their save, they take a -1 penalty to all rolls until they leave the smoke. If they fail, falls into a coma like sleep that they only awake from when the smoke is no longer present or if they take damage. On taking damage, they immediately awaken and may make another save with the same results for a failed or successful save.

The left hand is the correct hand, citizen.

REMEMBER CITIZEN!: It is an unfounded rumor that there are 'Rogue Agents'. All City Works Agents are dedicated to their work as well as serving the City, and would never shirk their responsibilities to the City. However if you do see an individual with a gold star emblazoned with a wasp and a hand embedded into the back of someone's right hand, immediately report such sighting to your local constable. Your neighborhood constables know how to contact the City Works Agency. Disseminating rumors about 'Rogue Agents' is a violation of Chapter 7 – Article IV – Section 2.3: It is prohibited to purposely disseminate false information about the City Works Agency. Violation of said law can result in immediate imprisonment for an indefinite period of time. 

The badge of a Rogue Agent. Remember citizen, these aren't real. But if you see one, tell a constable.
 
Rogue Agent – A Playable Class
Can't remember why you woke up in an alley? Don't remember much after being 'chosen' to be an Agent? Don't remember where you have been? Don't know what that gold star is embedded on the back of your right hand? Why a hand? Why a wasp? Everyone has the same questions, and sadly there aren't many answers for you. Just keep moving and stay away from other Agents. - P.A.

Being a Rogue Agent means being without memory of being a part of the City Works Agency or what was done there. Rogue Agents are called, and call themselves, Wasps due to the picture on their badge and because the majority of wasps are solitary as compared to the Active Agents who are called Bees.

Rogue Agents draw their powers from the badge embedded in their right hand. As to how the badge was switched from their left (as all Active Agents) to their right, no one has memories of. While Rogue Agents are usually former Active Agents there are rumors that it is possible for a Rogue Agent to bestow their badge to a close relative at the time of the Agent's death.

An Agent considering her new life. Art By: Kay Nielsen

The badge, while appearing to be made of metal, it is actually a part of the person bearing it. A fine tracery of veins can be seen radiating from the badge into the Agent's hand.

Rogue Agents appear to have the same abilities as Active Agents, though to a lesser degree. In their breaking from the City Works Agency they must have lost a portion, or a partial source, of their previous power. As they gain levels, they regain their previous abilities as well as acquire new ones.

OSR / AD&D / LotFP
Hit-Dice: D8 (+2 HP per level at level 10+)
THAC0 / To-Hit Progression: As a Thief
Saves: As Fighters
Experience Levels: As Priest
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: As Rogues and Firearms
OSR/ AD&D Skill Proficiencies: As Rogues
LotFP Skills: As non-Specialist characters
OSR / AD&D Initial Character Funds: 2D6 x 10 gp
LotFP Initial Character Funds: 3D6 x 10 sp
Special Weakness: While in areas of thick smoke, the Agent must make a save versus poison at the beginning of their turn. If they succeed at their save, they take a -1 penalty to all rolls until they leave the smoke. If they fail, falls into a coma like sleep that they only awake from when the smoke is no longer present or if they take damage. On taking damage, they immediately awaken and may make another save with the same results for a failed or successful save.
Abilities:
Starting Abilities
Sleep – This ability functions exactly like the Sleep spell, save that the Agent needs a free hand wave before the target's eyes and the target must be able to hear the soporific buzzing the Agent emits from their open mouth. Anyone who makes their save versus spell is immune to the ability for the next 24 hours. A character may use this ability a number of times per day equal ½ their level rounded up. Caster level for the spell is equal to the character's Rogue Agent level.

Memory Holes – An Agent may cause individuals to forget short periods of time. This ability functions as the spell Forget, save that the targets must be able to hear the strange buzzing the Agent produces when they open their mouth. A character may use this ability a number of times per day equal ½ their level rounded up. Caster level for the spell is equal to the character's Rogue Agent level.

Even a Queen could be Rogue Agent. Art By: Edwin Austin Abbey

Stinger – A large stinger emerges from between the Agent's middle two knuckles. The stinger appears to be a smooth 8 inch (20.32 cm) spike of chitin. The spike does 1D6 points of damage. Unlike Active Agents, these stingers do not inject poison. A Rogue Agent may have a stinger extended from each hand at once. While the stinger is extended, the Active Agent is unable to use the hand the stinger is extended from. At level 4, the stinger gains a +1 enhancement bonus to-hit and damage, and is able to bypass damage reduction requiring a +1 weapon. This bonus increases every 3 levels after the 4th, with the stinger being able to bypass damage reduction equal to its current enhancement bonus.

Level Up Abilities
On the odd levels, starting at level 3 and every odd level there after (e.g. 5, 7, 9, etc...), the character gains a new ability from the list below.

Sprout Wings – The Agent may sprout insect wings and fly at twice the speed the character's base land speed. The character is capable of hovering while in flight.

Projectile Stinger – By extending their right arm and using their left hand to brace the right forearm, the character may fire their stinger at a target. Anything that would improve the base damage of the melee stinger, also improves the damage of the projectile stinger. The character is able to use this attack the same number of times in a round as they would with throwing knives. This ability also benefits from the enhancement bonuses the stinger receives at levels 4+.
Damage: 1D6
Range -
Short: 25 Feet / 7.62 Meters
Medium: 50 Feet / 15.24 Meters
Long: 100 Feet / 30.48 Meters
Notes: Due to the speed and power of this ability, targets wearing armor of any kind are at a +/- 3 penalty to AC.

Vicious Stinger – This ability improves the damage of the stinger by 1 die type (e.g. 1D6 becomes 1D8). This ability may only be chosen a maximum of 2 times.

Poisonous Stinger – When a target takes damage from the stinger the target must make a save versus Poison or take an additional 1D4 points of damage. In case of the projectile stinger, the poison does 1D3 points of damage instead of 1D4. This ability may be taken two additional times, each time improving the damage die type by 1. (e.g. 1D4 becomes 1D6).

Release Swarm of Kin – An agent may release a swarm of wasps to assist them in terminating a target. The wasps emerge from hexagonal holes that open in the Agent's arms, hands, neck, and face. This swarm has ½ of the Agent's maximum hit-points, and only take a single point of damage from attacks made by hand weapons. However, damage done by magical spells and effects, as well as any attack that has an area of effect, does full damage. Attacks on the swarm only require that the attacker does not roll a 1 on their to-hit roll. The swarm occupies a 10'x10' square. Anyone within the square during the Agent's turn automatically takes ½ the Agent's level (rounded up) in damage. The Agent may only use this ability once per day at second level and an additional time per day every 5 levels there after. (e.g. 7, 12, 17, etc...). These wasps bypass the same level of damage reduction as the stinger of the character who 'summoned' them.

Ichor Armor – The character may cut themselves, doing at least 2 points of damage, or after taking 2 or more points of damage from a piercing or slashing weapon, and allow their blood to coagulate into plates of armor. This blood/ichor armor requires 1 full round to dry, after which it improves the character's AC by +/- 4. The character's AC is improved by an addition +/- 1 for every 3 levels beyond the 2nd. (e.g. 5, 8, 11, etc...). This ability lasts for 5 rounds for every Rogue Agent level the character possesses.

A pair of Rogue Agents moving through the city. Art By: Anton Pieck

Pulvilli – The character can grow adhesive patches on their skin as well as gripping hairs at will allowing them to climb any surface as if they were under the effects of a Spider Climb spell. In order to climb using more than just their hands, the character may need to expose a greater area of skin or take off their footwear.

Excruciating Sting – The character may cause their sting to become especially painful. On a successful to-hit roll, the character may decide to make the sting incredibly painful rather than doing damage. If this ability is used, the target must make a save versus Paralyze. On a successful save, the target suffers no ill effects from the sting. On a failed save, the target takes a -4 to all to-hit and damage rolls using physical weapons, furthermore they take a +/- 4 penalty to their AC. This pain lasts for a number rounds equal to the character's Rogue Agent level. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to ½ the character's level rounded up.

The right hand, is the best hand.

Wasp Strength – The character's carrying capacity is doubled when determining encumbrance.

Larval Sting – A parasitic larva is introduced into the target after a successful strike using the character's stinger. The larva is imbedded into the target's flesh causing an addition 1 point of damage each round until the target takes a full round to dig it out, doing an addition point of damage to themselves in the process. The character must decide to use this ability before rolling to-hit, with a failed to-hit roll resulting in a waste of a use of this ability. A character may use this ability a number of times per day equal to ½ their character level rounded up. A single target may have multiple larva imbedded in them at once.