The Cypher System rulebook comes with several genre options; one of these is the Superhero genre, which is fairly well-enabled for handling the wide range of such games. This post is the first entry of the Cypher Supers series, which will go through and present a setting for use with the system.
Operation Enigma is an obscure conspiracy theory, little known to most people other than as a bad explanation for otherwise unrelated events. While they seem to be in the same nebulous realm of existence as the Illuminati, they’re dangerously real, and they have an agenda that puts the entire world at risk.
Founded by a pair of siblings in the late 20th century, the Operation – originally called the Enigma Club – was little more than a gathering for people interested in the point where the paranormal and the scientific blended together at first. It wasn’t until the Internet became solidly enmeshed in daily life that the group found their niche when they decided to try combining a ritual to summon an extradimensional being with an obsolete computer.
The result was a computer infused with the mind of something from Outside, which quickly opened the way for the group to refine their approach and develop a fusion of technology and the Dark Arts that has seen them to their current level of power behind the scenes. This technomagic fusion is the primary reason that the true number of Enigma members unknown, with estimates from as few as a dozen to as many as thousands; the minions they create can often pass for human, while the elite are said to have found a technique to transfer their minds to new bodies as often as necessary.
Today, local cells of Enigma agents can be found in nearly every major city around the world, operating behind fronts that serve as charity groups and religious organizations. While their endgame is uncertain, those aware of them have noted that they seem to be aiming to push for a world-wide unified high-speed wireless network wherever they’re found.
When first encountered, Enigma Agents look a great deal like Men in Black, with sunglasses, black suits, and impassive facial features. They’re extremely good at maintaining this facade, and quite a few of Operation Enigma’s activities have been attributed to other groups by this deception. One of the few tells that the Agents have is a quiet hum that can only be heard when an area is sufficiently quiet.
When confronted or sufficiently harmed, their actual appearance is revealed – a freakishly tall and thing humanoid with lobster-red skin interlocked with a variety of sleek machines, all humming as lights blink and flash across their readouts. Enigma Agents fill out the general ranks of any operation by the group, and occasionally a defeated and deactivated Agent will be revealed to bear some alarming similarity to someone that has gone missing recently.
When deactivated, an Agent begins to liquefy in a matter of minutes, the organic parts turning into a powerful acid while the machinery overheats and melts; little is usually left of them other than a mysterious stain and some chemical corrosion on the ground.
Motive: To advance and defend the interests of Project Enigma
Damage Inflicted: 3 while disguised, 5 when unveiled
Modifications: All tasks related to computer technology or magic as a level 5; deception to seem human as a level 6
Combat: As long as their nature hasn’t been revealed, Enigma Agents fight as skilled humans, using ordinary handguns, batons, and brass knuckles as appropriate. They’ll maintain this facade for as long as possible, making it useful for anyone dealing with them to try to avoid making them break identity. If pushed to 4 Health or lower, or if they realize their opponent knows their identity, they unveil themselves, a process where their human body melts away to reveal a vaguely humanoid shape of scarlet flesh and sleek mechanical parts. In this mode, they discard any human weaponry, relying on inbuilt tools – the most common being a high-power set in the palm of each hand.
Treasure: If sufficiently quick, an Intellect task at difficulty 3 can retrieve 1-2 cyphers from the mechanical aspects of an Agent.
Next post on Operation Enigma will cover the current known leaders of the group and another creature – the Daemon.