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They've given you a number and taken away your name

by Pattom on Aug 16, 2011 at 03:22 AM}
Well, since we're starting to discuss the internal structure of the cabal as it will be at TSW's release, I thought I'd throw out some ideas for those of us drawn to the world's second oldest profession: spycraft.

Philosophy
-The idea behind this department would be to form a team of people willing to work across the lines and jump feet first into situations that threaten the standing of Ouroboros or the Dragon within The Secret World. It could be fending off an incursion of demons, or monitoring the activities of unsympathetic members of other factions, or simply poking around the darker corners of the world and seeing what comes to light. Essentially, I'm proposing a blend of spy service, detective agency, and private army. You can choose to specialize in one of these roles, but all it ultimately reflects on is which type of quests you prefer to take. And it's worth stating here that this group would only be operating inside the game: we've had the discussion on "meta-gaming" before (making new characters for the purpose of infiltrating other cabals), and it's not much fun for not much gain.

Specializations
-Assassins will guard certain areas of the game world against attacks from hostile NPCs and player characters. If players from other factions are giving us or other Dragon players trouble, they will be the ones to punish that behavior. (These would be members who prefer to take action missions, being more combat-oriented.)

-Scouts will explore hub areas of the game world where no Ouroboros member has set foot before. They will report back to forums with analysis of available quests, story progression, shops, faction buildings, etc. Anything we know we're ignorant of, they'll go to fill in the blanks. (For members who prefer sabotage missions, which also have action but are more stealth-based.)

-Spies will observe and gather information on significant player characters from other cabals or factions, both friendly and hostile, in addition to NPCs. This would also make them the most diplomatic branch, in way, since the best way to get to know people would be to take quests with them. (Best for anyone interested in investigation mission for their focus on puzzles.)

Chain of Command
-To keep information and initiative constantly flowing, my idea would be to have a fairly loose chain of command, broken into three ranks.

-Troopers are your entry-level members of the department, new members of the cabal who have jumped right into the department. It's unclear what level of experience they have with the game or the cabal, so they'll have to individually handle the gruntwork on comparatively easy missions until somebody is suitably impressed to promote them to rank two.

-Captains have a little more authority, being trusted to form their own squads with other captains or troopers in situations where going in alone risks failure. They may be former troopers who have gained the respect of other members of the cabal, or they may be long-time cabal members or players of The Secret World who have just joined the cabal/department; recommendations by other players can result in new members automatically being bumped up to captains.

-The next step up would be Marshal, essentially generals among the department who plan the exact details of operations and trust captains to see them through. Marshals are likely to be highly experienced players, so having one out on the field would be the clearest sign that we're off to do something reckless. This rank can also be just as useful outside the game as inside, analyzing and collating data from within the game provided by other members, and providing reports to the department director.

-There is also a department director, the top strategist for the department: he/she is responsible for keeping the cabal aware of any newly-discovered info. The director is technically one of the marshals, being elected from their ranks by department members to speak with the admins on their behalf.

Names
-Every spy agency needs a kickass name. Here are a few I've thought up. Feel free to suggest your own!

-MARTINI - Martial Intelligence Initiative (acronym: "martini" is a subgenre of spy fiction that focuses on high technology and thrilling action, and the James Bond movies are the best example)

-BEER - Bureau for Emergency Response (acronym: "stale beer" is a subgenre of spy fiction that focuses on realistic techniques and moral ambiguity, and the Jason Bourne movies are the best example)

-Preemptive Response teams (a clean, simple, ambiguous name)

-Ouroboros Expeditionary Force (sounds like a military group)

-Ouroboros Special Circumstances (named after Special Circumstances, the military intelligence group in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, which is itself named for the problems it solves)

-Bureau of the Balance (because preserving balance is exactly what we're about)

Ranks
-Finally, I've been toying with two rank systems, one military and one supernatural. Let me know if anyone has preferences or suggestions.

1 - Trooper
2 - Captain
3 - Marshal

1 - Shade
2 - Ghoul
3 - Oni
Comments

7 Comments

Kalehon
I like the idea! But perhaps we can put it together with the definition of the other Cabal Sections, so as not to create 2 or 3 that do almost the same thing.

I know choosing leaders is top priority now, but I don't think there is a problem in opening a thread to discuss Section Divisions and roles, just like what you are doing here!

Marvelous idea, Pattom =D
Heed
I'm all for a department concerned with the clandestine arts like spying or gathering information on other players! I even sort of assume we'll have a department like that. But all that other stuff... detective agency, private army, analyzing quests, acting as diplomats... That's either proper Cabal business or deserving departments of their own! It would be very cool to put everything together but it would also make it more or less a standalone Cabal...
Pattom
Yeah, I know what you're saying, Heed. I'm just thinking there's some lee-way in how much "active" or "passive" spying this department can do; as in, should we only be observing things going on in the game world, or should we try to shape them in a way that suits the cabal? It's an idea I thought was worth throwing out there; I doubt one department would have enough members to pull off even half the stuff I've suggested.
Pattom
Now that I've actually put it out there, I'm realizing just how unfocused and unworkable this is. I'll leave this one up for other people to see, but I'm reworking the idea into something sleaker. Probably I'll link this idea to bringing back the knowledge base, with these guys being "researchers" for anything we need to know about the in-game world. So that would limit it to just the "scouts" in the above list.
Darkweaver
Based on the character bio I've posted, and my ideas for the character, he would be very appropriate for the spy/information gathering type of role....
Darkweaver
Oh and btw, I like the name Special Circumstances. We should have a Contact division/department which deal with diplomacy between our cabal and other dragon cabals as well as any Templar/Illuminati cabals and people we need to deal with.

There should always be an SC team of players (generally whoever is online and capable) who can deal with special circumstances :)
AquaLizard
I like the idea, but I donĀ“t like that it is out in the front page of the forum for public view though.

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