SavRS Setting 02.07: Resistance Groups
Every resistance group will have a certain number of things defined to help give them depth and a place in the setting.
Name/Place of Origin/Age – The resistance has an name, where it started and how, as well as an age. During peaks of the Cold War between the Reich and the Empire, resistance movements are at their height and during the low points, the respective governments are able to focus on them more and crack down. Much as they try, however, the heartbeat of freedom still thrums in many and resistance never dies. Many groups die and are reborn under a new name or at a new location while other have existed since the War of Unification. At the time of Savage Reich Star, there are a certain number of “big players” in the underground resistance world and many small cells throughout the solar system.
The age of a cell is also important a well. A young group may be simple a cell looking to join the fight while an old group will have a long history, a lot of influence and many reasons why they survived so long. A majority of the resistance groups are of moderate age, surviving a few decades, perhaps a single generation and looking to join a larger whole while at the same time accomplishing what few goals they can.
Goals/Mission/Political Affiliation/Philosophy – Every resistance group has a deeper ambition beyond just bringing down the powers that be. Some want to return everyone to the American Dream while others want total anarchy. Some want to rebuild the Soviet Union to power while others want to install a proper king to their country. Despite these differences, they work together for a common goal of taking down either the Rich or the Empire or both.
During the more tense times of the Cold War, some resistance groups mysteriously find new funding somehow and only the top leaders actually know that it is one of the major powers injecting funding to resistance groups of their enemy to cause more trouble. Certain factions within the Reich have commonly been known to fund resistance groups in the Empire and visa versa.
A resistance groups goals defines much of its operation and may vary from group to group. Are they simply seeking independence for their own region or territory, or are they out to topple an empire? In creating a resistance group, it is important to consider its ultimate goal. Example goals and philosophies are:
Communist – The reds are alive and well even in 2065. Their battle cry usually sounds something like this… “The National Socialists and the Fascists have abandoned the true ideals of socialism. The Emperor and the zaibatsu have abused the workers of our nation for too long. Nationalize everything, and let everyone be equal!” Remembering the great Soviet Union of old, they not only feel betrayed by their Nazi allies, they feel that the “socialist” movement has been corrupted by German ideologies. Bringing the world under Soviet rule would be the goal of most communist groups, and they commonly conflict with any democratic resistance group. The Red Flame, based out of Moscow with cells all over the world, is said to be the largest communist resistance group. The Hóng Lóng (Red Dragon) in China has also been a thorn in the Empire side. The Red Tide in AAU, lead by a very vocal “Colonel” Gerard Sanders, is on the rise in California and has become the target of the Kempeitai.
Democracy – The rebels wish to overthrow the existing government and put power back into the hands of the general population. An end to the one Party rule, and elections based on one man, one vote. Many of the present preserving arms of the government (such as the secret police) will also have to be abolished. These resistance groups harken back to the glory days of the United States and remain patriots to their parent’s parents’ dreams. The Tower is said to have roots in this kind of resistance group but as leadership changes, philosophies change slightly as well. The American Patriots League is also another group that operates out secret strongholds in the Rockies and Appalachians.
Independence – The group desires independence from the ruling government. This could mean simply a small territory the size of Ireland, or an entire colonized asteroid. Whether or not such a newly independent state would make significant changes in its own government is another matter. They may want to retain the same type of government, retaining close ties, but do not wish to be dictated to from far away Berlin, Tokyo or Rome. Perhaps they wish to break off all contact with the capital and create a different political system. Whatever type of independence that is sought after, it can be certain that the Axis will never let go of their territories until the bitter end. Independence groups tend to work with any group that helps their cause, however, there is no telling what happens to that relationship once their goals are met. There is rumors of a Martian Independence movement – a group of united Martian-born German and Japanese citizens on Mars with interest in mounting an independence campaign for that world. No major actions has come to light, however.
Military Dictatorship – “The politicians have ruined our nation. We have become weak. It’s time for a stronger system of rule, with the military in complete control”. Members of this organization will obviously be high ranking officers in the armed forces. They will probably already have already drawn up the plans and personnel for their new government. Many rumors within the echelons of both the Reich and the Empire of military conspiracies run rampant, creating a environment of mistrust and intrigue at times.
Opposition Party – Much like the Democratic or Communist resistance groups, these types of organization seek to overthrow the ruling Party and replace it with the Party or political movement of another nation. This could mean Nazis in the RSI or Japan; Fascists or monarchists in the Reich, etc. These Organizations are often financed and/ or trained by the Intelligence agency of another nation. The Nationalist Socialist Party of Japan is one particular group that wishes to change the Japanese Imperial rule to one similar to the Reich.
Religious – Whether working in conjunction with an existing church, or not, this group wants THEIR religion to be the way of life for everyone. Some want to establish a theocracy while others simply want religious freedom to worship the way they wish, either way, religion is the motivator. The Islamic Jihad is a blanket label placed over a large group of people that have waged constant war with both the Reich and the Empire. Be it in the oil rich Middle East, the tropics of South East Asia, or the savannahs and deserts of North Africa, despite all efforts to wipe out the Islamic faith by the powers, it remains a tenacious group to fight.
There are also Christian resistance groups, primarily in Italy and the Americas, but they primarily work with other groups. The one group that commonly gets associated with the label “Christian resistance group” are simply called the Templars. Very little is known about this group other than they are skilled assassins and soldiers. Much of the information related to them is rumor and conjecture. Some say they are power psychics that believe their power was granted to them by God. Others believe they are a secret arm of a much larger Catholic Church underground.
Resources/Influence/Alliances – Resources is sort of a nebulous term, because it is hard to define. But in game terms this can represent the likelihood a player can obtain something they need for their mission, based on contacts, location and the influence of their network. Allies are a big part of the resources of a resistance group and core to their influence. However, influence expands past Allies, to sympathizers within positions of power as well as general population. All these collectively can be used in a game mechanic that measures the availability of resources and help a player can obtain on a mission.
Resources are the simplest thing to obtain. Despite all the laws and restrictions placed on weapons, explosives, and other materials, the black market can usual supply what an agent needs in a reasonable amount of time. Some groups have a better reputations within the black market than others, based on influence.
All three are closely tied to the size of the group and the base of operations. The closer the operative is to a base of operations, the higher likelihood they can find the resources and allies they need. Influence strengthens those chances the further out the get from the base of operations. The GM should consider all these things when an agent is seeking information, material resources or allies on a mission.
As a Game Master, these elements are key in driving the player’s mission and the plot of an adventure or campaign. The resources can be a point of engagement from the players or a point of challenge. Allies can be points of information or points of betrayal.
Means of contact – Every resistance group has a means to communicate with their operatives, be it a drop off point or a special encrypted email address. These may change over time, as they try to avoid detection by authorities but when a player receives these messages, they know what it is for and what to do with it.
Simple messages might include
- Activation code word or phrase – These is a simple codeword assigned to the operative that immediate tells him it’s a mission order, or a call to action.
- Coded messages with key encryption – operatives might be assigned a specific encryption key that might be as simple as a piece of paper with holes in it. A messages can be interpreted through this encryption to its true meaning.
- Type of missions – a resistance group needs all kinds of things in order to act. Some times it is simple intelligence, other times it might be resources.