Friday, May 17, 2013

[Expanding the Game #5] H&H: The Moderators

The galaxy is a big place. While not all of it is yet settled, even the settled space of the known sentient races is still vast, and while the subspace engine brings things far closer together than they might otherwise be, this distance still imposes some practicality issues on certain things, for instance, law enforcement.

The process of enforcing the law can become quite difficult when a criminal can simply flee to a sector light years away from where he committed his crimes, and the difficulty involved in capturing such a suspect and then managing to get them all the way back to the appropriate jurisdiction for trial and incarceration raises further issues of time, cost, and practicality. As a result, the enforcement of the law became more and more a matter of cost-benefit analysis rather than justice, and evading punishment was often as simple as just leaving the system, as limited budgets and manpower shortages made the tracking and capture of fugitives of limited priority for most planetary and solar level authorities. Thus, in order to address this shortage, and further discourage criminals from fleeing justice, the Moderators were formed.

Moderators are fully sworn and authorized executors of galactic law, given full authority for pursuit, prosecution, judgement, and execution of fugitive criminals, essentially a walking law enforcement agency unto themselves. They answer only to the Galactic Central Court, and so long as they uphold their oath to execute their mission only in the service of justice and the law, they are given absolute latitude in the performance of their duties. Moderators go where they are needed, and while the Central Court does give direct missions to a Moderator in an area if they are the closest to the known location of a particularly high priority fugitive, the remainder of their time is spent on patrol or in independent pursuit or investigation, coordinating with local system and sector authorities and generally operating in a manner similar to that of a bounty hunter or an old-West marshal.

Moderators have absolute jurisdiction, and their judgment bears the force of law just as the sentence from a formal court would, and includes the ability to impose a death penalty on a suspect, so long as that suspect has committed a crime or action that justifies the use of lethal force, including any capital crime that results either directly or indirectly in the death of civilians, the knowing and willing assistance of those who commit such crimes, the assistance or conspiracy with hostile alien forces, the assaulting of any officer of the law including a Moderator, and fleeing the system of jurisdiction for an arrest, warrant, or sentence for one of the previous crimes. It is this latter crime that most Moderators occupy the bulk of their time with, hunting down and executing criminals who have fled justice in the system in which they committed their crimes.

Moderators sometimes tail along with surveyor crews headed to pirate infested space or when a known fugitive is thought to have fled to a particular uncharted sector. They generally have high DEX, as they are crack shots, and high WIS and INT in accordance with their investigative skills and knowledge of the law.

LevelMelee To-HitRanged To-HitHit Dice

Hit Die: d10
Saving Throws: +1 to DEX
Stat Requirements: WIS 7+, DEX 7+
Weapons: Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns
Armor: All
Favored Environment: Oxygen, Medium Gravity

Special Abilities:

M-2025 "Legislator": The Legislator is the standard sidearm of all Moderators, a multipurpose, selective-fire handgun, capable of a number of different modes of operation based on the needs of the Moderator at any given moment. They fire a special .50 caliber case-less alloy round that can be electrically charged in the barrel to induce a number of effects, and holds 21 rounds per magazine, and contains a rechargeable battery affording 10 charges for the specialized modes before needing to be connected to a power source. The Legislator is DNA-linked to the Moderator, and no other person may operate the device. Attempting to do so triggers the same effect as a non-lethal shot, and the gun shuts down.
The modes of the Legislator are as follows:

  • Semi-Auto: Fires a single solid shot for each pull of the trigger. 1 round, 1d8 damage.
  • Burst: Fires a short burst of solid shot, increasing possible damage and accuracy. 3 rounds, 2d8H.
  • Armor-Piercing: Hardened shot can penetrate through walls, and penetrates armor. +3 to hit armored targets. 1 rnd/1 charge, 1d8 damage.
  • Non-Lethal: Electrically charged softened round stuns target instead of killing. CON save on hit or target becomes unconscious for 2d8 rounds. 1rnd/1charge.
  • Explosive: Round is charged with energy, causing it to explode on impact. 1rnd, 2 charges, 2d10 damage + 1d8 damage to targets within 10 feet of impact site.
  • Incendiary: Round is charged such that it vaporizes on contact, sending super-heated sparks that instantly ignite any flammable surface and even flesh within 30 feet of impact site. 1 round, 3 charges.  
Standard issue load out is 5 magazines, and additional magazines can be purchased for 50 credits each. Outposts of the Central Court will refill a Moderator's magazines free of charge, otherwise the ammunition must be acquired from a licensed dealer at 50cr. each. 

The Uniform: The Moderator is issued standard with a custom black armored uniform, with identity-concealing helmet, so that the Moderator can represent only the faceless visage of blind Justice. The carbon-shell armor affords them AC5 and is made of a special ablative design that slows the impact of even those attacks that penetrate the armor, reducing all damage taken by 2. The helmet itself contains a full rebreather, though the uniform is not fully sealed, so EVA activities are not recommended.

"I Am The Law": An often misunderstood creed of the Moderator, this statement refers not just to their near-absolute authority in matters of criminal justice, but also to their knowledge of the law itself and its enforcement. Moderators gain a +1 to INT checks involving legal matters, handling the bureaucracy, and criminal behavior and profiling, and so long as the Moderator obeys the law, does not violate a direct order from the Central Court, or otherwise behave in a matter inconsistent with a duly appointed officer of the Court, their sentences carry the full weight and authority of the Galactic Central Court.

Eternal Vigilance: The job of the Moderator is an incredibly dangerous one, and many prospective Moderators do not even survive the training process. Those who do however, are hardened fighters, tempered by a life of violence even before their first official day as a full Moderator, and this hard-bitten demeanor makes them unshakable and ever vigilant in combat. Moderators always succeed on Morale rolls or WIS saving throws against any fear effect, and they have a +1 to WIS for the purposes of Surprise.

1 comment:

  1. Egads!

    This is going to make for some pretty interesting chases.