W.E.S.T (World Exotic Science Taskforce)
W.E.S.T (and the NPCs and Equipment below) is freely available to any GM or indeed player which wants to name drop them. In essence, they are used as a lazy but effective way to get PCs involved in scientific shennanigans. As their remit is to detect dangerous SCIENCE or the like, they can easily pick up some anomalous readings and get one of their consultants (PCs) to help. Or, they can pop up when a hero gets embroiled in a scientific adventure to lend a hand (or arguably even to complicate the issue!)
After the last decade has seen a number of potentially world-threatening events from dimensional anomalies like the Terminus, to viral plagues like the Darwin-X virus, the United Nations decided that merely responding to these events was not enough. Instead, threats needed to be actively investigated before they exploded onto the face of the world.
UNISON deals with super powered threats, whilst the world health organization (W.H.O) deals with threats to the world like pandemics. These two organisations are the model for the World Exotic Science Taskforce.
WEST operates under the umbrella of the United Nations. It is a small operation, but well-funded – on the basis that potential threats are relatively small, but need expert analysis. WEST is tasked with risk-threat analysis of any scientific anomalies or potential risks from cutting edge technology. Small scale local threats are not a priority, whilst threats that may cause widespread harm are.
As such, WEST has links with a vast number of organisations – in particular UNISON and the WHO, but also international scientific communities, political groups (such as the EU), and individual countries. A particular difficulty is related to security clearance. WEST personnel have to be cleared by a number of intelligence agencies, and of course many would like to exploit any findings that WEST uncover. In short, WEST is someone hamstrung by politics.
WEST has about thirty agents, and double that number of support staff (from pilots to administrators, law experts, and even cleaners) all who have security clearance from a number of intelligence agencies. Aside from its regular staff, it has a number of “consultants” who have clearance, such as experts in particular areas of science, explorers, physicians, and even super-heroes (particularly those with scientific backgrounds or super powers which might be particularly helpful).
WESTs data is usually rather sensitive, but open to any official of United Nations member states. Its computers are DC 25 to crack. However, it also has a “Black Book” of data that is considered highly sensitive and open to only WEST operatives, the President of the United Nations, and heads of state, that is considered maximum security (DC 40).
WEST have small offices in major world centres (Freedom City, next to ASTRO labs, London, Delhi, Bejing, and so on) staffed by one or two local agents and support staff. The ASTRO labs office is the largest, double the size of the others. However, its main base of operation is Rapa Nui, Easter Island. This was chosen for its remote location. If anything goes wrong there, casualties are minimised. Whilst not exactly happy with the risks, the United Nations pays the locals a large and welcome subsidy for the risk, which is bringing considerable affluence to the tiny island.
EAST (short for Easter Island) is the headquarters of WEST, which is a rather tired joke but also has served as a counter any accusations that WEST is a purely western organisation.
EAST Headquarters: Size Colossal, Toughness 10, Features: Communications, Computer, Defence System (Blaster Turrets Damage 10), Dock, Fire Prevention System, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Holding Cells (Nullifying), Infirmary, Isolated, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System 5, Staffed, Workshop [28 EP]
WEST Station Office: Size: Tiny, Toughness 10, Features: Communications, Computer, Library, Security System 3 [6 EP]
The HORIZON (Plane)
WEST of course has access to planes, submarines, and automobiles – both its own and often via assistance from other agencies. However, its pride and joy is the HORIZON, a modified cutting edge jumbo jet packed full of sensors, laboratories, and communication equipment. The Horizon is not a military vessel, but you would be hard pressed to find a better scientific vehicle.
Size: Colossal, Toughness 15, STR 65, Features: Alarm 3, Computer, Security System 3, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Quarters, Navigation System 4 Powers: Communication 8 (2000 miles, Feats: Subtle), Flight 7 (1000mph), Super Senses 19 (Accurate All Radio, Extended 3 All Radio [-1 per 2 miles], Radio Sense, Detect EM Energy [Radio, 3], Detect Quantum [Radio, 1], Detect Dimensional [Radio 1] EP Cost: 66
W.E.S.T have a list of individuals they work with, who have scientific or other useful skills. This includes a number of super heroes around the world.
They also sub-contract out other specialists around the world, working closely with UNISON and the W.H.O (as well as other arms of the United Nations), or even military, paramilitary and investigative organisations.
Beyond that, they have a number of “consultants”, who have full W.E.S.T clearance. This is a complicated process as it requires all members of the united nations to approve security clearance. This allows the individual, in principle, access to the W.E.S.T data bases and resources (although under supervision and agreement from W.E.S.T). This is a benefit 1, as it allows significant resources to the individual.
Director Norris North
Doctor Norris North is original a medical doctor, specialising in virology. He worked in medicine sans frontier and then moved to the World Health Organisation. He is recognised as a very experienced and capable man, with as much skill in diplomacy as he has in science. When W.E.S.T formed he was head hunted for the director role.
He is a softly spoken man in his early fifties, divorced and without children. He tends to wear smart casual clothes, wears glasses and sports as moustache. He is committed but not obsessed with his role, and is generally very friendly to super heroes who, in his mind, have an essential part to play in protecting the Earth from scientific threats.
STR 10 DEX 10 CON 10 INT 18 WIS 16 CHA 14 [18 PP]
Fort +2, Reflex +2, Will +6, Tough +0 [7 PP]
Attack +2, Defence +2 [8 PP]
Skills: Bluff 4 (+6), Computers 4 (+8), Craft (Chemical) 4 (+8), Diplomacy 8 (+10), Investigate 4 (+8), Knowledge (Behavioural Sciences) 4 (+8), Knowledge (Civics) 4 (+8), Knowledge (Current Events) 4 (+8), Knowledge (Life Sciences) 12 (+16), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 4 (+8), Knowledge (Technology) 4 (+8), Languages 4 (English [Native], French, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi), Medicine 8 (+11), Notice 4 (+7), Pilot 4 (+4), Search 4 (+8), Sense Motive 8 (+11), Survival 4 (+7) [23 PP]
Feats: Benefit 3 [Wealth 1 (Well Off), WEST clearance, Director of WEST], Connected, Jack of All Trades, Teamwork 1 [6 PP]
WEST Field Agent
WEST Field agents are essentially field scientists. They usually have some specialist scientific background, and a broad basic scientific training. Given the nature of their work they are expected to be adaptable, and have some basic diplomatic skill. Whilst they are given basic combat training, they are not expected to fight unless the situation absolutely requires it – they are there to detect, understand, and neutralise scientific threats (in that order) but that normally means utilising other resources and scientific knowhow rather than going in with guns blazing.
STR 10 DEX 10 CON 12 INT 16 WIS 12 CHA 10 [10 PP]
Fort +3, Reflex +3, Will +3, Tough +1 [7 PP]
Attack +2, Defence +2 [8 PP]
Skills: Computers 4 (+7), Craft (Electronic) 4 (+7), Diplomacy 4 (+4), Investigate 4 (+6), , Knowledge (Life Sciences) 4 (+6), Knowledge (Physical Sciences) 4 (+6), Knowledge (Technology) 4 (+6), Languages 4 (English, French, Spanish, Two Others), Medicine 4 (+5), Notice 4 (+5), Search 4 (+6), Survival 4 (+5), +8 Ranks of specialist skills (Usually Knowledge, Computers, Craft or Medicine) [14 PP]
Feats: Benefit 1 [W.E.S.T Clearance], Jack of All Trades, Teamwork 1 [3 PP]
W.E.S.T is a well equipped organisation and can be expected to have access to equipment as required. There are three particular devices that agents often use:
WEST Hand Scanner
The WEST Hand scanner looks like a small box that would be held by a 1960s sci fi show about trekking across the stars. It detects a variety of energy signatures that can be analysed. It is the main tool of W.E.S.T field agents.
Device 1: Hand Held Scanner, Easy to Lose [3 PP]
Super Senses 5 (Analytical Radio Senses , Detect Quantum [Radio], Detect Dimensional [Radio], Detect Hard Radiation [Radio]) [5 DP]
Only used in last resort situations, and only carried when there is a risk to agents, this is a handgun sized energy weapon that can neutralise energy signatures.
Device 3: Energy Pistol, Easy to Lose [9 PP]
Energy Array (13 PP Array, Feats: Alt Power 2)
BP: Blast 4 (Extras: Penetrating, Feats: Affects Insubstantial 1) [13/13 PP] “Blaster”
AP: Stun 4 (Extras: Ranged, Feats: Affects Insubstantial 1) [13/13 PP] “Stunner”
AP: Nullify 4 (All EM energy effects, Extras: Ranged, Feats: Selective, Precise) [12/13 PP] “Nullifier”
WEST Exploration Suit
This silver suit is environmentally sealed and carries a 6 hour oxygen tank on its back. Its helmet is reinforced glass and comes equipped with allows visual and auditory input in a variety of spectrum, as well as a short wave radio. This is the standard suit when exploring hazardous areas (including other dimensions!)
Device 3: Exploration Suit [15 DP]
Protection 2 (Flaws: Limited, Energy Effects Only) [1 DP]
Immunity 7 (All Environmental Effects, All Suffocation] [7 DP]
Super Senses 4 (Infravision, Radio, Ultra-Hearing, Ultravision) [4 DP]
Communication 3 (1000 feet Radio, Extras: Omni-Directional, Flaws: Limited/One Way) [3 DP]