Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Designing Organizations

Building Organizations

The two books together give us plenty of ideas as to how we might build an organization.  We need to simplify, though.  In a Psi-Wars scenario, PCs are largely concerned about the following:
  • How much rank is there (How large is the organization?)
  • How much does it cost as a Patron or an Enemy?
  • How much BAD does it typically apply
  • What sort of minions will I face/can it supply me?
  • How much wealth does it have?
  • What is required to join?
  • What cool tricks will it teach me?
  • What sorts of benefits can it offer should I pull rank?
The first five all essentially boil down to the same thing: How big is the organization?  I'd like to combine BAD, contact skills, difficulty of getting in, difficulty of persuading people away, the cost of the Patron/Enemy and how many ranks you have all into one single thing.  If you know one, you know the rest.

Patron cost and rank already have an obvious relation.  If I leave the cost of rank at 5/level, then Rank 4 means something else in a 10 point organization than in a 30 point organization.  That means if the highest rank for one organization is rank 6, and for another is rank 10, we might expect both to command equal levels of power in their organizations.  That is, maximum rank is maximum rank and offers the same chance of success.  Page 6 of Social Engineering: Pulling Rank has a handy table for us.  A 10-point patron's rank 6 is roughly on par with a 20-point patron's rank 8, and a 30-point patron's rank 10. Action has the 15-point patron as its standard, judging from Pulling Rank difficulties.  This suggests that the Psi-Wars standard is a little larger than the Pulling Rank standard, but it will do.

What does size get you here?  Well, if we use "Complements of the Boss" then a "small" organization is worth +1 on complementary rolls, a standard organization is worth +2, and a large organization is worth +3.  Furthermore, when it comes to Muscle or Cavalry (page 19 of Pulling Rank), small organizations send 5 guys, medium 10, and large 15.  Maximum funding is also determined by organization size. Beyond that and it becomes mostly a matter of GM discretion.

How do be fold BAD into organization size?  Well, it becomes immediately obvious that this might not be the best idea.  The Nahudi warriors are likely a small organization full of skill-18 warriors, while the Empire is a vast organization full of skill-12 soldiers.  It does seem to make sense that different groups have different BAD levels, and things like loyalty, difficulties breaking in and minion strength might be tied together for ease of play, but that just means that organizations should simply have a "BAD" rating.

Pulling Rank ties maximum available wealth to Patron cost, as does Boardroom and Curia, and Boardroom and Curia ties BAD (at least for infiltration) to wealth level.  This might be a good indication of BAD.  We might expect Struggling Organizations to be BAD 0, Average to be BAD 2, Comfortable to be BAD 5 and Wealthy to be BAD 8, but obviously these can be shifted around (the Nehudi are probably not very wealthy, but have some fairly BAD warriors).

The rest of the elements that players care about from an organization largely come from what type of organization it is.  Boardroom and Curia has plenty, but we need to pare them down to size.  For that, I'd like to turn to GURPS Space.




Rank?

Before I do that, I want to stop and take a quick look at rank.  What does it actually mean? Social Engineering discusses the arithmetic of rank, but often rank has nothing to do with direct command of inferiors, but it always has something to do with the general respect an organization offers you.  For example, your rank in a monastary might have to do more with your spiritual command than the number of monks you control or command.

If we're going to create a variety of organizations, we need a variety of rank-titles to populate our various ranks, and I'd like to offer a few observations.  First, while ranks might be thoroughly codified, they might not have any actual title.  For example, in the US Civil Service, there are no less than 15 pay grades that corrospond to US military ranks, but the actual title might vary from organization to organization, or you might have no formal title at all!  That said, we can draw some broad conclusions about what ranks tend to look like.  I should also note that rank structures and heirarchies are often very arbitrary, redundant and strange, and thus hard to fit into the smartly defined GURPS rank heirarchy.  Any examples I offer are meant more as inspirations than hard facts, are certainly open to interpretation and represent a couple hours of research into often very arcane systems, and thus unlikely to be accurate.

Rank 0 is typically your first, "enlisted" rank, with little actual priviledge and very few responsibilities.  This is someone who might call upon the organization for help, but typically is commanded, rather than issues commands.  For the military, this might be a private, but for a commercial organization, it might be "sales" or just "employee"

Rank 1-3 are generally non-commissioned ranks.  They represent advanced enlisted ranks, and tend to be focused on leadership tasks that focus directly on the rank and file, and tend to be leadership on the "front lines" or where the action takes place.  For a military example, this is typically a sergeant, but a commercial organization focused on sales might have "Sales team lead" or some such title.  This role often assists administrative ranks.

Rank 3-4 represent "Company"-level or administrative ranks.  They interface between the rank-and-file and the high level management, passing commands down from on high and situation reports from down below.  The lieutenant is a classic example of such a rank, but a "store manager" might be one for a commercial venture, as he needs to tend to the basic unit in an administrative fashion, but might sometimes get "stuck in" with the day-to-day.  These also represent characters who might enjoy special privileges outside of the normal structure, like field agents, high-level commandos or diplomats or other characters who enjoy act as individual agents but enjoy considerable organizational support.

Rank 5-6 represent the pinnacle to a small-scale organization, like criminal gangs, tribes, small ventures, etc.  These tend to be Field Officers or Regional Command.  They're separated from day-to-day concerns, generally, and focus more on administrative concerns.  If they deal with day-to-day affairs, they represent highly competent specialists, like corporate trouble shooters and the like, usually leading a team of elites.

Rank 7-8 represent the pinnacle to most organizations.  They're universally removed from rank-and-file concerns and typically control an organization that spans several star systems at a minimum.  This is your General Officer.

Rank 9+ represent the pinnacle of any possible organization in Psi-Wars and only covers the largest of all possible organizations and are utterly removed from day-to-day concerns and often never see anything below the regional scale.  They concern themselves with grand theaters at the smallest, and are generally out of scope for most games.  I won't reference such ranks in my examples below, as I leave them to you to fill in as necessary.

GURPS Space

GURPS Space has a mess of suggestions starting on page 202 in regards to organizations.  Not all of them will be relevant to Psi-Wars, and many that are might not be interesting to players (There's probably a postal service, but we don't care much about from the perspective of the PCs). Let's look through a few.


Diplomatic Corps

I initially dismissed the diplomatic core as irrelevant to Psi-Wars, as this was a game about action, but no less than two characters in Star Wars focus strongly on diplomacy (Leia and Padme), while the Jedi themselves often acted as diplomats.  Furthermore, the description in the book on diplomats offers an intriguing glimpse into how the Empire might use diplomats:

A powerful empire with no real rivals would have diplomats who act more like viceroys, bossing local rulers around on behalf of the all-powerful emperor.  
Which reminds me that an Empire is not the same thing as a Dictatorship: an empire controls the internal and external politics of another nation.  Thus, we'd expect the empire to manipulate and control the Space Elves, or whomever, often via viceroys rather than direct governance.

This suggests the Diplomatic Corps as sort of a stand-in for larger governance and politics, which fits Star Wars, where Padme behaves sometimes as an ambassador and sometimes as a senator (in a sense, she must be both, as she represents her people to the rest of the Galaxy).

This makes it an advocacy and government organization.  Thus, it typically grants Funding, Introduction, Invitation and Authorization favors, and provides contacts with Administration, Influence skills, Propaganda, Current Affairs, Law and Politics.

Specifically, we might allow such an organization to offer:

  • Entry Clearance (SEPR 13, similar to Base Access from Action 1), 
  • Consultation (SEPR 15, Treat it as access to a Contact with the appropriate skill), 
  • Files (SEPR 15, as Files from Action 1, generally regarding political assessments, personnel dossiers, etc)
  • Cash (SEPR 16, similar to Cash from Action 1, but multiply values by 2.5) 
  • Funding (SEPR 16: $500k for small organizations, $50 million for standard organizations, and $5 billion for large organizations), 
  • Bailout (SEPR 17, same as Bailout from Action 1, but in this case is covered by Legal Immunity), 
  • Introduction and Invitation (SEPR 18, Unique form of Entry Clearance, largely to social events).
  • Facilities (SEPR 18-19, As facilities for Action, but in this case provides top-notch dining, entertainment or propaganda. Small organizations add +2 to applicable skill and reaction, normal organizations apply +4 to applicable skill and reactions, and vast organizations apply +4 to reaction and +6 to skill, representing the best money can possibly buy).
  • Shipping and Transportation (SEPR 19, similar to Transportation from Action 1, but represents the superior accomodations and discretion offered to administrative VIPs or diplomats.  Discrete shipping requires Legal Immunity).
Prerequisites for membership to such an organization might include low-frequency Duty, Legal Immunity, low-level Security Clearance, and possibly Claim to Hospitality, for less formal diplomatic organizations.

Ranks
Diplomatic and civil service ranks are scattered and vary highly from group to group.  Furthermore, being a diplomat, specifically, is more of a function of having Legal Immunity and authority to represent your country to another, rather than any specific rank. The title "Ambassador" is usually assigned to the head of an entire embassy and said person is considered to be

Rank 0-2 have numerous names and typically vary from function to function, especially in a civil service.  In a service strictly concerned with foreign affairs, such characters are typically attaches, and have a variety of roles ("technical attache" "security attache" and so on).  At the lowest levels, these characters rarely have Legal Immunity, and even at high levels, only a more limited degree of Legal Immunity.

Rank 2-4 tend to concern themselves with administration tasks, and hence usually have a title like "3rd Secretary" or "Assistant Minister".  Diplomats might start around this level, having title like "Ambassador," "Counselor", "Diplomat" or "Envoy."

Rank 5-6 tend to be your ultimate levels of diplomatic rank and include titles like "Minister." For actual ambassadors, they might retain the titles of lower levels if their embassy is simply larger or has higher status, but they might gain loftier titles, like "Special Envoy," "High Counselor" or "Viceroy" especially if they govern other ambassadors. For civil servants, rank 5 might have titles like "Comptroller", "Coordinator," and "Regional Director" while rank 6 might have put "Assistant", "Deputy" or "Vice" in front of said title ("Deputy Regional Director" or "Vice Coordinator").  Small organizations might push this down to rank 3-4.

Ranks 7-8 tend to fall outside the direct purview of diplomats and into full cabinet-level positions within the government. Rank 8 tends to include titles like Secretary, Director, Administrator, Chairman, while rank 7 tends to put "Assistant, Deputy or Vice" in front of them.


 The Navy

And the broader military.  This obviously matters, because it fights the wars of Psi-Wars.  Even so, I find Star-Wars leans overly much on the military.  For example, we regularly see Stormtroopers, who are supposed to be the Imperial elite, acting as policemen, which is weird.  On the other hand, we see almost nothing of the rebel military, which is equally odd.  Even so, I expect many players will want to either belong to some major military organization, or fight against one.

The Navy is a military organization, and might be a government organization, broadly speaking.  That means it offers Violence and Authorization.  It tends to offer soldiers rather than contacts, but if it offers contacts, they'll typically have Administration, Law and Politics.  They offer favors like fundint, authorization, and violence.

Specifically, we might allow such an organization to offer:

  • Entry Clearance (SEPR 13, similar to Base Access from Action 1), 
  • Consultation (SEPR 15, Treat it as access to a Contact with the appropriate skill), 
  • Files (SEPR 15, as Files from Action 1, generally regarding military units, personnel dossiers, etc)
  • Gear (SEPR 16, as Replacement Gear from Action 1, whatever equipment is appropriate to a military, up to and including starships)
  • Evacuation and Treatment (SEPR 17, as medevac from Action 1), 
  • Facilities (SEPR 18-19, As facilities for Action, but in this case provides top-notch military planning facilties. Small organizations add +2 to applicable skill and reaction, normal organizations apply +4 to applicable skill and reactions, and vast organizations apply +4 to reaction and +6 to skill, representing the best money can possibly buy).
  • Fire Support, the Cavalry (SEPR 19, as Fire Support and SWAT from Action, but dependent on the sort of equipment/typical NPCs the organization offers).
Prerequisites for membership to a military organization usually requires high frequency Duty.

Ranks
Military ranks tend to be highly specific and well-documented.  For reference:

Rank General Obersvations Army Navy
0 Enlisted Private Recruit
1 Enlisted Corporal Seaman
2 NCO Sergeant Petty Officer
3 NCO/Company Officer Chief Master Sergeant, Lieutenant Chief Petty Officer/Ensign
4 Company Officer Captain Lieutenant
5 Field Officer Major Commander
6 Field Officer Colonel Captain
7 General Officer Major General Rear Admiral
8 General Officer General Admiral


The Patrol and Security Agencies

I'd argue that these two can be combined into a single element that's largely absent from Star Wars.  We know there must be port authorities for the smuggler to dodge, or some sort of space cop who tries to arrest people like Jabba the Hutt (without cops, you don't have skulking criminals, you have warlords).  Psi-Wars, with its evident focus on lawmen vs criminals, definitely needs this sort of organization as a separate entity from the military, which suggests new sorts of ships, new sorts of troops, and so on, some of which we've already touched on.  For our purposes, include Spy agencies in here.  They often do different things, but from the perspective of Boardroom and Curia, there's little difference between the NSA and the CIA.

These are typically Enforcement and Investigative organizations, usually associated with the Government.  They tend to offer contacts with influence skills, combat skills, administration, politics and law, and a bevy of investigative skills, including Criminology, Forensics, Intelligence Analysis, Observation, Search and Streetwise.  They offer favors like authorization, minions, covert activity and information.

Specifically, we might allow such an organization to offer:
  • Entry Clearance (SEPR 13, similar to Base Access from Action 1), 
  • License and Warrant (SEPR 13, similar to Warrant from Action 1, either temporary or long-term rights to do something specific). 
  • Consultation (SEPR 15, Treat it as access to a Contact with the appropriate skill), 
  • Files or Records Search(SEPR 15, as Files from Action 1, generally regarding arrest records, secret documents, biometric databases, etc)
  • Cash (SEPR 16, similar to Cash from Action 1, but multiply values by 2.5) 
  • Gear (SEPR 16, as replacement gear)
  • Evacuation and Treatment (SEPR 17, as medevac from Action 1), 
  • Facilities (SEPR 18-19, As facilities for Action, but in this case provides top-notch surveillance or forensics facilities. Small organizations add +2 to applicable skill and reaction, normal organizations apply +4 to applicable skill and reactions, and vast organizations apply +4 to reaction and +6 to skill, representing the best money can possibly buy).
  • Muscle, the Cavarly (SEPR 19, as Backup and SWAT from Action, but dependent on the sort of equipment/typical NPCs the organization offers).
Prerequisites for membership to a secrity organization usually requires high frequency Duty and necessarily Legal Enforcement Powers. Some variants might offer Security Clearance.

Official Intelligence Agencies offer all of the above, plus additional options:

  • Cover Up (SEPR 14; This is limited to either normal/huge organizations, or organizations with BAD 5+/Comfortable wealth)
  • Disappearance (SEPR 14, as Disappearance from Action 1)
  • False ID (SEPR 14, as False ID from Action 1)
  • Insertation/Extraction (SEPR 14, as Insertion/Extraction from Action 1)
  • Safe House (SEPR 15, as Safe House from Action 1)
  • Technical Means (SEPR 15; This is limited to either normal/huge organizations, or organizations with BAD 5+/Comfortable wealth)
  • Bailout (SEPR 17, same as Bailout from Action 1, but in this case is covered by Legal Immunity), 
Prerequisites for membership to an intelligence organization usually requires high frequency Duty. Security Clearance, and sometimes high levels of Legal Enforcement Powers

Ranks:
Ranks in a security or intelligence organization are often hard to pin down.  Alphabet Agencies typically have a wide variety of low-level ranks, while police forces often use military-style ranks.  Higher level ranks tend to blend into administrative ranks.

Rank 0 for police tend to be "Trooper" or "Officer" or "Deputy" or "Constable"

Rank 1 for police tend to be "Detective" or "Inspector"

Rank 2 for police tend to be "Sergeant"

Rank 3-4 for police tend to be "Lieutenant". "Deputy Inspector" or "Major". For Security/Intelligence Agencies, we get agents: Junior Agents, Field Agent, Special Agent.

Rank 5-6: For police, we cap out at our organizational size: Rank 5 might be Chief Inspector, or Deputy Chief-of-Police, while Rank 6 might be Chief-of-Police or Commissioner.  Intelligence and security agencies tend to see "Special Agent In Charge" or "Regional Director" at this level.

Rank 7-8 tend to resemble administrative ranks, as we get into Directors and Commissioners and Administrators and Secretaries at this level.

Corporations

While I doubt players will often want to serve corporations, they're almost certainly a major player in the setting.  Dune features the CHOOM company, and Star Wars has quite a few manufacturing companies or trade federations that serve a vital role in driving the plot.  In Psi-Wars, players might break into corporations, or seek their assistance, or try to gain access to their prime resources.

A corporation is, obviously, Commercial, but I would argue that it's also an Advocacy organization.  That's why you see Trade-Federation types sitting down with Senators for dinner, and why they come across as seamy, at least in Star Wars and most cyberpunk settings.  Given Psi-Wars' focus on conspiracies and crime, it seems our corporations might be a touch shady and ready to engage in regulatory capture.  That means they typically provide contacts with Influence Skills, Propaganda, Current Affairs, Law, Connoisseur and Merchant.

News organizations might be a subset of Corporations.  Star Wars doesn't feature reporters, but it's not entirely clear why not.  FTL might be too slow for immediate telecasting of events on other worlds, but everyone in the empire will eventually need reports of what's going on.  Consider treating them as Investigative Corporations.  They'll usually have more focus on Advocacy and Investigation, so they might offer contacts with skills like Observation, Search, Streetwise, Intelligence Analysis, Propaganda, Current Affairs, and various Influence skills.  They offer favors like Material Aid, Transportation, funding, introductions, invitations, etc.


Mercenary Companies

Mercenaries (and pirates!) definitely fit into Psi-Wars.  The typical bounty hunter from Star Wars is little more than a mercenary, and in a game about war, groups will definitely run around offering their services to the highest bidder.

A mercenary company is typically just a small military organization that just provides contacts with combat skills.

The Organization

What a terrible name in the context of everything else we're discussing here!  In any case, Star Wars definitely has criminal organizations in the form of the Hutt Cartel, and Psi-Wars will definitely want to follow suit, what with my criminal minions and pirates.

Criminal organizations are, of course, Criminal, and that's probably enough for most... but you might consider using the criminal tag for other organizations.  Heavily mercantile syndicates might act like Corporations, while highly militarized ones might be Mercenaries, and secretive ones might be Secret.  In any case, criminal organizations always offer thugs and contacts with Streetwise.  They offer favors like Covert Activity and minions.

Specifically, we might allow such an organization to offer:
  • Consultation (SEPR 15, Treat it as access to a Contact with the appropriate skill), 
  • Cash (SEPR 16, similar to Cash from Action 1, but multiply values by 2.5) 
  • Muscle (SEPR 19, as Backup from Action, but dependent on the sort of equipment/typical NPCs the organization offers).
  • False ID (SEPR 14, as False ID from Action 1)
  • Insertation/Extraction (SEPR 14, as Insertion/Extraction from Action 1)
  • Safe House (SEPR 15, as Safe House from Action 1)
  • Bailout (SEPR 17, same as Bailout from Action 1, provided the criminals have their some lawyers or judges in their pocket)/
Criminal organizations tend to expect some level of Duty from their membership, and Social Stigma (Criminal Record) is common, but not necessarily required.

Ranks:
Criminal organizations tend to be less formal with ranks, and how their ranks work vary greatly from group to group.  I offer the Mafia and the Yakuza as examples below.

Rank 0 tends to be for "associates" (Mafia) or Shatei (Little Brothers), your low-level initiates or those who wish to be initiated.  These serve the organization, often directly, but from the perspective of the organization, they don't "truly belong."  These are the drug dealers, the gang-bangers, etc.

Rank 1-2 is reserved for Soldiers (Mafia) and Kyodai (Big Brothers), those who have been initiated and are genuinely part of the organization: made men, if you will.  They tend to command respect from associates, who want to be them.

Rank 3-4 might be your capos or lieutenants, who run whole gangs at the behest of a larger boss.  In a larger organization, these might be rank 5-6, and run planets at the behest of a larger cartel boss.

Rank 5-6: Given that most organized crime doesn't exceed a planetary scale, I've limited this to the highest ranks for organized crime.  This tends to be your boss or oyabun and his right-hand men and closest advisors.  For an interstellar syndicate, this might be pushed up to rank 7-8.

Scientific Foundations

Star Wars doesn't really focus on research and depicts a very static society, but it does display (slow) progress, such as the development of the Death Star, or the creation of Clone Troopers and so on.  It's not that Star Wars never progresses, it's that the progress is very incremental, and that the universe seems to go through cycles of renewal and collapse.  Thus a foundation investigating or expanding technology certainly fits into the design of Psi-Wars, but primarily as targets for infiltration or heists.

Such organizations are typically Research organizations and offer contacts with a specific skill appropriate to their focus, typically an Expert Skill or some other Academic skill, typically at high levels.  They typically offer favors like superior facilities or healing or information.

Religious Organizations

Not depicted in GURPS Space, but nonetheless vital to both Psi-Wars and Star Wars, is the religious  society.  The Jedi Order is definitely such an organization, and Psi-Wars can use those as a place to slot in interesting Psionic Styles.

Such organizations are obviously religious.  If we're going to include the ability to teach characters cool martial arts, they should also be focused on teaching.  Such an organization would provide contacts with Theology (or Philosophy!) and Religious Ritual, as well as Area Knowledge, Public Speaking and Teaching. 

Similar Occult societies might exist, if their focus on Psionic styles and such had a slightly different flavor.  They might offer Hidden Lore and Occultism.  Obviously, this can and will mix and mingle with the Religious benefits above.

All of the above will typically offer benefits like greater information, better gear (relics), access to holy spots, introductions and invitations to special events.

Specifically, we might allow such an organization to offer:
  • Entry Clearance (SEPR 13, similar to Base Access from Action 1), 
  • License and Warrant (SEPR 13, similar to Warrant from Action 1, either temporary or long-term rights to do something specific). 
  • Consultation (SEPR 15, Treat it as access to a Contact with the appropriate skill, usually with an eye towards instruction) 
  • Files (SEPR 15, as Files from Action 1, generally ancient documents or training manuals)
  • Gear (SEPR 16, as replacement gear, but typically relics or appropriate religious equipment)
  • Treatment (SEPR 17, as medevac from Action 1, using psionic power to heal someone.), 
  • Facilities (SEPR 18-19, As facilities for Action, but in this case provides high or very high sanctity locations)
  • Introduction and Invitation (SEPR 18, Unique form of Entry Clearance, largely to social or religious events).
Prerequisites for membership to such an organization might include some level of Duty, Clerical Investment, and often Disciplines of Faith.

Ranks
Religious ranks tend to be less formal than those of major institutions, but this can vary depending on how formal a religious organization is!  I offer as three examples, the Catholic faith, where rank definitely impacts how many people your organization tends to, and two strands of Buddhism, Tibetan and Japanese Zen Buddhism, which tend to focus more on ones advancement/knowledge of the faith as well as inner enlightenment.

Rank 0: This represents those who have not yet been fully initiated into the institution of the faith, but definitely work with/for the faith as an institution.  For the Catholic faith, this might include Lay clergy, clerks, or even deacons.  For Zen buddhism, this might include the Joza, a monk-in-training.

Rank 1: This represents someone definitely initiated into the faith.  For the Catholic faith, this might be a Deacon.  For Zen Buddhism, this might include the Zagen (monk).

Rank 2: This represents someone who has full authority to act on the behalf of the faith, or a high level assstant.  For Catholics, this might be Priests/Pastors or Assistant Priests, or high-level Deaconds.  For Zen Buddhism, this might be the Susho (head monk) or Osho (A priest, teacher or "technologist of spirit").

Rank 3: This represents someone who is an independent master of their faith and can command others while serving his clergy.  For the catholic faith, this is definitely a Priest/Pastor, while in Zen Buddhism thismight be a Dai-Osho (a "resident priest" at a temple).

Rank 4: This is a high level master of the faith, one who can command Rank-3 characters, or who has special privileges.  In the catholic faith, this might be an archpriest or a dead, and in Zen Buddhism this might be a Kyoshi (an instructor)

Rank 5: This is someone who commands a small-scale organization or a division of an organization.  In the catholic faith, this might be an abbot (commanding a monastary) or a vicar.  In Zen buddhism, this might be a "Daikyoshi", a senior instructor.

Rank 6: Is the highest level of a small-scale religion: an Abbot in both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, and a Bishop in the Catholic faith.

Rank 7: Is limited to faiths with considerable organization, and typically represents priviledged versions of rank 6 characters: the archbishop, the cardinal, the patriarch, the Panchen Lama.

Rank 8: Typically heads the religious organization: the Pope and the Dalai Lama.

Secret Organizations

Secret Organizations deserve special mention, as conspiracies seem to abound in both Action and Star Wars.  Nearly any of the above might be secret in addition to their normal benefits (the Jedi Order eventually became a secret Religious organization, and the Sith Order always was; Secret agencies might be secret investigative organizations; subtle criminals might be secret criminal organizations, and so on).  In Boardroom and Curia, this typically just means they react madly to outsiders.  A clearer way to treat them would be to increase their BAD by one level, as a benefit gained from their secrecy.

Secret groups also typically offer covert benefits.
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