Saturday, November 3, 2018

Wizard City Police

The Police, The Secret Police, and the Ultra-Secret Police of Wizard City all have one job, and one job only: to maintain the status quo. They aren't there to uphold justice, and they won't pretend it as so. They're there to make sure uppity wizards don't get any bright ideas that would screw over someone in power. They disproportionally enforce laws that the rich and powerful find important.

"Regular" Police

Wizard City doesn't have police officers or courts. With the amount of evidence tampering and magical coercion possible, establishing a formal protocol for arrest and conviction is futile. Hence, there are no jails or prisons in Wizard City, only Judge Dredd on-the-spot punishment.

Campus Security ("The Dean")
There's a problem on campus: too many students and not enough vindictive asshole deans to go around. The solution? Clone more Deans.

Dean Baldman is the dean, or more specifically one of many many completely identical deans, of the University of Chronulus. Baldman is tasked with controlling the frequently-riotous and apocalyptic student wizard population, and takes it upon himselves to patrol campus and the student ghettos to make sure that typical cataclysmic student behavior is kept in check.

Imagine this guy, but there's about 800 of them.

To that end, you can expect him to fully disregard the Student Code of Conduct, arbitrarily dolling out "detention" and "expulsion" to victims of his grudges (at least those who aren't the children of wealthy donors and alumni).

"Detention", of course, being the process of hurling one into the Detention Dimension - an endless featureless desert upon which one wanders for decades before reemerging an hour later. Mind the giant city-eating sand worms.

...with teeth!
(From Beetlejuice)

And "Expulsion" being the act of opening a portal into the vacuum of space.

His ultimate nemesis is the Black Magic Fraternity, which frequently finds their goals at odds with The Dean. (Summoning Class III or higher demons is typically prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct.)

The closest thing to regular police in Wizard City is the network of Secret Police informants, of which the brains-in-jars population is a majority.

Mobile Reconnaissance Operating Nerves. In Wizard City, Mo-RONs cannot have law enforcement privileges. They can, however, report you to the Secret Police, and this is often what they do (for special rewards, usually exosuits). This causes most Mo-RONs to serve like a kind of bumbling cowardly guards.

It's well documented that brains in jars, due to the inexact and incomplete wizardry of putting brains in jars, will steadily succumb to memory loss and dementia, much like someone with Alzheimer's. Eventually they become little better than slobbering robots in clanky suits, recognizing only suspicious activity and crime.

Wizard: "Frederick, how could you betray us to the secret police?
Does our relationship mean nothing?!"
Brain In Jar: "......."
Wizard: "You traitor!"

Copyright Enforcement
The intellectual property of the intelligentsia must be protected! With lethal force!

They're here to kick ass and enforce copyright law, and they're all out of subpoenas.

The most overtly violent of the Police. They like to smash first and ask questions later, all while screaming "COPYRIGHT VIOLATION! COPYRIGHT VIOLATION!" There are automatic detectors around the city, so if you use a patented spell or copyrighted thing without the rights to do so, expect a bunch of hooligans in uniforms to show up and give everyone a good bonebreaking.

Aside from using copyrighted spells, the Patent Police will break your knees if you:

- say the copyrighted words "Birthday", "Research", or any variation on "Thanks" without paying for the appropriate licenses.
- own, use, or otherwise stand by anything which even remotely looks bootlegged.
- make fun of their dumb conical hats.
- protest in any way for the breaking of one's knees
- call for your lawyer

"What's that? It's your birthday? I don't recall any 'birthday' license, Timmy.
Don't think you're exempt from copyright law just because you're six!"

Secret Police

The Secret Police of Wizard City engage in covert operations to ensure that the supremacy of The Archmages is never challenged. They deal with political and existential threats to the status quo and are beholden only to the laws which they find convenient.

They are well-funded and resourced. They will find you eventually, or retroactively. Their lack of oversight makes them particularly susceptible to bribery and corruption.

Anti-Magic Weapon And Tactics - the wizard assault forces and riot control. They are the muscle of the Secret Police. If your wizard criminals overstep their boundaries by screwing over someone who can afford Secret Police protection, AMWAT will come for you.

They have broad authority for on-the-spot punishment, they have excellent scrying and tracking personnel, and they have no compunctions about stomping on upstarts.

They are also the most bribe-able of the Secret Police. Every gang boss is known to have at least one AMWAT squad on call to deal with problem wizards. They don't come cheap, though.

Our boy Dredd here's got the right idea.

The Stewards
Powerful wizards who secretly quash political opponents at the behest of the Five Archmages. If your crime is purely criminal in nature, AMWAT will handle it. If it is in any way political, The Stewards will involve themselves.

They are the legal branch of the Secret Police. Some are torturers and interrogators, others Investigators. All of them have some connections, often personal, to the Archmages.

There is deep penetration among criminal organizations by The Stewards. The gangs themselves are considered assets in the maintenance of the status quo. Many mob bosses will often partner with the Stewards to handle projects like legal defense (with extreme prejudice) or money laundering.

The Stewards each have their own quirks, but you can expect most of them to be dressed like affluent lawyers or lobbyists and hold a degree. About half of them have doctorates in the obscure arts.

The Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters
The Bureau has its own law-enforcement division specializing in crimes related to space and time - from rogue wizards to extra-dimensional shamblers to rioting cartographers.

They tend to be disconnected and ethereal in nature. They almost always have bigger fish to fry and future stuff to worry about. So just keep in mind that when interacting with them you're probably wasting their time and they know it. They just want this over with.

Typical casework for Bureau agents includes:

- Preventing unregistered omniscience.
- Unraveling time travel paradoxes.
- Arresting self-siring loops.
- Tracking extra-dimensional or extra-temporal fugitives.
- Teleportation security.
- Finding out who took Dave's lunch from the break room fridge.

Nothing out of the ordinary here!

Ultra-Secret Police

They're so secret, that either nobody knows they exist, or even they themselves don't know they exist. These threats shouldn't emerge until higher-level play.

Brainwashed Sleeper Agents
Anyone could secretly be a sleeper agent for the Ultra-Secret Police. Anyone... Even you! There are no exceptions.

These sleeper agents generally only come out of the woodwork when existential threats arise to the power structure of the city, like a assimilationist hivemind infiltrating the upper classes, or a Secret Police coup d'etat.

When in doubt, give any single person a 1 in 4 chance (including the players) of being a secret sleeper agent. Yes, this means a full quarter of the city are secret sleeper agents (it is hypothesized that, actually, that 99.99% of the city population are secret sleeper agents). The fact of their hidden programming cannot be discovered until they are activated.

Providence Men
Cloaked, swift bodies of black basalt and inverted pyramid heads with a single ominous eye, or so the rumor goes. If you see one of these guys you're fucked for sure. The rumors don't go beyond vague and contradicting information. They say that God, or maybe a future Overlord, can see through each and every lidless eye, and that their gaze is existentially annihilating.

Sometimes a person, having a conversation, will briefly turn away to do some menial task. When they look back their friends and family are piles of dust. Maybe they'll catch a brief glow of red, or a blurry shape escaping the window, or a sentence cut-off at the neck.

They target seemingly at random, with none spared, rich or poor.

Providence Men have True Sight and Pass Without Trace always active. They can cast Fly, Invisibility, and Disintegrate at will, and can cast them all silently. You are fucked.

Providence Men come from a future of their own design, when the Pyramid Men rule. They have come back in time to eliminate future dissidents, or their progenitors, which may challenge their rule. Every person eliminated would either shift power away from their plotted design, give birth to such a person, or affect them in such a way.

The rumors of the Providence Men started after three-quarters of the population of the Cryptography District were turned to dust overnight fifty years ago. The only ones that survived the culling described bunkering in a corner of their basements, hands firmly clasped over their ears, eyes shut, praying fruitlessly to every and all Gods for deliverance. There were no witnesses to the event.

Yer fucked.

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