Lost Boys

Is the Delta Protocol a company, an organization, a lone eccentric billionaire with an agenda? Nobody knows. What some know, however, is that this strange group has fingers in numerous world militaries. It develops biological augmentations for soldiers, and sells them to anyone buying. Odder still, it never sells these enhancements for money; it sells them for soldiers. For every soldier the Delta Protocol enhances, the Protocol gets one in return. The Protocol doesn’t appear to do anything directly with these soldiers; the warriors are discharged from their military roles, they’re not told a thing about the Protocol, and they’re expected to live relatively normal lives. Those in the know believe the Protocol is watching these experiments, testing their augmentations, and preparing for…something. Those soldiers, those experiments — they each see eyes everywhere. They live looking over their shoulders, wondering what’s happening. Sometimes they awaken stronger, faster. Often, they awaken in pain, needing something chemical. If they’re lucky, the Protocol is there to provide it.

Even the name, the Delta Protocol, is simply something that one experimental subject saw on a classified document in passing. But when he told his story online, that name stuck. Now they use it to describe the people they sometimes find spying on them, as well as the process that made them different.

Every single one of these test subjects wonders what the Delta Protocol wants from them. Every single one wonders when the Protocol will call for them with demands.

Eye of the Storm

The Delta Protocol’s subjects have an eye for the strange. This isn’t necessarily a supernatural ability, but they are ever exceptional, and tend to find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time. Most Protocol subjects quickly find themselves exposed to the supernatural. For this reason, they often band together with other investigators of the supernatural, or in some cases within groups of supernatural creatures.

Some of the Lost Boys Network have speculated that this is partly why the Delta Protocol exists; so they can follow their experiments back to greater supernatural creatures. At least one Network member has reported seeing a major medical corporation abduct a vampire with a known Delta Protocol operative in the van.

The Lost Boys Network

Since the Protocol started some ten years ago, many of the experimental subjects have connected with one another to form makeshift support networks. Now, an online support group exists, with small chapters meeting in various cities all over the world. This network calls itself the Lost Boys, and provides social, moral, and training support for members. As well, some members have been able to crudely replicate the Delta Protocol’s Serum, and network members trade and sell doses through dead drops and mail orders. While the support network calls itself the Lost Boys, the Delta Protocol has experimented on numerous women as well.

The Withdrawal

Those subject to the Delta Protocol must have a regular infusion of the Protocol’s “Serum” in order to maintain biological stability. After a certain amount of time, a subject’s body rejects her augmentations. The amount of time is determined by her Protocol Merit dots; each successive dot makes her body more reliant on the Protocol’s drugs to survive. After that amount of time, she suffers the Deprived Condition. After twice that time, she suffers full withdrawal, and begins taking damage dependent on her Protocol dots. However, when a character is deprived of the Serum, her augmentation inhibitors give up. She can push herself further, longer. Lost Boys call this “overclocking.” It usually hurts her in the long run, but can bring her to truly supernatural heights.

On Lazuli

Lost Boys in the world of Eternal Morning are in an especially tenuous situation. They are in a constant fight to resist the Taint of the Weaver. The higher your dots in The Protocol, the more likely you are to register under the Sense Weaver gift, and the more wary you'll be making other denizens of Lazuli.

Merits

Lost Boys receive one free dot of the Protocol Merit. They suffer withdrawal symptoms when without the Protocol’s special Serum. To remove the Protocol from a character would require a massive, very dangerous medical procedure from an expert in bio-engineering. If a player wishes his character to shed the Condition, this could be the focus of an entire chronicle on its own.

The Protocol

Cost: • to •••••
Prerequisites: --

Your character was subject to the Delta Protocol’s experimentation. This Merit allows access to Protocol Merits. Every level opens new potential augmentations. The Merit does not directly give any advantages; it simply determines the rate of withdrawal effects, and unlocks augmentations. Characters receive higher levels of the Merit alongside extensive surgeries and operations. Most of these are committed on the character secretively, while they sleep or are drugged and abducted.

Mk 1 She suffers Deprived after one month. At two months, she suffers full withdrawal and takes one unhealable lethal damage per week until sated.
•• Mk 2 She suffers Deprived after one week. At two weeks, she suffers full withdrawal and takes one unhealable lethal damage per day until sated.
••• Mk 3 She suffers Deprived after one day. At two days, she suffers full withdrawal and takes one unhealable lethal damage every twelve hours until sated.
•••• Mk 4 She suffers Deprived after twelve hours. At one day, she suffers full withdrawal and takes one unhealable lethal damage every six hours until sated.
••••• Mk 5 She suffers Deprived after six hours. At twelve hours, she suffers full withdrawal and takes one unhealable lethal damage every six hours until sated.

Protocol Fixer

Cost: • to •••••
Prerequisites: The Protocol •

Your character has access to a Delta Protocol fixer, who provides the necessary Serum to keep her body from rejecting its augmentations. Without this Merit, your character only receives a single dose per month.

Dots Doses
0 1 monthly dose
1 1 weekly dose
2 3 weekly doses
3 6 weekly doses
4 10 weekly doses
5 14 weekly doses

This Merit can reflect a Lost Boys Network fixer, who provides substandard Serum as noted below. This requires at least a dot in the Lost Boys Network Status Merit as well.

Additionally, your character can purchase additional doses. An Availability ••• purchase through her Protocol Fixer will net one dose per dot in the Merit.

The Serum

The Serum is a Toxicity 5 poison (see the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook, p. 98). Add your character’s Protocol Merit dots to her Stamina + Resolve rolls to resist the Toxicity. Most characters take lethal damage from the Serum. However, characters subject to the Delta Protocol only take bashing damage from it.

Some Protocol subjects have managed to create substitute Serum. While it staves off the addiction and the augmentation rejection, it’s not quite as pure as Protocol Serum. It's effectively Toxicity 7 (but the roll to resist Toxicity is only made at -5, not -7). To replicate the Serum requires access to materials with an Availability of ••••, and an extended Intelligence + Science roll. Each roll requires an hour of work, and 15 successes are required. Success creates three doses, plus two for every exceptional success during the extended action.


Lost Boys Network Status

Cost: • to •••••
Prerequisites: The Protocol

This Merit functions identically to the Status Merit, except it pertains specifically to the Lost Boys Network. Members in good standing can call on favors and backup. Additionally, they can receive mentorship and support in trying to deal with withdrawal.


Augmentations

Augmentation: Archangel System

Cost:
Prerequisites: Protocol •••••

The Archangel System is a suite of nerve, muscular, and tissue enhancements which, when activated, push the subject’s body to its peak (and beyond). When active, your character has a faint, reddish-gold glow from under her skin as if she held a flashlight under her palm. It doesn’t look inherently supernatural unless in a dark place. Activating the Archangel System is reflexive, but costs 1 Willpower. It introduces a series of advantages for the remainder of the scene.

  • Ignore all Tilts which would physically impair your character. She suffers no wound penalties.
  • Once per turn, your character may take an action that would normally require her to sacrifice her Defense, but she does not lose her Defense. For example, she may make an all-out attack while still maintaining her Defense, or use certain Fighting Style Merits.
  • She gains +1 Defense. She does not suffer a loss of Defense for facing multiple attackers.
  • Any attack she makes causes one additional damage, or the Knocked Down Tilt. Your choice.
  • Her unarmed attacks cause lethal damage.
  • Add +2 to her Initiative, and +5 to her Speed.
  • She heals one point of bashing damage per turn.
  • She gains 1/1 armor. This combines with worn armor.

At the end of the scene, your character becomes Deprived. If she’s already Deprived, she suffers full withdrawal. Any lethal damage she suffers at the end of the scene becomes aggravated.

Deprived: Increase the armor bonus to 2/2, she heals two points of bashing damage per turn, and her attacks cause both one additional damage and the Knocked Down Tilt.


Augmentation: Cloaking Device

Cost:
Prerequisites: Protocol •••

Your character has thousands of subtle lenses, prisms, and mirrors carefully installed throughout her skin, which are activated by holding her breath. When active, these devices bend light around her, rendering her nearly invisible. Any attempt to find her by sight loses –5 dice. Surveillance technology like cameras and motion sensors will simply fail to notice her. The technology also confounds thermal imaging and similar devices. This penalty also applies to detecting her ambushes.

Under normal circumstances, your character can hold her breath for 20 seconds per dot of Stamina (or seven turns). During stressful situations (like combat), make a Stamina + Resolve roll every turn, with a cumulative –1 for every 20 seconds that pass. Add an additional –1 each time she takes a physically exacting action such as attacking.

Deprived: If your character fails to hold her breath, you may take one point of lethal damage to prolong the effect by 10 seconds (or 3 turns). You may do this once per scene.


Augmentation: Holdout Storage

Cost: • to •••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character has a hollowed-out space in her body to hold items. Often, this is used for weapons or hidden messages, but can extend to any object of the appropriate Size. Every dot in this Merit adds 1 Size worth of objects to be concealed. The concealment will fool a metal detector, a casual medical exam, or pat-down. X-ray technology will simply show a gap, not dissimilar from a malignant tumor, but it will not betray the object’s identity. Removing the object requires an instant action.

Deprived: You may take a point of lethal damage to remove the object reflexively.


Augmentation: Implanted Interface

Cost:
Prerequisites: Protocol ••

Your character has a complex technological interface laced into her nervous system. Not only does she have full access to satellite Internet with a powerful antenna at all times, along with a personal interface installed in her sensory organs, she has the power of a modern higher-end computer available at the speed of thought. This is considered +3 equipment, and can assist her in wirelessly accessing other technology. While this gives her no formal training in hacking, it does provide scripts to assist in the process; it is often installed in more technologically-inclined soldiers. Additionally, installing upgrades to avoid obsolescence is a simple, five-minute outpatient surgery.

Deprived: The computer can be overclocked to a +5 equipment modifier at the cost of one point of lethal damage for the scene.


Augmentation: Jumper

Cost: • to •••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character’s legs have been enhanced to improve her ability to jump, and to handle the landing. Each level of this Merit increases the ability.

Improved Double your character’s Strength for the purposes of jumping. She takes half damage from falls.
•• Enhanced Quadruple your character’s Strength for the purposes of jumping. She only takes bashing damage from falls, and that damage is halved.
••• Superior Multiply your character’s Strength by six for the purposes of jumping. She takes no damage from falls of any height.

Deprived: You may take one lethal damage to add twice your character’s Strength for one single jump.


Augmentation: Last Chance

Cost:
Prerequisites: Protocol •••••

Your character’s body has been outfitted with a devastating last-ditch weapon. Usually, this takes the form of ball bearings or flechettes under the skin, which burst out at a moment’s notice to eliminate all nearby threats. This is often fatal for the subject.

Activating her Last-Chance weapon requires an instant action and a Resolve + Composure roll, as she’s aware of the threat to her body. She immediately takes five points of aggravated damage. Roll five additional dice as lethal damage against her. Make an attack roll against every character within 10 meters (11 yards); Defense does not apply to these rolls, but cover does. The attack is made with her Stamina + Firearms + 5, and is considered a 3L weapon.

Once used, your character must have a minor surgery to reinstall the ammunition, and must have healed all the aggravated damage first.

Deprived: The weapon does 4L and gains 3 Armor Piercing.


Augmentation: Pulse Generator

Cost: • to •••••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character has a battery and wiring matrix in her skin which allows her to create a quick electrical pulse against anyone she touches. Any time she makes contact with another character, she may discharge her Pulse Generator. This causes bashing damage equal to her dots in this Merit, and the Stunned Tilt. This can be combined with an unarmed attack or grapple, or used during more subtle contact like a handshake or when brushing up against someone. It can be used as another character attacks her as well.

She may only discharge the Pulse Generator once per scene. The discharge can also be used to destroy electrical systems; she causes twice her Merit dots in Structure damage in that case, ignoring Durability.

Deprived: Your character may suffer one lethal damage to reflexively recharge the Pulse Generator, allowing it to be activated multiple times in a scene.


Augmentation: Resilience

Cost: • to •••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character’s tissue has been enhanced for durability. For each dot in this Merit, add one dot to your character’s Stamina. This affects all derived traits. This can take your character above her normal Attribute limits.

Deprived: You also gain 2/1 armor.


Augmentation: Speed

Cost: • to •••••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character’s muscles and reflexes have been tightened, and her body structured to handle greater stress. For each dot in this Merit, add +1 to your character’s Speed and Initiative scores.

Deprived: Add +2 to Speed instead of +1 per dot.


Augmentation: Strength

Cost: • to •••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character’s been outfitted with stronger musculature, and more efficient arteries. For each dot in this Merit, add one dot to your character’s Strength. This affects all derived traits. This can take your character above her normal Attribute limit.

Deprived: You may take one lethal damage to add an additional dot of Strength for the scene. This may only be done once per scene.


Augmentation: Sub-Dermal Armor

Cost: •• or ••••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character has materials laced beneath her skin which protect her internal tissues. At two dots, this is 1/1 armor. At four dots, this is 2/2 armor. This armor stacks with worn armor.

Deprived: Increase the armor granted by 1/1.


Augmentation: Uncanny Perception

Cost: • to •••
Prerequisites: Protocol: Equal Level

Your character’s senses have been honed to alarming amounts. Add your Merit dots to all Perception-based rolls. Additionally, add these Merit dots to any aimed attack rolls your character makes.

Deprived: Double the given advantages. However, any strong stimuli such as air horns or spotlights cause one point of lethal damage to your character and destroy that sense for the scene.


Augmentation: Voice Box

Cost:
Prerequisites: Protocol •

Your character can mimic any voice she’s heard for a minute or more of active listening. This is effectively fool-proof on a technical level. However, she may require Subterfuge rolls to emulate mannerisms, slang, or other identifying bits of the person’s speech.

Deprived: Her senses become more immediately aware; she can mimic those she’s only heard through telephone or second-hand recordings. For normal speech, she becomes able to mimic after about 30 seconds of active listening.


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