Breaking the Circle
Secrecy is a top priority for Paragon. Those few that know it exists outside of the organization believe it’s a bunch of tinfoil-hat-wearers with a shoestring budget, and Paragon likes it that way. The public at large doesn’t believe in the paranormal, or what science can actually accomplish, and are only kept calm because they don’t know the truth. Again, this is what Paragon wants: peace.
To that end, Paragon Troubleshooters are under orders to control the spread of alarming events, and are subject to plausible deniability. This isn’t easy. By their nature, the Troubleshooters inevitably wind up in situations that might bring the public eye, law enforcement, or media. The extent of general alarm raised by their actions is tracked on the Alarm Track.
The Alarm Track is a stress track that takes on stress as the public becomes aware of events that alarm them. Should the stress take up the entire track, Consequences could be taken. The amount of stress in an area is directly related to how long it takes for someone to report unusual occurrences. A small town might have an Alert stress track of two, whereas out in the middle of a ghetto, it might have four (or more).
Some locations that are used to a certain degree of disturbances or violence may have Alert Armor. This Armor reduces the amount of Alert stress incurred by an incident when it is applied to the Alert track. The majority of towns and cities will have no Armor, but neighborhoods where gun violence is common might have Armor: 1, locations where no one calls for emergency services, or where open fighting is common, it might go as high as Armor: 3.
When Alert stress occurs from a particular incident, repeats of that incidents while there is still stress on the track do not incur additional stress. Once the stress track has cleared, then similar incidents are free to inflict stress once again.
Example Alert Stress Incidents:
- Distant gunshots heard – 1 Stress
- Public use of a superpower – 1 Stress
- Small Explosion – 2 Stress
- Building on fire – 3 Stress
- Open gun battle – 4 Stress
- Building collapse – 5 Stress
- Large-scale paranormal occurrence – 6 Stress
Example Alert Consequences
- Mild – Local Law Enforcement Alerted
- Mild – Nearby Civilians Investigating
- Moderate – Media Coverage Ongoing
- Moderate – City Lockdown Underway
- Severe – National Manhunt Proceeding
- Severe – 24-Hour News Network Coverage