Thursday, April 18, 2013

O is for Organization Rules!

I've been tinkering on and off with a rules system for representing organizations in ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying. By organizations, I mean anything like S.H.I.E.L.D. or HYDRA or even the FBI or CIA. An organization can also be a cult, a corporation, or a street gang.

This is a work in progress, and I will revisit it again. It is heavily inspired by the rules for organizations found in Mongoose Publishing's OGL Horror by Gareth Hanrahan.

Organization Abilities
Resources (Organizational Prowess) - financial strength and backing.
Response (Organizational Coordination) - how long it takes to respond to a member's request.
Force (Organizational Strength) - manpower, combat strength or military might.
Information (Organizational Intellect) - scientific knowledge and research ability.
Secrets (Organizational Awareness) - any information not generally known. May include the occult.
Influence (Organizational Willpower) - how much "pull" an organization has.

Like character abilities, organization abilities are rated on a scale of 1 to 10.

Organization Stamina is equal to Force + Influence. This represents how much disruption an organization can take to its structure and plans before collapsing.

Organizations can have specialties just like characters and use the same list. This represents having people or other resources within the organization to provide the skill to any member requesting it.  How fast the response time will be on any request, however, depends on the organization's Response. An organization's specialties may add up to no more than Resources + Influence.

Qualities and Challenges
Organizations have qualities or challenges just like characters. Here are some suggestions:

Bad Reputation
Emergency Response
Fanatical Loyalty
Financial Sway
Forensics Lab
Good Reputation
Research Lab
Secure Base
Widely Known

I'm still tinkering with a "damage" system and benchmarks for what Force 7 or Secrets 3 represent. It also needs to address access to powers.

Here's a sample organization:


Resources 8
Response 8
Force 9
Information 9
Secrets 8
Influence 7

Stamina 16

Computers Expert
Criminology Master
Investigation Expert
Law Expert
Military Master
Weapons (Guns) Master

I think this has some potential. Please feel free to share any thoughts, suggestions or criticisms in the comments. And thank you for reading!


  1. Since the abilities are by analogy with heroic abilities, I'd think about changing the first one (Resources) to something more equivalent to Extent: the likelihood that an organization will be able to exert an effect wherever you happen to be. This can be one suit on the ground (for an organization with a weak "strength") or perhaps it's a huge cadre of sleeper agents who don't know they are agents for UMBRA.

    And in the interest of making all the initials different, I'd change Information to Data, so you'd have ERFDSI...which still isn't pronounceable, but heck...

  2. I didn't have anything to give as a contribution, for a long time, but now reading it again, I would suggest, as John May said, a change of initials. What about Assets, Response, Force, Data, Secrets and Influence? Otherwise, very nice post, as usual. I intend to tackle on an Organization of our games here, using your rules soon.