Striker is an action-adventure manga written by Hiroshi Takashige with art by Ryoji Minagawa. It takes place in the modern day here-and-now, and mixes high-technology, international intrigue, and telekinetic powers with equal parts of gunplay and martial arts. Many characters and elements of the Striker series would work quite well in a superhero setting, and much of Striker is perfect for use in a high-powered Dark Champions setting. Certain elements of the universe could also be used in a cyberpunk, fantasy, or science fiction campaign.
History of the World
A very long time ago, a great civilization arose that possessed scientific knowledge and achievements that greatly surpassed those of the late 20th Century. The civilization fell as the result of a great war, brought upon by unchecked technological advancement and development. These wars were fought in and around the Indian subcontinent, and were eventually chronicled in such epic poems as the Mahabharata and the Ramayanda.
At some point many great artifacts created by this civilization were sealed away or hidden, lying dormant until being rediscovered in the 20th Century. Message plates have been found as well, written in ancient Hebrew, stating the following:
"To future civilizations, we hope you discover this message. To the wise and the just, we send this message from the ancient past. Once there were many thriving civilizations on this planet. They are about to be destroyed. Corruption and war prevail, our civilization is in decline, we hope that yours has a future. We leave behind the relics of our civilization, scattered all over the world. But if your people are not ready to use these relics wisely for the good of all, then we implore you to seal them away. Protect our legacy from evil forces. You must not follow the same path as us"
These plates are made from an unknown substance and cannot be damaged by any conventional force known to man.
Many of the artifacts have been detected though the use of satellites, usually through the discovery of unusual magnetic fields. Once one is confirmed, various military and corporate teams will rush to the site, trying to be the first to uncover and secure the artifact. The Arcam Foundation is dedicating to finding these ancient artifacts, and in most cases, sealing them away, following the wishes of the message plate and keeping the objects out of the hands of those that would use them for the wrong purposes.
Aside from ultra-advanced technology the of the ancient artifacts, the world of Striker features paranormal powers as well. Several of the characters possess telekinetic powers, while at least one is an actual magician. In addition, highly-advanced biotechnology is exhibited, as well as more 'conventional' forms of comic book super-science. Additional notes on these powers will be found amid the various character write-ups. Game Masters should be able to develop new character concepts with ease from then on.
Major Organizations and Corporations
- Arcam Foundation: The Arcam Foundation is dedicated to uncovering and sealing away the various ancient artifacts before they can fall into the wrong hands. The Foundation also conducts research on these artifacts, in the hopes of understanding more about them and how to use them safely. The Foundation has locations in the American and Japan, as well as research centers around the world. One of these centers, located in India, was destroyed when a berserker (see below) self-destructed. In order to safeguard its operations, Arcam employs a special operations unit with the code-name of "Strikers." The chief striker is one Yu Ominae, the central character in the stories. He is a high school student, and attends an Arcam-run institution when not out on a mission.
- Campwell Company: This European corporation is a co-funder of the Trident development group.
- Clovers Heavy Industry: This American corporation is a co-funder of the Trident development group.
- Machiner's Platoon: This group is the combat arm of MJ-12. The actual extent of the platoon is unknown, as only three members (Col. MacDougal, Fatman, and Little Boy) are ever seen. Some comments made in the series seem to assign the platoon to the American military instead of MJ-12.
- MJ-12 This is a group of 12 multinational corporation united in a plan to control the world. They will stop at nothing to achieve that goal and certainly seem to believe that "the end justifies the means." They try to take the artifact known as "Noah" to achieve their goal. If they ever succeed, MJ-12 will do away with the idea of countries and nationalities, and instead have everyone work for the corporate good.
- US Armored Corps.: A division of the US military that uses armored suits when on operations.
- Takasumi Zaibatsu: This Japanese corporation is a co-funder of the Trident development group.
- Trident Trident is a weapons development group that used to be a part of NATO. Currently they are an "illegal organization" searching for artifacts and relics to devices and build new super-weapons to sell to various military forces. They employ their own cadre of super-soldiers, all of who are usually armed with highly advanced weapons (such as caseless assault rifles).
- Lieutenant Bo Brantze: A Neo-Nazi and Third Reich operative, Brantze has impressive super-speed powers
- Colonel MacDougal: MacDougal is a member of the Machiner's Platoon. He looks to be about 12 years old, and has a "magnetic field amplifier" in his head, which grants him massive telekinetic powers. This amplifier is also slowly killing him.
- Fatman: Fatman is a member of the Machiner's Platoon. He is a giant of a man, standing some 8 feet tall and strong enough to carry a 7.62mm mini-gun as a weapon. He wears an armored muscle suit made from omihalcon that renders him invulnerable to conventional weaponry.
- Iwao Akatsuki: An operative for Trident, Akatsuki uses a prototype "machine suit" similar to the Arcam muscle suit.
- Jean Jaquemonde: Jean is a striker. A native of France, he has long hair and an arrogant attitude. He is also a werewolf.
- Koichi Moroha: Koichi is a Japanese KGB agent assigned to the Far East division. He possesses extensive telekinetic powers and uses them quite effectively.
- Little Boy: Little Boy is a member of the Machiner's Platoon. He wears an armored muscle suit much like Fatman's.
- Oboro/Mirage: The greatest living "chi" martial artist, Oboro is Arcam's most powerful operative and Yu's martial arts master.
- Victor Shutrov: A product of bioengineering, Victor stands some 8-9 feet in height, and his "power and intelligence is ten times normal." He is a member of the Speznaz Special Corps.
- Yoshino Somei: Yoshino is a freelance treasure hunter, who uses her unique necromancy talents to uncover secrets no one else can.
- Yu Ominae: Arcam's number one operative, Yu is 17 years-old. He uses an Arcam armored muscle suit to great effectiveness.
- Adolf Hitler: When World War II ended, certain high-ranking Nazi's rescued some of Hitler's DNA and saved it, eventually growing six (or more) clones.
- Colonel Kurtheimer: One of the commanders of the Third Reich seeking to return Adolf Hitler to life and resume the Nazi conquest of the world. He is confined to a wheelchair due to a punch he received from Oboro.
- Hans Schneider: A violent psychopath who works for the Third Reich, Hans uses a knife and likes to inflict pain.
- Lieutenant Colonel Maria Clemente: A member of the British army, Maria graduated from MIT at the age of 20 with an engineering degree. Needless to say, she is very intelligent
- Miss Margaret: Margaret is Professor Mayzel's assistant.
- Professor Mauser: This English archeologist has the misfortune to uncover a berserker. The berserker is then taken away from him by the British military, who then accidentally activate it. Professor Mauser does not survive the experience.
- Professor Mayzel: Mayzel is a scientist working for the Arcam Foundation. He seems to have no patience for fools or rash actions, and seems to dislike Jean due to his long hair.
- Professor Shozo Kawahara: An Arcam scientist, Kawahara discovered a crystal skull, but was killed by Hans Schneider before he could turn it over to Arcam.
- Rie Yamabishi: Rie is a 16 year-old girl and a certified genius of linguistics. Although originally a native of Japan, she now lives in American and is a professor at Cornell University.
- Suzuko Kawahara: Professor Shozo Kawahara's daughter, Suzuko is a school teacher who helps Yu Ominae recover the crystal skull. She also accepts a teaching position at the Arcam-run school in Japan.
- Tea Flatte: One of Arcam's Strikers, Tea is described by Yu as "a bad-assed witch...". Exactly who (or what) she is is open to speculation, as nothing is said about her origins. The only real clue we have is a comment from a Hitler clone, which is that her style of magic shows she (Tea) is older than she looks. Tea then gives an angry retort to the effect of "how dare you mention my age!" Tea's magic is very interesting. She seems to be able to teleport into and out of buildings (but only if no one is looking), twist the space continuum to reflect an attacker's bullets back at them (a very potent form of Missile Deflection), and summon Calling Beasts from sheets of paper with pentacles drawn on them. The one time she actually summons her Calling Beasts, they appear as winged lions. There is a delay between her summoning the Beasts and their actual appearance, if one can grab the paper out of the air and tear it apart, then the Beasts will not appear. Tea is of average height, with long curly black hair. She dresses in a long black coat and beret.
- Yamamoto: Yamamoto is a high-ranking official at Arcam Japan and is Yu's direct supervisor.
Ancient Artifacts and Related Items
- Ambrosia: This is an extinct species of flower that originally grew high in the Himalayas. It was a prime ingredient for the "Nectar of the Gods."
- Berserker: This is an immense killing machine that stands around 9 feet tall and about 5 feet wide, and resembles an giant beetle. It is fairly well armored, very strong, seemingly tireless, and equipped with a wide assortment of weapons, including lasers and missiles. If severely injured, it will self-destruct, exploding with the force of a small nuclear weapon.
- Crystal Skull: This small crystal skull is capable of emitting a burst of energy at 20 million joules if the right oscillation is applied to the skull.
- Fire Orb: A small crystal sphere, this orb was found in the Temple of Fire, located at the foot of Mt. Fuji. With it, one can control volcanoes, causing them to erupt on command.
- Forest of No Return: This large tract of woods was cursed by the god/hero Rama some time in the distant past. Anyone entering the forest will become lost and disoriented, quickly falling prey to the bizarre and dangerous lifeforms that inhabit the forest. Within the forest is the formula for making the "Nectar of the Gods."
- Holy Grail: This powerful artifact can resurrect the dead. Those brought back to life gain incredible powers, including healing the sick and injured.
- Nectar of the Gods: This drink will grant eternal life to anyone who consumes it. It is also called the "Eternal Life Elixir."
- Noah: Noah is actually Noah's ark, a gigantic ship a full 900 feet long by 150 feet wide. The ship is outside normal space time, so it immune to conventional weapons and damage. Inside are all sorts of animals, including many that are considered fantastical or mythological. Deep inside Noah (possible 2 miles or more) resides Noah itself, a device that can control the Earth's atmosphere, and is capable of raising immense storms and other weather patterns.
- Omihalcon: A wonder metal refined by the Arcam Foundation, MJ-12, and Trident. It is the primary component of the armored muscles suits used by Striker and various other characters.
- Vajrayana: Also known as Indra's Lightning Bolt, this scepter can be used to channel the psychic energy of its wielder into bursts of electrical energy.
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