Compound B13 and other Super Soldier Drugs

A screenshot from an online black market for superpowersThe following excerpt is from the chapter “Powers Done Dirt Cheap”. It describes the history of so-called “super soldier drugs”. Want to learn about the other four formulas? Back the Kickstarter!

All of the hundreds of known super soldier drugs can be traced back to one of six formulas. The first of the formulas, the American-created Peak Performer formula, sparked an international arms race between nations when it was made public in 1947. Nations raced to create their own super soldiers through whatever means were available. By the end of the Cold War, the six major forumulas had been discovered. The fall of the Soviet Union and pressure by a coalition of superheroes and activists ended research and development into the field by government and corporate institutions. The UN later banned the use of the six formulas in frontline combat troops after reports of atrocities by super soldiers during various conflicts in the 1990s created widespread outrage.

Since then, virtually every government has banned super soldier drugs for most if not all uses, even for life saving medical purposes. Some pharmaceutical corporations lobby for relaxing the rules, arguing that milder, diluted versions of the drugs could benefit the public but no politician wants to be the first to make these drugs legal.

Ragnarok has not changed this equation yet but many advocates for legalization of some or all of the drugs have emerged to argue their case. Some ask that police and military operatives be allowed to empower themselves with the drugs, although some cops and soldiers already illegally ‘juice’ themselves. Others point out how lawless base raiders empower themselves recklessly, endangering themselves and others in the process. Legalization would reduce that risk. Corporate advocates lament the loss of a potentially huge market for ‘over the counter superpowers’. So far these arguments have not persuaded the powers that be.

Peak Performer: Enhancement drug that increases physical and mental performance. The original formula transformed its recipient into a world class athlete and drastically improved memory, mental acuity, and bravery. There are few side effects, except for increased aggression and antisocial behavior. Variations of the formula often focus in a single area: increasing IQ or agility for example. This is considered the safest drug but its effects cannot transcend absolute human limitations.

Interestingly enough, the US military conducted research on combining Peak Performer with other super soldier drugs and achieved limited success, a rarity in the field. Adding more than one drug in a single human is unpredictable and many times fatal. However, the military found a way to safely enhance a human with Peak Performer before introducing another super soldier drug. This research is heavily protected, although its existence may inspire similar work around the globe.

Peak Performer is the most common of all super soldier drugs and some consider it too weak to be considered a ‘real’ super soldier drug today. Despite this, it is still treated as one. Two variants have become highly valued street drugs, sold to the wealthy elite. “Harmony” provides a temporary boost to emotional stability, easing the pain of psychological trauma and providing a sense of wellness to the user. However, in order to achieve this effect, Harmony is mixed with powerful antidepressants. This prevents Harmony from permanently improving the user’s emotional stability and causes depression during withdrawal.

The other common variant, “Boost”, increases intelligence on and is used by lawyers, bankers, doctors, and other high earning professionals. At least those that can afford it and can find a dealer that actually has Boost for sale. However, Boost’s effects are permanent, which is a problem to the very few drug dealers that sell it. One sale does not a business model make. So far, they have resorted to two common tactics: lie about the permanence of the drug and sell placebos (which may be addictive drugs) or blackmail their clients for regular payments.

Krutov Protocol: A Soviet made formula aimed to boost resilience and strength to superhuman levels, the Krutov Protocol is a set of drugs administered over a period of three weeks. The recipient falls into a coma and undergoes a metamorphosis that lasts for approximately two days. The subject must be hooked up to IV feeds to fuel the transformation. During this time, the subject’s body radically changes. His bones and connective tissue become incredibly strong, yet only slightly heavier and less flexible. Muscle tissue becomes vastly stronger, raising the subject’s strength to superhuman levels. Skin becomes dense enough to serve as natural armor. The recipient typically gains regenerative abilities as well. The character typically gains several inches of height and gains a large amount of weight from the transformation. Furthermore, they are noticeably different than humans, as their armored skin is instantly recognizable.

Administering the Krutov Protocol requires a specially trained medical technician or doctor and support equipment to keep the subject alive during the metamorphosis. However, variations of the Protocol have emerged that cut down or eliminate these requirements. The most common variation, “Compound B13” promises about half the end result for a fraction of the cost. One injection of Compound B13 puts the subject in a 12 to 30 hour coma. New, denser muscle tissue is grown and bone strength is enhanced. The skin begins to harden as well but it takes months for a B13 subject to grow effective natural armor. Virtually all of the subject’s fat is burned up during this period and the amount of strength enhancement is proportional to the amount of fat lost during the coma. Furthermore, this places an incredible amount of stress on the subject’s body, drastically shortening lifespan and increasing chances for cancer, especially skin cancer. All variations of the Krutov Protocol cause great damage to the subject in the long term. Of course, most users gladly pay that price for the power it grants.


Base Raiders Q and A Part 1

Hi everyone! We just launched last night and we’re already over 20% funded. Thanks! It means a lot that you guys dig the project.

The basic description for the project obviously can’t describe every aspect of the game so some backers have already asked questions to clarify things. I’ll answer them now:

1. From Claive: What made you choose the FATE RPG system over the Wild Talents system?

Answer: I wanted a system where characters could change, add, or subtract their powers easily – that’s a major concept in Base Raiders – and Wild Talents point system is too complex to make that work easily. If you’re a base raider with super strength but you find a way to get flight, that’s much easier to do in FATE than in Wild Talents. I’m basing the Powers system on the one used in the Kerberos Club FATE edition, where powers are treated as skills with trappings.

2. From Andy Antolick: What powers could raiders gain from their exploits? Things such as weather manipulation, alien biomineral armor, freeze rays, and mystical staves?

Answer: Yes. The Powers system will be quite versatile, allowing for innate powers like weather manipulation or equipment based powers like mystical staves.

3. From Andy Antolick: Could there be hundreds of bases, maybe even more?

Answer: Yes. The game will devote an entire chapter explaining why the old heroes and villains needed so many bases and how they were built and hidden. In part, this is because a few super-scientists created modular construction tool kits that made base construction easy for any superhuman. Intelligent robot workers, nano-fabricators that could make any component needed and bleeding edge stealth technology to conceal the base’s presence were all part of the standard tool kit. Both sides got their hands on the tool kits, leading to rampant base construction around the solar system. Of course, other superhumans could build their bases without the aid of the tool kits, using magic or cosmic power.

As for why, both the heroes and villains operated outside of civilization so they could not draw on the infrastructure of society. If they were hurt, they couldn’t go to a hospital. If they needed storage space, they couldn’t rent a warehouse. If they needed lab space or a workshop, they couldn’t rent out existing facilities. They had to make their own infrastructure to support their work and these facilities had to be hidden and protected against law enforcement and their enemies. Many of these superhumans built dozens of bases each, while others only built a single base during their entire career. No one knows how many were built, as each superhuman keep their own secret. At a minimum, there would be several hundred bases scattered around the world. Many of them would be quite small, built for only one purpose but sprawling facilities as large as a city doubtlessly exist…

The Base Raiders Kickstarter is live!

The Base Raiders Kickstarter is now live! Tell your friends about it. This website will feature a lot of content from the game in the upcoming weeks. All updates to Kickstarter will be mirrored on this site.