The Steam Spy world is currently dominated by 6 Corporations which each run its own espionage organization. Each faction has its own tone and flavor as well as offering unique bonuses to player characters (you can think of these as your Class and Race in traditional RPGs). Each Corporation and Organization also has its own set of cards (most coming soon). It’s suggested that you only build characters based on factions whose cards that you have since you will be responsible for supplying the deck when your character is the protagonist.
The Encyclopedia Englandia Company can be traced back hundreds of years. Long before the printing press was created, English monasteries toiled to create and maintain vast libraries of ancient texts and histories. With King Henry’s religious reform, control of these libraries was taken away from the church and given over to the control of Lord Erwin Meyers.
Without the financial backing of the church, Lord Meyers fought to develop new ways to finance the scribes who were now being hired to carefully record and rerecord the information that continued to amass. Needless to say, the printing press was a huge relief for the organization. Not only did it ease labor costs for printing, but it also allowed for much of the information to be mass produced for the purpose of public distribution.
The Encyclopedia Englandia Company was born. The base encyclopedia quickly developed from a single tome to a massive 25 book collection. Specialization encyclopedias were also developed for Law, Medicine and a variety of other targeted subjects. Each one became an instant success.
While most of the information gathered was presented for public consumption, vast warehouses were created of intelligence that was kept out of the public light. Although it wasn’t printed for mass distribution, this information was keenly observed and analyzed for potential dangers and opportunities for England and her allies.
The best part of the financial success was that the company didn’t have to lay off any of the scribes that the printing press had replaced. Instead, the team was trained to work more proactively to amass even more data. Researchers, Analysts and Field Investigators began to circle the globe in an effort to make the Encyclopedia Englandia the authoritative source of data and knowledge anywhere.
Intelligence +2 and +2 to any Interaction Skill
The public face of the Encyclopedia continued to grow, but the private intelligence gathering arm began to become even more important. It was becoming obvious that the company was beginning to handle more and more sensitive data that was of utmost importance to the country and the world. Eventually a parliamentary ruling allowed the company to develop its own espionage division answerable to the crown.
M-5’s investigative agenda became a major factor in many other companies developing their own private counter intelligence organizations. However, M-5’specialization in intelligence gathering has made it an attractive partner and ally to most of the other intelligence organizations.
M-5 agents get +2 to any Stealing Actions
One of the first opportunities following the invention of the printing press was realized by Hans Humberg, an apprentice of Guttenberg’s. He had a vision to create a method of transferring information to the population on a regular basis. Das Wort (German for “The Word”) became the world’s first broadsheets and set the founding concepts of modern media.
While the Encyclopedia Englandia presented historical and scientific facts and figures, Das Wort gave their audience current events, rumors and opinions. The broadsheet grew in popularity and content. And as soon as transportation and distribution was up to the task, Das Wort was being read around the world. Various regional and multilingual editions of the news agency quickly popped up.
However, when Heinrich Schwerts took over the organization upon the death of Herr Humberg, he had a slightly different vision. He found that the way he presented the information placed current events into a context that subtly altered public opinion. If done carefully, it could be done with no one noticing. In fact, there were subliminal messages that could be slipped into photographs and advertisements that could create even stronger suggestions to unwary readers.
But in order to control the minds of everyone on the planet, everyone on the planet had to read Das Wort. And the best way to do that was to have the most sensational news possible
Body +2 and +2 to any Stealing Skill
Knowing that the best way to guarantee that the public bought his paper, Heinrich Schwerts realized he needed a villain so terrifying that everyone on the planet would be demanding more information to insure their safety. And the best way to guarantee and control that villainy was to create it himself.
So to avoid the scrutiny of surrounding European nations, Schwerts moved the paper’s headquarters to Brazil and secretly organized the Diamond Club. The Diamond Club’s main purpose was to create dramatic and terrifying news events that Das Wort could report on and sensationalize.
Then, when everyone was reading Das Wort enough of the population would be controlled to place key members of the Das Wort Corporation into positions of power around the globe. Once global domination could be confirmed, the Diamond Club would be there to act as the enforcers of the new world regime.
Diamond Club agents get + 2 to any Sabotage Actions
Renningson & Sons
It seemed that Francis Renningson was present the first time gunpowder was discovered. Of course it wasn’t true, but that kind of legendary status helped make Renningson the leading name in firearm design and construction. Francis Renningson, along with his sons Marcus and Reginald, developed new and innovative uses of the new weapons technology. They developed handguns, shot guns, rifles, revolvers, Gatling guns and even began making strides in mortar launchers and cannons. They’ve even been in negotiations with Asian influences to bring fireworks and rocketry to the west.
But it was their attention to detail that gave them the reputation of being the leading manufacturer of firearms and weapons in the world. The Renningson & Sons name on a weapon became the standard for excellence.
Intelligence +1, Body +1 and +2 to any Chase Skills
With the development of spy agencies blossoming around the world, the US government began to worry about the potential for Renningson & Sons technology being used by enemies of the state. Therefore, the US Department of Defense directed Reginald Renningston to develop a security division to protect the weapons and weapon technology. Working closely with the Department of Defense, the Federal Agency was created.
In order to avoid the perception of arm stockpiling, the President ordered the Federal Agency to work with other organizations to create a controlled sharing of weapons and technology. Federal Agency agents became a prime commodity for spy agencies interested in maintaining their firepower
Feds agents get +2 to any Fighting Actions
Transylvanian Transportation Company
With the growth of industry and technology through the world, trade and transportation became a growing concern. Centrally located in the Eastern Hemisphere, the Transylvanian Transportation Company developed roads and rails from England to Japan and Russia to South Africa. Their monopoly on the transportation industry provided a flood of income that was almost entirely poured back into research and expansion. Soon Airships and Steamships were expanding their influence around the globe.
Unfortunately the technology of transportation was nothing new and the company soon realized the precarious position it was in. Anyone could easily override their monopoly. Therefore the board of directors choose to ease their patents and based their business model on cooperation and ease of use. Soon the Transylvanian Transportation Company was working under the cooperation of every nation around the world. Despite the war ridden past of their ancestors, the Transylvanians were careful to maintain neutrality and diplomacy in order to maintain their tenuous connection to companies and nations around the world.
Charisma +2 and +2 to any Infiltration Skills +2
The Shadow Bureau dates back long before recorded history. Rumors and superstitions of everything from ghosts to werewolves created a constant state of panic in the rural peasants and the Shadow Bureau was created as a placebo response to those fears. Stories and legends of the Shadow Bureau’s battles against the occult grew and took on a life of their own. It became increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction.
With the success of the Transylvanian Transportation Company, they took over sponsorship of the Shadow Bureau with the intention of using them to protect their patents and work as security for their various cargo runs. However, with the growth of good will between the Transportation Company and the rest of the world, the Shadow Bureau was able to fall back further into its older role of protecting the population from the occult and creatures of the night.
Shadow Bureau agents get +2 to any Chase Actions
Navidad Pharmaceuticals quickly realized the value to be found in the varying climates of the southern continent; from the deserts and savannas to the jungles and tundras, nearly every area had new varieties of plants and animals that were able to contribute to the development of drugs and medicines that could be used to advance the frontiers of modern medicine.
The philosophy of the Navidad Company was to make their products as affordable and available to as many people as possible. They traded and treated people from every faction possible. Of course this created a mixed reaction from people whose enemies were receiving the same treatment they were. But Navidad Pharmaceuticals continued to use their medical and biological technologies to unify the world through cooperation and diplomacy.
Charisma +1, Body +1 and +2 to any Sabotage Skills
Rather than a security force, the Unified Alliance was created to act as active agents for the Navidad Company. In addition to working to unite the world’s nations and factions, the Unified Alliance also works tirelessly to protect the earth and the balance of nature. As the industrial age progressed, the need for resources drove companies further and further to supply materials and fuels to drive advancement. The Unified Alliance work has included acting against illegal poachers and developers all over the world to balance research and development with conservation and resource management.
Unified Alliance agents get +2 to any Interaction Actions +2
Orisaku Artificials Inc
In the Far East, Orisaku Artificials Inc was developing truly incredible advances in the previously unheard of industries of robotics and bionic technology. Steam and electrically powered biological enhancements, artificial limb and even fully mechanical individuals were being created. However the new technology seemed to create dramatic reactions of both awe and fear from around the world. While many nations scorned and publically condemned the principles and practices of Orisaku Artificials, nearly every country secretly made orders for a wide variety of the various technologies being developed.
Intelligence +1, Charisma +1 and +2 to any Fighting Skills
With growing fear and distrust of Orisaku Artificials, protests began to grow and become more violent. In addition, the incredibly advanced technology was one of the leading objectives of corporate spies from all over the world. So Orisaku Artificals employed Master Sensi Shong Tu to develop a security force for the growing company. Based on ancient traditions and organizations, Master Tu created the Dragon Sect. The Dragon Sect used the amazing technology supplied by the Orisaku Company to enhance ancient and time tested techniques of a variety of Martial Arts. Efficient, disciplined and intelligent, Dragon Sect agents can be strong allies or vicious enemies.
Dragon Sect agents get +2 to any Infiltration Actions