Dr. Spengler is a tall man, prone to wearing glasses and favoring a conservative wardrobe fitting a stereotypical 'dull' scientist, khakis and conservative shirts buttoned under a lab coat, or an equally conservative gray suit. He has a very large vocabulary, and is an effective if disconnected speaker. He is incredibly intelligent but this has created a barrier around him, as he finds it difficult to emote and connect with people, and likewise outsiders are not sure how to approach someone of his intellectual stature.
Dr. Spengler is very well known, especially in the Commonwealth of New England, and the Republic of the Great Lakes. He is a leading scientist and researcher in the field of paranormal arcanotechnology. He has a large number of technical patents and scientific achievements, and a great deal of first hand knowledge when faced with stressful and dangerous situations. It has been noticed that he is most at home either in the cold sterility of the research lab, or in the field facing down a dimensional fatigue event, and the most uncomfortable when confronted with the possibility of talking to someone he might possibly consider liking.
Spengler came from an upper income home in the Chicagoland Arcoplex, where he was a gifted child from birth, and was chosen as a test subject for an IQ boosting genetic therapy. The test worked very well, and Spengler was consistently the highest performing student in all of his classes. He graduated conventional education 7 years early, and went on to study at the University of Chicago Arcanotechnology Center. He gained his doctorate in record time, and only spent 7 months in psychiatric care after completing his thesis.
Spengler went on to serve in the Federation Armed Forces, specifically the army, where he spent two years working in a military research center in Arco San Louis. The projects he worked on remain classified, and when asked about this time in his past, be will only put a finger to his lips and offer a bemused smile.
After the military, he attended the Gotham Center for Parapsychology where he gained a second doctorate in Paranormal and Parapsychic studies with an emphasis on Dimensional Ectobiology. He spent a good deal of time working with the Gotham Metallurgical Institute, and through this cooperation, created a number of functional arcanotech devices from his previous theories from Chicago.
The Doctor's Toybox:
Dimensional Containment Unit: Also known as a HyperVault, the DCU is a hyperdimensional generator that creates a large 'pocket' that things can be put into. The technology is functionally little different from a dimensional battery system, except that the unit is many times larger, has magnitudes greater capacity and has a phased interspatial 'gasket' that prevents bleeding either into or out of the unit. The purpose of the unit is the isolation and 'dimensional detention' of unknown energy anomalies, often called ghosts. The unit also works on cosmic horrors, so long as they have been sufficiently weakened. The downside of the DCU is that it does emit strange radiation and vibrations, which in certain individuals can manifest as hearing voices, and other eerie events in the vicinity of the unit.
Anomaly Trap: The Anomaly Trap, often called a Ghost Trap is a miniature version of the DCU, and can be used as a mobile temporary containment unit. The AT has several limitations, most tied to it's much smaller size and much more limited battery life. When activated, an anomaly trap generates an implosion point, and a shock cone that draws out of phase matter (ectoplasm) and energy patterns into it. This produces a bright light that can cause temporary blindness, and excessive exposure to the radiation generated by a trap can cause insanity.
Parakinetic Energy Detection System: The PED system consists of a worn set of arcanotech goggles, and a hand held wand style detector. The two units can be used separately, but the best effect is gained by using both. The goggles are based around computer composite imaging not dissimilar to Light amplification technology, and Kirlian transdimensional spectrography. The output of the goggles is a disorienting display of dimensional energies, human auras, parapsychic anomalies, and patterns and structures that require a degree to name and understand. The Wand is an enhanced detector and recording device that measures energy densities, and it's tsoukolocity, or 'dimensionalness'. The use of this technology can allow a 3 dimensional human viewer to completely view a hyperdimensional being, not just the parts that protrude down into our plebian limited reality. The side effect of using the PEDS is paranoia, hallucinations, and a chance for psychotic episodes.
Miniaturized Proton Generator: There are few more impressive and blatant displays of arcanotech's potential than the MPG. The MPG is a backpack mounted system that is functionally a miniature Dimensional Engine connected to a micro-particle accelerator which converts plasma into waste heat that is sucked back into the D-Engine and a stream of highly charged protons. The discharge is expelled out of a 'wand' or 'blaster' and appears as a crackling burning rope of energy. The stream generated is drawn to energy patterns and sources that are multiphasic, or hyperdimensional, and causes these patterns to hemorrhage electrons and bleed off power. If sustained, this beam can tear apart almost anything short of a God, and it is speculated that if a God were to manifest, and there were enough MPGs present, they would be able to do the job.
The downside of the MPG is fairly serious. A critical failure at best results in a catastrophic explosion that creates a mildly radioactive crater. On the worse side, the failure can cause a Dimensional Fatigue Event, and it has been found that multiple proton beams converging in the same area has a very high chance of causing a DFE.
The New Nuyork Anomaly
For decades New Nuyork was a dimensionally stable location, and in the rare instances when there were events, they were always local and minor. That changed after a catastrophic failure (later determined to be a deliberate event, caused by shadowrunners) that allowed the manifestation of a greater cosmic horror. The entity ran amok for several hours, releasing hound like monsters through the Brooklyn Rim. The police took most of these down, but at the cost of quite a few armored suits and a pair of light police mecha. Things escalated when the Desolate One identified as Volguus Zildrohar, or in the argot of the Cult that engineered the event that released it, Gozer.
The Desolate One Volguus Zildrohar facilitated the manifestation of the greater form of Gozer, which appeared as a massive spongiform monster that would have advanced and devoured first the city, and then moved outwards in a spiral, destroying and devouring every urban center on the planet. Dr. Spengler was part of the Rapid Response team that was dispatched to the site to face and deal with the manifested god. While several special ops striker teams faced Volguus Zildrohar and it's minions, Spengler and his parapsychic team faced the god. Several attempted intercepts failed, as Gozer was simply too powerful to be damaged by the MPG rifles they were armed with. The brilliant arcanotechnician adjusted the the output of the MPGs and in an open area, used the MPGs to induce a second deliberate dimensional fatigue event. A massive implosion resulted, several buildings were damaged, several hundred people died, and Gozer was sucked into an alternate dimension.
The Commonwealth Theosophical Society
After the Gozer Incident, Spengler and several associates banded together to create the Commonwealth Theosophical Society. The CTS pooled their information and other convenient resources to work on creating a better understanding or parapsychic and paranormal activity, and how it related to and was affected by arcanotech. He continued to work in scientific endeavors, published several major works on arcanotech and parapsi tech, as well as creating a very detailed 'Spirit Guide' while working with paranormal investigator John H. Tobin. Tobin would eventually take credit for the book, but Spengler made sure that virtual copies of the book were easily gotten via CogNet, undercutting Tobin for his intellectual duplicity and attempt to turn serious research into entertainment and profit.
LeedsCorp and the Cloning Debacle
Spengler was for a short time, a researcher into Cloning technology, specifically the creation of mental engrams to make carbon copies of people. What started as a theoretical debate ended with a number of very poor quality clones (Making a copy of a copy degrades the next generation, as personality aspects are magnified and physical flaws are more apparent). Some of Spengler's work in the field would be confiscated by the military, and used in their military aspect clone programs. The determined that the difference between a mundane clone and good military clone was an adjustment to personality, and having a normal person default to Gung-Ho Patriotism and Militarism was a heck of a way to make a good soldier.
The Carpathian Incident
The Carpathian Incident occurred when an occult scholar, lunatic, and sorcerer from 900 years in the past managed to resurrect himself in Cosmic ChicagoLand. The ancient sorcerer, Carpathian by birth spoke no english, demonstrated off the charts parapsychic ability, and cast a large number of rituals that summoned large numbers of ectoplasmics into the Chicagoland area. The incident lead to a large number of spiritual possessions, a larger number of casualties, and a number of mutations that had to be put down with extreme prejudice. The incident reached it's peak when Spengler and his response team activated a powerful arcanotech psychomagnetheric detonator. The device, the spiritual version of a neutron bomb, shredded the manifested aspect of the Carpathian, destroyed a large number of it's summoned minions, and allowed the team the ability to find the dimensional anchor that the ancient sorcerer had used to to draw himself up out of death, a large painting, and sanitize it with a low frequency muon generator.
The 34 Year Long Day
Agamemnon Spengler has a secret he keeps to himself. While a gifted and talented student in his own right, he owes a great deal of his success to a singular dimensional fatigue event. While working on his first doctoral thesis at the University of Chicago, he was caught in a recurring time bubble that had him consciously looping through the same day over and over again. Given his limited resources, very limited time, and no conceivable way of escaping, he did what he would have done on his normal days off, he read. Over the course of his time in the time loop he read the entire contents of the Library at the University, as well as several other libraries held in different parts of the city.
With nothing better to do, Spengler applied his considerable intelligence to improving his skills and abilities, further increasing his competence in fields of study associated with arcanotech, which in part formed the basis of his second doctorate in parapsychology and paranormal studies. Rather than learning a valuable lesson, or some other sentimental nonsense, the time loop eventually ran out of power and he was dropped back into the normal flow of time. Most of his 7 months of psychotherapy after his thesis was completed was more dealing with the return to the normal timestream than with his arcane studies. This is also one of the reasons he doesn't associate well with people, as for 34 years of his life he was able to predict every conversation possible because in that time, he had gone through most of them.
Dr. Spengler and Plot Hooks
Agamemnon Spengler is well known, the Einstein of the Cosmic Era, and is now well advanced in years and has continued on well past a normal lifespan with a healthy lifestyle and routine anagathic treatments. The Doctor continues his work, though at a much slower pace than before, and is more involved in mentoring aspiring parapsychologists, and delivering lectures and interactive labs at various universities around the Federation. He is a private person and maintains few personal relationships, but has routine company in the form of androids, a few of which have become sentient as a result of his studies in arcanotech and parapsychology and paranormal phenomena.
VIP - the Doctor is the epitome of the VIP, he is very smart, very valuable, and just asocial enough that he doesn't maintain a retinue or entourage, making him rather easy to abduct is a group were so inclined. Being an intellectual, he isn't going to put up much of a fight, and his impressive catalog of experience doesn't include anything beyond MacGuyvering arcanotech, and operating experimental machinery, nothing along the lines of real combat experience (His military service was in R&D). If he were abducted, it would be up to the PCs to find the doctor, defeat his captors, and ensure his safe return. Alternate would be to operate a protective perimeter around him at a sensitive location, trying to keep an eccentric doctor safe from outside threats.
DFE - Dimensional fatigue events are Spengler's forte, and he has encountered more than most people ever will. As such, when there is an DFE he is among the first people notified, often as just a matter of record keeping and tradition. The Doctor however will visit the location of the DFE sometimes for scientific purposes (something new he hasn't seen before) or as part of a response team (something he has seen before and deems a threat). PCs accompany the doctor on a mission to scout the edge of a large DFE, and they protect the doctor from the various hostile lifeforms, and possibly get to tote out some new arcanotech firepower that he has cooked up in the lab.
The Benefactor - certainly not a player in the secret society and hidden masters world, Spengler is still a man of some wealth and influence, and he would certainly have occasional need of operatives to work for him. He contacts the PCs and offers them occasional work, doing things that he would like to do but doesn't have time for, such as exploring and bringing back samples from a minor DFE, testing equipment, and otherwise doing jobs and research for him and the Commonwealth Theosophical Society.
Rest in Peace Harold Ramis.
Every society has their stories of mythic heroes. King Arthur. Hercules. The Monkey King.
Sometimes villians also get in on the mythic status action: Professor Moriarty. Sauron. Jack the Ripper.
In the end, every game world needs a fine assortment of larger than life people, if only just the stories of their exploits.
So this month's quest is Mythic/Historical NPCs.
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? Responses (6)
Just wow. This was a joy to read. What a fitting tribute! And of course perfectly entwined into the Cosmic Era.
Wow. That was super fun to read. Did you make most of that up or is there lore associated with that character?
Many of the entries are related to movies that Harold Ramis either starred in or directed such as the obvious Ghostbusters to Stripes, Multiplicity, and Groundhogs Day
Harold Ramis says....'take an HoH!'
Edit: umm, in 4 days.
Great tribute, and nicely integrated!
A fun researcher with an interesting array of handy gadgets, going to use this guy in my Rogue Trader campaign as their ships lead Adeptus Machanus with a little modification.
Very creative and usable!