Psi*Run chaser options other than "large government organization"

Psi*Run (http://nightskygames.com/welcome/game/PsiRun by Meguey Baker) is a game with some basic premises: You wake up not knowing anything about yourself (including whatever strange super power got you into this mess). And a bunch of people are after you. The GM is improvising in the same way the players are: we don’t know much of what’s going on and discover through play.

That said, it feels like there is an assumption (not necessarily spelled out by the game) that the “who” - the chasers - that are after you is some shadow org trying to get at your powers or track you down now that you’ve “escaped” (or some other calamity has let you loose). Perhaps this is just influenced by the tropes we often run into in much of our superhero media with large government organizations?

What interesting alternative ideas do y’all have about what could be chasing down our protagonists, or what might be happening in this story?

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Alternate chasers:

The chasers are a cult that worships the PCs as gods—and wants to keep them safe and imprisoned in a nightmarish hidden temple.

The chasers are immortal children who want to secure PCs in order to transfer their curse to them and, thus, finally grow up.

The chasers are figures in red hazmat suits who, upon being unmasked, turn out to the PCs themselves from years in the future, here to kidnap their past selves to prevent some kind of calamity.

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This is not exactly the same axis of variation, but I wrote a hack called From Whence It Came, designed to simulate the carrying of a terrible object (eg a ring…no particular reason) to a place where it can be destroyed, before it consumes you.

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Oh that sounds like a cool hack, @bbqbaron… there a link to that?

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Sadly no; it’s only been run once :P. The TLDR IIRC (max acronyms FTW) is that the chasers are roughly the “wraiths” and the object is roughly your Psi. It’s sufficiently analogous that I think you’d find many of the “variations” superficial or obvious. If I find any written product I’ll post it!

(I experimented with some more radical changes, but the game has a surprisingly fine internal balance. I found that changing the relationship between the various moving parts led to runaway cascades toward winning or losing, depending on the knob I twiddled. Lovely little game.)

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In the game @Larry_S ran, we were chased by a religious organisation or cult called “The Angels”. They wore white or cream or pale grey clothing and had lapel pins in the form of wings to signify their rank. We didn’t flesh them out much, but at least once they had to stay behind and comfort a grieving boyfriend …

And while they carried swords, these might have been purely ceremonial, as we decided they would try manipulation first and violence second.

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I usually default to “creepy private military contractor” for chasers. The organization wants to weaponize the PC’s psi powers to build a mercenary army, sort of thing.

Other ideas: aliens who have taken human form. Maybe they want to dissect the PCs for study. Maybe they want to prevent humanity from reaching it’s full psionic potential.

Or the chasers are a hivemind, led by some rogue psionic entity.

Or a radical violent group of psionics, who want to forcibly recruit the PC’s or kill those they can’t. (“You’re either with us or against us” sort of thing.

Or they are a homegrown human supremacist militia that hates psionics and wants to see them killed.

…so basically, choose an X-Men villain, file the serial numbers off, and use that.

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Cultists!

Your family.

Beings from a parallel world who seek to take you back where you belong.

Paparazzi

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About a month back, I used “future versions of the runners, mutated by whatever unlocked their powers.”

That lead to me using whatever Psi abilities the players established in weird ways and some good opportunities to use mistaken identities, especially when they split up.

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Agents of the Seed AI you invented that wiped your memory.

The Mafia/Any organised crime - your powers come from the drugs you’re mule-ing

Witches

Your Clones/The Originals

Robots.

Fungal creatures from the Underdark.

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Last Halloween, I ran the Chasers as demons.

Having the supernatural elements to draw on to put tension on the Runners as they remain in locations for a long time was lots of fun–especially possession of NPCs.

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There’s an X-Men Days of Future Past playset for it. In that game, you play mutants who are on the run from sentinels (giant mutant-hunting robots) and hounds (mutants brainwashed and genetically modified to hunt other mutants). It’s a post apocalyptic setting so it’s not quite ‘large government organisation’ as there’s not really that much of a government left.

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