The Cardian Syndicate is a custom Hunter Conspiracy within the World of Darkness- Hunter: the Vigil, created by Raxion. All characters are fresh new recruits thrown into a harsh world where their only blessing - and perhaps curse - is that they are gathered together with others who have also glimpsed what lurks behind the veil.
The Cardians are a criminal syndicate known for naming their ranks after card suits. Its inner workings are generally a mystery; it is presumed that the lack of information available on this organization is not accidental, but intentionally made to be, under the direction of a powerful guiding hand.
The Cardians as a whole operate as a Family. Per their namesake, each Family member is assigned to a suit - the highest ranked members of each suit are likely given ranks after face cards, while the indisputable leaders of each suit could be referred to as Aces. A leader, presumably of higher rank than of an Ace, is rumored to exist at the top of the hierarchy.
The Suits are the 'classes' of the Cardians Syndicate, and are assigned to each new-coming member after their first brush with the supernatural depending on their skills, assets, and how they handled their situation. They go as follows:
- ♠ Spades: Intelligence, networking and recon. The Spades are in charge of researching essential information on supernatural threats, and relaying it to other suits that may need it.
- ♥ Hearts: Diplomacy, negotiations, consultations. Hearts are in charge of making sure relationships between division members and non-Cardian affiliates are handled smoothly. A skilled Heart can even talk down a supernatural instead of resorting to violence.
- ♦ Diamonds: Support, medicine and artifice. Diamonds are in charge of using what resources the Cardians have on-hand and repurposing them into useful tools to support their team. Many Diamonds are also medics.
- ♣ Clubs: Combat, defence and arms. Clubs are the heavy-hitters of the syndicate, and their job is to fight on the front lines against dangerous monsters to defend their Family.
Unlike most Hunter groups, the Cardians are somewhat more willing to tolerate benevolent monsters — they themselves are quite at home in the shadows, where they prefer to keep their operations in the first place, and they can often find uses for a voluntary monsters talents. Regardless, they are not to be confused for a charity; the Cardians are first and foremost a Hunter conspiracy, one that has no qualms abandoning the moral high ground to keep the Vigil. They are above all interested in maintaining the curtain that separates the mundane from the extraordinary; any who dare disrupt or compromise that curtain, abandon or betray the Vigil or the Family, or prove themselves a detriment to the Familys ends are dealt with, in a swift and discreet manner — human, Cardian, or otherwise.
On the other hand, it is rumored that some monsters are even allowed to walk freely within their ranks. If they do, it is a testament to the Familys strength and influence that it hasnt simply been wiped off the map by other, less sympathetic Hunters. Despite their colorful past with the other Hunter conspiracies, however, the Cardian Syndicate remains large enough - and resourceful enough - to protect and even fully financially support their more inhuman associates.
It is generally considered unwise to cross any member of the Cardian Conspiracy — for where one Cardian lurks, her Family is surely close behind.
WOD: Cardians began with one group of 10 members and 3 GM s in the fall of 2013; since then it has expanded to include multiple individual branches of the Cardian Conspiracy, each with its own team of GM s and players, united under one Meta-GM and a few Admin that keep the overarching storyline in order.
The current Cardian Divisions in operation are:
- CARDIANS WEST: Los Angeles
- CARDIANS EAST: Philadelphia
- CARDIANS FLORIDA: Miami
- CARDIANS UK: London
- CARDIANS NORTH: Seattle
- CARDIANS S.E.A.: Pacific
- CARDIANS S.E.A.: Pacific 2.0
- CARDIANS ABROAD: Mobile Division
- CARDIANS CHERNOBYL: Reboot V2
- CARDIANS EAST EUROPE: Prague
- CARDIANS: TOKYO
- CARDIANS: CENTRALIA
- CARDIANS: ATLANTIS
- CARDIANS: ATLANTA
- CARDIANS: RURAL
- CARDIANS: VEGAS
- CARDIANS: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
- CARDIANS: WITCH HAMMER
- CARDIANS: FROSTBITE
The main page can be found here. The galleries contain character references, session art and media created by the players and GM s alike.
This Roleplay provides examples of:
- All Myths Are True: Given that Hunter: the Vigil is known for its ability to be played as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of the various World of Darkness sourcebooks, members will be hard-pressed to find a myth or folktale that doesn't turn out to be true.
- Almighty Janitor: Cecily, the friendly sunglasses-wearing janitor of Prague. If several of the player characters' tutorials are to be believed, Cecily is more than what she appears to be.
- Alternate Universe: The Los Angeles division became subject to three different alternate continuities: A Space AU involving Humongous Mecha, a fantasy AU where magic was abundant, and a dystopia where supernatural creatures ruled with an iron fist over human slaves and cattle.
- Anyone Can Die: As with any Tabletop RPG campaign.
- Army of Lawyers: The Hearts can be seen in this light, as they handle all the important negotiations in-between various Hunter compacts and conspiracies.
- Badass Adorable: A few of the player characters are barely in their teens. Hotaru Kimura from the Los Angeles division began the campaign at age 13.
- Badass Army: The Cardians as a whole can be this, but the Clubs count in particular.
- Black Market: Several. Aside from the usual back-street fare are places like Goblin Markets, fantastic and abstract markets that are set up in the Hedge. Some members have managed to rescue humans being solved on the market as slaves.
- Covert Group with Mundane Front: The Cardians Headquarters presents itself as a classy yet modest convention centre complete with high-class restaurant and nightclub.
- Covered with Scars: This is bound to happen when fighting monsters.
- Deal with the Devil: Several have been made between members and demons, fae, spirits... the list goes on, and it's not a very pretty one.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Cardians are first and foremost a mafia group. Though their means to an end may be illegal, at the end of the day their motive is to slay monsters and protect humanity. And although the Cardians as a whole are a nefarious crime gang, the individual members are known to care deeply for their comrades.
- Depending on the Writer: Or the GM. Each division is headed by one or two different GM s, meaning that the tone and style of roleplaying varies greatly between divisions. Some missions or roleplays between different divisions may be adapted or interpreted differently by each GM.
- Deus Est Machina: The unholy mechanical Eldritch Abomination that is the God-Machine, primary antagonist of the Los Angeles chronicle.
- The Don: Sachi Shimizu, head of the Syndicate who stole immortality from a vampire to further her lifespan.
- Empowered Badass Normal: The Cardians are unusual in that they allow supernaturals to join their group and climb the ranks (as opposed to other conspiracies, which would favour killing them outright). Since the Cardians are in favour with many supernaturals, many of their high-ranking members are given magical powers or equipment.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Not even The Mafia can stand idly by as monsters prey on the human race.
- He Who Fights Monsters: A central theme of Hunter: the Vigil is also present here. Affiliating with a crime syndicate leaves even the most Lawful Good of player characters a little bent and crooked.
- Grey and Grey Morality/Black and Grey Morality: Your allies are hardened criminals who are not above killing off innocents or funding drug cartels in order to get the job done. Your enemies are inhuman monsters, the majority of which seeing humans as little more than food or playthings. Take your pick.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The Family comes first. Members who try and defect or rat the syndicate out to the authorities are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
- The Masquerade: The first rule of the Cardians is that we don't talk about the Cardians.
- Myth Arc: Each division has its own overarching storyline, shaped by both the players and the GM s.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sachi Shimizu and her daughter, Kaida. It takes a well-seasoned badass to stay on top of an an entire worldwide crime syndicate.
- Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: The Cardians in general is this to the myriad of other Hunter conspiracies present in Hunter: The Vigil.