Armagetto, the planet's capital, is the most dangerous area of Apokolips. This dismal metropolis holds the Tower of Rage, Granny Goodness' Happiness Home, dozens of installations, and the largest concentration of Hunger Dogs on the globe. The main structures reach six hundred feet or higher, built with metal sides like a crowd of steel monoliths. Armagetto is heavily polluted from the local factories. Thick clouds float along the top levels of the buildings, obscuring vision and clogging the lungs of Parademons.
Riots are not uncommon in this city. The Hunger Dogs of the area are the most uncontrollable and vicious ones on the planet, capable of forcing their way into any building, unless they are continually beaten back by footsoldier battalions. The Hunger Dogs in Armagetto are also the most skilled at camouflage and finding and repairing weapons taken from Darkseid's troops.
What takes place in Armagetto can be felt all across Apokolips. Any major slaughter of Hunger Dogs here will crush the hopes of all of them in every part of the planet. Likewise, news of a hero's capture and transport to the Tower of Rage will spread across the globe like wildfire. Darkseid conducts all of his major planet-based campaigns in Armagetto, so he can achieve global victories from a single, relatively small area.
The main avenue of Armagetto is over a mile long and hundreds of yards wide. One side, where a giant steel wall stands, has the name "ARMAGETTO" painted down the street's length. This strip is continuously full of activity, usually with troop exercises, stray Hunger Dogs, or maintenance on security machines.
The highest security forces on the planet are on this street. Unique robot designs, super-cannons, and all types of intruder detection devices are planted here to find and eliminate any invaders or large Hunger Dog packs.
Security measures are extremely tight due to the presence of two buildings at either end of the avenue. At the edge of one end is a high, barbed-wire wall with a single gate. This passage is the only obvious access to the Tower of Rage, located on the other side of the wall.This giant, steel fortress and central tower (designed in Darkseid's likeness) makes it seem as though the Destroyer himself is forever watching the activity of his world from this perch.
At the opposite end of the avenue looms Granny Goodness' Happiness Home. Before it lies a series of twisting alleys and minor, cluttered roads, which weave their way out into the rest of Armagetto. After travelling about a quarter of a mile through the maze, these alleys come out of the ruins into a giant, shallow crater. In its center stands the Happiness Home, a castle-like structure with large ramps leading up to its doors.
To complement these ominous features, there are many other lesser, though often fatal, points of interest. A Fire-pit, located just one mile away from the main avenue, is positioned between the Tower of Rage and the Happiness Home. All other Apokolips features are represented in Armagetto, including six large factories, the planet's deepest mines, many secret science installations, and a number of well-hidden rebel bases.
This is Darkseid's home and throne. It is a massive metal structure topped by a central dome. The entire planet is monitored from this building, while great schemes of suffering are devised for the rest of the galaxy.
All residents of the Tower are completely brainwashed. Thanks to Desaad's special torture techniques, none of the guards, scientists, technicians, or operators (DRONES) have free will. Darkseid's desires are relayed by a public address system within the complex. If any heroes enter the Tower and are detected, the speakers switch to silent mode.
Drones are Hunger Dogs that cannot be molded into footsoldiers, but show slight signs of intelligence.
Health: 16 Karma: 12
Talents: Repair/Tinkering or Vehicles.
Drones are often placed behind the control panels of minor equipment such as Aero-Carriers or monitor screens. They may also do repair work for scientists or work as operators in security installations. Drones must obey anyone who ranks above them, or suffer immediate extermination. They are never given weapons, and are bound by the same laws as Hunger Dogs.
The interiors are dark and complex. Small computer terminals extend from the walls and ceilings, power columns and circuitry cables stretch from corner to corner, and scaffold-like platforms line the walls to create multi-level chambers. The curving walls are sloped at the floor and ceiling, like the inside of a fishbowl. Statues of Darkseid are found in major entryways and corridors, and some large machines are also shaped in his likeness.
Below the first level are multiple underground chambers and passages that are continually being built and re-built for new purposes. Security is loose down here because many of the old tunnels and small rooms are forgotten. This is the easiest way for a hero to get inside the Tower.
The entire building is made of metal and as a whole is a CL5000 material. Each exterior wall is made of Un material. Tower laboratories are of Un technology level. All elevators are large moving rooms with 1,000 cubic foot volume, Mn lifting strength and In material. Any amount of damage inflicted will open it.
Small spherical robots called Evil Eyes float along the halls looking for intruders. Any heroes who have infiltrated the Tower will encounter one of them if they are not careful.
Health: 92 Karma: 22
Energy Blast: Ex Energy, 10 areas
Flight: Gd airspeed
Life Detection: Rm
Sealed Systems: Ty
Thermal Vision: Gd
Telescopic Vision: Gd
Shrinking: -1CS to be hit
Self-Destruct: Ex, goes off when Health reaches 10 or less
Evil Eyes are small spherical robots that float along the alleys and underground of Apokolips, recording all they see through their optical devices. Each Evil Eye has a direct link to the intelligence center in the Tower of Rage, as well as many other surveillance installations across the globe. If attacked by a Hunger Dog or weaker creature, it will fire Energy Blasts; a stronger opponent will cause it to immediately fly to the home base, as it releases emergency signals.
An Eye can be used in tracking mode, allowing a skilled operator to manually control the robot and search an area as if he were actually there. Operation requires the specific skill for the Eye.
The overall security rating is Un while in Darkseid's dome tower is it Sh-X. If combat breaks out anywhere in the complex, Darkseid will know immediately. Machines and guards will arrive, and all security ratings increase by +1CS.
The small yard around the Tower is surrounded by high, barbed-wire walls. Any movement on the grounds is fired upon by computereized energy cannons that inflict Rm damage and are mounted along the wall.
In a high-security basement level chamber lies the entrance to Darkseid's infamous Cerebus Chute. On its rails rests a short car (Rm Speed, Rm material) for a quick getaway. Anyone who rides in the car can stop at one of its many secret stations, allowing an easy escape to any otehr part of the planet. The chamber and all passages are made of dark, decaying metal. There is a good chance a creature from the underground has found its way here, posing a threat to anyone who passes these halls.
The top level of the Tower of Rage is a half-dome, shaped in the likeness of Darkseid's head. Inside are his personal quarters, control room and strategy chamber. From this location, Darkseid can observe the activities in his Tower, anywhere on Apokolips, and even on many planets such as Earth. It is here Darkseid can most often be found, with Desaad scheming at his side. The dome continuously rotates at Fb speed, allowing Darkseid to observe all of Armagetto.
This place sits like a mountain on the face of Apokolips. Vessels full of Hunger Dogs and soldiers continually enter and leave the fortress, while Parademons and Aero-Troopers flit from teh rooftop across the Apokolips skies. Its presence on the planet is second only to Darkseid's Tower of Rage, located a few miles away.
The Happiness Home is a training school of sorts. It is an "orphanage," whether the methods of testing, training, selection, punishment, and improvement are extremely brutal and damaging. Granny's trainers can take a common, sickly Hunger Dog and turn him into a first-class footsoldier, totally devoted to Darkseid's rule, in just over a week. There are many other orphanages of this kind on Apokolips, but the Happiness Home is the largest.
The rectangular fortress is built on a solid rock base in the center of a shallow crater. It is over 200 feet high, with a base of approximately 150 feet by 250 feet; each exterior wall has UN material strength. The frame is made of solid iron and mortar, with brick pilings in the upper levels. The floors and ceilings are double layered steel with pipes and wires in between; A total of 100 points of physical damage will put a man-sized hole in them. The doors are also made of steel, requiring 75 points of damage to break one down.
The orphanage levels are accessible by stairs and elevators. The stairways are made of brick or steel and tend to be poorly-lit and dirty. All elevators are primarily used for cargo; they resemble moving garages and are often in need of repair. The lifts have Am strength, In material and move at Fb speed.
Most interiors are cluttered, with pipes and thick wires dangling from the ceiling and debris on the floors. The general environment is musty, loud, and full of activity. Rest is not known here; everyone has someone to train, and brutality keeps them going all day long.
All encounters in the Happiness Home will be violent unless the heroes are well-disguised. Residents will be suspicious of those of lower rank who are not where they belong, but will avoid those of higher authority.
Although Granny Goodness has a large "suite" of her own, she is usually too busy to spend time there. There are, however, hundreds of other residents, the majority of which are footsoldiers, employed here as guards and harassers. They are in charge of enforcing security and keeping the newly recruited Hunger Dogs in line - and in pain.
A team of trainers, hand-picked by Granny, works around the clock, transforming low-ranking soldiers into the next fighting class. Trainers wear masks to eliminate any individuality they might have. Granny also has some High-Level Trainers who deal with any superpowered individuals. All trainers sleep and eat in small barracks in the training areas, tucked away from the general activity, but close to their work space.
Health: 80 Karma: 12
Talents: Persuasion, Intimidation, Military, Apokolips Weaponry, Vehicles.
All of Granny's trainers/torturers were hand-picked by the Mistress of Misery herself. Both types of trainers are large, loud, odorous, and sadistic in manner. High-level trainers are more brutal than the otehrs but are otherwise the same. If any of them step out of line they will be immediately terminated.
There are two Un rank laboratories in the Happiness Home.
It also has a staff for chemical food production, repairs, computer operation, vehicle maintenance, and similar functions (use Drone stats if these individuals are encountered during an adventure).
Standard security rank is Mn. In a high-security area (Granny's quarters, the radio bunker, on the roof, computer center, labs, guest quarters, armory, and Section Zero), the security rank is Un.
If a rebellious character is caught, all guards shoot first and ask questions later. Any heavy gunfire in the interior of the complex will bring a squad fo 10 ro more well-armed soldiers in half a minute. At that time, the security becomes Un and stays ther for the next 24 hours.
Criminals with superhuman abilities are tranquilized and taken to Section Zero, one of the most feared places in the Happiness Home, and, therefore, in all of Apokolips. The latest torture prototypes are tested here on subjects who can take enormous amounts of strain. Aero-Troopers that have been selected to become Parademons are taken here for the transformation process.
The area is actually a series of a dozen or more levels, each larger than the one above it. The farther down one goes, the more horrifying Section Zero becomes.
Orphanages are run by Granny Goodness and are found all across the planet. Hunger Dogs are taken here and trained to become soldiers; or, if any superpowers are detected, the individuals are made part of the Special Powers Force. These orphanages are squat, brick-and-mortar structures with small metal buildings outside the main walls. Ramps and gates can be seen on every side to let in new arrivals and let out the latest brainwashed soldiers.
Each orphanage has its own staff of technicians, trainers/torturers, guards, and subjects. In general, they are all smaller versions of the Happiness Home; however, each orphanage is dedicated to one group of Darkseid's organization: the Special Powers Force, Parademons, infantry, and so forth.
Heroes who venture inside either of these buildings will have to blend in with the intense activity. If they are noticed, they will be attacked and either converted or killed. Each exterior wall is of Mn material strength.
Installations of Apokolips are the outposts of Darkseid's organization. They are commonly large, metallic buildings surrounded by fences, with all entrances being hidden and well protected. They generall cover an area of 2,000 to 4,000 miles and have three to 15 levels each. All exterior walls have an Un material strength.
There are five types of installations: science, torture, security, military, and supply; but some serve as two or more of each kind. In the capital city of Armagetto, there are buildings that look like iron skyscrapers and are universal with a torture area underground, supplies on the first three above-ground levels, military departments on levels four through seven, science on the eighth floor, and security on levels nine and 10.
Science: These installations have a network of Mn rank laboratories and testing chambers. The scientists are prisoners - Darkseid does not need them for anything but building and designing gadgets. Each technician is carefully monitored by the others for failure or disobedience.
The lower levels hold the test subjects and raw materials for experimentation, which are brought up to the labs by infantry guards. The middle levels are testing chambers and permanent locations of working machinery, housing the latest weapons (natural disaster makers, planet-wide bombs, lightning cannons, mass sleep or fear inducers, mass mind probers, etc.). In the highest levels, the technicians design and test their gadgets. These labs are filled with giant half-built machines, numerous guards, and moniter screens for communication with the Tower of Rage.
Each science installation has a security rating of Rm. All other installations have Ex security.
The scientists of Apokolips are the master creators and designers of the weapons used here, and are appropriately given a high level of authority. Past mechanical wizards such as Himon, Metron and Esak have been given nearly every creature and machine on the planet for their use and abuse. Hunger Dogs are used for experimentation on a daily basis.
Health: 16 Karma: 20
Darkseid has a cadre of special scientists who attend to his personal technological needs. Known as "techno-chiefs," they operate all of his equipment in the highest level of the Tower of Rage and accompany him on any errands throughout the galaxy. They wear protective suits with metallic masks to hide their ghastly features.
Techno-chiefs have no free will; their minds are mechanical, triggered into action only by Darkseid's orders. This denies them any creative powers.
Health: 8 Karma: 40
Darkseid's current techo-geniuses are of the faceless variety; his failures with Himon, Metron and Esak have forced him to employ a larger group of less independent scientists to insure security and servitude. They are left to the neurotic solitude of their laboratories and torture chambers, undisturbed as long as they produce new and better engines of evil.
Torture: These buildings are used as prisons and interrogation headquarters. They are usually small, or take up only the bottom two levels of another installation, but have a dozen or more levels underground. Specially-trained torture technicians (Trainers) work here, each with his own series of chamers designed under his specifications. Most of Darkseid's Elite have a level in one of these buildings for the heroes they capture. These installations are given names such as "Terrorium" or "Deathhouse" to create a notorious air about them.
Security: These buildings are filled with complex communication equipment and storage computers. Information on billions of subjects, from Earth plant life to the personality traits of Orion, can be found here. Only the resident drones and high-ranking scientists, however, know the proper commands to enter these valuable vaults of knowledge. Any attempt by a character to gain entry must make an Un intensity feat roll.
The installations are also the relay stations for the global communications network. Operators, much like those at a telephone company, work here at all hours sending out repair teams for broken monitor screens, and fixing bad connections (The GM should use Drone stats if operators are encounterd). The loss of any security installation will cut off all monitor screen communication in a 10-mile radius.
Military: These are the homes of soldiers and their vehicles. Mounts from the Dog Cavalry are stabled here, infantry find time to rest briefly or get something to eat, Parademons fly in and out of the highest levels, and war vehicles are parked in crowded garages. Heroes will want to avoid these installations: not only are they incredibly dangerous, but even a disguised hero is likely to be challenged to an arm-wrestling match in a watering hole or rounded up by higher ranks for an anti-riot attack.
Supply: These installations are warehouses for chemical food, weapons, derelict computers or other giant appliances, and small equipment. They are usually part of another installation or close to one. Security is high, but there is a large number of break-ins from the more intelligent Hunger Dogs.
These facilities keep production on Apokolips flowing and the Hunger Dogs in line. Aero-Carriers prowl the streets of Apokolips, landing near Hunger Dog areas. Guards bash heads and throw the "lowlies" inside, where they are transported to their new home, either a mine or a factory, for the next few weeks. Both work areas are very dismal. The mines are dark and sooty. The smells of ozone from digging machines and of laborious sweat fill the air, while guards shout over the roar. The factories are well-lit but crowded. The monotonous chain of assembly lines dulls the mind and discourages talk, leaving the chambers silent except for the clanking of tools and the hum of belt motors.
In the mines, digging is done with motorized tools which load the ore into chutes. The metal arrives at huge vats, each heated by a local Fire-pit, and is melted into crude, steel alloys. Hunger Dogs die every day in the mines; food is rationed, and a work day lasts 18 or more hours. The lowlies collapse when the rest bell rings, dropping where they stand as a new team takes over. Collapsing shafts, explosions from faulty cauldrons, and riots claim many lives. The mines, much more dangerous than the factories, are nearly impossible to escape because of the tight security and few places to run. Hiding for an extra moment of rest, however, is sometimes risked.
The factories are not much better. Each assembly line is dedicated to a different model of vehicle, weapon, or simple piece of equipment. The Hunger Dogs never know what they are making. Although every worker is watched around the clock by guards and electronic eyes, escape is easier than in the mines; once a laborer is out, he can take cover in the surrounding ruins. The work is extremely hard, and any slowing down, even for a second, brings the lash of a barbed whip or a jab with an electric prod. Riots are almost unheard of, but death is relatively rare. Exhausted workers are released. The Aero-Carrier drops them, half-conscious and virtually mindless, in a random Slum Area and quickly speeds off for replacements.
The general security rank of a typical factory is Rm, while a mine's is In. The material of a typical factory wall is In, and that of a mine is Rm.
Fire pits, or energy pits, of Apokolips provide the planet with its power. These huge furnaces, each taller than a skyscraper and wide enough to engulf a spacecraft, burn from a radioactive core. The fire is fed by all of the refuse of the planet, the majority of which is scrap metal from ruined buildings and destroyed machines.
Molten slag collects below the edge of the pit, draining into the planet's underground like a burning sewage system. The fire-pits deposit the slag into the furnaces of the Apokolips mines, where the metal is recycled into new material for machines. The few objects that can survive the heat will be recovered underground or by local Hunger Dogs fishing with special equipment on the edges of the pits.
Heat damage from the edge of (within 30 feet) or above a fire-pit is Ex intensity. A burst of flame or explosion will shoot out once every four minutes, for an In Fire Generation attack.
Any object inside the flames is subject to an Un Heat attack. In addition, all oxygen is burned, causing a living creature to make an Endurance Feat roll each round or begin losing Endurance ranks from suffocation, unless an appropriate power such as Sealed Systems is in use.
Power refineries are much like nuclear power plants in appearance and operation. Surrounded by high metal walls and a few battalions of eager infantry, these refineries use the energy of the Fire-pits to generate electricity and other conventional power sources. A team of 20 to 30 technicians operates and monitors this process from a single control room in the middle of the installation. There will be one to seven power refineries around each Fire-pit. The material of each wall is Mn.
The Underground makes up nearly half of the planet Apokolips. The underground lands are well-travelled and often spacious. Soldiers move their war vehicles between installations through subterranean roads, bombs and devastating weapons are tested in giant sealed chambers, Hunger Dogs live and die here, and every building has a few underground levels accessible by some tunnel or another.
The highest levels of the underground are sewage drains, paved tunnels, and covered trenches. Their ceilings, walls, and floors are made of steel or concrete, built by humanoid hands. There are only a few natural caves at this level.
The first level is interconnected by maze-like tunnels and is well lit in many areas. Tunnels from the Fire-pits (their destination furnaces in the mines), power lines, and electronic cables are all buried and maintained at this level. Some tunnels come out to the surface into ravines or deep craters. There is much activity, with the same types of encounters and incidents happening here as on the streets above.
The second level is full of steep slopes, partial passages, and seret chambers. Many high-security Mn rank weapon labs (always located directly under a science installation) are found here, as well as rebel headquarters, weapon and vehicle stockpiles, and pools at the bottom of wells. Strange creatures roam these halls, searching for something to eat or enslave.
The third and lowest level, located hundreds of feet below the surface, is a mysterious and rarely visited area. Only the oldest underground dwellers know how to get here; most passages end before they get this low. Anything the GM can dream up will be found here, from the latest supervillain to a race of sightless Hunger Dogs. No trace of Apokolips machines or humanoid habitation can be found, and, in most cases, a visit this deep will be an uneventful trip in the dark.
These sections of Apokolips are much like states or provinces on Earth. Most of the planet is divided into these numbered areas which aid in locating a point on the planet and serve as a name for the "hometown" of each Hunger Dog.
Slum areas are all basically the same: dismal and unimaginably dirty. Each area is surrounded by fences, with posted signs indicating the area number. Fences on the edge of an installation area are tall and sturdy, while most others have been damaged enough to serve as borders, but not barriers. The landscape is decorated by statues of Darkseid, Hunger Dog homes, a fe bridges over the deeper pits and many dangerous, half-demolished buildings ready to collapse. Excess damage to a structure causes ceilings to cave in, floors to drop out, and upper levels to come crashing down on heads. A typical exterior wall of a structure has an Ex material strength.
When disease spreads enough to infect the residents of a slum area, it is closed off completely and heavily guarded by soldiers in immunization suits. The barriers are well marked with quarantine signs, and anyone attempting to escape is terminated.
The governmental structure of Apokolips is very simple. Darkseid is the absolute ruler. Under him is a series of lesser positions, each answerable to the higher ranks.
This power structure is based on violence, fear, and threats. The only thing that keeps an Apokolips soldier in line is the ability of his superiors to blast him into atoms at the slightest sign of disrespect. Crafty individuals rise in rank by keeping their power (either personal or the support of others) a secret and bluffing others into servitude.
This method of authority is an unspoken law on Apokolips. Commands are accepted without question in all but the most fatal tasks. The chain of command was devised by Darkseid; any failure to follow orders will be detected in the Tower of Rage, and disciplinary measures will be taken immediately.
Life on Apokolips is perilous. Visitors can look forward to:
-Acid Rain Storms: All unprotected characters are attacked by Acid from Fb to Rm intensity
-Clouds of Poisonous Gas: Poison from Ty to Rm intensity
-Horrible Diseases: Fb to Rm intensity
-High Winds: -2CS to movement rates when going against the wind
-Confusing Geography: Periodic Ex intensity Intuition feats to avoid getting lost.
-High Speed Travel: It is hard to navigate from the air due to the rough terrain. Quick chases on foot can also be dangerous due to pits, craters, loose debris, sudden dead ends, and so forth. Any player moving faster than walking should have their max speed reduced by 1/4.
Heroes will encounter many natural hazards and not-so-natural beings on Apokolips. As long as the heroes are on the planet, the GM can make continuous checks to see if an "incident" occurs.
An incident is any unplanned event that relates to the players, but does not immediately relate to the plot. An incident is anything that can affect the heroes, such as, an attack from a creature, riot, or fire, distant Parademon scout parties, or the discovery of an important item.
To determine if there is an incident, the GM should use the character's abilities with the intensity either Ex for passive, low-violence areas and AM for riotous areas such as Argametto. If they are trying to locate someone or something, or get to a specific place, the lowest Reason or Intuition in the group should be used. If they are moving while trying to avoid detection, the GM should use the lowest Agility rank. Any anti-Detection power or talent can be used in this situation.
The GM is encouraged to make an incident roll every 15 minutes of game time, increasing or decreasing the frequency of these checks according to the party's strength and the tone of the adventure.
Column shift penalties to the incident rolls should be added as the GM sees fit, with the following as examples:
-Heroes are extremely loud (-2CS)
-Very active: combat, construction, etc. (-3CS)
-Party size: 10 or more, or any full-size vehicle (-1CS)
-Brightness: the use of Fire Generation, Light Emission, etc. (-2CS)
Here is a list of incident types. The GM should choose an appropriate one based on the current game-situation, as well as how well or poorly the feat roll was made or failed by the group.
-Parademon attack group
-Major experimental disaster
-Creature, Major Threat
-Infantry "attack" force
-Dog Cavalry unit
-Patrol vehicle, ground
-Creature, Major Threat
-Creature, Minor Threat
-Harmful pollution cloud
-Evil Eye/Sound Shark
-Rioting Hunger Dogs
-Diseased Hunger Dogs
-Indifferent Hunger Dogs
-Helpful Hunger Dogs
-Rebels or minor NPC
-Major helpful NPC
When an incident occurs, the GM must answer several questions. Have the heroes noticed the encountered group, or will they be surprised by a sudden attack? What is the distance between the two groups? If a disaster or collapse has occurred, what happens to the heroes? How can they avoid it?
Many encounters with living things will require an initial reaction between them and the heroes. All soldiers will report their findings to the communications network. If the heroes are particularly tough or well-known, reinforcements will soon arrive.