Magic is dead to the people of Lyrea. Indeed, in a world of skyscrapers, computers, and guns it might as well have never existed. For all the the masses know this is the truth of things, but hidden behind paranoid deception or buried within secret facilities, magic is very, very real.
Welcome to ORACLE, Ossa's crack team of paranormal operatives: trained to fight for their country with the best of both magic and technology against paranormal menaces. Humanity, however, is it's own worst enemy more often than not.
Setting and Premise:
In the grand tradition of combining awesome things together in order to make other, even more awesome things, this game is a combination of urban fantasy, cyberpunk, and conspiracy settings. Here there be monsters, AI, wizards, demons, lovecraftian horrors, aliens, and robots. If it really helps, think some combination of Dark Matter, the Dresden Files, and Ghost in the Shell (in that order)...yeah...
The game takes place in a world entirely different than earth. This is very intentional, as it gives me freedom to construct the setting without preconceived notions getting in the way. Lyrea is an archapeligo world, with nation-states often occupying several nearby islands. There are no superpowers in this world, and war and diplomacy are terrifyingly complicated affairs. There are no superpowers here, and the largest and most powerful nations have populations and industrial capacaties comparable to a Western European country (or Japan), while the poorer nations resemble the nations of third world.
This setting contains all the staples of cyberpunk, but in general, they are somewhat toned down. AI exists, though it is primitive, cybernetics is a well developed technology, but extreme modifications are rare. Total connectivity to the internet (or an equivalent) is somewhat limited compared to a setting like Ghost in the Shell, where it is possible to entirely reprogram someone's mind, but the increased connectivity between man and machine poses many questions all the same.
All the characters are new recruits to ORACLE's magical operations division. In an underground complex below a warehouse in Two Hills, Ossa's capitol city, you are undergoing the final stages of your basic training, which is equal parts study and boot camp. You have each demonstrated some manner of innate magical ability, or had an unfortunate run in with the paranormal. Either way, ORACLE found you, and took you under their wing.
Characters and Magic:
Many possibilities exist in this regard. Every character is proficient in combat and with magic, to some degree, but how that works really depends. Anyone can learn ritual magic and such (the most likely option for someone who has no innate magical ability, and has seen too much for their own good). There is also innate wizardry: If you've read the Dresden Files, that's the flavor I'm aiming for. This requires innate talent of some sort. Perhaps you were a teenager who left a wake of wierd things, or perhaps you got some training from a wizard unafiliated with the government. The last option is to be a magical 'superhero' as it were, that is, you have several innate abiliities that never required any study at all. Either way, you also have cybernetics, and the like.
Character Creation and other notes:
This is my first time running BESM. While I don't need a co-gm, players who know the rules are ideal. I can't teach you how to play, but if one of my prospective PCs is, then I'll take people who are unfamiliar with the rules (they are really easy, I will admit)
Characters will have 250 points to start.
Use the Futuristic: Cyberpunk skill costs.
You have a great deal of leeway with abilities, but be clear with what you buy and list points and page numbers (for atributes and defects).
I want a good background and character history. I also want a short written peice about your past (i.e. how you encountered the paranormal, or who you learned magic from...)