Helix Labs in City of Mist TTRPG
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But for right now, it’s time to head back to the streets where it all began. Back to City of Mist!
On this channel, it can be hard to talk about the villains your crew may come up against in their investigations. As much as I’d love to analyze the antagonists in cases like The Furnace or Killing Her Softly, a large part of the mystery is finding out who the bad guy is in the first place! That said, we’ve had better luck talking about major Avatars like Anatoli Vidales and Monte Wolfe. After all, their operations are so big, just knowing who they are isn’t nearly enough to stop them!
So in today’s video, we’re covering another major player in the City of Mist that’s secretly pulling the strings. Your characters may have seen their logo on pill bottles, in hospitals, or on the side of the latest innovation. Today, we’re talking about the scientific organization known only as Helix Labs.
Helix Labs - What the Public Knows
To the average citizen, Helix Labs is an institution made up of the brightest scientists and engineers in the City, although no one can fully explain what they do. Some know Helix Labs as a pharmaceutical company that provides top-notch medication to the city at large. Others think of Helix Labs as more of a tech company that consistently pumps out inventions that can change how the whole city operates.
In truth, Helix Labs doesn’t have a singular focus. The institute works on everything from medicine to cars to classified government contracts. Innovation is key at Helix, and if there’s anything they can make more efficient, then Helix Labs is going to try!
If your characters have a background in science, they can also utilize Helix Lab’s top-of-the-line facilities for themselves! The Leyland Foundation Tech Accelerator Center allows innovators of all backgrounds to rent out laboratories and office space. In the Tech Accelerator Center, you can research whatever field you wish, such as computer science, microbiology, and even paranatural research.
In game, this means that when you spend your Downtime in the center preparing for an activity or investigating the case, you gain 5 Juice or Clues instead of the normal 3. You may also be able to get your hands on a Spark Device, which is a personal research assistant that can aid in your investigation as a temporary extra theme. But while there’s quite a lot to gain at the Tech Accelerator Center, there are also rumors that Helix Labs exploits the innovations made by others in their facilities for their own profit. For more information, be sure to check out the workshops section in Shadows & Showdowns.
Helix Labs - Behind the Scenes
There is one field of study that Helix Labs pursues away from the eyes of the public. Thanks to the Mist, the public wouldn’t be able to understand it anyway. And if you don’t want to be spoiled on some of the true inner workings of this organization, turn back now.
Funded by their philanthropic ventures along with cash given under the table by mysterious parties, Helix Labs is the top researcher of Rifts and their powers. The higher-ups in Helix Labs are fully aware that many in the City of Mist wield abilities that defy all known science. Helix Lab’s founder, Dr. Talbot Leyland, is a Rift himself who we may cover in a future video. With the belief that studying Rifts may unlock the key to understanding the world, Helix Labs works to catalog the known Rifts in the City and understand how they tick.
But the scientists at Helix Labs aren’t just content to observe. If a breakthrough is within reach, they may put aside their morals and perform unethical experiments on Rifts within the confines of their high-security facilities. No one knows the true extent of their research in this area. But it’s clear that in the name of progress, a few lives is a cost Helix Labs is fully prepared to pay.
Helix Labs and Your Crew
If you’d like to feature Helix Labs in your campaign, it’s not hard to get them involved. Any Rift activity could be of interest to their researchers, including the crew themselves. Perhaps one of their experiments escapes, and it’s up to the crew to stop it? Or maybe the crew needs something from Helix Labs, leading to them breaking into one of their high-security facilities?
Player characters can also come from Helix Labs, whether as former employees or failed experiments. Post-Mortem from the Character Folio Pack is one such character. After waking up in an abandoned Helix Lab facility without her memories and without a pulse, the undead assassin devoted herself to thwarting the institute and uncovering the mystery behind her creation.
If your crew ends up going against Helix Labs, they’d better be careful. Not only does Helix Labs have top of the line facilities, abundant funding, and most of the public on their side, but also their years of experimenting with Rifts has led to the creation of the Helix Labs Black Ops. This private security force is armed to the teeth with Rift-tech and weapons designed to nullify almost any powerset. If you find yourself staring down the barrel of one of their Ion-9 assault rifles, it might be in your best interest to run away as fast as you can.
If you want to uncover the full mystery behind Helix Labs, then you can find out more in the City of Mist expansion Shadows & Showdowns. Not only will you find out the full history behind the organization, but you’ll also get access to scientific Danger Profiles, including for the Helix Labs Black Ops.
Has your crew come up against Helix Labs in their investigations? Let us know in the comments, on social media, or on the City of Mist Discord. Until then, have fun!