Agents of STRIKE
These are a few things to keep in mind when creating an Agent of STRIKE. They underline specific realities about the campaign and the setting that you should be aware of when creating your character.
Agents of STRIKE is about secret agents, not super-heroes
While many members of STRIKE may have super-powers, and may in fact be former super-heroes (or villains) themselves, STRIKE itself is first and foremost an espionage and counter-terrorism division of SHIELD. STRIKE Agents might have code-names or even be permitted to wear non-standard uniforms in the field, but they are not super-heroes. A lot more latitude is given to STRIKE Agents for individual expression given who is part of the team, and because STRIKE is a SHIELD black op anyway unknown to the majority of SHIELD. However, STRIKE’s own operating procedure would exclude candidates of “extreme moral fiber”, the kind of people who would make good Avengers. STRIKE doesn’t always use lethal force or underhanded tactics, but when it is required they can’t have people who are squeamish about it.
You’re probably unknown
In keeping with the fact that STRIKE are secret agents and not super-heroes, STRIKE has generally strayed away from recruiting famous, publicly known super-heroes and villains. If your character was someone who operated independently as a super-hero (or villain) prior to being recruited into STRIKE, you were either not very famous or notable or you were asked by Nick Fury to discontinue using your previous costumed identity (possibly in favor of a new one, if that suits you).
STRIKE doesn’t include maniacs or total monsters
On the flipside of the fact that STRIKE Agents aren’t super-heroes (and most recruits will probably have never been a super-hero, even if they have super-powers), STRIKE doesn’t recruit people that can’t be trusted and/or controlled. While some of their members might have previously been super-criminals, they’re expected to be on the straight and narrow now. STRIKE does not knowingly recruit sociopaths, maniacs, or untrustworthy mindless rampagers. A STRIKE agent you create might be morally questionable, but at the very least they know how to conduct themselves in lawful society, at least so far as anyone can tell.
Aliens are publicly unknown and unconfirmed
While there are some individuals who have worked with SHIELD who purport to be otherworldly beings (such as Hyperion or Thor), there are not currently any confirmed, publicly known extra-terrestrial, extra-dimensional, or otherwise otherworldly beings on Earth. The statements that potentially extra-terrestrial agents of SHIELD have made in the past concerning their origins have been met with skepticism and scrutiny. While no-one doubts their supernatural powers, there are many super-powered individuals on Earth and its entirely possible that such people are deceiving themselves or others, intentionally or not.
This isn’t to say you cannot play an alien or other supernatural entity, but understand the skepticism that claims of your origin will be met with, unless they’re extremely verifiable (in which case SHIELD will be doing their best to keep you far away from the public).
True Artificial Intelligence hasn’t been known to be created
While there are many projects from the best scientists around the world working on the subject, as of 2017 no-one on Earth has publicly come forward with a claim to have created true, sapient AI in a way that can be verified. Much like being an alien, this isn’t to say you can’t play a sapient robot, but that you would be unique, unheard of, and probably something SHIELD maintains as a deep secret.
Super-Soldiers are increasingly common
As elaborated on in the section on Hooks, Super-Soldiers are something many governments have worked on for decades and are currently working on. Rarely do these programs elicit the intended results of superhuman warriors without serious complications and difficulties. Most Super-Soldier programs have been abandoned, shut down, or re-purposed over the years, usually after a failed experiment. Reproducing Captain America is considered the Holy Grail of Super-Soldier programs, and none have quite duplicated the Captain’s capabilities reliably.
“Magic” is rare, unheard of, and largely considered a sham or misrepresented
Much like the attitude towards sentient robots and aliens, the true existence of magic is doubted and there are no confirmed, identifiable cases of such things that can’t be explained as con-artistry or the powers of some extranormal person with delusions of sorcery. The fact that there are individuals like the super-criminal Mysterio who claimed to be a wizard of some kind before being revealed as an (albeit brilliant and creative) engineer using special effects and a flair for the dramatic doesn’t help this perception any. Any character you create who explicitly uses magic would be a dramatic sea change in people’s perceptions… if they believe you at all.
“Mutants” don’t really exist
For a variety of reasons, this setting’s version of the Marvel Universe has not included mutants or most characters related to the X-Men franchise. While it is entirely possible to play a character who appears to have been born with their powers or manifested them at a certain point for no particular reason they understand, they are not “mutants” in the traditional sense of the Marvel Universe. If you create a character who has no explanation for the origin of powers, and wish to leave it at that, that is fine (although you may find the GM creating a reason for you that you discover later in the campaign). You still choose an Origin for your character, which less reflects how you got your powers but rather what set you on the life you now lead.