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Champions Villain (Volume) 4: Organizations; What Do You Expect Out Of This?

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Idea. Do we have any mercenerary agencies? I DC:TAS they talk about goons gett ti ng hired and even have a villlain that does it- The Human Capitalist. I mean where does Pulsar get goons to rob a bank? Or what if Beamline needs guards for his Lab? Who do you call? Henchmen Inc.?

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Hmm... it's interesting to ponder whether the four-color Champions Universe needs something like the Taskmaster's dedicated thug-supply service, from Marvel Comics. When it comes to providing super-criminals with substantial supplementary cannon fodder, Teleios's cloned soldiers appear to be the go-to source. Bastion Alpha Security sells trained manpower to crooks, up to the low-superhuman level, although they carefully hide that side of their business from law-enforcement and their legitimate clients.

 

However, the CU also seems to have well-established but covert "underworld channels" where people in the know who need a few henchmen can indeed find them for hire. In fact, Everyman profiles one, "Louie," whose write-up describes a "henchman underground" of bars, pool halls, and other watering holes across the United States, frequented by prospective supervillain hirelings. Louie is an example of a veteran thug in this profession who's worked for a number of criminals over the years, and picked up combat experience and an eclectic set of Skills.

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Well, KRONOS is not "legal" anymore. Neither is WITCH, PAGON, among others. Basically, it is like what happened to supervillains between 4th edition and 5th edition, with old organizations returning to the original creators, Steve Long perfering his own creation than the original organization, Another World (current owner of Champions Online) perfering x over y, ect...

 

Forcently, being a third party product, VV4 doesn't have to exactly match online and Steve Long's campaign, but the whip is "none if this is official".

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Well, KRONOS is not "legal" anymore. Neither is WITCH, PAGON, among others. Basically, it is like what happened to supervillains between 4th edition and 5th edition, with old organizations returning to the original creators, Steve Long perfering his own creation than the original organization, Another World (current owner of Champions Online) perfering x over y, ect...

 

Forcently, being a third party product, VV4 doesn't have to exactly match online and Steve Long's campaign, but the whip is "none if this is official".

 

Since this book is going to be an entry in the "Champions Villains" series, and will be dealing at least to some extent with existing official organizations (which its announcement specifies), I can't see how it could not be "official." It doesn't seem to matter whether the direct publisher is Hero Games. After all, Darren Watts made it clear that his imminent Golden Age Champions supplement, which is being published by a third party, is expanding that era of the Champions Universe. He meticulously went over all the published books for references to GA characters and incidents to include in the setting part of GAC.

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I think NB's point was that such info as you just cited might make a good addition to CV4.

 

That's seems quite reasonable and appropriate to me. But I'm still pondering whether or not an actual new organization dedicated to providing that service would be also make a good addition, given the existing precedents. I'm on the fence about it. :think:

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A nefarious governmental (or quasi-governmental) agency would be interesting, and perfectly in genre. 

 

Absolutely. Thanks to you I'm now wondering whether more might be done with the official "Department 17," the hub of the American government's Defense Department's research into reliably creating, and controlling, superhumans. (See Champions Universe p. 138.) It's highly secret, and has been covertly operating in one form or another since WW II. D17's current director, General Clarence Smith, is said to be willing to "go to great lengths to keep his project a secret," and has also engaged in "a bit of creative accounting" to maintain funding for the Department's research.

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Since this book is going to be an entry in the "Champions Villains" series, and will be dealing at least to some extent with existing official organizations (which its announcement specifies), I can't see how it could not be "official." It doesn't seem to matter whether the direct publisher is Hero Games. After all, Darren Watts made it clear that his imminent Golden Age Champions supplement, which is being published by a third party, is expanding that era of the Champions Universe. He meticulously went over all the published books for references to GA characters and incidents to include in the setting part of GAC.

Well, seeing it that way, and knowing that the new version of GAC is cannon, then VV4 might be cannon also. I just wish DOJ was handling it themselves, along with Another World.

 

Which begs the question: will there be something for every power level and sub-campaign in the book? Will someone who picked up Champions Beyond get as much enjoyment and use out of this book as would someone who picked up 5th edition Dark Champions, or is playing a campaign based in the sea or under the earth?

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LL one time I came up with a name for Terror Inc. agents called the Silver Skulls and they were mercenaries for hire. It was one way for Terror Inc to make money.

 

And since Terror inc isn't a group anymore...what are the agents to do?

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Here is where I came up with the idea. Working name Henchmen inc. On another thread, I came up with a quick bankrobbery scenerio. I expanded it by saying that the super villain is a mercenary and s/he has agents. The question is which group? Now by having a generic group, it will make a little mystery.

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One thing to note as well this book will cover organizations, DEMON, VIPER, some of the groups listed are actually supervillain teams and that book is already published. So I doubt CLOWN or Deathstroke will make it in this book. I am hoping for IAH, ARGENT and some newbies

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A breakdown of the four books.

 

VV1: Master supervillains and there orginzations.

 

VV2: Criminal supervillain teams.

 

VV3: Solo supervillains.

 

VV4: Criminal orginzations and some of the supervillains associated with them.

 

Note: The key words are "Villains", as in bad guys.

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Champions Villain Volume. I take the VV from Villain Volume, as around these parts Champions is a given. Unless they plan on a Fantasy Hero Villain Volume in the future.

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A "temp agency for henchmen" sounds like an excellent idea. there's Teleios, of course, but there should also be something lower-end for people who don't have the connections to find Teleios, or vice-versa.

 

Though, how does Teleios do business? One more reason I think he merits a book of his own, analogous to Book of the Destroyer. (A subject the forum has discussed before.)

 

"Louis" sounds just right for this, and a lot of fun.

 

For other new or quasi-new organizations, I think an important point is that they not step on the toes of existing organizations. Like, ARGENT is established as the CU's leading tech-for-hire villainous group, so there's little need to revive KRONOS. So, what purposes or modes of operations haven't been used yet?

 

VIPER is the all-purpose criminal/terrorist/subversive organization.

DEMON can look like "VIPER with magic," but is actually a Doomsday Cult. Even if it's rewritten to adjust or remove Luther Black's specific plot, I think this Doomsday Cult aspect is central to what makes DEMON distinctive.

ARGENT for high tech, and just in it for the money.

IHA would be a good example of a more politically oriented group, but all I remember about it has it firmly tied to a "Anti-Mutant Prejudice" storyline that doesn't interest me. If it isn't to be broadened, I'd like to see another group that uses criminal means to essentially political ends.

The Cult of the Red Banner, Ouroboros, and other cults of the Dragon superficially resemble DEMON in their occult aspects, but are more religious. This makes them distinctive enough to merit a treatment.

 

Other possibilities?

 

Dean Shomshak

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Things I would consider desirable:

 

VIPER: an update at least. Presumably it's possible to keep 5e VIPER available in PDF form more or less indefinitely. Some 6e stats for basic things would be wise.

 

DEMON: an option for moving the timeline, AND a post-2012 update for those who choose not to do so. This could get quite long.

 

IHA: it hasn't been explored in depth.

 

ARGENT: ditto.

 

A possibility: The Circle of the Scarlet Moon. With DEMON crippled, its "parent" could make its move.

EDIT: except they are written up as a villain team in CV2, a book that I've never read in depth.

 

And whatever other devious ideas the authors have come up with.

 

(Maybe we need a thread on post-2012 DEMON.)

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A "temp agency for henchmen" sounds like an excellent idea. there's Teleios, of course, but there should also be something lower-end for people who don't have the connections to find Teleios, or vice-versa.

 

Though, how does Teleios do business? One more reason I think he merits a book of his own, analogous to Book of the Destroyer. (A subject the forum has discussed before.)

 

"Louis" sounds just right for this, and a lot of fun.

 

On further reflection, I don't think a specific, dedicated "Henchmen Inc." organization would be a good fit for the established CU. As I mentioned earlier on the thread, if a villain needs a large number of cannon fodder, or a smaller body of well-trained agents, there are already sources for those. There's also a community/subculture of competent, reliable, but otherwise unexceptional thugs from which supervillains can hire some backup muscle for their operations. There are even groups like Villainy Unlimited (from Cops, Crews, And Cabals) which provide legitimate services which can still be difficult for super-criminals to obtain: legal representation, bail bonding, financial counseling, insurance, medical care, etc.

 

However, Dean's question about how Teleios does business (and a Book Of The Helix was next on Steve Long's list of master-villain sourcebook treatments, before Hero Games downsized) raises a broader question which subsumes all of the above, and which hasn't really been addressed in Champions lore: How do potential clients get in touch with the suppliers of services to the underworld? How are all the prospective hirelings and mercenary supervillains contacted by would-be employers? It's not like these people can openly advertise. Champions books repeatedly refer to "underworld channels" and the like, but how does one go about finding them? How are they kept secure from being tapped or traced by law enforcement or superheroes? How can anyone be sure a prospective employer or employee isn't a sting set up by the forces of justice?

 

I believe this is a niche where a new organization would fit well. The setting needs a group to coordinate a secure network through which employers can advertise job postings, clients can reach specific parties for their services, and payments can be safely sent. Said group would also vet the parties involved in a transaction to assure they aren't a Trojan horse.  When one looks at other criminal needs that they can't go to legitimate sources for, there's plenty of room to expand the organization's services beyond just contractual communication: laundering of ill-gotten gains; creation of cover identities; transportation to and from jobs, or escape to safe havens after a job, including across national borders.

 

Given the global scope of super-crime, said organization could be vast in operational scale; but need not have numerous operatives or a large overhead, since their material outlay would be relatively small. So they would readily fit in the Organizations book discussed here.

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For other new or quasi-new organizations, I think an important point is that they not step on the toes of existing organizations. Like, ARGENT is established as the CU's leading tech-for-hire villainous group, so there's little need to revive KRONOS. So, what purposes or modes of operations haven't been used yet?

 

VIPER is the all-purpose criminal/terrorist/subversive organization.

DEMON can look like "VIPER with magic," but is actually a Doomsday Cult. Even if it's rewritten to adjust or remove Luther Black's specific plot, I think this Doomsday Cult aspect is central to what makes DEMON distinctive.

ARGENT for high tech, and just in it for the money.

IHA would be a good example of a more politically oriented group, but all I remember about it has it firmly tied to a "Anti-Mutant Prejudice" storyline that doesn't interest me. If it isn't to be broadened, I'd like to see another group that uses criminal means to essentially political ends.

The Cult of the Red Banner, Ouroboros, and other cults of the Dragon superficially resemble DEMON in their occult aspects, but are more religious. This makes them distinctive enough to merit a treatment.

 

Other possibilities?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

"Politics" is an area that could possibly define a new group if its particular motivation is sufficiently clarified. VIPER and the Circle of the Scarlet Moon are involved in politics, but only as one element in their overall drive for power. There are politically-motivated groups in the setting, such as Canada's Hunter-Patriots and the Pan-African Brotherhood, but they're regional and outside the United States where most Champions campaigns are based. The IHA does have political connections, but as you point out their focus is quite narrow. The closest official thing to an American political conspiracy is the Century Corps, but that's really just an extension of Invictus's ambitions.

 

A planet that's experienced as many alien invasions as Champions Earth could reasonably foster an alien-hating, and -hunting, organization. The official CU has the Exoplanetary Society (from Cops, Crews, And Cabals); but while a minority of its members are exophobes, for the most part it's just a group interested in learning all it can about alien races and civilizations.

 

I think the setting could also accommodate an extreme eco-terrorist group, dedicated to protecting the Earth's environment from human-caused destruction by whatever means necessary. I did put together a CU-derived supervillain team with that motivation, Gaia's Wrath, but it's smaller and looser than a full organization. More analogous to Eurostar.

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I believe Atlas/Prometheus is an excellent eco-terror group. Unfortunately, I believe that group is one of the groups which was given back to its creator.

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VIPER is the all-purpose criminal/terrorist/subversive organization.

DEMON can look like "VIPER with magic," but is actually a Doomsday Cult. Even if it's rewritten to adjust or remove Luther Black's specific plot, I think this Doomsday Cult aspect is central to what makes DEMON distinctive.

ARGENT for high tech, and just in it for the money.

IHA would be a good example of a more politically oriented group, but all I remember about it has it firmly tied to a "Anti-Mutant Prejudice" storyline that doesn't interest me. If it isn't to be broadened, I'd like to see another group that uses criminal means to essentially political ends.

The Cult of the Red Banner, Ouroboros, and other cults of the Dragon superficially resemble DEMON in their occult aspects, but are more religious. This makes them distinctive enough to merit a treatment.

 

Other possibilities?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

Personally I hope that VIPER, DEMON and the other organizations that already have in-depth history are not in Vol 4. 

I'd like to see the organizations that were never really felled out before.  I have multiple versions of both VIPER and DEMON.  I can upgrade any write-ups myself, there really isn't much difference between 5th and 6th as far as an organization goes.

 

Something new, not just another rehash. 

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Personally I hope that VIPER, DEMON and the other organizations that already have in-depth history are not in Vol 4.

I'd like to see the organizations that were never really felled out before. I have multiple versions of both VIPER and DEMON. I can upgrade any write-ups myself, there really isn't much difference between 5th and 6th as far as an organization goes.

 

Something new, not just another rehash.

There is one problem with that...The answer to the question "what happened to Luthor Black in 2012". Beyond that, just give me the write-ups for a DEMON Brother and Outer Circle Morbain and be on your way.

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