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Ninja-Bear

VIPER plots

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Hello all,

 

I got things kicking at Home and starting to gather some heroes for later in the year. I stumped though for plots for VIPER. The heroe are my younger kids. So big on action less on detective work. Also, something that’s comic book like. For some reason when I try to do plot, I start thinking more realistic mode. For example subtle plots, cloak and dagger not flashy green uniform goons.

 

Thx!

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What are some areas of interest that your kids have?  I'd try to tie VIPER into them.  Make it personal, and they'll be more into it.

 

For instance:  Kid #1 enjoys professional wrestling, so VIPER is trying to force a big-name pro wrestler to throw a match (VIPER benefits from betting hard against him) by kidnapping his family, so the heroes have to find and rescue his wife/kids before the big match.  (And assuming they win, make sure you give the heroes a Favor from that pro wrestler, in addition to XP.)  This can even be carried over into later stuff, e.g. one of the heroes and a pro wrestler put on an exhibition fight for charity - where maybe VIPER tries to steal the proceeds from under the heroes' noses.

 

Another example:  Kid #2 is into NASCAR, so VIPER is covertly testing a souped-up new car - maybe it has an AI that hacks into the computer systems of other cars, causing spin-outs or crashes.  Or maybe they're stealing some high-tech systems from various other NASCAR vehicles.

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You might take a look at "VIPER's Folding Nest," by Scott Bennie, from Digital Hero #1. Not so much an adventure as a series of customizable encounters with a very unusual VIPER Nest, escalating to a surprise conclusion. Includes maps and pregen characters (for Fifth Edition).

 

I have a couple of other more detailed adventures written for VIPER, but they're more investigative than it sounds like your kids are looking for.

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"Zip Zap Guns" was a fun little VIper bit. Can't remember what it was in though

 

The Zip Zap Guns were in an Adventure's Club.  VIPER was selling a powerful EB that had a side effect where if it burned out it would explode, killing the firer.

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Hmm. I like the goofy green suits! If you're not going to use those, do you really want Viper at all? They are literally the Imperial Stormtroopers of Champions!

 

(Well... I guess they always did have their undercover agents...)

 

My players are usually really happy to see those shiny green helmets pop up, as suddenly they're on home ground and know what to do (well, they think they do). 

 

Plus, I've got a bunch of the miniatures painted up. Shame not to use 'em :)

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Viper squads are acting strangely. Robbing comic book shops. Why? because a wealthy eccentric hoping to keep his favorite comic shop open donated a bunch of 1st edition books. worth millions. Unfortunately for Viper the eccentric kept it quiet, and the shop is worried about people robbing them. So they've kept exactly which shop it is secret. And Viper is getting tried of raiding the wrong shops.

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Plus did any of the VIPER books mention the Man Application Project? The source of Pulsar’s powers? That might be a origin story for the kids.

 

If you mean the "Man Amplification Project," that was the US Army's development of powered armor, the prototype of which was stolen by the villain Armadillo. As to Pulsar's origin, no further attempts to duplicate it are mentioned. I can't imagine VIPER wouldn't want to try, but Pulsar's empowerment was partly accidental after the machinery he was tied to exploded; and he killed the scientists running the project in a fit of rage.

 

If considering origins for your young PCs related to VIPER, they're constantly trying experiments to create superhumans, everything from forced mutation to genetic engineering. Success has been haphazard, but on very rare occasions spectacular.

 

OTOH if you just want a justification for them getting powers, I recommend Dean Shomshak's "Shared Origins" series of PDF mini books, each exploring a distinct common origin concept.

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/500-shared-origins-the-dynatron-pdf/

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/487-shared-origins-sky-q-pdf/

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/563-shared-origins-green-butterfly-pdf/

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Viper squads are acting strangely. Robbing comic book shops. Why? because a wealthy eccentric hoping to keep his favorite comic shop open donated a bunch of 1st edition books. worth millions. Unfortunately for Viper the eccentric kept it quiet, and the shop is worried about people robbing them. So they've kept exactly which shop it is secret. And Viper is getting tried of raiding the wrong shops.

 

Foxbat HAS to get involved in that one somehow...

 

Pulsar was a test subject of VIPER's Man Mutation project. AFAIK the only success, and the machine blew up with him.

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One viper plot arc I ran was Viper Nest in Edinburgh was kidnapping the best HTH fighters in Scotland. But only Scotland. (other nests had control of other areas in other parts of the UK and didn't want to step on anyone else toes) They'd basically go for any really famous and fighters; Olympic Boxers, Capt of Scottish TKD kumite team, strongest man in Scotland, army combat instructor etc.

 

When they had them they started experimenting on them injecting super serum to make a new Snake based Superteam.

 

Quite a few didn't make it so either wound up dead or horribly mutated and dead. But a few did make it so by the time the team followed all the clues they had to invade the nest, hunt for a way to reverse the serum, fight off the new Viper superteam and hunt the scientist behind it all. I ran it in between other things in the background for a while and it worked out nicely.

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Foxbat HAS to get involved in that one somehow...

 .

Viper thinks Foxbat is working for them, cheap "just let me READ those rare comics when we get them, before you sell them off!"

 

But the comics shop owner has already let Foxbat read them AND is making cash payments for Foxbat to alert them which shop gets hit next so they can keep moving the rare comics around. In fact, they've been sitting for some time in the first shop that was robbed....

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Right now they're hidden in a palindromedary's saddle bags

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RE: character origins -- Excellent advice from LL on the Shared Origins products.  For example, VIPER might get their hands on a Dynatron, and kidnap the non-powered PC to use as a test subject (as the VIPER techs learn how to operate the machine).  Though it sounds like they've already started the game with powers (since you ran Mob Rule already), this can still be a flashback origin.

 

You can also use them as plot points for an adventure.  e.g. the local VIPER Nest gets ahold of a batch of Sky-Q (perhaps steals it from a police evidence room, giving the PCs their first encounter) and then begins using it to create their own cadre of supervillains. 

 

I used the Dynatron in an adventure, with a supervillain team stealing one from Red Giant and using it to create lower-level superpowered agents.

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Other ideas involving VIPER:

 

Revengers:  The Broadway Smash Hit!

A theater troupe (and VIPER front company) hosts a live-action "superhero slugfest" on stage.  Lots of fancy special effects... including special lights that hypnotize audience members to commit crimes for them.  Not everybody, just a few individual audience members are targeted each show.  Some of the heroes' friends / DNPCs go to the show, and then the next day one of them robs a convenience store or bank and drops off the proceeds in an alley (where covert VIPER agents collect the take).  No memory of why they did this or how they got whammied.  This works especially well if you can get the final confrontation to take place on stage in front of a live audience (who will all think it's part of the show), with actual VIPER agents instead of actors with prop guns. 

 

Identity Theft

VIPER steals a portable hologram generator, then uses it to make one of their agents look like one of the heroes to committ various crimes - theft, kidnapping, property destruction, etc.  The heroes need to recover the generator to prove their teammate's innocence.

 

Tanks for the Memories

VIPER steals an AI tank being developed for the Army, and then sets it loose down Main Street (while their agents are taking advantage of the confusion to rob banks and steal things all over town).  Make the tank tough enough so the heroes have a really tough time beating it... unless they do some research / contact the authorities and find a way to disable it.  ("Hey, according to these plans the armor on the underside of the tank isn't as well shielded against EMP -- if we can lure it directly onto an EMP generator, we can lobotomize the tank!")  And then, of course, the heroes need to scatter across town to stop the various crimes. 

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Dunno how things are these days in the States (I was last there in 2011), but Bank Robbing is pretty much a thing of the past here in Australia simply because they've shifted all the cash to ATMs and almost everyone uses electronic transactions. I'm sure there would still be some return from getting into safety deposit boxes, so cracking into vaults is probably worth it, but there's really not enough ready cash around to make teller raids a worthwhile crime. You'd probably get a bigger take knocking over a 7-11. Or somewhere with saleable goods (jewellery stores won't have changed much!). ATM ram raids happen, though.

 

One scenario you could run with might tackle this issue head on, being an internal power struggle between an old school Nest Leader ("Bank robbery and mugging was good enough in my day!") and their more informed lieutenants ("But boss, we make ten times the take with identity theft!"). Dr Evil vs Number Two is precisely this kind of conflict and could be referenced if the kids know it :)

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A team of new Superheroes arrives in town and begins stopping VIPER in it's tracks.  They are actually VIPER Supervillains in disguise and their mission is two fold.  One part is to replace the current group of heroes in the eyes of the public as the premier group in town.  The other is to gather intelligence of both superheroes and the authorities for future VIPER infiltration.

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Dunno how things are these days in the States (I was last there in 2011), but Bank Robbing is pretty much a thing of the past here in Australia simply because they've shifted all the cash to ATMs and almost everyone uses electronic transactions. I'm sure there would still be some return from getting into safety deposit boxes, so cracking into vaults is probably worth it, but there's really not enough ready cash around to make teller raids a worthwhile crime. You'd probably get a bigger take knocking over a 7-11. Or somewhere with saleable goods (jewellery stores won't have changed much!). ATM ram raids happen, though.

 

You could also hit pubs, nightclubs and bookmakers. Try to avoid the ones that are mobbed up, where that is necessary.

 

Restaurants might be a mixture. High-end ones probably see a lot of electronic transactions, while fast food joints probably see a lot of cash. But of course there's always a chance that things will go horribly wrong. (Insert your own Pulp Fiction clip - a bit NSFW.)

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