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Which Viper?


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Grew up with 4th, but I say 4b and 5th, maybe with a dash or new. VIPER agents don't actually have to be in gold, do they? Why not have a secondary color like a ranking? Green and red. Green and blue. Green and brown. Green and white.

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   The game I was in that used Viper had the organization set up very loosely for security and very reflective of the personal style of the local leader and reliant on their own ability to raise capital. 
     This meant the GM could use a lot of different types of Viper groups based on the type of episode. Some were giant Mech’s tearing into bank vaults types while others were more about using designer drugs to fund their crooked politicians running for city government types. Then there were some who were at war with each other turning the streets into battlegrounds.
      Built in flexibility, meant Viper always stayed dangerous and new.

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I like 4A & 5th.  I agree with those who say 5th feels very GI Joe, but I see that as a feature instead of a bug.  With all the "Tactical Cosplay" we see in real life survivalists and revolutionaries something military themed with a scale motif feels right for the kinds of people Viper is often stated to recruit (washed out Military, underemployed thugs, and people who think they deserve more then they have).

You need your troops to feel badass, which I think the helmets, vests, and sidearms help with.

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I like the lack of deep details from 1-3.

 

oddly, I _also_ like the organization book as laid out in 4e (but for some reason, not for Viper.  I'd use it for a whole new organization: some of the ideas-- like the computer in charge of everything-- were just a little to out there for my personal taste with regard to what is essentially a global terrorist network.

 

I like the uniforms from 5e, simply because they look like actual uniforms as opposed to left over props from something else.

 

Problematic to that, I also fully accept that helmets of the proportions shown in 5e and in any comic book could not actually contain and protect a human head.  Williams (1-3) really offered the only helmet that actually looked like it could protect, but he really went overboard with the Spaceballs look....

 

 

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On 4/21/2021 at 8:38 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Unfortunately these days most people who think of superheroes associate them with movies, not comics which few have read.  So that's going to inform expectations and what people think is "cool" rather than the near-century of comic books that led to the films.


      So you’re saying that what’s popular changes over time, and that different generations have the nerve to decide for themselves what they like!!!!!   HOW DARE THEY!!!!!
      Don’t they know that what we old farts liked and are used to has to remain the standard!  They should all just shut up, turn their crappy music down, pull their pants up and stay off our lawns!
       Frankly and with all respect to the game designers and comic creators who came before.  Viper was stolen from Hydra, which was stolen from the James Bond movies. So as far as that goes it’s just all come full circle.
       The ancient Romans said over two thousand years ago “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And it’s still true.

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I like the 1st Edition one and the 3rd. Someone mentioned GI Joe and I think that's fair...I always GMed with the Eighties GI Joe cartoon in mind with Viper in play. It is basically Cobra, especially when you play the villains asscoiated with Viper as though they were the main Cobra characters. Like Destro. Like, the villains are part of the hierarchy and outrank the Viper agents.

 

I play it that way but I also throw in elements of Viper from every incarnation, sometimes switching between two incarnations or even two incarnations in competition with each other, like splinter cells. in a way.

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I like the designs of 1st and 3rd because they give a good comic book look for a Silver or Bronze Age campaign, just lose the shoulder points. The 4th A design would be good for special agents/leader types, or if running a more cinematic-looking game (the Champions Cinema Universe).

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Tjack:

 

I wanted to agree with you with most of your sentiments, but I _do_ think they shoukd pull up their pants.  I get really,tired of walkinf through the grocery store, rqndomly encountering the pubic foilage of someone who should be able to dress all by himself.   

 

 

And I know Hydra is the popular,go,to (and thanks to all the googling that came out of a Captain America thread, I now sort,of know who they are.   But i always thought Viper was a rip,off,of Cobra: snake motif, military structure, and absolutely,no valid reason to exist foe the first ten years or so....

 

Very Cobra.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

and I know Hydra is the popular,go,to (and thanks to all the googling that came out of a Captain America thread, I now sort,of know who they are.   But i always thought Viper was a rip,off,of Cobra: snake motif, military structure, and absolutely,no valid reason to exist foe the first ten years or so...

 

Viper and Cobra are both ripoffs of Hydra.  Cobra was just featured on TV years before Hydra was so it's sort of a case of the ripoff being better known than the source.

Legend has it that Larry Hama had written up a fairly detailed pitch for a new "Agents of Shield" comic back in the 80s where the schtick was going to be that it wasn't going to be about Nick Fury, it was going to be mission impossible style ensamble comic book where each mission SHIELD would get a team of agents that were each amazing in their specialty to go after Hydra's latest scheme.  They were going to be more military & less spandex to imply a dirtier "off the books" squad.

The pitch was rejected, but supposedly, after the Marvel editors had taken a meeting with Hasbro about writing a comic to go along with the new GI Joe relaunch one of Hama's editors asked him to scratch out "SHIELD", write in "GI Joe" and then let them submit his pitch as the basis for the new comic.
Hama ended up writing most of the character profiles for all the GI Joe & Cobra characters, so although he didn't create their looks he created the "character sheets" for most of the GI Joe Franchise characters in the 80s.  In essence his attempted re-launch of Agents of Shield turned into GI Joe and his intended revamp of Hyrda (Making them less nazi & more terrorist) turned into Cobra.

Lots of the really early Cobra characters like the Baroness, Major Bludd, Destro, etc actually work surprisingly well if you think of them as Hydra "personalities" that would have been rivals of Zemo or Struker.  I think Destro & the MCU Zemo might even enjoy one anothers work.

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On 4/21/2021 at 9:34 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Which VIPER agent design do you prefer?  1st?  4th?  Something new?

 

 

3rd + 4th B.   It is a supers game and the adversaries should look like they are in a world where beings wear colorful costumes.  Otherwise we are just playing a Bourne spy game with some of the characters being superhuman. 

 

3 hours ago, Tjack said:


      So you’re saying that what’s popular changes over time, and that different generations have the nerve to decide for themselves what they like!!!!!   HOW DARE THEY!!!!!
      Don’t they know that what we old farts liked and are used to has to remain the standard!  They should all just shut up, turn their crappy music down, pull their pants up and stay off our lawns!
       Frankly and with all respect to the game designers and comic creators who came before.  Viper was stolen from Hydra, which was stolen from the James Bond movies. So as far as that goes it’s just all come full circle.
       The ancient Romans said over two thousand years ago “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And it’s still true.

 

What you said :rockon:

 

51 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I wanted to agree with you with most of your sentiments, but I _do_ think they shoukd pull up their pants.  I get really,tired of walkinf through the grocery store, rqndomly encountering the pubic foilage of someone who should be able to dress all by himself. 

 

A while back I was sitting in traffic waiting for the light to change when these three idjits with skateboards and droopy pants were running to catch the bus which had just closed the door and was getting ready to pull out.  There they were hop shuffling toward the bus one hand trying to keep their pants up far enough, the other trying to hold their boards and anything else. 

The lead dimwit face planted and the other two followed after tripping over him.  There they were tweedle-dee, tweedle-dum and tweedle-dummer all in a pile watching as the bus pulled away.

 

I hadn't had that good of a laugh in years nor since then.   Too bad I didn't get a video.

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Quote

So you’re saying that what’s popular changes over time, and that different generations have the nerve to decide for themselves what they like!!!!!

 

No, just that designers these days have to work with a different set of expectations than those of the past, and that its a pity modern fans are missing out on so much history and wonderful stuff from the past.  I don't judge in character design, I just try to listen to what people want and expect so that I can make what people not only appreciate and expect, but will be pleased by.  With that as a basis, there's room to adjust and introduce younger people to something new (actually old) they are unfamiliar with, as long as its not too much against the aesthetic they expect.

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