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BobGreenwade

King Cobra... gone?

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I already know that VOICE is gone from the new Champions Universe, and I'm given to understand that the same is true of the Gweenies... but what about COIL? Was there some intellectual licensing problem with this mainstay of the old CU? Or was the decision to omit them (gasp) artistic? Or have King Cobra and his organization simply not been mentioned yet out of some devious scheme to reintroduce them later?

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We won't know until the VIPER book comes out, but I expect to see King Cobra take on a similar role as in the New Millennium. A member of VIPER who once rose up to the position of Supreme Serpent, but has since been deposed and is believed dead.

 

I liked it for a couple of reasons. Having VIPER and COIL both have serpentine/reptilian mutated supervillains was redundant. If there were too many omega level masterminds and threats in 4th edition, there were also too many snake motif villains. By making King Cobra a (former) leader of VIPER, you keep just one source for all those snakes. By having him deposed and believed dead, individuals can still resurrect him to strike again.

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King Cobra, although known as Emperor Cobra to my players, is still up and kicking in my game. Also, I using the VIPER book from some time ago. I don't know if I'll ever use the Supreme Serpent as it was presented but the Prime Serpent sure is causing some rucus nowadays. VIPER's flexing it's coils -the Los Angeles mobs working in conjunction with a LA hero group think they pushed VIPER out of LA but in truth - VIPER decided just to leave and let them think they got pushed out. In the process, the mob families are so weakened now, it leaves you wondering what's going to happen now? :D

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I've always used and loved King Cobra. He's been running VIPER for years in my campaigns. He did keep his own snake group together as well. This helped to hide the fact that he was the Supreme Serpent.

 

Also keep the heroes busy and left him to perfect his serpent formula. After all it is hard to get any work done when heroes keep breaking into the lab.;)

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Originally posted by Tom McCarthy

We won't know until the VIPER book comes out, but I expect to see King Cobra take on a similar role as in the New Millennium. A member of VIPER who once rose up to the position of Supreme Serpent, but has since been deposed and is believed dead.

 

I liked it for a couple of reasons. Having VIPER and COIL both have serpentine/reptilian mutated supervillains was redundant. If there were too many omega level masterminds and threats in 4th edition, there were also too many snake motif villains. By making King Cobra a (former) leader of VIPER, you keep just one source for all those snakes. By having him deposed and believed dead, individuals can still resurrect him to strike again.

As a somewhat different wrinkle, King Cobra could also be a former disciple of Moreau's.... :D

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Originally posted by Starcorp Man

There was a reason Voice wasn't added beyond Steve not liking them? (Which seems to be a trend)

Or it could be the fact that Hero Games does not own the rights to VOICE, and decided it was better to ignore them (or even make a new type of VOICE) rather than having to rebuy the rights from the original author. From what I understand that was a period where Hero Games only "rented" ideas; they did not buy them outright.

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Given the redefined origin and background to VIPER mentioned in the new Champions Universe (which I probably shouldn't give away here), I would frankly be surprised if some incarnation of King Cobra was not a prominent part of the organization, if not chosen to be the current Supreme Serpent. I do agree that two snake-motif organizations are a bit redundant, but IMO the new universe paves the way for a merger of the two concepts, should Steve and Scott choose to go that way.

 

And I miss VOICE, too. :( They've been fixtures in my campaigns for many years, and I'm in the process of updating them to FREd-ness.

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Speaking for myself, the VIPER book is on the list of the supplements I never managed to pick up (never found it for sale when I had the cash). My traditional answer has been that King Cobra IS the Supreme Serpent, with no COIL.

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About VOICE....

 

Originally posted by Lord Liaden

And I miss VOICE, too. :( They've been fixtures in my campaigns for many years, and I'm in the process of updating them to FREd-ness.

I actually had been in the middle of preparing a manuscript for a VOICE update when the whole shifting-around of intellectual properties started (from the severing of ties with ICE to the purchase of HERO by DOJ). When Steve asked freelancers to contact him about manuscripts that had already been approved by the old guard, I mentioned both TUV (and you know how that turned out) and VOICE. To the latter he said simply, "Sorry, not interested." I've been assuming that it was an intellectual-property issue, though it may be neither that nor an "I just don't like them" thing: I think Steve's trying to cut out redundant organizations, and the differences between VOICE and VIPER are just too subtle -- even more so, to my mind at least, than the differences between COIL and VIPER.

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Re: About VOICE....

 

Originally posted by BobGreenwade

I think Steve's trying to cut out redundant organizations, and the differences between VOICE and VIPER are just too subtle -- even more so, to my mind at least, than the differences between COIL and VIPER.

 

On that point I would have to respectfully differ with you. The feel of the two organizations is very different IMO. VIPER is very much the high-tech, world conquering terrorist group a la HYDRA, essentially a private army. VOICE is more like an Oriental criminal secret society, a Triad with better R & D. They're more lethal in their M.O. than most comic-book groups, and their motivation is unique: not to conquer the world, but to keep it destabilized so that VOICE's corner of it remains secure.

 

Although, come to think of it, wouldn't Lung Hung make a helluva Supreme Serpent? "Welcome to the lair of the dragon, from which there is no returning." :D

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I like VOICE too. But, I just can't seem to think up any good story plots useable with them. You guys all seem to luv 'em too. Any ideas for using VOICE in a Champions campaign?:confused:

 

Acroyear II

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I love VOICE. I also noticed that I have massive redundncies in my campaigns. I tend to keep using the same universe and just adding and adding with out ever subtracting. I would miss the villains too much... any ideas on getting rid of some?

 

(case in points I am considering bringing Giganto, White Flame, and Pantera in some capacity...)

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I used to run an English Supers Campaign, and had a story arc built around the formation of Eurostar. Basically, I ran the GSVC with Fiacho as Mastermind, and the attacks as an 'audition' for Eurostar.

I used a lot of the European VOICE guys as other Euro-baddies, as well as dudes from European Enemies etc...

It was neat, I split everyone up and each team member accompanied four heroes from other EC nations to various cities across Europe.

So in each adventure, one PC got to play his regular character, while the rest played heroes from other EC nations.

 

I'm telling you, coming up with a four member team from Luxembourg was a NIGHTMARE!

 

 

____________________________________________________

Pol.

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Re: Re: About VOICE....

 

Originally posted by Lord Liaden

On that point I would have to respectfully differ with you. The feel of the two organizations is very different IMO. VIPER is very much the high-tech, world conquering terrorist group a la HYDRA, essentially a private army. VOICE is more like an Oriental criminal secret society, a Triad with better R & D. They're more lethal in their M.O. than most comic-book groups, and their motivation is unique: not to conquer the world, but to keep it destabilized so that VOICE's corner of it remains secure.

I agree, but I still consider these differences from VIPER more subtle than those with COIL. The only strong commonality between VIPER and COIL is the snake motif; VIPER (talking 4th Ed version for the moment) was basically a criminal organization with world-conquering overtones, while King Cobra plotted to conquer the world through genetic manipulation. On the other hand, there are many surface similarities between VIPER and VOICE: a mixture of agents and supervillains, financial support through conventional crime, world-spanning operations, and so forth.

 

Despite that, my take on VOICE was taking it even further away from VIPER's mold than it already was. While VIPER was essentially an agent organization with supervillain support, VOICE was going to function as a large supervillain group with agent support. For Dark Champions games, I was fleshing out a tong and a triad (yes, one of each) that, led by Lung Hung in one of her many disguises, unwittingly aided the main part of VOICE in its operations. I was also going to present some moral conflicts, with Jaws villains working to rescue people after a big earthquake in Taiwan, and even helping 9/11 rescue operations.

 

But that's all water under the bridge now; even with as many fans as it apparently had, VOICE is gone from the CU, and there's no sense in beating a dead horse.

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The King is dead...

 

...Long live the king.

 

In my campaign, a player came up with a 30 foot snake man, long before 3rd Edition came out, called Coil. We had no clue about King Cobra and his organization at that point.

 

In years of playing, King Cobra became very prominent, as he proved to have created Coil (the character) who had, until that time, thought he was some weird alien. This set off a long battle between King Cobra and his COIL organization, and Coil the hero... who befriended Mongoose, and spent years taking COIL apart. It all came down to a full out assault on COIL's base in the Amazon, with the court split, some supporting King Cobra, and others supporting Coil... a one on one... fight to the death between our hero and the villain. He took the villains head... and the crown... and rule the growing nation of Coil Mutates that was taking over the Amazon basin.

 

Very fun storyline, and a great way for a major PC to retire... taking over a kingdom and becoming a major NPC.

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Originally posted by BobGreenwade

But that's all water under the bridge now; even with as many fans as it apparently had, VOICE is gone from the CU, and there's no sense in beating a dead horse.

 

Yes, VOICE will not be in the new CU, but that doesn't mean we who enjoyed them can't exchange ideas on how to use them in our own campaigns. :) Your take on VOICE is certainly interesting, making it function more like PSI; I could see the villain group travelling around the world, committing acts to destabilize particular regions.

 

My own concept played up both the "voice" motif and the Oriental criminal style:

 

VOICE had four divisions: the Tongue (combat/assassins), the Lips (spies and informants), the Throat (scientists and suppliers), and the Jaws (supervillains). The agents were broken up into eight member cells called choirs (for the eight notes in a musical scale), led by a choregus. (Supervillains are all at least equal to a choregus in rank.) The choirs controlled associates who were not members of VOICE, as do the Chinese Triads. All choirs in a region are coordinated by a virtuoso, while each division is headed by a maestro. There are also special units in certain divisions: a squad of elite assassins in the Tongue, called the Silencers (equivalent to low-level supers), and Whisper, psionically-gifted spies who are a part of the Lips.

 

Members are inducted in an elaborate ritual, including branding a skull mark at the base of the neck. Most members don't know that the branding implants a microchip in the recipient, which allows the choregus to establish a mind link with all the "chorists" in his cell (a "silent voice"). This is generally believed to be a mystical effect, rather than technology. The communication skulls given to each choir also allow a choregus to communcate mentally with his higher ups, and to track down members who try to leave or defect (Mind Scan).

 

There's more, but I don't want to hijack the thread completely. :o I also don't want to spoil VOICE of Doom for people who might want to run it.

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Originally posted by Acroyear II

I like VOICE too. But, I just can't seem to think up any good story plots useable with them. You guys all seem to luv 'em too. Any ideas for using VOICE in a Champions campaign?:confused:

 

Acroyear II

 

The plots that cropped up in my own campaigns included: political kdnappings and assassinations; sabotage and larger scale terrorist acts; forcible takeovers of the assets and operations of other organized criminals; organizing and financing revolutionary groups; also more subtle coercion of influential people through threats or blackmail. Sometimes the involvement of VOICE was overt and obvious, intended to cause widespread fear and uncertainty. At other times VOICE would commit an act and leave clues implicating another individual or group, especially one which opposed or threatened them.

 

Remember that VOICE seeks to foment world instability, so would target anyone or anything that acts as a stabilizing influence, either through the power it exerts or its symbolic value. (Including well-respected superheroes!)

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Cobra murdered by hero

 

In the campaign I was in, the obra was murdered by a hero.

 

Part of the origin of the hero Avenger was that his parents wee killed by Cobra. So he sought revenge. Eventually he got one on one with the Cobra. Cobra tried using the ego destruction gadget from the gadget book only to have it turned on him. Left as a vegetable, the Avenger had the Cobra completely at his mercy. And then killed him. He was photographed doing it by his reporter DNPC. So he went on the run.

 

This caused major ructions within the team with some heroes supporting him and other seeking to bring him down. He had never killed some one and always said 'But I'm just a normal man'. He was an icon to others. That changed with what he did. But some of the heroes who had a very loose grasp of morals as far as the police were concerned covertly hid news of him from the others who were bent on tracking him down.

 

He was eventually put on trial having given himself up and jailed for manslaughter.

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With a proper shuffling of the characters, there is room for both COIL and VIPER. As has been mentioned, VIPER is Champion's version of Hydra, a world spanning organization determined to rule the world. I've always thought of COIL as being the product of a single person's vision: King Cobra. Everything is "snake-themed" in COIL. Although Viper in 4th Ed. had some snake-themed characters, they were not truly snake-centric.

 

With regard to VOICE, I never liked the "ruthless killer" theme of the group.

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I used to use COIL (The Criminal Organisation for Infamy and Larceny) in my Silver Age Campaign, where the supers were the new, post war superhero wave, working for EAGLE (The Elite Agency for Government Law Enforcement).

 

That seemed to work just fine.

 

 

__________________________________________

Pol.

(Beatnik Gorilla)

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More on VOICE

 

Originally posted by Lord Liaden

VOICE had four divisions: the Tongue (combat/assassins), the Lips (spies and informants), the Throat (scientists and suppliers), and the Jaws (supervillains). The agents were broken up into eight member cells called choirs (for the eight notes in a musical scale), led by a choregus. (Supervillains are all at least equal to a choregus in rank.) The choirs controlled associates who were not members of VOICE, as do the Chinese Triads. All choirs in a region are coordinated by a virtuoso, while each division is headed by a maestro. There are also special units in certain divisions: a squad of elite assassins in the Tongue, called the Silencers (equivalent to low-level supers), and Whisper, psionically-gifted spies who are a part of the Lips.

I had a similar organizational scheme within the main part of VOICE, except that the Lips was the branch that was "out front" -- the legitimate businesses, legal division, media "spin doctors," political action committees, and the like. Spying and information gathering was done by the associated tong and Triad.

 

The choral motif for the Tongue organization is a cool one, and worthy of being co-opted for my own version -- except that, as a musician, there are seven notes in the diatonic scale (the first and eighth are technically the same note, just in different octaves). Same for the Silencers and Whisper.

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