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Steve Long

The Book Of The Destroyer

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Here's our back-cover text for BotD:

 

THE TIME OF THE DESTROYER

 

Of all the villains in the Champions Universe, the most powerful and most feared is Dr. Destroyer. Gifted with phenomenal intelligence and possessing some of the most advanced technology on Earth, he’s dedicated all of his resources to conquering the world and defeating anyone who dares to oppose him.

 

The Book Of The Destroyer is your guide to everything Destroyer. It features:

 

—a thorough look at the man himself, including his personal history, his many attempts to take over the world, his personality and psychology, and detailed information about his powered armor

 

—complete information on Shadow Destroyer, a strange new denizen of the Champions Universe who seems to have taken Dr. Destroyer’s place

 

—character sheets and information about Dr. Destroyer’s followers, including supervillains, agents, and more

 

—descriptions of his technology, including weapons, vehicles, and his legions of robots

 

—details about and maps of his many secret headquarters and bases around the world (and beyond!)

 

—a chapter on gamemastering Dr. Destroyer, with tips on how to work him into your campaign, ideas for how he can interact with your heroes, and plot seeds

 

So tell your heroes to get ready — it’s time for them to face the might of Destroyer!

 

ISBN: 978-1-58366-115-4

SKU: DOJHERO230

Price: $29.99

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Ah' date=' it's just a rogue Destroyerbot.[/quote']

 

Prehaps. How many times has a Doombot in the Marvel universe go bezerk and thought he was the real thing?

 

Oh, and Steve, how many new henchmen does the book have?

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

BotD features:

 

--11 supervillains who work for Destroyer, 6 of whom have never before appeared anywhere

 

--6 types of agents, half of which are all-new (IIRC)

 

--15 types of robots, most of which have never before appeared anywhere

 

--misc. other servants, henchmen, and flunkies who aren't written up in game terms but are described in the text

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Will we get to see his unarmored, unmasked face? To my knowledge he's never been seen without his armor--this would be as good an opportunity as any to show the man within.

 

Or is he like a D&D character, and never takes his armor off, not even to use the privy? :D

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Will we get to see his unarmored, unmasked face? To my knowledge he's never been seen without his armor--this would be as good an opportunity as any to show the man within.

 

Or is he like a D&D character, and never takes his armor off, not even to use the privy? :D

 

His armor has every type of Life Support except Longevity, so I assume that Zerstoiten would have no need to doff his ironmongery. In fact, when asked how dependent DD is on his armor, Steve Long addressed this very issue:

 

I'll answer that one right now -- think of it as a sort of preview. He almost never takes the armor off. Not only is it highly protective and a great tool' date=' but it contains his primary life-support systems. He doesn't need those systems to live per se, but he needs them to slow down his aging as much as possible. Every second spent out of armor is a second of normal aging... and therefore a second to be avoided if possible.[/quote']

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Just to clarify my own comments non-facetiously.

You can take Dr. Destroyer one of two ways. The first is as a pure pastiche of one of the epic villains of comicdom, Doctor Doom. I'm sure that works for some, but for me, the Destroyer lacks the majesty of Doom!, and may not be able to grow into it.

The other is to riff on the background we have. Obviously, the Destroyer is a former Nazi mad scientist. Gotta have Nazi mad scientists, so that's all right. What else do we have.

Well, he left the Nazis, linked up with the CIA, and did dark and misty things in the Cold War days. What those were, we just don't know. We can go comic book. He programmed --or, at least, thought he progammed-- Mechanon as a last ditch doomsday device.

But the 50s/60s are a territory sort of between comic book ages, an oasis of Le Carre territory where things can go darker, or, more accuately, more duplicitious. Moralities can be grey, and nothing is as it seems. Did he steal the mind-blasting remnants of the lost cities of Leng from the depot where the Nazis shipped them after looting them in the Soviet Union? Or did those remnants possess the shattered hulk of the man who was once Zerstroiten?

I'm not at all sure that I would go with that spin, but it is a direction to take. The point is, the era that shaped Doctor Destroyer is an era of false legends and cover stories. So we can have that ephiphany where he suddenly pulls down his mask and reveal --oh, I don't know, the Skymaster, or an intelligent gorilla, or Archimago. Whatever, hopefully 3 players say, "oh, we've been so played," and the fourth player passed a note the GM five minutes ago predicting it and laying out his counter-plan.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Just to clarify my own comments non-facetiously.

You can take Dr. Destroyer one of two ways. The first is as a pure pastiche of one of the epic villains of comicdom, Doctor Doom. I'm sure that works for some, but for me, the Destroyer lacks the majesty of Doom!, and may not be able to grow into it.

 

I agree that Destroyer presently lacks the majesty of Dr. Doom, and it remains to be seen whether BotD can add that to the character. However, Dr. Destroyer has over his history developed in far different directions than Doom. Destroyer is one of the most personally powerful villains in the world, which Doom is not (unless he's been boosted as a result of one of his schemes). Doom today is as much sorceror as scientist, while Destroyer scorns all magic. Destroyer considers himself a modern god, and substantial numbers of his followers literally worship him; Doom, for all his vanity, has never made such a claim. And while Doom has launched elaborate plans of world conquest in the past, he and his followers have never actually engaged in large-scale open warfare with major nations, as Destroyer has on at least two occasions.

 

Given his power, attitudes, and followers, IMO Dr. Destroyer today owes as much to Darkseid as to Dr. Doom.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

The Upside:

 

Dr. Destroyer, the ultimate arch nemesis, quite possibly the biggest threat in all the long history of the Champions game and Champions Universe. Seemingly unlimited resources, unmatched personal power, and your little dog too!

 

The Book Of The Destroyer is a look at the Champions Universe's ultimate bad guy, his history, personality, resources, devices, plans, plots and schemes. But that's really just the surface of the book. Any enterprising GM can use this source book to create their own campaigns Grand Master Villain, it's really a framework of Comic Book World Domination.

 

Chapter One - Doctor Destroyer. Starting with a history of the man known as Albert Zerstoiten and his rise to become Dr. Destroyer. It starts with his childhood, and goes all the way forward to the 'present day' Champions Universe. After his history is gone over there is a section dedicated to looking at how the man thinks, covering his core personality, various quirks, leisure activities and interests and an idea of his daily routine. Beyond this being how Dr. Destroyer thinks it can be used as a template to build a Master Villain Personality, as it looks at many important attitudes common to many Comic Book Master Villains. The next section of the chapter is Dr. Destroyers Character Sheet, and his various personal capabilities; including four variations on his Powered Armor should a GM really want to surprise their players. There is also a brief section covering some Weaknesses of Dr. Destroyer on a personal level.

 

The previous assumes that you're using Dr. Destroyer in a Champions Universe campaign, or a campaign built on similar assumptions. But Dr. Destroyer has been around a long time, so the book also provides Dr. Destroyer Through Time. A look at the various power levels and capabilities of Dr. Destroyer that can be used in Golden Age, Silver Age and campaigns set in alternate times (or if an enterprising GM wants to bring together Dr. Destroyers from across time!). Also provided are ways to use Dr. Destroyer in other genres - with Character Sheets. Pulp and Dark Champions turn him into a mad scientist, Fantasy turns him into a powerful war-mage. All of these elements allow you to take the master mind and use them in games beyond just Champions.

 

Chapter Two - Shadow Destroyer. Probably one of the coolest Plots I've seen in a Hero Book is Shadow Destroyer. Somewhere in another dimension is a Dr. Destroyer who uses more than just technological superiority, he uses Magic too. Enter Shadow Destroyer, an even more ruthless conqueror than the classic master villain. Entire campaigns can be structured around Shadow Destroyer, his interaction with Dr. Destroyer and his plans in general. For fans of the Champions Universe he has a different Secret ID than Albert Zerstointen, one that might surprise you.

 

Chapter Three - The Legions Of Destroyer. You can't take a look at Dr. Destroyer, or any would be world conqueror, without looking at his minions. From the superpowered men that lead his army, to the army itself. Eleven supervillains are written-up. For the most part they are all reprints from various sources, but there are six new powerful villains to pit against your players, from high ranking minions in Destroyer's ranks to assassins he can set upon unsuspecting targets. Six variants on the agents and foot soldiers that serve Dr. Destroyer are also provided. And lastly, the remainder of those who work with, serve and unwittingly assist Dr. Destroyer on his mission of world domination. From the powerful Medina Family who have their hands in crime around the world, to a charity organization that Dr. Destroyer has set up to be his benign eyes and ears.

 

Overall, especially with the Agents and Servants sections, this is a good look at how to set up a support strucuture of personnel for a master villain.

 

Chapter Four - The Tools Of Destroyer. This chapter is essentially power write-ups for the various kinds of equipment that Dr. Destroyer or his agents employ. Including the powerful AI Sennacherib, several weapons, and other equipment his agents can use. Also provided are several vehicles his agents use. And lastly, the true backbone of the Destroyer Army, his many Robots. From the basic robot and its variations, his wardroids and his Destroyer Android, among a few others a GM can use to surprise players with.

 

Chapter Five - The Realms Of Destroyer. A world conquering master villain needs not just one base, but many bases, to launch his various schemes from. This chapter details each one, including a few massive vehicles he uses as mobile bases and bases he has under construction. Dr. Destroyer uses a basic base template that he designed for all his needs, allowing a GM to reuse the maps for the most part in case things get moved from base to base in a groups efforts to stop the menace. The bases include Destruga II (his mobile island). Poseiden's Fist, his massive submarine. Tartarus, his main headquarters. The Vale Of Javangari hidden deep in a mountain range. And Zerstorenstern, his cloaked space station. Three other secret bases are covered briefly as well.

 

If you ever needed a collection of master villain bases along with their obscure locations around the globe then look no further than this chapter.

 

Chapter Six - Gamemastering Dr. Destroyer. The last, and possibly most important, chapter of the book looks at how to actually use the Master Villain in a campaign. One of the advantages of the Champions Universe is it's a very open campaign type, just about anything you can think of from a Comic Book is probably somewhere. With that in mind, the first part of this chapter looks at Dr. Destroyer's relationships with the many varied elements, groups, organizations and other supervillains and superheroes in the Champions Universe. If you don't use that setting you can still get an idea of how a master villain would relate to various kinds of groups (from ultra-powerful villains to villainous organizations like VIPER).

 

Dr. Destroyer Vs. The World looks at the response of various governments and other organizations to the threat of this master villain. Again, it focuses on Champions Universe specific entities, but that can easily be extrapolated to similar organizations and governments in your own campaign. And finally, Using Dr. Destroyer looks at how the master villain looks at taking over various parts of the world, why and what problems he is encountering. As well as seven plot seeds you can use either separately or strung together in a whole campaign. My favorite of these is the "Dr. Destroyer Wins" scenario, you could base an entire campaign as super powered resistance to a world ruled by Dr. Destroyer.

 

The Downside:

 

I think the only thing really missing from the book is a short section on how to defeat Dr. Destroyer, the book almost presents him as the unbeatable foe. There are, scattered throughout, suggestions on how to weaken his plans, foil some, and get to some of his underlings. But no solid advice on how to defeat him beyond the old standby of overwhelming force.

 

Also, as I understand it, the Shadow Destroyer plot is at least part of a Champions Online plot line and so there's little beyond presenting him. From a roleplaying standpoint as a source book, it doesn't look into how Dr. Destroyer himself will deal with the issue when he understands what's going on. But that's really a minor quibble.

 

The Otherside:

 

As I said at the start, while the book focuses on one master super-villain: Dr. Destroyer, you can easily use this as a framework with which to build your own master villain upon. Covering all the bases of what it takes to conquer and ultimately rule the world.

 

If you've ever needed a resource to create a Master Villain with then I highly recommend this book. Or if you really wanted to know what made the premier Supervillain of Champions tick.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Once your players defeat Dr. Destroyer, you might as well pack it in. Thwart him, delay him, exile him, sure, but once they defeat him the movie is over and the credits roll. Beating him means that you didn't play his malevolence and intelligence up to full. Dr. D should be played as the guy who made Darth Vader cry.

 

Mechanon is for the cathartic, smash-to-bits victories. Dr. D is the omega.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Once your players defeat Dr. Destroyer, you might as well pack it in. Thwart him, delay him, exile him, sure, but once they defeat him the movie is over and the credits roll. Beating him means that you didn't play his malevolence and intelligence up to full. Dr. D should be played as the guy who made Darth Vader cry.

 

Mechanon is for the cathartic, smash-to-bits victories. Dr. D is the omega.

 

I started a game where the big oepning arc were the PCs getting Dr D. Now the campaign failed for other reasons, but that seemed the best way of starting a JLA/Power Avengers type game.

 

And it worked. :)

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Once your players defeat Dr. Destroyer, you might as well pack it in. Thwart him, delay him, exile him, sure, but once they defeat him the movie is over and the credits roll. Beating him means that you didn't play his malevolence and intelligence up to full. Dr. D should be played as the guy who made Darth Vader cry.

 

Mechanon is for the cathartic, smash-to-bits victories. Dr. D is the omega.

 

You do realize, defeat doesn't necessarily mean kill.

 

:sneaky:

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Once your players defeat Dr. Destroyer, you might as well pack it in. Thwart him, delay him, exile him, sure, but once they defeat him the movie is over and the credits roll. Beating him means that you didn't play his malevolence and intelligence up to full. Dr. D should be played as the guy who made Darth Vader cry.

 

Mechanon is for the cathartic, smash-to-bits victories. Dr. D is the omega.

 

As the ultimate climatic Campaign Event that let you know you could close that book and start a new one... that's the stuff Epic is made of.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

You do realize, defeat doesn't necessarily mean kill.

 

:sneaky:

 

Anyone who tells me they killed Dr. Destroyer with their group or character is probably going to follow up with stories of their D&D character slaying Zeus, bedding Ishtar and taking Mjolnir from Thor. ;) Once your character has Reputation: Destroyer of Destroyer the only adversaries that aren't going to flee or immediately surrender are the insane. Where's the game?

 

You can take down a pseudo-Destroyer or two, pummel a hefty lieutenant, disrupt Dr. D's plans, shatter the last piece of crucial Unobtainium, send him spinning into the Land of Surelyhecouldn'tsurvive but once you've scored the definitive victory over the toughest boss monster, interest in the game wanes rapidly.

 

I'd be interested in knowing how you used this as a premise, Lord Mhoram. Could be a new trick in my GM's bag. :thumbup::D

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

As the ultimate climatic Campaign Event that let you know you could close that book and start a new one... that's the stuff Epic is made of.

 

There's a reason why Peter Jackson left out just about everything after Sauron was defeated. It was all exposition and cut scenes because everything afterwards could only be a disappointment.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

There's a reason why Peter Jackson left out just about everything after Sauron was defeated. It was all exposition and cut scenes because everything afterwards could only be a disappointment.

 

And didn't involve a six hour chase scene.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

There's a reason why Peter Jackson left out just about everything after Sauron was defeated. It was all exposition and cut scenes because everything afterwards could only be a disappointment.

 

Defeating someone like Dr. D should be a campaign ending event; is my point.

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Re: The Book Of The Destroyer

 

Finally got the book. Aside from the great content I loved the legacy stuff.

 

The early destroyer had the Mark Williams artwork, and the writeup was fairly close to that version. Same with the mid Destroyer, using Zircher's artwork, and being close to that write up.

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