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Captain Liberty

VOICE List

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I've been asked to start a thread based around my old scenario, VOICE of Doom. The idea is to discuss current operations, what has happened in my old campaigns, what ideas others have had about the organization since the publication of the scenario, etc.

This is all done knowing that Hero Games still has all rights to the VOICE of Doom scenario and its inhabitants and anything put on this list could end up in a Hero product, even there there is no current intent to use VOICE in the 5th Edition Champions Universe.

 

I am going to start things off by posting Lung Hung as the Draconic one was used in our actual campaigns. The Master was toned down for the scenario pack.

 

This is a writeup from 1993, so it isn't up to 5th Edition specs.

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:eek: That is one serious combat monster!

 

Much as the published version, though, Lung Hung seems rather light on noncombat Skills. With his age, background and extensive travels, this is one character who could justify lots of Languages, Area and City Knowledges, not to mention Traveller and Jack of All Trades Skill Enhancers. I'd also recommend High Society, Bureaucratics (the main tool of power in Imperial China), other Interaction Skills (useful to a behind-the-scenes manipulator), some Deep Covers (at least one that we know of ;) ), and tons of Contacts and Favors.

 

The writeup I developed for Lung Hung for a past campaign had nearly a hundred points in noncombat Skills.

 

I have much more that I'd like to contribute to this thread, but I'll have to return when I have a little more time. :( I'm sure there'll be more to discuss by then. :)

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Speed 12!

 

Yep, though I find that I'm something of a piker where Speed comes from. The group I play with here in Southern California (LH was developed with my playing group in NorCal) has in their history characters with SPD 25 (not many, but at least one)!

In our Northern California group, one of the marks of honor was how many of Lung Hung's phases one could stand up to him. Actually, a couple of characters had no particular problem, but there was one time when another GM was using the character and he popped out of a manhole, raced to the pickup truck my poor Spd 5 cowboy was driving, yanked him out of the truck, knocked him out, and moved on before the cowboy even had a phase!

 

LH certainly needs more skills. When dealing with a master villain of that type, we more or less assumed if he needed the skill he had it, why worry about points. But Bob Greenwade did a very nice writeup for Lung Hung that had a lot of skills. Perhaps he will share.

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Originally posted by Lord Liaden

Much as the published version, though, Lung Hung seems rather light on noncombat Skills. With his age, background and extensive travels, this is one character who could justify lots of Languages, Area and City Knowledges, not to mention Traveller and Jack of All Trades Skill Enhancers. I'd also recommend High Society, Bureaucratics (the main tool of power in Imperial China), other Interaction Skills (useful to a behind-the-scenes manipulator), some Deep Covers (at least one that we know of ;) ), and tons of Contacts and Favors.

 

The writeup I developed for Lung Hung for a past campaign had nearly a hundred points in noncombat Skills.

 

But that doesn't go with the background does it? The point of the character was that LH hunkered down for a couple of centuries and missed how radically the world changed. The whole motivation is not to adapt and learn from the new world but to return it back to the way it was. LH wants to go right back and hunker down for another couple millenia. Languages? Maybe. AKs? Those don't make sense to me. Jack of All Trades? That seems completely out of character, LH has others to do any professional work.

 

On the other hand you are right about needing more as a master manupulator. LH should have lots of very good interaction skills, deep covers, and is pretty much by definition 'Well Connected'.

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The write-up probably reflects the earliest versions of Lung Hung; there weren't many skills in the first three editions of Champions.

 

And trying to model the skills of someone who's been active for centuries is almost invariably a nightmare.

Scott Bennie

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As I recall, weren't an awful lot of the VOICE villains remnants of vaired neo-Nazi movements in Europe?

 

I remmeber wondering at it at the time, but considering what I've since read about the lunacy of European fascism ('Stalin was a National Socialist! Hitler was the final avatar of Vishnu! The Nazis wanted to protect Europe from the Jewish Bolsheviks!') some of those characters now sound quite tame.

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VOICE = Post-Nazi?

 

Not really. Graf von Grausom was a holdover Nazi superman project and Irredencia was fixed up by an Italian Fascist secret lab, but that's about it. Black Raven was a result of Hiroshima, but that's just a WWII connection.

VOICE's earliest incarnation was created back when I was a comic fan in the 60s. Lung Hung, on the other hand, is the creation of a friend of mine, Paul Moslander, who wrote a different series of stories in early fanzines of the 60s. Graf von Grausom's backstory, in fact, is a makeover of another series of his, called Der Obermann. Very creative person, Paul, and I have hopes that he will finally start writing for sale, now that he is retired.

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First, let me state how much I enjoyed the Voice of Doom scenario. It was the first scenario I was ever ran through, and most of my charactres ended up getting trashed :). Its nice to hear some of the backstories about a great bunch of villains.

 

We ran a slightly different version of Lung Hung, where he was this ancient spirit that could possess people. This made him virtually unstoppable, as he could move to another body (along with his powers). In a host body however, he could be defeated, and he could only possess those of Hakka Chinese ancestry (so the players were paranoid about Chinese). This gave him a more mystical aspect, which at the time, I needed.

 

So far as how VOICE ended up in my campaign, I mostly used them as background for events that had happened in the past. Quite frankly, they were to powerful and volatile a group for me to keep together for very long.

 

They invaded and took over the country of Belize, and a team of superheroes went down there to stop them (mostly motivated out of revenge over what happened to the Freedom Squad).

 

A battle Royal took place between armed citizens of Belize, and the various members of Voice. Many were captured, most escaped. Lung Hung vanished in the aftermath, has not been seem since.

 

Lung Hung's master plan was to cause a widespread disatisfation with the United States in Central/South America, so they USA would spend years fighting wars, interventions, and conflicts there. (this scenario was run about 10 years ago). The american distraction would allow China to grow in power.

 

Several ex-Voice members are still running around my campaign.

 

Dr. Photon: Has founded her own supervillain mercenary team called the Valkyries. They are all female, wearing armored battlesuits. There are about 25 of them.

 

Black Raven: Discovered she was descended from Babylonian Gods (long, long, story), and is now a General in the Iraqi army.

 

Skyzbo: Was a natural teleporter in my campaign. He was killed by an unkown sniper. His brain was saved, and kept in an electronic box by the Valkyries. They use it to teleport around, and commit crimes. Recently, the characters travelled to another planet, where they found a bunch of humans living under the "Empire of Poland". It turned out Skyzbo had accidently teleported to Earth years ago, and was actually a leader there.

 

Blue Eel: Captured by the US Navy, who experimented on her and made a process allowing them to turn Navy personnel into sea breathing people. A battered Blue Eel eventually escaped, and conducts a guerilla war against the US NAvy with all her undersea friends.

 

Le Maistre: Was captured by the US government, but was siderouted to VIPER. Served as the basis for VIPERs psionic research program for years. He is about to escape, with newly augmented abilities, and attempt to take over the world.

 

I also added Lionslayer and Masterstorke to VOICE.

 

Masterstroke managed to return to his world, and reclaimed his throne. Later, the PCs intervened and he was hauled off to intergalactic prison.

 

Lionslayer married another PC, and the two of them founded a Kingdom in Mozambique/Malawi (I made Lionslayer from Swaziland, as they had a monarchy). It currently serves as a refuge for theose with psionic abilities.

 

I also gave Lung Hung an ex-wife, who was in her early 50's. She was a normal, who ran the corporate side of VOICE. This is where they laundered all their money, and got funding for their organization. The archtypical "dragonlady", she recently purchased Disneyland.

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Re: Speed 12!

 

Originally posted by Captain Liberty

LH certainly needs more skills. When dealing with a master villain of that type, we more or less assumed if he needed the skill he had it, why worry about points. But Bob Greenwade did a very nice writeup for Lung Hung that had a lot of skills. Perhaps he will share.

I'd be willing... but, unfortunately, not able. That write-up was lost when I had a major computer system crash a few years back. The only thing still surviving from my would-be update for VOICE (other than random notes here and there) is the Baby Teeth, a sort of teen/novice team for the Jaws.

 

If you or someone else has a copy of it, feel free to post it here, or send it to me so I can update from 4th edition to 5th.

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More as promised

 

I had expanded quite a bit on VOICE for my own campaign, concentrating on the areas where I thought VOICE is distinct from other comic-book super-agencies, including Champions groups: the "voice" motif; its resemblance to an Oriental secret society; and the nature of Lung Hung as a mutant - mutation of course being possible to pass on to offspring... ;)

 

The notes I'm posting here are based on developments in my own campaign (recently incorporating suggestions from Bob Greenwade - thanks Bob!). They're structured to allow GMs to incorporate the changes in VOICE into their own campaigns if they've used the group before. Alternatively, the GM can ignore the earlier incarnation of VOICE and treat the agency as if it's just entering the world scene.

 

I think I'll start with the "voice" in VOICE:

 

After VOICE suffered major reversals in the late 1980's under the onslaught of superheroes and heroic super-agencies, Lung Hung decided that he needed to reorganize. Assuming a low profile during most of the '90's, Lung Hung wove the structure of VOICE into his network of operatives and political and criminal connections, while expanding recruitment beyond his traditional Chinese base. Lung Hung drew much inspiration from Oriental organized crime groups like the Triads and the Yakuza, but he wanted to give his agency a distinctive identity, something that would inspire pride and esprit de corps in his agents. Having already adopted a "voice" motif, Lung Hung decided that the hierarchical, collective structure of Western choral music made a fine precedent for his revitalized organization.

 

The new VOICE is organized into four parallel divisions, each performing a unique function:

 

The Throat, the largest division, supplies the financial and material needs of VOICE. It's made up of politicians, organized criminals, members of business, labor, the judiciary, and the scientific community. Its function is to provide VOICE with the tangible resources to operate, and to make sure that it operates without interference.

 

The Lips is VOICE's organ for gathering and distributing information. Members of the Lips belong to intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, and to the news media. The Lips gather intelligence, deflect investigations into the organization's activities, and spread disinformation about its enemies.

 

The Tongue, smaller than the other two divisions, is VOICE's primary terrorist and assassination arm. Agents of the Tongue are trained in "black ops" tactics and normally strike with surgical precision, eliminating a target while leaving no evidence of VOICE's involvement. However, sometimes VOICE wants to make a public demonstration of the futility of resisting it, in which case the Tongue will strike openly and with great violence and destructiveness.

 

The Jaws, the smallest division of VOICE, is the agency's cadre of supervillain enforcers. The Jaws are mostly employed when VOICE anticipates facing stiff opposition, such as superheroes, or when it wants to make a particularly spectacular display of its power. The Jaws are the most powerful weapons in VOICE's arsenal, but also the most difficult to control.

 

Each of the first three divisions also includes a subdivision which serves a specialized purpose: scientific research into new weapons and other devices is conducted by a branch of the Throat called Muse; the most skilled agents of the Tongue are physically augmented through technology, given the most advanced equipment and inducted into VOICE's elite assassination squad, The Silencers; while those agents who display mental powers insufficient to qualify for the Jaws are taught to use those abilities to their fullest, trained in advanced espionage techniques, and join Whisper, the Lips' corps of psionic spies.

 

In addition to the four divisions, Lung Hung has assigned a hiercharcy of five ranks, known as Choruses, to his operatives which cross all four divisions:

 

The First Chorus are not actually members of VOICE, but more like "associates." They are employees of VOICE-owned companies, criminals who do "business" with VOICE, terrorists who are assigned weapons and targets by the agency, etcetera. They don't use the term "First Chorus" among themselves; while they're aware that they're engaged in illegal activities, they have no idea that they do so at the direction of VOICE. VOICE uses the First Chorus as a front for their activities, as operatives who can't be traced back to the organization, or as patsies to take the fall for VOICE's failures.

 

Each division of VOICE directs members of the First Chorus whose activities relate to their own: terrorists, mercenaries or street gangs by the Tongue; politicians, labor organizers or drug smugglers by the Throat, and so on.

 

Those who display the proper mix of intelligence, ambition, loyalty and ruthlessness are offered a place in the Second Chorus, the lowest rank of true membership. Members of the Second Chorus are known as chorists, and are organized into seven-member cells called choirs. Each choir is responsible for the activities of the First Chorus in their area. The exception to this pattern is the Jaws; the supervillains are not grouped into choirs, and are mobile, going wherever in the world VOICE requires them.

 

A choir is led by a choregus, who acts as liason between the chorists and the higher ranks of VOICE. All the choregoi together make up the Third Chorus. All the choirs in a given region are in turn supervised by a virtuoso. The Fourth Chorus includes all the virtuosi, as well as Whisper and the Silencers.

 

Finally, each division of VOICE is led by a maestro. (Lung Hung himself is the Maestro of the Jaws, keeping direct control of VOICE's powerful supervillains for himself.) Lung Hung and the three maestri, together with the head of the Muse scientific division (codenamed Diva), comprise the Fifth Chorus, the leadership of VOICE.

 

 

Well, that's all I have time for now. I'll post the rest of my VOICE expansion as soon as I get the chance (assuming I haven't already bored everyone). ;) Comments are welcome.

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The true sex of Lung Hung

 

Exactly right. Lung Hung is a woman. She didn't have any name besides Lung Hung when I wrote up the character, and Paul Moslander never had another name for her, either. Bob Greenwade came up with a very nice one.

Bob, didn't you put your Lung Hung writeup into RG? Do you not have that copy? I can look through mine if you like.

These mutant vampires become sterile when they turn into vampires (it balances the immortality of the character), by the way, so thre shouldn't be any children unless they're adopted.

Coming up are a couple of never professionally printed members, Lupus and Dreamer, and Steel Raven - what happened to Black Raven after a PC cut one of her wings off.

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Back when the Panchen Lama disappeared in Tibet and the Communist Government of China imposed their own Panchen Lama on the Lamaist Buddhists of Tibet I was inspired to write up an adventure, never run, concerning this. VOICE was going to kidnap the real Panchen Lama because Lung Hung was aware of what the Chinese government was going to try to do. VOICE was also going to set the heroes into a conflict with the Chinese government while they were at it. It would have been a lot of fun but I had to move out of the area.

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Re: The true sex of Lung Hung

 

Originally posted by Captain Liberty

These mutant vampires become sterile when they turn into vampires (it balances the immortality of the character), by the way, so thre shouldn't be any children unless they're adopted.

 

I can understand that from a philosophical perspective, but to me that seems a bit limiting of potential. It makes it more difficult for them to "spread their seed" so that others of their kind might be born. Unless your contention is that the potential for this mutation is somehow already within the human genome, mutations are normally inherited through a bloodline. As far as a campaign history goes I can see not wanting a world full of mutant vampires ;), but Lung Hung's mutations are so wide-ranging that even offspring who do inherit need not inherit all of them.

 

In my campaign Lung Hung had only one child, a son named Subotai, the product of her rape by the Mongol who tried to execute her. Unlike his parent who remained within China, Subotai wandered the world as a mercenary and assassin, occasionally sowing some wild oats as he passed. So the bloodline of Lung Hung is now scattered around the globe. It sometimes manifests as enhanced physical or psionic abilities of a superhuman level, but those who are gifted with the full range of abilities are very rare. As often as not the result will be a hideously deformed monster, like the Ghoul in Sean Fannon's Champions sourcebook The Mutant File.

 

One of these mutants was a NPC hero in my campaign, "Narasima," named for the lion-man avatar of Vishnu. More to the point, all of the leaders of VOICE, the "Fifth Chorus" I alluded to above, are immortal mutants like Lung Hung. While the rank and file of VOICE believes the Fifth Chorus to be made up of agents who climbed the ranks, the Fifth Chorus eliminate any who become too suspicious or ambitious, leaving their subordinates to assume that they've been "promoted."

 

Thus the leadership of VOICE is rather like a family; a family of ageless blood-sucking monsters, but a family nonetheless. They use VOICE to accumulate and maintain their power in the world.

 

I'll post more about them in the near future. :)

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If I remember 'The Mutant File' correctly, the 'potassium vampire' mutation was a sort of repeated "faulty expression" of what was supposed to be the next step towards Advanced Generation mutants. IOW, it's a recurring bug in the system. :)

 

And I do agree with the notion of making them sterile -- it's the explanation for *why* they're an evolutionary dead end, instead of for why they overran the damn continent five hundred years ago.

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Originally posted by Bartman

But that doesn't go with the background does it? The point of the character was that LH hunkered down for a couple of centuries and missed how radically the world changed. The whole motivation is not to adapt and learn from the new world but to return it back to the way it was. LH wants to go right back and hunker down for another couple millenia. Languages? Maybe. AKs? Those don't make sense to me. Jack of All Trades? That seems completely out of character, LH has others to do any professional work.

 

On the other hand you are right about needing more as a master manupulator. LH should have lots of very good interaction skills, deep covers, and is pretty much by definition 'Well Connected'.

 

Good point about Lung Hung's firsthand knowledge of the world being out of date - that hadn't occurred to me. He has continued to meddle in political affairs, but essentially from his home base in China. The AK and Jack of All Trades came from descriptions in the text of VoD of Lung Hung travelling the world to learn more about the Europeans, and assuming many different guises and employments; but those skills could easily have atrophied over the centuries.

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Originally posted by Chuckg

If I remember 'The Mutant File' correctly, the 'potassium vampire' mutation was a sort of repeated "faulty expression" of what was supposed to be the next step towards Advanced Generation mutants. IOW, it's a recurring bug in the system. :)

 

That's a perfectly acceptable comic-book pseudo-science rationale. :)

 

Originally posted by Chuckg

And I do agree with the notion of making them sterile -- it's the explanation for *why* they're an evolutionary dead end, instead of for why they overran the damn continent five hundred years ago.

 

Isn't that a problem with real vampires as well, though? If they can make others of their kind, why don't they just reproduce enough to take over the world?

 

At least part of the explanation could be that either kind of vampire would be treated as a monster and destroyed by the overwhelming majority of humanity as soon as it was discovered, and when you have to kill humans and drink their blood to survive you're likely to be discovered at some point if you're not careful. The more of your "kind" out there, the greater the chance of discovery.

 

Still, with your "recurring bug" rationale you get the best of both worlds. :)

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Re: The true sex of Lung Hung

 

Originally posted by Captain Liberty

Bob, didn't you put your Lung Hung writeup into RG? Do you not have that copy? I can look through mine if you like.

Never having been a Rogue's Gallery member, no, I never put it in there (nor in Haymaker, of which I am a member). If you have a copy of what I did anywhere, please do post or send it.

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Where is Lung Hung?

 

Could have sworn I've seen Bob'swriteup. Unfortunately, if it was sent to me in the time period I am thinking about, that was when I was on AOL, and all those files are lost (which is one reason I am not on AOL any more). Lemme look...

 

Aha, found a copy of the background Bob G. did in a copy of an email I saved. Unfortunately, no skills attached, but that's not really necessary.

 

It's attached.

 

Steve

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Spd 25

 

Seems excessive to me, too.

 

Apparently it was the style down here in a couple of gaming groups to allow folks to exceed 12 speed. They got their first action at their DEX in a phase and then a second action at the bottom of the phase (adjusted for DEX when you had more than one 12+ character). The SPD 25 guy got yet another action on the excess phase (7, I suppose).

 

Glad I was never in a game with those characters...

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