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CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios


Epiphanis
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One of the most popular moneymaking tropes in comics is the Hero vs. Hero fight. From the Human Torch vs. the Sub-Mariner on, its been an oft-used cash cow to the publishers. I'm looking for ideas applicable to the Champions Universe that would cause recognized superheroes to come to blows with other superheroes. There is the obvious generic stuff -- Menton mind-controls one superteam to fight another, or superheroes are replaced with some kind of evil doppelganger like a Teleios clone or a doppelganger from Left-Handed Earth. I'm ore interested in scenarios in which the characters actually and of their own free will start to fight each other for real, without either side having "turned evil." What issues in the CU could cause such a sharp divide?

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Unknown Identity -- one hero may not realize who the other hero actually is. This works especially well if one is not famous beyond his own city, or if one hero is in disguise (e.g. going undercover to get info on a VIPER operation).

 

Mistaken Identity -- this could be helped along by a villain (Chameleon-type character committing crimes disguised as one hero) or just a case of bad timing / lighting. In an early Champions campaign I played in, we were breaking into a VIPER base and our martial artist (Midnight) saw some guy in an unlit stairwell, so he attacked. Turns out the other guy was Crusader, who had also learned about the base on his own.

 

Irreconcilable Differences -- one hero might have a world-view that rubs the other hero the wrong way. A staunch code-vs-killing type could easily take exception to the maiming-is-just-another-interrogation-tool vigilante.

 

Just a Douchebag -- perhaps one hero is a major jerk, or even a whole team. In a past campaign of mine, the NPC hero team of New York City was the Corps, all former military types who were a bit... intense. (And typically, they were former military for a reason.) If the PC heroes came to the Big Apple for some reason and didn't clear everything they were doing with the Corps beforehand, there was a better-than-even chance the Corps would attack them on sight. Sure, the members of the Corps would have claimed afterward that they "just didn't realize who the other guys were" but really, they didn't much care. They considered other hero teams "poachers" if they operated in NYC without the Corps' blessing.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

1. Love triangle. They both want the same person, who may or may not love either of them. The discussion gets out of hand and tempers fly.

2. The Ex. They used to be lovers, but the relationship didn't end well for one or both. They are sane individuals when separate, but lose it whenever they are together.

3. Different methods. They see the job of being a superhero very differently, and there is no middle ground. One thinks they have to be a role model, and never do anything that would upset soccer moms and small children. The other sees themselves as a soldier at war, and has no care what the public thinks. The soldier gets tired of the role model telling him how things should be done and/or interfering in his work.

4. Law vs justice. One always follows the law, and would even defend known criminals while they acted in a legal manner. The other only cares about justice, and may even be willing to break the law in small ways to get it.

5. Heel turn. One of the heroes gets kicked out of the hero group, or a solo hero catches grief from the big group in town. After several very public confrontations and fights, the former hero denounces the rest and turns villain. Shortly after, he joins a villain group, but eventually betrays them to the heroes. At a press conference it is revealed that this was planned all along, but not everyone believes it.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Cavalier and Defender don't see eye to eye and might just come to blows over some tactic used when a villain/monster/creature gets away.

 

While good friends, there might come a breaking point where Sapphire and Witchcraft and/or Silver Avenger Mayte Sanchez get into a love triangle spat/misunderstanding. (Mud, water fountain/pool, or feather pillowed locale is optional.)

 

Binary Man, while technically a hero, might have to defend his company from the heroes trying to force an investigation.

 

Anyone with the "annoyed at dark, droopy and disgruntled" would have a reason to punch Nighthawk.

 

Ironclad might be accommodating to a gladiator/charity brawl.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Hero Framed for a Crime by a Villain who dressed up like him.

 

Foxbat has had enough of Crusader's vigilante attitude so he dresses up like Crusader and robs a bank. Captain USA, a straight arrow superhero goes after Crusader, thinking that he always knew the vigilante was no good.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Jurisdictional disputes may lead heroes to come to blows. In the Champions Universe many superheroes work for different departments and agencies of the United States government, and other national governments have their own official supers. Government and independent heroes, or supers of different agencies, may collide over who takes the lead on particular investigations, who takes charge of captured or surrendered supervillains or technology, and the like. Heroes who cross into another nation's territory without authorization may be treated as hostile by that country's native champions.

 

The recent Avengers movie featured a battle between Thor and Iron Man over custody of Loki, for what both heroes considered justified reasons.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Some good stuff, but some of it is problematic from a gaming perspective. For instance, a love triangle between three NPCs would be difficult to roleplay; why would the PCs care? Possibly if two of the three were NPCs, and involved a PC with a rival or two suitors who are rivals with each other it could work.

 

I'm really looking for workable adventure seeds linked to specific parts of the Champions Universe. For instance:

 

An older version of the fallen superheroine Augury appears, presumably from the future, dying of severe radiation poisoning. She announces that one of the PCs will be responsible for a nuclear holocaust that will destroy the world unless he is killed as soon as possible -- then she expires before she can give any details. The superhero community is plunged into debate, and a few grit their teeth and declare they will "do what has to be done."

 

Agents of the evil Egyptian god Set contact superheroes around the world and warn them to destroy the avatar of the goddess Ma'at living in Cairo (see Champions Worldwide). Ma'at, when confronted, declares that she has concluded her investigation of the modern world and will "fix the world and set it right" shortly, but refuses to elaborate on what that actually entails. Some heroes fear she will eliminate free will and seek to stop her; others think she will usher in a true utopia and try to defend her. Battle lines are drawn, but some suspect Ma'at might just be performing some elaborate "test." Even if it is a test, what must humanity do to pass it?

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Okay, got it now. ;)

 

The Tournament of the Dragon is a great excuse for this. Martial-arts-based supers must compete head-to-head to determine a champion worthy to face the Death Dragon for the fate of the world.

 

The cosmic entity known as the Examiner, who puts beings of power through physical, mental, or emotional tests and trials, kidnaps superheroes and places them in a situation where something unacceptable to them will occur if they don't fight each other and win.

 

Captain Chronos, a being from the future, reveals to a hero or heroes that if other heroes aren't stopped from doing something which, from their perspective, is right and necessary, something terrible will result in the future.

 

An Empyrean supervillain is captured by legitimate government supers, but bargains for a reduced sentence by offering to reveal the existence and location of his people's hidden city, Arcadia. Archon and other Empyreans learn of this and attack to break out their kinsman before he can spill the beans.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Powerful Mentalist with Illusion Control or a Mystic Illusionist with Images or a Chemical/Pharmacologist Supervillain catches the Players unaware and used them against each other.

 

A Government Witness is being escorted to Court has vital leads to where he has hidden the Superheroes loved ones. The PC's are asked to provide Security.

 

Mirror Mirror Universe Visitors

 

 

More later

 

 

QM

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

US versus Canada.

 

Actually, US versus anybody.

 

"This is our turf. On your way", with "on your way" being a euphemism.

 

And, naturally, Lord Liaden beat me to it. :(

 

There was an issue of the 80s Australian series Southern Squadron, where the title characters encountered an X-Men influenced superteam from the US who had unilaterally decided to base themselves in Australia. Hilarity ensued.

 

Actually, that was the issue whose cover appears on that page, now that I think about it.

 

Their stories are online, but behind a paywall.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Nighthawk left the Champions after having faked his own death to go undercover infiltrating a criminal group. The Champions felt betrayed by his lack of trust in them, and Nighthawk and Defender came to blows over it. Nighthawk has consulted on cases for the Champions since then, but the difference in their methods could lead to another flare-up.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

The superheroine Flashover gained her powers through Teleios, for whom she performed "a variety of distasteful favors" in exchange for his services. She initially wanted revenge for the death of her father, the first Flashover, at the hands of the Justice Squadron. She later reformed and joined the Squadron herself.

 

But perhaps some of the things Flashover did for Teleios were the sort that he could blackmail her with, or left her with guilt over the consequences that Teleios could promise to rectify, if she performed one last service for him. He might even have engineered some fatal genetic flaw in Flashover, for which only he has a cure.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Champions America (and many other nations) has a "superhuman registration law" making it illegal for superhumans to operate in the United States without registering their true identities and power details with the government. It's not rigorously enforced in the case of recognized heroes who stay within the law otherwise, but is often required as a condition for government help.

 

Unregistered heroes need information or resources possessed by a government agency, but refuse to register in exchange. The heroes attempt to break into the agency to "borrow" what they need, but are discovered and opposed by the agency's own superheroes.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Green Hornet pretended to be a mobster so fights with heroes would be inevitable. Batman fought him on the 1960s TV show but guessed the truth (even if he didn't actually let him go).

 

Superman is loyal to the U.S. Government so he would have to obey President Luthor and take Batman into custody.

 

Of course, sometimes the hero knows the truth and puts on a show.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Green Hornet pretended to be a mobster so fights with heroes would be inevitable. Batman fought him on the 1960s TV show but guessed the truth (even if he didn't actually let him go).

 

Superman is loyal to the U.S. Government so he would have to obey President Luthor and take Batman into custody.

 

Of course, sometimes the hero knows the truth and puts on a show.

Actually they worked together against President Luthor. I think Supes has ignored government orders regarding him entering certain countries multiple times including giving aid to natural disaster victims.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

The superheroine Flashover gained her powers through Teleios' date=' for whom she performed "a variety of distasteful favors"...[/quote']

 

I can see a Paragon archetype looking into Flashover's past, and declaring "What you did was UNPARDONABLE. You *were* a villain, you *are* a villain, you always will be a villain, and I'm taking you down!"

 

Another idea would be a variant on The Great Supervillain Contest. A cosmic level Vince McMahon appears at a Hero gathering and announces that he has 100 free exp points (in game he'll call in a "power up") to "The last hero standing." " 'Catch?' Of course there's a catch! Whoever figures out the catch - and still wants the power up - gets the Golden Snitch and wins on points!" He tosses the ball into the air over the crowd and shouts "FETCH!" Then he disappears, but the ball (or an illusion of it) hangs over the assembled heroes.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

Jurisdiction disputes:

  • PRIMUS demands a villain that the PCs captured in a foreign country.
  • This can be between cities, counties or states. Either the PCs are chasing a criminal across these borders and the "home" law enforcement demands the criminal first OR another super group forces their will upon the heroes' city to get a villain off the streets.
  • International waters: A villain with no disclosed home is caught by the PCs, but what happens when UNTIL agents show up as well as another supergroup and/or normal military personnel from a less-than-friendly nation (who might have no UN status or simply not care about UNTIL's presence).
  • The PCs chase a villain group into another state. Another super group from another state shows up. Everyone wants the villain captured, but by their side.

Some of these would work better if a scenario such as the villain/criminal agrees to give the PCs some much-needed info if the PCs allow him to go free, but the rival person/group doesn't care about that agreement.

 

Create/use some rivalries!

Cavalier and Defender have a rivalry. Do any of your PCs? If so, use them where they're going after the same bad guy. The first hero to miss (or miss significantly) accidentally hits the other person. If the NPC is hit, make him instantly think it was on purpose and starts to attack the PC, if the PC is hit, make the NPC say something like, "Sorry" and then the PC can hear a muttering of "sort of." Maybe the two fight it out, then (hopefully) the PC convinces them to go after the villain and when the villain finally goes down, the NPC does a type of sucker punch to take the villain away (and perhaps take the spotlight in the media "Why, yes, I was able to single-handedly defeat this guy right after he beat [said PC]," or "It's a shame [PC] wasn't able to last against [the villain]. But kids, I exercise daily and drink my Nar-Sports drink to keep refreshed. Maybe I'll send a case to [PC], so he can stay in the fight!"

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

The U.S. goes to war against Dr. Destroyer after an attack. Dr. Destroyer threatens to destroy the world. A U.N. General Assembly vote orders UNTIL to go up against PRIMUS, SAT, and all U.S. Superheroes.

 

UNTIL makes deals with international supervillains in order to get enough firepower to deal with the massive U.S. advantage in superheroes. International superheroes join the UNTIL army.

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Re: CU Hero-vs.-Hero Scenarios

 

The U.S. goes to war against Dr. Destroyer after an attack. Dr. Destroyer threatens to destroy the world. A U.N. General Assembly vote orders UNTIL to go up against PRIMUS' date=' SAT, and all U.S. Superheroes.[/quote']

 

Apparently the UN Security Council has nothing to say on the matter...

 

Aside from that, this is a bit "cheese-eating surrender monkeys", isn't it?

 

Of course in practice this is a WW3 situation - the US versus everyone else. This would suggest that there was something very unusual going on in the US government - a level of crazy sufficient to alienate its allies. Since the Security Council didn't veto the UNTIL deployment, we can assume that the US has withdrawn from the UN, and the British are covered under "sufficient to alienate its allies", at least to the degree of abstention on the vote.

 

Presumably most of the closer allies of the US would be fence sitting. A few of the smaller ones would probably send whatever assistance they could - Go Captain Guatemala!

 

Frankly, the level of strangeness involved suggests that Dr Destroyer has already won! Or, perhaps, he and Menton are having their final showdown. Or Earth has secretly been invaded by shape-shifting aliens. Or Teleios has replaced the US government with clones. Or....

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