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what could the next "Book of the....." be?


Bathawk1
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Hi Dean. I think Archmago could be the Hero equivalent of Lord Voldermont (i.e. "He Who Should Not Be Named"). The idea that he could rise again by various means at any time should scare the heros. And even if he doesn't, his plans are creaping along well without him.

Actually, I'm going to disagree with that. Archimago has an <i>awesome</i> hook as a master villain.

 

He's dead. Joined the choir invisible. Pushing up daisies. He's not coming back. Considering what he did, and who he was, it's a miracle ("miracle"?) that his soul is beyond the reach of his patrons, and his plans made sure that that wouldn't change.

 

Those plans, though. The obligations they incurred, the prices yet to be paid. That's what the heroes have to be concerned with.

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It's intriguing to think of the various things related to Archimago mentioned in current CU books, plus in his first appearance in Creatures of the Night: Evil Eye controlled by her enchanted prosthetic eye; the half-demon children of the Zodiac Working; the Homunculus, Archimago's long-time loyal creation; his Staff of Power, that mentally enslaves whoever touches it; that writing-sorting spirit Archimago "donated" to the Library of Babylon. There's so much that could be taken up just from those.

 

As greatly as I respect Dean Shomshak's writing and imagination, though, IMHO it was better that Archimago not be brought back into the CU as a physical presence this time around. As his CotN write-up pointed out, the undead Archimago is hollow by that point. Any diabolical pomp he might project just covers that he's a slave to all the debtors he incurred during his lifetime.You can't really hang any campaign uses for him on his character, since his character has been rendered irrelevant. It's hard to justify using him long-term or for any but the most epic plots, those he's commanded to bring about. He isn't even tragic, just pathetic, because his state is the result of his own repeated betrayals of his patrons and seeking ever more powerful and evil protectors.

 

That said, I've been toying for a while with running a story-arc I tentatively call, "Lich War." Starting with Takofanes learning of Archimago and reanimating him to be his servant. Tak's one of the few beings who could credibly call Archimago back through all the wards his enemies raised to prevent that; and one of the few arrogant enough to think he could control the greatest sorcerer of the Twentieth Century. A sorcerer who could do some subverting within the ranks of the Undying King's own servants, for an attempted usurpation. Resulting in a war with PC heroes caught in the middle.

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Glad you like Archie. I was slightly put out when Steve Long made Takofanes the /cu's ;och-sorcerer Big Bad, but it led to deeper thoughts on using Archimago as a *dead* villain whose works nevertheless continue to influence the world. I think there's a special potential for horror and mystery with a villain who threatens you from beyond the grave. It's too late just to punch his face in; heroes need to think a little harder.

 

And yes, I have more ideas about what plots could be ongoing to fulfill Archimago's many obligations. (Some of which I managed to use in my campaigns.) So I can assure you, one can create enough material for a Book of Archimago.

 

Dean Shomshak

maybe he wants everybody to THINK he's dead but he isn't

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The key factor should be diversity of techniques, I think. You can cannibalize a lot of the crunch in The Book of the Machine for other villainous robots and masterminds that employ them--for instance, Brainchild, the Engineer, or SYZYGY. I'd like to see additional books that could similarly be broadened using Big Bads to exemplify a particular modus operandi -- genetic engineering (Teleios); psionics (Menton); magic (Takofanes, or Shadow Destroyer, or the Silver Age Archimago). An interesting gap in the Champions Universe are the lack of really big big bads that utilize cybernetics (Interface? Scott Bennie's Cyberlord?) and martial arts (Yi Lung from Martial Arts Hero, maybe?)

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Recently I've acquired a copy of THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE -the essential edition,which lists every hero,villian,and NPC that's listed as deceased with full details of thier histories and superpowers plus thier comic book appearances. Which got me wondering- would HERO consider creating a “BOOK OF” version of ALLIES which might include: THE REDEEMED,

THE POSSIE,

ZEN TEAM,

FLASHMEN,

EXECETIVE SANCTION

THE BRAVERMAN FOUNDATION

plus a few new allies from most of your campaigns or other Champions books

 

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The key factor should be diversity of techniques, I think. You can cannibalize a lot of the crunch in The Book of the Machine for other villainous robots and masterminds that employ them--for instance, Brainchild, the Engineer, or SYZYGY. I'd like to see additional books that could similarly be broadened using Big Bads to exemplify a particular modus operandi -- genetic engineering (Teleios); psionics (Menton); magic (Takofanes, or Shadow Destroyer, or the Silver Age Archimago). An interesting gap in the Champions Universe are the lack of really big big bads that utilize cybernetics (Interface? Scott Bennie's Cyberlord?) and martial arts (Yi Lung from Martial Arts Hero, maybe?)

 

Excellent points. Breadth of utility beyond the core villain is a valid consideration. Book Of The Empress provides a lot of multiversal info, and quite a few interesting other dimensions, both within and without the V'hanian Empire.

 

I've noticed the lack of an arch-cyberneticist/bionicist in the current setting myself. The Fourth Edition CU was almost lousy with 'em. ;)  There isn't really much precedent in the comics for a "really big big bad" whose main shtick is martial arts, though. Usually such a villain with that type of training is backed up with magic or technology, and/or a large support organization. In the current CU Dr. Yin Wu, and the Cult of the Red Banner, seem to fill that role.

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Recently I've acquired a copy of THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE -the essential edition,which lists every hero,villian,and NPC that's listed as deceased with full details of thier histories and superpowers plus thier comic book appearances. Which got me wondering- would HERO consider creating a “BOOK OF” version of ALLIES which might include: THE REDEEMED, THE POSSIE, ZEN TEAM, FLASHMEN, EXECETIVE SANCTION THE BRAVERMAN FOUNDATION plus a few new allies from most of your campaigns or other Champions books

 

The first issue that comes to my mind in dealing with such a proposal is, who gets the rights to the characters? I'm pretty sure at least some of the above were retained by or have reverted back to their individual creators. DOJ has stated their preference to stick with characters they own the rights to; and now Cryptic Studios has the Champions IP. Would the creators of the old characters, or new ones, be willing to sign over the rights to them? Keep in mind that given Hero Games' financial situation, they probably wouldn't be willing to pay to get them.

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I could just give them a few supervillains without being payed for them.

 

Of course, the risk of "i don't want them" comes to mind. Someone to 'dark' or who duplicates another villain's role comes to mind. ( When I say to dark, Mister Wicked is the poster child for to dark). Or Hero says yes but Another World says no (the guys running Champions Online theas days).

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The key factor should be diversity of techniques, I think. You can cannibalize a lot of the crunch in The Book of the Machine for other villainous robots and masterminds that employ them--for instance, Brainchild, the Engineer, or SYZYGY. I'd like to see additional books that could similarly be broadened using Big Bads to exemplify a particular modus operandi -- genetic engineering (Teleios); psionics (Menton); magic (Takofanes, or Shadow Destroyer, or the Silver Age Archimago). An interesting gap in the Champions Universe are the lack of really big big bads that utilize cybernetics (Interface? Scott Bennie's Cyberlord?) and martial arts (Yi Lung from Martial Arts Hero, maybe?)

In this regard, I think Teleios would work better for a "Book of..." treatment of biotech villainy. We are told that he and King Cobra are the top two biotech baddies, but King Cobra is too self-contained: He doesn't work with anyone else, and it's all snakes, all the time. Teleios hires out to other villains as well as launching his own plans. (A good way to size up the competition, as well as leading to wider story options.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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I agree with Teleios as the prime focus: but something could be done re potential cooperation, or conflict, between him and the other master "biotechnicians" in the setting: King Cobra, Dr. Moreau, the Overbrain, Dr. Destroyer, Noatar of the Empyreans, even Dr. Silverback. None of them are the equals of the Perfect Man, of course, but they'd all probably like access to his data.

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  • 2 months later...

Champions: The Book of Time - etc...

 

Champions: The Espionage World - Top Secret, Spycraft, Millennium's End, etc...

 

Champions: The Book of the Mind - Psionics, Mind Games, Menton, Mentala, PSImon, PSI Wars, etc...

 

Champions of the United Kingdom - New Knights of the Round Table, MI13, etc...

 

Champions of Latin America - Terror Inc., Professor Muerte, Golden Emperor, etc...

 

Champions Of Oceania - Australia, New Zealand or Australasia. Seeker, etc...

 

Champions of Europe - etc...

 

Champions of Asia - etc...

 

Champions of Africa - etc...

 

Champions of Middle East - etc...

 

Golden Age Champions - etc...

 

 

Cheers

 

 

QM

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