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DShomshak

Horror & Supermage Enemies Return: Whaddaya Want?

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10 hours ago, DShomshak said:

 

He's on the list of potential supplements. But I've noted that's one vote for a GB supplement already.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

I could go for the Great Beast and crew myself, but this time with a character sheet for his composite-beast form you teased in the original. (I ended up making one for him, and using the picture of Scoff from the original Strike Force.) ;)

 

As long as we're departing from the parameters of your first post, can I make my own pitch for the Totems? They're one of my favorite 4E "theme teams," and it's not like the grievances that motivate them have disappeared from society in the intervening years.

 

I would also suggest a collection of full write-ups for the individual vampires that followed Lady Twilight's entry in CotN. Vampires are perennial gamer favorites, and those are so varied in their backgrounds and motivations, they'd offer a wide variety of uses. Since tiger has already published his reinterpretation of Lady Twilight I would understand if you didn't want to revisit her, but perhaps you could substitute Nyssa Tarchaniotes for her.

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Finding a home for Apollyan.

 

It is possible that he could become, instead of a man posessed by a demon, a latant mutant who was a cult leader who drank too much of his own kool-aid. His mutations make him believe himself to be a real demon.

 

Beyond this twist, he remains unchanged. Maybe remove his vvp (or explain it as warping reality in small ways, which is the explanation for his powers and apperance changes). Demonolgist has nothing to do with his origin.

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12 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I would also suggest a collection of full write-ups for the individual vampires that followed Lady Twilight's entry in CotN. Vampires are perennial gamer favorites, and those are so varied in their backgrounds and motivations, they'd offer a wide variety of uses. Since tiger has already published his reinterpretation of Lady Twilight I would understand if you didn't want to revisit her, but perhaps you could substitute Nyssa Tarchaniotes for her.

 

One of the Shared Origin supplements I outlined was The Blood of Kastchei, a collection of vampires. Well, one kind of vampire: the classic gothic vampire of film and fiction, which I link to one of the traditional Slavic types, the obour. As a Vampire: the Masquerade/Requiem alumnus, of course I provide an origin. In this case, I make Kastchei the Deathless, villain from Russian fairy tales, the First Vampire. He's a world-class master villain. Then have a selection of lesser vampires, from elder mastermind to hiss-and-get-staked minion, with one young vampire who's trying to be a hero. Maybe someday. A Mystic Enemies collection of different types of vampires is not off the table, though.

 

Dean Shomshak

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22 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Balls. Ol' Dash has been my most-often-used Sylvestri. :(  I don't know how recently you dealt with Cryptic Studios, but since Perfect World Entertainment took them over they seem to scarcely pay attention to the tabletop game any more, so maybe prospects would be different. But at least I still have his original write-up. :)

 

Really? Thank you, good to know. I hadn't paid attention to Champions Online or the corporate side, as not relevant to my interests (or my internet capabilities). Perhaps I shall try again. In that case you may finally learn the secrets of the Empty Blade and its pup- er, wielder.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On reflection, Shadowfire does need more redevelopment than just a CC conversion. His schtick is power escalation: The more drug-tainted people he can draw upon, the more powerful he gets. But as a solo character instead of a member of the Devil's Advocates, that escalation has to involve something more than more DCs for his basic powerset. Fine, maybe he can become powerful enough to crush all opposition (until the heroes figure out they must remove him from his human power batteries, and that shouldn't be easy). Then what? He should be able to do things that lead to long-term increase in the danger he poses, that heroes will not so easily undo. Maybe he can give other people limited super-powers, building a cadre of subsidiary villains. Maybe he can enchant magic items. Perhaps he gains a VPP for ritual magic, high-powered but slow, enabling him to do either feat, or Summon spirit servants, open Gates for dark gods, things like that.

 

I think this also means his cult becomes more important. Shadowfire becomes more of a third-tier mastermind, who occasionally can become vastly more powerful -- with the threat that he might someday become a world-beater. I shall think upon the possibilities.

 

This discussion has been extremely useful for me. Thank you all!

 

Dean Shomshak

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All of the above I heartily agree with. Keep in mind that cults aren't just about whatever mechanism the leader uses to gain power (although that may be what the cult is to him). Cults are dedicated TO something: a religion, a philosophy, something that fills a void in people searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Whatever the Fire in the Shadow is (to coin a marketable phrase) ;) , it should set the tone for what the cult's goals and methods are.

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On 7/25/2019 at 12:18 PM, DShomshak said:

 

One of the Shared Origin supplements I outlined was The Blood of Kastchei, a collection of vampires. Well, one kind of vampire: the classic gothic vampire of film and fiction, which I link to one of the traditional Slavic types, the obour. As a Vampire: the Masquerade/Requiem alumnus, of course I provide an origin. In this case, I make Kastchei the Deathless, villain from Russian fairy tales, the First Vampire. He's a world-class master villain. Then have a selection of lesser vampires, from elder mastermind to hiss-and-get-staked minion, with one young vampire who's trying to be a hero. Maybe someday. A Mystic Enemies collection of different types of vampires is not off the table, though.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

I'll just mention that Steve Long put up in the Hero store a nice little 6E PDF selection of common vampire types from global folklore as well as fiction: https://www.herogames.com/store/product/16-bloodsucker-rampage-pdf/

 

For a long time The Baron, aka Baron Jean De'Lear, from The Mutant File, has been one of my favorite 4E villains. The oldest living vampire, brilliant, elegant, subtle, and the most powerful gothic vampire ever written up for Champions. I've used him quite a bit apart from the villains in TMF, as the (mostly honorary) king of vampires. Most recently as the partner of the witch Chantal, from Shades Of Black.

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50 minutes ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Wasn't there a group of native American villains in Creatures of the Night...The Totems(?) or something to that effect? I think it's an idea that can be revisited...especially in our "get the hell out of my country" current MO.

 

Well, if it is The Totems saying that, I'm packing my bags, thank you very much.

 

I just hope they focus on Trump first. opps my politics is showing.

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On 7/24/2019 at 11:57 PM, Lord Liaden said:

As long as we're departing from the parameters of your first post, can I make my own pitch for the Totems? They're one of my favorite 4E "theme teams," and it's not like the grievances that motivate them have disappeared from society in the intervening years.

 

What he said. ;)

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2 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Nope not your politics just ignorance.

Well, this land was the people The Totems repersent long before our ancestors invaded it. They believed land could not be owned, and found our idea that land could be owned silly. They were willing to share the land. We got the shared piece and wanted more.

 

Aknologing that fact is not ignorance. Before we yell, "get off my land", we should pause and think about who had the land way before us in the first place. How are WE honoring THERE land they gladly SHARED with our ancestors by dening them refuge?

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>FWEET< Sorry, but take it to the Political Discussion thread in Non-Gaming Discussion.

 

Calls for revising the Totems are noted, but they aren't high on the list of projects. I think I'd like to learn a fair bit more about Native American mythologies before touching them again.

 

For one thing, it is mythologies, plural. While some themes are fairly common, I now realize I was doing the equivalent of building a villain team of Loki, Ares, Indra and Susano-o as if they were all part of a "Eurasian Pantheon." At the very least, a revision should acknowledge that Manitou draws on figures from multiple pantheons... who might never have thought they had anything in common before the near-extermination of the peoples who worshiped them.

 

Dean Shomshak

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

>FWEET< Sorry, but take it to the Political Discussion thread in Non-Gaming Discussion.

Sorry for disrailing the conversation. I do stick by what I wrote.

1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

 

Calls for revising the Totems are noted, but they aren't high on the list of projects. I think I'd like to learn a fair bit more about Native American mythologies before touching them again.

 

For one thing, it is mythologies, plural. While some themes are fairly common, I now realize I was doing the equivalent of building a villain team of Loki, Ares, Indra and Susano-o as if they were all part of a "Eurasian Pantheon." At the very least, a revision should acknowledge that Manitou draws on figures from multiple pantheons... who might never have thought they had anything in common before the near-extermination of the peoples who worshiped them.

 

Dean Shomshak

Yep. Multiple mythologies. Multiple versions of the same god/spirit/devil/thing and not all of them constant between diffrent tribes, let alone in there own tribe.

 

I was going to write something here, but as I go through it in my mind, I can't put it into words, let alone make the words sound like they make sense. So...

 

What else can we think up?

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Well, other projects on the list include...

 

Mystic Enemies: Undead. Pretty straightforward. Brother Bone, Dead Heat, Decay, Haunt, and a vampire to be designed later. :)

 

Mystic Enemies: Diabolical. Demons, Satanists, and such ilk. Brujo and Razor Girl, maybe Apollyon if I can think of a compelling new angle, perhaps an updated Lerajie, and a few villains I used in my campaigns but never published before.

 

Horror Enemies: The Think Tank. Formerly the Mind Master Complex. I mentioned how not every word of mine was genius? This is one case. I used this character as a major millain in two campaigns for 10 years or so without realizing that Think Tank is so much better a name. And so obvious. Sometimes I amaze myself, and not in a good way. Anyway, it's one of my faves, especially for the way it poses as multiple low-power villains by possessing hapless people. It's a villain team all by itself.

 

Horror Enemies: Science Gone Wrong. Doctor Black, Caiman, Ooze, Fearmonger, add one or two, or maybe fit the Great Beast and his pets in for a longer work. Or remove Fearmonger (save him for someplace else) and call the supplement Body Horror.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Dean:

 

And please, please, _please_ understand that I say this with respect, appreciation, and thanks for everything you're suggesting and for everything you've done.

 

I have some of your older stuff, actually, and it is based on my experience with that material in mind that I offer the following possibility:

 

Alternate versions.

 

"Super Magic" isn't of much use or interest to my groups (most of our supers games don't really include magic as more than an occasional SFX or bit of origin; it's not something any of us really dig).  But where magic and undead and zombies and walking skeletons is of _great value_ for us Fantasy and its sub-genres.   

 

Without having to go into backgrounds, origins, etc-- any such "supernatural" characters that you create for supers:  a simple appendix with abbreviated write-ups for "heroic level monster" versions would be a great deal more than an amazing thing.  :)

 

Just something to consider....

 

 

 

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I'm loving seeing all these familiar names back up at bat. :D

 

For the Diabolical collection, I would suggest adding a demon with a little more heft. I always considered Aratron to be an interesting concept.

 

However, regarding Apollyon, what I found intriguing about him was that while he was a dabbler in the occult, he had been primarily a con man, using the trappings of diabolism to run protection rackets, blackmail prominent people sampling his "worship services," and the like. He also didn't gain his powers on his own, but was essentially made by someone else (Demonologist originally), which gave his "creator" leverage over him.

 

My suggestion would be that after all Nick Harrison's fake rituals with his "Brotherhood of Belial" cultists, he finally attracted the attention of the real Belial, who saw fit to reward Harrison's evil by granting him demonic powers, but also punish him for his presumption by making Harrison his slave, spreading evil in the world at Belial's direction. It could be interesting to play out how Apollyon's arrogance and lust for worldly power conflicts with the leash Belial has around his neck. Nick Harrison might even continue some of the schemes he ran before, but this time with real supernatural tools and aimed at drawing his victims into true evil. Heroes who've been led to believe they're pursuing a sophisticated grifter may be startled coming face to face with an actual Hellspawn.

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43 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

Heroes who've been led to believe they're pursuing a sophisticated grifter may be startled coming face to face with an actual Hellspawn.

 

The reverse would be more startling.

 

While heroes might realistically be startled in this situation, players will usually expect the actual Hellspawn case.

Unless you condition them otherwise, I suppose.

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The Mind-Master Complex (now the Think Tank -- I agree that's more appropriate) was the result of an American government experiment to forcibly fuse seven moderately powerful psychics into one super-powerful mind, brainwashed to serve the government. The collective mind was too strong for the brainwashing to hold. It also concluded it was superior to humans and the world would be better if it ruled.

 

What sets the Think Tank apart from the Brain Trust is that it's a behind-the-scenes mastermind, manipulating people usually without their knowledge. Its most distinctive tactic is its use of "remote units," humans with psychic potential which the Think Tank can possess at great distance, and through which it can channel a fraction of its tremendous psychic energy. These remote units in effect become supervillains controlled like puppets by the Think Tank, their powers depending on their innate potential; but they have no memory of their actions while possessed, giving the Think Tank multiple perfect deep covers through which to conduct its operations.

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"Only one brain in a jar?" 😉

 

Since I created the Think Tank long before the Brain Trust, I never considered that question.

 

Personally, I would not recommend using both the Think Tank and the Overbrain in the same campaign, leaving it moot. Every comic-book setting needs a brain-in-a-jar villain. It's traditional. (See: Doctor Sun in Marvel, the Brain in DC.) But not two such villains.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Incidentally, the backstory for the MMC/Think Tank only says, "the agency." Doesn't say what country, or even that it was a country. Could have been something like VIPER.

 

Interesting assumption there, LL, that it was American. 😀

 

Dean  Shomshak

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