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Hermit

Sheep In Wolves Clothing (Campaign brain storming)

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For years, the chief protector of Deco City was the convivial community crusader, the Cricket! While sometimes mistaken for a criminal, the champion of chirp had become something of a city mascot. He had saved the day, foiled plans, and kept more malevolent masks from terrorizing the citizenry!

 

The Cricket had some close calls, sometimes he wanted to quit, but in the end, he stuck by that most heroic of mottos "With Great Can Do Might, Comes Great Ought to Right" 

 

But villains don't care if you're nice, they don't care if you're doing the right thing. They do care if you keep stopping their plans and/or putting them in jail. After a year of dealing with Cricket, the villains began to conspire on how to remove themselves of the meddlesome skyline skipper. They found an evil businessman to sponsor a hit on the Cricket, and teamed up to set up an ambush!

 

And what better way than to use a local gathering as bait? Trap innocents into a building, and set it to explode. Sure enough, the jolly jumper came to the rescue right on time! And, this time, in the battle between good and evil, evil won. The Malice Mob was triumphant in laying the Cricket low, and then to drive his defeat home, they destroyed the support of the building. So the Cricket could watch his failure as he died with the innocents he wanted to protect.

 

But there's more to the story.


The cosmic being went by many names, but for brevity we'll refer to him as Mr. Actuality. Mr. Actuality was bored. The reason he was at such an insignificant event when he could be crafting a new solar system is unknown, but he found the debris, which could not hurt him, annoying. And Cricket, with his broken spine and blood flowing out saw this man had powers too (He had no idea how much) and begged him to save the innocents here.

 

"With Great Can Do Might, Comes Great Ought to Right" Cricket said in his increasing delirium at the end of it all.

 

Perhaps Mr. Actuality was swayed enough to at least do something, or perhaps the fact these 'villains' were actually thinking they were superior offended him, maybe the cosmic being decided on an experiment purely on whim?

 

But saved the innocents (At least most of them) he did. One moment the Malice Mob were savorng their triumph watching the building crumble from the outside, the next moment they were gazing up at the collapsing ceiling and walls from within the building wearing bodies that were not their own. Their minds and souls had been put into the bodies of their victims (Not including Cricket himself who simply went onto whatever reward awaits heroic souls). Of course, to make room, Mr. Actuality had put the minds and souls of the innocents into the villains' bodies in turn.

 

And so, the Malice Mob died, crushed under the debris they had created but their bodies lived on, with new owners.

And so it begins, a group of confused, terrified, once non-powered individuals now given a second chance of life in the bodies of their murderers. Wanted by the law, their old lives forever gone, our sheep are now wearing wolf's clothing and are appropriately and metaphorically fanged.
 

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The idea is simple... by comic book standards. A heroic superhero meets his end at the hands of blood thirsty gang of supervillains who unite just to destroy him! But their success is short lived as a cosmic being transfers their minds into the bodies of the non powered innocents about to die.

 

Happens every other day in super comics ,only usually the hero lives. 

 

Some of you are already posting on who I obviously ripped off. Well, yes, it is a Spider-Man vs the Sinister Six homage. Here's a cookie 🍪  :)

 

My thought is to make some 350 point characters, minus the nonphysical scores and skill sets. The remaining fifty would be the innocents (the PCs) who got put into the bodies. This means I could, for a quicker start, set up .. mix and match, make 400 point characters for 6th Edition rules.

 

 

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First, let's talk about the Sheep who should have died... the niches so to speak. Again, you'll probably see a homage in each. Players would pick one of these (Or make their own) and put it into the body of one of the villains

 

The Sheep saved
Frail Senior Citizen- A bad heart condition was only one of the health problems you faced as old age consumed your vitality with a vengeance. One doctor actually theorized that any shock that was too great could kill you. Now you find yourself in a young healthy body, it should be wonderful, too bad it's on the most wanted list. Even if you can hide from the law, you find yourself no longer sure where you fit in. Starting over period maybe a lot harder than you'd think. 


The Performer- As far as everyone else knows you were the life of the party who used your good looks and charm for a good time and to further your goals of getting the spotlight. Always a smile on your face, they have no idea how you left a toxic family situation rather than give up on your dreams as so many of your other family members had. With your legal death and new identity, you find every gain you made in your career undone, but also new opportunities. But now you really might have the power to save others without losing all your dreams. It seems destiny has called your bluff. 


Blind Public Defender- Justice is not blind, but you were. Maybe it was the irony of that that lead you to become a public defender. You made friends, struggled with a huge work load, and you saw a lot of folks get disproportionate sentences who you thought were innocent, and, now and then, got a suspect off you worried might be guilty. You swallowed your frustration at that, and soldiered on heading towards burn out.  You never claimed to be the best lawyer but you always tried your best. Now? You find yourself gifted with sight, but definitely on the wrong side of the law and not sure how to prove it.


The Failure- The child of a wealthy industrialist, you were expected to have big shoes to fill and a path to follow. Unfortunately, much to your parents lament, you never had the necessary ruthless nature or ambition to really make a killing in business. Belittled for this "weakness" you turned to drugs for a time. When your family found out, they were less concerned about you, and more worried about how this could reflect on the family and company image. Your best friend and romantic interest tried to help you through rehab, and you were grateful, until you caught them in bed together. You were contemplating suicide on the day you died. Well, it was just your body really. Now you have a new face, a fresh start, but also have severe doubts about if you're competent enough to overcome the whole 'in the body of a villain' thing.


Former Bully- During Middle and High school you got a savage pleasure pushing little guys around, even beating them up! Fortunately for your victims, this is the 21st century which requires more subtle forms of bullying than shoving folks into lockers. You got busted, expelled, and were not allowed to return to school until you too some mandatory anger management courses and saw a therapist who cleared you. It actually ended up being a godsend and you feel rotten for what a jerk you were. Whether it was insecurity or arrogance, you worked your issues out. Now you're suddenly in the body of one of the ultimate bullies of society, a supervillain.  Maybe you can make amends to the world for your jerk years, without sliding into bad habits.
 

 

More might be made.

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If I were a player, the immediate questions I'd have would be:
- How much do we know about the person we got bodyswapped with?  Do we know their Secret ID?  (If so, can we actually do their day job?  If not, aren't we homeless?)  Do we know where their lair is?  Do we know how to operate/maintain their powers/gear? 

- Is there anything we the players need to do / not do?  My first instinct would be "I nearly died then found myself here surrounded by villains, I need to run away and call 911" for example.  What about ditching the villain-costume and getting a hero-costume to get rid of the "Evil identity"?  Should characters refrain from telling their loved ones what happened? 

- You've struck a pretty negative note at the start here, with a hero dying in the prologue.  Is that the tone we can expect from this game, or just a framing device? 

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9 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

If I were a player, the immediate questions I'd have would be:
- How much do we know about the person we got bodyswapped with?  Do we know their Secret ID?  (If so, can we actually do their day job?  If not, aren't we homeless?)  Do we know where their lair is?  Do we know how to operate/maintain their powers/gear? 

- Is there anything we the players need to do / not do?  My first instinct would be "I nearly died then found myself here surrounded by villains, I need to run away and call 911" for example.  What about ditching the villain-costume and getting a hero-costume to get rid of the "Evil identity"?  Should characters refrain from telling their loved ones what happened? 

- You've struck a pretty negative note at the start here, with a hero dying in the prologue.  Is that the tone we can expect from this game, or just a framing device? 

 

First thoughts, and nothing in concrete...

Some of the villains have done jailtime, despite their proclivity for masks, the authorities know at least some secret identities...and so too do most folks who do a internet search. Not all though.

 

I thought seeing how the players react to that would be part of the fun. It's my experience players get cranky if you prescript them too much though I'd be lying if I said I never used a touch of rail road in my life.  Ditching the villain costume WILL help at least a bit even if secret ID's are known because it stands out less. Now, a change of costume might work even better, but that's where the rails kind of do kick in. .. as hopefully some will want to be heroes.

 

A lot depends on DNPCs and background the players want to develop from the vague summary. If one player wants to play the 'Frail Old' person, and then ups the ante by saying "And I want to be Cricket's Grandmother/Grandfather" then that adds some personal levels to things. If another has a loved one, well, the loved ones may not believe them, at least at first. If you really want 'was everyone in my life a jerk?' stuff, a PC might discover someone believes them, but is glad to have them out of the way.

 

And mostly this is a framing device. Depending on how the players want things, this could be quite positive once you get past the 'that poor hero" and "I don't want to be shot by the cops.." Superpowers are still a heck of a lot of fun at times, and there maybe other perks. I am thinking of having one of the villains in User Friendly powered armor with a secret ID of a very wealthy head of a company. Sure, you run a corrupt corporation, but the perks are nice and maybe you can clean it up? But that's not written in stone either.

 

 

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Also--do the AUTHORITIES know the supervillains' secret identities? If so, that makes things considerably harder for the former victims now supervillains. If not, as long they abandon the supervillain identities, they should find it considerably easier to build new lives for themselves.

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4 minutes ago, sinanju said:

Also--do the AUTHORITIES know the supervillains' secret identities? If so, that makes things considerably harder for the former victims now supervillains. If not, as long they abandon the supervillain identities, they should find it considerably easier to build new lives for themselves.

 

We posted at roughly the same time I think, but yes, at least half of the villains I plan to be 'on the record' just to make it a challenge.

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So you've ended up in the body of a member of the...

Malice Mob (Now dead.. but no one knows that)

Condor- You have that coveted  combo of super strength, durability, and flight! Also pretty good vision on top of it. Unfortunately, Condor aka Jordan Perch has served time more than once and is known. The powers seem to be innate, but for some reason you will find some folks are interested in some 'secret', one that is certainly not in your head. Jordan Perch was a noted genetic technician whose first act of crime was robbing an employing company blind. So it's not even the JUST the Authorities that are after you now. Joy!

 

Killer Smoke- You're not even sure you're human anymore. This body seems to shift  from flesh, muscle, and bone to living smoke almost without thinking about it. You can slide through cracks or reach across the room. You  have heard that Madison Cook was a criminal long before the accident that granted powers and was a 'Killer' even then. Whether you had family or not, it turns out Killer Smoke did. Do they deserve to know the truth (or what you know of it)  when you've got your own hands full?

 

Master/Mistress Arachni  - Great news, you've ended up in the body of one of the few who had a secret identity. Not just any either,  Riley Weaver (What were the odds?) powerful stockholder and CEO of a major corporation. Of course, if you choose to just enjoy this life and it's perks, it will soon come into play that a lot of shady business was done by the former owner of this body, and a lot is still in operation. The powered armor seems use friendly, though you'll need more practice with the various web options and getting used to the odd extra limbs to fit the spider theme. 

 

Shakedown - When you don't think about it, your hands start to shake. When you do think about it? That's not the half of it. You can emit blasts of what you have heard called 'vibrational energy' but you're not sure Vibrational is really a word. It can protect you too, like a personal field of disruption. If you've tried flying you've learned you can't manage that yet, but you can run at amazing speeds by 'pushing yourself' along. Dakota Maxwell used these abilities to break open vaults and rob people blind, what you'll use them for is up to you. Word is, or maybe it's just internet conjecture, that Shakedown once double crossed another villain by the name of Snare and has a sizable score hidden somewhere. Great, somewhere there's a million dollars in unmarked bills, even if you wanted to access it, you wouldn't know where to start.

 

Wildhunt - You are in a perfect physical specimen, with heightened senses, and what appears to be a magic bow and quiver that doesn't run out of arrows like it should. Each arrow has some odd mystic affect, many of them not nice. You don't know how you're this good with a bow. After all, you didn't train with it, but it turns out you're an amazing shot! That is, in villain guise.  You've also got some sort of amulet, and when you touch it, this image of some big guy with Antlers glaring at you appears in your head, there's a sound of a hunting horn, and then you're just Kelly Kramer, scrawny academic who got kicked out of college for some hijinks on a expedition in Europe. At least, you have Kelly's body. But as 'just Kelly' you're near sighted and hardly athletic. You look different enough you could probably just lose the amulet and start a new life, except when you stay in one form too long, you begin to have strange dreams and this guy with Antlers speaks to you and you wake up shaking.

 

 

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I tried to pick unisex secret identity names for the formerly living Malice Mob. That way players have flexibility over some things in character construction that don't really reflect mechanics.

 

EDIT: Repeating myself. Doh. Anyway thanks to those who have provided input or likes ;)

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Some idea additions to the Malice Mob.

 

Mystery Master/Mistress; (Mysterio standin. Former stage magican who decided to show up superheroes and make a profit. )

 

Rampage: (Carnage/Vemon standin. Man or woman with an alien presence inside them which changed there body. Alien may know about the change in the host's mind, but will it care?)

 

Watts: (Electro standin.)

 

 

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1 hour ago, death tribble said:

I like the name so much I am going to add The Malice Mob to the Create a Villain list when i next do an update.

 

I Look forward to seeing what the name inspires for others. 

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

Some idea additions to the Malice Mob.

 

Mystery Master/Mistress; (Mysterio standin. Former stage magican who decided to show up superheroes and make a profit. )

 

Rampage: (Carnage/Vemon standin. Man or woman with an alien presence inside them which changed there body. Alien may know about the change in the host's mind, but will it care?)

 

Watts: (Electro standin.)

 

 

 

For what I've got in this thread

Condor is clearly a Vulture homage, but without the artificial part of the flight or the actual wings (mind you, if a Player wanted wings that would work, but make hiding even harder). I went with genetic technician because it's possible somewhere files on how to recreate the process exist and that means a LOT of folks would love to get their hands on that. Just the possibility means whoever is in Condor has extra headaches.

 

Killer Smoke- Is a Sandman take kind of, but with a touch of Mysterio (the smoke). As Sandman had an adopted daughter in the comics and a daughter in the movies, I figured I'd throw in the bit about family, but leave a lot up to the player's input on whether it was loving parents or off spring or what.

 

Master/Mistress Arachni  is part Doc Ock, Part Green Goblin... actually more the latter for Secret ID and back story.

 

Shakedown- Is my Electro rip off, with a touch of Shocker for the FX. Shocker btw once betrayed the Trapster, borrowing that, I went with double crossing a villain named Snare.

 

Wildhunt is a mystical and very loose play on Kraven the Hunter. How a certain God of the Hunt feels about the whole thing is yet to be fleshed out.

 

But yes, one could easily make different takes on these and others like you did. A sixth member might be wise given the source material

 

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

 

For what I've got in this thread

Condor is clearly a Vulture homage, but without the artificial part of the flight or the actual wings (mind you, if a Player wanted wings that would work, but make hiding even harder). I went with genetic technician because it's possible somewhere files on how to recreate the process exist and that means a LOT of folks would love to get their hands on that. Just the possibility means whoever is in Condor has extra headaches.

 

Killer Smoke- Is a Sandman take kind of, but with a touch of Mysterio (the smoke). As Sandman had an adopted daughter in the comics and a daughter in the movies, I figured I'd throw in the bit about family, but leave a lot up to the player's input on whether it was loving parents or off spring or what.

 

Master/Mistress Arachni  is part Doc Ock, Part Green Goblin... actually more the latter for Secret ID and back story.

 

Shakedown- Is my Electro rip off, with a touch of Shocker for the FX. Shocker btw once betrayed the Trapster, borrowing that, I went with double crossing a villain named Snare.

 

Wildhunt is a mystical and very loose play on Kraven the Hunter. How a certain God of the Hunt feels about the whole thing is yet to be fleshed out.

 

But yes, one could easily make different takes on these and others like you did. A sixth member might be wise given the source material

 

There is a good reason for the expanded roster for the Mod. One: it gives your players a nice choice of ex-villains to inhabit. Two: it gives you an instant rogues gallery for the villains not chosen. 

 

If you need an excuse, the ones not chosen were doing another job to take advantage of the hostage distraction.

 

You could also choose a few members to be off limits, like Badluck, a former cat burglar who fell in love with The Cricket and semi-reformed before joining the Mob, fully intending to be the inside person feeding info to The Cricket. Prehaps the first thing the players have to do is to save Badluck from being killed by the others for being a mole?

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

There is a good reason for the expanded roster for the Mod. One: it gives your players a nice choice of ex-villains to inhabit. Two: it gives you an instant rogues gallery for the villains not chosen. 

 

If you need an excuse, the ones not chosen were doing another job to take advantage of the hostage distraction.

 

You could also choose a few members to be off limits, like Badluck, a former cat burglar who fell in love with The Cricket and semi-reformed before joining the Mob, fully intending to be the inside person feeding info to The Cricket. Prehaps the first thing the players have to do is to save Badluck from being killed by the others for being a mole?

Excellent advice.

 

My Blackcat stand in was "Bad Penny". She's got a copper hued outfit that fits REAALLY Well :)

 

 

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An idea that just occured to me is that The Failure is a former debutante whose mind is in the body of a female cat burglar whose identity isn't known to the authorities.  Since she's in the burglar's costume, she has access to her gear, but does she have access to the knowledge of how to function as a burglar?

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From a player standpoint, my first question for this setup is, how are we NOT going to get tossed in jail for the rest of our lives?  Or be on the run for them?  They killed the city's beloved symbol;  who's not going to be out to get them?  

 

I'm fine playing the low-profile approach...the vigilante fighting the corrupt system is always fun...but this feels worse.  Especially given the mental shocks implicit here.  They'll see, or soon hear, about their own deaths.  Get the great joy of going to their own funeral, and watching their friends and family devastated.  There's a lot of seriously negative vibe to this setup.

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2 hours ago, Mark Rand said:

An idea that just occured to me is that The Failure is a former debutante whose mind is in the body of a female cat burglar whose identity isn't known to the authorities.  Since she's in the burglar's costume, she has access to her gear, but does she have access to the knowledge of how to function as a burglar?

 

Well, I'm avoiding the Skill based types to keep them from being helpless, but obviously things can be tweaked to personal touches.

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12 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

From a player standpoint, my first question for this setup is, how are we NOT going to get tossed in jail for the rest of our lives?  Or be on the run for them?  They killed the city's beloved symbol;  who's not going to be out to get them?  

 

I'm fine playing the low-profile approach...the vigilante fighting the corrupt system is always fun...but this feels worse.  Especially given the mental shocks implicit here.  They'll see, or soon hear, about their own deaths.  Get the great joy of going to their own funeral, and watching their friends and family devastated.  There's a lot of seriously negative vibe to this setup.

 

Fair concerns, and the sort of thing I'd normally want to talk to the players about before hand. Get their expectations. How easy do they want the fix to be etc? It's a superhero world so there are telepaths and mystics, detectives who profile personalities and might notice a change etc.  Even for those that served time, changing a costume and saving the day might work wonders . If the person who  is in Condor's body wears a very different costume, uses a different name, and saves folks from burning buildings or the like, the average person is not likely to think "That new superhero Bluewing is CONDOR!" So if Bluewing (Or whatever) does get caught after saving lots of lives.. well, odds improve someone might come to bat for said PC.

 

And, some of the PCs might actually convince an old friend, or family member etc... and if so they might get help. Yes, it could be very dark, but it doesn't have to be imo. You could have elements of humor laced in there, or even "Love Conquers all" 

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Definitely need to discuss that, and build the backgrounds prior to this Event for the normals, so their transition isn't soul-searing.  No "my new wife is just about to give birth to our first kid" kind of thing...yes, that can work out LONG term, but it'd be *horrible* for the wife in the short term, and thus for the PC.  Could have some fun stuff here...the lover that cheated on you AND gave you AIDS last week, the cop who accidentally shot and killed a kid, or for something less heavy, 6 years in the Army, 2 tours in the Middle East was WAY more than enough, but now what???  The "I really should have paid attention to what I could do with my degree" recent college grad with a ton of loans.

 

Yeah, the setup session would definitely be long...

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1 hour ago, unclevlad said:

Definitely need to discuss that, and build the backgrounds prior to this Event for the normals, so their transition isn't soul-searing.  No "my new wife is just about to give birth to our first kid" kind of thing...yes, that can work out LONG term, but it'd be *horrible* for the wife in the short term, and thus for the PC.  Could have some fun stuff here...the lover that cheated on you AND gave you AIDS last week, the cop who accidentally shot and killed a kid, or for something less heavy, 6 years in the Army, 2 tours in the Middle East was WAY more than enough, but now what???  The "I really should have paid attention to what I could do with my degree" recent college grad with a ton of loans.

 

Yeah, the setup session would definitely be long...

 

Yes you can stack the deck as much or at little as you like. 

 

IMO, A lot of origins start out with pretty ordinary people discovering they were more extraordinary on the inside than they thought 

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19 hours ago, Hermit said:

 

Well, I'm avoiding the Skill based types to keep them from being helpless, but obviously things can be tweaked to personal touches.

Her boyfriend, while she was on drugs, could've been a burglar who, at her request, trained her.  unfortunately, she didn't have the dexterity she needed.  Now, she does.

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