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VIPER Victorious (Campaign Concept)

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On a variant of the Champions Universe timeline, VIPER has achieved the unthinkable: world conquest.

 

VIPER emerged victorious after a series of schemes and a few major battles went their way a number of years ago (perhaps a decade or so), and now they rule the world. The Supreme Serpent has re-organized VIPER into a semi-feudal arrangement to manage things, with the Council of Thirty acting as his dukes. Below them are an assortment of former Nest Leaders, each one now controlling the various cities and towns of the world, backed up by cadres of agents, superhumans and their technological arsenal.

 

Heroes still rise to oppose them, but they are the underdogs here and most get put down quickly. Due to a massive propaganda effort, people have come to accept VIPER as their rulers. Any dissent is crushed by force or propaganda on social media and regular media, both of which are heavily monitored.

 

Most major supervillains are now dead, those that would not bend their knee to the Supreme Serpent, but a few still carry out their plots. Mechanon continues to carry out his attempts to destroy humanity, and there are rumors that Doctor Destroyer assists the resistance's efforts.

 

In such a world, I would imagine that secret identities would be even more important than usual.

 

What kind of heroes will arise? What sort of events would make for good campaign plots?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hmmm.

 

There's assassination. Taking out the Supreme Serpent (or just one of the Council high ups) would be a goal for some.

 

Sabotage. Blow up a VIPER factory, or arms  dump, or super weapon.

 

Hearts and Minds. Doing good deeds and spreading the word of the heroes selflessness and VIPER's evil would be a good strategy. Similarly: The heroes have proof of VIPER atrocities and they need to get it out to the world.

 

Have VIPER recovered the Serpent Lantern? (a magic item that stops people from ageing.)  If so then getting it off of them and destroying it would put their leadership once more in the realm of mortals. Or perhaps VIPER has  only just discovered its location (I think in official Champions history it was lost in outer space somewhere near Earth orbit) and are sending an expedition to recover it. The heroes  have to get there first. This can intersect with Destroyer wanting the thing. (He's the reason it was lost in the first place. Also, he real old.)

 

Working with VIPER to stop a Mechanon plot. Extra points for making the person they have to work with someone they already know and hate. Could lead to winning mutual respect and getting a friend on the inside. Or extra hate. Both are good.

 

If Doctor Destroyer is alive and working with the heroes then there's all sorts of dramatic tension that can be milked from having to deal with an utterly ruthless sociopath. Not necessarily plots, but added dramatic scenes.

 

The Serpentine Network is a valuable (vital?) piece of VIPER's infrastructure and both Destroyer and Mechanon have the means to infiltrate/take it over. Perhaps the heroes have to link some sort of device to the central mainframe to enable Destroyer to hack it. Or perhaps some VR adventures, a la Tron.

 

For the mystically minded there's direct interaction with Nama, the patron saint of VIPER. Nama seems to be a real trickster and supports VIPER for reasons that come down to "shits and giggles." But maybe not - maybe the wily old serpent needs a VIPER controlled Earth for some reason; a greater extra-dimensional threat the needs the full might of the whole planet to combat. Or, conversely, Nama plans to become that greater extra-dimensional threat itself and invade someone else. Nama has its thumb (Nama is a snake, we all know it's using it's tail) on the scale of chance and has been feeding VIPER good luck for years now. Block that and even the odds. Preface this outrageous luck with some back story and the heroes witnessing it in action. 

 

Finding other allies against VIPER. Possibly an old, embittered hero. Or one of the few villains to have escaped VIPER (so far!) needs to be found and "brought in from the cold." Could be how they meet Destroyer or some other old fave. (Personally I don't like Destroyer as a character. Much prefer Professor Muerte.)

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The most likely heroes to continue to survive and be effective would be those whose powers let them keep a low profile and function covertly. Invisibility. Desolidification. Shrinking. Shape Shift. Mental Powers.

 

Places already hidden from detection could become focal points for gathering resistance. Gran Cienelago Island. Arcadia. If Dr. Destroyer's involved, the Vale of Javangari.

 

The key to overthrowing VIPER might lie in getting help from Nama. The great snake doesn't really care whether VIPER succeeds in its goals -- he only wanted its protection. OTOH Nama is entertained by chaos, and finds heroes greatly entertaining. He's been patron to quite a few of them over the millennia.

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Either Ravenswood (or some other school for gifted young supers) becomes a secret hotbed of teenaged resistance and insurgency against VIPER, or, if VIPER has discovered it, it becomes a new place for Future Viper Super youth where the powerful enforcers of tomorrow get an education in serving the new coiled Order.

 

Either take could lead to storylines for rebel heroes.

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6 hours ago, Hermit said:

Either Ravenswood (or some other school for gifted young supers) becomes a secret hotbed of teenaged resistance and insurgency against VIPER, or, if VIPER has discovered it, it becomes a new place for Future Viper Super youth where the powerful enforcers of tomorrow get an education in serving the new coiled Order.

 

Either take could lead to storylines for rebel heroes.

 

I had not considered Ravenswood before, but this is a great idea. I'd rep you, but I've run out of points for now.

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On 4/29/2020 at 3:47 PM, drunkonduty said:

Hmmm.

 

There's assassination. Taking out the Supreme Serpent (or just one of the Council high ups) would be a goal for some.

 

Sabotage. Blow up a VIPER factory, or arms  dump, or super weapon.

 

Hearts and Minds. Doing good deeds and spreading the word of the heroes selflessness and VIPER's evil would be a good strategy. Similarly: The heroes have proof of VIPER atrocities and they need to get it out to the world.

 

Have VIPER recovered the Serpent Lantern? (a magic item that stops people from ageing.)  If so then getting it off of them and destroying it would put their leadership once more in the realm of mortals. Or perhaps VIPER has  only just discovered its location (I think in official Champions history it was lost in outer space somewhere near Earth orbit) and are sending an expedition to recover it. The heroes  have to get there first. This can intersect with Destroyer wanting the thing. (He's the reason it was lost in the first place. Also, he real old.)

 

Working with VIPER to stop a Mechanon plot. Extra points for making the person they have to work with someone they already know and hate. Could lead to winning mutual respect and getting a friend on the inside. Or extra hate. Both are good.

 

If Doctor Destroyer is alive and working with the heroes then there's all sorts of dramatic tension that can be milked from having to deal with an utterly ruthless sociopath. Not necessarily plots, but added dramatic scenes.

 

The Serpentine Network is a valuable (vital?) piece of VIPER's infrastructure and both Destroyer and Mechanon have the means to infiltrate/take it over. Perhaps the heroes have to link some sort of device to the central mainframe to enable Destroyer to hack it. Or perhaps some VR adventures, a la Tron.

 

For the mystically minded there's direct interaction with Nama, the patron saint of VIPER. Nama seems to be a real trickster and supports VIPER for reasons that come down to "shits and giggles." But maybe not - maybe the wily old serpent needs a VIPER controlled Earth for some reason; a greater extra-dimensional threat the needs the full might of the whole planet to combat. Or, conversely, Nama plans to become that greater extra-dimensional threat itself and invade someone else. Nama has its thumb (Nama is a snake, we all know it's using it's tail) on the scale of chance and has been feeding VIPER good luck for years now. Block that and even the odds. Preface this outrageous luck with some back story and the heroes witnessing it in action. 

 

Finding other allies against VIPER. Possibly an old, embittered hero. Or one of the few villains to have escaped VIPER (so far!) needs to be found and "brought in from the cold." Could be how they meet Destroyer or some other old fave. (Personally I don't like Destroyer as a character. Much prefer Professor Muerte.)

 

Regarding the Serpent Lantern, Destroyer managed to obtain it for himself several years ago, then drained some of its energies into himself using his super-science to render himself immortal without pledging himself to Nama. VIPER has since tried to kill him on several occasions, but they only managed to whittle down his supporters to a fragment of its former size. After threatening to disintegrate the Lantern after their last attempt on his life, the direct threats against him stopped, and he and the Supreme Serpent are now in a cold war with the world as the prize, using their agents and superhuman allies against each other. Using his network, Destroyer has assembled cells of resistance fighters, some of them small superhuman teams that don't know they are working with the infamous Dr. Destroyer. Professor Muerte heads up one such team, his former allies scattered or dead, forcing him to acquire new ones.

 

Mechanon has proven to be one of VIPER's most tenacious foes, establishing new bases just a bit faster than VIPER can find and destroy them, rebuilding himself again and again and spawning an ever-growing army of robotic assistants. His activities distract the Supreme Serpent and diverts VIPER's resources into fighting against him, unintentionally helping the resistance by keeping VIPER from focusing more fully on them.

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After reading the last two posts, I find myself plotting an alternate timeline for TASK FORCE which diverges from the VIPER-initiated coup in the story "Coup d'Etat."

 

And I thought the alternate timeline I wrote in "V'Han Returns" was dark... 😮

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