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My favorite supervillain to run and the players to fight against would be

My favorite supervillain to run and the players to fight against would be  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. My favorite supervillain to run and the players to fight against would be

    • Supergenius - Lex Luthor type (DC: Superman)
    • Mob Boss - Carmine Falcone (DC: Batman)
    • Nut Case - Joker (DC: Batman)
    • World Conquerer - Dr. Doom (Marvel: Fantastic Four)
    • Mystic Wizard - Mordru (DC: Legion of Superheroes)
      0
    • Cosmic Threat - Thanos (Marvel: Avengers) or a dimensional threat like Dormammu
      0
    • Fanatic Leader - Red Skull (Marvel: Captain America)
    • The Government - Henry Gyrich (Marvel: Avengers)
      0
    • The Sexy Villain - Catwoman (DC: Batman)
    • I'm Actually a Good Guy - This is someone who thinks they are a hero or is a hero but works against the PC heroes.
    • Other - Please describe and give a comic book example


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Of the available selections, I was torn between World Conqueror and Cosmic Threat -- I like my superheroics loud and flashy, and for high stakes, at least at the climax of a story arc. I finally went with World Conqueror because they usually have idiosyncratic personality traits that are fun to roleplay. The cosmic types tend to be more abstract.

 

However, my favorite opponents are a villain team, thematically unified and well-balanced compared to the heroes. I like the interplay of personalities and diversity of powers that a team brings to the table; and I find it easier to balance a team of villains to a team of heroes, than one megavillain. For me a villain team's specific motivation doesn't have to fall into one category, but should be antithetical to the heroes' in some way.

 

My Gaia's Wrath illustrates my preferences.

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A criminal gang pulling jobs such as GRAB (Black Diamond, Bluejay, Cheshire Cat, Hummingbird version) in the Champions Universe. 

Criminals and super-fights not grim dark and blood splatter.

Recurring villains....

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   My two favorites are 

1)  The villain organization.   Viper, Hydra or an original design.   With these you get the familiarity of a constant recurring enemy. The players get the satisfaction of real progress prevailing over a given evil plan.  And by introducing a new commander or division of the group, you can keep your campaign from getting stale.  One commander may rely heavily on high tech, another super mercenaries and a third on pacts with creatures from beyond.

2) The long range planner.  Not necessarily a heavy hitter like Dr. Destroyer, but someone who knows what he wants to accomplish and how to make it happen over the long run. A little of these guys goes a long way and can be ruined by overuse. But putting the pieces together slowly can challenge a team and it’s players in ways no single episode can.

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I enjoy the "Flavor of the Week"  or "Rogue's Gallery" villain. Basically someone like Captain Cold, Doctor Double X, The Kangaroo, or The Eel. They're fun to use, particularly when  individual members' rogues decide to team-up. 

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I have learned that players, unlike comic book readers, hate recurring villains.  Players like to “win” and that means when villains are caught, they go to jail and if they are not caught, the players lose.

 

as such, I am more of a flavour of the week.  I like to have an over-arching villain that is behind a series of scenarios.  I may use the over-arching for two arcs, never more.  The series ends when they players face the big bad.  No one escapes from jail, unless the players do it.... 🙂

 

 

Doc

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On 5/27/2020 at 1:07 AM, Doc Democracy said:

I have learned that players, unlike comic book readers, hate recurring villains.  Players like to “win” and that means when villains are caught, they go to jail and if they are not caught, the players lose.

 

as such, I am more of a flavour of the week.  I like to have an over-arching villain that is behind a series of scenarios.  I may use the over-arching for two arcs, never more.  The series ends when they players face the big bad.  No one escapes from jail, unless the players do it.... 🙂

 

 

Doc

 

That was odd to me until I thought about it.  Then I realized I had noticed that feeling among D&D/Pathfinder players.  I haven't been a regular D&D type in decades and PF just makes me nauseous.   Most of my players come from games like Call of Cthulhu or GUMSHOE and seem to be much more open to long term development.  I don't know how I could run a longer term campaign without a good recurring main villain these days.

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I voted Lex Luthor but the one I actually use is a combo of him and Doom.

 

Billionaire Peter Lord is the CEO of PelCo, a conglomerate of innovative financial, tech, biotech, defense, and industrial companies.  He uses his wealth and government connections to bolster his personal reputation, while expanding his business empire by any means necessary.

 

He is also secretly The Horror - A Green Goblin-esque "What if Batman Were Evil" character with a vast rogue's gallery of villains who act on his behalf, usually engaging in industrial sabotage of PelCo competitors.

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I chose Mob Boss, because the most fun I've had in various Champions campaigns has been creating a cool, memorable VIPER Nest leader that resonates with one or more of the heroes, either by personality, powers, or backstory.  The nice thing about them is that they typically start off in the background, so you don't need to worry about them having to get out of prison repeatedly while you build up the animosity with the players.

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4 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

I chose Fanatic Leader, because as an archetype I think villains such as Magneto, the Red Skull, Sinestro, Black Adam, etc. who have a cause and head a movement tend to be more interesting.

It is better (from a story perspective) when the cause, at least the core of it, is just. Magneto is a villain with such a cause, as is Killmonger from the Black Panther movie. They're a category I refer to as "they're so right they're wrong". Their motives are, in their way, just -- but their methodology puts them plainly in opposition to the campaign's core morality. Killmonger wanted to start a race war that could have killed hundreds of millions of innocents. Magneto believed that the only way to stop the "normals" from annihilating Mutantkind was to put the Mutants in absolute control. The worthiness of their causes made their actions even more terrible, and is far more interesting than "I WANT THE WORLD AS MY PLAYTHING! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

 

 

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I would hesitate to call Magneto's or Killmonger's causes "just." On understanding what they suffered in their lives, one can empathize with their anger and resentment, their sense of alienation from the dominant cultures in the world. Those feelings may be justified. But while they assume the trappings of justice, their motivation is pure revenge. They just rationalize an intellectually-acceptable target to unleash their rage and hatred on. Neither of them ever stopped being wounded, lost children.

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On 5/27/2020 at 3:07 AM, Doc Democracy said:

I have learned that players, unlike comic book readers, hate recurring villains.  Players like to “win” and that means when villains are caught, they go to jail and if they are not caught, the players lose.

 

as such, I am more of a flavour of the week.  I like to have an over-arching villain that is behind a series of scenarios.  I may use the over-arching for two arcs, never more.  The series ends when they players face the big bad.  No one escapes from jail, unless the players do it.... 🙂

 

 

Doc

 

That is highly subjective depending on the campaign and players. My players don't mind at all recurring villains. In fact, they like it. Winning doesn't necessary mean the bad guy goes to jail, it may mean stopping a missile from launching even if the bad guy isn't caught in that episode. I've had an episode where the hero ended up helping some homeless lady and her family find a place to stay; now that's a win!

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On 5/27/2020 at 4:07 AM, Doc Democracy said:

I have learned that players, unlike comic book readers, hate recurring villains.  Players like to “win” and that means when villains are caught, they go to jail and if they are not caught, the players lose.

 

as such, I am more of a flavour of the week.  I like to have an over-arching villain that is behind a series of scenarios.  I may use the over-arching for two arcs, never more.  The series ends when they players face the big bad.  No one escapes from jail, unless the players do it.... 🙂

 

On 6/4/2020 at 10:42 AM, Tech said:

 

That is highly subjective depending on the campaign and players. My players don't mind at all recurring villains. In fact, they like it.

 

My players also seem to enjoy (some) recurring villains, as long as they're able to stop them along the way, and especially if they're able to find a way to eventually shut them down / lock them away for good (or at least mostly good).

 

I recall the fun they had against Deathstroke, and particularly Death Commando.  My favorite was when they decided, rather than turning DC over to PRIMUS after capturing him, they dumped him (stripped of his gear) on a deserted island with a pocket knife and a Boy Scout survival guide.  Sure, he eventually made his way back to civilization, but he was out of action for a while and they loved gloating about it to him afterward.  Well, that and tattooing him with "Silver Phoenix Fan Club - Lifetime Member".

 

Though my players do hate if Stronghold seems to have a revolving door, so I've had a time or two where they stopped villains from trying to break out of prison.  It's a chance for past villains to put in another appearance without them actually getting out.

 

 

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