Jump to content


HERO Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Epiphanis

  1. Re: Women of the Champions Universe (Fanpictorial) Haven't done any new ones in a while. Have to fix that!
  2. Re: One Night in Caprice The dark monstrous (often gothy) antihero is a niche but a well established one in most superhero universes. It's not my preferred mode of play, but its totally valid and extremely well precedented. Etrigan, Andrew Bennett, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandoes, Blade, Morbius the Living Vampire, Daemon Hellstrom, Satanna, Magik, Spitfire, Jubilee, Looker... That's not even getting into indie characters like Vampirella, Spawn, and every character from the Top Cow Witchblade/Darkness universe. This'd is reflected in the Champions Universe, and there is a heavy emphasis on it in Champions Online, particularly Vibora Bay. So, no, I don't think its fair to accuse those players who prefer that playstyle of being inappropriate to either the genre or the specific setting.
  3. Re: One Night in Caprice I like the Thundrax stories, but I'm not sure I think its cool to goof on WoD/monster style online roleplayers like that. One of the problems with rping in an MMO is that the players usually don't pre-agree on context are working off of completely different settings. So one guy might be playing a four color Silver Agey Thor pastiche while another might be playing a broody Iron Age Vampirella or Spawn clone. Each seems equally ridiculous from the other's perspective, and neither has heard of the other, so you get roleplayers entering a pissing match over entirely made-up credentials.
  4. Re: Book of the Conqueror (Tyrannon's Book) I'd buy it, but it seems unlikely at best. Also, a lot of that turf was already covered in Book of the Empress, which was as much about other dimensions as it was about V'han. Were I the one making such calls, I would probably prefer to see a similar treatment of Takofanes, covering the Crowns of Krim and other remnants of the Turakian Age, as well as addressing undead in the Champions U. After that would be a book on Teleios, including his clones and a bestiary of his bioengineered servants. But similarly comprehensive works are unlikely in the current incarnation of Champions. We might feasibly get some shorter works like The Dragon Mandarin, though.
  5. Re: Coming Soon: The Sylvestri Family Reunion! Will Matachin wear a traditional colorful matachin costume, or does he just use the name?
  6. Re: DEMON: After the fall For the record, I also would play around with Gyre from the Devil's Advocates jumping ship to team with Shadow Destroyer for similar reasons,
  7. Re: DEMON: After the fall Interesting calls, althogh I wouldn't associate Pandemonium with Paradigm, who is just as crazy but not as um, Qlipothic, about the issue. I put Pandemonium with Shadow Destroyer for two reasons: One, they are both pseudo-scientists with a technomagic flavor and ultimately insanely beholden to dark extradimensional forces (compare the physical side effects of Pandemonium's devices with those of SD's acolytes). Two: I think SD ultimately needs more and more varied followers for his inevitable Round 2 showdown with the true Doctor Destroyer.
  8. Re: DEMON: After the fall Just so you know, psyber, most of what we are talking about is touched on in the DEMON sourcebook, but neither Chantal nor Ghost Veil are discussed explicitly therein. Chantal is from the "Shades of Black" adventure and Ghost Veil is a creation of the MMO and has not yet, to my knowledge, seen print.
  9. Re: DEMON: After the fall Chantal certainly fits the criteria for the fifth Inner Circle member, and was almost certainly originally intended for the role. But note that Ghost Veil, while the character was not yet created when the DEMON sourcebook was written, also fits the bill admirably. Both are beautiful, dark-haired evil female mystics that are displaced in time. I just happen to like Ghost Veil for this purpose better. The similarities between Chantal and Ghost Veil raise some interesting story possibilities of their own. Given that the Black Paladin was probably not on very good terms with Chantal's spirit by the end of Shades of Black, wouldn't Ghost Veil make an interesting "rebound" relationship for him?
  10. Re: DEMON: After the fall I think the Black Shepherd is too unstable to run any organization; his implacability was externally imposed by the Edomite, and once that yoke is removed he should be far too random to organize anything. You are probably correct that I was misinterpreting Nocturne as written, however.
  11. February 29, 2012 came and went -- and Luther Black, the Edomite, failed to achieve his apotheosis. So, what happened then? Here are some possibilities, obviously not canonical. Luther Black, miscalculating the effects of his deviations from the visions granted by the Basilisk Orb, was utterly annihilated, body and soul, by the Qlipothic energies he tried to absorb when several superheroes interfered with his plan at the last moment, during the "Second Demonflame Incident". Although most of its members did not even know of the Edomite's existence, the organization had become so unknowingly bound to his machinations that upon his absence it immediately began to tear itself apart. Although many Demonhames remain around the world, and most still claim to their rank-and-file that they represent DEMON, there is no central leadership that they answer to and for they rarely defer to each other or cooperate in any meaningful way. They are effectively just remnant splinter groups. The Circle of the Scarlet Moon cherry-picked many of what it considered the most promising members of DEMON, primarily a handful of the cleverer Morbanes who were willing to shift gears to the Circle's leadership and more subtle methods. Their greatest acquisition became the Coin Collector, who brought tremendous monetary resources into the Circle's fold. The Left Hand became bereft of purpose when the apocalypse he was an omen and manifestation of failed to occur. His powers are slowly but steadily diminishing, and he is aware that he will ultimately fade away. Once arrogant and assured, he is now shrill and desperate, hatching increasingly unlikely plans to re-instate the failed prophecy. The Left Hand's most promising lead is an attempt to use some form of mystical time travel to go back and correct the Edomite's mistakes, but he is painfully aware that this plan is incredibly unlikely to succeed. While still powerful, he never learned the social skills to truly finesse loyalty from anyone, and he is now largely left to his own ever-dwindling devices. The Back Shepherd disappeared entirely. Sometimes mystically inclined individuals, including former DEMON members and others, some even pure of heart, would report seeing an odd individual matching the Shepherd's description. Invariably these individuals would disappear a short time later. The few who knew of its existence suspect that the Black Shepherd may be taking these individuals to the Thirteenth Floor. Of course, no one can confirm this, as the few who know of its existence have no method of reaching it, and its possible the Thirteenth Floor no longer exists and the Shepherd resides elsewhere -- assuming the Shepherd still lives. Jack Fool, who was in Mexico City at the time of second Demonflame, simply lay down where he had been standing when the Edomite was destroyed and has not moved since. Mexican authorities, mistaking him for an ordinary nameless homeless man, buried him in a numbered grave in a Potter's Field outside the city. He continues to lay there, neither moving nor putrifying, indefinitely. It is rumored that one of Black's grimoires described rituals to summon and bind Jack Fool to one's bidding, but if such exists or ever existed no one has apparently found or used it yet. The Dalang returned to India, where he lives as a poor ascetic. Kapilasa of the Devil's Advocates has visited him several times, courting him for membership, but the Dalang is not particularly interested. He is content to live quietly with an occasional murder to take his mind off his woes, for the time being at least. Demoiselle Nocturne continues to exist in the Dreamzone, leading her small army of Night Terrors. Many deaths from nocturnal heart attacks are attributal to her, and free of the Edomite's yoke she appears to be growing in power. She could easily become a major mystic villain in her own right, except she lacks any particular motivation to do so. She terrorizes and kills almost reflexively, but she does not appear to have any larger agenda. Not that she couldn't if she wished to, she is simply apathetic. Herr Doktor Pandemonium began seeking out the Slug to offer it his services. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for everybody else, he failed to find the Slug, who almost certainly would have either slain Pandemonium or converted him to a Helminth. Instead, Pandemonium drew the attention the attention of Shadow Destroyer, who found the mad doctor moderately interesting and potentially useful. Pandemonium now serves the Shadow Destroyer, fascinated by his odd techno-magick. Dyer van der Bleek was shocked at his apparent good fortune, in that DEMON's collapse freed him from his extremely precarious position. Unfortunately, it happened too late; Van der Bleek is severely in debt to a variety of powerful devils from the Descending Hierarchy. Curiously, he has found an odd common cause with the supervillainess Astralle, who likewise struggles under a crushing debt to the infernal powers. Van der Bleek and Astralle have set out on a risky path, previously blazed by the Silver Age supervillain Archimago; they seek to pay off their immediate infernal debts by entering new ones with even more powerful beings. This is a risky venture at best, and neither Van der Bleek nor Astralle have Archimago's finesse at the deal. Unfdortunately, at this point they have few other options and are driven ever further in desperation. Finally, a new power has appeared -- the spectral sorceress Lethka Zakkera, better known as Ghost Veil. It was she who was originally supposed to join DEMON's Inner Circle in Van der Bleek's position, but the Edomite never located her. She was freed from her underground prison too late to join in Luther Black's unholy crusade, but she is now free and active in the modern world. Should the Left Hand learn of her existence, and bring her and the other Inner Council members together, it is just remotely possible they could complete what the Edomite started. But what surrogate could possibly stand in for the necessary role of the Edomite himself?
  12. Re: Starting up a new 6E campaign w/wife & granddaughter Doesn't seem to be a DC vs. Marvel thing, since DC had Etrigan the Demon and Blue Devil long before Marvel had Azazel. It could just be that your granddaughter wants to be a teleported, not so much about the devil trappings. But even with the devil shtick, there is a long tradition of devilish superheroes, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
  13. Re: Knockback Knockback seems overpowered at first glance, but its flavorful and most of its tactical advantages can be countered by Knockback Resistance and/or the Breakfall Skill, so its not as unbalancing as it may initially appear.
  14. Re: The Red Queen Effect and Superhumans
  15. Re: The Red Queen Effect and Superhumans
  16. Re: The Red Queen Effect and Superhumans
  17. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" -- The Red Queen, in Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll. The "Red Queen Effect" is a term some biologists apply to what is sometimes also referred to as the "evolutionary arms race." Basically, in a closed ecosystem every species must continually evolve to remain competitive with every other evolving species that could prey upon it or deprive it of necessary resources, such as food. Once one species evolves an advantage, every other competing species begins to die off, with the survivors being those specimens with traits that can counteract the competitor species' advantage. These survivors pass on those traits, which become the new norm, evolving their species as a whole. If the advantage becomes too great for the stragglers to catch up with, the stragglers inevitably become extinct. Obviously, the Red Queen Effect goes right to the core of the premise of the X-Men comic books, and it rather strongly suggests that Charles Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence between mutants and "normal" humans is ... more than a little unrealistic. The Red Queen tends to support Magneto's perspective during his more genocidal periods, as well as those of the normal human adversaries who wish to exterminate mutants. This really isn't a question of whether normal humans would be forced to bow down and serve superior mutant overlords. Homo sapiens would be lucky to get off that easily! No, the real question is how long unevolved humans could possibly survive in an ecosystem that has already given rise to superhumans. You see, even if mutants sincerely wish to get along with their less-evolved forebears, that wish is kind of irrelevant. The advantages evolution have conveyed upon them are huge compared not only to ordinary humans, but every other species that currently competes with humans. Even if the mutants bend over backwards to protect normal humans, their very existence will prompt competitor species to evolve in response to keep up with them. Humans, and their more evolved mutant brethren, remain in competition with numerous other species, particularly those that themselves evolve quickly -- i.e., reproduce a lot and have short generations, like viruses, bacteria, and most of the species we characterize as "pests" or "vermin." The biggest short-term threat to normal humans would probably come from diseases, and even if they survived those they would eventually have to contend with super ticks, tapeworms, cockroaches, rats, etc. Once super-powered mutants appear, particularly those with improved biological defenses, simply by their presence they will present a threat to normal humans. Look at Wolverine, Colossus, the White Queen, Sabretooth, Apocalypse, or Mr. Sinister. Each of these possess mutations tat would pretty much make them immune to the ordinary diseases we are familiar with. Regardless of whether they are "good" or "evil," they continue to be (for the most part) biological organisms that consume and concentrate the resources other biological organisms need to survive. Eventually, some mutant disease strain will evolve that will be able to infect some or all of these mutants and co-opt all the lovely resources present in their bodies. This strain of super-disease would be rewarded with a bonanza of previously-unexploited resources that would cause them to propagate like mad. And then they would almost certainly spread to the easier targets provided by normal humans, who would be even less able to resist them than the 90%+ of the Native American population of the American Eastern seaboard that died off from smallpox after first contact with Europeans in the 16th Century. The diversity of Marvel's super-mutations would slow this process somewhat. For instance, a strain of influenza that evolved to counteract Kitty Pryde's unique phasing ability might not have an advantage that would be all that relevant to infecting normal humans. But one that could circumvent Wolverine's "healing factor"? A virus that could give Logan the sniffles would probably annihilate most of the human race. Worse still, Logan has extreme longevity -- the longer he is around, the greater the chance becomes that some strain will eventually develop to counteract his specific advantage. Each mutant with similar abilities--X-23, Sabretooth, Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse, etc.-- multiplies that probability further. So, even if Professor X's dream comes true and Homo Superior and "normal" humans cooperate with each other to fight against common enemies, this will ultimately just delay the inevitable. The ecosystem will produce more and more organisms adapted to compete with the Homo Superiors, and an ever-increasing percentage of the unevolved Homo Sapiens population simply won't be able to keep up with those threats and will die out. Even with superhumans protecting them, anything less than a 100% success rate will ultimately mean that the normal-human "herd" will be culled and inevitably evolve on its own. The only real question is how quickly this process will advance.
  18. Re: Red Winter Any of a number of ways. Play up their ambivalent fallen-hero status for some "social combat." For instance, they could be working for the Russian Mafia (or more specifically Slun) against your PCs for routine muscle work and suddenly get an order to do something really evil, like mass genocide. A united Red Winter should be able to overwhelm the PCs (if not, add some members or agent-level enforcer minions). However, if the PCs can "turn" a few of the more altruistic members to their side the odds would even out. Roleplay hints that these characters are reluctant to follow the new orders and see if the players run with it. Do a Soviet Union Renaissance storyline. Spektr as presented in the 6th Edition Solo Vilains book would be ideal for this. Have him show up after his long absence and declare that he is going to restrore the USSR to its former glory. Red Winter and numerous reactionary nonpowered Russians are recruited as his henchmen. An abandoned, forgotten top secret missile base in Siberia suddenly begins transmitting automated, encrypted verification requests. The Russian government realizes that the base may still house a long unaccounted for nuclear warhead in an experimental "stealth" ICBM. If the correct authorization codes are not transmitted before a countdown the missile will launch. The problem... nobody alive remembers the correct codes. Except, maybe, Fyodor Mikhailov (Red Dawn), who helped design the ICBM. MIkhailov, along with the rest of Red Winter, has gone underground to take care of a discreet and illegal job in the United States for the American wing of the Russian mob. The PCs must find him (almost certainly resulting in conflict with his team) and convince him to part with the codes. Even if he remembers them, Mikhailov will have some demands of his own, and his teammates will back him up. In the Chernobyl Evacuated Zone, traces of a previously unknown radioactive isotope have recently been discovered, and scientists hypothesize a large deposit of the stuff formed underneath the ruined reactor after the explosion. The isotope frequently induces strange metahuman mutations and numerous groups are seeking it, including a criminal group that has hired Red Winter to enter the Zone. The PCs must contend with feral mutants and defend the ruined reactor from Red Winter.
  19. Re: Teen Mystics or Magical Girls For CHAMPIONS campaigns DC's Amethyst in her original incarnation was absolutely a Japanese-style magical girl who happened to be made in America. That she aged into an adult form doesn't disqualify her; several classic Japanese magical girls, notably Creamy Mami and Magical Emi, did the same thing. There was even one magical girl, Bewitched Agnes, who was actually pushing thirty and being driven into forced retirement! Marvel has a couple of characters that, if not full-fledged magical girls, come so close as to make no difference. These include Magick (Ilyana Rasputin) and Ilsa Bloodstone (who was TOTALLY NOT influenced by Joss Whedon's Buffy Summers, who herself was TOTALLY NOT influenced by Devil Hunter Yohko, even though they totally and obviously were).
  20. Re: The Slender Man Guess a write up would depend on what you want him to actually do. The only consensus the Internet meme has for him is that he stands around in the background and looks creepy. The "Marble Hornets" version would probably have Telepathy and Mental Illusions, although that's up for debate.
  21. Re: How are Takofanes's zombies created please? The Blood Moon event as it plays out in the MMORPG doesn't conform to the tabletop mechanics of tabletop Takofanes, although this can be no-prized away by the special magical nature of the Blood Moon event itself. During the Blood Moon, a variety of zombie-like undead creatures from the Turakian Age spill out of maagical fissures in the ground. These do not appear to be the reanimated dead of contemporary times at all but that isn't 100% clear. Also appearing are the zombielike undead corpses of the relatively modern superheroes who died at the Battle of Detroit. But these are unlikely to be simple reanimations either as several of those heroes' remains (including those of the most powerful one, Vanguard) had been completely disintegrated or incinerated during the Battle. It is more likely that these undead superheroes are fully-reconstituted but undead bodies than simple reanimated corpses. This is an in-game reason why PCs must descend into the sepulchres and free the heroes' bound spirits, else Takofanes could repeatedly reconstitute these powerful minions no matter how often or thoroughly they are destroyed.
  22. Re: Storn's Art & Characters thread. Excellent work. I thought at first glance that Torque was wearing a peace symbol on her headband, but it's actually a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament, isn't it?
  23. Re: OIHID or Why Doesn't Billy Batson not Change Back? The entire Dan Slott run of She-Hulk was devoted to some degree to examining why Jennifer Walters shouldn't spend all of her time hulked out. There were many psychological reasons -- she had been using her hulked out form to avoid real world responsibility, etc. -- and ones solid "game mechanic" reason, in that the strength of her hulk form was exponentially based on her human form, thus establishing that exercisisng her human body massively upgraded her hulk strength. Billy Batson is a different case, and has been written inconsistently between authors over the years. With the classical interpretation, its obvious that Billy Batson gets to be a kid and Captain Marvel doesn't.
  24. Re: Silver Age Champions playtest begins! Sorry I missed it. Work thing.
  25. Re: Silver Age Champions playtest begins! Darren didn't log the Golden Age playtest campaign in this fashion, but he kept brief 1-2 sentence description notes offline of events in each adventure. I joined 2/3 of the way through its 3-4 year run and used the notes to catch up, to an extent, with what I had missed. Darren's GMing style is serialistic and plot details often come back months or years later; as a player it is wise to pay attention to details he deems important enough to enter the synopses.
  • Create New...