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Old 05-09-2020, 12:07 PM   #2
Phantasm
 
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: Using Supervillains [Supers]

My Shadowguard game ran the gamut. Among the supervillains:

The Red Skull and his Central Axis, the controlling/coordinating council for the Strucker Twins' HYDRA, Zola's AIM, Zemo's Fourth Reich, and a few other orgs. These ran the gamut from hare-brained schemes designed to gauge the readiness of the superhero population (reprogrammed giant Soviet robot walking emerging from under Rockefeller Center and headed to the Federal Reserve) to more serious (and occasionally gory) deals, like turning thousands of people into cybernecrotic drone soldiers.

Mister Sinister with his agenda of culling the "genetically inferior" so the "superior" produce "better" offspring, SCIENCE! for its own sake. To this end, he employed a supervillain team I called the Terrors, most of which had their own agenda. One of them was the fully demonic half-sister of the half-demon sorceress in the party, who was trying to get the sorceress to fully embrace her demonic side. (And some in the party mocked the whole "he calls himself 'Sinister'!" bit mercilessly.)

A Skrull infiltration of several governments in preparation for a second invasion force (which wasn't coming). Most of the Skrulls just wanted to go home, but the political officer in charge was determined to complete the mission.

Senior Agent Henry Peter Gyrich of the FBI's SHIELD division. (Need I say more about this guy?)

The Romero family of the Maggia, an organized crime syndicate that's basically the Mafia under a different name. Of note, they were behind a super-cocktail of a super-steroid (Crash), a speed enhancer (Velocity), and a drug designed to boost powers to the point of lethal burnout (Sizzle), containing just enough Sizzle to boost the Crash and Velocity without normally killing the recipient; the crash afterward left the gangs that took it incapacitated for a time.

In the space opera phase, there was the Badoon and Prince (later King) J'son of Spartax. Of note, J'son started as an ally, but he ended up killing his father, King R'ber, in cold blood.

The Adaptoids were a series of AIM-built artificial humanoids that had a bunch of abilities of past supers programmed into them. Of the supers whose powers they used, I recall using Namor, Logan (Wolverine), Toro (the original Human Torch's similarly powered sidekick), Yeti (one of the First Line), and Rapunzel (another of the First Line, with long prehensile hair), though I know I used others.

For Sinister's team, the Terrors, I had the following appear on-screen:
- Cardinal/Nick Brown, the team leader who had been physically enhanced by Sinister with some enhanced strength and reflexes.
- Bluestreak, a speedster with superfine shortswords, killed in combat (but he would have come back)
- Piranha/Prince Nagino of Lemuria, with the enhanced strength and durability of a typical Atlantean
- La Fille Superiór (Superior Girl)/Fiona "Fifi" Charboneaux, standard flying brick with the Most Common Superpower; later revealed to be a disembodied psychic entity, Malice, possessing a European heroine's body (La Fille Fantastique/Fantastic Girl)
- Killshot, an archer with some ranged imbuements and a heroin addiction
- Barracuda/Princess Nagina of Lemuria, Piranha's younger sister, and a sorceress
- Wyldling/Kent Kowalski, a red-skinned mutant shapeshifter able to take the form of any animal
- Fyrebat/Beverly Lake Brown, Cardinal's wife and similarly artificially enhanced
- Black Hornet/Caroline Ford, a woman with the ability to shrink and shoot electricity from her hands; killed in combat when the Xavier mansion blew up, but she got better.
- Red Guardian, a Soviet using the Terrors to find out what Sinister did with his sister (he actually helped the party in his first and only appearance to date)
- Raptor, empowered by Farallah, an entity interested in fighting for the sake of fighting
- Buzzard, empowered by Krakkan, an entity similar to Farallah, but one not entirely pleased with Buzzard's Cowardice
- Demonica, the demon sorceress and half-sister of the party's half-demon sorceress
- Magnetyk, a girl with powerful electromagnetic abilities and self-medicating her psychosis with cocaine

(Those were the ones seen on-screen as members of the team at different times. I had a lot more planned to rotate in and out of the team as needed.)

The Terrors and Adaptoids were mainly meant to give the PCs someone on their level to hit and produce a super-powered brawl. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the mix was one-sided in ways I did not intend.


The party approached different villains in different ways. Handling Gyrich the same way they handled the Terrors would have caused a lot of problems. The key, I found, was to mix things up. Don't have massive combat after massive combat, but occasionally let the PCs hit someone after a long drawn-out mystery so those that go "words make my brain hurt, me smash!" have something to do.
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