Back again with Greater Than Games' Sentinel Comics the Roleplaying Game. This time around, the villain creation method. Villains in the game get a streamlined approach, making it easier for the GM to prep. Villainous henchmen and minions are even easier, but, for now, just the villain.
I`m going to work out a villain idea for a series I;m working, *Streetwise Valkyries*. The core idea of the series is that five teenaged girls with superpowers band together to fight the patriarchy. Everything that I avoided in 2016 is getting tossed into the series. I need a villain that can re-appear as needed.
James Hunter Smith III was born into privilege. His grandfather, JH Smith, Senior, struck it lucky during the Second World War, engaged in war profiteering at a low enough level to not be worth the effort, then grew his corporate empire. His son, J Hunter Smith II, took over on Senior's death in the Eighties. James III worked his way up from intern to VP thanks to nepotism, but was savvy enough to know how to exploit people and skirt the law that he became the obvious successor after his father's untimely death, which was ultimately ruled as by natural causes.
This is similar to the hero's approach, however, no random rolls are provided for. Villains should be purpose built, and having a gallery of rogues is always handy for any GM. As long as the heroes aren't bloodthirsty, the villains can return. For James III here, I'm choosing Prideful. James gets three d10s and a d8 for powers, two d10s and two d8s for qualities, and a d8 for a roleplaying quality. I'll start with the qualities first. For the roleplaying quality, he gets Ruthless Businessman at d8. There's some suggested qualities. Two, Conviction and Imposing, work with the concept, so they'll get the d10s. The d8s I'll put into Leadership and Close Combat. For the powers, I'll assign the d8s to Flight. The d10s get placed into Strength, Vitality, and Awareness. I now get to choose two abilities. Unlike the heroes, villains can use their abilities whenever they want. Villains cheat. The two abilities that I want for James III are I Will Deal With The Rest of You Later, tying it to Strength, and Sustained Mockery, tying it to Imposing. I'll note here that James III's base health is 25.
Again, this is similar to a hero's archetype. However, a villain's archetype determines the status die, while heroes only have the Green, Yellow, and Red. For James III, I choose Overlord. It's not an ideal combination of Approach and Archetype, but I have reasons. The Overlord's status die is based on the number of minions available, and GMs can start the villain with a number of minions already in play. The more minions, the more dangerous the Overlord gets. The Overlord also gets to choose three abilities. James III will need to create more minions during a fight, so the first is Rapid Deployment, associating Conviction with it. Next, Get Back in There! so that minions have a chance of surviving against the heroes. Finally, Form Up, which I'll tie to Strength. James III also gets another 15 points to his health.
4) Upgrades & Mastery
I'm combining these two into one step since they are related and they're small sections on their own. Updates are for when the GM wants a villain to be more powerful. Masteries are similar to Principles for heroes. I'll give James III two upgrades, Mook Squad, which requires him to have a set of signature minions. Since he will have minions, I just have to give them a cool name, like The Enforcers. The I'll also give him Hardier Minions, which makes his minions harder to take out of a scene and gives James III five more points of health if the upgrade is in play. For the mastery, James III gets Master of Profitability; he is a ruthless businessman after all.
James III's base health is 25 from Approach plus 15 from Archetype, and plus another 5 from his upgrades if they're in play. Total base health is 40, 45 with upgrades, plus five times the number of heroes. This total is higher than that of the heroes I've already created, but there tends to be more heroes than villains. James III also has minions to throw at the heroes. James III also doesn't get to dig deeper within himself as the scene goes on, so there is balance.
6) Finishing Touches
Main thing here is costume. James III doesn't want to blend into a crowd, especially when he's being the villain. Costume is a royal purple bodysuit that accentuate his musculature, a high tech version of a Corinthian helmet in gold-coloured modern composites. Naturally, he also has a matching cape. Considering that he can survive being sucked through a jet engine, there's no worry about the cape being snagged.
Alias: James Hunter Smith II
- Gender: Male
- Age: Mid-40s
- Height: Average
- Eyes: .Blue Hair: Blond Skin: Fair
- Build: Average
- Costume/Equipment: Royal purple skintight bodysuit, with matching cape, and gold coloured Corinthian helmet made with modern composites, complete with communications suite.
- Awareness d10
- Flight d8
- Strength d10
- Vitality d10
- Close Combat d8
- Conviction d10
- Imposing d10
- Leadership d8
- Ruthless Businessman d8
- 9+ Minions: d12
- 5-8 Minions: d10
- 3-4 Minions: d8
- 1-2 Minions: d6
- 0 Minions: d4
- Base: 40 (45 with Upgrades)
- Form Up (A): Attack using Strength and use your Max die. Defend against all Attacks against you until the start of your next turn using the number of your minions.
- Get Back in There! (R): Reroll any number of minion saves against the same Attack.
- I Will Deal With The Rest of You Later (A): Attack one target using Strength. Use your Max+Min dice. Defend against all Attacks against you by all other targets until the start of your next turn with your Mid die.
- Rapid Deployment (A): Use Conviction to create a number of minions equal to the value of your Max die. The starting die size for those minions is the same as the size of your Min die.
- Sustained Mockery (A): Hinder using Imposing. Use your Max die. That penalty is persistent and exclusive.
- Alert! (A): Replenish your minion squad up to the number of heroes.
- Empower Minions (A): Choose one group of minions in the scene. Upgrade all their dice one size (maximum d12).
- Master of Profitability: If you have access to great wealth and other resources, automatically succeed at an Overcome to leverage those resources to get even richer, no matter who else pays the price.
I'd rename the abilities and upgrades, but they work too well with the original names. James III can get dangerous if given time to summon minions, and the heroes will have to deal with all the minions he pulls into the fray. However, removing the minions weakens him, though he still can be formidable one on one. The combination of Approach and Archetype isn't ideal, but he has a broad range of abilities to call upon. When all else fails, he can call in more minions. I'll detail his minion squad another time.
As always, feel free to use this character in your own game, but please let me know how it goes. And for getting this far, have a kitty pic.
|Sunbeam and box, a cat's dream. (Model: Jewel. Photo by author)
Friday, Lost in Translation continues at Psycho Drive-In.
Saturday, Lost in Translation can be found at The Seventh Sanctum.