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Beacon City METAs Issue 01


Bring on the Bad Guys! Writing and Design: Jack Norris
Cover Art: Otis Frampton
Interior Art: James Dawsey, Dan Houser, Denise Jones,
Jesse Justice, Alex Williamson
Editing: Nathan Kahler
Art Direction and Graphic Design: Ruben Byrd

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Original Character Concept Credits and Additional Design: Leon Chang, Vincent Christ, James Dawsey, Clint Freeman, Rick Jones, Steve Perrin, Bradley Rogers,
Jeremy SeeleyOne Seeley, Aaron Sullivan.
Beacon City METAs Issue 01 is Copyright 2013 Vigilance Press. All rights reserved. References to other copyrighted material in no way constitute a challenge to
the respective copyright holders of that material.
Super-Powered by M&M and its associated logo are Trademarks of Green Ronin Publishing and are used under the provisions of the Super-Powered by M&M
Trademark License (see www.mutantsandmasterminds. com/licensing for details). Hero points and power points are Product Identity of Green Ronin Publishing, used with permission.
Issue 1, Volume 1, January 2013
Visit our new site! http://www.vigilancepress.com/
If you would like to contact the Editor, please write to james@jamesdawsey.com with the subject Letter to the Editor. Any letters to the editor may be published in future Vigilance Press products. All submissions become property of Vigilance Press and James Dawsey.

A note about piracy: For those of you who purchased this honestly, thank you for your business. You are the
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like RPGNow.com. Every word, every image, every page that was laid out... I paid for that. I did so with the
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and redistribute my work without paying for it.
Thanks for your time, and happy gaming to you!

James Dawsey
Vigilance Press Publisher and Owner

BEACON CITY METAs

B r ing on th e Bad Guys!


Most superhero role-playing games have the players taking the roles of,
well, heroes. They are the guys who save the world, pull toddlers out of
trees, and rescue kittens from wells. Paragons of good, justice, and decency,
PC heroes serve and protect the populace with their amazing powers.

aquatic anti-hero Namor, the Sub-Mariner, turning bad. The companys horror titles also featured many tales focusing on a villainous protagonist, notably Dracula in Tomb of Dracula and half-demon succubus Satana in Vampire
Tales and Haunt of Horror. These stories never shied away from the fact their
main characters were wicked and nasty; instead, they focused on exploring
their methods and motivations.

That can be cool, but sometimes it is fun to be the bad guys, too. Playing
villains, especially in an ongoing campaign, can be a refreshing change of
pace. This option is not that different from playing heroes in some ways, and
vastly different in others. Supervillain games come with their own concerns
and challenges for the GM, the players, and their characters. The following
chapter will discuss how to play supervillains and what issues to consider in
supervillain games. It will also discuss character design and provide some
new mechanical options for games involving bad guy PCs.

Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age of comics saw the rise of more supervillain titles. Some, like DCs Suicide Squad and Marvels Thunderbolts,
showed villains beginning as stock bad guys and becoming more sophisticated, and even heroic, figures. Solo villains like Dr. Doom, Catwoman,
and even Lobo got their own books for a time. Mark Waids Empire, and
other small press titles, even imagined worlds where supervillains finally
won and took over the world, a concept also explored in Mark Millars
Wanted. By the end of the Iron Age, the idea of a comic focusing on a
villain, while not exactly mainstream, was not an alien concept to most
readers. The concept softened a bit, though, since the grittiness of many
Iron Age heroes provided less of a contrast, and many of the stories tended to focus on redemption or unlikely heroics.

A Brief History of Comic


Villain Protagonists

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Though it might surprise some readers, supervillains as protagonists is a


concept with a long running, if not common, legacy in superhero comics.
Yes, this sort of thing was more common during the Iron Age comics of the
late 1980s and 1990s, and continues in certain modern comics, but it did
not start there.

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This option also makes the supplement you are reading even more useful.
You have a bunch of heroes here. Why not use them as NPCs for your own
PC bad guys?

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The concept itself actually predates comics entirely, originating with


ur-supervillain Fu Manchu and a handful of pulp contemporaries in the
1930s. These stories, while clearly painting characters like the Chinese
mastermind Fu as evil, also featured his brilliance and focused the plot
on his criminal plans. Fu and his ilk rarely succeed in truly dominating
the world, but they also are rarely caught or killed, and manage their fair
share of victories. By contrast, many other pulp baddies of the day did not
live past their first appearance.
The Golden Age of comics (late 1930s to early 1950s) did not have such a
prominent protagonist villain as Fu Manchu. The prevalence of non-supers
comics in the late Golden Age meant the clever criminal or manipulative
vixen had crime, horror, and romance titles to flex their nefarious muscles
in. While some heroes were definitely shady or prone to surprising violence,
most of the villains of the day were one-offs or stand-ins for real world
threats like the Nazis or various crime syndicates. However, the idea did not
dieit was just lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.
The Silver and Bronze Age (late 1950s to mid 1980s) of comics saw the idea
of the big-name supervillain as a protagonist come into its own. DCs Kobra
series showed the rise of a young man to head of an evil cult-like organization, whereas the companys Secret Society of Supervillains showcased an
entire team of bad guys. Marvels Supervillain Team-Up had well-known
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Modern comics have continued the tradition of supervillain protagonists by


doing what they arguably do best: mixing styles and ideas from the earlier
ages of comics (and other media sources) to create new material. The end
result was both a softening and hardening of the supervillain protagonist
from earlier days. Redemption-seeking villains like DCs Secret Six engaged
in more obvious heroics than many of their predecessors, but they are rather
notably bad at being good. Boom!s Incorruptible and Irredeemable feature a surprisingly moral villain trying to turn over a new leaf in order to oppose a once-great hero turned terribly evil. Older bad guys like Dracula have
made brief comebacks, and even Supermans Lex Luthor, possibly the most
famous supervillain of them all, took over Action Comics for a time with a
tale focusing on how the villain views himself as a more sophisticated and
heroic figure than the hero he fights.
So, PCs wanting to play villains are in gooderr, bad company, as there is a
lot of source material to use for inspiration.

Mr. Bad Example


Making a good villain is similar to making a good hero, but it is not the
same. This section briefly discusses the major concerns and considerations
when crafting a fun PC villain. To start, we will discuss villain motivations
and personality, then move on to villain concepts and themes, and finally
talk about ways to get a group of villain PCs together.

The Not Exactly Good, The Bad,


and the Ugly
Not all villains are created equal. They have different motivations, personal ethics, and goals. Some types of villains make great protagonists,

Back ground

The Not Exactly Good


Not Exactly Good villains make fine choices for PCs. These villains are often
misunderstood, having run afoul of the law at various points but possessing
a personal desire to change things for the better. They might be overzealous
activists for a good cause, masterminds using their genius to solve world
problems without concern for existing authority, or rampaging monsters
with a heart.
Other villains in this category are the undeniably bad guys trying to do better. What makes these characters still villains is that they generally suck at
heroics. They might foil a robbery and then rob the victim themselves as a
fee for their heroism; they might shoot a hostage to get to a terrorist; or
they might just keep falling back into their old habits at the wrong time.
These villains might also help people for the wrong reasonsthey might
want fame, money, or the affection of a hero. This secondary interest in
actual heroism combined with their villainous tendencies often leads to all
sorts of interesting situations.
PCs of this sort can work in a team with true blue superheroes; however,
their methods and inability to completely embrace the heroic lifestyle are
likely to cause notable, but possibly very entertaining, problems.

Bad villains are evil and like it. They want power, money, revenge, and other
selfish desires. They might have grand goals, or even believe the world
would honestly be better with them in charge, but they really are not fooling themselves. Or anyone else. What makes these villains good PC material
is that they are not completely loathsome. They may be smart, amusing,
or have a code of honor. They might be seriously nasty or even criminally
insane, but they will still have some admirable elements that appeal.
Villains of this type generally need to be proactive to work as PCs. Where
Not Exactly Good villain types can afford to sit around and see what is happening before acting, this villain needs to be out there making plans and
executing them. Look at most comics for inspirationthe villain is usually
the one driving the action.
PC villains of this type work best in a group of other villains. The occasional
alliance of necessity or ill-advised romance aside, such PCs will mostly be interacting with heroes while they both try to beat the crap out of each other.
Example: Nathans villain Kite is simply Bad, a career criminal who gained
avian-based powers as part of a syndicate-backed experiment. Despite her
criminal ways, she adheres to a personal code that means she does not sell
out her companions, avoids unnecessary killing, and never backs out of a job
she has accepted. Still, these positive features aside, Kite is violent, greedy, and
largely unconcerned with law, order, and the well-being of innocents.

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Example: Jacks villain Warchild is Not Exactly Good. He is an ex-soldier


and Native American rights activist who was framed for the killing of two
FBI agents, shot, then left for dead to cover up illegal toxic waste dumping on his tribes land. The waste mingled with his wounds, mutating
him. Now a fugitive in his civilian identity and not at all happy with the
government or big corporations, he is far more villain than hero, but his
motivations and history make him more sympathetic than your average
villain.

The Bad

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and thus great PCs. Other villains have personalities that are generally not
the best choice for games focusing on PC bad guys.

Not Bad at All


A fourth type of villainous PC also exists: the kind who is not a villain at all.
He might be a hero suffering under mind control, evil magic, or framed for a
crime he did not commit. He might even be an undercover agent infiltrating
the villains in an attempt to bring them down. In any event, such hidden
heroes can be a lot of fun to play in some groups, especially since they are a
chance for the bad guys to taste a little of their own poison.
A whole campaign might even be run with PC heroes acting as villains to
infiltrate and bring down a larger villainous organization. Such a campaign
would focus not only on gathering evidence against the bad guys, but how
far the heroes are willing to go to convince their villainous companions they
are as bad as they come.

The Ugly

Ugly villains are simply vile, engaging in terrible acts of villainy that even
many of their fellows reject. They might be insane or just profoundly
warped, but for whatever reason they act in ways that suggest there is nothing decent in their black, cold hearts. Such villains are often as competent
and dangerous as they are loathsome.
Villains like this, frankly, rarely work as PCs. Their behavior is too extreme
to be fun. Even if the player is enjoying playing a super-powered neo-Nazi
cannibal (which, by itself, might be a bit worrisome), the likelihood that
such behavior is going to anger or offend other players makes it not worth
the trouble. Furthermore, such villainy is often somewhat cheap. It takes
effort and style to make an entertaining bad guy, but this sort of villain can
get by with aping historical atrocities and torture porn horror films. Really,
it is not recommended.
If a player simply must play such a villain, they are only going to work
in a group with other bad guys. Even then, there is a decent chance the
PC is going to end up on the wrong end of a laser blast eventually. Such
villains often work only as an object lesson for how not to be a fun and
entertaining villain PC.
Example: Dans villain Biocide is just Ugly, a crazed serial killer whose
latest victim turned out to be a superheros civilian identity. Now armed
with the heros alien battle-symbiote, he has decided it is time to step
up his game. Biocide does not care about anyone and loves to torture
and kill indiscriminately, even threatening his fellow villains. He was

BEACON CITY METAs

test her technologies. She comes up with a plucky assistant, an old friend
who helps her PC run the company, and other cast members inspired by
the foils of similar heroic characters.

intentionally created by Dan to be killed by the rest of the team in the


first adventure, establishing what sort of villains they areand are not.
Afterwards, he will be replaced by a former henchman taking the battlesymbiote off Biocides still-cooling corpse and picking a less I-am-adanger-to-myself-and-others villain name.

Villain Concepts & Themes

Example: Rick is creating a villain for an upcoming game where the PCs
are all supervillains recruited by a terminally ill mastermind to pull one
final grand scheme. Rick knows he wants to be a fairly experienced bad
guy, having been around for at least a few years. He also thinks it would
be fun to have a heroic nemesis. Realizing that the GM is going to use the
hero Viridian in the game (see p. 10), he decides to play Blackbody, an
energy-siphoning baddie and one of the heros rogues gallery.

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Other villains follow a theme of their own. This might be a current fad, historical period, animal, or other specific motif. These villains are often devoted to their gimmick, sometimes beyond all sanity and reason; that does
not mean they are stupid or foolish, just that their theme gives them a focus
and drives their criminal schemes. These characters are often more suited to
light-hearted games, though some of the most dangerous villains in comics
are of this type.

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Most villains in comics are created as a counterpoint or foil to an existing


hero. PC villains might be created the same way, serving as a nemesis to
an existing NPC hero. In many cases, though, a player will be making their
villain without this other character to contrast with. This is not really a
problemsimply consider what sorts of heroes you want to fight with and
cause trouble for, and come up with a compatible concept. You might invent
the hero you oppose after the fact or use an existing hero; either way, having
the villain be an obvious counterpoint to a hero makes him seem more like
a classic comic book baddie.

Example: Wanting to play something both light-hearted but competent for an upcoming villain game, James creates the Doodler, a frustrated artist cheated out of fame and fortune by an unscrupulous rival. He
decides his baddie discovers a magic pen that makes anything he draws
come to life. He uses this power to perform art-related crimes and decorates his HQ, the Studio of Shadows, with trophies from these heists.
Occasionally, villains even ape heroes in most of their design. This can be
intentional and focused, such as the evil version of a popular hero from an
alternate reality. Sometimes, though, the villain just seems a lot like a hero,
but bad. These bad guys usually have their own unique origins, supporting
cast, and other details that seem like they would work just fine as a heroic
character, but something dark, obsessive, corrupt, or twisted pushes them
into the dark side of things.
Example: Claire wants her villain to seem a lot like a hero who ended
up on the wrong side of the law possibly to redeem the character later.
She decides on playing Thatcher, a millionaire weapons designer who,
after liberating herself from a kidnapping using a makeshift battlesuit,
decides to masquerade as a power-armored mercenary for thrills and to
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Back ground
PC heroes in Mutants and Masterminds get hero points to reflect their ability to push themselves, affect the world in interesting ways, and deal with
negative effects in suitably dynamic and heroic ways. Obviously, PC villains
would not get hero points. Instead, they get villain points.
Villain points are usable to do everything hero points can, but have a couple
of extra uses to reflect how villains interact with the setting differently.
These are:

Hired Goons
Some villains will have the Minion advantage alreadythey tend to be cult
leaders, masterminds, and other controlling types. However, a quick look at
comics shows that even solo villains occasionally hire goons to help them
out. To reflect this, PC villains can spend a villain point to acquire the Minion
advantage for a scene. These minions are low-powered, equivalent to Thugs
or, at best, Militants or Soldiers (see Heros Handbook, pp. 217-218), and do
not stick around afterwards; they were recruited to do a particular job and,
after that is over, they take off. GMs are encouraged to provide minions that
make sense for their PCs; as a good rule of thumb, spending a villain point
gets one half the villains PL number of minions, each with a PL around onethird (rounding up) of the villain who hired them.

Complication Triggering
A PC villain aware of an NPCs complications can spend a villain point to exploit it. This represents acquiring a substance a hero is vulnerable to, endangering a known dependent NPC, or some other plot that villains frequently
pull out at opportune times. The GM is the final arbiter of how much trouble
can be caused this way, or if the expenditure makes sense given the circumstances, but generally, the complication should last no more than a scene.
PC villains can even use this on other PCs if they want, but the PC whose
complication is triggered will gain a hero point for the trouble think of it
as paying another player to screw with his character for a bit.
Example: Blackbody is fighting an ice-themed hero. The villain has discovered that his foe is vulnerable to extremely high temperatures, losing much
of his power in such conditions. Spending a villain point, he tells the GM he
wants to trigger the firebombs he has planted around the abandoned construction site where the two are fighting. The GM allows the expenditure,
and notes that Blackbodys tactic results in a temporary weakening of his
opponent. Seeing his opportunity, Blackbody moves in for the kill.

Bringing in Villainous Assistance

Villains team-up all the time in comics to bring down heroes. Many times
the fight begins with one villain softening up the hero, and then his allies
jump in a bit later, hoping to catch their foe with his tights down. This is

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Example: Kite, a PL 10 villain, wants to hire some thugs to help her with
a heist. She spends a villain point, and the GM says she gets 5 minions,
at no more than PL 4, for the scene. The GM and Kites player both agree

that the Thug archetype make the most sense, and Kite has 5 henchmen
to help her with the plan.

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Villain Points

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The Last Hurrah

sometimes a surprise attack, though just as often the new villain bursts in
and announces himself.

Similar to Horrible Bosses, the PCs are gathered together by a well-known


villain. In this case, the villain is terminally ill and wants to pull one last
grand scheme before he dies. Needing assistance, he seeks out the PCs, confident they have the power and skill to help him in his last grand endeavor.

Using a Villain Point lets PCs mimic this comic staple to edit the scene so
that, however improbable, another villain can join the scene. This has to be
done to menace a hero, and the villainous ally has to be either another PC
not already on the scene, an NPC villain the PC has previously planned this
team-up with, or a known foe of the hero identified by an Enemy Complication. In the last case, only the hero or villain need have the Complication a
villain obsessed with getting revenge on a hero that does not give him much
thought is still viable Villain Team-Up material.

Upsides: Easy to get the PCs together. Once their benefactor kicks off,
they might have access to his resources and contacts to use in their own
schemes. The dying villains obsession with going out in a blaze of glory
makes for great dramatic tension with PCs wanting to continue their careers after he is gone.

Example: Warchild is trying to take down Mr. Block, who is protecting a corporate research facility the villain has sworn to destroy. As the
fight rages, Warchild starts to feel a bit outmatched. When his opponent
demands his surrender, Warchild flashes a defiant expression and his
player spends a Villain Point to Bring in Villainous Assistance. Suddenly,
a nearby wall is blasted out as a known foe of Mr. Block, the nefarious
Quarryman, arrives to menace the hero and aid Warchild.

Seeds of Evil

Source Code

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Once you have settled on a game focused around the bad guys, you need
to get the villains together and started on their road to conquest, destruction, and anarchy. The following section gives some common ways you can
gather your villainous PCs, the upside and downside to each approach, and
some story hooks and plots to get you started. It is not a complete list of all
possible options, but is offered as a good place to start.

All the villains share a common origin. They might all be mystics, or gained
their powers from the same accident. They likely had at least some connection to each other before becoming villains, and would naturally oppose
heroes with similar origins. They might even want to increase their powers
by recreating the events that made them villains or harvesting the source
of their powers.

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Gamemasters who feel these effects are too potent as Villain Point uses, but
still want to allow them, can turn them into Advantages. In this case, allow
villain PCs to use one of the options for each Advantage. In lieu of better
ideas, GMs can refer to Bringing in Villainous Assistance as Villain TeamUp, and Complication Triggering as Master Plan; Hired Goons would still be
Hired Goons.

Downsides: PCs start out reactionary and might have trouble making
the shift to being more proactive later. PCs might find it hard to come
up with reasons to stay together once the villain who assembled them
is gone.

Upsides: Great central theme to keep the PCs together. Common origins
can provide great campaign focus and makes coming up with NPCs and
plot hooks easy. Pre-origin relationships between PCs can make for great
roleplaying possibilities.
Downsides: Hard to implement unless all the PCs share a common theme.
Common origins can limit plots and stories to those associated with it. Such
groups can feel insular, making it harder to bring in other villains and heroes outside those logically associated with the groups background.

Terrible Bosses

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

The PCs are gathered together to be enforcers and agents of a known mastermind villain. The villain may even provide lower-powered characters
with an upgrade in exchange for service. The villains are often given assignments, but are generally allowed to do their own thing as long as it does not
interfere with their employers plans.

The PCs are brought together by their hatred of a common foe. This might
be a single hero, a hero group, an organization, or even society in general.
Whatever the focus, if the villains want to crush their foes and get their revenge for past wrongs, they are going to have to work together.

Upside: A strong NPC to drive plots as well as a possible leader to undermine or overthrow. Access to lots of resources individual villains might
not have on their own. Good social tension and maybe even comic relief
moments involving dealing with their boss and his other underlings. This
premise can accommodate a large variety of character concepts.
Downside: Usually means the villains are reactionary. PCs might feel
overshadowed by their employer. PC concepts might not be compatible
with the bosses goals and motivations, especially in the case of an NPC
well-established in the setting.
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Upsides: Revenge is a great motivator. Gives the PCs built-in enemies


they are interested in taking down. Working together should provide
great opportunities to exploit their foes weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
Downsides: If they defeat their foe(s), what next? The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily a friend, and destroying their foe might make them
targets for other heroes that the PCs are not interested in fighting.

Thicker Than Water


The villains are all members of the same family. They might be related by
blood, adopted, or have married into a group of neer do wells. The family functions as a supervillain group, but also deals with various issues that

plague any family sibling rivalry, parenting issues, and ideological differences.
Upsides: Strong core concept to keep PC villains together. No need
to explain how the PCs know each other or why they care about each
other beyond their family ties. Family drama can lead to great roleplaying potential.
Downsides: Vastly different concepts might be hard to incorporate into
the same family. Unless one of the PCs is playing the head of the family,
the GM will need to decide the status of the family head. Not all players
want to explore family dynamics or drama in roleplayingthis could
even lead to accidentally triggering issues with real player family problems and lead to less enjoyment.

The second option is easy in theory, but might be difficult in practice. When
the villainous PCs win and get what they want? Just let them. Bad guys
win; roll credits. The problem is that sometimes it is hard to give up your
characters and all the great stories they provide. In addition, it might even
be difficult for players, relishing in being evil bastards, to have their PCs truly
triumph. Indeed, many of us want to see the good guys win even if we
sometimes root for the bad guys. Ultimately, GMs and players will have to
pick what approach to their game works best, but it is something to think
about before it happens.
So, with those final words on endings, have a good time being bad!

Do Not Be Trigger Happy

What Lies Beneath

This was touched on under the Ugly section of villain types, but it deserves
another mention. Villain games are focused on evil schemes, criminal acts,
and other nefarious deeds. From a players perspective, it is all done for enjoyment of the story, but such things are not fun for everyone.

The villains are posing as heroes to pull off some scheme. Maybe they want
to discredit real heroes or get on their foes good side to learn their weaknesses. They might be working for someone else, though they could just as
easily have come up with the idea on their own.

Sometimes, real people have terrible things happen to them. These tragedies can have lasting effects, leaving them sensitive to certain issues and
topics for a long time. Players and GMs in supervillain campaigns, more than
in other games, risk hitting one of these triggers. What seems like an entertainingly evil scene to some might be a flashback to real life trauma to
others. If you have this happen and someone starts getting upset? Back off.
It is not worth the trouble, and the gaming table is not the best place to work
through such problems.

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Upsides: Gives the PCs a chance to play heroes and villains as they want.
Hidden agendas and long-term plots make for great drama when they
are revealed. PCs wanting to play reformed villains could use this as a
great starting point.

In fact, it might be a good idea for players to write down a list of two or three
things that they are not interested in seeing in the game. These need not
be actual triggers for peoplethey might just be preferencesbut having
them written down gives people with such sensitivities an easy way to bring
them to the attention of the GM and other players. Having everyone do it
prevents people with these issues from feeling singled out.

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ConclusionsCampaign
and Otherwise

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Downsides: Playing both sides can get confusing. After the villains are
eventually found out, the game will probably have to change focus.

Playing the bad guys can be a lot of fun; hopefully, this treatise will help
GMs and players interested in doing so. The final point of discussion is how
it all ends.
In superhero comics, there is always another challenge. There is always another disaster or event or villain. As it has been said, it is a never-ending
struggle. Villain stories are different. They almost always have an end goal
in mind that is more achievable than defeat evil or keep the world safe.
Even conquering the world, galaxy, etc., has an endgame, though one the
campaign might never get to. Thus, in villain campaigns, it is good to present two options: the players all agree to win battles but lose the war, or
everyone is willing to call it a wrap if they ever get what they want.

The first option is simple in practice, but difficult in theory. PC villains can
win all day long, but have to lose those final world conquering, fortuneamassing, revenge-realizing exit strategies. These strategic failures literally keep them in the game. Of course, this is hard. People like to win. They
like to tell the stories of how they reached the grand climax of their master
plan and did not fail. This makes total sense, but the eventual final gambit,
where the villains get everything they want, pretty much means the end
of the gameunless, of course, the PCs pick a whole new set of goals and
push on, effectively beginning a new campaign with the same characters.

BEACON CITY METAs

R atche d P L 14
Power Level: 14
PP: 229
Normal ID: Melvin Ridd
Creative Credit: Leon Chang
Heroic Status: Hero
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green

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Background: By nearly any measure, Melvin Ridd was a powerful man


his wealth and intellect were such that he associated with the loftiest circles
of society and science. However, by the standards of superhumans who literally spanned and moved the earth, Ridd was still mortal and human
traits he publicly proclaimed virtues even as they fueled
his feelings of impotence and insufficiency. He turned
his considerable resources and vitriol against superhumans, but his inferiority complex grew a life of its
own, emerging from the shadowy recesses of his unconscious whenever he slept.
Ridds dreaming self became Ratched, an embodiment of
the id that his controlling personality normally kept in tight rein.
The sheer force of Ridds unconscious willpower manifested in
Ratched those attributes that Ridd lacked by virtue of his unremarkable genetic heritage. Since the identities of Ridd and
Ratched were so completely disjoinedthey even projected
different mental engramsno one has made the connection
between the two. Initially, Ratched only manifested when
Ridd was completely asleep, but more and more, Ratched
has appeared even when Ridd was conscious, as if a portion of Ridds mind were dissociated to allow both identities to functional independently.
Personality and Roleplaying Notes: Ratched is everything that Ridd wishes he could beso powerful
that he was not only accepted into, but heavily relied upon by the superhuman community. Thus far,
Ratched has only responded to Ridds unconscious
desires, gaining respect in ways that Ridds wealth
and intellect could not and acting very much the
part of the iconic superhero.
If and when Ridd becomes aware of his shadow
self, he may become his own worst enemy. On the
other hand, if Ridd comes to accept the aspects
of himself that he has buried, he may merge with
and assume conscious control over Ratched. If that
should come to pass, the world will not only have
lost a powerful champion but fall under the oppression of a most formidable villain.
Powers and Power Stunts: Ratched manipulates the world
around him as if he were in a lucid dream. He thus approximates
B

STRENGTH

STAMINA

AGILITY

DEXTERITY

POWERS

FIGHTING

INTELLECT

AWARENESS

PRESENCE

POWER POINTS

Awaken: Immortality 6
Disbelieving: Protection 14, Impervious
Dream Travel: Teleport 10 (4 miles), Extended (1,000 miles)
Lucid Dreaming: Move Object 17, Damaging, Limited: Ratched and target
must be touching the same surface
Recurring Dream: Senses 4 (Precognition), Uncontrolled
Self-Perception: Features 2 (Quick Change)

Abilities 60 + Powers 108 + Advantages 7 + Skills 23 + Defenses 31 = 229

COMPLICATIONS
Waking Self: Ratcheds waking self is Melvin Ridd, with no powers and Int
9, Awe 4, Pre 5.
Who I Truly Am: Ratcheds motivation for heroism originates from Ridds
deep-seated need to be recognized for his abilities.

ADVANTAGES

SKILLS
Athletics 12 (+14), Insight 10 (+16), Intimidation 8 (+15), Ranged Combat:
Lucid Dreaming 8 (+11), Technology 8 (+13)

Initiative +2
Ranged, Damage 17 or Str 17 Grab
Close, Damage 2

DEFENSE
Dodge
Parry
Will

10
Fortitude
8
Toughness
16

10
16

Sa

Lucid Dreaming +11


Unarmed +3

ple

OFFENSE

Media Archive File #23786-1400


Decrypted Secure Audio Transfer::META Active Files Desk::DOD Metahuman
Threats Taskforce Liaison Office
>>>
[SSA Moscovitz]: As per the request from your office, weve been following up on the earlier
filings pertaining to the Ratched subject. The results have been disturbing.
[Cmdr Abrams]: How so?
[SSA Moscovitz]: Well, our initial on-site readings from a post-battle cleanup
he was assisting withthat fracas between the Challengers and the Oktobermen back around Halloween that demolished that entire dock area in Beacon
Citywere inconclusive. Aggravatingly so. His readings were all over the
board. We should have gotten something more definitive, anything.
[Cmdr Abrams]: Equipment error?
[SSA Moscovitz]: Diagnostics said no. Since he had politely but firmly declined
our request for testing in person, we had to be a little more subtle. Then he singlehandedly beat that giant crab-thing in Florida refer to the Kozucho file and
we were there to examine the creatures body. We had more powerful and sophisticated gear on hand that time, and while examining Kozucho, we also turned the
sensors on Ratched without his knowledge. Aside from a psi-active reading, we
got nothing. I mean nothing, as in, no life-signs or other readings at all.
[Cmdr Abrams]: What the hell does that mean?
[SSA Moscovitz]: We contracted with a reliable Esper, codenamed Whisper,
that Korean woman who works for the FBI?
[Cmdr Abrams]: Ive seen her file, yes.
[SSA Moscovitz]: She spent some time surveilling him and validated our suspicions. He isnt a person at all. This Ratched individual is actually some form
of psionic construct.
[Cmdr Abrams]: Wait. Are you saying hes the creation of someones mind?
[SSA Moscovitz]: Yes. More to the point, that means all of things weve seen
him do the vast strength, the seeming indestructibility, and so forth? We
have no idea if thats even scratched the surface of his potential. Worse, her
surface scans show an almost surreal excuse for a personalityalmost as if
he were just someones idea of a comic-book icon. Our psych-boys are having a
field day with that and Im not liking anything theyre saying.
[Cmdr Abrams]: Damn. There are people I need to talk to about this. Ill be
back in touch shortly.
>>>
End Audio Transfer

file

Accurate Attack, Assessment, Daze, Languages 2 (German, Latin; English is


native), Power Attack, Uncanny Dodge

the powers of a paragon by warping the reality around himself rather than
altering his own physical attributes. Ratched can cover vast distances by
simply thinking of his destination. He can lift and move massive objects
by altering their physical properties while in his proximity. Though he can
control targets at a distance, Ratched requires some kind of physical, tactile
conduit in order to sense the object or person he wishes to manipulate.
Sometimes, Ratched experiences his reality as if a recurring dream and can
anticipate events before they happen. Ridd will always wake up the instant before Ratched dies, but Ratched is nevertheless removed from the
field of play until Ridd sleeps againusually after 16 hours.
Ratched can even alter another persons self-perception, power stunting
a Cumulative Affliction with a third degree Transformed condition and resisted by Will, with the same range and limitation as Lucid Dreaming.

BEACON CITY METAs

Viridian P L 10
Power Level: 10
PP: 150
Normal ID: Gina Wilde
Creative Credit: James Dawsey
Heroic Status: Hero
Hair: Red
Eyes: Amber
Background: Regina Gina Wilde was indeed a wild child, distancing
herself from her very conservative mother but keeping close ties with her
father, who accepted her for who she was. When he died, she lost the only
connection to her core family and dedicated herself to travelling the world,
seeing everything it had to offer. Early in her career, she landed a prestigious
job as a private pilot for an incredibly wealthy, aging businessman. When he
died, she found herself jobless and forced to go back to school, hoping to
improve her education and expand her career options.

Sa

ple

file

Frustrated and tired, Gina took a vacation during summer break and went
camping near Beacon City. Lying under the stars, alone, Gina gazed out
at the night sky and wished for something more. As she drifted off, she
thought she saw a glimmer of green light among the stars. In her sleep, she
was struck by a strange beam of viridian light and transformed. She awoke
two months later, hovering in mid-air, as two forest rangers, under the impression she needed help, were trying to reach her. Quickly discovering she
controlled these fascinating new powers, she left the bewildered rangers
without explanation and ventured into the world above!
Almost immediately, she saw a school bus full of children run off the road by
a traffic accident. Without hesitation, she flew to the rescue, lifting it back
onto the road safely. Waving briefly to the children to reassure them, she
flew off, vanishing as a blue-green spark into the horizon. Still unsure of
where her powers came from or what agency saw fit to grant them to her,
Gina chose the code name Viridian, after the color of her energy field, and
dedicated herself to making the world a better place.
Personality and Roleplaying Notes: Gina is a bold, confident young
woman ready to accept challenges others might balk at. She is willful and
cocky, but feels compassion for those who cannot defend themselves.
Openly gay, she often flirts playfully with any attractive women she encounters; however, fear of revealing her real identity has put a damper on
her social life. Her homosexuality has driven a massive wedge between her
and her conservative, fundamentalist mothera fact Gina pretends does
not wound her deeply.
Viridian often taunts and challenges opponents in combat, but has a good
sense of when to stop fighting. She will quickly rush to the aid of people in
danger, and is far more interested in rescuing innocents than in testing the
limits of her powers. If given an opportunity to use her growing fame as
Viridian to make life better for others, Gina will not hesitate to do so, and
is in no way camera shy. Being Viridian is like a newfound freedom to be
herself after years of pretending to be someone else.

10

12

STAMINA

12

AGILITY

DEXTERITY

POWERS

FIGHTING

INTELLECT

AWARENESS

PRESENCE

DEFENSE

Homing: Feature 1 (Regina can instinctively find her way back to the campsite where she was struck by the Viridian beam, allowing her to always find
her way back to Earth no matter how far she explores in space.)
Invulnerability: Immunity 10 (Life Support), Regeneration 5
Quantum Strength: Enhanced Strength 12; AE: Quantum Disruption
Blast: Ranged Damage 10, Accurate 4
Quick Change: Feature 1 (Gina can store her costume in the Quantum Gate
energy field and shift into it with a free action, changing from her current
clothes or back into them in an instant.)
Spectra-Vision: Senses 4 (Extended Vision 2, Infravision, Ultravision)
Tachyon Propulsion: Flight 7 (250 MPH)
Tachyon Shifting: 4-point Array
Quantum Gate: Movement 2 (Space Travel 2: other solar systems)
Surface Gate: Movement 1 (Permeate 1), Feature 1 (Subtle on Flight)
Tachyon Surge: Flight 2, Stacks with Flight 7 (1000 MPH)

ADVANTAGES

8
Fortitude
8
Toughness
7

12
12

POWER POINTS
Abilities 62 + Powers 66 + Advantages 6 + Skills 8 + Defenses 8 = 150

COMPLICATIONS
Secret Identity: Gina has created a disguise for her normal identity by
wearing wigs and glasses in her daily life. The wigs have become a fun signature for her, and she keeps an assortment of them in different colors. The
wigs distract people from noticing she shares many facial features with the
new Superhero Viridian... for now...
Uphold the Good: Gina believes she was given these powers to make the
world a better place. She does not feel the responsibility is a burden, and
honestly enjoys doing good deeds. The relief she feels at having a purpose
in life is fantastic.

ple

All-out Attack, Favored Environment: Airborne, Interpose, Move-by Action,


Power Attack, Takedown

Dodge
Parry
Will

file

STRENGTH

SKILLS

OFFENSE

Sa

Acrobatics 1 (+6), Expertise: Pilot 4 (+4), Persuasion 3 (+5), Technology 4


(+4), Vehicles 4 (+6)

Initiative +5
Quantum Disruption Blast +10
Ranged, Damage 10
Unarmed +8
Close, Damage 12

Powers and Power Stunts: Viridians powers stem from the mysterious
Greenshift Field infusing her atomic structure. This field grants her tremendous strength and healing powers, the ability to fly, and protects her
even from even the harsh conditions of space. She is learning how to manipulate the energy field and the Quantum Gate it opens to fly faster than
light and travel to other planets in the solar system. As a power stunt, she
has grabbed an opponent and physically dragged them into a Hyperspace
dimension, though this took great exertion to perform (Extra Effort).
Gina does not hesitate to use Extra Effort to fine tune her Quantum Blasts
signature to affect specific targets. She has enhanced it on occasion with Secondary Effect and Penetrating. Perhaps, when she goes back to school, she
will take a Physics class to truly learn the limits of her potential. What other
strange cosmic forces are at her disposal are still to be seen, but the powers are
certainly alien to this world perhaps even alien to this universe.

Viridian registered her METAs identity in a free clinic in Beacon City shortly after her first appearance. Once she was satisfied that her powers posed no inherent danger to people around her, she never went back for further investigative
tests despite several META requests for her to do so.
I am concerned that the original tests done gave us very little information about
her powers. They are not genetic, nor do they seem to radiate any dangerous
forms of energy, but by God is she strong. If at all possible, I would strongly urge
META to convince her to return for another Check Up. I have encountered her
in the field since this data was collected and I think the information in this file
does not accurately reflect her current power level. If she is continuing to grow
more powerful, her distrust for authority may become a problem, though her
desire to do good ameliorates that somewhat.
Tactically, she has a natural talent for leadership and coordination, which is
probably why the Challengers have invited her to join their ranks. With her
speed, durability, and strength she is a military-grade threat. Of that group,
she is currently the only one we have any detailed information on file about,
so I suppose we should count our blessings. Perhaps we can leverage Titan into
encouraging more of the Challengers to participate in the META program.
Captain Tanya Cross, a.k.a. Captain Archon
United States Air Force Archon Project
[META File Link Access Restricted]

BEACON CITY METAs

11

Stormb r e aker P L 1 0
Power Level: 10
Normal ID: John D. Smith (assumed)
Creative Credit: Clint Freeman
Heroic Status: Hero
Hair: Black

PP: 150

Eyes: Blue

Background: Stormbreaker was discovered in the eye of a fierce storm


centered on the wreckage of a covert lab building in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When the Heroes who found him woke him, the storm dissipated. He
has no recollection of who he is or why he was found there.
After a series of Government Agency checks and investigations, he was set
up with the identity of John Doe Smith and given an internship at Channel
2, the local weather station. When something threatens his adoptive city,
whether villainous or meteorological, he will don his costume to intervene;
especially if it involves his crush, the gorgeous weather girl Sandy Williams.

Sa

ple

file

Personality and Roleplaying Notes: John speaks with a southern accent


and is a bit old-fashioned in his thoughts and mannerisms (very 1950s). He
is self-consciously introverted, having very little history to base interactions
on, and is uncomfortable relying on technology, which he struggles with.
He is protective of those around him, especially those who are not as powerful. He tends to be chivalrous in a clichd way, and this can be infuriating
to strong, independent modern women. He is cheerful most of the time,
though the weather can alter his mood. In costume, he is quick to protect
others and stop accidents, but hesitant to act offensively until he can judge
the strength needed, especially with potentially lethal attacks.
Powers and Power Stunts: Stormbreaker tends to open up with a Thunderclap or Down Draft, if it safe to do so. Once he gauges his opponents
capabilities, he is likely to use a lightning bolt or tornado if they can take it.
With his Wind Shield, he is not afraid of taking hits, and will use Interpose to
take hits for less sturdy allies and bystanders. He prefers to fight while flying
when possible. He uses Stormy Weather to adjust the weather to suit his
needs, and can use a Hero Point to counter dangerous weather events, often
in combination with Extraordinary Effort for greater range and effect.
As a Villain: As a teen developing mutant powers, Stormbreaker was abducted by a rogue government agency. They indoctrinated and trained him
to use his powers for their ends. Many years later, while hooked up to the
mind-erasing machine, a severe storm destroyed the facility he was kept in,
leaving him without a past but well trained in the use of his powers. He set
out to exact his vengeance on the U.S. Government and any organization he
deems to be abusing mutants for their powers. He has no qualms about using area effects and is not concerned with collateral damage. If heroes figure
out his M. O., he will set a trap, using weather attacks to draw them into a
deathtrap or very unfavorable situation.

12