View Full Version : Superhero/villain

03-31-2007, 12:35 AM
I had a group of 6 players with super characters. This group of supers made a decision to dominate the planet. They claimed it wasn't that they chose to be the bad guys. They were just counting on being able to knock off the one superhero that slapped them on the wrist for disrupting San Fransisco's power grid, making the coast guard party all night, dropping an airplane into the ocean, and framing another superhero that got the blame for a burning building.

They claimed that they were not evil. Gullible as I am, I was not ready to fall for their insistence that they were just drawn "that way".

So, once I figured out that the party really had gone bad, I introduced all sorts of difficulties that made their super-life exciting and a non-stop ride through scene after scene. When they played evil it maked it easier to have bad things happen to them.
The worst (or best) was when they went back in time by 15 minutes and confronted themselves to assist in saving their future selves from destruction. When the 15 minutes were up and the time traveled copies did not vanish into the time-stream both versions decided there could be only one copy. They made several attempts to kill off the "other" party.

If your players are going to go bad, there is a good chance that the world will soon go to pot. My world did. And in a bad way... Earth was destroyed.

Supervillain PCs have a whole different perspective on what they should be doing (right & wrong), but true to many of the comic books I've read, superheroes invite an arch nemesis into their lives. At least my players felt obligated to go after the one super that they felt was a significant threat to their version of happiness.

04-05-2007, 10:11 AM
Oh oh oh the fun I would have had with these people.

Lord Z
06-08-2007, 08:39 AM
Yaboo Ron, It seems that you got a little frustrated with your players (heavens knows that I do), but otherwise it looks like you ran a really fun campaign. The players were obviously very interested in what was happening and eager to take an active role in shaping the game world. The player-characters underwent a lot of character development along the way. You are right about the characters being villians, but that's okay. You thought at first you were running a Super-Heroes campaign, but it turned into a Super-Villians campaign. That's not better nor worse, just different. When the campaign generates its own paradigm shift, it's best to embrace the change and see how the new campaign concept will be fun.

07-11-2008, 10:06 AM
I super villain campain is Sooooo much fun. I like the magneto and lex luthor types not the I eat babies or carnage guys. that can get old real fast.

07-17-2008, 03:52 PM
Magneto = GOD.
I have an Iron-Man/XO Manowar char in a friends superhero game.
He ended up leaving the team because of in-game problems, and the GM lets me play him as an NPC now (I ended up moving away in RL shortly after and he consults me for ideas.)
The character which started as an ex-cop trying to be a hero has completely turn into a "well, I guess if noone else will, I should take over and fix the world" magneto type.
It's super fun.

07-26-2008, 07:45 PM
the fun really starts when you retire those characters, start a new campaign and have the new characters put in the position of fighting the old ones. ^^

02-14-2009, 11:30 PM
I'm an old school super hero kind of guy who was totaly thrown for a loop by a player who wanted to be a vigilante who always used deadly force. Since he could teleport, there was little i could do short of killing him and in the end he took a whole city down with him in an atomic explosion.

02-15-2009, 10:40 PM
teleport blocking and teleport traps are options... that or power draining effects. heck, have some space-time-dimensional anomaly and it could have weird effects on the teleport power. have him go through another "super-power causing" experience and change up his powers on him.... lots of options. just gotta be sneakier than the player. or know when to say 'sure, you can do that...' (evil gm grin). ^^

02-16-2009, 08:45 AM
...or know when to say 'sure, you can do that...' (evil gm grin). ^^

And also when to say, "No, I don't think that character would be good for my campaign". Either approach has its ups and downs.

02-17-2009, 02:59 PM
desu ne. *nod nod*

03-17-2009, 08:25 AM
all of those were temporary solutions that might have made a scene more difficult for him but would never stop him from what he was doing. as for a long term solution, a way to get him to change his ways, prison wasn't an option, not given the tech level of the world he was adventuring in, (no one except super heores and villains had access to anything beyond normal 1980s technology) pressure from established heroes had no effect because he had no respect for them and no fear of them (he knew they wouldn't kill him.) and as for villains comming after him, i tried that but it was just another adventure.

03-18-2009, 03:51 AM
there are always options. if a teleporter is a problem, then research into blocking, redirecting, or duplicating it would only be natural. eventually they will be able to block, redirect, or follow/predict the player's movements, and will be constantly harassing them as they become the major villain for that world.

03-19-2009, 04:46 PM
The best i ever came up with was a character named the ferrit who had super senses that alowed him to detect steel head even when he was in the midst of teleporting, and run to the location faster than steel head could materialize. (he slowly faded in and out like the transportes on star trek.)
but as i said this was only a way to challenge him in an adventure it did nothing to change his attitude or actions.

03-20-2009, 04:12 PM
assuming that the player's attitude and actions are what you want to change, that is a difficult one. not impossible. likely to end up with one of you not having fun. i think that falls into one of those sit down discussion category things. ^^

06-17-2009, 10:30 PM
all of those were temporary solutions that might have made a scene more difficult for him but would never stop him from what he was doing

If the group's social contract requires you stop him in game instead of sitting down and talking with the player, as game master (and therefore omnipotent grounding of the entire campaign reality!), there are many things you could have done.

Have a villain with mental domination deprive him of the memory how to teleport. Have the villain also deprive another PC hero of the memory how to do something; then have a psychic NPC heroine offer to heal both of them, have her heal the other PC hero first, AND THEN HAVE THE NPC HEROES CONVINCE HER NOT TO HEAL HIM SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF HIS BAD REPUTATION FOR BEING A VIGILANTE. (Make her refusal to heal him for being a vigilante as much an all-caps refusal as possible!)

Have dimensional storms disrupt the fabric of reality such that teleports have become dangerous, perhaps damaging him each time or sending him to the wrong place. Have heroes who might be able to help him refuse because of his bad reputation. If there is a good PC hero who also teleports, hint ahead of time that this other PC hero's teleport operates by a different mechanism and therefore remains unaffected by the dimensional storms.

Let him kill all he wants -- then trick him into killing a school bus full of grade school children. Have him haunted by the ghosts of every soul he has killed unfairly while the governments of the world declare war against this child-killer and offer amnesty to any villain who brings him in alive.

Have a teleporting hero CONSCRIPT him to be a hero whether he wants it or not, as per the movie origin of the Shadow. Have the other hero specifically refer to himself as a vigilante exacting vigilante justice on this errant player's PC. Have the NPC heroes refuse to rescue him because of his bad rep.

During a teleport, merge him with something that seriously inconveniences him, such as a virtuous hero who keeps fighting with him over control of his body. Or merge him with a tree so that he can teleport all he wants but he can't move his body much at all. Again, have all the NPC heroes refuse to help him because of his bad rep, even while helping villains in front of him.

Have his future self appear in a time travel episode to beat him up because of all the guilt his future self feels for having been him. Have the NPC heroes nodding approvingly.

You are the god of your campaign universe, and if the social contract of your group does not allow you to sit down and talk it out with this jerk, and if the other players want you to handle it in game, then you can bring in all sorts of forces without harming the rest of your continuity against him. He really hasn't got a chance.

06-20-2009, 08:39 AM
There was only one player in the game. And he seemed to feel like my attempts to change him were all part of the challenge of playing the character. I did more than once have NPC heroes either fight him or refuse to help him but it would have made the world unrealistic if he never found any like minded characters, so he did find NPC.S to hang out with who shared his views.
One hero in particular who opposed him constantly had an attack that made him unable to teleport for a short time. Tricking him or having the universe itself turn on him would be unfair because as GM. I have such power, but he knows who the GM. is. He wouldn't see this as the natural result of his wrong deeds but as ME being hostile to him, so it wouldn't change his views. It would only convince him that "THE DM. IS A TWIT" (a phrase that was often used anyway despite my attempts to be impartial.) And I've always felt that part of being a good GM. is being impartial. Let the sun shine on the just and unjust alike don't you know.
The debates that were part of the campaign and my attempts to actually effect his thinking rather than just stop him were the things that kept me interested in playing the game despite my dislike for the character.

06-21-2009, 03:41 PM
it would have made the world unrealistic if he never found any like minded characters, so he did find NPC.S to hang out with who shared his views.

Why? It sounds more realistic for him to be the only person with his point of view who had evaded prison. Finding everyone who ever agrees with him ending up in prison puts across the moral issue fairly clearly.

He wouldn't see this as the natural result of his wrong deeds but as ME being hostile to him, so it wouldn't change his views.

That's HIS problem, not yours.

I have seen too many bad players who insist that realistic consequences are only proof the GM is being a "meany" -- which is their favorite trick for trying to guilt-trip or browbeat the GM into letting them realign realism itself for their own personal convenience.

It would only convince him that "THE DM. IS A TWIT" (a phrase that was often used anyway despite my attempts to be impartial.)

To be completely honest with you, it sounds to me as though your player had mastered the arts of browbeating, bullying, guilt-tripping, and whining as necessary to control you like a puppeteer pulling the strings of his favorite wooden marionette.

To put it more colloquially: he been playin' you the whole time.

I would never allow any player to try to bully his way through a game by using phrases like "The DM is a twit!" I would politely tell any player who tried such manipulative tricks on me that he was free to play elsewhere; if he continued, I would refuse to game master him any further until he grew up. No Game is always better than a Bad Game.

It sounds to me as though you enjoyed the challenge of running your game under his rules, though. If you both had fun, it doesn't matter what I write or anyone else writes, really.

P.S. Look up the studies on macchiavellianism as a personality trait or condition, and you'll probably nod at how often the descriptors fit him.

06-22-2009, 05:17 AM
"No Game is always better than a Bad Game."
You see THAT is where you and I differ. It's not as if I had a lot of choice about who to game with. As a high school student with no transportation living in Birmingham Alabama I had very little choice about who to game with. And I dearly loved playing the game any chance I got.
I miss those days when I had a regular game going. Now the only time I get to game is on rare weekends when I can work up the energy to put an adventure together for my son. I greatly prefer playing to GMing but I have no one else to GM at all. It's sad really. I spend a lot of my free time working on a game I made but I rarely ever get to play.
Anyway, check out the game I made at the link below and tell me what you think.