Whatever Wednesday

Remember the other day when I was talking about how dumb I think it is when people bring up inside jokes with people who aren’t on the inside?  Well, here I go being a hypocrite again. 

All these RPGADAY questions have made me nostalgic, ipso facto, I was leafing through some old gaming magazines that survived the Purge and I came across (in Adventure Club #13 if you’re wondering) a Champions adventure with a plot of a robbery at Fort Knox. 

I had a good belly laugh at this because when we were kids playing TMNT obviously I was a great GM with great ideas for adventures but whenever anyone else ran a game it was only two things – fighting tournament in an under construction skyscraper (is that from a movie?  Why was it always an under construction skyscraper?) or robbing Fort Knox.  Maybe my friends just really loved Goldfinger, you know how little kids love Goldfinger.

Sidenote, here’s the one piece of expertise I can offer the world.  If the pope or aliens or some other god-like force flies down and bets the fate of the world on you winning a TMNT RPG fighting tournament here’s the key to saving the world. 

When you make TMNT characters you have a certain amount of “Bio Energy” to spend on your mutant animal.  You may have two instincts.  Instinct #1 – choose a large powerful animal.  This is a poor choice.  Big animals don’t have enough Bio-E to do anything, to get more you have to reduce your size and the trade-off is not good.  To do anything you end up with an elephant man the height of a double A battery and all your stats get reduced to nothing because of size modifiers. 

Instinct #2 – choose a ferocious animal predator.  Also a bad choice.  Wolverines and weasels and wolfs seem cool but you spend all your Bio-E on sweet animal features and you end up tiny and sucky and weak just like the elephant man.

If you want to have a chance at thwarting the space pope and winning this contest of champions the lame animals are best bet.  Don’t choose one too small because they have some of the same issues as the big ones, you want a mid-sized animal with nothing interesting going on like claws or tough hide or berserker rage or high metabolism. 

I found that flamingo was a winning choice.  The fighting tournament of fighting would start and Elliot would come at me with his hobbit sized tiger-man and Ringo the Flamingo Domingo would kick his head off in 8 seconds because I was so smart and awesome and figured out how to game the (very badly designed) system. 

So now you know that. 

Anyway, the rob Fort Knox Champions adventure featured three teams of bad guys, which seems like more teams than you need for their plan of “break the gate and grab the gold”.  Two teams they had statted out, but for the third one they said create your own villains!  Which is not something I think I’ve seen before.  Usually canned adventures are either, here’s all the stats, or make up your own stats for everything, I’ve never seen a combo like that that I remember.

Since the Super Ela story ended I haven’t wasted time with a random creation post of super people so why not do that now?  Was it world building if those characters never appeared in the story?  I’ll never tell.  The guidelines for supervillainy team #3 from that adventure were, a team leader, a teleporter, and three bricks. 

Team Leader – The common flavor for leadership types is a military background.  Where else does leadership come from?  Corporate management training?  LOL am I right?  Sports sometimes maybe.  Community activism and organization?  How about a teacher? 

A former legislative aide in the state house, Francis was disgusted by the apathy and “politics as usual” that determine people’s lives.  Francis abandoned that career path for shaping young minds as a substitute teacher and advocate for education reform.  An educated electorate is the key to changing things he thought.  But how can you educate anyone without funding? 

Francis’s new life brought him dizzying highs when he could tell he made a difference in a kid’s life and horrifying lows when his classes couldn’t do the simplest things without teachers dipping into their own pockets to pay for it.  He claims he doesn’t even remember planning the robbery, that the Fireband is an entirely different split personality from Francis, but it’s a lie.  He knows very well. 

Firebrand isn’t a master tactician or weapons expert but he has a knack for motivation and getting the best out of people.  When Firebrand is around groups just “gel” you know?  He has a way of convincing people to act in the best interest of the team no matter how malcontented and cynical. 

Teleporter – Comic book teleportation is usually just POP and you’re there.  Or sometimes there’s a portal or a door involved.  Someone cut holes with a ridiculously oversized sword.  Was it Magik?  How about a teleportation method that’s different and maybe a little gross?  Thinking about that three words come to mind, colossal worm hiney. 

I think in the Cthulhu mythos there’s some manner of Dune non-sand worms that are everywhere underground and they make the tunnels of the Cthulhu underdark where the ghouls and the snakepeople and the gugs live. 

Adrian tells people that he doesn’t know why he can summon a bhole, jump in its mouth and then instantly appear hundreds of miles away at “the other end” of the worm monster but it’s a lie.  He’s the worm messiah is why, he just doesn’t like people knowing that.  Adrian’s parents were worm cultists like their parents before them and their parents before that.  Proud hard-working worm-loving Americans.  As happens to so many kids these days though Adrian drifted away from religion.  Which isn’t really allowed when you’re the messiah of said religion. 

Adrian is on the run from his former congregation, which makes it sound more dramatic than it is, mostly he just lives a normal life under a different name.  But semi-annual kidnapping attempts by worm cultists does make it hard to hold a job and keep a girlfriend.  Adrian would never consider himself a supervillain, he just needs cash so he offers the worm highway to people who need to get into and out of places that they shouldn’t be in.  I mean it’s not like he’s smuggling drugs people!  You know how easy it would be for him to get rich bringing heroin into the country?  Huh?  So give him a break.  Gees.

Brick #1 – Ringo “the Flamingo” Domingo was a weird kid.  Getting obsessed with things is normal for kids but getting obsessed with 50’s musical innovator Little Richard is pretty weird.  Also, he never grew out of it.  Ringo’s parents asked him “soooo, you want to be a singer?”  Nope, he didn’t want to be a singer, he just wanted to be flamboyant in a 1950’s kind of way.  “Soooo you’re gay then?” they asked once he was old enough for that to be a question you can ask.  Nope, just a fella that likes feather boas and confetti.

You might be thinking that with this odd manner Ringo might have had a hard time in life.  Wrong again.  The only thing Ringo likes more than imitating the Architect of Rock and Roll is fighting.  And he happens to be very good at it.  Ringo doesn’t care if someone calls him various homophobic slurs, actually that’s not true, he likes it because then he has a reason to beat some ass.  Even before being enhanced Ringo was what they call a stack. 

After being undefeated in the amateur ranks Ringo was deciding if he wanted to go pro in boxing or MMA or both when he was approached by the Firm with their standard offer of “how about we inject you up with some super-serum and you do illegal jobs for us to pay it off?”  Ringo though to himself, what would Little Richard do?  Say yes was the answer to that according to Ringo. 

Brick #2 – Eve has what you call big lady energy.  She tells people that her momma is a troll from Finland.  When people ask about her daddy she says “Not sure but he must have been a real freak know what I mean?  Google Finnish trolls and tell me if I’m lying.” 

If Eve is the daughter of a Scandinavian troll how did she get to North America?  She doesn’t know and she doesn’t care.  Some people live for today, Eve lives for the next five minutes.  Eve likes fast cars (which have to be custom made for her to fit in because of her stature) cheap booze (which ends up not being so cheap because she needs to drink a gallon of vodka to feel anything) designer drugs (which aren’t cheap to being with and she needs a lot of them) and property damage. 

These desires make her a staple in the super muscle for hire world.  Eve signs on for whatever caper needs some super-strength, takes her sack of money or diamonds or crypto or whatever she’s paid in when it’s over and lives it up until she’s broke and then does it all over again.  Punctuated by periods of incarceration whenever the authorities can find a place that can hold her. 

As Eve once famously told the Hedonist “It’s fun, I don’t need another reason.”

Brick #3 – When Special K found a magic whip he thought that his ship had come in, the ship of robbing places with whip based superpowers.  Finding out that the “superform” he transformed into when he cracked the whip was female was a little weird but he figured if anything that would make it harder for people to track down his true identity.  Everyone knows that Special K is a giant blonde Amazon type, who would ever suspect that her alter ego is a five foot three mildly overweight balding man with a ponytail?

No one, but that wasn’t much help when he was defeated and de-whipped by Bifurcated Boy and Cantilever Lad.  The initial public reaction was “huh, Special K is really a dude” other than a marked decrease in the popularity of Special K deepfakes (you know the kind I mean) no one cared much.  But then someone wrote an article about how Special K had no choice but to resort to villainy because a transgender person with powers isn’t going to be accepted by the heteronormative superhero community. 

Before K could say “What?  I’m not transgender” he was already an icon of sorts.  He felt a little strange about all the attention but that didn’t stop him from liking it.  K found that being hailed a trans anti-hero fighting the system by doing whatever he wanted was a turn of events that he liked, despite the fact that it’s all bullshit because he’s not really trans.  Or maybe because of it?  On account of he’s an asshole? 

1 Comment

  1. I’m a little sad that none of these villains fought dracula and found a martini glass that made them super strong, but that’s a different story.

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