Recurring Villains and Villain Teamups [Background] [Prep]

We've talked a lot about hero teams, but not about villain teams. Mr. Big doesn't recommend villain team lairs ( here ), citing incompatible motivations and goals. But what if a group of villains had something to overcome that? A grudge against one of the three Modern teams, or individual members of them. An opportunity to power up or gain access to some great power. They might stick together for that. Okay, who and why? Here's one example. It needn't be this - we've already plugged the sprawling Vyortovia story into Keynome lore, but if there's room for more, try this. Let's say that Farlander survived his encounter with Sablestar, knows about the Keynomes on Earth, knows there's maybe more than one (if Amir's story is accurate, there's at least three - the Iceland Keynome, the Halcyon High Keynome, and the Rusty Keynome), and would sure like to get as many as he can. He knows that Concord knows about them, so he needs Concord out of the way. He can't do it alone, especially since Concord has allies. Time to recruit some of his own. The State of the Campaign World ( here ) included a few early villain suggestions, this builds on that. IN GENERAL: Farlander (Silver) can use acquired alien tech as a bargaining tool, beefing up existing villains (or their own tech), equipping them with neat toys (a la the Vulture's gang in Spider-man Homecoming), or promising their wildest dreams once they obtain an omnipotent Keynome. Iconoclast (Modern): "help me beat them, and I'll help you destroy all superheroes on this world!" La Espada (Bronze): given her sword by Farlander in return for help. Ghostheart (Bronze): "You can fight pandemonium with my magic wishing rock if you help me!" Aquaria (Gold): if Kill Devil Prison is near water, Farlander may entice her to help with a particularly spectacular prison break. Troll (Modern): "you can wreck everything!" Voltaic (Silver): same offer as Iconoclast, actually... Bonus Offer: Magus Everard's Agate Staff is actually another Keynome... Further Bonus, if Sablestar/Keri shenanigans don't play out: Sablestar likes the possibility of chaos this arrangement presents, and will help the team... when she feels like it. Link has had a "talk to Iconoclast" card on Trello since issue 3 or so, and this would obsolete that. I'm okay with that outcome, but I think there's still value in trying it if something like this doesn't happen (it can help further Jason's story as discussed, by shifting his views on good-vs-bad-guy morals, should that shift still be something he needs). This team can also coordinate, putting up a challenge that individuals might have a tough time with. La Espada can be team transport, using portals to move them to and from a destination. Voltaic can be equipped with a powerful wifi transmitter, keeping Troll powered up no matter where the team is (and keeping Link and Concord from further flight shenanigans). Iconoclast and Aquaria have potent AOE moves. Ghostheart brings their magic weirdness bullshit. What do you think, sirs?

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The team from earlier is half made up of our previous villains, and half bad guys who bring something useful to them. Here's another version. Rook Industries secretly sponsors a villain team. A combination of experimental test subjects, anti-robot weapons, cold mercenaries, and Rossum's own constructs are fielded against the Menagerie. Rosa Rook (Bronze) is willing to put out some money to stop these trouble making kids who are challenging her. In particular, the son of Rossum can't be allowed access to the Quill family's tech and resources, or both families become a Rook rival. The Spider (Bronze): a deniable asset, offered access to legitimate channels in exchange for his aid against the Quill & Gale families. Intel broker. Professor Spectre (Bronze): "the Menagerie has dimension-crossing tech. Get access to it, and we can fix you." The ghost. Rampage (Bronze): Converted in a Rook bio-lab. The muscle. Carbine (Bronze): Gun for hire. Ranged damage dealer. Nano (Modern): A worthy enemy for both Jason and Leo. The genius. Facet (Modern): An enemy for Summer/Numina, already a Rook employee. The ninja.

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(I'm also not saying to do this now, we have a shit ton of plot to get through still. This is just a thought for how one might counter a well coordinated group of teen heroes)
I'm not saying I want a giant, desperate throw down with multiple super villains... but it does sound really cool
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
A few thoughts I've had on the back burner for awhile now, some of which tie in here, which I'll share under the protection of meta OOCness. Rook-funded villainous hi-jinx are a definite yes. Honestly I'm just waiting for the Vyortovian arc to settle down for a bit to get into that. Iconoclast is likely going to be in a bed for awhile. It's still only been a couple weeks since she fought you guys, and her arm and ears were screwed up pretty badly. Doesn't mean her gear might not come back into play, ESPECIALLY if Rook factors into the villain shenanigans. Troll getting some outside support that helps with his WiFi weakness is a must-do. I'd actually considered Professor Spectre as a thematic mirror to Jason's doom, early on, but never found room for her. Your suggestions offer some nice options. Carbine might more likely show up if we get a Reformed on the team. :)  I can totally see Shell working for Rook, though, and their cyborg body is a nice parallel to some of our robotic NPC team members... Magus-related stuff is probably going to come out and up as we dig through Charlotte's story in the future. (I see the whole Sepiaverse/Vyortovia thing being handed from Jason's arc to Charlotte's as Jason's situation resolves somewhat.) Facet - I have literally had Facet ready for a fight since Session ONE, so that's definitely happening. Source Code seems like another good foil for the SGHGs on the team... and that "source code of the universe" stuff sure SOUNDS Keynome related... Tying La Espada to Farlander's tech is brilliant and I love it. Heck, she might have been a normal student at HHSouth, and picked up the tech by accident. She'd come in contact with Farlander when he tracked the tech down. Other stuff I thought about: - Viral as a 'reality ghost' created by the Vyortovian Incident. Charlotte has actually SEEN her in game, twice. But so little time has gone by since then, I haven't been able to pursue that. Also need to think what the Truth Bomb might have done there, and her status as a 'ghost' might be affected by whatever we sort out regarding Charlotte's ... existence. - I really don't think Sablestar is Keri, but I do like that Akuma+65millionyearold Sablestar idea... - More cosmic villain hijinx, related to the keynomes.
I picked these particular rosters with one other consideration: no victim villains, the well meaning ones doing bad stuff with regret, or the ones who just want to escape their condition. That's like catnip to members of our team, particularly Leo, and he would fall over himself trying to recruit them away from their current villain sponsor. There is a third roster for Dr. Infinity if anyone wants to see that. If people are curious, give me a theme or foundation and I can try to do others. :)
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
Dr. Infinity... I mean, I'd love to see what you're thinking about there, but I do have some stuff going on in the back of my head for that one, along the same meta-level of detail as the Magus stuff.
I guessed there might be more, thus asked before posting, yeah. Both the above rosters can make one shot appearances: Farlander for when Concord goes for the Halcyon keynome, Rook for when Link inevitably goes for Rossum. I don't have a similar opportunity in mind for any other team yet.
Dr. Infinity (Silver) builds a team to take down the Menagerie. It's all their fault, if you think about it logically. First, Mercury's transition into the other universe thanks to Jason Quill's nemesis. Then, attention from Vyortovia that those meddling kids just had to poke at. That one moment when a stray throw from the young speedster meant the difference between Halcyon City and destruction - what recklessness toward probabilities! And the carefully balanced deception the HHL was willing to engage in got tossed aside - by Ghost Girl and Concord. Of course, it would have led to disaster for the citizens, but that would have been a predictable, manageable disaster, a stable moment in history, and would have halted future temporal shenanigans for a long time. What about Link and those robots he created? I know the truth of what they will become . And my own responsibility for causing Ghost Girl to emerge? The moment can't be erased, but the result can be. Cold Snap (Bronze): "assist me, and I will show you the evidence you need of what happened... or help you go back and reverse it." Battlefield control. Ilijah Intrepid (Bronze): "I've kept you imprisoned here for the timestream's greater good. Think of this as a work-release program." Teleporter & gadgeteer. Arcknife (Bronze): "the secrets of your creation are lost to history. Nothing in history is lost to me." Damage dealer. Siphon (Modern): "depower Mercury and Ghost Girl, and I will show you your future self's method to make them permanent". Power jacker. Teacher (Modern): "There are some disobedient children which must be brought to heel. I will assist you in doing so." Illusionist. Viral (Modern): "Ghost Girl is your enemy. Stop her and you will be free." Infiltrator. This team can get in anywhere, mess with the rank-and-file employees at the Quill Foundation or other people close to the team, craft illusions or deceptions for anyone else, and put up a reasonable stand-up fight. The team kidnaps low-to-medium-grade villains (or heroes) to keep around as "fuel" for Siphon, and Intrepid can outfit Arcknife or Cold Snap with useful gizmos, giving them a lot of flexibility for different situations.
Honestly, these all sound rocking. And all the more so if some Playbook changes are the offering, since that will potentially unbalance the team (or, alternately, obsolete some hard or soft attacks that were planned against the "known quantities" of the Menagerie.
For a replacement for Iconoclast on Farlander's team, there's also Carlo the Assassin (Silver). Unlike the others, he can have a personal motivation - interest in Aquaria (or La Espada if you dial him toward Bronze?) or someone in the Menagerie (NPCs included), a desire to kill Jason Quill (for the fame) or Ghost Girl (for the challenge - how do you kill someone who's dead?), and so on. He's also eminently punchable.
Writing the Earth-NK nonsense ( forced me to think up new villains, and here's one that I hope would make a damn fine recurring villain. One that I think might be punchable and redeemable, depending. Void is a young (man/woman/whatever) whose power is to draw the emotional darkness out of other people, and transmute it into psychokinetic energy. Void's victims are usually exhausted by this siphoning, but lose (temporarily at least?) whatever darkness was taken from them, making them hopefully better people in the process. So in a crowd of bad people, Void is amazing . Alone, or surrounded by saints, Void is in trouble. Well, maybe. Void can also siphon their own inner darkness as an emergency reserve. This means, of course, that they become less evil as they draw on more and more of their own power! As written, Void has a handler or mentor who's forcing them into more and more evil acts, giving them a bigger personal reserve. This mentor will also send depraved henchmen/lackeys to support Void, to act as a primary fuel source. Void has been convinced to retreat rather than exert too much power. So in principle they can be redeemed, starting by forcing them to use all of their own darkness as energy and working with them for a long time. The trick is keeping them from retreating before that process can be started. Alternately, a PC can try to establish a personal bond with Void, to get them to have second thoughts or doubts about attacking the PC. I don't know that this villain would be a good match for any of our PCs, now, but I might try them out with my Thursday group.
Doyce T.
Sheet Author
Very, very cool.
Oh jeez, person powered by draining negative emotions out of others?  It's Nega-Concord.
I'd say go for it but I think you have an amazing nemesis now. :)
A little more on that, I guess. I think as narrated, I've gotten the impression that Concord's powers are gated by the agent's own emotional state ("I can't fly if I'm afraid" and Adam's brief explanation to Jason at the press conference), but I've never really seen examples of this specific thing - an actual emotional exchange as a key for power. The potential's there in the power set, or so it seems, but it feels like it'd be weird if it was really an inversion - making people less courageous, for example. I really like the way you've done it already, like a paladin who has god's blessing as long as they're virtuous.
That's why it's a complete inversion.  Concord is powered by his own emotional "overflow."  Void feeds of other's negative emotions.  Hell, the fact that it seems like Void doesn't have any reserve power beyond cannibalizing himself is even more of an inversion since Concord is basically a trio of batteries with a really slow drip recharge.  Concord's batteries run out and he needs a lot of positive emotions and (likely) a couple of days to recharge back to full.  With Void it sounds like he just pulls some emotional darkness off a target and he's back to operational strength.
Ah, I get it now. Yeah, that makes good sense.