RE: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Baron Kriminel)
- Hehe... "Hoodoo You Wrong"
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 12:39:51 -0700
Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain A Day (Baron Kriminel)
Baron KriminelOne Sentence Description: The criminal kingpin bonded with a Loa.The description of Baron Kriminel details a guy who makes his money from gang protection and occasional acts of requested vengeance. Pretty peaceful for a loa of vengeance. Here's what I think.The Baron Kriminel we have is due in large part to Dwayne Leeds' personality. As a con artist, he was primarily non-violent: the victim's sense of shame and the fact that they had probably willingly been involved in something illegal kept them from going to the cops. On its own, the Loa of Vengeance would probably be somewhat more violent (though, as Dwayne was fond of pointing out, vengeance does not have to be violent: a curse, or poverty, or the loss of something valuable, are all viable). The best vengeance, Dwayne used to think, was one they could never try to repay.There are two things to remember about Dwayne Leeds, the current Baron Kriminel:
Almost everything else flows from those two things. There's one third thing that you have to know:Dwayne can hire certain thoughts from the loa.Put those together, and the conclusion is inescapable: Dwayne is running a long con intended to make the loa (and everyone else) believe he's dead, so he can retire, preferably with a bucket of money.And, of course, he has to do it without the loa realizing that he's doing it.Dwayne's a planner. He strategizes before he goes out, and he often provides his gangsters with small fetishes that are meant to overcome a particular superpower they might encounter. (If you need one in a hurry, it's Probability Control 3 (Bad Luck)*)Also remember that, although he looks emaciated, Dwayne's in pretty good shape for man in his seventies. He's still supple enough to handle some acrobatics (in short bursts, anyway). He doesn't want a straight-up confrontation with anyone, and he'll try to scope out
- He wants to retire, but retiring means he will die.
- He started as a con man. Not for him the solution where he suddenly turns good and hands himself over to the (mystical) authorities so that they can extract the Baron; that would leave him open to retribution from gangs (as their supernatural protection failed) and the Baron, if he ever rode a human being again. (No one knows vengeance like the Loa of Vengeance.)
- Shelly Carter paid for vengeance, and now that cheating good-for-nothing husband of hers has inoperable cancer and he's going to die soon. And she's sorry. But superheroes (especially mystic ones) should be able to help...so she goes to the players to try and fix what she started.
- Baron Kriminel occasionally incites violence between gangs and then encourages them to ask him to enact vengeance. But now he's come up with a new way to get people to ask for vengeance: have them think they were done wrong, whether they were or not. To this end, he has set up a talk radio pundit. He also has a small business he has set up called "Hoodoo You Wrong" which advertises on the radio show. They are quite public about using "witchcraft" to curse people, and investigations by any supers will show that there is not an ounce of mystical power through the entire staff. Except.. They sometimes subcontract out to Baron Kriminel. He gets to enact vengeance, and they look clean. The players get involved when one of those who received a special Baron Kriminel vengeance comes to them.
- As stated, it's highly likely that Dwayne is working a long con, whose ultimate goal is to get X to swap minds with him just before Black Flame kills him. There can be a number of scenes of leadup, including the discovery of X, the revelation of the identity of "Sister Hoodoo," until the PCs find out that Black Flame is going to take the final step to murder. If you have a mystic super, then they show up in time to intervene; otherwise, it's better to play out the aftermath: The old man is dead, Black Flame killed him, and there appears to be a young industrialist and a set of gang members/cultists who helped them. (Black Flame is holding the loa, the industrialist is now Dwayne, and X is hiding in one of the other cultists or a chicken...probably a cultist.) And the changes in personalities are going to wreak havoc in the city's underworld.
- Do you need another twist? All right. Dwayne can't hide his thoughts from the loa; it only pleased the loa to let him think that. If Dwayne's scheme didn't work, the loa would have a new host anyway; if Dwayne's scheme did work, the loa would have the satisfaction of exacting vengeance on Dwayne's new body. The loa knows who he is.
A Side Note On ConsBriefly, from the book The Big Con:
All confidence games, big and little, have certain similar underlying principles; all of them progress through certain fundamental stages to an inevitable conclusion; while these stages or steps may vary widely in detail from type to type of game, the principles upon which they are based remain the same and are immediately recognizable. In the big-con games the steps are these:
- Locating and investigating a well-to-do victim. (Putting the mark up.)
- Gaining the victim's confidence. (Playing the con for him.)
- Steering him to meet the insideman. (Roping the mark.)
- Permitting the insideman to show him how he can make a large amount of money dishonestly. (Telling him the tale.)
- Allowing the victim to make a substantial profit. (Giving him the convincer.)
- Determining exactly how much he will invest. (Giving him the breakdown.)
- Sending him home for this amount of money. (Putting him on the send.)
- Playing him against a big store and fleecing him. (Taking off the touch.)
- Getting him out of the way as quietly as possible. (Blowing him off.)
- Forestalling action by the law. (Putting in the fix.)
Running The Long ConBy saying, "Oh, it's a long con," I've set the GM up for a nearly impossible task...coming up with a con that matches Dwayne's needs in your campaign. Or is it impossible?In actual play, it shouldn't be. If we assume that many of the details are hidden, you should be able to claim they were there in retrospect. (Players can be rewarded with Determination, if you'd like.) Remember that the players have to achieve something good, or they'll feel like the time has been wasted.When in doubt, add more cultists and loas.
*Totally Optional IdeaI don't have Great Power, so material in there might render this pointless, but for those of us using the old powers, there is no limit on the number of things that the Baron can create by emulating Empowerment with his Wizardry and putting the power in a device. But mass-producing fetishes that simulate powers makes this a different sort of story than I want to tell. Here's an optional rule if you feel the same way.The total number of ranks that he can distribute among powers and devices with his Wizardry (or Empowerment) are (Wizardry rank)*(Willpower rank), and no device or person can have more ranks than he has of Wizardry. That means he can have 49 ranks of fetishes out there...but then he's maxed out. (Claim it's because he's old, if you'd like.)So normally seven or eight of his captains are out with 3-rank fetishes; that's twenty-something ranks right there.John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)