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How soon is too soon?

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  • Michael Taylor
    ... As a Player and a GM I ve always felt it was pretty bogus to bring back pet villians arbitrarily. The Villians & Vigilantes RPG
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 24, 2010
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      > So the heroes finally manage to send Dr Sin behind bars. And everyone knows the Troll died in that cave in, right?
      >
      > So how long before the GM can legitimately use these NPCs again?
      >

      As a Player and a GM I've always felt it was pretty bogus to bring back 'pet' villians arbitrarily.
       
      The Villians & Vigilantes RPG (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=81970) has a system for running the trials of the criminals (there are other systems and tables floating around as well).
       
      A couple of dice rolls and you can *fairly* determine how soon the criminal can escape from jail or maybe get bounced on a techicallity.
       
      This can also lead to more storie possiblities than just plunking the villian back in and give the chance for PCs to interact with laywers, cops, bail-bondsmen, etc.
       
      Also, doing it randomly means the PCs won't quickly figure out which villians are your 'pets'.
       
      JMO.
       
       
       
    • Tommy Brownell
      Although in Troll s case it s a moot point, since he s not behind bars. Which begs another question: Does Presumed Dead have a different expiration date than
      Message 2 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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        Although in Troll's case it's a moot point, since he's not behind bars.
         
        Which begs another question: Does "Presumed Dead" have a different expiration date than "Behind Bars"? If so, is it longer or shorter?
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 4:37 AM
        Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

         

        >>I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
        >> criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
        >> it upon themselves.

        And that's an excellent point.
         


        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: silverlion@...
        Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 19:22:48 -0500
        Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

         


        I give it enough time to build up paranoia about them coming back. That
        depends a lot on the players and the game. Usually I throw in things
        that might seem to be them, but aren't here and there. New villains, or
        events with a similar--but not identical modus operandi.

        I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
        criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
        it upon themselves.




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      • Soylent Green
        If the death was off screen (no corpse found and all) m pretty sure no one really believes in or out of character that the guy is dead so I guess you are free
        Message 3 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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          If the death was off screen (no corpse found and all) 'm pretty sure no one really believes in or out of character that the guy is dead so I guess you are free to recycle any time.
           
          Next up is behind bars because there are plenty of logical ways a bad guy could either escape or be let out early.
           
          Back from certain death is requires the longest wait I think.

           

          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          From: tommyb@...
          Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 05:04:44 -0500
          Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

           
          Although in Troll's case it's a moot point, since he's not behind bars.
           
          Which begs another question: Does "Presumed Dead" have a different expiration date than "Behind Bars"? If so, is it longer or shorter?
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 4:37 AM
          Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

           

          >>I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
          >> criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
          >> it upon themselves.

          And that's an excellent point.
           


          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
          From: silverlion@...
          Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 19:22:48 -0500
          Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

           


          I give it enough time to build up paranoia about them coming back. That
          depends a lot on the players and the game. Usually I throw in things
          that might seem to be them, but aren't here and there. New villains, or
          events with a similar--but not identical modus operandi.

          I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
          criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
          it upon themselves.






          No virus found in this incoming message.
          Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
          Version: 9.0.856 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3169 - Release Date: 09/30/10 13:34:00


        • Eli
          Even certain death can be side-stepped pretty easily in this genre, especially in the case of very powerful, wealthy, or intelligent villains. 1)
          Message 4 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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            Even certain death can be side-stepped pretty easily in this genre, especially in the case of very powerful, wealthy, or intelligent villains.

             

            1)      Robot/clone duplicate

            2)      Ancient secret death trance

            3)      Henchman body double (willing or not)

            4)      Unidentifiable remains. He has to be dead, we found his ring, right? The tattered remains of Dr. Really Bad’s cape fluttering on a piece of the wreckage you saw fall on him.

            5)      Super science contingency plan. Pretty much anything that would allow for an obviously dead villain to have kept himself alive at the last minute – teleporter, mind transferral, dimensional shift, time jump, etc. It works for the Daleks.

            6)      Heroic hubris. The heroes themselves can give the villain all the opportunity to have escaped certain demise. Some players/characters are just a bit too confident in their abilities.

             

            Any of the above things can be used together or sperately.

             

            From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Soylent Green
            Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 6:04 AM
            To: icons group
            Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

             

             

            If the death was off screen (no corpse found and all) 'm pretty sure no one really believes in or out of character that the guy is dead so I guess you are free to recycle any time.
             
            Next up is behind bars because there are plenty of logical ways a bad guy could either escape or be let out early.
             
            Back from certain death is requires the longest wait I think.

             

          • Soylent Green
            There is no question that death can be explained away, it s more a question of when can you (the GM) get away with it with full player buy-in and does it feel
            Message 5 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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              There is no question that death can be explained away, it's more a question of when can you (the GM) get away with it with full player buy-in and  does it feel contrived to the players.


              To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
              From: emu2020@...
              Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 07:37:24 -0700
              Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

               

              Even certain death can be side-stepped pretty easily in this genre, especially in the case of very powerful, wealthy, or intelligent villains.

               

              1)      Robot/clone duplicate

              2)      Ancient secret death trance

              3)      Henchman body double (willing or not)

              4)      Unidentifiable remains. He has to be dead, we found his ring, right? The tattered remains of Dr. Really Bad’s cape fluttering on a piece of the wreckage you saw fall on him.

              5)      Super science contingency plan. Pretty much anything that would allow for an obviously dead villain to have kept himself alive at the last minute – teleporter, mind transferral, dimensional shift, time jump, etc. It works for the Daleks.

              6)      Heroic hubris. The heroes themselves can give the villain all the opportunity to have escaped certain demise. Some players/characters are just a bit too confident in their abilities.

               

              Any of the above things can be used together or sperately.

               

              From: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Soylent Green
              Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 6:04 AM
              To: icons group
              Subject: RE: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

               

               

              If the death was off screen (no corpse found and all) 'm pretty sure no one really believes in or out of character that the guy is dead so I guess you are free to recycle any time.
               
              Next up is behind bars because there are plenty of logical ways a bad guy could either escape or be let out early.
               
              Back from certain death is requires the longest wait I think.

               

            • Soylent Green
              That s sounds really cool. You know, there was a time I didn t care much for random tables, but I ve grown to respect their chaotic power. To:
              Message 6 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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                That's sounds really cool. You know, there was a time I didn't care much for random tables, but I've grown to respect their chaotic power.


                To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                From: michaeltaylor1329@...
                Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 15:50:29 +0000
                Subject: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

                 
                > So the heroes finally manage to send Dr Sin behind bars. And everyone knows the Troll died in that cave in, right?
                >
                > So how long before the GM can legitimately use these NPCs again?
                >

                As a Player and a GM I've always felt it was pretty bogus to bring back 'pet' villians arbitrarily.
                 
                The Villians & Vigilantes RPG (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=81970) has a system for running the trials of the criminals (there are other systems and tables floating around as well).
                 
                A couple of dice rolls and you can *fairly* determine how soon the criminal can escape from jail or maybe get bounced on a techicallity.
                 
                This can also lead to more storie possiblities than just plunking the villian back in and give the chance for PCs to interact with laywers, cops, bail-bondsmen, etc.
                 
                Also, doing it randomly means the PCs won't quickly figure out which villians are your 'pets'.
                 
                JMO.
                 
                 
                 

              • Tim K.
                ... Heh. That s simply what writer s of comics do. I try and make sure my player s understand when we are playing comic book superheroes (not just superheroes)
                Message 7 of 27 , Oct 1, 2010
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                  > As a Player and a GM I've always felt it was pretty bogus to bring back 'pet' villians arbitrarily.


                  Heh. That's simply what writer's of comics do. I try and make sure my
                  player's understand when we are playing comic book superheroes (not just
                  superheroes) with all that implies. There is a difference in tone for me
                  between the two, a bit of intentional amorphousness to the nature of
                  reality in the former. It is where villains come back, and come back and
                  escape, and so on.

                  Even killing them isn't a good idea, because you might make them more
                  powerful next time around. (I love the knowing nod given in both the V&V
                  comic book, and Astro City to this happenstance occurring.)

                  Albeit I try and not overuse anything too much, it can be frustrating to
                  the players. That's true of any game and any GM decision that isn't
                  framed by rules. "Goblins again?" is much the same. You always have to
                  add a bit of original spin to GMing anything.
                • Michael Taylor
                  ... There is a Marvel Superheroes article called Nobody Lasts Forever - But Death rarely has the last word on superheroes by David Edward Martin
                  Message 8 of 27 , Oct 2, 2010
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                    > Which begs another question: Does "Presumed Dead" have a different expiration date than "Behind Bars"? If so, is it longer or shorter?
                    >

                    There is a Marvel Superheroes article called "Nobody Lasts Forever - But Death rarely has the last word on superheroes"
                    by David Edward Martin (http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/AFenTA-cjM-KKzwhtwGqPg7Q16JrNTXFZ7WPBuCJKI8j5ejSKvOEN2NxerC8njbVov32mUuNaMiVG5o2pR6Huw/MSH%20Marvel%20Phile%20and%20Articles/Articles%20-%20MSH%20Campaign%20Tips.pdf).

                    This deals with what happens when heroes die and is a pretty good way to deal with Villians as well.

                    Again, it's not so much a matter of 'when' that will frustrate players, as how.

                    If he comes back from death with 'just a scratch' it takes away alot of the suspension of disbelive.
                  • eric troup
                    But isn t the incompetency of the criminal justice system (although usually not stated as such in the internal consistency) a hallmark trope in the genre? I
                    Message 9 of 27 , Oct 3, 2010
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                      But isn't the incompetency of the criminal justice system (although usually not stated as such in the internal consistency) a hallmark trope in the genre?  I mean, look at Batman.  How many times can those villains break out of Arkham Asylum?  And it's never the police who bring them back.  I struggle with this a bit in my own games.  My father was a cop, so it's hard for me to make them completely incompetent, but if they were really doing their jobs, there wouldn't be much need for supers except for hired muscle to take down the superbads.  It's a tricky line to walk.


                      On 1 Oct 2010, at 02:37, Soylent Green wrote:

                       

                      >>I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
                      >> criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
                      >> it upon themselves.

                      And that's an excellent point.
                       


                      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                      From: silverlion@...
                      Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 19:22:48 -0500
                      Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] How soon is too soon?

                       


                      I give it enough time to build up paranoia about them coming back. That
                      depends a lot on the players and the game. Usually I throw in things
                      that might seem to be them, but aren't here and there. New villains, or
                      events with a similar--but not identical modus operandi.

                      I also like to give enough of a spread so that they don't think the
                      criminal justice system is a complete joke, forcing their hand to take
                      it upon themselves.




                    • Michael Taylor
                      ... Lots of GMs feel that way and I ve never understood it. They have a lot of benefits: a) They re unpredictable. There s nothing worse that recognizing a
                      Message 10 of 27 , Oct 3, 2010
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                        > That's sounds really cool. You know, there was a time I didn't care much for random tables, but I've grown to respect their chaotic power.
                        >

                        Lots of GMs feel that way and I've never understood it. They have a lot of benefits:

                        a) They're unpredictable. There's nothing worse that recognizing a GM's plot or NPCs from a recent movie or comic book!
                        b) They're fair. You don't look like you're picking on anyone in particular.
                        c) They're different. You tend to get player buy-in because you're pulling in something new.
                        d) They're inspiring. The great thing is that they can give you ideas you never would have thought of.
                      • Michael Taylor
                        ... I dont know any cops personally, but IMHO the incompetency of the criminal justice system is a gross understatement! It doesn t seem tricky at all. The
                        Message 11 of 27 , Oct 4, 2010
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                          > But isn't the incompetency of the criminal justice system (although usually not stated as such in the internal consistency) a hallmark trope in the genre? I mean, look at Batman. How many times can those villains break out of Arkham Asylum? And it's never the police who bring them back. I struggle with this a bit in my own games. My father was a cop, so it's hard for me to make them completely incompetent, but if they were really doing their jobs, there wouldn't be much need for supers except for hired muscle to take down the superbads. It's a tricky line to walk.
                          >

                          I dont know any cops personally, but IMHO the incompetency of the criminal justice system is a gross understatement!

                          It doesn't seem tricky at all. The justice system in the comics is a million times more capable than in the real world!

                          That's why its a fantasy! ;)
                        • emu2020@comcast.net
                          In the defense of law enforcement, I m sure that if they had a bunch of costumed heroers taking down a big percentage of the common thugs, they d be able to
                          Message 12 of 27 , Oct 4, 2010
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                            In the defense of law enforcement, I'm sure that if they had a bunch of costumed heroers taking down a big percentage of the common thugs, they'd be able to perform up to comic book standards.

                             

                            -Eli




                            I dont know any cops personally, but IMHO the incompetency of the criminal justice system is a gross understatement!

                            It doesn't seem tricky at all. The justice system in the comics is a million times more capable than in the real world!

                            That's why its a fantasy! ;)


                          • Michael Taylor
                            ... I think that s why comic superheroes are so compelling. The idea that smart, capable individuals can make more of a difference than bureaucratic
                            Message 13 of 27 , Oct 5, 2010
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                              > In the defense of law enforcement, I'm sure that if they had a bunch of costumed heroers taking down a big percentage of the common thugs, they'd be able to perform up to comic book standards.
                              >

                              I think that's why comic superheroes are so compelling.

                              The idea that smart, capable individuals can make more of a difference than bureaucratic organizations can.
                            • Soylent Green
                              Absolutely To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com From: michaeltaylor1329@hotmail.com Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 00:14:14 +0000 Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: How soon is too
                              Message 14 of 27 , Oct 6, 2010
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                                Absolutely


                                To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                                From: michaeltaylor1329@...
                                Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 00:14:14 +0000
                                Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: How soon is too soon?

                                 

                                > In the defense of law enforcement, I'm sure that if they had a bunch of costumed heroers taking down a big percentage of the common thugs, they'd be able to perform up to comic book standards.
                                >

                                I think that's why comic superheroes are so compelling.

                                The idea that smart, capable individuals can make more of a difference than bureaucratic organizations can.
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