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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.
       
       
       
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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