Thursday, May 18, 2017


Superhero role-playing games provide some excellent mental exercise for super-hero fans. Not only given the opportunity to breathe life into their own superheroic and supervillainous creations, they gain the valuable experience of having the midwife the character through the interference, involvement and obstruction of other players. A lot of good ideas get tested by fire, that way. Mostly, though, in my experience? Everyone played some version of Wolverine.

Still, a number of those old super-hero games ended up having an impact on the consciousness of its players which was comparable to the comics they were also reading. It's almost absurd that the names "Foxbat" and "Marutukku" are as familiar to some comics readers as admittedly low-ranking obscurities like, say, The Texas Twister or Zeep the Living Sponge. Maybe higher than that. Wjatever the case, it's impressive for characters who never appeared in any medium except role-playing game sourcebooks.

(I say this knowing that both Villains & Vigilantes and Champions had comics of their own, but I don't think I'm too wrong in suggesting that the majority of folks who read those books only did so because they were fans of the games)

But time has buried many of these old characters. Like the sad toys in Pixar's Toy Story, they face nothing but the future of laying crammed on top of one another in a box in a dusty attic, masturbating each other off while waiting to be reclaimed or sold at a garage sale. You guys saw the version of Toy Story with all the mutual masturbation, didn't you? Haha, joke's on you, there isn't a version like that -- I just, one time, brought a bunch of doll hands and cocktail pickles to the theater and made it look that way for everyone sitting behind me. I made at least two girls cry.

Whatever the case, there are some primo villains floating around out there, going around unused, such as these cherry-picked selections from Fantasy Games Unlimited's Villains and Vigilantes sourcebook Most Wanted, Vol 3 (featuring art from a young Pat Zircher).

Made for knock-knock jokes...
Armada is one of those super-villains who manages to pick up an absurd amount of thematically-appropriate gear over a course of a multitude of adventures, and still it doesn't do him much good in the long run. Sixteen year-old Terry Lynn is a scuba driver who uncovers a mysterious ampule of myrrh inside a Spanish galleon, and which fucks him up immensely when he grabs a snootful of it. Incapable of walking but incredibly strong, Lynn decides to build himself an exo-skeleton out of the wood from a sunken Spanish galleon. The small cannons on his arms? He found those on a beach.

Armada's powers manifest themselves best in the water, in which -- owing to the whiskey barrel in which he now lives, eats, drinks, poops and sleeps -- he gently floats, firing buckshot from his arm cannons at people he doesn't like. Good lord, I think the man thinks he's a boat. This is a case for study

This is bullshit.
Well, there had to be one culture-appropriating goon at this years Coachella, and here he is: The Rocker! Musician Thom Perkins is another villain who finds his identity inside a fucking dumpster, retrieving a Satanic guitar from the garbage. Messing around with the guitar gives him tremendous powers including, according to the source document, the ability to cause "vibratory death." Ladies.

The Indian costume just has zeee-ro explanation, except that he's apparently in the most confrontational Village People tribute bands known to man. This is in contrast to his past, in regards to which he is described in the text as having once been a "plain and honest heavy metaller."  Cornerstones of society, those plain and honest heavy metallers.

Nospheratua, why don't you come to your senses?

Once a poor old role-playing gamer (you'll find a disproportionate number of pre-rolled player characters in these games were avid fans of comics, sci-fi, fantasy and, unsurprisingly, role-playing games), Chris Bontham is transported to another world which transforms him into a knockoff vampire whose name is legally distinct from Nosferatu. This guy's got the "PH" and everything, including an extra "u" somewhere.

It's important to mention that Nopsheratua isn't a vampire, per se, but is vampire-like, in the same way that some restaurants will ask you "Is Diet Pepsi okay?" when they absolutely know that it is not, thank you.

And lastly...

King. He is a legit shark. With his own entry in a book of super-villains. Why not also a bear?


Johnie Long Torso said...

Ooh,amphibious bearsharks. Someone at Sci-Fi needs to greenlight that movie.

neofishboy said...

Sharkbear VS. Mecha-Scorptopus

Bram said...

Wow. Those first two are ahh-maaay-zing. Don't think we ever had any V&V beyond the core rulebook.

When you need to see those Champions suppliements, tho, HMU.

Michael Fontaine said...

I loved some of those villains. For "King", I wrote several RPG modules where King schemed to increase his intelligence and power. Awesome stuff!

Jonathan Morris said...

That ... is a good plot idea.

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