[19:01] <+DoctorComics> Hi everyone. I am Jason Tondro (online as Doctor Comics), and I am the author of the recently-released Deluxe Edition of the SUPER VILLAIN HANDBOOK. Published by Fainting Goat Games, this is a sourcebook for superhero (and villain) gaming of any system, though this core book has stats for ICONS. We have expansions coming out for other systems…
[19:02] <+DoctorComics> … Savage Worlds is already out. This book is 220 pages, full color, with 47 villains, 8 heroes, support for 9 different kinds of super villain campaigns (from the World Without Heroes to the Prison Break or Heist Picture), and introduces a new setting based on public domain heroes, called the YOUniverse. It’s also only $20.
[19:03] <+DoctorComics> Done!
[19:03] <&Silverlion> Is that in PDF or Print price?
[19:03] <+DoctorComics> That is PRINT. You get the PDF for free when you buy the print.
[19:03] <+DoctorComics> So really, it’s a steal.
[19:03] <~Dan> Which is only appropriate!
[19:03] <+DoctorComics> Who says crime does not pay?!
[19:04] <+Viktyr> That’s as many as four tens. And that’s terrible.
[19:04] <+DoctorComics> I’m afraid I don’t understand, Viktyr.
[19:05] <+Lin_Chong> DoctorComics: (Link: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/108/061/lexluthorcakes.jpg?1318992465)http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/108/061/lexluthorcakes.jpg?1318992465
[19:06] <~Dan> So why do you have heroes in a villains book
[19:06] <~Dan> ?
[19:06] <+DoctorComics> Good question.
[19:06] <+Lin_Chong> DoctorComics: And what kinds of characters are these?
[19:07] <+DoctorComics> So, villain books are more useful than hero books. But everyone wants to write heroes anyway, because they heroes are fun to write and we get to tell you all about our characters. But I already did a FIELD GUIDE TO SUPER HEROES for Vigilance, which included 40 archetypes…
[19:08] <+DoctorComics> … and I really wanted to do a villain book, because every superhero GM needs more bad guys. This book, like the Field Guide, focuses on archetypes: the Supremacist, the Villain With All Your Powers, the Foreigner, and so on. And I made up a villain for each of these archetypes, and wrote about 1,000 words for each about the stories that archetype is used…
[19:09] <+DoctorComics> … to tell. But some of those archetypes — the Evil Twin, the Nemesis, the Villain With All Your Powers, and so on — they don’t make a lot of sense without heroes. I mean, if you have an Evil Twin villain, you kind of need to see the Good Twin to get how the Evil Twin is working. So we created a Kickstarter stretch goal for these heroes, which I called …
[19:10] <+DoctorComics> the Heroes of the YOUniverse, and there are 8 of them. Like many of the villains, some are based on public domain characters. So we have the Black Fury, and Amazing Woman, and so on.
[19:10] <+DoctorComics> And these heroes are necessary so that certain villain archetypes in the game make sense.
[19:10] <~Dan> Black Fury = Black Terror?
[19:12] <+DoctorComics> No, Black Terror is in the game. He is our example of the Vigilante archetype, and Dyonisia Jones did an amazing take on him. But when I say the Black Fury, I am talking about the character created by Tarpe Mills. Black Fury, who became Miss Fury after a dude stole her suit and she needed to differentiate herself, was the first female superhero created…
[19:12] <+DoctorComics> … by a woman.
[19:12] <+DoctorComics> IDW did a great two-volume collection of her stories and it’s amazing.
[19:13] <+Lin_Chong> Black Terror’s pretty great.
[19:13] <+DoctorComics> Black Terror is great. Can I post photos here? I can show you our version.
[19:13] <~Dan> Oh dear.
[19:14] <+DoctorComics> Well, that didn’t work.
[19:14] <~Dan> You can post URLs.
[19:15] <+DoctorComics> (Link: http://miburl.com/AUJMpW)http://miburl.com/AUJMpW
[19:15] <+DoctorComics> I don’t know if you’ll be able to see that. It’s on our FB page.
[19:15] <+DoctorComics> Anyway, there was a question about “what kind of characters are these?”
[19:15] <~Dan> Didn’t work, DoctorComics.
[19:16] <+DoctorComics> Sorry about that. There are 44 archetypes who get full treatment in this book. We started out with 40, but got 4 more as KS stretch goals.
[19:16] <+DoctorComics> And they run the gamut of power level and style. From the Blue Collar Villain, who is just here to punch the clock and get paid, to the Cosmic Menace or the Imp, who is here to play cosmic practical jokes on the heroes till they learn something.
[19:18] <+DoctorComics> Some, like the Black Terror, come from the public domain characters of the Golden Age. Others are original to the book. And some are public domain from the Victorian era. For example, we have Dracula, as our example of the Supernatural Horror.
[19:18] <~Dan> Always a classic.
[19:18] <+Lin_Chong> Every superhero should fight Dracula.
[19:19] <+Lin_Chong> They can and they should.
[19:19] <+DoctorComics> It was tough to know where to go with Dracula. Finally, after talking about it with the artist, we decided to go very classic. A Dracula who is not ashamed of being Dracula. Who is like, yeah, I’m Dracula, and you all cannot stop talking about me.
[19:19] <+Jezibel> There was a The Batman movie where that happened. Dracula knew kung-fu, because this is The Batman.
[19:20] <~Dan> What power set did you give “your” Dracula? Did you go full Lugosi?
[19:21] <+DoctorComics> Yeah, exactly. I mean, when the most popular superhero in America (which is Batman, whether you love him or hate him) is inspired by Dracula, and walking dead and vampires are among the most popular shows in America, and we have invisible people and men with giant machines they ride around in, and people who light on fire and pretend to be spiders…
[19:21] <+DoctorComics> … we owe a lot to the Victorian era when it comes to superheroes/.
[19:22] <+DoctorComics> For powers, I kind of went back to the most influential version of Dracula in comics, which was Marvel’s TOMB OF DRACULA back in the ’70s after the comics code was softened. He has basically the traditional vampire powers and such, but he’s pretty juiced up. He has to be, because everyone knows his weaknesses.
[19:22] <+Lin_Chong> I approve.
[19:22] <~Dan> Indeed!
[19:22] <+DoctorComics> Fighting a vampire is a weird thing in a superhero game. In a horror story, its often important that the heroes are powerless. That makes the story more scary. But superhero stories are ABOUT power.
[19:22] <+Lin_Chong> DoctorComics: What is the Foreigner like?
[19:23] <+DoctorComics> Great question. The foreigner has a huge challenge.
[19:23] <~Dan> (Howdy, JamesGillen!)
[19:23] <+JamesGillen> Ey
[19:24] <+DoctorComics> When I started writing up the Foreigner, I started with a sidebar in which I discussed all the awful, racist and bigoted, stereotypical ways foreigners have been portrayed in comics. Examples of the Yellow Claw, who is, you know, literally yellow, and an Asian “yellow peril.”
[19:24] <+DoctorComics> Or the way African villains almost always wore bandoliers over bare chests, had machetes, and machine guns. I mean, this was not sophisticated or subtle stuff.,
[19:25] <&Silverlion> No Sadly
[19:25] <+DoctorComics> So when you do a Foreigner villain in the 21st century, you’re kind of faced with a real challenge: are you going to make him or her better, more nuanced, and less of a stereotype than these early Marvel or DC villains?
[19:26] <+DoctorComics> So we have a lot of villains from other countries in the book — like Muezzin, who is a Saudi with sonic voice powers, kind of like Banshee, and he has been on both sides of the various wars in the MidEast, fighting for his country.
[19:26] <+DoctorComics> And he’s a pretty complex personality. But we also have a Nazi villain, V (she has a German name, but it is long!), who is more stereotypical, because players like to punch Nazis in the face.
[19:27] <+DoctorComics> Or my cross between Ultron and Osama bin Laden: C.A.L.I.P.H.-8, a fanatical terrorist robot.
[19:27] <+Lin_Chong> Modern Nazis have never been more relevant.
[19:28] <+JamesGillen> Indeed
[19:28] <+DoctorComics> Yes, that’s right, and modern neonazi movements get mentioned in V’s writeup.
[19:29] <+DoctorComics> For the actual “Foreigner” archetype, I used Muezzin, because while superhero comics have gotten better at making three-dimensional Russians, Asians, and central Africans, they’re still pretty terrible at making Middle Eastern villains who aren’t bomb throwing terrorists.
[19:29] <~Dan> Given the scale cap in ICONS, how do you handle the cosmic villain?
[19:29] <+DoctorComics> Right, right.
[19:29] <+DoctorComics> This has been an evolving answer; I’m glad you asked it again. You may not remember, but when the Basic edition of this book came out last year, you asked me the same thing.
[19:29] <+DoctorComics> Back then, I had to invent my own cosmic rules. Which I did. And they were okay.
[19:30] <~Dan> I am nothing if not consistent. 🙂
[19:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, Rogue!)
[19:30] <+Rogue> Hey Dan
[19:30] <~Dan> (Rogue: Q&A in progress. Topic: (Link: https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0&)https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0& )
[19:31] <+DoctorComics> But in the time since then, Steve Kenson published ICONS A-Z. And in that book, C is for Cosmic. So Steve gave us official rules for characters who go “off the scale.” Which is good, because I used those rules for characters like Maw, the Omnivoracious, who is a sun-eating shark the size of a nebula.
[19:31] <+DoctorComics> Or Coyote, our Imp character.
[19:31] <~Dan> How do those rules work?
[19:33] <+DoctorComics> Well, they’re pretty simple really. Steve created three new ranks and gave them numbers of 12, 15, and 20. When you’re rolling in Icons, the difference between a 12 and a 15 or a 15 and a 20 is immense.
[19:33] <+DoctorComics> And there’s a lot of advice in A-Z about using these. Each “letter” got 6 pages.
[19:33] <+DoctorComics> And Steve was very gracious to communicate to me what was coming out in A-Z so I could incorporate it into the Handbook
[19:34] <~Dan> That was cool of him.
[19:34] <+DoctorComics> Now, ask the same question about the Savage Worlds version!
[19:34] <~Dan> Okay… How do you handle cosmic threats in the Savage Worlds version? 🙂
[19:34] <+DoctorComics> YOU DON’T.
[19:34] <+DoctorComics> Kidding, but not kidding.
[19:35] <+DoctorComics> Savage Worlds superheroes is very much geared to Pulp level.
[19:35] <~Dan> (Howdy, GKG_Alan!)
[19:35] <+JamesGillen> I was gonna say, SW isn’t really something I’d use for supers. I’m not even sure it works for Rifts.
[19:35] <+DoctorComics> Characters are very limited in their points and powers. Even at the highest power level in Savage gaming, so-called Cosmic, your hero can’t attack as hard as, say, a tank,.
[19:35] <+DoctorComics> I’ll use a specific example: Stardust the Super-Wizard.
[19:35] <+JamesGillen> oh yeah
[19:36] <+DoctorComics> Stardust is a well known public domain character. He’s in our book as an example of the Power Corrupted archetype.
[19:36] <+DoctorComics> In one of his stories, Stardust moved the planet Mars by pointing at it.
[19:36] <+DoctorComics> Now, in Icons, this is now easy. Move Object 15. Done.
[19:36] <&GKG_Alan> (hey)
[19:36] <+DoctorComics> But there’s no way, even with special rules and such in Savage Worlds, that you can give any single character anything near that much power.
[19:37] <+DoctorComics> So, for the Savage Worlds version — which I wrote, because I wanted to create a template for all the other conversion guides, done by different authors — all I could do was make a Stardust with as much power as 75 points would allow him.
[19:37] <+DoctorComics> I made the “Earth-Savage” version of Stardust.
[19:37] <+DoctorComics> Who is tough, for a Savage Worlds character.
[19:38] <+DoctorComics> But it was important to support Savage Worlds, because of the Lesser Evil setting.
[19:38] <+DoctorComics> I don’t know if you know Lesser Evil, but it’s one of SW’s more successful settings. In it, invading aliens kill all the superheroes, and villains have to save the world.
[19:39] <+DoctorComics> It’s a lot of fun, and has many fans, and I wanted to support it.
[19:39] * ~Dan nods
[19:39] <~Dan> Isn’t it Necessary Evil?
[19:39] <+DoctorComics> Yes, yes, thank you.
[19:39] * ~Dan nods
[19:40] <&Silverlion> Nece…
[19:40] <&Silverlion> Dan got it.
[19:40] <+DoctorComics> And Clint Black was one of our Kickstart supporters, which was very nice of him, and it’s been nice to see the Savage version get out there to fans
[19:40] <~Dan> Out of curiosity, why can’t Savage Worlds handle high-powered stuff?
[19:41] <+DoctorComics> Well, there are many reasons.
[19:42] <+DoctorComics> But the most important one is design. I mean, it’s not intended to cover that stuff. Savage Worlds, it’s home plate is gritty pulp action. And I think the designers of the Savage supers stuff wisely realized that this is what Savage players expect, and what they like. And trying to make very high powered cosmic stuff in that ruleset is…
[19:42] <+DoctorComics> … a bit of a bait and switch. Players would get the supers rules expecting Batman (which it does GREAT) or Detective Comics, and they’d get the Authority or whatever, and they’d be disappointed.
[19:43] <+DoctorComics> Not because Authority is bad, but because it’s not what they expected.
[19:43] <+DoctorComics> Now, this being said, Savage Worlds does have 5 levels of superhero action, and the higher ones are “Four Color,” “Heavy Hitters” and “Cosmic.” And you can totally make many well-known heroes in Savage Worlds.
[19:43] <+DoctorComics> A character like Spider-Man, for example, is easy to make in that game.
[19:44] <+DoctorComics> But trying to make something more like Green Lantern becomes a lesson in compromises. You just can’t make a true Green Lantern type in that game. You have to lower your expectations, and your hero will be more human in scale.
[19:45] <+DoctorComics> There are some other mechanical implications of the supers rules. But I don’t want to get too into the weeds if I’m going to lose the audience.
[19:46] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[19:46] <~Dan> Sorry for the digression there.
[19:46] <+DoctorComics> No, it’s cool. I’m happy to talk game mechanics!
[19:46] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:46] <+DoctorComics> And I worked hard on the Savage stuff, so am happy to explain some of it./
[19:47] <+JamesGillen> ok
[19:48] <~Dan> So what is the “Deluxe” aspect of the book?
[19:48] <+DoctorComics> Sure.
[19:49] <+DoctorComics> So, the original Handbook was discussions of 40 archetypes. It had some stat blocks, but they weren’t fully developed characters. They were just minimal Icons stats. The real bulk of the book was 45,000 words on these 40 archetypes: how does this kind of villain work in a story? When you’re telling an Evil Twin story, what does that mean? How does it play out
[19:50] <+DoctorComics> Answer: the Evil Twin is about showing that it’s not the powers that make a hero the hero. When Batman defeats Owlman, it shows that he’s a hero not because he has all these gimmicks and all this training — which Owlman also has — but because of the choices he’s made.
[19:51] <+DoctorComics> And that was the main book. And we had the text for that done before the Kickstart. And we used the KS money to fund the real book, the book we always wanted to make, the Deluxe book.
[19:52] <+DoctorComics> Which is MORE than twice as big. Which has 55 characters in it, all fully developed with background and plot hooks and stuff. And which is full color with awesome art by Dyonisia Jones and Jacob Blackmon and Joe Singleton and Joseph Arnold.
[19:52] <+DoctorComics> We also added the Villain Gaming chapter. this was a KS stretch goal.
[19:52] <+DoctorComics> We heard a lot of fans saying, “We want to run villain campaigns. Are you going to support that?”
[19:52] <+DoctorComics> Now, my initial desire, I confess, was to say no, we are not.
[19:52] <+Tormenta> ls
[19:52] <~Dan> No, is not.
[19:53] <+DoctorComics> I’m kind of an old school gamer, and I’m not into games in which the PCs are fighting each other.
[19:53] <+DoctorComics> But the more I listened, and the more I read, I realized that there are many types of super villain gaming.
[19:53] <+DoctorComics> So I took fan input, and we hashed out some types of games, and I came up with 9 models of super villain RPG you could play and run.
[19:54] <+DoctorComics> Some of them are more my style than others, but they’re all pretty interesting.
[19:54] <+JamesGillen> Nice
[19:54] <+DoctorComics> They include the Revenge Squad — where you are a gang of villains all hunting down the one hero who has defeated all of you.
[19:55] <+DoctorComics> Or the Heist Picture. I even gave an example thing to steal. Did you know the US Petroleum reserve is made up of 700 million barrels of oil, 1,000 meters beneath the surface of the ocean?
[19:55] <+DoctorComics> Now stealing that: that is bragging rights.
[19:56] <+DoctorComics> But anyway, yes, a lot was added to the Deluxe edition.
[19:56] <+DoctorComics> In fact, more was added than was there to start with.,
[19:57] <~Dan> I would think playing a villains game would be particularly relevant with the release of Suicide Squad.
[19:57] <+DoctorComics> Right, right. Ostrander’s original Suicide Squad comic basically showed everyone how it could be done.
[19:58] <~Dan> Do you have a Thunderbolts option as well?
[19:58] <+DoctorComics> You have a bunch of villains who would normally never work together. But you force them too, with shock collars or whatever, and you put a good guy in charge of them, and you do the Dirty Dozen with them.
[19:58] <+DoctorComics> Yes! We do! It is called the Bait and Switch, because there’s actually two ways to do it:
[19:58] <~Dan> Villains pretending to be heroes and deciding they like being heroes?
[19:59] <+DoctorComics> You can do villains who masquerade as heroes, and who slowly come to see the rewards of being heroes, and wonder if they picked the wrong side..
[20:00] <+DoctorComics> Or you can do heroes who have to pretend to be villains (kind of a team version of the Hero in Disguise/Green Hornet archetype) and who, in the process, come to see the lure of being villains, and wonder if they picked the wrong side.
[20:00] <~Dan> (Howdy, ChadDubya!)
[20:00] <+ChadDubya> Hey Dan
[20:00] <+DoctorComics> So yes, we totally have that.
[20:01] <~Dan> Very cool.
[20:01] <+DoctorComics> We also have an Evil Genius School.
[20:01] <+JamesGillen> That’s the first thing I’d do if I was a hero, wonder if I picked the right side.
[20:01] <~Dan> What is the Evil Genius School?
[20:01] <+DoctorComics> Where the children of super villains go, to learn to use their powers or — if they have no powers — get enrolled in the Henchman program.
[20:01] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:02] <+DoctorComics> Ours is called the PITT, which is the Peril Institute for Troubled Teens. And it is run by Professor — now Principle Peril.
[20:02] <+DoctorComics> Basically a Xavier’s school for super villain kids.
[20:02] <~Dan> Awesome name. 🙂
[20:02] <+DoctorComics> Thanks. I am too proud of it.
[20:02] <~Dan> Probably a place where you really don’t want to get sent to the office.
[20:02] <+DoctorComics> The Deans are scary, yes!
[20:02] <+DoctorComics> Plus, its on the moon. So yeah.
[20:03] <+JamesGillen> ah
[20:04] <~Dan> How hard did you have to work at making the villains campaigns tonally consistent with ICONS? Or was that even a concern?
[20:04] <+DoctorComics> So while a lot of these super villain games are not going to appeal to players who don’t want to play anything dark & gritty — and boy do I hear you — it is possible to play villains in a way that’s in keeping with some of the best qualities of RPGs.
[20:04] <+DoctorComics> Oh, Icons tone, sure.
[20:05] <+DoctorComics> Well, I’ll be honest — and I hate it when people say this — but I didn’t really worry about that. I mean, the tone Icons has is, in many ways, kind of reinforced by Dan’s art. Dan illustrates everything in the line, and he has this very clean, stripped down, kind of animated style.
[20:05] <+DoctorComics> And this reinforces the idea that Icons is basically for simple, kid-safe, stories.
[20:05] <+JamesGillen> It seems very Bruce TImm like.
[20:05] <+DoctorComics> I’m afraid I’m not especially interested in those kinds of stories, frankly.
[20:06] <+DoctorComics> So, I just focused on making a setting which was interesting and contemporary to our real world concerns and ideas. So, for example, my version of Stardust the Super Wizard is transgender. Stardust has a male and female form and kind of switches between them.
[20:06] <+Geek2theRight> Today was a busy day, but I am so ready for Dragon Con tomorrow!
[20:07] <~Dan> (Q&A in progress, Geek2theRight. 🙂 )
[20:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, CapnTylor!)
[20:07] <+DoctorComics> And contemporary issues like Middle-east terrorism, and the war in Iraq, get a lot of treatment.
[20:07] <+CapnTylor> hi
[20:07] <+DoctorComics> One of our heroes, the Vet, is disabled. He lost both legs and his hearing to a nuclear landmine in Afghanistan.
[20:07] <+Geek2theRight> (Sorry, didn’t see the message in time. It won’t happen again tonight.)
[20:08] <+DoctorComics> So, I guess I was less worried about trying to fit whatever tone Icons may or may not have.
[20:09] <+DoctorComics> Not to say there aren’t some silly characters in here. Because I wanted to cover all the bases.
[20:09] <~Dan> How did he just lose his legs and hearing to a nuclear landmine? O.o
[20:09] <+DoctorComics> So we have our Theme Villain, the Well-Read Baron, who wears a Richtoffen outfit with a triplane jetpack on his back and twin .50s mounted over his shoulders, and he only performs book-related crimes.
[20:10] * ~Dan laughs
[20:10] <+DoctorComics> He is superhuman. Superman can take a nuke and shrug it off in ten minutes. This guy lost his legs.
[20:10] * +CapnTylor lol
[20:10] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha. Didn’t realize that he was already a super when that happened. Makes sense.
[20:10] <+CapnTylor> lol @ Well-Read Baron…not legless dude. That’s awful.
[20:11] <+DoctorComics> Yes, thank you. Well-Read Baron was surprisingly successful. Our artist on him loved him.
[20:11] <+DoctorComics> She said she would totally date him or something. It was hilarious.
[20:12] <+DoctorComics> Don’t worry, Capn. We knew you were not laughing at the guy who lost his legs.
[20:13] <+Geek2theRight> Is Well-Read Baron’s favorite book “To Serve Mankind?”
[20:13] <+JamesGillen> heh
[20:13] <+DoctorComics> It’s a cookbook.
[20:14] <+Geek2theRight> Yes, yes it is.
[20:14] <&GKG_Alan> (link to the game tonight?)
[20:14] <~Dan> How dark do you get in the book? Is there a super serial killer, for example?
[20:14] <+DoctorComics> Yes, in fact, there is.
[20:14] <~Dan> ( (Link: https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0&)https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0& )
[20:14] <~Dan> What’s his (or her) story?
[20:15] <+DoctorComics> Joe Singleton drew a bad guy for me called The Puzzler. And for a long time, I was unsure what to do with this guy. Because he looked a lot like the Joker, and I didn’t want to do a Joker riff, but Joe had drawn him for the Psychopath archetype.
[20:15] <+DoctorComics> Come to think of it, there are a couple of serial killers. We also have Rakshasa, who is a guy who can steal the skin of other people. But let’s stick with Puzzler story for now.
[20:16] <+DoctorComics> I started writing the Puzzler’s background: 1939, killing judges and the mayor and stuff, whatever… silver age revival of the character… and I realized that if the Puzzler kept aging, he would be just way too old by now.
[20:17] <+DoctorComics> But we had all these Puzzlers, fighting different people. Night Bird, the Woman in Red, and so on, over the years.
[20:17] <+DoctorComics> And I realized that every time the Puzzler appears, (he performs crimes that involve puzzle pieces, assembling things into a single large thing) it’s a different Puzzler. That was the hook.
[20:18] <+DoctorComics> No one knows how the Puzzler got started. But now, each time the Puzzler appears, it’s a different person in the Puzzler identity. And maybe he burns buildings which spell out a message. Or maybe he kills people who were all involved in some awful event in the mysterious past, or whatever.
[20:19] <+DoctorComics> “Puzzles” is such a wonderful theme, because you can do almost anything. Leave pieces behind at each crime which eventually get assembled into a message, or a bomb.
[20:19] <+DoctorComics> Anyway, I call him the Crowdsourcer of Crime.
[20:19] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[20:19] <+DoctorComics> It was a good day.
[20:20] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest55!)
[20:20] <+DoctorComics> But yes, to answer your question, plenty of dark, serious, gritty bad guys.
[20:21] <~Dan> Do you introduce any new powers?
[20:21] <+DoctorComics> Let me think/
[20:22] <~Dan> (Ah, there you are, Kamandi! 🙂 )
[20:22] <+Kamandi> Hello, hello!
[20:23] <+DoctorComics> Icons added the Great Power sourcebook, and it’s been revised. And this covers… I think I can say this… it covers pretty much everything I needed to do. I’ve never been a believer in the idea that the key to a cool hero or villain is a cool new power. I guess I am more interested in their psychology. The villain needs to have a cool schtick and …
[20:24] <+DoctorComics> … a cool move or two, so the heroes have something interesting thrown at them. But I could do all of that with the very broad power system of Icons, and even Savage Worlds. That game has a much smaller list of powers, but there wasn’t anything I needed which was not in there.
[20:24] <+DoctorComics> Now, there might be one exception to that.
[20:25] <+DoctorComics> The Villain With All Your Powers. The VWAYP. Ours is named Mash-up. The Super-Adaptoid, Amazo, the Super-Skrull, these characters are examples of the archetype.
[20:25] <+DoctorComics> The VWAYP can get really, really, powerful. It’s kind of crazy. He gets all the powers of everyone on the hero team. That’s his schtick.
[20:25] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, RogueSuzy!)
[20:25] <+DoctorComics> So we’ve got 8 heroes, and Mash-Up gets all their powers. And that’s just insane.
[20:26] <+RogueSuzy> Hi y’all. Don’t mund me…
[20:26] <+DoctorComics> I can do it in Icons. There’s no limit to the number of powers a character can have in Icons.
[20:26] <+DoctorComics> But in Savage, there was just no way. That’s the only character I had to break the rules for.
[20:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Drew!)
[20:26] <+DoctorComics> I had to say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t do a low–powered version of this guy. Because he, by definition, has all the powers of these 8 heroes. So this is what that looks like.”
[20:27] <+DoctorComics> Otherwise, I stuck to the rules.
[20:28] <+DoctorComics> Oh, one last thing. Can I say one last thing?
[20:28] <~Dan> Sure!
[20:29] <+DoctorComics> So I mentioned the public domain aspect: we use a lot of characters that come from public domain. But we also made ALL THE REST of the characters public domain. Their art and their backgrounds.
[20:29] <+DoctorComics> So if anyone out there wants to use any of these characters in their own projects, they can, no permissions required and no license.
[20:29] <~Dan> That was cool of you. 🙂
[20:30] <+DoctorComics> Mike Lafferty was very gracious and did not laugh in my face when I asked him if I could do this.
[20:30] <+Kamandi> Giving back to the community
[20:30] <+DoctorComics> He shrugged and said, “Sure.”
[20:30] <+DoctorComics> I got tired of designing settings for company A, leaving, and then never being able to use those characters and setting again.
[20:31] <+JamesGillen> I would be too.
[20:31] <+DoctorComics> And yes, Kamandi, it would be awesome if someone actually found something useful in this book to use on their own work. But also, I can keep writing YOUniverse stories forever. Which is a nice feeling.
[20:31] <+DoctorComics> We have an 8-page comic in the back of the Deluxe Handbook too.
[20:31] <~Dan> Nice touch.
[20:32] <+DoctorComics> “The Mercury Mystery” has art by Joe Singleton, it stars the Mighty Isis and the villain WMD.
[20:32] <+DoctorComics> Again, I owe it to Mike, who let me spend the money to put that in the book,
[20:32] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest47!)
[20:32] <+DoctorComics> For the record, Mike Lafferty: best publisher ever.
[20:33] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:33] <+DoctorComics> Well, we have been going an hour and a half. I should probably take a break.
[20:34] <~Dan> Fair enough, DoctorComics!
[20:34] <+DoctorComics> Can we get that link to the book again?
[20:34] <~Dan> Sure!
[20:34] <~Dan> (Link: https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0&)https://www.rpgnow.com/product/181639/ICONSThe-Super-Villain-Handbook-Deluxe-Edition?term=super%20villain%20&test_epoch=0&
[20:34] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us this evening!
[20:35] <+DoctorComics> Brilliant, thank you. And if you are a Savage Worlds player, we have a bundle for that.
[20:35] <+DoctorComics> The SUPERS, M&M, and BASH editions are in process.
[20:35] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[20:35] <+DoctorComics> Thanks Dan! Everyone!
[20:35] <~Dan> As always, if anyone is feeling generous, my tip jar is here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[20:35] <+Kamandi> Thanks
[20:35] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:35] <+DoctorComics> Special shout out to JamesGillen, one of our super fans.
[20:35] <~Dan> And if you’ll give me just a moment, DoctorComics, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
[20:36] <+DoctorComics> Awesome.