Hey /tg/ maybe you can help me out. I'm working on a superhero campaign for some players in the very early planning stages. The villain, or one of the main ones, is an idea I thought was interesting based on the old Marvel Sleepwalker character.
The basic idea is this villain is your average everyday salaryman office worker guy. But every night when he sleeps, he entirely unknowingly, projects his id complete with his repressed feelings of inferiority, anger, and need to be in control in the form of a Supervillain who becomes the embodiment of his worst emotions and qualities.
I'm still in the early planning stages so I'm debating on whether or not to play this villain up as a comically large ham, or make him genuinely sinister, or some combination of the two. The idea is that he would be a reoccurring villain who seems to be impossible to stop, as his nature is at first unknown and seems to defy logic - if killed, his body vanishes soon after. If locked up, he vanishes at the start of the day, as the salaryman stops dreaming. I intend to confuse players, dropping hints he might be a vampire or something at first.
What I need - besides a suitable name and schemes for this villain - is a powerset and a way for the PCs to eventually discover his true nature, and to confront and defeat him. I see 3 possible victory scenatios: 1. Kill the innocent and unwitting civilian. Edgy but efficient. 2. Convince the civilian of what is going on and get him into therapy to sort out his issues while simultaneously foiling the dream villains plans and attempts to stop the heroes, or 3. Psychically project into the civilians mind and do battle with his inner demons right there on their home turf, ending them semi perminantly.
Ideas? Thoughts? Random superhero RP stuff?
>I'm still in the early planning stages so I'm debating on whether or not to play this villain up as a comically large ham, or make him genuinely sinister, or some combination of the two.
Depends on the overall tone of your game and how much of a threat you want to make him. Beyond that, it would be interesting if the answer to stopping this threat is to tell some dude to get therapy. It would be more dramatic to have the party psychic(s) take the rest of the party into this guy's mind for the big finale.
That's one possibility though it depends on one of my players choosing to be an empath. I suppose an NPC could fill the valuable CLUE slot if they can't.
As for tone, I'm hoping for a mix of more modern 'sensible superheroics' and old school pluck. More Marvel Cinematic than DC Cinematic or silver age.
Which reminds me I need an explanation for powers
Options for names:
(Insert Title Here) Nightmare, or just Nightmare. Mister Midnight, The Darkener, Darksider, Mr Nightside, all of these give hints to his origin without exposing it, and could be easy red herrings with his nocturnal nature.
Schemewise, as the repressed id of the salaryman, he should of course act on the salaryman's urges. Kidnap the hot coworker/actress/barista he saw that day. Murder the jackass on the next floor, or the mailroom guy. Tear down the whole company, so he doesn't have to go to work again. Tear down the competition, so his shares in the company become lucrative enough to retire. Pizza guy screws up his order, the chain gets attacked.
He should be inconsistent and contradictory, because the guy's subconscious changes what it cares about. It even allows you to have episodes where he's an anti-hero. Dude watches Blackfish, Doctor Nightmare tries to destroy Seaworld.
The powerset: I would make him an entity of "raw psychic energy". That justifies a lot of hand-wavy powers based on a night-to-night thing. ("He was super strong last week, but now he shoots energy blasts, what the hell?")
I would make the discovery tied to location, motive, and connections. Eventually, it's going to be noticed by any super sleuths in the party that Doctor Nightmare's attacks focus on two things: either widespread events with publicity, or small things centered around a specific region/company. That draws them closer, and maybe they find out that the real guy's been drawn in for questioning a time or two, but was always asleep during the attacks.
If you want to make it more obvious, have the Id-persona start becoming more powerful/prevalent. Dude takes a cat-nap at work, Boom, sudden day-time appearance. Heck, it'd be funny to have a fight near the dude's apartment result in him waking up, thus vanishing the villain.
I'd keep his character somewhat fluid, in keeping with contradictory subconscious, but here's a more important question:
I like these ideas. I think I'll call him Dr. Nightmare, because everything is better with a degree, and go a bit large ham with him - after all, this is the guys mind acting out, making him the big show.
I'll start with small crimes, like breaking and entering to steal all the staplers or something, and work up to major things.
Sorry, ran out of space.
Does he know?
Is the id-persona aware that he's a reflection of the other guy? Because that will change his reactions. Or maybe he grows to discover his own nature after a confrontation with the players.
"What's so important about beating up this guy?"
"HE MUST PAY FOR THE MISERY HE'S CAUSED!"
"I- ...I don't... HE HAS...Shamed people? Fed on their misery, taken joy from their TOIL!"
"...I don't know. Me?"
Then it can be a thing where Doctor Nightmare tries to replace/fuse with his conscious half, or tried to put him in a permanent coma.
Maybe have the salaryman slowly begin to realize it on his own? Have him be an npc somewhat close to a player, and as he begins to have bad dreams he starts putting things together. Maybe the party notices his increasingly messed up mental health or he goes to one of them? If there isn't a psychic available or if that is too easy/boring.
Alternatively, salaryman goes into therapy on his own, perhaps because his nightmares are too much. The Id-villain kills or whatever the therapist. This continues from therapist to therapist as clues until the party figures it out.
Just sort of handwave the explanations away, just like marvel does in it's cinematic universe. Weird science and junk. If that's the tone, I'd make the Id-villain somewhat dark and sinister, but still witty and not overly edgy. Give him a sense of humor.
The idea is he'll eventually become aware of his mortal half and try to eliminate him or take control in some way, yeah.
My dick liked slutfire but man the characterization in that comic was aweful. A somewhat sexier version if the TT Starfire would be best
Alien tourist, nice but mildly oblivious, very sexually liberated. that was my ooc donut steal interpretation of her when I played her in an RPG. I even had a whole background for her species and explanations for her powers..
Well if you look back at Starfire lore, she got her powers when she was experimented on by these spoopy reptile aliens known as the Psions, who were banished to that part of space by the guardians for being sociopathic edgelords (males are incapable of feeling empathy and enslave the females usually)
So anyway, I rewrote my lore that the Tamarans were actually an artificially created race, made by the Psions who were experimenting with energy containment and its relation to emotional states (trying to crack Green Lantern technology). Made from a mix of genetic samples including kryptonian, the Tamarans were kept as slaves and soldiers by the Psions. Of course, this only lasted a few centuries before the Tamarans managed to overcome the Psions control of them by force of emotive power. They rebelled and slaughtered as many of their masters as they could before escaping with what ships they could hijack, seeking a world of their own. Eventually they found the world of Tamaran, a planet with a desolate outer surface covered with deep fissures and valleys in which atmosphere and moisture were present, creating micro environments that were protected from the outer surface. Moreover, one of the moons was an enormous citadel monastary, inhabited by the last of the warlords of Okaara, another obscure race from DC back lore. Cont.
The Warlords of Okaara were a militant species whose Empire once spanned the stars, but in the way of all empires they eventually collapsed and faded into obscurity. these last surviving okaarans were warrior-mystics who kept a vigil in their monastary, no longer interfering with the outside world as they felt the time of their people had past. Meeting the younger Tamaran race, the Okaarans were impressed with their warrior spirit and took them under their wing, offering the planet below for them to colonize. Thus a symbiotic relationship began where the Okaarans would teach the Tamaran elite the ways of war, honed by centuries of experience, and how to turn their minds, bodies, and fighting spirit into weapons. Their moon fortress offered a potent orbital defense for the fledgling race as well, important in the dangerous lawless system they live in - the Vega system is an area of space not policed by the lanterns according to DC canon, thanks to the presence of the highly aggressive and territorial spider guild, a coalition of arachnid races.
These skills would serve the Tamaran well, both in defending themselves and earning their fortune as prize mercenaries. Instead of money, they would fight for technology or resources, and take their prizes back to Tamaran to aid in its development. Cont.
The way Tamaran biology works, their bodies naturally store ultraviolet radiation thanks to the inclusion of kryptonian genetics in their makeup. This allows them to function as living batteries for various pieces of equipment, including their weapons. They are also highly empathetic and can transfer information via their nervous system - hence Starfire ability to learn languages through kissing, her tongue and the inside of her mouth allows near universal interface with another mammals nervous system and their brain, letting her learn surface information efficiently. This allows Tamarans to transfer complex thoughts, stories, and concepts 'mouth to mouth', though it's less effective with other species. And yes, this does mean mouth to mouth kissing with tongue is a common greeting among their people, even.among family.
Anyway, Tamaran natural abilities, because of the way they are neurologically wired, are empathetically tied to emotions, particularly joy, anger, etc. It's for this reason Psions were never able to control them, not being emotional creatures themselves and thus unable to fully understand emotive concepts. They learned the rudiments of this themselves when they rebelled, gaining the ability to fly, increase their strength, or create bursts of Kinetic energy from their nerves. The Warlords of Okaara would help them to turn this into a comprehensive fighting system that allowed then to feel their emotions while remaining in control, wiring the waves of their joy and anger while in battle, and making use of special equipment that could be powered by their own bodies.
>They are also highly empathetic and can transfer information via their nervous system - hence Starfire ability to learn languages through kissing, her tongue and the inside of her mouth allows near universal interface with another mammals nervous system and their brain, letting her learn surface information efficiently. This allows Tamarans to transfer complex thoughts, stories, and concepts 'mouth to mouth', though it's less effective with other species. And yes, this does mean mouth to mouth kissing with tongue is a common greeting among their people, even.among family.
Fast forward a few centuries and the Tamaran have become a power in the Vega system and drastically thinned the number of psions out, hunting them ruthlessly when not fighting wars for others. Their society is a democratic one but with a "King" who is elected, and functions very much like a viking society with said king being head of the military and responsible for divying loot out to the various noble families and providing for society at large.As we know, Starfire (Ko'Ri'ahnDar) and Blackfire (Ko'Rhm'ahnDar) are princesses, and the daughters of such a king.
Blackfire was unfortunately born with a neurological disorder that made it impossible for her to feel the necessary emotions to use most of her powers - making her practically a cripple in Tamaran society, and in human terms a sociopath, something that carries a major social stigma in Tamaran society due to their fixation with stable genetics (more on that later) and the cold emotionlessness of their sworn enemies the Psions. As a result, Blackfire grew up sheltered from the world and kept out of the way, while her sister was allowed to shine and was adored. This, combined with Blackfire inability to feel empatht, would plant a seed of spite and jealously that would eventually destroy their family
Despite the fact that they weren't enemies - Starfire was always very kind to her sister and loved her - Blackfire resented her, both for being the perfect daughter and for having everything she couldn't. So in an unthinkable betrayel, she secretly contacted the Psions and made an exchange - her sister as a test subject for technology that could help her. Sold out, Starfire ship was ambushed in space when she passed beyond the immediate range of Tamarans fleet and her and most of her crew captured. The ship itself was scuttled with some of the hands to make it seem like she had been killed in action. Starfire was for all intents, dead to the universe. And then the experiments started.
Because they were an engineered clone race, Tamarans had to be very careful about genetic viability to avoid defects, redundancies, and accidental inbreeding. As a result, marriage and reproduction rights because a very organized and ritualized affair. Marriage represented less a union between two lovers than it did a legal contract to produce children for both families. Infidelity wasn't really a concept, anyone could have lovers, but it was the spouse that had reproductive rights. Most marriages were open, though the emotional Tamarans did romanticize starcrossed forbidden lovers or those few pairings that matched both love and genetic compatibility. They even have a whole genre of theatre about it. Bitches be like Klingons, love the theatre.
Anyway, because of this, it logically followed that Starfire being the daughter of a king was a very stable, well bred genetic sample. This made her a prize to experiment on by the Psions, who were still looking to crack the mysteries of the guardians.
From here, her origin mostly follows original canon. the psions agonizing experiments lush her abilities to absorb and project energy far, far beyond what is normal for her species. Eventually, she is able to use these new powers to escape, blasting her way free, commandeering the ship, and making an emergency jump through a wormhole to escape pursuit. As a result of the mistimed, unaimed jump, she crashlands on earth.
Where she was promptly capture by lex luthor for study before being inadvertantly rescued by others.
Despite being free now, she feels she cannot go home because the Psions have modified her, something that would make her an abomination to her people. So for the time being she stays on earth, trying to find out what has become of her family and her people.
Shit is finally done btw
tl;dr (assuming I got this right)
>Tamarans are artificially created race who subsist and thrive on emotions and good genetics
>Tamarans rebelled against their creators and escaped to colonize their own planet
>Met the hermetic Warlords of Okaara on the local moon who taught them a whole lot of shit, including how to weaponize their emotions
>Thrive as mercenaries and hunters of their mortal enemies
>"Starfire" is princess of the people
>"Blackfire", Starfire's sister, is emotionally stunted and therefore tantamount to a cripple
>Out of jealousy, Blackfire betrays Starfire and sells her out to said mortal enemies
>They experiment on Starfire and make her vastly more powerful
>Starfire wakes up, commandeers the ship, escapes, and crashlands on Earth
>Starfire decides she is now in exile and is out to make the best of it
They're two girls in a franchise.
Fandoms don't need any more than that. If two male characters stand next to each other in the background of more than three scenes, they will be shipped too.
Except they're explicitly shown to be close friends and emotional support in several episodes, and comics later followed suit and all but made it blatant they were an on again off again item, at least till the dcnu52 reboot. At one point, Harley even beat Ivy by telling her she knew that she loved her - distracting her long enough to shoot her so she could go break the Joker out of prison