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2nd Jan 2023, 12:00 AM
Earth's Greatest Un-Team
The Strange Game Of Dr. Banner
Sins Of The Past
Trials Of The Tesseract
Pass It On
Change Of Face
Cut To The Chase
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2nd Jan 2023, 12:00 AM
Admittedly Kevin would be better off just railroading this section, but his real aim is to give Liam a chance to reacclimate to playing Loki and test out his new toys.
2nd Jan 2023, 12:23 PM
Ah yes. One of the fun things about tabletop RPGs is that at least some of them have rules for someone
than the GM running an NPC. I'm not sure if it officially made the jump to Fourth Edition (the current version of GURPS), but the role of "Adversary" was created in some prior edition. The idea was, you had someone to run major enemy NPCs who did
know every detail of the PCs. One of the skills a GM must otherwise cultivate and use is running enemy NPCs without them accidentally being brilliant or moronic because of the GM's knowledge of the player characters (and players themselves, in some cases).
2nd Jan 2023, 1:36 PM
I love the idea of bringing in a ringer, someone whose good at the mechanics and plays to fight, rather than any loyalty to the story. A wandering bounty player, looking for a table to Adversary for before hitting the dusty road again.
2nd Jan 2023, 7:25 PM
They are still expected to respect the "story". It is just their goals clash with the heroes... and if the GM can manage it, even that may not be 100% true.
Ouch, imagine a fight to the death between the PCs and the Adversary Character(s), and after the dust is settled and many characters are dead, the GM is all "To be fair, I expected you to realize the [insert threat] was more important than fighting each other, and partner up to handle things.
2nd Jan 2023, 10:19 PM
I might have to look into this concept more, there's at least a couple chapters where I think this could be folded into THE PLANS
2nd Jan 2023, 11:32 PM
In that case...
*goes to Basic Set glossary, looks up "Adversary"*
Ah, page 493:
Playing the Adversary
When the GM plays an NPC who is an enemy of the PCs, he should try and limit his knowledge to those things that the NPCs would be aware of. The GM knows all about the party's strengths and weaknesses - but their enemies don't. One good way to solve this problem is to have another person play the adversary characters.
The GM should tell the Adversary as much as possible about the character he is to play. But the Adversary should know no more than is "realistic" about the overall situation. In particular, he should know very little about the PC's and their abilities - especially at the beginning of an adventure! For total realism, you might even want
Adversary players - one for knowledgeable enemies who are familiar with the party, and one for stupid canon fodder.
The Adversary is like an "assistant GM." His job is to roleplay the foes as well as possible. He should
play them as mindless killing machines (unless they really are). If the "appropriate" thing for those particular enemies to do is attack, they should attack. But they might also throw rocks from ambush, shout insults, or even run away immediately!
In any disagreement between the Adversary and the GM, the GM's word is law. But a good GM gives the Adversary as much leeway as possible, and takes any disagreement into another room to avoid distracting the players.
Playing the Adversary is a good way to build up experience if you would like to be a GM someday.
Of course, this would normally be taken in context of the rest of the chapter, but I think it is mostly clear.
Sadly, I only can recall one example of playing as the Adversary, but it was stupidly fun in a stupidly overpowered (as in overly powerful and not being overpowered) campaign. As per usual, this was under the Third Edition (Revised) rules, but I don't think it would have affected things much were it to have been in 4th Edition.
At a time when I was busy with college classwork, the GM let me bring one of the super villains I'd designed for my own campaign into a kind of kitchen sink campaign (meaning it has magic, super powers, psionic abilities, etc.). I was informed that, while he could still be super powered, he'd need to mostly be a mage and he'd be a high-ranking servant of the campaign's god of death. This might have been a concern, but I was given a Character Point budget of 10,000. Yeah, ten
it was a
high power game (back then, 100-150 was typical early adventurers, 500 was for superheroes, 1000 was for high end superheroes/demigods, and... well, 10k was enough for many gods but who knows how much the god of death would have been worth. @_@
The character - Spring-Heeled Jack - had begun his life as a circus performer; a harlequin clown and sometimes acrobat. I drew a tiny bit of inspiration from the actual legends of Spring-Heeled Jack, but mostly I drew from Halloween Jack (a character from the Marvel 2099 line that managed to make the jump to the mainstream Earth-616 timeline). Blended with Trance (Wildstorm) and filling the gaps with bits of the Joker and Carnage... and maybe a few original ideas. Though I'd swear I added some Hisoka influence to him as well if the character hadn't predated my reading of Hunter X Hunter by several years (and possible predating Hisoka's introduction therein). Just to be clear, I ain't talking about "game mechanics"; as a shameless fanboy, I'd often make characters that were
painfully bad "OC-DO-NOT-STEAL" bastardizations
to what I was seeing in various other entertainment media at the time. >.>
Basically, Jack had rubbery body/stretching powers he'd expanded upon through diligent use and experimentation. This meant he was a full-on-shapeshifter at this Character Point total, even going to far as to purchase each of his fingers and toes as
"Strikers", limbs capable of making an attack all on their own (doesn't increase how many attacks you get in a turn, though). Oh, and his tongue and... uh... possibly
Besides confirming that I had (have?) issues,
it really did fit Jack's character. He was ambitious and power hungry, but
stupid. Sometimes his vices bit him in the butt, in the end he was supposed to be the cunning villain who achieved at least some of his goals. In the game for which I originally created him, he was
to gain some form of immortality, as well as magic. In this setting, he'd already achieved this by becoming a servant to the god of death. He did so willingly, though he would absolutely attempt to usurp said god
Jack was convinced the odds were strongly in his favor to do so. (Jack didn't think that would happen for at least a few more millennia, and probably longer). Fortunately, the rewards of his service were great; pretty sure this version of Jack, if not immortal, was at least Unaging (wouldn't die due to old age).
Now, with my CP total, it probably sounds like Jack would win through raw force. He certainly could do that, but if the god of death needed
to kill someone, it was because of Jack's ability to deceive (plus all that power). His shapeshifting and natural charisma meant he could always be "their type", whether as a friend, romantic partner, rival, servant... whatever that target was looking for at the time. With the amount of Character Points I had available, Jack
knew every spell in the book (GURPS Magic). Actually, he knew every Spell in
books, as this was Third Edition and the two main Spell books were GURPS Magic and GURPS Grimoire. In Fourth Edition, these two were combined and released as the modern version of GURPS Magic. I don't remember the exact count, but Jack knew somewhere between 700 and 1000 Spells. He wasn't an impossible genius with them all, but he was rather skilled at each. Combined with his other abilities, he could easily impersonate many mages, or fabricate a completely new identity.
Getting to the point,
the GM thought the other members of our roleplaying group were becoming a bit complacent, so on one of the nights when I could actually attend, he set me up as an Adversary using the above character
everyone else thought I was just bringing my new PC to the game. Jack was introduced under a fake identity, and wouldn't you know it? One of our group was running a character who was interested in romance. Jack - in his fake persona - got along well with her (the PC; the player was male) and we had them take a nice stroll somewhere during some down time. She and Jack eventually felt like embracing, Jack went in for passionate kiss with tongue...
...now the whole tongue-as-a-striker thing should make sense.
Probably still creepy, but again, at least it should make sense. By using it while kissing in such a manner, I could attack my targets brain directly, while bypassing the natural DR of the skull and scoring a sweet x4 damage multiplier. The GM actually had to step in and bail our friend's character out! As Adversary, I was unaware that this particular PC was indebted to a djinn. So I was the one caught by surprise as the djinn manifested
inside our mouths
to catch my character's tongue mid-stab! I actually used my powers to grow another head from my neck area, so Jack could try and haggle with the djinn to still get the kill. It didn't work, but oh what a sight! XD
I might have been a bit annoyed at the moment, but quickly realized it shouldn't have been that easy for me, anyway. I literally learned I'd picked the one character with this kind of "insurance", and even if I would have gotten the kill, there were ways to revive the dead, though it had enough of a cost no one wanted to have to use it if they could avoid it. ;) I wish I could remember the rest more clearly; I believe I fought the rest of the party, Jack's powers and spells giving them a decent run for their money. I should probably mention that in the default GURPS Magic system, spells are fueled by Energy; Fatigue Points from the caster and/or from the local mana supply. The more skilled you are, the less of your own Energy you must spend and the less time it takes to cast your Spells. I had a nice assortment of Spells I could cast instantly, or with just one rounds preparation. While Jack's Skill wasn't enough for massive Spells to be free, it was enough for a discount and I'm pretty sure the GM let me purchase abnormally high FP for Jack (which did fit his character in this setting).
Though I don't recall the details some 20 years later, I do recall it being a great deal of fun. For better and worse, I drifted away from this friend group, so this was one of the last times I gamed with them.
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