Our second team of villains is a group of three, which is going to test my capabilities to mix and match effectively I bet! Let’s see how we do…
Step 1: Approach and Archetype
For Approach, our villains have rolled 8 and 3, 6 and 4, and 3 and 3 respectively. After crossing off the various Bullies, this leaves us with choices of Generalist or Ninja, Creator or Disruptive, and Disruptive or Focused. My three villains are going to be a Ninja, a Creator, and a Focused villain.
Our ninja rolls 4 and 4, our creator rolls 2 and 2, and our Focused rolls 6 and 6. Huh. That is… that is a weird coincidence. Formidable and Inhibitor are taken, so our Ninja can be an Inventor or an Indomitable. Fragile is gone, so the Creator can be Domain or Indomitable, and finally our Focused can be Indomitable or a Predator. I feel like someone wants me to be Indomitable.
Okay! Let’s settle for an Indomitable Ninja, a Domain Creator, and a Focused Predator. This team’s primary goal is to use their army of minions to distract the heroes while the two champions pull the team apart to force them to fight individually.
Step 2: Qualities and Powers
Our Quality rolls are 6, 2, and 1, so our Ninja has two Suggested Qualities, our Creator has a Mental Quality, and our Focused has an Information Quality. That’ll be Stealth d10 and Alertness d10 for our Ninja, Creativity d10 and Magical Lore d8 for our Creator, and our Focused will have Otherworldly Mythos d10 and Ranged Combat d8. We’re a magical team!
For powers, the Ninja got a 2, Creator got a 7, and Focused got another 2. So for our stealthy ninja, we’ll take Infernal d10 and Agility d10, our Creator can take Illusions d10 and Robotics d8, and our Focused will grab Weather d12 and Plants d8.
Ninja also has two d8s for Qualities, and two d8s and a d6 for Powers. Let’s give them Imposing d8 and Close Combat d8, and then Teleportation d8, Awareness d8, and Vitality d6. The Creator has two d8s for Qualities, and a d8 and a d6 for Powers, which I’m going to translate into Leadership d8 and Science d8, and then Metal d8 and Presence d6. The Focused has no extra Qualities or Powers.
Step 3: Abilities, Status Dice, and Health
So, I have a tactical and thematic image in my head. I think I know what I want to do here.
Our Ninja is a duelist. They can use their Alertness to make precise attacks and defend until the next turn, or fight several people with their and Stealth and get away from being piled on. They can lash an enemy with infernal power and either Hinder them or drag them off for a duel, and they can defend against attacks and grow stronger if they can fully defend themselves.
Our Creator overwhelms the heroes with dangers. They can use their Creativity to construct either illusions that can attack people’s minds or robotic minions who are built from the ground up, and then use it to swarm the heroes so that they can’t ignore them. Or they can activate the environment’s twists and redirect attacks against them to environment minions. As long as there are distractions in plan, they’re a pain to fight.
Finally, our Predator can use the weather to launch a massive attack against one enemy that splashes around, while being able to heal and recover from weather-based attacks. They can also call upon the stone to pull someone down and hold them, hindering and hurting them. Once they have someone down they can attack them all-out with ranged attacks or use their otherworldly knowledge to set themselves up for battle.
Step 4: Upgrades and Masteries
Our Ninja gets a Power Upgrade, improving all of their power dice and adding +20 Health, and becomes a Master of Superiority when using them, automatically succeeding at Overcomes for Infernal and Agility-based actions.
Our Creator gets a Defense Shield, to protect them while they rally the universe against the heroes. As a Master of Mysticism, they become much better at harnessing and controlling magical forces.
Finally, our Predator uses their otherworldly winds to mess with our heroes’ minds, gaining a Brainwashing Field to weaken them that can be overcome by banishing its extradimensional power. They also become a Master of Behind The Curtain, keeping their power as long as they’re moving the winds from a distance.
Step 5: Background
So, who the heck are these people? Three powerful folk, magical and/or Infernal in nature, with access to cool technology. And we know they’re common enemies for Best Practices, which means we are dealing with villainous technology-stealing fae.
So, I’m going to grab a great word that has been used in another RPG once, and introduce you to the Court of Vicissitude. This was once a court of fae from Eastern Europe, who weakened and dwindled as time went on. They came to be fascinated by human innovation and technology, and their leader decided to harness it for magical ends. Now, they move quietly, stealing the newest devices and integrating them with magic to create a Realm of machines that feed on breath and souls, giving the Court luxuries at the cost of human lives. But then, are humans not a renewable resource?
The Court has three leaders, who are usually the ones who take the field. Above all is their Heart, a spirit of the earth named Země. She works metal and bone, shaping skeletons and animating them with whispered illusions, and speaks to the spirits of the world. At her right hand stands Nemoc, a deadly creature who moves unseen and inflicts terrible curses and plagues on his enemies with magic and , and on her left stands Bouře, who turns the sky into a weapon and roots in the stone. The three of them are powerful, and terrible. They seek luxury and power, rather than having any particularly grand designs, but they burn through their energy quickly and are always in search of more…
Země picks up the roleplaying quality “Bones of Metal”, which gives her impressive strength and durability. Nemoc adds “Master of Plague”, with a knowledge of how to use one particular aspect of medicine terribly well. And Bouře gets “Human Trivia Expert”; they track targets and love the human world.
Step 6: Tactics
This team’s tactics are mean.
At the start of the fight, Země triggers the environment to produce distracting minions, then begins crafting her own minions to deploy. Once she has minions swarming around, she uses them to cloak her own attacks, occasionally pausing to make new minions or trigger the environment as needed to keep things active and chaotic. (If Země is active in a fight, there should always be an environment as well.)
Nemoc’s job is to take advantage of the confusion to pull away someone who might be able to stop Země and deal with them. He opens fights by grabbing the most dangerous target and pulling them to another location for Bouře to go after, then smoke bombs back into the fray.
Meanwhile, Bouře starts off by lurking in the background and bringing fae energies into the wind, charging the battlefield itself. If Nemoc can pick someone off, or anyone is a bit afield, Bouře will try to swallow a vulnerable enemy in stone before unleashing their full weather-might against their hapless target. If people start to close in, the strongest one gets blasted, and the after-effects hit other heroes and heal Bouře up.
Dealing with these three as a Difficult challenge is even nastier; Země is protected, giving yet another distraction for the heroes, Nemoc is more powerful and better able to break stuff, and Bouře weakens the heroes and makes it easier for them to be picked off.
Villain Team: The Court of Vicissitude
Approach: Creator, Archetype: Domain
Status Dice: Based on environment minions, lieutenants, and challenges. None: d6, 1-2: d8, 3 or more: d10
Health: 65 (adjusted for 4-player team)
- Creativity d10
- Magical Lore d8
- Leadership d8
- Science d8
- Bones of Metal d8
- Illusion d10
- Robotics d8
- Metal d8
- Presence d6
- The World Wakes (A): Activate one of the environment’s twists in its current zone or one zone closer to red.
- Cloaked In The Land (A): Roll any number of environment minions and Recover that much Health. Remove those minions.
- Raise the Horde (A): Use Creativity to create a number of minions equal to your Max die value. The starting die size for these minions is equal to the size of your Min die.
- Swarm Attack (A): Attack using Illusion and use your Max die, with a bonus equal to the number of minions in play.
- Hide In Plain Sight ®: When Attacked, redirect the attack to an environment minion.
- Defense Shield (I): Cannot be harmed by heroes as long as her magical shield is in place. The shield has 40 Health, or can be broken by three Overcomes. If a hero takes a Minor twist overcoming the Shield, she can Attack as a reaction by rolling Metal.
- Restablish Shield (I): Overcome using Illusions. Use your Max die. Either remove one success from the deactivating challenge, or Recover the Shield with your Max die. This cannot be used if the shield is gone.
- Master of Mysticism (I): If you have materials, automatically succeed on Overcomes to harness magical energies.
Approach: Ninja, Archetype: Indomitable
Status Dice: Always d8
Health: 60 (adjusted for 4-player team)
- Stealth d10
- Alertness d10
- Imposing d8
- Close Combat d8
- Master of Plague d8
- Infernal d10
- Agility d10
- Teleportation d8
- Awareness d8
- Vitality d6
- Smoke Bomb (A): Attack multiple nearby targets using Stealth. Then, end up wherever you want in the scene.
- Soul Vision (A): Attack using Alertness and use your Max die. Defend against all Attacks against you with your Mid die until the start of your turn.
- Drag You To Hell (A): Attack using Infernal. Either Hinder that target with your Max die, or Defend yourself using your Min die and you and that target end up elsewhere in the scene.
- Duelist ®: Defend by rolling your single status die. If that defense reduces the damage to 0, Boost using the amount of damage prevented.
- Power Upgrade (I): Increase the size of all of your Power dice by one step. Using this upgrade grants Nemoc +20 Health.
- Master of Superiority (I): When you manifest effects related to your Infernal or Agility powers, automatically succeed at any related Overcomes.
Approach: Focused, Archetype: Predator
Status Dice: 0-1 Engaged Opponents d10, 2-3 Engaged Opponents d8, 4+ Engaged Opponents d6
Health: 50 (adjusted for 4-player team)
- Otherworldly Mythos d10
- Ranged Combat d8
- Human Trivia Master d8
- The Wind Rises (A): Boost yourself using Otherworldly Mythos. Use your Max die. That bonus is persistent and exclusive. Defend against all Attacks using your Mid die until the start of your turn.
- Unleash The Storm (A): Attack an enemy with Weather. Use your Max die, and that target cannot Defend or use Reactions against this attack. Attack multiple nearby targets with your Min die.
- Ride The Cyclone ®: When you would take damage from a Weather attack, Recover that much instead. When Hindered with Weather, Boost instead.
- Draw Down (A): Hinder an enemy with Stone. Use your Max die. Attack that target with your Mid die.
- The Tornado’s Bite (A): Attack an enemy with Ranged Combat. Use your Max die. If the target has a penalty you created or is in the Red Zone, use your Max + Mid dice instead.
- The Living Storm (I): The air drains the capabilities of your foes. While in the Green Zone, all heroes’ Quality Dice rated at d8 above are reduced by one step. In the Yellow zone, all heroes’ Quality Dice rated at d10 or above are reduce by two steps. In the Red Zone, all heroes’ quality dice are d4s. Heroes can destroy this effect with three Overcome actions to break the mystical storm and winds. If one takes a minor twist, they lose access to one Quality until this effect is removed. When using this Upgrade, Bouře has +10 Health.
- Master of Behind The Curtain (I): As long as you are not directly involved in the fray and are using your influence indirectly, automatically succeed at an Overcome to manipulate the situation.
I was pretty sure I wanted techno-fae from the moment that I knew I had Deep Freeze on a team, and I really like how this crew turned out. They are an absolute nightmare of a crew, who could pop up individually or arrive as a team to ruin everything for everyone.
There are also a lot of plots they could be involved in – stealing people’s life force, grabbing experimental tech, trying to take a part of the world and add it to their Court. Probably getting in trouble with other fae who are much more isolationist, and possibly joining forces with whomever modified Deep Freeze to gain extra powers and advantages.
I will make one mechanical note – it is weird as heck to me that the Predator is better at things the fewer opponents they fight, but none of their Abilities make it easier for them to disengage or isolate opponents. The closest they get is the ability to double bonuses and penalties if they’re unnoticed or their enemies are distracted.