My Villains (Doc Darwin and the Dark Sentinels)

The documents give my villain submissions, Doc Darwin the Evolving Man and the Dark Sentinels (an idea that I already see, as I thought, that everyone else had as well).


Doc Darwin came first, virtually fully formed and was ready within a week of Christopher announcing the contest. Not starting, just announcing it was going to happen. He hasn't changed much since then excepot to give the Hyperevolutor a damage effect to prevent him being too easy to shut down with specific resistance effects.

He's a two sided villain, a super-intelligent genius, hyper-evolved using comics' strange version of the term, to be an intellectual giant with an enlarged cranium to match his ego. Hsi orther side is a savage neaderthal, literally, who has no driving goals and just smashes up pretty much everything in his path. I had the evolution idea as shuttling up and down his own evolutionary timeline which I figured fit with time but in a non-obvious way.


The Dark Sentinels were much harder. Not conceptually, as the evil mirror duplicates is an idea practically as old as comics, but how the holy heck do I get these guys to work and not be the Ennead? Eventually, I went the minion route with the main 'villain' being the portal to their alternate earth that keeps churning out more evil dopplegangers. So, say hello to Ariki, Cassandra, Chill, Grand Warlord Dall'ton, Horus, Inquisition, Panzer, Spite, Tyrant and Velocity, couter-Earth's vilest villains. and the latest threat to the Sentinels of the multiverse.

These guys changed a lot over playesting. The first draft was absolutely brutal with Velocity bringing a new card every turn and Cassandra discarding cards from everyone. Ariki was a damage brute who could easily wipe out everyone. Changes ensued to power things down a little. Them being minions also opens up some fun things that are impossible with character carfds, like Visionary Wresting the Mind of a Dark Sentinel to have him pound his fellows.


There was a third villain who I came up with aroudn the time of Doc Darwin, King Kronos (why yes, I did go to the Stan Lee school of alliteration, thanks for asking) a Kang the Conqueror type with lots of historical minions and temporal distortions but I could never get his story to work so he lost out to the Dark Sentinels for the second spot.

Look forward to people's thoughts.

DocDarwin.doc (27.5 KB)

DarkSentinels.doc (36 KB)

DarkSentinels.xlsx (12.4 KB)

DocDarwin.xlsx (10.7 KB)

Hmm.. the Dark Sentinels seems superficially similar in core concept to what I produced (but, given either time or interdiminsional baed, there are only so many ways to go about it).  Though, by story and mechanics, much different.  Only read the summaries, but Dark Sentinels seems interesting.

I like the dark sentinels many nemesis mechanic. It adds that extra oomph (wanted or not) when you least expect it. I share your sentiments, it's hard making dark heroes not like the ennead but yours are no more similar than Dawn is to Voss.

They're not similar now but when I started the Dark Sentinels were character cards (which did give the ability to 'expand the roster' by having Dark Sentinels for the heroes from the expansions) and I just could not get them to not be the Ennead. From the drawing, to the flip mechanic, to the advanced abilities, they just were the Ennead and that's why it took so long to get that set done. Then inspiration struck and they became minions of an impersonal 'villain'. Glad you like the look of them.

The many Nemeses was another way of making them distinct and made sense from a story point of view. Everyone knows the mirror version really just loves to take on their heroic self.

I was actually working on a Grand Warlord Dall'ton to be a Promo for the Voss deck.  Not a whole deck but just a replacement villain card for use with the deck. I know its an obvious doppleganger name for Tempest but I think its funny to see someone use the exact same name here.

Awesome ideas.

That is so cool, especially the dark sentinels. I decided to go with a similar idea, but focused much more on a reality traveling leader and then treated my evil "heroes" as Citizens kinda... only each with a power that shuts down one hero.

Quite like Doc Darwin. Having half his cards only affect one form is interesting.

His story is interesting too.
The Dark Sentinels, I'm not really on board with. Others have come up with a similar idea, but your set up just doesn't grab me as much. Unfortunately I couldn't get past that when reading the deck. The play mechanics might be great, but I was blinded to it. More my fault than yours.
Good luck!


Well, you're entitled to your obviously incorrect opinion. :wink:

More seriously, was there anything specific about the Dark Sentinels that turned you off? I can understand "just not to my taste" but constructive criticism is always welcomed.

Similarly, what do you like about the Doc?

Also, I've added playtest style plain text card layouts to the orignal post. If anyone wants to play with them, feel free. Just let me know how they work out as these two are in the mix for my personal games and I want them as good as possible.

I've been making short first impressions posts, but I've been constantly side tracked and interrupted, so some of my impressions are compromised.


Ill come back and offer a more thorough opinion when I can, but even writing this post, I've been interrupted twice

Edit: hopefully I've fixed the formatting errors...

So, I've had another read through your villains.



Doc Darwin:




I quite like the idea behind his story, though going a little bit more in depth would make it stronger. The problem is his motivation doesn't really work for me - I've some experience with the scientific community, etc. 23 isn't an exceptionally young age to complete a PhD. Young, but not ridiculously young. Finishing your PhD at that age doesn't get you laughed out of the community, it's a strong point on your grant applications and probably makes life a little easier.




I'm still interested in his card mechanics - the system of having each card do something different depending on which side is facing up is interesting. I wonder if it makes the cards a bit too wordy though.




Dark Sentinels:




So I may have been a bit harsh when I wrote my first post, but I can go into some detail now. For starters, they're an evil alternate version of the heroes. As you can see, this is a recurring idea among villain submissions, and I didn't feel that your background story was terribly strong when compared to your competition: essentially your story is "Here is alternate names for all the heroes if they were evil. FIGHT!". It just didn't grab me.



The second thing which probably turned me off from this villain is a simple, but often overlooked thing - proof reading and consistency. Chill is at one point referred to as Zero, there are a few random typos, and the wording on your cards isn't always consistent. These may seem like tiny things, but from experience, if you have to read over a hundred job applications, the first ones you're going to throw away are the ones with typos (it's petty, but you need some way to whittle down the pile). Incidentally, I've noticed at least one typo in one of my own submissions since I sent them in, so I'm not immune.



Gameplay wise, it seems interesting. I've yet to be able to get the Ennead to the table, so I don't know how similar the system is. The power surges are important, and make things a little livelier than they might be otherwise. The only gameplay issue I picked up reading through the deck is that Chill, who always deals cold damage, isn't much of a nemesis for AZ, who most of the time heals from cold damage.
Have you tried playing them? Does the system work in practice?


Thanks for the more detailed response.


Chill and AZ is an issue but it's the same for Ra and Horus. One card and the nemesis becomes negligible (Null Point for Zero and Flesh of the Sun God for Ra) but both of them are all about one type of damage so it felt wrong to not have them do their signature damage types. It also applies to Ra and the Ennead given how much of their damage is fire.


As for typos, quite understand. And I'm irked I missed that Zero. Thought I'd found all of those. Originally, they were called Dark [insert name here] as palceholders while I got the effects right and that's where it must have come from.


I have playtested them both, but not with every combination, and they work, although the Dark Sentinels can be a tough fight, especially when fighting around the Pillars of Hercules with Velocity out and then drawing a Power Surge to draw Recruitment. At that point we pretty much gave up as that one turn brought out 5 villain cards.


The stories were meant to give overviews of history rather than detail. They're 4 or 5 pages as they are and didn't want Christopher to have to read too much.

Doc Darwin would be equally annoyed at his inferiors if they kept bothering him with trivialities rather than letting him get on with his work but you have a point. I wanted him to be a genius before augmentation but not so far out that the augmentation was irrelevant.

The history for the Dark Sentinels is a bit sparse compared to some of the others, but just giving them each a sentence introduction was adding to the size while I was trying to keep it down.


Thanks again for the comments.