Unbound | Supporting Cast | Villains & Vigilantes
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The Legion Strikes is adapted from an adventure and villain group of the same name written and created by Anthony Pryor (or more currently), and published in October/November 1982 issue of Pegasus magazine (issue #10). While the material presented here bears only superficial resemblance to that manuscript, we note it because it inspired us. Anthony has graciously granted permission for re-use of his work.
|What's Going On||Plot Complications (Mad Scientists)||The Villains|
|Getting the Heroes Involved||Plot Complications (NPCs with attitude)||Home Sweet Home|
Motivator (Most Wanted 1) is bored. To alleviate that boredom, she decides she will manipulate a group of superheroes (the player characters). She decides she will form a supervillain group and have the superheroes disrupt her operations (or die trying).
Motivator disguises herself, and calling herself Mastermind she recruits a group of supervillains and normal thugs. They build a base in the Adirondack mountains and move in. The "purpose" of the Black Legion is to take rulership of North America. They will use economic and political means, and force when necessary. Common targets of sabotage and theft will be industrial and commercial services, especially high technology companies. Their plans culminate in the threat of nuclear destruction of one or more North American cities unless the governments (Canada, Mexico and the United States) concede to their demands. This "purpose" is, of course, bogus as dead people are no fun, but Mastermind (Motivator) won't tell her underlings that.
This is the easy part, actually, as the heroes are an integral part of the villains plans, and she will drag them in to the events kicking and screaming if necessary.
Keeping in mind that Motivator's real goals are to have fun manipulating supergroups into conflict with each other, a typical operation might go something like this:
Because Motivator has determined to perform this entire operation without her mental powers, she has put herself at a disadvantage. She has relied on her powers for so long, that her normal communication skills are rusty. She is unaware that one of her scientists is a bit crazy, and is looking forward to destroying the world. Unless stopped, he will launch the missiles, regardless of what Motivator's wishes might be. This could make for a climatic final struggle at the end as Motivator agrees to disarm the missiles, and one of her scientists barricades himself in the control room to launch them. To further complicate matters, this scientist is a mutant (a fact he does not advertise) and is Invulnerable to Psychic attacks and can become Insubstantial.
Adding more wrinkles, Mr. Noman of the Tarot Masters has foreseen this dilemma (of the mad scientist) and makes plans to send his own people in. This can be a GMs device to provide aid to the PCs, or perhaps they can become a further hindrance as Motivator and the PCs play out their schemes against each other. Mr. Noman works very hard to prevent revealing himself, however.
Chances are that the PCs will find themselves working with (or against) other NPC hero teams in the campaign. How these encounters work out is up to the individual GM and the players.
[Side Note: Want to find all these classic V&V products? Check Jeff Dee's Distributor List]
Mastermind hires Steamroller as the facility security expert and thug trainer.
She also recruits Behemoth (Destroyers), Iron Maiden (Destroyers), Boogeyman (Most Wanted 1), Mr. X (Morpheus Unbound), Vibron (Most Wanted 1), and Vindicator (Most Wanted 1).
The Black Legion builds lots of robots. Some they sell to others to raise money, while most they keep for themselves. This gives them plenty of robots running around their base, and occasionally being deployed on missions. The Assault Robot Type IV is the most powerful one they have at this time. Craig Griswold also has some sample robots that would work very well.
Behemoth: after the Destroyers were defeated in Apocalypse's failed attempt to blackmail the U.S. in to signing Manhattan over to him, Behemoth wound up in jail. Mastermind arranged for him to be freed, and now he works for her. His loyalties are "bought" with money, power and fear of Mastermind.
Iron Maiden: similar to Behemoth, but she has a chance to work with some of the most brilliant cyberneticists in the world (Mastermind and Legion scientists). Her loyalties are bought by playing upon her insecurities and desire to prove herself as a cyberneticist.
Mr. X: Works for money. He's a bit of a megalomaniac, and Mastermind plays on that to manipulate him. He doesn't trust Mastermind, and is prepared to bail out to save his butt at the first sign of serious trouble.
Steamroller: Works for money and prestige. He is suspicious that Mastermind is up to something, but he's not sure what, or even what he can do about it. His sense of honor won't let him betray Mastermind as long as he has no reason to believe she has not betrayed (or mislead) him.
Vibron: Works for money and kicks. He still doesn't take the "super" business very seriously. To him, life is one big Saturday morning cartoon.
Vindicator: Also works for money, but has a conscience too. If the heroes can't stop Mastermind before the adventure escalates to the point of nuclear threat, the heroes may find this one time enemy to be a valuable ally.
Boogeyman: In addition to paying him enormous sums of money and letting him be the good terrorist that he is, Mastermind has promised to repair his damaged face. He denies (even to himself) that this last is important to him at all. While Mastermind is willing to carry out this promise, chances are that the Legion will unravel before the surgery can be performed, which will make the vindictive Boogeyman the PCs worst enemy.
Assorted thugs and technicians: The thugs are all well trained combat veterans, carefully screened and trained by Steamroller. They do double duty as combat troops and facility maintenance personnel. They carry weapons at all times. The scientists and technicians receive limited combat training, but do not carry weapons. They also don't do facility maintenance. Each is motivated by something different, but in this case, money is a pretty good reason.
The villain base is deep in the mountains. Getting to it should be very difficult, except by airplane or helicopter which would both be spotted by base radar systems.
Why did we use pre-existing characters? Because sometimes when you read a published adventure, it's nice to not have to figure out how to fit new villains in to the campaign, but instead have a chance to build upon old ones.
In other credits, Patric needs to thank Ken Solo for all the great times they had playing V&V. May the Paladin live forever.
The adventure which inspired this was written by Anthony Pryor and published in a 1983 edition of Pegasus Magazine.