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#9188651 Mar 03, 2014 at 10:27 PM
1156 Posts
#9188598 Lord Liaden wrote:

#9188332 Das Kauf wrote:


Oh, this is interesting and would fit very well with a villain of mine, but more of the aspect of being forged by Nama, than by virtue of being an enchanted sword. Could one be touched by the power of one of those swords, rather than actually using it?



Since there's nothing lore-wise to say otherwise, if you have a good rationale I say go for it. ;)


Just a thought: maybe your character could have found one of the broken swords, and its enchantment "escaped" the fragments and entered him/her.
#9189715 Mar 04, 2014 at 05:34 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
275 Posts
1st, thanks a lot for this thread, Liaden. These origins are untypical yet very much embedded in Champions Lore, very useful for making unique characters.

#9188598 Lord Liaden wrote:

#9188332 Das Kauf wrote:


Oh, this is interesting and would fit very well with a villain of mine, but more of the aspect of being forged by Nama, than by virtue of being an enchanted sword. Could one be touched by the power of one of those swords, rather than actually using it?



Since there's nothing lore-wise to say otherwise, if you have a good rationale I say go for it. ;)


I had a really neat idea that comes from history. In Judeo-Christian cultures, there is the concept of "swords into ploughshares" from the Old Testament. In East Asian cultures, the equivalent is melting down weapons to make some sort of effigy.

It goes like this. After a dynastic war, the winner becomes/remains emperor, and he orders weapons of war to become a monument of everlasting peace (in reality, lasts only a few generations). It's great Public Relations, plus it's a way to prevent those weapons being used against him in a counter-revolution.

Usually, it's some sort of giant guardian statue(s). Sometimes, it's dragons. When they're boring, it's a bell or some shrine vessel. The most ironic cases involve weapons being forged into a Buddha statue. Buddha was against the taking of any sentient life, so many followers abstain from meat, yet people turn weapons that tasted human blood into his likeness. There's a temple in Kyoto that had a weapon metal Buddha after their Sengoku Jidai and that place has the worst luck imaginable.

So imagine one of these Nama sword was found by some warrior. Using its powers, he became a mighty warlord, challenges some sort of kingdom. He wins/loses (probably manipulated by Nama), then his sword is melted down into some sort of effigy. The sheer essence of Nama in the sword consciously or subconsciously makes the artisans create a snake-like monument (and they tell their ruler that it's...just a very unique dragon...yeah, that's it).

I present this idea because it's a compromise that, rather than diluting the idea, enforces it with a sense of history as well as the power of Nama. He's like, "You want to destroy one of MY creations? Okay...I'll allow it...only because I'm about to make you build me something more awesome...just as I planned." It's very much like the types of tricks he likes to play.

More action at Champions Online Comics at http://co-comics.webs.com
#9189967 Mar 04, 2014 at 06:40 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
398 Posts
#9189715 BB (CO Comics) wrote:

1st, thanks a lot for this thread, Liaden. These origins are untypical yet very much embedded in Champions Lore, very useful for making unique characters.

I had a really neat idea that comes from history. In Judeo-Christian cultures, there is the concept of "swords into ploughshares" from the Old Testament. In East Asian cultures, the equivalent is melting down weapons to make some sort of effigy.

It goes like this. After a dynastic war, the winner becomes/remains emperor, and he orders weapons of war to become a monument of everlasting peace (in reality, lasts only a few generations). It's great Public Relations, plus it's a way to prevent those weapons being used against him in a counter-revolution.

Usually, it's some sort of giant guardian statue(s). Sometimes, it's dragons. When they're boring, it's a bell or some shrine vessel. The most ironic cases involve weapons being forged into a Buddha statue. Buddha was against the taking of any sentient life, so many followers abstain from meat, yet people turn weapons that tasted human blood into his likeness. There's a temple in Kyoto that had a weapon metal Buddha after their Sengoku Jidai and that place has the worst luck imaginable.

So imagine one of these Nama sword was found by some warrior. Using its powers, he became a mighty warlord, challenges some sort of kingdom. He wins/loses (probably manipulated by Nama), then his sword is melted down into some sort of effigy. The sheer essence of Nama in the sword consciously or subconsciously makes the artisans create a snake-like monument (and they tell their ruler that it's...just a very unique dragon...yeah, that's it).

I present this idea because it's a compromise that, rather than diluting the idea, enforces it with a sense of history as well as the power of Nama. He's like, "You want to destroy one of MY creations? Okay...I'll allow it...only because I'm about to make you build me something more awesome...just as I planned." It's very much like the types of tricks he likes to play.



That's a neat background thing, though I was thinking about

- archeolohist finds sword, sword breaks
- archeologist gets imbued with the sword's powers along with some obscure, blurry visions of Nama himself
- archeologist goes mad from the revelation and decides to dedicate his life to finding his new 'god'
- archeologist figures that joining VIPER would be the best way to get a chance of finding Nama
- Snakehead is born. The snakes are in his head. All the time.

___

And while it's not a particulary outstanding origin for a character's power, could LL maybe do a short paragraph on Cyberline? How it works, which powers it grants, how often do you take it, what are the side effects, etc.?
Is it right to think of it as a 'Have one injection of Cyberline regularly to maintain your abilities or suffer the worst comedown and withdrawal symptoms ever?'-drug? If not, is there a canon drug like that?
#9190402 Mar 04, 2014 at 08:19 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9189715 BB (CO Comics) wrote:


I had a really neat idea that comes from history. In Judeo-Christian cultures, there is the concept of "swords into ploughshares" from the Old Testament. In East Asian cultures, the equivalent is melting down weapons to make some sort of effigy.

It goes like this. After a dynastic war, the winner becomes/remains emperor, and he orders weapons of war to become a monument of everlasting peace (in reality, lasts only a few generations). It's great Public Relations, plus it's a way to prevent those weapons being used against him in a counter-revolution.

Usually, it's some sort of giant guardian statue(s). Sometimes, it's dragons. When they're boring, it's a bell or some shrine vessel. The most ironic cases involve weapons being forged into a Buddha statue. Buddha was against the taking of any sentient life, so many followers abstain from meat, yet people turn weapons that tasted human blood into his likeness. There's a temple in Kyoto that had a weapon metal Buddha after their Sengoku Jidai and that place has the worst luck imaginable.

So imagine one of these Nama sword was found by some warrior. Using its powers, he became a mighty warlord, challenges some sort of kingdom. He wins/loses (probably manipulated by Nama), then his sword is melted down into some sort of effigy. The sheer essence of Nama in the sword consciously or subconsciously makes the artisans create a snake-like monument (and they tell their ruler that it's...just a very unique dragon...yeah, that's it).

I present this idea because it's a compromise that, rather than diluting the idea, enforces it with a sense of history as well as the power of Nama. He's like, "You want to destroy one of MY creations? Okay...I'll allow it...only because I'm about to make you build me something more awesome...just as I planned." It's very much like the types of tricks he likes to play.



CO Comics, I think this is a very clever idea from a thematic point of view. I love to see people build on the lore precedents in innovative ways. :)

Since you bring up snake statues, let me offer more from the history of Nama, from V: COTS pp. 6-7. Around the turn of the millennium, Nama gave a dragon named Geiskivaro a three-foot-tall pure gold statue of a dragon, called the Golden Serpent. But the statue was cursed, attracting treasure hunters and inflaming their greed. Geiskivaro was slain by a group of Vikings who also fell victim to the statue's curse; but one of their number, "of pure and honest heart," resisted its temptation and sealed the Golden Serpent in a box with the bones of a Christian saint (which neutralized the curse), and carried the box as far away from Europe as possible... sailing across the Atlantic. His ship sank off the coast of America, and the Golden Serpent was lost to history. (Das Kauf, please also see below.)
#9190466 Mar 04, 2014 at 08:33 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9189967 Das Kauf wrote:


That's a neat background thing, though I was thinking about

- archeologist finds sword, sword breaks
- archeologist gets imbued with the sword's powers along with some obscure, blurry visions of Nama himself
- archeologist goes mad from the revelation and decides to dedicate his life to finding his new 'god'
- archeologist figures that joining VIPER would be the best way to get a chance of finding Nama
- Snakehead is born. The snakes are in his head. All the time.



That's a nice play on the implications of the name, "Snakehead." Personally, I wouldn't be fond of the sword just "breaking" when your character finds it -- these blades are supposed to be a big deal, and breaking one should require extraordinary circumstances. If you have something like that in mind, cool; if not I'd suggest a pre-broken one would make more sense.

However, referencing my previous post, your character could have found the Golden Serpent. We already know it inflicts an enchanted curse on those who have it, including messing with their minds. After a thousand years under water with saint's bones, and given the new ways magic manifests in the modern world, the curse on the Serpent could have mutated. (There's precedent for that in the lore, involving the creation of the mummified assassin called The Curse.)
#9190670 Mar 04, 2014 at 09:12 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9189967 Das Kauf wrote:

And while it's not a particulary outstanding origin for a character's power, could LL maybe do a short paragraph on Cyberline? How it works, which powers it grants, how often do you take it, what are the side effects, etc.?

Is it right to think of it as a 'Have one injection of Cyberline regularly to maintain your abilities or suffer the worst comedown and withdrawal symptoms ever?'-drug? If not, is there a canon drug like that?



The general public has been led to believe that Cyberline is a drug- and biofeedback-based process by which the government creates the Golden and Silver Avengers for PRIMUS. In fact it's a type of gene-therapy: genetic material obtained from several superhumans (the method of acquisition isn't specified) is introduced via an RNA retrovirus into genetically-compatible humans (only a small fraction of the population). The Avengers require daily treatments with the virus to "update" their altered genes, or "correct any minor problems that may have arisen." (Champions Universe p. 138) The lore doesn't describe what happens if Avengers don't get those treatments, although it's likely that would include gradual loss of their powers. CU p. 45 also notes that the Cyberline process is "mildly addictive."

Cyberline grants the Avengers low-level-superhuman strength, speed, durability, and visual acuity. Unfortunately the Avengers' hyper-metabolism also makes them more susceptible to the effects of drugs and toxins (they're notoriously easy to make drunk, for example). The government has been careful to keep that vulnerability secret.

There are variations to the Cyberline process with stronger, even permanent effects. In the late Eighties a PRIMUS recruit reacted unexpectedly well to Cyberline, becoming even more powerful than the Avengers. He became a government superhero called Liberty Guard. Spies from the Soviet Union stole data on Cyberline and Liberty Guard, and were able to recreate his accident with a genetically-compatible subject of their own. That subject is now the Soviet Guard, leader of the mercenary superteam Red Winter (fully described in Champions Villains Vol. 2: Villain Teams). The Denver-based hero team, the Alliance, includes the Silver Scorpion, who's described as "enhanced by a drug similar to Cyberline." (CU p. 72)

It's also worth noting that Department 17, the core of the Department of Defense's research into creating and controlling superhumans, is focusing much of its current effort into developing "an improvement to the Cyberline procedure used by PRIMUS -- a procedure that would create stronger, but also more easily controlled, superhumans. To that end Department 17 scientists have experimented with all sorts of genetic engineering, unusual chemicals, strange radiations, and the like." (CU p. 138)

EDIT: Now that I think of it, I should add Department 17 to the main list: plenty of potential there. I'll get to work on that right away.
#9191112 Mar 04, 2014 at 10:52 AM
1156 Posts
The list on the first post of this thread now includes an entry for Department 17.
#9191816 Mar 04, 2014 at 01:11 PM
675 Posts
D17 was one of those seldom spoken of groups that I always found interesting (conspiracy theories galore) thanks for putting it up there LL!
#9192375 Mar 04, 2014 at 03:20 PM
1156 Posts
#9191816 Hand Behind the Blade wrote:

D17 was one of those seldom spoken of groups that I always found interesting (conspiracy theories galore) thanks for putting it up there LL!



If you like conspiracies, the generals who conducted Project Sunburst have tried very hard to cover up the truth behind the nuclear test and the existence of the survivors in the Crypt (including Sunburst and his followers) from the rest of the military and the government, not to mention the public.

There's nothing official that says General Smith, who now heads Department 17, was one of them; nothing that says he wasn't, either. ;)
#9200436 Mar 06, 2014 at 09:17 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
275 Posts
#9190402 Lord Liaden wrote:

Since you bring up snake statues, let me offer more from the history of Nama, from V: COTS pp. 6-7. Around the turn of the millennium, Nama gave a dragon named Geiskivaro a three-foot-tall pure gold statue of a dragon, called the Golden Serpent. But the statue was cursed, attracting treasure hunters and inflaming their greed. Geiskivaro was slain by a group of Vikings who also fell victim to the statue's curse; but one of their number, "of pure and honest heart," resisted its temptation and sealed the Golden Serpent in a box with the bones of a Christian saint (which neutralized the curse), and carried the box as far away from Europe as possible... sailing across the Atlantic. His ship sank off the coast of America, and the Golden Serpent was lost to history. (Das Kauf, please also see below.)



I find this interesting like the swords, because it really shows Nama's M.O.

Das Kauf, I reckon this is even closer to your vision of Snakehead. He might have been searching for the Golden Serpent statue, but perhaps he was just looking for the lost bones of a Christian saint. Then finding the statue with this religious figure would be what makes him think it is the form of the true God (combined with the curse on it).

---

That aside, thanks for sharing this story, Liaden. It, in the way it was presented, shows something about Nama and/or humanity. The legend goes it was cursed, which was why people killed each other over it.

A scarier, yet also a more realistic, version may be...there never was a curse. It was just a gold statue. Nama never placed any magic on it; it was purely human greed. When one "of pure and honest heart" took it, he was not that greedy and did the simple thing other, more powerful, people -could- not do...he let it go.

I can imagine Nama now. VIPER is so cartoony in the game I used to think of him as just some evil god. But like in this story, I can imagine him saying, "I didn't do anything to that statue; it was just a lump of metal. I didn't do anything to those people; they did it all to themselves." I find him more comprehensible yet also more impressive.

---

I really like this Department 17. This was the Delta Green-like sort of operation I've been looking for. I want to ask your, or any other expert player's, opinion. Would it go so far as to secretly fund Nemeses to test heroes?

More action at Champions Online Comics at http://co-comics.webs.com
#9200618 Mar 06, 2014 at 09:58 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9200436 BB (CO Comics) wrote:



I find this interesting like the swords, because it really shows Nama's M.O.



The thing to remember about Nama is, he behaves like a classic trickster-god. Nama isn't good or evil; his only priority is Nama. He does what's in his own best interest, or what entertains him at the time. He's taught many humans around the world, and been the patron of heroes. He's also sown chaos and destruction, and sponsored great villains.

Nama created VIPER to protect him. He has the gift of prophecy, and foresaw the rise in the Twentieth Century of beings with the power to threaten him. Nama doesn't lead VIPER, and has given the agency direct orders on only a very few occasions. So long as VIPER remains strong and comes to his call, Nama cares little what else it does.


#9200436 BB (CO Comics) wrote:

I really like this Department 17. This was the Delta Green-like sort of operation I've been looking for. I want to ask your, or any other expert player's, opinion. Would it go so far as to secretly fund Nemeses to test heroes?



The lore defines three goals for Department 17 under General Smith: to safely and reliably create superhumans; to more effectively control superhumans; and to maintain its secrecy and security. IMHO almost any activity which could be rationalized as serving those goals would be fair game. I don't get the impression that Smith is a monster, but he "might go to great lengths" although "not all of his employees would approve." (CU p. 138)
#9217670 Mar 10, 2014 at 09:22 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
After a lot of deliberation, I've decided I should include the following entry (which has also been added to the list in my first post), because the precedents say his potential use is much broader than most people think.


Teleios, the Perfect Man: Many people who have only encountered Teleios during play in Champions Online may think of him just as a cloner of people, and a creator of animalistic monsters. While he certainly does such things, the range of his genetic expertise goes far beyond that. More than half a dozen official supers, villainous and heroic, owe their powers or very existence to The Perfect Man.

Teleios has the skill to induce almost any super power in any human, whether or not that person already has powers or the potential for them. Teleios will do this for pay, or in exchange for services or favors, as he did for the supervillain-turned-hero Flashover (Champions Universe: News Of The World), and her brother, the villain Hurricane (Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains). Teleios has been known to bestow powers on someone on a whim, whether or not they want them, as he did after a dalliance with the Indian woman now known as Monsoon (Champions Worldwide).

The Perfect Man can grow completely original, humanoid or human-looking superhumans with whatever abilities he desires. He's been known to also do this for pay, as when he supplied VIPER with the powerful monster named Obelisque (Champions Worldwide). Sometimes Teleios turns a creation loose in the world uncontrolled (although not unmonitored), to see how it responds and develops. He did so with the beings labeled the Landsman, and the Lodge (both in Champions Of The North).

The master geneticist can program his creations with whatever skills he or his employer desires. He can even implant elaborate false memories, to the point where the person has no idea he or she is artificial or has any connection to the Perfect Man. Teleios does this with the cloned soldiers he sells to other villains and groups. The superheroine called the Teen Dream (Teen Champions), whom Teleios designed as an experiment in social manipulation, is unaware of her real origin and considers herself a true hero. When he makes a creature Teleios implants controlling genes that make it psychologically impossible for that creature to harm him, or may even make it a loyal follower. Those controls can be so subtle that a person isn't consciously aware of them. Although the lore doesn't specify it, it would be reasonable to assume Teleios does this to humans he augments.

Teleios, the Perfect Man, is fully written up in Champions Villains Vol. 1: Master Villains.
#9217912 Mar 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM
398 Posts
Side note: Teen Dream is one of the most interesting characters in the setting for me. If I actually had the opportunity to play the PnP, I'd love to have a story arc with featuring her.
#9219067 Mar 10, 2014 at 02:18 PM
675 Posts
Woah nelly. I did not see any of that coming. And Destroyer is smarter than this guy?

This actually gives me ideas for a few things...
#9219177 Mar 10, 2014 at 02:40 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9219067 Hand Behind the Blade wrote:

Woah nelly. I did not see any of that coming. And Destroyer is smarter than this guy?

This actually gives me ideas for a few things...



In terms of observational acuity and information processing speed, Teleios's brain is superior to Dr. Destroyer's, and as intellectually efficient as a human brain can be without being superhuman. Teleios is also the most advanced and knowledgeable geneticist among all human scientists, surpassing even Destroyer in this field. However, Dr. Destroyer far exceeds Teleios in the range of scientific disciplines and other skills that he's mastered, and is first or second in the world in almost all of them.

And I'm glad to hear this sparked some ideas. That's what I was aiming for. :D
#9379717 Apr 14, 2014 at 08:31 AM
Member
13 Posts
#8637867 Lord Liaden wrote:

The Swords of Nama: During the Dark Ages the serpent-god Nama, who is today the patron deity of VIPER, set out to become a great power among Men. He gathered six mighty warriors from across Eurasia to be his agents and generals, to conquer an empire in his name. For each warrior he forged a powerful enchanted sword. But before they could achieve any major successes the warriors quarreled, which ultimately led to all their deaths. The Swords of Nama were scattered. Over the intervening centuries some of these legendary swords reappeared, and a few were destroyed; but others remain to be discovered in ruins across Eastern Europe.

The story of the six "vipers upon the land" appears as a small part of the history of Nama and VIPER, on p. 6 of the book, VIPER: Coils Of The Serpent. Aside from being called "serpent-blades" the Swords of Nama aren't described, nor are any of their qualities defined, which leaves someone free to imbue a particular sword with any powers desired. Note that Nama is neither good nor evil, and has helped heroes or villains as the mood struck him; so there's no inherent reason for his Swords to be one or the other.



Yes, so much yes, this is a perfect origin for Juanita's sword.
"There are other Kings beyond those in the Cannibal Hall. All are trapped and imprisoned now, but those prisons are older then our world, and they creak and groan. Five-eyed Vulshoth lies chained within the Black Maze, and Those Who Dwell in Bleakness are chained within the Shining Darkness of a dying cosmos. Ptharr is buried at the heart of another world, and Diezzhorath is spread too thinly to act. There are others, but all share the same goal: To escape! They will claim to be demons, they will claim to be gods, but they are neither. They will promise power and anything that is desired, but all they grant is a slavery more horrible then can be imagined. For they cannot be bound by word or spell, and ignore the laws of magic and nature. They care only for their freedom and their hungers, and should they escape they will drag our world down their maw, where all that is will be devoured."
#9431203 Apr 26, 2014 at 04:49 AM
Member
13 Posts
Oh! Why not add Cosmic Gems to the list?
"There are other Kings beyond those in the Cannibal Hall. All are trapped and imprisoned now, but those prisons are older then our world, and they creak and groan. Five-eyed Vulshoth lies chained within the Black Maze, and Those Who Dwell in Bleakness are chained within the Shining Darkness of a dying cosmos. Ptharr is buried at the heart of another world, and Diezzhorath is spread too thinly to act. There are others, but all share the same goal: To escape! They will claim to be demons, they will claim to be gods, but they are neither. They will promise power and anything that is desired, but all they grant is a slavery more horrible then can be imagined. For they cannot be bound by word or spell, and ignore the laws of magic and nature. They care only for their freedom and their hungers, and should they escape they will drag our world down their maw, where all that is will be devoured."
#9432056 Apr 26, 2014 at 09:48 AM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
That's a very interesting suggestion, and something I'll have to think about. My hesitation comes from a couple of factors. One, there are a lot of (deliberate) mysteries about the Cosmic Gems: where they come from; how many there are; whether they're all intelligent and self-willed, and if they "choose" their wielders (at least one is intelligent); whether they have a corrupting influence on their wielders (two are known to). Two, the Gems are supposed to be a big deal. Their power varies depending on the innate power and strength of will of their wielder, but even in the hands of an average person they're pretty potent. Possessed by a godlike entity such as Xarriel or a Galaxar, a Gem's power would be nearly limitless. That has made them highly sought after by parties across the Milky Way.

Let me ponder this for a bit. But thanks for the suggestion. Anyone else want to weigh in, feel free. :)

BTW the Cosmic Gems are described in Champions Beyond p. 293. One wielder of a Cosmic Gem, the alien criminal Galaxia, is written up in Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains.
#9432823 Apr 26, 2014 at 01:56 PM
80 Posts
Is there a list of Gems that are existing so far?
#9434186 Apr 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
1156 Posts
#9432823 D8A-Dude wrote:

Is there a list of Gems that are existing so far?



Yes. The number of Cosmic Gems believed to exist ranges from three up to 15 depending on which authority you ask, but three are definitely known. One is Galaxia's gem; she's an average wielder, and can use the Gem to project relatively potent, varied but defined energy attacks, defenses, and movement powers. A second was locked away by a Galaxar called the Recorder, who asserts that this Gem is intelligent and actively malevolent. The last possessor of the third gem was a StarGuard who was eventually corrupted by it and tried to take over several worlds. That Gem's current whereabouts are unknown.