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#13768878 May 12, 2018 at 05:10 PM
170 Posts
I recently posted a build help request thread detailing the character, but now I come here concerning a few questions about the vigilante side of Champions to help shape up this character.

Alley Cat is intended to be a slight homage to Heroes for Hire, Catwoman, and Silk Spectre from the Watchman series, to name a few inspirations. I plan on most likely making her a legacy hero, with her grandmother taking up the costume first during the 60’s and 70’s, working to solve missing person’s cases and other ignored crimes, often against minorities, in Hudson City. Her daughter, who originally wanted to be a police officer, felt pressured into the life by her mother, who had since ran a successful P.I agency and thus, became a full time hero during the 80’s and 90’s, but hang up the cowl after a brush with death during the Battle of Detroit, which left her with several scars, PTSD, and a larger rift with her mother.

Her daughter, born shortly thereafter, is on her way to obtain a legal studies degree at MCU, and despite urgings from her mother not to, herself now a detective transferred to the MCPD-has decided to take up crime fighting as the third Alley Cat.

My question now is, what criminals and vigilantes populated Hudson City, any information on laws regarding vigilantes and law enforcement, and anyone who could have potentially mentored or trained my character on her path to heroism, like notable martial artists, retired vigilantes, or armorers?

I know one possibility for commissioned equipment, comes in the form of the old armored for the Fantastic Five?
#13768957 May 12, 2018 at 07:28 PM
1338 Posts
Hudson City... now that's an interesting case. The city was created as the primary setting for Hero Games' "Dark Champions" RPG line, for modern-day adventure, up to street-level superheroes such as Batman or Daredevil. Kind of an analogue to DC's Gotham City. Technically Hudson City is part of the same world as the rest of the Champions Universe; but in practical terms they function as though they're separate continuities. The "ground rules" for how law and morality are viewed and applied are decidedly different. The villains and vigilantes based in Hudson City don't travel elsewhere, and those from elsewhere don't come there. There are some people there with unusual abilities, but powerful superhumans stay away. Groups like VIPER and DEMON have no presence in Hudson, and groups operating out of Hudson aren't noted as impacting the rest of the world, even when one would logically expect them to. Champions Universe even states as much.

From the point of view of Cryptic Studios, the Dark Champions material was purchased as a separate part of the IP, to be developed for a distinct game with a different style, less colorful and harder-edged; but those plans lie fallow for now. It would be simpler just to have your character's family hail from a different city. Pre-MC Detroit, or Vibora Bay, are quite well documented historically. And on a personal note, I confess I know little about the society and chief personages of the current official version of Hudson City, so would have little help to offer you. 😳
#13768960 May 12, 2018 at 07:31 PM
170 Posts
#13768957 Lord Liaden wrote:

Hudson City... now that's an interesting case. The city was created as the primary setting for Hero Games' "Dark Champions" RPG line, for modern-day adventure, up to street-level superheroes such as Batman or Daredevil. Kind of an analogue to DC's Gotham City. Technically Hudson City is part of the same world as the rest of the Champions Universe; but in practical terms they function as though they're separate continuities. The "ground rules" for how law and morality are viewed and applied are decidedly different. The villains and vigilantes based in Hudson City don't travel elsewhere, and those from elsewhere don't come there. There are some people there with unusual abilities, but powerful superhumans stay away. Groups like VIPER and DEMON have no presence in Hudson, and groups operating out of Hudson aren't noted as impacting the rest of the world, even when one would logically expect them to. Champions Universe even states as much.

From the point of view of Cryptic Studios, the Dark Champions material was purchased as a separate part of the IP, to be developed for a distinct game with a different style, less colorful and harder-edged; but those plans lie fallow for now. It would be simpler just to have your character's family hail from a different city. Pre-MC Detroit, or Vibora Bay, are quite well documented historically. And on a personal note, I confess I know little about the society and chief personages of the current official version of Hudson City, so would have little help to offer you. 😳



In that case, what would I be looking at if I based them out of Víbora Bay or Pre MC Detroit?
#13768972 May 12, 2018 at 07:48 PM
1338 Posts
For my part, I don't have time right now to get into subjects that detailed. In the meantime, since you asked about attitudes toward vigilantism in the setting, I can direct you to a forum thread treating the subject: https://championsonlineroleplayers.shivtr.com/forum_threads/2402514

Perhaps other kind souls can help you in the interim. 😇
#13769277 May 13, 2018 at 07:42 AM · Edited 6 months ago
1338 Posts
All right, Vesta, let's see if we can find an alley for your cat. 😺

Your character's family history seems to show a connection to Detroit/Millennium City: her mother personally traumatized by the Battle of Detroit, and your character now with the MCPD and studying at MCU. I also noticed that the first Alley Cat tended to take cases involving minorities and other marginalized people. I believe these and other factors align to make Detroit the most logical base for the Alley Cats.

Old Detroit had few local superheroes. From 1966 until his assassination in 1974, the most prominent of these was known as Scarlet Shield, Detroit's first well-known African-American superhero. Although he fought gangs and organized crime, and sometimes supervillains, the Shield is remembered most for his support of the civil rights movement, but as a moderate advocating restraint and trying to build understanding (which led to criticism by extremists from both sides). He also did community outreach, seeking to inspire young people to stay in school and give back to the community. I could certainly see Scarlet Shield treating the first Alley Cat as a crime-fighting partner, friend, perhaps even her inspiration.

Shadowboxer was the next well-known native son to become Detroit's defender, his career running from 1981 until his death during the Battle of Detroit. A skilled boxer with some darkness-related powers, Shadowboxer wore protective armor built out of salvaged parts by his brother Dennis Greene. Dennis is no super-scientist, but a very talented mechanic who provided "tech support" as well as advice for his younger brother Joey. If the second Alley Cat was friends with Shadowboxer his death would have added to her trauma. Keeping Dennis Greene as a family friend would also give your character access to someone who could build some basic gadgets for her, and maybe be a mentor in her crime-fighting career.

As far as training goes, I think your best bet would be the most respected martial-arts school in Millennium City, the kwoon founded by a mysterious man named Zhu Hsaio. Very few people know that Zhu is the last of the master martial-arts teachers from the legendary Yengtao Temple. Zhu fled the temple's destruction with the help of his prize pupil, Steve Chase. Zhu Hsiao is quite elderly today, but Chase teaches at the kwoon. Steve Chase is also secretly the vigilante hero and reserve Champion known as Nightwind.

All of the above is detailed in the Millennium City source book. If that doesn't work for you we can explore other possibilities.
#13769574 May 13, 2018 at 03:45 PM
170 Posts
#13769277 Lord Liaden wrote:

All right, Vesta, let's see if we can find an alley for your cat. 😺

Your character's family history seems to show a connection to Detroit/Millennium City: her mother personally traumatized by the Battle of Detroit, and your character now with the MCPD and studying at MCU. I also noticed that the first Alley Cat tended to take cases involving minorities and other marginalized people. I believe these and other factors align to make Detroit the most logical base for the Alley Cats.

Old Detroit had few local superheroes. From 1966 until his assassination in 1974, the most prominent of these was known as Scarlet Shield, Detroit's first well-known African-American superhero. Although he fought gangs and organized crime, and sometimes supervillains, the Shield is remembered most for his support of the civil rights movement, but as a moderate advocating restraint and trying to build understanding (which led to criticism by extremists from both sides). He also did community outreach, seeking to inspire young people to stay in school and give back to the community. I could certainly see Scarlet Shield treating the first Alley Cat as a crime-fighting partner, friend, perhaps even her inspiration.

Shadowboxer was the next well-known native son to become Detroit's defender, his career running from 1981 until his death during the Battle of Detroit. A skilled boxer with some darkness-related powers, Shadowboxer wore protective armor built out of salvaged parts by his brother Dennis Greene. Dennis is no super-scientist, but a very talented mechanic who provided "tech support" as well as advice for his younger brother Joey. If the second Alley Cat was friends with Shadowboxer his death would have added to her trauma. Keeping Dennis Greene as a family friend would also give your character access to someone who could build some basic gadgets for her, and maybe be a mentor in her crime-fighting career.

As far as training goes, I think your best bet would be the most respected martial-arts school in Millennium City, the kwoon founded by a mysterious man named Zhu Hsaio. Very few people know that Zhu is the last of the master martial-arts teachers from the legendary Yengtao Temple. Zhu fled the temple's destruction with the help of his prize pupil, Steve Chase. Zhu Hsiao is quite elderly today, but Chase teaches at the kwoon. Steve Chase is also secretly the vigilante hero and reserve Champion known as Nightwind.

All of the above is detailed in the Millennium City source book. If that doesn't work for you we can explore other possibilities.



I believe those are all excellent connections to use in creating this character’s narrative-especially the point about a potential friendship to Shadowboxer and his death inducing trauma in the second Alley Cat, my character’s mother.

I believe I will have it alluded to that Dennis perhaps gave them some starting gear, like a modifiable stealth belt, bolas, gas pellets, a grappling gun, and pointers to possibly other armorers in MC proper. I also had a question, if making my character make, with his predecessors being female, an interesting twist or something that detracts from, rather than enhancing the story?

Lastly, I was thinking about any potential villains the family could hav clashes with I the past, or any groups that could provide them with a nemesis or two, maybe legacy villains even?
#13769701 May 13, 2018 at 07:24 PM
1338 Posts
Whether your character is male or female really depends on what you'd enjoy playing. I will just point out that Black Mask X had some conflict with her father over being the first woman to take up the identity. It might be fun to flip that gender issue on its head with Alley Cat. 😉

For past or present villains, a few possibilities come to mind. If Alley Cat has contact with Steve Chase, particularly in his heroic identity of Nightwind, he/she is bound to run into gang followers of Chase's arch-rival, the martial-art villain Jade Phoenix (CV Vol. 3). Going into the past, since it sounds like the Alley Cats were mostly fighting street-level crime, Alley Cat II may have had run-ins with the young Matthew Cresse, who was an up-and-coming "consultant" for the Detroit Mafia, and eventually became a major organized crime boss (and probably runs the Mafia in Millennium City today). Cresse is described in the Millennium City book.

The trick with older menaces is to find ones which fit with your character, who were active decades ago but still are today. One I might suggest is Stalker (CV Vol. 3), a vampire who's been a thorn in the side of more than one Black Mask. Another possibility is Electro-Man (from the recent Golden Age Champions), a mob hitman who was sentenced to the electric chair, but somehow revived in the morgue as a type of undead being, and wielding potent electrical powers. He picked up his old life, now with the added selling point of super-powers. Since he's apparently ageless he's still active today.

I'll have to give this more thought; or maybe you have more specific ideas about the type of villain you want to use.
#13769804 May 13, 2018 at 10:38 PM
170 Posts
#13769701 Lord Liaden wrote:

Whether your character is male or female really depends on what you'd enjoy playing. I will just point out that Black Mask X had some conflict with her father over being the first woman to take up the identity. It might be fun to flip that gender issue on its head with Alley Cat. 😉

For past or present villains, a few possibilities come to mind. If Alley Cat has contact with Steve Chase, particularly in his heroic identity of Nightwind, he/she is bound to run into gang followers of Chase's arch-rival, the martial-art villain Jade Phoenix (CV Vol. 3). Going into the past, since it sounds like the Alley Cats were mostly fighting street-level crime, Alley Cat II may have had run-ins with the young Matthew Cresse, who was an up-and-coming "consultant" for the Detroit Mafia, and eventually became a major organized crime boss (and probably runs the Mafia in Millennium City today). Cresse is described in the Millennium City book.

The trick with older menaces is to find ones which fit with your character, who were active decades ago but still are today. One I might suggest is Stalker (CV Vol. 3), a vampire who's been a thorn in the side of more than one Black Mask. Another possibility is Electro-Man (from the recent Golden Age Champions), a mob hitman who was sentenced to the electric chair, but somehow revived in the morgue as a type of undead being, and wielding potent electrical powers. He picked up his old life, now with the added selling point of super-powers. Since he's apparently ageless he's still active today.

I'll have to give this more thought; or maybe you have more specific ideas about the type of villain you want to use.



Yeah, I may make Alley Cat male to see how it affects his narrative direction.

Regarding villains, I was thinking using the sourcebook as inspiration but maybe making some original creations, as to have more creative freedom over how they affect my character-a low level shadow manipulating villain with a cursed grip named Dead Man’s Hand, a mobster underboss inspired by Andrew Creese, etc-building up a attendable to (no Superman level foes) but fun rogue’s gallery.

I also curious as to how I could make it so Alley Cat 1 is seen as a bit of a minor celebrity figure, but potentially add some controversy, as I see a few of those elements could strengthen my character’s story later on?
#13770079 May 14, 2018 at 07:27 AM
1338 Posts
Well, how about looking at some of those past connections we talked about? As I mentioned, Scarlet Shield was a controversial figure in his day. Perhaps the first Alley Cat was more closely linked to him, joining in some of his social activism. His statue was added to Memorial Park in 1999 -- one or both of the former Cats could have spearheaded the campaign to include it.
#13770972 May 15, 2018 at 09:55 AM
48 Posts
A 2 birds 1 stone sort of thing regarding a controversial hero name and a villain from a generation ago.

Follow the ever classic trope of the hero accidentally killing a super villain. A fall from grace and a disgruntled and suddenly orphaned child later there's an antag with history!

Or slightly more convoluted, the villain's death isn't real. A combination of fighting off the villain who attacks from the shadows and attempting to bring them out to the light to prove the previous Alley Cat's innocence
#13780544 May 27, 2018 at 08:35 PM · Edited 6 months ago
1338 Posts
#13769804 Vesta~ wrote:

Regarding villains, I was thinking using the sourcebook as inspiration but maybe making some original creations, as to have more creative freedom over how they affect my character-a low level shadow manipulating villain with a cursed grip named Dead Man’s Hand, a mobster underboss inspired by Andrew Creese, etc-building up a attendable to (no Superman level foes) but fun rogue’s gallery.



I wanted to revisit this point, because it occurred to me that the powers you describe for Dead Man's Hand are eerily similar to those possessed by Shadowboxer -- generating a field of blinding darkness surrounding himself, or an explosive aura of "dark energy" around his hand enhancing the power of his punches. It would be tempting to connect DMH to Shadowboxer in some way. I can think of a few ways to do that, each with its own potential story benefits and drawbacks.

Joey Greene's origin involved him being shot along with his first professional boxing promoter, who owed money to the mob, when Joey refused to take a dive in a fight. The thugs who shot them dumped their bodies at the site of illegally-buried radioactive waste, which revived and empowered Joey. Perhaps exposure to that waste did the same for one of the thugs, or even the promoter, spawning Dead Man's Hand. That would have given Shadowboxer a recurring "sparring partner," perhaps someone the second Alley Cat could have history with. Of course you'd have to decide how you want to deal with his advancing age.

Shadowboxer often came up against VIPER operatives in Detroit. At some point he could have been temporarily captured and studied by VIPER scientists, who were able to imbue powers similar to his in one of their agents. As this could have happened at any time during Shadowboxer's career, the resulting Dead Man's Hand could still be young enough to be active today. He might still work for VIPER if you want to bring them into Alley Cat's sphere; otherwise he could have left VIPER to work as a solo villain.

Shadowboxer was crushed to death by the monster Glacier during the Battle of Detroit; it was several days later before his body was found and recovered by the authorities. Perhaps someone else came across the dead or dying hero earlier, and Shadowboxer's power passed into him. That scenario creates the most pathos, as the hero's legacy has been perverted to villainy (not necessarily known by the public, but perhaps by Alley Cat).

Anyway, just spitballing ideas.
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