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The Return of Dr. Poe!

bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
edited September 2014 in Suggestions Box
In case some people haven't picked up on the cause for the hostility between PSI and Kevin Poe, leader of the New Purple Gang: Kevin's father, Dr. Sebastian Poe, founded PSI in 1986, after discovering what he calls the "Psi Serum," capable of stimulating even the slightest genetic potential for psionic powers in a human being. He used it to create supervillains for PSI, which made it a major player in the criminal underworld. Dr. Poe was later betrayed to law enforcement by his second wife, Madeline (now the PSI supervillain Medusa), and her lover Psimon, who took over the organization. Kevin wants revenge against Psimon and Medusa, and to take over PSI as his birthright.

According to the write-up for PSI in Champions Villains Vol. 2, p. 143, in 1995 Dr. Poe was sentenced to twenty years in Stronghold. He wasn't part of the 2009 breakout, so is still there; but obviously, his sentence will be finished next year.

Sebastian Poe's release, and reunion with his son, could be the impetus for a significant story arc bringing the conflict between PSI and the New Purple Gang to a head, with our PCs caught between them.
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  • crypticbuxomcrypticbuxom Posts: 4,438 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    It would certainly be better than having ANOTHER Hi Pan thing happening. I mean Hi Pan? Really?!

    But yes I can see something great come of that. Just another mission that could have been made by a player if Foundry was available.
    Please stop removing my posts whenever I ask a question or post changes for things added onto the PTS.
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  • flyingfinnflyingfinn Posts: 7,809 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    But...but, that would mean a Comic Series?...
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    gradii wrote: »
    Hmmm what about sebastian convincing his son, that now that he's out of stronghold, they can have BIGGER plans.

    they then move on to nearly immediately take over PSI, due to something I haven't figured out, and then try and take over the world! :tongue:

    and then our heroes must stop them.

    Since Dr. Poe was imprisoned, PSI has kept the secret of the Psi Serum for their own use. But Dr. Poe invented it; Kevin's powers are the result of his father experimenting on him when he was a child. So an alliance between the two Poes would likely mean more superhuman members of the New Purple Gang.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    Well, starting with Millennium City anyway. They can figure out where they go after that, assuming we don't stop them. :wink:

    Anytime you have telepathic/ mind-controlling villains, it opens the door to cool conspiracy story lines. OTOH war between PSI and the NPG would probably include more gritty street-level action, for people who like that style of play.
  • chaoswolf820chaoswolf820 Posts: 734 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    It always fascinates me how often the famous words of a certain arachnid-powered hero’s uncle get disregarded when the powerset involved is that of the mind.

    What IS it about psionics/telepathy/telekinesis that leads those with such powers more often than not to take up a life of villainy and crime, and so rarely to be the hero and use those powers for good?

    Why do those with superhuman mentality so often use their powers for selfish gain and so rarely for benevolent means?

    Is the power itself somehow corruptive, or is there another reason for such tendencies?
  • meedacthunistmeedacthunist Posts: 2,963 Arc User1
    edited August 2014
    In general, it will end badly with every superpower.

    That's why in comic books usually there are more villains than heroes, with majority of heroes having their own rogue galleries.

    It takes strong character to have power and do not abuse it only because you can get away with it.

    As for why there are more rogue mentalists than heroes in CUverse...

    I think it is because books were made with PnP campaigns in mind and mentalist heroes were a niche left to fill in by player characters.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    From a gaming perspective, I think meedacthunist has the right idea. The primary purpose of a heroic adventure game is to provide interesting, challenging foes for PC heroes to fight. In the Champions Universe there are far fewer NPC heroes even mentioned, than villains; because the heroes of the stories are supposed to be the PCs that players create.

    However, considering a broader rationale from within the "reality" of super universes, I believe meed also hit the nail on the head:
    It takes strong character to have power and do not abuse it only because you can get away with it.

    Imagine having the capacity to unearth every hidden secret from other people; to force them to follow your orders like puppets; to change their memories so they don't even recall doing what you made them do, or think they did it of their own volition. That's pretty much the ultimate in "getting away with it" without fear of consequences or even disapproval. How many of us could be strong enough to resist that temptation?

    OTOH lots of stories about telepaths describe them as being constantly bombarded by thoughts of people around them, including the secret, ugly things we don't normally reveal to anyone. That's likely to at least distort someone's view of humanity, if not outright drive them insane. Like having schizophrenia, except the voices are real. :eek:
  • chaoswolf820chaoswolf820 Posts: 734 Arc User
    edited August 2014
    bulgarex wrote: »
    Imagine having the capacity to unearth every hidden secret from other people; to force them to follow your orders like puppets; to change their memories so they don't even recall doing what you made them do, or think they did it of their own volition. That's pretty much the ultimate in "getting away with it" without fear of consequences or even disapproval. How many of us could be strong enough to resist that temptation?

    OTOH lots of stories about telepaths describe them as being constantly bombarded by thoughts of people around them, including the secret, ugly things we don't normally reveal to anyone. That's likely to at least distort someone's view of humanity, if not outright drive them insane. Like having schizophrenia, except the voices are real. :eek:

    That's a damn good argument. Psionic powers basically driving folks crazy because the voices don't shut up...
  • vorshothvorshoth Posts: 591 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    I always see telepathy as an easy alternative to necromancy for grand armies following your bidding, which is a natural conclusion and outcome, I feel, to anyone with such a power.

    If you can read someone's mind, then that means there is data transfer.

    That means that you have their secrets and can manipulate them. Fair enough.
    But if you can send messages back? If you can make them think thoughts that aren't theirs? Then you're basically evil now.
    If you can completely override their mind and control them completely? Okay, now you're a bit scary.
    If you can do it to multiple people at once while still functioning in some way? Okay, send out the troops as you are the worst thing ever and you need to be shot.

    Telepathy is useful on the small scale, but when you build it up, you pretty much have the potential to take over everything ever.
    That is why telepaths may indeed be more common as villains. Because if CC wasn't kind of bizarre and weak in parts in CO, I would predict a 60% rise in players roleplaying as villain-style characters because mental domination is DOMINATION, and that's like the most common evil organisation acronym word right after ESPIONAGE and EVIL

    (I personally would use it to be a con artist, just because it basically means easy money)


    Back on the topic though, Ooh, Dr Poe would be awesome and make it so, Devs!
    (isn't it kind of unfortunate that he technically comes back from jail only just before Istatha V'Han invades Earth and superpowers stop being a thing as per the backstory of the Beyond book?)
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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 14,927 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    More like the return of DR. NO! Hyech hyech hyech!
    1e8f2e18ffad6924b165ad360593d5ef_500.png

    But no in all seriousness I like the idea that they might do something with this because we haven't seen much "psionics" focused content in the updates so that would be pretty cool.
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,134 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    bulgarex wrote: »
    OTOH lots of stories about telepaths describe them as being constantly bombarded by thoughts of people around them, including the secret, ugly things we don't normally reveal to anyone. That's likely to at least distort someone's view of humanity, if not outright drive them insane. Like having schizophrenia, except the voices are real. :eek:
    That's what drove my PnP character Mindseye into alcoholism; drinking was the only way he could make the voices shut up. And he couldn't stay in a shelter, because they'd try to make him dry out, and then everybody in the building would get his withdrawal symptoms.

    (He eventually hooked up with a group of homeless heroes, the Street People, and started trying to find a level of drunk that would let him use his powers in a controlled fashion...)
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    vorshoth wrote: »
    Back on the topic though, Ooh, Dr Poe would be awesome and make it so, Devs!
    (isn't it kind of unfortunate that he technically comes back from jail only just before Istatha V'Han invades Earth and superpowers stop being a thing as per the backstory of the Beyond book?)

    Glad the suggestion meets with your approval. :smile:

    BTW the event that ends magic and superpowers on Earth is supposed to occur in 2020, assuming CO doesn't change that detail as they already have several other elements of the setting (and I can't see why they wouldn't if the game's still running then); and the invader in that case will be Tyrannon the Conqueror, not his rival V'han.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    gradii wrote: »
    CO is a different place from the hero games version. that was only added into the PnP timeline due to the questionable decision to have all their games take place in the same universe.

    In addition, the dissapearance of magic does not neccesarily mean the end of all superpowers.

    Even though most superpowers exist originally because of magic, there's not always a reason why they'd go away without magic, as well as the other reason superpowers exist in champions- the progenitors.

    Again, the devs own the IP, so can change past history or future events in the original timeline in any manner that works for what they want to do. As I'm sure the publishers of the PnP game would have done without the IP sale, if they were still publishing Champions Universe source books in 2020. :wink:
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    gradii wrote: »
    Which is why telepathy heroes are to be respected even more so for actually remaining heroes.

    If you really wish to test someone's character, give them power.

    The San Angelo superhero setting for HERO System, published by Gold Rush Games, presented a psionic hero called Mind-Master who became frustrated with the recidivism of villains and criminals he caught. He began, subtly at first, to mentally "reprogram" captured lawbreakers to go straight. Then he started reprogramming people with a criminal mindset not yet arrested for any crime. He became obsessed with the desire to eradicate evil thoughts from everyone. Eventually other heroes discovered what Mind-Master was doing, so he fled and adopted the identity of Mastermind, with a cadre of brainwashed followers dedicated to wiping evil from the human mind.
  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 14,927 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    My telepathy character isn't even telepathic... they use magic that just looks like telepathy powers and gets mad at people who try to call her a telepath u3u
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    That's what HERO System calls the difference between Game Mechanics and Special Effects. Multiple things can have different explanations and different looks from each other, but the same function within the game.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    vorshoth wrote: »
    I always see telepathy as an easy alternative to necromancy for grand armies following your bidding, which is a natural conclusion and outcome, I feel, to anyone with such a power.

    If you can read someone's mind, then that means there is data transfer.

    That means that you have their secrets and can manipulate them. Fair enough.
    But if you can send messages back? If you can make them think thoughts that aren't theirs? Then you're basically evil now.
    If you can completely override their mind and control them completely? Okay, now you're a bit scary.
    If you can do it to multiple people at once while still functioning in some way? Okay, send out the troops as you are the worst thing ever and you need to be shot.

    Telepathy is useful on the small scale, but when you build it up, you pretty much have the potential to take over everything ever.
    That is why telepaths may indeed be more common as villains. Because if CC wasn't kind of bizarre and weak in parts in CO, I would predict a 60% rise in players roleplaying as villain-style characters because mental domination is DOMINATION, and that's like the most common evil organisation acronym word right after ESPIONAGE and EVIL

    This is essentially why Menton is so terrifying to every government and security agency on Earth. He can do all of that, and more. There's no telling how much of the world he already controls behind the scenes. He once mentally manipulated the populace of the small Central American country of Guamanga to vote for him for president.

    Not surprisingly, he's also world-class slime. After an American senator publicly urged greater resources be devoted to apprehending him, Menton sent the senator a recording of himself having his way with the man's wife and daughter.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,536 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    I don't think anyone here has said it's inevitable, merely that it's an understandable progression. There are mind-controlling heroes in comics, although several of them have crossed the line into villainy and/or madness temporarily, notably Charles Xavier, Jean Grey, and Heather "Moondragon" Douglas.

    The Champions Universe has a few veteran mind-controlling heroes who have never gone "dark," at least so far as has yet been mentioned.
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,134 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    bulgarex wrote: »
    I don't think anyone here has said it's inevitable, merely that it's an understandable progression. There are mind-controlling heroes in comics, although several of them have crossed the line into villainy and/or madness temporarily, notably Charles Xavier, Jean Grey, and Heather "Moondragon" Douglas.

    The Champions Universe has a few veteran mind-controlling heroes who have never gone "dark," at least so far as has yet been mentioned.
    It may be worth noting here that Jean Grey didn't cross the line until her sense of reality was distorted by Jason Wyngarde (for which he paid, oh yes...). Wyngarde didn't realize, you see, that she was already playing host to the Phoenix. His interference was what started her down the slope to becoming the Dark Phoenix.

    Of course, once she crossed it, she continued merrily onward... :smile:
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • chaoswolf820chaoswolf820 Posts: 734 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    gradii wrote: »
    But that's just an example of power corrupting a person. I refuse to accept that the inevitable outcome of mind control powers is villainy.

    Would you accept that the inevitable outcome of telepathy is a kink for voyeurism and a significantly-higher chance of baldness?

    A friend of mine headcanons that for Marvel (Jean is hairless as an egg, but uses her psy-powers to illusion those lustrous red locks)
  • chaoswolf820chaoswolf820 Posts: 734 Arc User
    edited September 2014
    gradii wrote: »
    why not have pink fire hair like medusa? :tongue:

    You'd have to ask Jean that.

    On a sidenote, is Medusa's fire-hair an available option? It ought to be.
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