Saturday, 13 September 2008

A Skrull Walks Among Us!

Fantastic Four #18, September 1963. Again.
(By Lee, Kirby, and Ayers)

As I may have mentioned in the past, I used to run a Marvel Superheroes RPG, back in the days when I still had the time, energy, and enthusiasm to try to run a decent game. In the course of the campaign, I learned many hard lessons about super-powered combat. So, with the aid of this issue of FF, let me bring you

Dr Sordid's 10 Tips For Truly Effective Super-Villains!

1. Good Planning Is Half The Battle.

As the Emperor of the Skrulls demonstrates here, it's vitally important to put the appropriate time and money into developing your super-villain. That can make the difference between reducing your enemy's homeplanet to rubble, and being left with andromedan egg on your face.

2. Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery.

Surprisingly few superheroes consider how to counter their own powers. Which is odd, when you consider just how often a superhero meets his evil twin, or has his powers stolen by a villainous scientist.

3. Always Go One Better, Just In Case.

If you're going to make copying your enemies abilities your schtick, it's wise to make sure that the R&D department provide you with a bit of extra oomph, on the off chance that you encounter a hero who's smart enough to consider the previous point.

4. Put On A Good Show.

When presenting to a potentially hostile, audience, you can't go wrong with a good strong introduction. If enough people believe you're capable of single-handedly conquering New York, then their faith in the heroes who show up to take you on can be dented, which never harms your chances, when it comes to the inevitable fight sequence.

5. Don't Take Any Crap From Civilians.

Residents of the Big Apple are notoriously reluctant to welcome visitations from alien invaders. It's best to beat the crap out of any pipe-smoking, fedora-wearing New Yorkers who give you any back-talk. (Oddly, a variation on this advise, replacing "alien invaders" with "tourists", appears in the most recent edition of the Rough Guide To New York. Who'da thought it?

6. Resist The Urge To Gloat.

Should your first encounter with the heroes go well, then it's best not to rub your opponent's nose in it. Heroes have an annoying tendency to bounce back, and you can bet anything you say now will come back to haunt you later. Remember: pride cometh before a fall, so a slight smile should be your only outward expression of satisfaction.

7. Goats Are Not Scary. Not Even A Little Bit.

This one should be self-explanatory, but just in case: before you invade an alien planet, check which animals are regarded as fearsome, and which are thought of as cute or ineffectual.

8. Never, Ever, Let Super-Smart Heroes Get Access To A Laboratory.

If you have a weakness which can be exploited, you can bet your bottom Altarian Dollar that the heroes will find it, if you give them an opportunity. So, either don't give them that opportunity, or better yet, don't have any such weakness in the first place.

9. If All Else Fails, Cheat!

If things are starting to not go your way, then it's time to pull something out of your back pocket. And, speaking from personal experience, let me tell you that hypnotism is a seriously underrated superpower! Why fight your foes, when you can mesmerise them into beating the crap out of each other instead?

10. Always Have An Escape Plan.

If you've had your arse handed to you by the superheroes, then I recommend you have a means of avoiding being sealed up in a volcano for ever. A teleporter, perhaps, or a rescue ship from your home planet. If not, it may not be the end of the world, as the odds are you'll be back anyway before too long....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Skrulls, eh? I don't think they'll catch on.