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My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

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  • My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

    While I "officially" wrapped up this thread some time ago, Rogues Gallery, getting my hard copy just in time for Christmas has excited me enough to resurrect the topic for a bit, both to add a few bits AND offer some author's ideas on how the characters fit into the Freedomverse (or any similar four-color setting). And yes-despite already having the PDF version, holding the 3-D ink and paper incarnation in my hands is somehow more satisfying. Thanks for the present, Green Ronin!

    As I mentioned previously when discussing The Candy Crew, I wanted to invoke the classic "themed" bad-guy teams such as The Royal Flush Gang or the Wrecking Crew, but also play with the concept of "jobber" villains, who started off as a serious (if modest) threat to heroes, then gradually saw their menace and reputation nose-dive as they kept losing and losing to the good guys over the years. The Freedomvese is a standard superhero genre milieu with a difference-the setting's people and cities progress in real time, meaning status quo is not slavishly maintained. This allows for more genuine character development, and what first got me thinking about what might happen to a "forgotten" Freedom League foe from their halcyon late Silver Age/early Bronze Age days, now facing old age and obscurity. Hence the Candy Czar.

    More to follow.
    Last edited by greycrusader; 16th January 2019, 10:55 PM. Reason: Re-titled thread

  • #2
    My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

    NOTE: While originally I was (eventually) going to cover more details about all the villains I contributed to the Rogues Gallery book, I've decided this thread is ONLY going to cover The Candy Crew. In all honesty, the injury to my hand is still painful enough to be a hindrance, and with regular life being busy enough as is, I really need to limit my keyboard time until I can get back to actual freelance projects.

    My original conception of the Candy Czar was more sinister-the other Crew members would be less his team than his slaves, addicted to the Czar's sweet treats. These psychoactive candies would enhance their abilities and render them fearless in their exploits, but also obedient to the nefarious Mr. Czarnowski. But as I jotted down notes about the team members, stripping the characters of their agency seemed less appealing than giving each their own motives for being part of the gang. When I look at some of my favorite "classic" villain teams such as Flash's own Rogues or the Wrecking Crew, I'm struck by how they are often portrayed as actual friends, not just criminal cohorts; they are believable as people who joke around, hang out together in dive bars, and do favors for each other, sometimes acting as makeshift families, albeit dysfunctional in nature.

    So this was the quality I tried to impart in the final write-up of the team. Each of the Crew ALMOST reached their life's ambition...until a few poor choices, unlucky circumstances, and/or some addiction/vice caused everything to go sour. None of them are stone-cold killers or psychopathic, though Candy Czar and Wicked Licorice are career criminals (and the latter is also a boor, lech, and all-around jerk). They're more closely knit than the Thieves' Guild, but not as disciplined as the Factor Four (where Prof. Camus' orders are followed mostly without question). They regularly rehearse team-tactics, and have come up with a few simple phrases and signals to initiate specific maneuvers in combat.

    (In game terms, this is mostly represented by their Advantages-Leadership, Interpose, Set-Up, etc.-and any pre-set tactics the Gamemaster wants to play against the heroes, though this likely should mean doling out a HP or two for use later. If the team proves popular enough for a GM to keep around in a campaign, the Crew members could eventually be given Teamwork or other-appropriate Advantages,even new ones from the upcoming Super-Teams book.)

    Another paragraph or two coming very soon! All my best.
    Last edited by greycrusader; 16th January 2019, 10:55 PM. Reason: Thread re-titled


    • #3
      Re: My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

      AAAANNNND I'm Back! And I apologize for the wait, I fear a few late evening hours at work combined with the lingering aches from my injury resulted in self-justifying procrastination.

      Regardless, I wanted to again touch upon the Candy Crew's tactics in combat, then move along briefly to a few minor rules mechanics tweaks and minor character errata.

      First, as touched upon in my earlier thread, the Candy Czar and his gang are frequently on the move; though they have no fixed headquarters, both the Czar and Wicked Licorice have been in the "game" long enough to know of criminal safe-houses or "friendly" neighborhoods in most major cities. Of course, this generally means calling in favors or doling out cash, and the unsavory types they have to deal with are not necessarily above accepting a bigger cash bribe to divulge their whereabouts. The Crew sometimes holes up in long-abandoned villain lairs or mad-scientist labs leftover from decades past, belonging to long-retired or deceased criminals such as the original versions of Doc Holiday or Spectrum. Still, given their oft-varying circumstances, the Crew is just as likely to be found holed up in a seedy motel or tenement apartment building.

      They often target suburbs and small towns out of convenience, given the paucity of super-heroes in those areas, but are inevitably lured back to locations like Freedom and Emerald City due to the lucrative nature of successful hauls in those cities. Given their leader's compulsion to revenge old slights (real or perceived), they venture into do-gooder territory on a fairly regular basis.

      Given their somewhat low-rent reputation (a carryover from the previous incarnations of the gang) and outre appearances, opponents frequently underestimate the Crew initially. This is a mistake, because none of them are push-overs, and they coordinate their actions very well in combat. The Candy Czar hangs back, summons his minion Choconut Golem, then uses his gadgets to target foes; he has a wide-variety of candy-themed weapons, and is fairly accurate as well. He often goes after the same opponent repeatedly-ensnaring or weakening them, then striking with his transformation attack. Gobstopper is the team brick, literally leaping into melee with the good guys, and using her impregnable body to shield her allies. When pressed by multiple attackers, Amber Gumm unleashes her area-effect heat blast, a side-effect of her unusual metabolism. Gumball Rally lacks much in the way of offensive punch, so she picks her targets carefully, employing her vast speed and martial skills to aid her teammates by disarming opponents, distracting heroes with nuisance attacks, putting obstacles in front of their foes, disabling tech-based weaponry, and so on. She will do running slams against more vulnerable enemies, counting on her own resistance to impact damage. Cinnamon Styx is a relative pushover in hand to hand combat (his size and appearance can startle foes, but is mostly a bluff), but this is more than made up for by his formidable pyrokinetic abilities, making him another ranged attack specialist. In addition, Sinclair Van Meter's ability to psychically heal his friends makes him even more useful in battle, mitigated only by his slightly cowardly tendency to remain on the outskirts of a fight. The hobgoblin Wicked Licorice is the most self-centered of the lot, and occasionally catches both his friends and foes alike with his toxic breath-blast. If there are are shadowed corner or unlighted areas, he will hide and attempt to pick off heroes through stealth; otherwise Jack Malice attempts to strike from a distance, using any weapons handy, then grapple with his elastic limbs. He's a dirty fighter, and will press any advantage.

      Now, the two rules twerks I mentioned: first, I don't use Impervious as written, but instead the variation suggested by various other posters and given as one option in the Gadgets Guide-effects from attacks under a character's Impervious ranks are reduced by one step-this is compromise in the effectiveness of the Impervious Toughness power between 2nd and 3rd editions. Next, a failed resistance roll against an Affliction imposes a -1 penalty to resist further attacks by the same Affliction attack; this increases the usefulness of 3rd degree Afflictions (because otherwise they almost never take effect), though succumbing so totally still often requires the power be paired with the Power Attack advantage or a paired Dodge/Fortitude/Will weakening attack.

      Glad to be back! All my best!
      Last edited by greycrusader; 26th January 2019, 10:42 PM.


      • #4
        Re: My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

        The Candy Crew members hold numerous connections to other existing characters in the Earth-Prime world; the Candy Czar and Wicked Licorice in particular are career criminals with sordid pasts in the super-villain "industry". While his stock dropped quickly, Mr. Czarnowski was once at least a second-tier foe of the very early Freedom League, along with his original cronies. During this time, he forged a number of short-lived alliances with other malefactors of the era, including the Maestro, Lunar Moth, and the original Spectrum. In fact these un-worthies and a few others once teamed up to pull off a caper based around the human senses (sight, sound, taste, sense of balance, etc), before their spree unraveled due to the investigative prowess of the first Raven. The Candy Czar also made his share of connections while incarcerated in Bruckner Ridge super-prison (the notoriously corrupt "Lock-Up"), where he served as a trustee and new inmate "mentor". Wicked Licorice-known under numerous aliases-made both enemies and allies among the criminal elements of France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. He both owes and is owed favors, but also earned sufficient enmity to drive the handsome hobgoblin to the less hostile shores of the U.S.

        The Candy Crew teamed up with the Thieves Guild on a couple rare occasions to pull jobs in Freedom City, with mixed results, though the modern line-up has yet to encounter the Huckster's loose confederation of malefactors. They aren't respected by the Crime League, despite a recent string of successes. Larceny Inc. contracted with them once to serve as a flashy diversion while the Larceny miscreants handled the subtler aspects of the heist, and the two parties are on good terms. They recently had a calamitous encounter with the Looking Glass Gang which lead to Czarnowski and Co. hightailing out of Emerald City. The Crew has never had cause so far to venture into Europe, but Wicked Licorice's presence would complicate matters with the Fables Gang (as the Snow Queen bears him enmity), and they wouldn't mesh well with MENACE.

        Just a little more material left. All my best!
        Last edited by greycrusader; 31st January 2019, 09:43 PM.


        • #5
          Re: My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

          Accidental double post.
          Last edited by greycrusader; 6th February 2019, 10:25 PM.


          • #6
            Re: My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

            Just a short entry tonight, and likely only one or two more in the entire thread. This one just covers a couple tweaks to two of the Crew members, Cinnamon Styx and Gobstopper.

            First, Gobstopper's Candy-Like Body array (which models the ability to alter her mass and hardness) should have the Noticeable flaw, since Amber Gumm's skin visibly alters color and texture when using the power; consider using the 1 pp gained back to purchase 2 ranks in Deception, Expertise: Streetwise, or Sleight of Hand, reflecting her hardscrabble, sometimes less-than-honest youth.

            Second, Cinnamon Styx's Power Loss Complication needs to be re-written slightly, as only needing to overcome a DC 5 resistance check to assume his "devil" form only represents a 1 in 20 chance of failure; raise the DC to 10, or just GM rule that Sinclair Van Meter's frequent drug use has unpredictable effects on his powers, sometimes causing his Silver-Storm bestowed traits to fail, falter, or manifest out of his control.

            Like I said, a short one! Hope this thread has been of interest to a few of you here!

            All my best.


            • #7
              Re: My Rogues Gallery: More Candy Crew-Y!

              In terms of campaign use, the Candy Crew are mostly intended as a Journeyman villain team, similar to the Thieves Guild; they're never going to be MAJOR threats, or attempt world-shaking capers (unless they accidentally trigger something out of their control), but they're tough, versatile, and well-coordinated enough to be decent recurring opposition to PL 10-11 hero teams, and even when/if the PCs advance to PL 12+ "Big League" heroes, the Crew can show up working for more powerful foes, or settle in to the roll of "Jobbers", giving the occasional lone PC good-guy some trouble before getting trounced.

              Motivation-wise, the members are mostly motivated by simple greed and hedonism, though with a few nuances thrown in-the Czar wants respect, and maybe even something of a second chance at his life; Gumball Rally is a thrill-seeker; Gobstopper wants her prior physique and career back, or failing that, to get some measure of revenge against her former boyfriend and patron The Phenom. As well, some of the Crew obtain their abilities partly or wholly through artificial means, requiring regular thefts of cash, tech, and rare components. This is especially true for Candy Czar, whose continued vitality is dependent on various life-extending drugs, elixirs, and exotic baubles.

              A number of details are included in their individual write-ups which could serve as adventure seeds...or just remain background bits. The mass breakout at Lockdown super-prison, the history of past Candy Crew incarnations clashing with the Freedom League, the Alterna-Teens adventure, Phenomenal Industries..none of these ever HAVE to be mentioned again, even if the Crew show up repeatedly, but they are all elements which GMs can expand upon if so inclined.

              The size of the Crew tends to vary a bit more than many villain teams-they at times have been down to 3 members (plus the Choco-Nut Golem), up to has high as 9 villains strong. The Czar prefers to keep the gang between five and seven in the roster, but always has an eye out for potential recruits-either bad guys whose existing motifs/power-sets already fit the candy-theme, or those whose super-crook identities could be easily reworked to do so.

              All my best, and good night!