Who is Sleeping in the Crypt Tonight?
A scenario idea can begin with just two words. In this case, the two words were: Vampire Superman. That’s a combination far too temping to ignore when it gets into your head, an impossible blend of a Child of the Night and a Child of the Sun, a being of unimaginable power and unrelenting evil that…..
Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
When an idea forms and wants to become a scenario, the best thing to do is begin with that germ, and work backwards. How could Superman become a vampire, and who would benefit from it? Finally (and arguably most importantly) how could the PCs become involved and fix things? The answers to the first two questions will be set in stone when the scenario begins, but the last one only exists in case the Players are stumped and need a nudge in the right direction. Usually they will come up with a completely different solution during the game, and a wise GM will run with that instead. This is a co-operative game, after all.
“A Vampire is stalking Metropolis, and where is Superman?”
So. How could Superman become become a vampire? Creating a master vampire with kryptonite teeth would be stretching things a bit too far. I briefly toy with Superman somehow ending up with a vampire-tainted blood transfusion, and discard it. There is a much better way.
Magic – his all too often forgotten other weakness (I’m ignoring the whole “Phantom Stranger made him invulnerable to magic too” thing). What if Superman is tricked into wearing a mystical amulet that took away his invulnerability, enabling a Vampire’s teeth to puncture his neck. Result: one Vampire Superman.
It sure beats what happened in this Superman vs Dracula tale.
“Wait a minute. Superman HAS NO REFLECTION!”
When it comes to working out who would (and could) do such a thing, there’s only one candidate: Silver Banshee. She has time and again been thwarted by Supes and has the magical knowhow to create the amulet, as well as the likely supernatural connections to team up with a powerful Vampire. Her motives are simple: discredit Superman, sow fear, superstition and panic throughout Metropolis & turn it into a generally better place for supernatural villainesses to live.
Statwise, we just need Vampire Superman and Silver Banshee. Sundry thugs, victims, etc are ready and waiting in the core book. Silver Banshee’s Master Vampire ally I’ll save for a follow-up scenario another time. He is long gone, his work (for now) complete.
A quick trip into Atomic Think Tank provides solid PL14 stats for Superman which are simpler than the full stats in DCA core book, and another thread gives us the Vampire Template for Mutants & Masterminds Third Edition. I print both out; that’s good enough for this one-shot. Vampire Superman is packed full of awesome; he needs yellow sunlight for his powers, yet it burns him. This is a Superman who can turn into a wolf (take that, Krypto!) or a cloud of mist, and summon super-powered Children of the Night. I’m tempted to make them bats with Heat Vision, because that’s just one heck of a mental image. Add in the ability to Dominate Lois Lane and turn Jimmy Olsen into a Vampire too and this has all the makings of being an epic game.
For Silver Banshee, I take several posts suggesting stats for 2nd Edition, distill them and convert into Third Edition numbers. While Vampire Superman is likely to just exist for this one scenario, it’s worth spending more time on Silver Banshee and I’d quite like her to be a thorn in the heroes’ side for a while to come.
Silver Banshee, PL12 180PP
Str 9, Sta 4, Agl 4, Dex 4, Fgt 8, Int 2, Awe 3, Pre 2
Dodge 12, Parry 8, Fort 8, Tough 12 (8 impervious), Will 9, Init +4
Acrobatics +8, Close Combat (Unarmed) +12, Expertise (Magic) +14, Intimidation +12, Stealth +12
Close Attack 3, Daze (Intimidation), Fearless, Ritualist, Startle
Languages: English, Gaelic
Enhanced Strength 8, Impervious Protection 8, Speed 3 (250’/rnd), Teleport 16 (250 miles)
Wail: Weaken 12 (DC22 vs Fortitude, Affects Stamina, Concentration, Increased Duration (Concentration), Distracting, Limited (Must know true name of victim))
Unarmed +15 DC 24
At PL12 she’s a good end-boss for a group of PL10 superheroes, while Vampire Superman at PL14 before vampirism is going to be a problem they’re not going to be able to solve with brute force alone!
Now we have the setup. Time to bring the PCs in.
As members of Batman Incorporated they are sent by Batman Himself to investigate the (obviously ridiculous) rumours about a Vampire stalking Metropolis. He isn’t too concerned about Superman’s disappearance yet – he might be off-planet, with the Legion in the 31st century or roughing it in Smallville – but asks them to play nice in Supe’s backyard until he returns.
If only they knew who is sleeping in the crypt tonight. Heh. Geddit?
And the game is done. Expect a full session write-up. Soon.