About this project
The Super Villain Handbook is a resource for the ICONS Assembled Role Playing Game to help GMs craft super villains that feel larger than life and which threaten your heroes. Written by Dr. Jason Tondro and produced by Fainting Goat Games, this book is a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone looking to delve deep into the world of super evil.
Artists for the Project include:
Joe Singleton [http://joe-singleton.deviantart.com/] Artist, writer, plotter (evil and general), Defender of Liberty, Holder of Secrets, and Keeper of the Eraser of Doom!
Dionysia Jones [http://dionysiajones.deviantart.com/] I have done interior art and cover illustrations for published RPG books such as Earthdawn, various Mutants & Masterminds supplements, and was the lead artist for Tianxia.
Jacob Blackmon [http://prodigyduck.deviantart.com/] I draw and I play role-playing games.
Joe Arnold - Has worked for Jeff Dee on Cave Master
It's true, super villains are a secretive lot. Other than the occasional slip of megalomania during world domination broadcasts, most super villains keep the essence of who they are and what they do under tight wraps. Dr. Comics (That would be Dr Tondro... Shh. It's a secret) has tapped every informant, minion, and ex-villainous love interest he could get his hooks into to divulge the secrets of what makes a super villain tick. For matters of security, we cannot reveal his sources. The only verifiable source is his comics dealer (who has since gone missing).
The Super Villain Handbook covers forty archetypes for various super villains that one might encounter throughout comics. While the book was created with ICONS in mind, there are many reasons that this is an essential resource for GMs of any superhero game.
The book classifies super villains not by what they can do (for example, "control magnetism") but by their role in the story ("I must make the world safe for my people!"). In such roles, we see everything from the lowly Crime Boss to the Cosmic Menace. This allows villains of all types and power sets to fill different roles at the table without coming across as poorly re-skinned clones.
Each of the 40 roles also includes game stats for a sample villain in the ICONS rpg. For powerful villains with roles that are more plot device than punching bag, Jason... Er, I mean, Dr. Comics... has added cosmic power levels to the ICONS experience. These levels let the aspiring GM have a benchmark so his heroes can try and punch the hurricane (or other “unstoppable force” ) into submission.
Each role is a study in evil that gives a GM the tools to construct the villains their heroes were meant to fight. Archetypes start with a quote from a famous character in comics that has filled that role. As you dig deeper into the villain, you discover what makes them tick. This includes classic examples of the role, which roles are related, and even story and plot ideas that the villain usually operates in. From the Assassin to the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, the archetypes in this book constitute an essential reference to new and old GM's alike.
Kickstarter is an excellent way to connect with potential fans as well as to distribute coded subliminal messages which activate Sleeper Minions. The basic book is complete. It contains the 40 illustrated archetypes as well as useful tools to expand your evil. Unfortunately, our original minions rage quit after being beaten up one too many times and took our cover.
With your help, we can push the book into lofty new heights of evil. The basic Goal is to fund the book for both an ICONS Assembled and SUPERS! Revised edition. At 3,200, Jason will turn his mind control probe on Ross Payton (Base Raiders RPG), to publish a FATE Core version of the game. 3,800 dollars will see a deluxe version of the book for ICONS where we will see 40 unique villains added to the book, doubling its size. At 4,500, Jason will once again turn on the probe and, if he doesn't fry Walt's brain, we will see a deluxe version for the SUPERS! Rpg as well. 5,000 sees the Deluxe Book get the FATE Core Treatment.
Pledge tiers have been carefully constructed by our team of (kidnapped) scientists to maximize your kickstarter and project experience. Pledges of even a single dollar, immediately get the un-illustrated version of the book. At ten dollars, you get immediate access to the illustrated document as well as any stretch goals that are greenlit. Higher tiers can grab custom characters, games run by Dr. Comics, Jason Tondro, as well as even having a character of your design appear in the book. Please check the side for all tier info.
One of the greatest things about this project (aside from the fact that super villains everywhere haven't trained their destruct-o-rays on us yet) is that Jason is crafting a YOUniverse instead of a Universe. A comic book universe usually consists of characters and a world owned by a single company. Dr. Comics is looking to move away from that. The YOUniverse is crafted so that all of the characters funded through the Kickstarter will be released to the public domain, side by side with characters that are already there. In short, the YOUniverse belongs to you!
From Steve Kenson (of Green Ronin and Ad Infinitum Adventures): Villains are a mainstay of superhero games: Who is going to challenge the heroes from week-to-week if not a reliable rogues gallery of villains? The Supervillain Handbook gives you enough ideas and archetypes for endless game-play and its discussion of classic villain archetypes is useful for all superhero games, beyond just Icons Superpowered Roleplaying. If superhero roleplaying games are your thing, then you want this book!
From Chuck Rice of Mayfair Games (and previously of Vigilance Press and RPGObjects) Jason Tondro continues his amazing work of mixing a scholar's look at comics with great, ready-made NPCs for your ICONs games. This is his best work to date, focusing on the villains that oppose your plucky heroes. Every page is full of plot hooks and character ideas. This book will serve as a tremendous Game Master's reference through countless campaigns.
The BAMF Podcast hosts Jason and a round table of Villainous experts as we talk up things like the Super Villain Handbook
Risks and challenges
While kickstarter can be a tricky way to produce a book of this type, Fainting Goat Games has teamed with HAZARD Studios to produce this project. Both production houses have run numerous kickstarters and have delivered. Fainting Goat games has produced such works as Stark City, the Great Game, and Improbable Tales, just to name a few. HAZARD has crafted SUPERS! Revised Edition as well as two issues of HEROIC, with their publishing partner Zenith Comics. Even with this in mind, there are always challenges and unforeseen occurrences which can hamper a project.
Some of these challenges include: rival super villains fighting over their positions in the book, a minion drought, or a cosmic threat which slows down internet connectivity. Even with these things in mind, the main book is already written and ready to launch. With your help, we can take this book to the next level as your ideas, characters, and villainy join with ours in a massive plot to rule the WORLD (of tabletop rpgs... What? We're not greedy).
As a side note, HAZARD Studio launched a kickstarter last year to fund Issue 2 of Heroic. The issue has not been delivered yet but is on track to be in the hands of the backers, soon.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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