Saturday, February 12, 2022

L is for Legion in the 2022 Campaign Creation Challenge

 Fukashima Ryuu was born into a quietly family of extreme wealth in Japan. His father believes that having money means having security and obligation and is no reason to indulge in fripperies like fancy clothes, colorful art, or enjoying oneself. It merely opened up the space for you to engage in the endless quest for personal excellence. Ryuu heeded his father's wishes, buckling down, excelling in school, and heading to Haven in the United States for his medical degree. Ever under his family's watchful eye he continued that practice until he was given a side task: his family had acquired a company that had a subsidiary that included a storage area in Haven. Ryuu was tasked with overseeing the inventory. 

In doing so, he discovered a secret space in the storage area that contained the duplication devices of the 1980's super villain Legion, whose ability to make multiple copies of himself had confounded the heroes and authorities for a decade until he vanished. Ryuu shoved the materials into his gym bag and just sauntered away with them. No one knows they were there, no one knows he has them. To him, it's the perfect opportunity to live a double life. One of him can always be establishing an alibi, while the others (often accompanied by some unwitting bystander he has temporarily overwritten) acquire all the artwork that Ryuu has lusted after his whole life. 

Indigo caught up with him once, having predicted where his next heist was going to be, and while she won, she didn't know it: when the smoke cleared a very confused woman as one of the wounded bystanders. Indigo still isn't sure what happened, but Legion is on her radar now. 

Legion has a luxurious apartment set up from money he's made with his thefts that he's carefully filling with his conquests, and it also contains his workspace. He's been purchasing the gear he needs to keep up the Legion identity (including the body stockings that give his skin a Caucasian appearance, and the equipment he needs for his hologram Legionnaires helmet) through his fence, who is well aware of the damage Legion could do to him if he snitched. Still, Ryuu is not a criminal mastermind: his thefts are based more around his alibi and what his strength and multiple forms can do, and he enjoys being able to cut loose with some casual violence. What's going to make him hard to catch is that his dupes fade away, his unsuspecting duplicate is left holding the bag, and Ryuu prime is somewhere in plain sight. Plus his ace in the hole is being able to Transform one of the heroes into another Legion, which he is saving for worst case scenario. 

Creation Notes

I've commented on the advantages of running the characters in alphabetical order, and how I can pick international names to fit the letter and give insight into the character: Jangkar's personality was determined when I looked up Indonesian words starting with J and the word for Anchor was there. In this case the letter was L and the nationality was Japanese. But there's no L in Japanese. There was a moment of wanting to mimic the joke from the Tick comic book where he was mocking the crass commercialization of Ninjas and Japanese culture in general by having the Ninja World Mascot be "R'ir Nip" but that was old ground. So instead the idea of a Japanese villain doing the same thing with European culture – having an secret identity that is so wildly caricatured of a European warrior – worked. That gave me the name Legion. 

Which solved the problem of what to do with the Mutant Power. I had bandied back and forth on letting him transform into a stone dragon, but I wanted to use Mutant Power to build something that was unequivocally not in the rulebook. Legion made the choice of Duplication easy. I had to bust out my home rules for Initiative Intervals to manage the number of actions – rather than rolling 8 initiative rolls, you roll just the one and lower the count between actions, so when there are 8 Legions present at most he acts on 22, 20, 18, 16 and so on, for 11 actions, which is about what he would get with a 12 Agility and 8 initiative rolls. 

I struggled to come up with a motivation for him, especially since I already did the Dorian Grey hedonist with Bioreactor. I didn't like the idea of him being smart enough to build the device, but having found it, Hobgoblin like? That worked. He ends up with a very different feel than Bioreactor, who is on a slide into depravity – Legion knows what urges he's fulfilling and already enjoys it. 

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