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Topic: Supervillains because why not?
Message: Posted by: SacredChao (Nov 29, 2014 11:18PM)
As I sat at the table obliterating some of the last of the Thanksgiving Day turkey (I am persistent) a thought occurred to me which, I am sure, occurs to everyone on this board during the holiday season:

How would a bizarre magician, in theory, portray or convey a supervillain-esque personality/character/persona? You know the type, "bad guy with a gimmick" sort of thing, may or may not have a power-set. I thought it might be interesting to portray a somewhat pulp-eraish supervillain of my own design, but I am not entirely sure how to go about doing this with credibility (oddly enough, credibility is kind of important with this.)

If someone could give me a nudge in the right direction, that would be awesome. I think I have a semi-decent idea in the works, but I need to flesh it out a bit more beyond just reading the old pulps and trying to kit-bash presentation ideas from that.

Thanks a billion,
SacredChao
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Nov 29, 2014 11:28PM)
You have to write the Bio first, who are they, what drives them, where are they from or their target, why is their revenge,agenda,etc.. important or reason behind it. Their powers are not them, it's a part of them a tool much like are you right or left handed, their powers may drive them but don't necessarily define them (but they usually account for their actions)
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 29, 2014 11:47PM)
To be clear:

Are you trying to come up with a super villain type character for yourself for a particular bizarre magic show?

If so, what type of show and magic etc, do you wish to focus on? i.e. It would be odd to do a seance for instance in some guises.

When you say super villain is that like a typical opposite to a super hero?

You should define your scope first, high level. Then pose question like what Vlad responded to flesh it out, but in the first person. You have to internalize it to make it yours.
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 29, 2014 11:48PM)
To be clear:

Are you trying to come up with a super villain type character for yourself for a particular bizarre magic show?

If so, what type of show and magic etc, do you wish to focus on? i.e. It would be odd to do a seance for instance in some guises.

When you say super villain is that like a typical opposite to a super hero?

IMO you should define your scope first, high level. Then pose question like what Vlad responded to flesh it out, but in the first person. You have to internalize it to make it yours.
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 30, 2014 12:26AM)
I obviously wanted to be clear and it posted my response twice. Nice green blog from the 90's ha!
Message: Posted by: Skeleton (Nov 30, 2014 05:01AM)
Not exactly a Super-Villain, but a - at least to my liking - very good example how to execute a stringent character:

http://www.shockermagic.com/ShockerMagic/Shocker.html

And if a Pro Wrestling-Magician is not bizarre, then what?
Message: Posted by: SacredChao (Nov 30, 2014 09:29AM)
In my enthusiasm, I forgot to post what I had already sorted out... Sorry about that.


He is occultist, falling into the "chaos magick" tradition of magick, who is tired of occultists being laughed at by the general populous. Overall, his agenda is nothing less than the destruction of "the veil" between our world and the world of spirit/magic/what-have-you. He sees this as not only the best possible thing for humanity in general, a return to their roots you might say, but as something particularly good for anyone who performs sorcery in general.

I am attempting to come up with a reasonably credible supervillain (used in the sense of scope, as well as "bad guy with a gimmick") for a bit of a film project tied in with my writing. I don't know if he is the total opposite of a superhero or not. He may see himself as a hero, but nobody likes seeing themselves as the bad guy. This fellow engages in mystical expansion of his "territory." Wherever it is that he has decided he "owns" weirder things start creeping up. Maybe it is a case of he is a villain because the populous would object to this really really hard.

This guy is closer to... I keep getting an image of a more low-key Aleister Crowley or Anton Lavey mixed with Fantomas or Fu Manchu, if that makes sense. The key problem with this guy, however, is that I am struggling with meshing the aforementioned influences with genuine credibility.

Skeleton: Shocker looks awesome! Not quite what I'm going for though, sadly.

Duty calls, I hope this made sense,
SacredChao
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Nov 30, 2014 10:11AM)
You need to define his character and back story to set up a set of rules for the character.

Give them their strength and then give them a major character flaw and a secondary flaw.

A flaw could even be his Catholic upbringing, his days as an altar boy and his elderly mother who keeps asking for his help at church functions due the fact that attendance has dropped. So his flaw is his loyalty to his mom.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 30, 2014 10:25AM)
Here are some classics you can spin off - ones who have artifacts and also their own resources...

The Mandarin (original) & Rings

[youtube]A2d1mGdZHM0[/youtube]

Baron Mordo & a ton of artifacts

[youtube]xauQ-rP8fdU[/youtube]

Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube (go to 13:10)

[youtube]7K3fQTbeTdY[/youtube]

Hmm... I know its all MARVEL.... but trying to think of DC.... nothing as cool.... well, there are the following villains just to be balanced... actually, I forgot how much I like them too...

Abra Kadabra and 64th century tech

[youtube]1H9d579Jdkw[/youtube]

Dr Destiny (when he had the Materioptokon)

[youtube]SHMg2MD5DVk[/youtube]


Hmm... I'm going to go back to my collections and browse....
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Nov 30, 2014 11:50AM)
Ra's al ghul is a good one on the DC end
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 30, 2014 01:01PM)
D'OH how the hell did I forget him???? He is one of my fav's - I guess its mostly as he has the lazarus pit but doesn't do actual magic per se beyond that it slipped my noggin!
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 30, 2014 01:08PM)
I see SC. I would define if he is a comic character in a straight world (like shocker who I like BTW) or a straight character in a comic (bizarre) world etc. Basically is he serious or funny, how would you frame him overall?
Once you understand the world he is in and how he views and interacts with it you can flesh it out.

From what you said he is tired of having people laugh at occultists. I would say we have to laugh at him or he becomes a serious character in a serious world? Unless the bizarre world is not what it seems then he either fits in it or doesn't. Is the audience believing it or laughing? I would think laughing which is hard to do with bizarre without the campy. That's where I would take it with that background info you supplied. If you want to be serious you better be able to pull it off with some good bumps and scares or it will be funny. You can throw in a bit of humor to let the audience know your on their side so to speak or play it straight. Shocker is a little over the top but it's still a real dude, it's part him as a person he isn't non human.

Vlad, I have not seen your show but I'm a huge fan of your persona. Can you tell us if there are any elements of humor and how much if any you include? If you are serious how do you play it?
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 30, 2014 01:16PM)
Somehow this twigged my thoughts of the villains from Lord of Illusions.... (not not Bakula!).... Swann and his mentor.... observe them if you will - they'd make good "super villains" if you look at them from that vantage point...

[youtube]lN1RToUAOQg[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 30, 2014 01:23PM)
Hey SC I had wrote this about something similar you may be able to pick the things out that you can use:



Benny Hin heals and that is quite a show, claiming to have super powers? People believe it or just watch because it's interesting.

Phren you mention you are looking for your own style. Although that is different than a character and guys like Peter Popoff and Benny are characters to me (IMO),
It's an interesting balance and an option between someone who plays at being serious and someone who is. John Edwards comes to mind as a psychic to the other side, that's the closest I can think of, he is serious as he searches for clues with the audience's help.

If it is for entertainment purposes, decide if you wish to pass yourself off as the real deal or not, that will help you find your way.

I used to play a character and although people knew I wasn't real, I still needed to make an emotional, real connection with them. They could still suspend disbelief for the entertainment purpose, but in the end they accepted and understood it was just that, it allowed the connection in a way.

I was a comic character in a straight world. You may be a straight character in a strange world. It takes much time to develop a style but ultimately it comes from inside you, your essence. Be yourself inside or outside of character or style to ground yourself and build on that.

Some things to conciser as you search for style:

- Pick your premise between reality and real reality (i.e. bewitched TV show or real witch)
- Find the truth and pain in what you do and show that.
- Have a strong perspective of who you are.
- Commit to that perspective.
- If it's fantasy how far do you go?
- Where do you insert the tension and release?
- Is their satire or parody at all?
- Are you a hero of sorts or regular guy who knows things?
- Are you in control or successfully experimenting?
- Do things go wrong sometimes to your surprise?
- Do you appear to take risks?
- How do you set situations up and go for the payoff?
- Avoid cliche's!
- Be consistent to attract the audience you want?
- Ask why are people coming to my show.
- Be likeable!!!
- Take chances!!!

Pick performers that are closest to what you like or blend a couple, study them, take licks from them and make it your own. Don't worry if it already exists or if it doesn't, it will be delivered by you and your style will emerge regardless.

Good luck hope that was helpful.
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Nov 30, 2014 02:49PM)
Darkness I do use humor, but the things my character finds humorous are along the lines of gallows or addams family humor.
I have a routine that talks about torture when I talk about the rack I tell them they could think of it as early chiropractic, then when talking about being drawn and quartered I describe the ripping apart like a festive pinata, and if you got there very early in the day your clothing would be a different shade by days end, I use it to break tension and it also as my persona is a vampire lets them subtly know that their well being isn't high on my priority list. I'm serious but as an aristocratic vampire also slightly aloof, I use humor where it fits (hard to really describe, but if it adds to the moment I put it in if not, no)
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 30, 2014 03:12PM)
Thanks for the response. I do agree it's hard to explain. A vampire we already have context. It's hard to come up with a new idea. Sound like he wants it to be serious as well.
Personally for me the only area that I tend to not like is over the top or too campy.
Reserved, creepy, serious, injected with humor at the appropriate times, may best explain what I like. Addams family is a good analogy.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Nov 30, 2014 08:47PM)
At the same time, don't make it so much of a "hard sell" that you scare away audiences and clients.
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Nov 30, 2014 09:11PM)
True Steve.

As long as its entertaining and not freaky in a bad way. I think you are pretty safe now a days in the era of over the top gore, sensationalism and our senses being barraged to death by Hollywood. We have a higher threshold to extreme and alternative entertainment. It really comes down to branding and advertizing the show appropriately to attract the right audience. The evil dead musical comes to mind, if you sit in the first 5 rows you get covered in fake blood (they even give your a rain coat). That would suck if you didn't expected it. The chainsaw ripping flesh may be extreme to some and funny to others.

I say go for it, experiment and be an innovator.
Message: Posted by: SacredChao (Dec 1, 2014 08:55PM)
I am really sorry for taking so long to respond, but I had a presentation due today (that got pushed back, blast it) and it had to be gold.

I love the suggestions, guys, and definitely appreciate good comic book inspiration. True, I do want to play this guy straight, with the odd bit of humour thrown in for a "friendly face" when it might be needed. No worries, on going "hard sell" with this one, as I am also trying to keep this guy relatively personable. Working on this bugger is becoming quite the challenge, but I suspect it will be well-worth it in the long-run.

The entire thing, as odd as it sounds, I want to play as somewhat subtle. It is the idea of an individual with "superpowers" who is decidedly not on the side of people, but is willing to be civil about it, that I am working with. Playing it straight, he has his own agenda and the average person is probably going to dislike with great intensity the world he wishes to create (who wants to wonder when reality will hiccup in a bad way because a sorcerer had a rough day, after all?) but it is what he desires and he will have it.

It's actually really funny. My friends have made fun of me because of this character, as they do not consider him to be really "supervillain-worthy" and a bit boring. I suspect it is the lack of maniacal laughter and catchphrases... Not how I see him.

Sorry if this sounds rambly, but it has been one Hell of a day.
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Dec 1, 2014 09:56PM)
Have fun with it is the main thing!
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Dec 1, 2014 10:16PM)
;) Minions are the main thing, always have Minions
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 2, 2014 01:28AM)
[quote]On Dec 1, 2014, SacredChao wrote:

It's actually really funny. My friends have made fun of me because of this character, as they do not consider him to be really "supervillain-worthy" and a bit boring. I suspect it is the lack of maniacal laughter and catchphrases... Not how I see him.

Sorry if this sounds rambly, but it has been one Hell of a day. [/quote]

AHA! Now I know the archetype you seek....

[youtube] 1Ocaztxj87E[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Astaroth (Dec 2, 2014 01:28AM)
Yes but Funonions taste better ;)

Sacred what type of effects do you want to entertain with and will there be a theme?
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 2, 2014 01:29AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Dr Spektor wrote:
[quote]On Dec 1, 2014, SacredChao wrote:

It's actually really funny. My friends have made fun of me because of this character, as they do not consider him to be really "supervillain-worthy" and a bit boring. I suspect it is the lack of maniacal laughter and catchphrases... Not how I see him.

Sorry if this sounds rambly, but it has been one Hell of a day. [/quote]

AHA! Now I know the archetype you seek....

[youtube]1Ocaztxj87E[/youtube] [/quote]
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (Dec 2, 2014 02:09AM)
Dr Spektor it is funny that you grabbed Lord of Illusions as I actually got to perform for Clive Barker and his VIP party at the premiere of it at Webster Hall in NYC (MGM wanted a magician for the party and found me)
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Dec 2, 2014 02:20AM)
[img]http://i.imgur.com/lM9Ivhz.jpg[/img]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysterio

[quote]Alter ego: Quentin Beck
Team affiliations: Maggia, Sinister Six
Notable aliases: Dr. Ludwig Rinehart
Abilities: [b]Special effects and illusion expert, Master hypnotist and magician[/b], Amateur chemist and roboticist, Exceptional hand to hand combatant, Use of weapons[/quote]

^ Nuff Said
Message: Posted by: SacredChao (Dec 2, 2014 08:13AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Dr Spektor wrote:
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Dr Spektor wrote:
[quote]On Dec 1, 2014, SacredChao wrote:

It's actually really funny. My friends have made fun of me because of this character, as they do not consider him to be really "supervillain-worthy" and a bit boring. I suspect it is the lack of maniacal laughter and catchphrases... Not how I see him.

Sorry if this sounds rambly, but it has been one Hell of a day. [/quote]

AHA! Now I know the archetype you seek....

[youtube]1Ocaztxj87E[/youtube] [/quote] [/quote]

Alright, I lol'd!

Bennigan's family restaurant will fear Professor Chaos! :P
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 2, 2014 08:18AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, gothicmagic wrote:
Dr Spektor it is funny that you grabbed Lord of Illusions as I actually got to perform for Clive Barker and his VIP party at the premiere of it at Webster Hall in NYC (MGM wanted a magician for the party and found me) [/quote]


funny or FATE? :) - seriously, those characters would be great villains based on the theme of this thread

Cool that you got to meet Clive Barker - I love his work.
Message: Posted by: Malakim (Dec 2, 2014 08:27AM)
There are great many compendiums in the role playing World which deal with this whole topic.
If you are looking for a minimum of realism go for a Rule System which depicts or can depict) normal humans.
Maybe the Steve Jackson Line GURPS will help you.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 2, 2014 10:40AM)
Or pick Cthulhu RPG and look at the villains - scholars who lost their minds to the mythos
Message: Posted by: Balaram (Dec 3, 2014 08:24PM)
Or consider the motivation of Dr. Horrible...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwJ7AnQTiYM
A super-villian will need a nemesis as well, yes-?
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (Dec 4, 2014 05:37PM)
I think the hard part of portraying the villain super or otherwise, is who is the hero. Without a defined hero to win I think the audience would leave unfulfilled. It's expected the hero wins, even in cases where the villain is liked more than the hero. At the end the story wouldn't feel right if the villain won.

Dr Horrible being one of those exceptions that proves the rule. And it works cause even though Dr Horrible is the Super-Villian they have him saving the cat and Captain Hammer kicking the dog. They spend the first act showing that Horrible is a good guy out to fix the world in his own way and that Hammer is an horse's arse. So that by the last act you know which is really the hero and which is the villain.

So if you are a villain in both word and deed then you need a hero to defeat you. You can't just have your machinations fail through you're own ineptness, that's not satisfactory in a narrative. I believe that once the audience believes that you are the villain, then on some level they expect you to be defeated by some hero.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 4, 2014 07:09PM)
Better to be an antihero
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Dec 4, 2014 07:25PM)
This thread led me to wonder. What if a super hero experimented to find a way to expand upon his powers, hrough the use of experimental
drugs.

The end result creating a compromised 'hero with a darker Mr. Hyde component he was not aware existed.
Message: Posted by: TickTock (Dec 5, 2014 12:29PM)
So much good stuff has been said so far that I'm hard-pressed to add to it. It sounds like the "Character-Creation Process" is well in hand.

I think my only question at this point is: What is your venue? Through all the above, I'm not sure if you're busking, sitting at a table, standing on stage, etc. Each would have its own challenges and advantages to presenting the character, and the characters' premise. Is your venue the villain's lair (stage/parlor), or has your villain taken his madness out into the larger world (busking/walking)? Is he trying to sell his audience on his premise (like Dr. Frankenstein lecturing in an old-style medical auditorium), or are they his captives that he will bring around to The Truth, one way or another (like the doors have been "locked", and there's no way out of the auditorium)?

These are the questions that kept coming up in my mind over the last two pages. I hope they help.

~ TT
Message: Posted by: harris (Mar 3, 2015 09:54AM)
How about a subjective villain such as Fear Man, Hypocritical Woman, Procrastinator Boy. Waste time looking at Cat Videos Girl.

We have met the enemy and he is us. (from another type of comic strip- Pogo)