‘Better Angels’ — Devilish Optimization

Better-Angels-cover-v4-front-612pxWritten by Caleb Stokes and Shane Ivey, © 2013

In Better Angels, Greg Stolze’s tabletop roleplaying game of supervillainy, players create their supervillains and demons collaboratively—and maybe a little competitively, as you can see in the character creation chapter. First the supervillain’s main player picks stats, a superpower, and an aspect for the villain, then that supervillain’s demon’s player picks stats, a superpower, and an aspect for the same villain.

In some cases that can lead to strange combinations of powers and aspects. Usually that’s fine. Whether you’re fending off rivals or battling a superhero, Better Angels is powered by player characters’ moral choices, not by strategically sound allocation of character points.

But the truth is, some players love a little strategy in their character creation. With that in mind, here are some combinations of powers and aspects that tend to compliment each other well in Better Angels, and the tactics and strategies that make them most effective.

We’ve given each a title that ought to give you an idea what that combination of powers and aspects will do.

The Devil Himself

  • Powers: Terror, Body Control
  • Aspects: Horns, Flame-Wreathed
  • Key Strategies: Sly, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Cruelty, Deceit

Infiltrator

  • Powers: Dead Ringer, Teleport
  • Aspects: Ghost Form, Invisible
  • Key Strategies: Devious, Sly
  • Key Tactics: Deceit, Corruption

Poltergeist

  • Powers: Telekinesis, Clairvoyance
  • Aspects: Ghost Form, Darkness-Shrouded
  • Key Strategies: Cunning, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Deceit, Espionage

Quartermaster

  • Powers: Summon, Banish
  • Aspects: Carapace, Cloven Hooves
  • Key Strategies: Cunning, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Greed, Cowardice

Shape Shifter

  • Powers: Animal Form, Dead Ringer
  • Aspects: Darkness-Shrouded, Carapace
  • Key Strategies: Cunning, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Espionage, Deceit

Sniper

  • Powers: Ineffable Defense, Dominator Strike with Enervating
  • Aspects: Invisible, Wings
  • Key Strategies: Sly, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Espionage, Cruelty

Social Monster

  • Powers: Arrogance, Impossible Beauty
  • Aspects: Cloven Hooves, Darkness-Shrouded
  • Key Strategies: Cunning, Devious
  • Key Tactics: Cowardice, Corruption

Tank

  •  Powers: Armor, That Hideous Strength
  • Aspects: Carapace, Flame-Wreathed
  • Key Strategies: Sly, Cunning
  • Key Tactics: Cruelty, Cowardice

Have you come up with any favorite combinations of powers and aspects in Better Angels? Tell us about them!

About Arc Dream Publishing

Arc Dream Publishing creates roleplaying games and fiction including Delta Green, Godlike, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Better Angels, The Kerberos Club, The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man, and the award-winning magazine of Cthulhu Mythos gaming, The Unspeakable Oath.