Better Angels – One-Roll Supervillain Soap Opera

Better-Angels-cover-v4-front-612pxWritten by Greg Stolze, © 2013

Better Angels is practically designed for unbalanced plots. Not only do the characters’ goals and motives and morality lurch all over the place, so do their very stats. So it’s uncommon for things to settle down and get dull. But it can happen. If things get a little too stable in your plotline’s ecosystem, making things more interesting may be as simple as throwing another shark in the tank. Or a cow in the piranha tank.

Just fill in the following paragraph, Mad Libs/Fiasco style, with ideas from the tables below. Some of those tables require you to supply details from your own game, but that’s what makes it feel like a brilliant, creative idea instead of just something you got off the Internet. Try it and see!

It’ll take a roll of ten dice (or six if you don’t need an NPC name). Don’t look for sets—just assign each of them to one element.

[NAME 1] [NAME 2], aka [NICKNAME 1] [NICKNAME 2], is coming to town to [GOAL]. But this is complicated. It’s not just that s/he is [ADVERB] [ATTITUDE] [ISSUE], it’s also personal—s/he [RELATIONSHIP WITH A SPIRIT] and it [SPIRIT COMPLICATION]. That clearly puts them on a collision course with the PCs!

D10 NAME 1 NAME 2 NICKNAME 1 NICKNAME 2
1 Alethea Braxton Black Bat
2 Barbie Crowe Blood(y) Blaster
3 Deon Cyr Ghost Defender (or Offender)
4 Edgardo Fagan Giant Hand
5 Francis Grier Great Lamprey
6 Gabriella Guillory Killer Lightning
7 Jody Hestenfedder Red Nails
8 Napoleon Hough Serpent Shadow
9 Trey Naylor Storm Shot
10 Zenobia Nunn White Wave

 

D10 GOAL
1 start over after a disastrous divorce
2 take advantage of a business opportunity
3 get away from the suspicious gossip down in Georgia
4 come to grips with a mid-life sexual awakening
5 show up [ONE OF THE PCS], a high school rival, once and for all
6 elicit slow, deniable revenge on a dishonest former partner
7 be part of one last heist before getting out of the game, for good this time!
8 find and deal with the demon that tormented his/her beloved parent into an early grave
9 inadvertently help out with [ONE OF THE PCS’ ONGOING GOALS]
10 inadvertently screw things up with [ONE OF THE PCS’ ONGOING GOALS]

 

D10 ADVERB ATTITUDE ISSUE
1 reluctantly opposed to [SOMETHING A PC IS REALLY BOTHERED ABOUT]
2 enthusiastically supportive of [SOMETHING A PC REALLY SUPPORTS]
3 vehemently interested in abortion
4 disgustedly aroused by the war in the Middle East
5 perversely shocked by the injustices inherent in capitalism
6 mysteriously against ‘sinister’ immigrants coming to ‘steal’ American ‘jobs’
7 vocally in favor of interlocking hierarchies of gender, class and racial oppression
8 hypocritically curious about the claims of evangelical Christians that they are marginalized in society
9 religiously confused by that damned, screwed-up electoral college
10 violently fascinated by satanic cults

 

D10 RELATIONSHIP WITH A SPIRIT SPIRIT COMPLICATION
1 has an angel companion s/he loves longs to be sexually intimate with the host of [A PC’S SCREWTAPE]
2 has an angel companion s/he hates craves the destruction of [A PC’S SCREWTAPE]
3 has a conflicted relationship with an angelic spirit has a longstanding grudge against [A PC’S SCREWTAPE], but feels the need to express it by messing up its plans instead of outright destroying it
4 loves his/her Sly demon feels a need to apologize and make things right with [A PC’S SCREWTAPE] for transgressions lost in the mists of long-ago time
5 loves his/her Cunning demon thinks that [A PC’S SCREWTAPE] holds the key to the ultimate triumph of its faction
6 loves his/her Devious demon knows that [A PC’S SCREWTAPE] is an essential component of its long-term, complicated master plan
7 hates his/her Sly demon wants to position itself at the area’s premier superhero
8 hates his/her Cunning demon wants its host to ignore his/her hopes to [GOAL]
9 hates his/her Devious demon has a mysterious clue to a great threat, and only [A PC’S SCREWTAPE] can interpret it
10 is hosting a demon and is unaware of it keeps messing up the host’s love life

Written by Greg Stolze, © 2013

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