Better Angels: The Cat O’ Nine Tails, Vessel of the Villainous Nine


Written by Greg Stolze and illustrated by Kurt Komoda, © 2014.

The air/land/sea assault craft of the notorious Villainous Nine is a vaguely feline black-and-purple vessel roughly the size and shape of one of those ridiculous stretch Hummer limo-SUVs.  The four-foot-tall tires under the stylized wheel wells that look like the limbs of a cat poised to strike propel it at rates of up to 100 mph on the road, and a respectable 65 over rough terrain like, probably, your home.  Those same wheels rotate downward to house jet turbines that can lift it, let it hover, or send it through the skies at a top speed of 200 mph.  On the water, the tires ratchet outwards and up while pontoons descend and let it skate along looking, for all the world, like a cat recoiling from a puddle. But cats on puddles don’t run at 150 mph.

So that’s the ‘cat’ element.  What about the nine tails?  Well, one of them, in the middle, is the rear jet port that provides forward thrust.  The other eight are articulated tentacles, four on each side of the jet, tipped with grasping pincers and, often, with some kind of ordinary machine gun or cannon mounted. The Villainous Nine change the weapons up quite often, depending on the needs of the heist/score/atrocity.

So far, it just gets the Nine where they’re going (albeit in style), with weapons turrets that aren’t anything much more complicated than the snake-like robots being built at Carnegie Melon University.  The unholy devilishness of the device is that it’s actually cheaper to maintain than a house cat.  It runs on water and doesn’t even need a cat box.  Moreover, it gets almost fifty miles to the gallon, flying, driving or sailing the seas.  Any oil exec would tell you this is clearly, clearly the work of Hell itself.

Statted up as a device, the Cat O’ Nine Tails is a Major Environmental Change, so it cost its maker (Brian “Brains” Ornichowski) 3 Generosity.  It mimics normal vehicles (which would be minor) except for the fueling gimmick, which pushes it up to Major.  Its flaw is one level of “Bulky,” making it big enough for all nine to travel in it. (Ornichowski drives, usually making Sly Cowardice or Endurance rolls.) The guns and tentacles are really just chrome for ordinary technology, usually offering +3 weapon Advantage to Sly Cruelty rolls. Each passenger has access to one armed ‘tail.’

Activation: Sly Cowardice or Endurance


  • Major Environmental Change


  • Bulky

Cost: 3 Generosity

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