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ID: 5003


May 6, 2008, 2:01 am

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The Grey Skull


-Heroes scatter under barrage of grey energy spheres-
"You know kids, you didn’t mind when Captain Liberty took you down. He did it with honor, with respect, and followed the rules. Not you kids today. For you, it is all about The Power. Just as soon shoot you as take you in.  And really young lady, would your mother approve of that costume? Not that the rest of you dress much better. What standard are you idiots setting for the young kids of today?"
"Get up. Don’t you have any pride?  A novice should have been able to avoid that attack.  You have a total lack of grit. Don’t lie there and moan. Get up. And that surprise maneuver you two are attempting. I have to tell you, not so much of a surprise. Now, stop standing there wide eyes and slack jawed. Do something. "

"You are heroes for Gods sake. Start acting like it."

This is for a variety of supers campaigns, (modern, post modern, and with a little adapting a pulp era). He is not your garden variety supers foe. He will give your super team a run for its money. Both phyiscally and mentally.

The Grey Skull
"Yes, well, it seems much more menacing in the late 30s. But why change a good thing? "
Aka: Pillsbury, Charles
No relation. If I was that rich, do you think I would have gone into crime?

His costume is an updated classic 30s costume, a (modern) well tailored grey suit, white shirt, black tie, with dark grey leather gloves. He does like to wear a 40s style hat and cape (that will tear away if pulled), but he tends to lose them when he mixes it up with the heroes. His iconic grey and white skull mask covers his head, though he will sometime go back to his cloth facemask for old times sake. Under the suit, he does have a hyper-skein body suit, with some wiring augments to improve his power flows and protect him from some damage. "I like the old and traditional, but that doesn’t mean I am stupid kid. I do try to keep up."

"They say I look like Peter Cushing. I could see the resemblance years ago, but I have aged much better.  " (He looks like him as he did when playing Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars IV.)  

"Excuse me, but you are like 90 something. You look pretty darn good. I never would of thought you were a day over 60."

"Thank you. I try. It really is all about eating right, getting enough fiber, and getting daily exercise, both physical and mental. Keeping up with things keeps you young. Oh and dont forget to floss. "

He has aged exceptionally well. He looks like a man in his late 60s, early 70s, than his 90s. He attributes it to taking proper care of himself. Others attribute it to his powers. It is probably a combination of both.

He is a solid energy projector, capable of making force fields, bubbles, blasts, slides, disks to ride on, and a variety of geometric shapes and very simple mechanical devices. Given time and a small enough field, he can be quite artistic with his powers.  His energy is grey and many of the shapes have a skeleton or skull motif.  (Without his suit he is still pretty formidable. With his hyper-skein suit and augmenters, he can deal with most middle range super hero teams. )

To best summarize him, he has been a reoccurring villain for a variety of heroes over the last 70 years.  He has come and gone over the years, being active for a few years at a time, and then settling back into a quiet life for a time. Sometimes he ran out of money. Sometimes, someone, a public figure, bothered him. A couple of times, he was just bored.

He has been a regular villain for a number of big name heroes in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Insert appropriate ones for your world.  He has also taken on a number of teams in that time. Many teams have trophies relating to him and his crimes in their headquarters.  He admits to only fighting second stringers in the 90s. "I was in it for the cash, trying to recoup what I had lost in the market."

While powerful, and his powers have grown over the years, he is really a thinking mans villain. He is one for carefully crafted plans rather than just using his powers to blunder his way through. He likes to use his powers as a last resort.  He is the kind of villain to hire a few minion villains and some thugs to take care of the grunt work.

He has invested well. He now owns quite a little financial empire. (His kids and grandkids are running parts of it). His holdings are eclectic and diverse.  He lost a little in the market a while ago, but he has recovered nicely.  He has done a little covert government service to get his records expunged. So only a careful research check will notice that he was an actual criminal, (though there are plenty of public records about The Grey Skull and some of those articles do connect him to the identify).  He has been inactive as a costumed villain for the last 15 years or so. 

In fact, he might even rob his own concerns, just so he can’t be arrested for it (as nobody will press charges). 

He is old, crafty, and powerful enough to take on your average super team. He was very powerful in the old days, and is still quite powerful by todays standards.

He is old enough that he has planned it all out. He knows you, your weaknesses, and your strength. He has an escape plan, and a back up one. Plus a really good lawyer on hand.

He is rich enough that he is not doing crime for the money, though a fresh influx of capital is nice.  He has other reasons:
To a reporter, "No, I am doing this because of these so called heroes today. They are doing it wrong. They have no zeal for it. They are not upright heroes, but people who slink in the shadows or look for the spotlight. They are doing it for themselves, not for the people. These are not heroes, these are villians with better PR. They need to be punished for their hubris."

His original villainous motivation was greed and a love to see those who are pompous, self righteous, self aggrandizing, and not worthy of their power and position taken down a peg or three. Now that he is comfortable in his wealth, he has time to concentrate on other things. He thinks society is falling into moral decay. The villains are much more villainous, and the heroes are poor pale imitations of true heroes. He is all about responsibility, grit, determination, and moral fiber

Well, he considers himself fairly moral; he will protect innocents (though mangle guards who are paid to stop him), never kill, (unless the other guy is trying to kill him), won’t steal, (unless the target really does not deserve the wealth), and so on. But, he is a villain after all, and does not feel constrained by puritanical moral rules.

He currently sees his role as a teacher and as a tool to make the world better.  And well, it is fun to get out there and mix it up with The Capes. They are a challenge to some degree.

He is going to lecture The Kids during the entire fight, before and after. He will compliment them when they are doing it right, berate them when they are not.  He will bemoan the lack of grit and moral conviction in today’s heroes. He will tell them, they are not as good as Captain Liberty was in his prime. "I am an old man, and I am still beating the snot out of you kids. He was just one guy and he stopped me all the time."

His favorite thing is go on about the competence of most Heroes. "Nice try. Did you not see the glowing energy field? Did you not think it would burn your hands? God’s sake, you are all idiots. You people would have been dead if this was War Era. If you are the best this decade has to offer, tsk, tsk."

After he has done on about moral decay and the incompetence of the people today, you might actually challenge him on a point or two.  If pressed, he will admit that society has made strides in some areas. He is for equal and womens rights. The law should be equal for all people. And it is nice that lawyers are keeping the police honest.  ".. And these computers are quite handy for getting pictures of the grand kids and keeping in touch with friends. And these cell phones, is there nothing they can’t do?"

Do you get the feeling that he likes to talk?  Well, he does. However, he is smart enough to pay attention to the world around him when he is shooting off his mouth. "What? Do you think I am some grandstanding villain who is going to fall for the ‘Get them talking while you escape’ tactic?  No, I am a smart one. Now where was I? "


Legacy Heroes:  The Test

A legacy hero is a super hero who is a descendent of another hero, either by training, powers, blood, or simply name.
He is going to fight you to see how good you are. He is going to put you through the ringer physically (testing commitment and endurance), setting up difficult moral situations (stop me or let the mayor die), and see how they respond to threats or their good name being besmirched.  If they pass his inspection, he will tell them they did, and will try to make good on anything they destroyed/ distressed. If not, he will tell that as well (and see how they react), and occasionally take pot shots at the Legacy Hero until the legacy hero gets its act together or folds.

Legacy Heroes:  I owe your father/ grandfather, etc.

The Legacy hero might be tested, but will receive some boon (perhaps some lost equipment of their legacy mentor) or something from the past.  He might even step in, especially if some of his financial holdings are threatened, to help the kid out. Sure he will publicly say, What are you doing here, this is my crime! but really, he is there to save the legacy heros butt.

Are you worthy?

He will sometimes find a new hero and run him through his paces. He is just playing with them, as he can easily defeat a super team. However, he wants to see them in action and when the chips are down.  See The Test.

The Bad Ones

He will target heroes that seem to be of questionable morals, in it for the media attention, known to be real vigilantes, and so on.  He likes public humiliations, and will arrange for cameras and recording to be there to watch their defeat.  Often times he will make them look bad, and his self "good", in an attempt to shame them into better behavior. If they are one step away from serial killer or such, he will arrange for them to be captured by the police after he beats them.

Never embarrass/ humiliate an old time hero

If you do, he might pay you a visit, and return the favor.

The Team

He recently set up a villainous team to be a thorn in the heroes side. He does not expect them to win, just to give the heroes the run their money. If these so called villains really deserved to be captured, so in his mind, everyone wins.

In fact, if someone is specifically pretty evil or downright immoral, he will arrange for that villain to be caught up in his plans and take the fall for things.

The City/ World is in peril

He may be out there, perhaps sans his costume, defending the city/ world. After all, he lives here to. He will normally do it when he is not risking himself. After all, I am a villain, you are the hero. Go to it. I will save the innocents, you go fight the monster.

A Day in the Park

He will sometimes visit old foes who have not aged as well as he.  He likes to talk about old times and catch up with them about their families and such. (Part of the old code is that their families were never a target. You took it out on them, not their kids.)  He will sometimes break them out of prison or hospitals, just to give them some time out.

The Poker Game

There are few guys left for the old poker game.  Heroes and semi-villains, they get together and play. Of course the villains cheat, after all they are villains. Still it is a bunch of old folks talking about the old days.

Old Time Hero

An old time hero has reappeared. It could be time travel, cryogenics, or something.  He will not take kindly to some new snot taking liberties with one of his old foes. You cant be the Real Captain Liberty, stop pretending to be.   He will be unmerciful upon any such pretender. Unless he thinks he really is The Captain. Then the tune will change, "Oh, you are? I am sorry.  Nice to see you again Captain. Oh the jewels? Well I might be persuaded not to take them… fight ensues.  Curse you Captain, I will get you next time."

Old Time Hero, last hurrah

The Old Time Hero has come out of retirement to deal with an old foe, or even him.  After a good fight, he will take a fall for the old coot, just for old times sake.  If it is someone else, he will sometimes join the old foe just so he can foul up his plans and let the old time hero win. 

Kid, I need a favor

If the heroes are aware that the Grey Skull is really an old softie, and not a harden criminal, then so will the other criminals. So he may need to rehabilitate his reputation in the villainous community. He will ask the kids to take a dive for him in public, just so he can appear more villainous.

I like a challenge

Sometimes, he is just after the prize; be it cash, gold, jewels, or date. He does choose his times and targets to embarrass or humiliate those who are pompous, self righteous, self aggrandizing, and not worthy of their power and position.

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Comments ( 19 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Misanpilgrim
April 30, 2008, 17:07
This makes me want to GM a supers game, for the first time I can remember. In fact, I might lift him anyway -- he'd be just as useful in a fantasy game. (Now I know who builds all these dungeons.)

Would less-respectful heroes call him Captain Curmudgeon? Not twice, they wouldn't. Heh.
Voted Cheka Man
April 30, 2008, 18:07
A supervillian that is more then just evil. Excellent.You put lots of effort into it and it shows.
Voted valadaar
April 30, 2008, 20:29
Wow, this one is really good Moon! I like it!

Good pile of plot ideas!
Voted Siren no Orakio
April 30, 2008, 22:04
That which needs said is said.
May 1, 2008, 17:14
Overall, a good character, even if I personally think he represents the absolute worst of the elderly: condescending, arrogant, and hidebound, which mix poorly with any kind of power.
June 25, 2008, 16:23
He is evil in orrientation, even if he thinks he is a pretty nice guy. So yes, you are spot on. He is arrogant and things too highly of himself. Yet, the way it manifests, it is tempered some.

It gives you a lot of options on how you want to play this. Is he right? Is he wrong? Is he just a nutty old guy?
May 1, 2008, 17:22
Updated: updated disappearing quotation marks
Voted manfred
May 1, 2008, 18:20
He is a nice old guy, actually... the write up a bit too verbose and rambling, but that suits him well. Suits the lousy heroes of today quite fine. :)
Voted Scrasamax
May 1, 2008, 23:38
With the italics in place, it is obvious that there are quotations rather than random changes is perspective. Otherwise I cant really add anything that hasnt really already been said.
Voted Kassil
May 2, 2008, 6:26
Having the quotes and italics fixed does make it a great deal easier to read.
Voted Silveressa
May 2, 2008, 16:23
Without a doubt one of the best npc's I've came across in a long time. Like Misanpilgrim said, he would work well in a fantasy setting with a little adjustment and be every bit as unique and interesting. (if not more so.)
Voted Dragonlordmax
May 2, 2008, 23:41
Let me throw in my appreciation with that of everybody else - I find this man amazing. If I could actually run the Superhero game I've had an urge to run recently, this guy would almost certainly find his way in.

Absolutely excellent.
Ancient Gamer
May 5, 2008, 14:34
By the power of Greyskull!

May 5, 2008, 16:58
Contemplates hitting AG, but realizes I would make the same kind of pun given the opportunity.

I needed a pulp villian name that had "Grey" in the color that was not already is use. Thus Skull.
Voted Chaosmark
May 5, 2008, 14:34
You really do get into the supers genre. This is a unique villain. Good job, M.
May 6, 2008, 2:01
Updated: a couple of possessive apostrophies
August 1, 2011, 23:23

I am mearly commenting to bump it up so I can read and vote at a later date. Shameless I know but it works and Im tired and lazy. From the comments though this seems worth a read.

Voted Dozus
February 9, 2014, 0:06
I really like this guy. He's as old as he is lovable, and I sometimes prefer the gentleman villain to the darkly evil ones.
Voted Longspeak
March 11, 2014, 19:18
Nice. There's a lot of fun to be had with this one.

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