Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Story of Halogen Part 5: Villains & Vigilantes

In the summer of 1984, I bought a copy of the Villains & Vigilantes, Revised Edition [BOX SET], which was basically "Dungeons and Dragons" with super heroes, mostly because I liked the cover art on the box. As with D&D, the game required each player to first create a character to play, a process that involved specifying each character's powers and abilities (and then numerically quantifying them according to a detailed rule book) on a one-page "character sheet." (That's Halogen's from 1985, at left.)

As in a video game or MMORG, these super hero characters then battle super villains and seek out adventure. Though unlike video games, V&V required that a lot of odd-looking dice (4-,6-,8-,12- and 20-sided) be rolled, and then that lengthy numerical tables be consulted to determine the results.

I'm not exactly sure what a "chick magnet" is. But I am certain that this process was its exact opposite. I say so based on an extensive scientific case study that I personally conducted from 1983-1986. Let me assure you: the results were statistically significant, and were subject to extensive peer review.

This process did, however, give me a much better understanding of which super-powers worked best (and which worked best together) "in reality," causing me to make repeated changes to Halogen's abilities. (Can't you just hear Motley Crue screaming, "Girls! Girls! Girls!") And because every super hero needs super villains to fight, I created Halogen's arch nemesis, the criminal mastermind "Orchid," specifically for this game.

And he ended up seeing publication first, in 1987. That story next time.

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