Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Supervillainy A-To-Z: M is for Master Plan

Oh boy. I am in trouble. Big trouble.
How am I ever going to complete this challenge by month's end?
No clue, so no use griping about it. My focus at this point is on other things. The real world beckons for my attention and I must give it its due. Fear not old friends, I am not defeated yet and where there's a will there's a way. Possibly a dead guy. They have wills too.
My next villain has been a major player in many of my older games, yet once again I don't think the system (The ICONS Superhero RPG for those following along at home) does him any justice. He doesn't seem mechanically special. It will be up to me to convey his coolness in other ways and up to you, the GM who uses him in a game, to bring that coolness to the table.
Wish us both luck.


True Identity: Milton Paternaster
Description/Appearance: Milton Paternaster is a plain but decent looking Caucasian fellow in good shape, with brown hair and green eyes. Paternaster is in his late 30s. He stands just under 6 feet in height and weighs around 185 lbs.. Over time he has worked out and may look a bit more fit than is reflected in early descriptions.
As Master Plan, Milton is garbed is a form fitting black costume with white gloves, boots, shorts and a large 'M' insignia on his chest. His detailing is purple and green, including a letter 'M' on his forehead and belt buckle. He also wears a rather flamboyant cape which is purple on the outside and green on the underside.
Origin and Background: Milton Paternaster was born a prodigy.

At the age of 4 he solved a Rubik's Cube, guessed the Riddle of the Sphinx and could program a VCR or DVD player with no instructions. By 6 he had read Tolstoy, balanced his family's household budget, done their taxes and found a way to rewire the TV for free cable. By 12 he had graduated High School. By 15, he had a doctorate and a master's degree. At the age of 18...he was incredibly, unendingly and painfully bored.

With money from various grants and patents coming in (he had invented several computer programs and apps when he had nothing else to do), Milton had no real desire to get a job or start a career working with, or heavens forbid...underneath, a person of normal intelligence. Instead he sought a real challenge and whiled away the hours designing various insidious plans and inescapable death traps, inspired by the villains he would see on the news and in movies.

Certain that he had surmised their true reason for failure, Paternaster created a costumed identity for himself and set out to test his theory against real law enforcement officers and superheroes. While his first few forays were not successful, it was not success he was striving for. He was never caught and his true identity never identified. There in lied the crux of his first, big plan. Supervillains never assumed they'll lose and yet always seem to. Paternaster, or Master Plan as he called himself, planned to lose from the very start. He also had 5-10 different ideas for escaping and getting away.

Soon, he starting focusing on winning while still fully expecting to lose. The key was planning. Contingency on top of contingency and back-up upon back-up. If 'Plan A' didn't work, no worries, as Milton has a Plan B, C, D, E and probably alternatives all the way up to W. After years 'in the game' as he calls it, Master Plan was finally thwarted by the combined efforts of Mothman, American Dream, Blue Traveler, Mr. Spaceman and others, who went on to form The Heartland League.

He spent little time in prison however as he had a plan on how to escape all along. OK, actually, he had a least two dozen of them.

Powers and Abilities: Outside of being one of the smartest people on the planet, Milton Paternaster has no superhuman powers. He is a scientific and technological genius as well as a master tactician and strategic mind and has developed several high tech devices to assist with his activities.

Master Plan's costume provides considerable resistance to harm, while his mask/reinforced cloth helmet protect him from mental attack. Master Plan is also highly trained and practiced in the art of resisting telepathy, ESP and mind control as he views those as the only things that can hope to defeat him. His thoughts are his ultimate weapons, so if an enemy can read his thoughts, he's done for.

Other devices Milton has created include a force field generator in his belt, various energy weapons and remote control units for the innumerable robots, traps and hidden passages weaseled away in his different secret hide outs.

Personality and Motivations: Master Plan is snarky, bold and a bit condescending to most people who encounter him and, honestly, it comes as no surprise. He is smarter and better organized than 95% of the Superhero and Supervillain community. As a result he appears to have a major ego but (and this is not to say he doesn't have one) his ability to keep himself in check is perhaps his greatest asset and what prevents him from being just another mad genius.

That said, Master Plan will never turn down a challenge to his intelligence or skill. He enjoys pitting himself against detective villains in battles of wits as much as proving brain is greater than brawn over superpowered paragons. He plans for everything and so there isn't a type of hero, or villain, he will not face.

As noted, Master Plan is well respected, if envied and despised, by the rest of the supervillains of the world. He wins fairly often when they lose constantly and yet his goals have nothing to do with wealth, vengeance or taking over the world. Where would the fun and competition be if he won the final battle without question and conquered the planet? No, that way only leads to boredom and with a mind like his, even defeat is preferable to such a hell.


Master Plan was created for Villains & Vigilantes when I was in Junior High School I believe. He has been used in Superworld and Golden Heroes/Squadron UK. He has not been used for Champions prior to this post but I do intend to add him in to our next campaign.

Master Plan is the villain we all think we see in comic books but rarely ever actually do. Doctor Doom is too much. Marvel's Wingless Wizard is too little. Dr. Sivana never wore a costume or had a code name. The Silver Age Lex Luthor is close but when was that last time Luthor was that guy? Seriously, the closest character I can think of relating Master Plan to is Syndrome from The Incredibles.

Master Plan for ICONS:

The illustration for this character was shamelessly swiped and modified from one of Count Nefaria
done by the incredibly talented Dusty Abell.

I am sure I have missed a number of birthdays and deaths and I don't want to go through them all now but I do want to make special note of a couple.
Happy Birthday to Mandy Morbid! Mandy is probably familiar to many of you from Zak Smith's blog PDNDWPS. She is also Zak's girlfriend. Zak put up a really cool post that recounts Mandy's past characters. So cool and kind of sweet if you ask me. I want a girl like that. That is, a girl who likes to game and is really cool and stuff.
Another Happy Birthday cheer for one of my childhood heroes, Lee Majors, the Six-Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy. I remember thinking this guy was the King of Cool when I was a kid, right behind William Shatner. It helped that my dad was a big fan as well.
A Rest in Piece guitar riff goes out to Woodstock alumni and fascinating fellow, Richie Havens, who passed away yesterday at the age of 72. Read his Wiki entry and you'll be surprised to learn what he did that most people don't know was done by him. Peace out Mr. Havens.
Barking Alien

1 comment:

  1. No love for Master Plan? Sad. I had a feeling his cool would be difficult to convey outside of an actual game.

    Guess you have to be there.