Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Supervillains A-To-Z: B is for Bittersweet

This work in progress is still very much a work in progress.

I am not sure I conveyed how cool Afterlife can be while at the same time being absolutely certain the entry on him/it was way too long.

Here's hoping this one, and each one hereafter, improves the formula a little.


True Identity: Candice 'Candi' Sweet

Description/Appearance: Bittersweet is an extremely attractive Caucasian woman in her mid-to-late twenties. As Candice, she stands about 5' 3" and is roughly 110 lbs. With her full Bittersweet ensemble she adds a good 6 inches to her height and an additional 15-20 lbs. of clothing and gear. Her outfit is based on 'Rave' and 'Scene' clothing with the addition of candy elements and a slightly 'Goth' overtone.

Origin and Background:  Candice Sweet grew up 'Daddy's Little Princess' in the suburbs of West Virginia just outside of Washington DC. Unfortunately, Candi's Mom passed away when she was young and Daddy got in some legal trouble that resulted in him being put away in a the State Penitentiary for a series of white collar crimes. 

Candi bounced from relative to relative, becoming heavily interested and involved in rave culture, goth music and participating in a popular, local burlesque troupe. She became friends with a band of anarchist musicians during this time and that is when she learned many of her more eccentric skills .

On the night of one of her big performances, the theatre and its audience was accosted by the candy-coated killer known as The Candy Man. The murderous master of marshmallow and his entourage held the assembled people hostage until Candi tried first to seduce him and then knock him over the head with his own club-like lollipop. So enamoured was Candy Man by this coy and clobbering cupcake that he took her with him as the authorities arrived.

Over the next few months the two were a deadly Bonnie and Clyde duo wrecking havoc and spreading mayhem throughout the border states between the South and Mid-West. Their exploits caused them to cross paths with numerous members of The Heartland League including American Dream, Buckeye, Golden Eagle III and The Mothman.

Eventually cornered by Mothman and the third Golden Eagle at one of their hideouts in Ohio, Bittersweet (then going by the name of 'Sweetcheeks') was left for dead when Candy Man set off an explosion that destroyed the hideout in order to make his escape.

After serving a number of month in prison, Candice's case was revisited and she was transferred to a mental health facility which she promptly escaped from. Located another of Candy Man's secret safe houses, she outfitted her self with a new costume and better equipment and proceeded to hunt down her former lover and accomplice to make him pay. That payment is doubled for anyone who gets in her way.

Powers and Abilities: As Bittersweet doesn't have any actual superhuman powers, she relies on a variety of gadgets and gimmicks to combat her opponents.

Her primary weapons include a whip (usually used more for swinging and tripping up or binding people than fighting), grenades made to resemble gumdrops and a number of smaller devices that are switched in and out as need be. A large lollipop made of some very dense and heavy material is a favorite for bashing people in the face or on the noggin.

Bittersweet has also dabbled into chemistry, possibly thanks to her time sharing a cell with the villainess Widowmaker. Her lipstick contains a potent mind control drug that she will use on opponents of either gender to get them to do her bidding or just make fools of themselves.

She is an accomplished actress, dancer and has become well connected in the criminal underworld of the Mid-West states.

Personality and Motivations: Candice is a flirt, a tease and a mean spirited  engine of vengeance when lied to, wronged or even ignored if the moment strikes her. She feels only her father really ever loved her and he was taken away by the government so she has no warm feelings for officials and authorities of any kind.

Deep down however, she is...oh who am I kidding. She is an angry girl pure and simple. She does hold the tiniest hope of the romantic notion that someone will see the real Candice hidden in Bittersweet and take her away from this life of madness. Right after she kills the Candy Man.


Bittersweet was designed for a Mutants & Masterminds campaign but never actually used. I hope to use her in an upcoming Champions game. The concept was, "What if Harlequin snapped a little further, realized Joker didn't really care about her and made it her life's mission to put him in the ground?"

Bittersweet for ICONS:

Barking Alien


  1. Very cool concept, and I love the background for this psychotic siren!

  2. I have to say, being unfamiliar with ICONS, I'm really not digging the minimalist supers thing. First MHR, then this. Did game designers read too many of those "Guide to the Marvel Universes" or something?

    1. Yeah, I feel the same way.

      At least with Marvel Heroic there is an interesting die mechanics surrounding the whole thing so you don't feel the lack of detail. With ICONS I just keep wondering, "Nice. So where is the rest of it?".

  3. With ICONS and new Marvel there is no "build" sub-game like in Champions and M&M (and D&D 3E & 4E and a bunch of other games. It's all about playing the game. Whether it's quickly statting out an existing concept or rolling one up on the spot, there's no need for 6 months of optimization before beginning play. You don't need a 7-power array for your energy blast. You just take "blast", call it "fire" and for explosions or cones or the like you power stunt with Determination (or use SFX in Marvel)

    ICONS is less detailed than other systems - that's the reason it exists. To provide a fast-starting, fast-playing Supers game. There are far fewer numbers (there are only 4 ranges, for example) and less granularity so it's not going to go to the same level and doesn't try. Marvel is similar - far less concern about positioning and hard numbers, more about what the core of each character is in play.

    For any decent hero/villain concept I think you should be able to lay out some abilities, skills, powers, and distinctive qualities, rate some of them from 1-10, and have a pretty solid picture of the character. It's a step beyond just a description, but less than a detailed system writeup in specific system X. Once you have that sketch it's pretty easy to translate into the system of your choice, which makes it a great template for web discussions.

    1. This last part of your comment is the reason I went with it as the system of choice instead of one of the more complex and detailed ones.

      It might be tricky for a non-Champions fan or person new to gaming to figure out how to translate a high EGO Defense or a Multipower but it's pretty easy to look at the sheet above and put the character into another game.

      If Bittersweet's Gumdrop Grenades are rated 6 on a scale of 1-to-10, you know roughly how tough they should be in Champions.