Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1990 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Justice League Sourcebook: Despero

Welcome to our month long celebration of Despero's 50th birthday! However, every other day for the first ten of December of Despero will be given over to what I jokingly call "Mayfairstivus," a multi-blog crossover than will run all over the place through the 10th. Check the links after this article for further details!

Despero didn't receive a card in the 1989 Mayfair box set, but for some reason, stats that did not reflect the current status quo showed up in another source book a year later. The page-and-a-half history of the character offered there covered up to the end of his first JLI rampage, when he was reduced to infancy by the gift of Mayavana. However, his Powers listings were so high I'd assume they referenced his run-in with the Detroit League, but for the lack of animation abilities. However, his base physical stats were probably low even for the classic Silver/Bronze incarnation. To reflect the disparity, I decided to create my own original Despero card (art by Dick Dillon) using one of the three character creation templates from the '89 box, then offer the '90 JL sourcebook stats (sans history) below:

DEX: 6
STR: 6
INT: 11
WILL: 13

Control: 15, Illusion: 15, Mental Blast: 16, Mind Probe: 25, Regeneration: 1, Telekinesis: 16, Telepathy: 25, Teleportation: 20
Gadgetry: 13, Scientist: 15
Miscellaneous: Teleportation is Usable on Others. In order to Teleport unwilling targets, Despero must make an Action Check using his APs of Power as the AV/ EV against an OV/RV equal to the target's INT/MIND. If the RAPs from this roll equal or exceed the target's MIND, Despero can Teleport the target to the destination of his choice. Each use of this Power costs Despero 25 Hero Points.

20 AP ABCD Omni-Gadget
•Motivation: Power Lust
•Height: 6'5"
•Weight: 289 lbs.
•Eyes: Violet (x3)
•Hair: None (fin-like membrane)
•Wealth: 10
Dictator/Alien Conqueror

•Methods and Goals:
Before his disintegration by the Justice League and subsequent rebirth, Despero was just another power-mad conqueror. He wanted nothing less than total galactic domination. The pride and overconfidence that were often his greatest strengths were just as often his greatest weaknesses.
After he reassembled himself, however, he had only one thing on his mind: causing the violent deaths of the Justice League, the planet Earth, and himself, in that order. He embraced his hatred like a lover, and only after his hate had been allowed to express itself was he able to find peace of a sort.

1. Justice League of America #1
2. Justice League of America #65
3. Justice League of America #134
4. Justice League of America #177
5. Justice League of America #254
6. Justice League America #37
7. Justice League America #38-39
8. Justice League America #40

When Mayfair complimented the early '90s looseleaf Who's Who with a similar stat-heavy offering, the above information was reprinted as representing "Despero (Pre-Py'tar.)" The major differences between the two were that the updated edition awarded Despero Growth: 6. They also included the drawbacks of Strange Appearance, Catastrophic Rage, and Catastrophic Irrational Attraction to destroying the Justice League. I don't get the Growth at all, and he wasn't a rageaholic or especially fixated on the League until after his transformation. Picking bones on RPGs is a common occurrence, but since Mayfair were fairly accurate in that department, I find it odd that their handle on the original Despero was so loosey-goosey. For instance, the guy got knocked around by Supergirl and blasted with energy cannons, so his Body should reflect that resilience. Regardless, this stands as a novel indicator of where Despero once stood in power levels.

I hope you enjoyed the first day of Despero's December, and this preview edition of Mayfairstivus. I told everyone that I wouldn't be running my first posts until the 2nd, because my personal side celebration of Hanukkah doesn't begin until sundown today. Then I decided at the last minute that I didn't want anyone to post unsupported by me, so I moved this piece up on the schedule. New posts from participating blogs should begin trickling out today, but I urge you to check each blog early and often, as you never know which posts will turn up on which days throughout the celebration. It'll give you a chance to enjoy each blog under normal circumstances, taste all the different flavors on the table, and appropriately enough, you can make a game of finding where the action is each day...


The Irredeemable Shag said...

Frank - Great job with the Despero stats! Nicely done. The only thing I would add is a Serious Irrational Attraction to wearing United Nations flags as capes. :)

I really appreciate you organizing this crossover! You know I love me a blog crossover and Mayfair happens to be one of my favorite RPG systems.

Oh yeah, that card you put together was friggin' great! Nicely done sir!

The Irredeemable Shag

Diabolu Frank said...

Thanks Shag! I didn't anything too polished or time consuming, so I contrasted an old Dick Dillin panel until the only colors noticeably left were red and black. Some MS paint fills later, and I thought it matched the random lighting used on the actual cards. I didn't notice the mood ring belt buckle until later.