The Gang’s All Here – G.I. Joe’s Cobra

I’m very pleased to welcome thetimejockey (@timejockey) as Exploring Infinity’s newest contributor. Please help me make him feel welcome. This excellent first post expands the villainous options for your supers game .     ~ Adam

Introduction

In the early 1980’s, Hasbro wanted to publish a comic tie-in for a new toy line in development: a squad of highly-trained soldiers called G.I. Joe. They approached Marvel comics to develop the story behind these fighting men and women, and the task fell to a young writer and artist named Larry Hama. Hama had previously pitched an idea to Marvel about a squad of soldiers led by the son of super-spy Nick Fury, and he adapted some of the ideas for that storyline into what would become G.I. Joe.

But G.I. Joe did not have a villain to fight, so Archie Goodwin and several members of the Marvel Bullpen came up with a terrorist organization akin to the evil Hydra to battle the Real American Heroes. That evil group was called Cobra, and they have been trying to take over the world ever since.

Cobra serves well as a non-powered foil for a group of heroes that are superhuman agents of justice or members of a covert military unit. Cobra could easily exist alongside the likes of Hydra, AIM, RAID, or any other nefarious army of faceless goons bent on conquering the globe. Most of Cobra’s ranks, however, consist of relatively normal but well-trained agents, so keep in mind they might be a bit underpowered against a group like the Avengers.

Cobra

Cobra Insignia (Image credit: G.I. Joe Wiki)

Cobra is a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. Cobra exists anywhere in the world where there is strife and disillusionment, capitalizing on chaos to infiltrate normal society and twist people to their viewpoint. This tactic leads to the organization’s most infamous trait: its members’ ability to blend into communities and hide in plain sight. A member of Cobra could be your next door neighbor, your co-worker, or even your local representative in Congress.

Cobra seems to have unlimited manpower and resources, with a standing army that exceeds that of some nations and advanced cutting-edge military hardware that borders on science fiction. But for all its power and influence, Cobra also suffers from infighting and power struggles among its leadership.

Overview (Milestone) | General Characters | Paraphernalia | Named Characters
Copyright Disclaimer

Overview ^

Aims

They’ll be happy when they have gained control over the entire world, grinding governments under their heel and crushing individual freedom and will. Cobra strives to obtain power and control in any form, and to build its military and financial assets by any means necessary.

Acts

You might find them perpetrating acts of domestic terrorism to spread fear, raiding technological firms or military installations, or hiding in plain sight as your next door neighbor.

Ties

    • Destro and MARS Industries provides the advanced arms and vehicles used by Cobra forces, and Destro himself is a member of Cobra High Command.
    • They have access to the Red Ninja Clan, a rogue splinter group of the Arashikage clan.
    • They occasionally hire mercenary groups such as the Dreadnoks and the Night Creepers to do their dirty work.
    • They are at odds with peace loving World Governments everywhere.
    • They are opposed by the highly trained special mission force known as G.I. Joe, and abroad by groups such as Russia’s Oktober Guard and Great Britain’s Action Force.

Milestone Option ^

Players can become more involved in the battle against Cobra by taking the following milestone:

Knowing is Half the Battle
You are aware of Cobra’s existence, and now it is time to take the fight to them.

1 xp when you uncover a Cobra plot or operation.
3 xp when your hero stops Cobra agents from completing a mission.
10 xp when you drive Cobra out of a major region of a country or nation, or when your actions allow Cobra to gain a stronger foothold in an area.

General Characters ^

Cobra Trooper

The rank and file of Cobra’s legions, the masked “Blueshirts” serve as cannon fodder in the machinations of Cobra Commander.

Rookie Terrorist Soldier d6
Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy d6, Team d8
Gear: Assault Rifle d8, Knife d6

Cobra Soldier Mob

Cobra Trooper (Image Credit: G.I. Joe Wiki)

Affiliations: Team 3d6 (small squad) or 5d6 (large squad)
Distinctions: Strength in Numbers, Vicious Vipers

Gear: Assault Rifle d8, Knife d6
SFX: Cobra Everywhere. Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Concentrated Fire. Replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Mob Cohesion. Defeat Team dice (with d8 stress) to reduce mob.

Viper Variants

Viper Infantry (Image Credit: G.I.Joe Wiki)

Cobra Soldiers, often called “Vipers,” come in countless varieties based on their specialty, but most only differ from the base soldier by the uniform they wear and the equipment they are issued.

You can easily reflect the diverse Viper units by changing the default Trooper’s existing powers or adding a power set. Here are examples for some of the more common types of Vipers:

      • Viper Infantry: Body Armor d6, Sealed Helmet d8
      • Alley-Viper: Body Armor d8,
      • Ne0-Viper: Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Strength d8
      • SAW-Viper: Body Armor d6, Machine Gun d10
      • Strato-Vipers: Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Stamina d8
      • Tele-Viper: Comm Jammer d8, Comm System d8

Crimson Guard

(Image Credit: G.I. Joe Wiki)

Cobra’s elite units, “Siegies” are master infiltrators and serve as Cobra Commander’s personal bodyguards.

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d4, Team d6
Distinctions: Blind Loyalty, Elite Soldier, Unassuming

Gear: Armor d8, Assault Rifle d8, Knife d6
SFX: Concentrated Fire. Replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
SFX: Advanced Helmet. Spend a d6 from the Doom Pool to ignore stress from gas  or blinding attacks.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Gear to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.
Specialties: Business Expert, Combat Expert, Psych Expert, Vehicle Expert

Battle Android Trooper (B.A.T.)

Highly advanced humanoid robots, B.A.T.s are extremely durable and act as disposable infantry in Cobra’s plots.

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d4, Team d6
Distinctions: Killing Machine, Relentless

Gear: Armor d8, Enhanced Senses d8, Weapon Systems d8
SFX: Built to Last. Spend a d6 from the Doom Pool to ignore physical stress or trauma results unless caused by an explosive.
SFX: Interchangeable Gear. Spend a d6 from the Doom Pool to gain one of the following SFX: Area Effect, Burst, or Focus. To swap for a different SFX, spend d6 from the Doom Pool.
Limit: Robotic Systems. Step up or add a d6 to the Doom Pool when you step up physical stress inflicted from electromagnetic or electrical attacks by +1.
Specialties: Combat Rookie, Menace Rookie

Paraphernalia ^

HISS Tanks

Also known as the High Speed Sentry, HISS tanks are the main armored tank for Cobra’s ground forces.

Affiliations: Solo 3d10, Buddy 2d8, Team d6
Distinctions: Well-Armored, Heavy Weapons Platform

Attack Tank: Turret Cannons d10, Armor Plating d10, Enhanced Speed d8
SFX: Armor Plating. Spend a d6 from the Doom Pool to ignore physical stress or trauma results unless caused by an explosive.
SFX: Cannon Shot. Add a d6 to the dice pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in the pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Huge. Can’t attack anything smaller than a child, can’t fit between narrow spaces, and other problems related to its size. Turn an Attack tank power into a complication and add d6 Doom. Spend d6 Doom to recover.

FANG Attack Gyro-copter

The Fully Armed Negator Gyro-copter is one of Cobra’s main air vehicles, and its small size and maneuverability make it a dangerous opponent.

Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy 2d6, Team 3d8
Distinctions: Agile Flier, Aerial Support

Attack Copter: Weapon Systems d8, Armor Plating d8, Flight d6
SFX: Missile Systems. Add d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
Limit: Fragile Flight. Change Flight into a complication to gain d6 Doom. Spend d6 Doom to recover.

Brainwave Scanner

Created by the devious Dr. Venom, the Brainwave Scanner has the ability to read the mind of any unfortunate soul strapped into the machine. Given enough time, the operator can also erase memories, change allegiances, or drive the victim mad.

  • The Brainwave Scanner gives its user access to Mind Control d12 and Telepathy d10 against targets strapped into the machine.
  • The scanner is a massive machine that nearly fills a room, and is thus generally immobile.

The MASS Device

A creation of a brilliant scientist named Dr. Laszlo Vandermeer, the technology was stolen by Cobra to use in their latest plot for world domination. The device is able to transmit matter to any point on the globe by use of a special relay satellite, but it has the potential to destroy matter rather than transmit it.

  • The MASS Device gives its user access to Teleport d10 and Disintegration Beam d12, with a global range if a special satellite is used.
  • Limit: Vital elements. The device requires special elements to operate, and may be shutdown to add a d6 to the Doom Pool. It can only recover after a transition scene or action scene where the elements are obtained.
  • The device is a massive machine that nearly fills a room, and it is generally immobile.

Bases of Operation

Cobra has many hidden bases around the world, often setting up locations in Underground bunkers and Prefabricated structures known as Terror Dromes. The bases are usually patrolled by Easily Distracted soldiers, but often feature Advanced Security Systems to detect intruders.

Cobra also operates out of several front companies and seemingly normal American towns. The buildings are usually Well Maintained but conceal many Hidden Nooks. The strict Facade of Normalcy Cobra maintains in these places covers their operations but can also be used against them.

Named Characters ^

Cobra Commander

Cobra Commander (Image Credit G.I. Joe Wiki)

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d6, Team d10
Distinctions: Devious Manipulator, Dangerously Erratic, Delusions of Grandeur

Cobra’s Best
Armored Uniform d8, Laser Pistol d8

SFX: Advanced Helmet. Spend a d6 from the Doom Pool to ignore stress from gas attacks or blinding flashes.
SFX: Guards! Use an effect die from an action to create a Cobra Guard asset and step up this asset by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Cobra’s Best to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.

Specialties: Business Expert, Combat Expert, Crime Master, Menace Master, Psych Expert

Bio: Once a family man and owner of a used car dealership, the man who would become Cobra Commander saw his ordinary life fall apart after the death of his beloved brother. Believing that the government failed his brother and that the American dream was a lie, the future Commander fled to a small town named Springfield. There he used his rhetoric and natural charisma to start an underground organization with which he aimed to take the world from those he believed were corrupt. Bankrolling his dream with money obtained from pyramid schemes and private backers, Cobra Commander soon raised an army by recruiting criminals, militant militia groups, and disillusioned veterans.

Cobra Commander is considered to be one of the most dangerous men alive, and even his own conniving subordinates fear what he is capable of. Hiding behind the anonymity of his hood or mirrored battle helmet, Cobra Commander will not stop until the world is at his feet.

The Baroness (Anastasia DeCobray)

Baroness (Image Credit: G.I. Joe Wiki)

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d10, Team d6
Distinctions: Haughty, Temperamental, Femme Fatale

Well-Equipped
Handgun d6, Sniper Rifle d10, Armored Uniform d8

SFX: Aimed Shot. If a pool includes Handgun or Sniper Rifle, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Well-Equipped to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert, Covert Expert, Psych Expert, Vehicle Expert

Bio: Anastasia Cisarovna was born into a life of privilege and wealth, but everything changed when her brother was murdered before her eyes. She grew dark and twisted, seeking vengeance on a worlds she thought wronged her. She found a place in the ranks of Cobra, and is one of its highest ranking operatives.

Destro

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d6, Team d8
Distinctions: Honor-bound, Legacy of War, Master of Arms

Dealer’s Arms
Advanced Handgun d8, Armored Uniform d8

SFX: Ancestral Mask. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to reroll Armored Uniform during a reaction.
SFX: Wrist Rockets. Add a d6 to your die pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in the pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Dealer’s Arms to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.

Man of War
Enhanced Stamina d8, Enhanced Strength d8

SFX: Ancestral Fury. Before you make an action including a Man of War power, you may move your Physical Stress die to the Doom Pool and step up the Man of War power by +1 for this action.
Limit: Battle Fatigue. Shutdown any Man of War power to gain d6 Doom. Recover power by activating an opportunity.

Specialties: Business Master, Combat Master, Menace Expert, Tech Master, Vehicle Expert

Bio: James McCullen Destro XXIV comes from a long line of arms dealers, his family providing weapons of war for centuries. He wears a metal mask as part of a long standing family tradition, and he serves Cobra as long as they can pay for his services.

Major Bludd (Sebastian Bludd)

Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d4, Team d6
Distinctions: Vain, Gun for Hire

Gear
Carbine d10, Body Armor d8

SFX: Concentrated Fire. Replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Gear to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.

Specialties: Combat Expert, Menace Expert, Vehicle Expert

Bio: A mercenary and veteran of countless global conflicts, Sebastian Bludd joined Cobra because they could meet his price. He has stayed because Cobra affords him freedom to indulge his more sadistic tendencies, and they tolerate his vanity as long as he produces results.

Zartan

Zartan (Image Credit: G.I. Joe Wiki)

Affiliations: Solo d10, Buddy d6, Team d8
Distinctions: Man of Many Faces and Minds, Mercenary Bike Gang Leader, Stalking Assassin

Holographic Disguise
Invisibility d8, Shapeshifting d8

SFX: Flawless Imitation. Step up or double Shapeshifting for one action. If that action fails, shutdown Holographic Disguise. Recover on an opportunity.
Limit: Light Sensitivity. Change Invisibility into a complication when exposed to direct sunlight and step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Activate an opportunity to recover power.

Spymaster’s Gear
Custom Pistol d8, Body Armor d8

SFX: Deceptive Strike. Add d6 to your die pool for an attack action and step back the highest die in your pool by -1. Step up physical stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Spymaster’s Gear to step up or add d6 to the Doom Pool. Spend d6 from the Doom Pool to recover.

Specialties: Acrobatic Expert, Combat Expert, Crime Expert, Menace Expert, Psych Master, Vehicle Expert

Bio: The man known as Zartan has a confusing background that varies as much as the faces he wears. Over many years he developed an uncanny ability to mimic those around him, further enhanced by holographic technology and mysterious genetic experiments that give his skin a chameleon-like quality. He leads a group of mercenary bikers known as the Dreadnoks, and has offered their services to Cobra.

Disclaimer: All trademarks, service marks, trade names, and trade dress present in the images are proprietary to the copyright holder and are not affiliated with Exploring Infinity. The use of a small number of low-resolution G.I. Joe images to illustrate a product or character on Exploring Infinity falls under the fair use provision of United States copyright law.

About thetimejockey

Long term gamer, both video game and role playing, lifetime comic geek. Defender of time and space.