Hector Diaz is the premier crimelord of Los Dorados, the leader of the notorious Skulls Gang. Tied to the Mexican cartels, Diaz remains independent from their control largely through his own charisma, brutality, and willingness to do whatever is required to keep himself in power, no matter who he has to hurt to do so.
Diaz grew up in Juarez, the most crime-ridden city in Mexico. He killed a man for the first time when he was twelve, defending his family from a home invasion. That earned him enough street cred to get an invite into the local gang, where Diaz carved out a niche for himself, rising quickly in the ranks. Quick enough to bring him to the attention of the most powerful cartel in Juarez, the Horde. The leader of the Horde, Victor Cruz, aka El Charro, took Diaz under his wing. In time, Diaz became as close to Cruz as one of his own sons. So it came as some surprise to Cruz when Diaz betrayed him, stealing not only his young wife, but millions of dollars, all while gunning down the elite soldiers of the Horde. Cruz managed to escape, albeit badly hurt and probably crippled. Diaz fled to the states, setting up shop in Los Dorados. He used the millions he stole from Cruz as his stake money, creating in months a criminal empire that would have normally taken years.
Using the motif of the Day of the Dead, Diaz’ favorite holiday, he created a gang known as the Skulls, decked out with skull masks and automatic weapons, a veritable army of criminal scum at his beck and call. Diaz keeps a lavish home in Snake Valley, outside of Los Dorados proper, where he keeps Cruz’ ex-wife Olivia as a virtual prisoner. The illicit love they shared has dampened in the intervening years, but Diaz is loathe to part with any possession until he’s through with it.
Recent developments in Los Dorados have weakened Diaz’ position and criminal empire. The arrival of the Fox and his subsequent war on crime has emboldened the populace, invigorated the justice system, and severely cut into Diaz’ profits. He has had to take drastic measures, hiring metahuman muscle that he doesn’t trust and fears he cannot adequately control, in order to deal with the Fox and other costumed do-gooders. As well, Victor Cruz’ long-simmering revenge has begun its first act, as Horde agents have been seen within the city. The Genesys Bomb has created a host of mutant superhumans, some of whom have dedicated themselves to fighting crime, while others have emboldened some of Diaz’ underlings into thinking they are entitled to bigger pieces of the pie.
Paradoxically, Diaz is feeling invigorated a bit himself. Los Dorados was easy pickings at first, but having to defend his empire against actual challenges has made him more excited and terrible than ever before.
- Olivia Perez – While she never officially divorced her husband, Olivia has reverted to her maiden name while in America. She used to be a model before becoming a gangster’s wife, and retains her classical beauty despite the hardships of life. She has given Diaz one child so far, a daughter named Maria, but no son as of yet. Too late, Olivia has realized that attaching herself to Diaz was not the upgrade from Cruz that she first assumed. Now she fears and hates Diaz in equal measure, but for the sake of her daughter has to play the role of dutiful girlfriend.
- Hector “Little Hector” DeJesus – Diaz’ chief advisor is also his lawyer. Corrupt, brilliant, and gifted, DeJesus is never far from Diaz’ side. He’s concerned about the rise of metacrime in Los Dorados and thinks Diaz’ hiring of metahumans is a mistake, but so long as the money keeps rolling in, he operates as Diaz’ right hand.
STR: 18 (+4) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 18 (+4) INT: 22 (+6) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 18 (+4)
Bluff 4 (+8)
Disable Device 8 (+14)
Drive 8 (+10)
Gamble 4 (+6)
Gather Information 4 (+8)
Intimidate 8 (+12)
Knowledge: Business 4 (+10)
Knowledge: Streetwise 8 (+14)
Notice 8 (+10)
Search 8 (+10)
Sense Motive 4 (+6)
Stealth 8 (+10)
Feats: Accurate Attack
Challenge – Improved Demoralize
Combat Driver (Ground) 1
Defensive Roll 4
Dirty Fighting 2
Improved Initiative 1
Minions 6 [Extra Minions 5]
Precise Shot 2
Quick Draw 2
Equipment 13 [Cell Phone, Night Vision Goggles; Matched Pistols, Rapier, Panther (Sports Car), Snake Valley Hacienda (Stately Manor)]
“Grappler” Strike 6 [Mighty, Training]
“Matched Pistols” Blast 6 [Autofire 3, Accurate, Split Attack 1]
“Rapier” Strike 6 [Mighty, Precise, Penetrating 2]
Attack +10 [Unarmed DC 19, Strike DC 25, Blast DC 21], Defense +10, Init +6
Toughness +4/+11, Fortitude +8, Reflex +6, Will +8
A charismatic sociopath, Diaz is an expert at manipulating people and situations to his greatest benefit. He has a talent for sizing up opponents and divining their secret weaknesses, and a ruthless tendency to go directly for the jugular in any contest. Diaz is a trained wrestler and grappler, blessed with a natural athleticism that he has trained to near-Olympic levels. Combined with his ruthlessness and fierce intelligence, this has made him as yet undefeated in hand to hand combat. He also keeps a pair of silver plated automatic pistols close to hand at all times, with which he is extraordinarily accurate and deadly. Having learned fencing while in the employ of Victor Cruz, and knowing that the Fox uses a blade, Diaz has taken to keeping a rapier nearby at all times himself.
Diaz is a tall, well-muscled and handsome Hispanic man with close cropped black hair, cold brown eyes, and a neatly trimmed goatee. He wears a golden skull earring in his left ear, and his back, arms, and shoulders are decorated in elaborate Day of the Dead tattoos. He dresses almost exclusively all in black, sometimes with white or silver accents, and he is always stylish, even when working out. He doesn’t go “into the field” and get his hands dirty much any longer – he has people for that – but when he does, he dons a black uniform chased with silver, including a skull mask and hood.
Snake Valley Hacienda (Stately Manor)
Hector Diaz controls his criminal empire from his sprawling traditional style hacienda in the posh hills of Snake Valley, which is outside the city proper. The hills are dusty and covered with sage and cactus, but the grounds of Diaz’ estate are green and well tended. He has a tennis court, an Olympic style pool, a garage that houses his collection of vehicles, and other amenities. The grounds are regularly patrolled by Skull Thugs and a pack of pit bulls, in addition to the elaborate electronic security system.
Communications, Computer, Fire Prevention System, Garage, Gym, Infirmary, Living Space, Pool, Power System, Security System 2, Workshop
Panther (Sports Car)
While Diaz owns a fleet of expensive cars, when operating in his criminal guise, he drives a custom modified classic Ferrari, glossy black in color, with a host of upgrades, including armor and a hidden machine gun mount on the hood.
20 (+5), Toughness:
Alarm 1, Caltrops, Hidden Compartments, Jumping Jacks, Nitro Injectors, Off Road Movement, Oil Slick, Remote Control, Smokescreen, Tire Inflators]
Speed 5 [250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd]
“Machine Gun” Blast 8 [Autofire 1, Limited (Fixed Mount, Forward Facing)]
Formed through the combination of several dozen street gangs, the Skulls are a capable force of enforcers, thieves, and thugs. Accomplished at violence and capable of keeping their mouths shut when necessary, they are loyal to the Skull so long as he keeps them well paid and outside the reaches of the law. Even then, they know they may have to do a short stretch now and again.
STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 16 (+3) INT: 10 (-) WIS: 10 (-) CHR: 10 (-)
Knowledge: Streetwise 4
Stealth 4 (+6)
Improved Initiative 1
Equipment 7 [Cell Phone, Nightvision Goggles; Chain, Heavy Pistol, Light Machine Gun, Armored Jumpsuit]
Attack +6 [Unarmed DC 17, Chain DC 19, Heavy Pistol DC 19, Light Machine Gun DC 20], Defense +6, Init +6
Toughness +3/+6, Fortitude +5, Reflex +6, Will +2
Skull thugs represent a wide variety of races from a number of impoverished neighborhoods in Los Dorados, but they are mostly black, Latino, or Chinese, with a smaller smattering of white and assorted Asian minorities. They are often tattooed, and typically wear black and silver, often with Day of the Dead stylistic flourishes on their t-shirts, baseball caps, and so on. They usually have at least a large caliber pistol on their persons at all times, and when operating clandestinely, will arm themselves with AR-15s or AK-47s, while garbing themselves in armored uniforms emblazoned with skeletal features, complete with skull facemasks.
Under the Hood
Normally I start with the heroes before getting to the villains, but I thought I'd switch it up for a few reasons. For one, Empire City
was basically just heroes, and this thread is overdue for some bad guys. Hector Diaz is probably the most important NPC in the setting, as he's the criminal mastermind of the whole city, and also there's a twist.
Hector Diaz is Skeletor.
I've been a Masters of the Universe fan since I was a wee lad and I've always liked Skeletor and his cronies. I've tried to translate them into RPG villains a few times, originally for a Ravenloft campaign back in the day. But I think they fit pretty well as M&M characters. I felt the need to translate them into a more "realistic setting," but I used the MotU templates for the Skull and his gang, and even threw in a few heroic templates for some of the people opposing the Skull Gang. And don't think El Charro is ignored, either.
Anyway, Diaz is at the top of the underworld pyramid in Los Dorados. He's rich and powerful, has all the gangs in the city working for him and most of the politicians in his pocket. He's got a crew of super powered beings as his lieutenants. He is virtually untouchable, is basically running the city, and had nothing to fear until the Fox appeared and started stirring things up. Things are about to change in Los Dorados, but the Skull will not go quietly (if at all) and he's more than capable of defending his kingdom, his riches, and his position.
The idea is that he's a spider at the center of a very large web. He doesn't take part in any criminal activities directly any longer, although he may be tempted to take the field to put a superhero or two in their place. The Skull's subordinates do all the heavy lifting, but they're as capable and deadly a bunch as you'd expect.