This week: another supervillain from 1982's "Enemies" supplement for Champions. The awesome concept making this villain worthy of a place in a supervillain supplement? He, uh, lost a hand and replaced it with a sledgehammer. Yep, that's it.
Now I kind of like the idea of the hammer-handed-hero (or villain) but everything about this one from the illustration to the mechanics is lame. Technical issues:
- You have a hammer for a hand. What does that do for you in-game? According to this it adds 2d6 to your Strength damage. With a 50 Str he already punches for 10d6, so the hammer takes it to 12d6, and that's it - no enhanced knockback, no armor-piercing, no extra Stun multiplier, no area effect slam or shockwave - it's just a rather weak damage bump. Wow.
- Speaking of that 50 Str, where does that come from? He can lift 25 tons - he didn't get that from an NFL workout program, I don't care what kind of drugs he was on! Was it part of the experiment that took his hand? It doesn't say. Having a 50 Str is a far more important and life-changing ability than having a hammer for a hand, yet we don't learn a thing about it in the paragraph of description that we get here.
- Does replacing your right hand with a block of metal have any downside? Not according to the stat sheet. It offers no physical limitation (the most obvious disad) but it does generate a 15-point psych limit of being sensitive to insults about it.
- His other disads are just random - double Stun from sonics, explosions, vibration, and radiation attacks? Why? How are those things related? A pair of Hunteds, OK. Then, of course, Secret Identity - Really? How exactly? He's a big bad dude missing his right hand and he somehow maintains a secret ID? Being generous, we can assume the hammer unscrews or something but what if it didn't? Does he work as a pirate mascot of some kind? This is just really not well thought-out.
So yes, I think this is a rather weak character though not as ridiculous as some (Frizbe). How could we make it better?
- Better illustration
- Make the hammer matter. Give it a shock effect, maybe a 3d6 NND Stun attack. Make it armor-piercing vs. power armor suits and let him be a nemesis for your battlesuit player . Give him extra knockback from a wallop. Anything to make him a more memorable and more effective villain.
- Give him a little bit more background. Many of the baddies in this book are tied to Viper or some evil organization - tie him to those and make him an enemy of them so you can set up an enemy-of-my-enemy situation with the PC's.