Monday, April 27, 2015

Classic Enemies: Steam, Punk.

And, we're back. I spent the entire weekend chained to my computer on a work project, but let's try to get back on track.

Today's example of villainy is the Dreadnought.  Like Dark Seraph, he is a creation of Barry Wilson, first appearing in Enemies III under the name Juggernaut.  Given the likelihood of confusion with a better-known funnybook mutant, he got a name change for Classic Enemies, as well as a bit of a system cleanup. Fortunately, neither took away from the basic charm of the character.

The Dreadnought Armor (whoever wears it is The Dreadnought, it's had many wearers over the years) was designed in World War II by the Nazi scientist Professor Klankenhausen.  It's a nuclear-fueled, steam driven battlesuit that, for all it's limitations, makes for a very capable heavy Brick (70 STR, 60 CON, 30 rPD/rED hardened, 99 Stun, 30 REC -- in short, you're going to have to hit him very hard A LOT and wear him down).  The one thing he doesn't have going for him is his Dexterity; it's extremely low and even with Combat Skill Levels, he's very easy to hit.

After the war, the suit made its way out of Europe, where it made the rounds of the criminal underground before coming into the possession of Zarathustra, a powerful and mysterious neo-Nazi figure.  More recently, it was stolen from Zarathustra by an individual bent on revenge (against whom being an exercise for the GM).

If the picture here doesn't give you ample ideas, here's his description out of the book: "The [Dreadnought] suit is 6'6" tall, and weighs 950 pounds.  It was once a shiny grey, but that has been replaced by shining black plates that suggest a cross between plate mail and 1930s Art Deco.  Puffs of steam can be seen coming from its joints, but it no longer whistles."

Of course, I happily restored the whistling and the clanking. Why the hell wouldn't I?  This thing fairly defines the word contraption.  He makes terrific hired muscle, but my most memorable use for him was in a Golden Age campaign, when the armor was a new secret prototype.  It was shot into London on a V-2 rocket and the heroes had to fight it before it leveled Buckingham Palace.  Jolly good show, that.

Next time, we'll complete our Barry Wilson trifecta and look at another guy with a crown.


  1. Didn't this armor have the disadvantage of "slowly kills the user" or something along those lines?

  2. Indeed it did! I meant to mention that.

  3. Awesome! I'd forgotten about Dreadnought.

  4. I LOVE THIS ARMOR!!! It first showed up in my world just prior to WWII and was a used by both heroes and villains in my pulp campaign and WWII game. It was constantly damaged, repaired and altered. Eventually the Nazis captured it and began extensive modifications. It disappeared after war then showed up again on a minion of the early Dr Destroyer. Finding it more trouble than it was worth he passed it along to his fanboy Professor Muerte. Despite the seemingly unfixable flaws of the armor it keeps getting used.