Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Classic Enemies: GROND IS THE STRONGEST!
Do I really need to say anything about Grond? I do? OK.
Grond was created by Steve Peterson, first appearing in the pages (and cover) of Enemies II. He is, beyond a doubt, one of the most iconic Champions villains. He is also the strongest character in Classic Enemies, a full 90, which entitles him to dead-lift 6.4 kilotons (128,000,000 kilos). Technically speaking, this exceeds canonical Hulk-level strength by several orders of magnitude, but who's counting.
Origin-wise, Grond's not that different from Griffon, really. Both were prisoners who agreed to being guinea pigs in order to reduce their sentences (aka, the "Luke Cage Parole"). Both were transformed into horrible monsters. The difference? Grond fills the all-important Hulk role in the Champions Universe, just by being big and green and strong. The amphibian fins where his ears were hearken back to the Abomination, so you've got both characters in one package. The extra pair of limbs? Just plain cool. Sadly, in 5th edition and the MMO, the art direction on him moved away from the classy gent you see above and went more bestial and monstrous. Pity.
Grond is a great villain for a novice GM; he requires very little in the way of tactical acumen because his only tactic is hit things - a lot. And while the CE version of him is definitely tough and strong, he's far from unbeatable. He's slow, and if you can keep out of his reach, he can be picked off at range. The trick is preventing him from wrecking half the city while you're doing it. Mentalist will have a field day with him, but that cuts both ways. With his low Ego, he's a prime target for psionic villains who need some muscle. They just need to make sure they're out of the way when he breaks out from under their influence.
I've used Grond on multiple occasions in my games, usually when I needed a threat the heroes had to take seriously that didn't require a lot of consideration regarding motives or plans. In that, he's the perfect villain to use when you don't have anything else prepared. The last campaign I ran used him as the very first threat our heroes had to face, as he was dropped (apparently from orbit) in a spherical capsule onto Alcatraz, providing a handy distraction while my master villain pulled off some high-tech robberies in Silicon Valley. He would have won had Oracle not shifted into her Aphrodite aspect and charmed him into quiescence.
All of the above is optional. Really, Grond is just awesome.