Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Classic Enemies: We Three Freaks

To make up for missing yesterday, here's a trifecta of villains. On the downside, they're all a little lot weird..  Your mileage may vary.

First up is The Fox of Crime, created by Ray Greer.  Full disclosure time: at Origins 84 in Dallas, a buddy and I shared a breakfast table with Ray and Doug Garrett (author of Danger International). Nice guys; we got to help explain Texas dry counties to Mr. Greer.

Anyway, the Fox's dealie-o is that he's a mutant whose head looks like a fox (the tail is just part of the costume).  He's a world-class teleporter and enjoys baiting, taunting, and being chased by superheroes.  His modus operandi generally involves teleporting in on an unsuspecting hero, hitting him in the face with a cream pie (2d6 Flash) and teleporting away.  In those rare situations where the heroes have a shot at laying a glove on him, he can generate a whopping 18 DCV (!) by merely dodging and burning some End.

Personality-wise, he's a walking cartoon.  He plays the heroes for suckers, then vanishes, usually pulling off a monumental robbery that he dispenses to the poor, Robin Hood style.

I've honestly never really used him in a game, though I do remember painting a Grenadier miniature of him.  Looking at his write ups (both in Enemies and Classic Enemies) I have to admire both the creativity in interpreting a cream pie to the face as a Flash and a build so focused on defense as to make a character this fragile viable.  I don't think I'd use him in a game now, but I have a little more respect.

Next up, we have Gremlin (created by George MacDonald).  She first appeared in "Microfilm Madness," a Champions adventure published in the pages of Space Gamer, a terrific magazine published by Steve Jackson Games in the 80s.  "Microfilm Madness" was designed to slot into the "VIPER's Nest" scenario in the 2e Champions boxed set, and featured three new villains (Black Claw, Black Diamond, and Gremlin - all members of GRAB).

Gremlin was a member of a radical female terrorist group called WITCH, who were at war with VIPER.  She blackmailed a heroine she assisted into giving her a formula stolen from VIPER.  After sampling it, she gained the ability to turn into the monstrous Gremlin.

(I can't find that issue of Space Gamer at the moment, but I remember that in her original origin, the formula was the same one used by Gargoyle, a member of the Guardians, which I gather were the home campaign at Hero Games.  Gargoyle, created and played by Mark Williams was a flying brick with a habit of eating the microphones of hapless reporter Jimmy Dugan. Gremlin was a villainous female version of Gargoyle.)

Stats-wise, Gremlin comes in at lower points than a normal starting PC, but she's not a total lightweight.  She's got superhuman strength with Armor-Piercing on it, so she can hit above her weight class. She's tough, but not brick tough, and she can fly.  Notably, she's got a boatload of useful skills for a thief, so she's far from useless.  On the downside, she has substantial limitations when it comes to cold environments and attacks, and all of her powers come from her transformation.  In normal form, she's precisely that.

Campaign-wise, she's a great utility infielder character, particularly for a starting campaign. Her mercenary nature and the fact that VIPER hates her as much as they hate superheroes can lead to uneasy truces (though her need to humiliate heroes will probably win out).  In short, she's a fun villainess to add into the mix.

Did I say we'd seen all of Barry Wilson's creations already?  Turns out I was wrong and there are actually two more.  Griffin is the next, and I can safely say I've never used him.  He's a criminal who was transformed by a mad scientist into a horrible man-bird hybrid with a taste for blood.  Looking at his background, he was pretty horrible to begin with (a pimp who murdered one of his girls).

Stats-wise, he's built to kill, with all the requisite killing attacks and solid defenses (including resistant, flash, power, and danger sense).  Lots of enhance sight too, and a very fast flyer. He's also got a 20 STR TK, only for pushing things away, which I interpret as a powerful wing buffet.

That said, he's boring. Terribly, terribly boring.  His origin is practically a rote recitation of mad science.  His motivation is killing people. His Disads and PsychLims make him virtually useless as an ally or a team member.  In short, he is what we call a "Mort."

Next time, we answer that musical question, "What has green skin, six arms, and a bad temper?"



    1. Guppy-man Grodd does everything a guppy can!

  2. I never used any of these as-written, but way back in the day I used Gremlin as a mutant-on-the-run who was hiding in an abandoned construction site (she couldn't transform: she always looked like that). I think she might have been a romantic interest for one of the PCs for a while.

    There's someone for everyone.

  3. I remember Griffin having incredible Dex, something like 35 or so, the highest I recall together with Rainbow Archer.

  4. I used Gremlin and Griffin but changed the background on both. I had D.E.M.O.N. do magical experiments on bonding humans and demons into a hybrid. these are two of the results. Griffin is harder for them to control as he has a berserk limitation whenever blood is drawn. Gremlin was actually their field commander.