Friday, June 5, 2015

Classic Enemies: One More Miscellany

Tonight, I'm going to bring another three villains who don't quite merit their own entries (IMO), leaving us with just a couple solos to wrap things up.  Who knows? I may wrap things up this weekend.

Our first contestant is Scott Bennie's Timemaster who, as best as I can tell, first appeared in "Nova," a scenario published in Adventurer's Club #4, which featured him and the rest of his Alliance of Supervillains (Firewing, Avar-7, Radium, Mind Slayer, and Herculan), fighting Eurostar(!), with the heroes along for the ride. Not for the faint-hearted.

Timemaster comes from the future. A future, anyway.  As you might guess, he's a time-traveler.  His name was Tymon Mazurich, but now he goes by the relatively less unsubtle Timothy Masters.  Anyway, TM hates his world government, so he went back in time to overthrow it.  His writeup in CE seems to have a gap: the details are kind of vague somewhere between traveling to the past and getting stranded there.  In his AC writeup, the experience of time travel drove him nuts.  Anyway, he's stuck here and doing the villain thing to learn about superheroes so he can find the right ones to liberate his era.

Or something like that.  I'll be honest with you: I'm not fond of time travel stories, as a rule, and Timemaster's writeup heavily relies on Drains to accomplish his time manipulation powers, which is clumsy at best.  He's a good example of a neat idea that the Champions rules don't really support all that well.  The Hero System just doesn't do absolutes very well, and this is a character that needs some absolutes in order to function as conceived.

From a time-traveling genius, we turn our attention to a smart bruiser.  Thunderbolt (created by Andrew Robinson) has a bit in common with Beamline, in that he's another scientist who had a lab accident.  This one transformed Dr. Howard Reeves into a human dynamo, a force of living lightning.  Stats-wise, he's a potent and versatile energy projector, with decent defenses and superhuman strength.  While he doesn't have a genius-level intellect, he's no dummy and he's actually got a decent array of non-combat skills (at least as characters in this book go).

From a campaign standpoint, Thunderbolt makes a great mercenary villain. His power array allows him to slot into just about any ad hoc team, and his scientific skills means he might even be brought in as a "Technical Consultant" on a more delicate job.  In short, he's a great special guest, but not the sort of guy I'd build an entire adventure around.

Our final entrant tonight is Vibron, by George MacDonald.  He was a genius in the "Focused Sound Industry" before he had the inevitable accident that left his body in a constant vibrating state.  The experience left him with superpowers, but a massive anti-social streak, as he no longer believed himself fit for the company of normal humanity.  Not that this stops him from using his powers to steal stuff.

Powers-wise, he's kind of a low-rent Flash.  He can vibrate through stuff, and hit folks a lot (with the ever-broken Hand to Hand Attack power) and run fast (about 70 mph, if my math is close).  He's got Desolidication and a Force Field that he can put up at the same time, which is kind of novel, I suppose.  At 257 points, he's pretty much equal to a starting PC, so he's not a bad starter villain.

There's just one not-insurmountable problem. The whole isolated loner thing.  As written, Vibron doesn't play well with others, and he's not powerful enough to be a solo villain.  So, all-in-all, he's just not that useful, as-is.  Changing up his PsychLims a bit can fix that, at which point, he becomes a decent member of a robbery crew.

For those keeping track at home, we've got The Slug and Utility left.  I'll be tackling them in the next few days, and then I suppose I'll sum up.  There's been some interest in my tackling another 4e era book, and I think I'm going to do it, once I figure out which one.


  1. Admittedly, Timemaster is in some ways a homage to Marvel's Kang.

  2. I always thought the pic of Thunderbolt looked really cool.