The Hammer Â– The Builder for Unique Clients
Some people call him Dr. Hammer. Some call him Mr. Hammer. Those with a flair for the melodramatic call him “The Hammer”. Others simply call him Hammer, much the way people call Madonna or Sting a single name. He is the one you contact should you have a "unique building" need.
Some people call him Dr. Hammer. Some call him Mr. Hammer. Those with a flair for the melodramatic call him “The Hammer”. Others simply call him Hammer, much the way people call Madonna or Sting a single name.
Hammer appears to be a fit and competent middle aged man. His skin shows that he has been in the sun, wind, and other elements for a good portion of his life. His sandy blond hair is beginning to be streaked with grey, as is his beard. His flinty eyes peek out from under his bushy brows. His hands are not as rough as one would expect for someone dealing with construction and the outside world. He dresses fairly normally, either in suits or things appropriate for construction, as appropriate.
Hammer started his career as a fairly typical Science Villain – the standard cycle of stealing resources to create more science tools, to acquire more resources, and back and forth, until he can achieve his end goal. He had moderate success in those early years, while thwarted at every turn he was never captured. He was “recruited” (kidnapped) by The Master Villain, The Harbringer. He and his fellow recruits had time to hang out with each other between crazed project they were making. After talking to them for a while, he realized he was different from most of them. Most super genius are involve with control of the world, or dominate X, or have enough money and power they can do Y research uninterrupted. They spoke of it with such a zeal that made him reassess his own reasons for being a Science Villain. He enjoyed the planning, preparation, the logistics, and the lifestyle of a Science Villain, rather than The Big Plan or matching yourself against Science Heroes. He liked the challenges, but not the end goal.
After The Harbringer was brought down (and he himself used a little secret escape vehicle he had prepped for such an occasion), he began to apply his genius towards solving the incidental problems for others, the things he liked: the technical and civil engineering issues that took time away from most Science Villains. He liked setting up he logistics to keep a secret lair secret. No matter the challenge, building volcanic lairs, the logistics for a hidden lair under the town hall, underwater labs and submarine hangers, robotic hangers hidden around the city, he became those in “The Lifestyle’s Go-To-Guy” for projects. He became The Hammer, the builder to the Science Masters. He provides Lairs and bases to Villains, Organizations, and the occasional Hero. Some pay him in cash, some in trade, and sometimes you get a discount because the project interests him.
He controls some very impressive building technology, like some Thunderbird class vehicles to dig, build, and move (though he has smaller units). His “Wrenches” are the workers that help him realize his vision. They are synthetic humanoids (carefully disguised to prevent offending anyone’s sensibilities). that he bartered a lair project for the technology to create them. They are one more avenue to keep his projects untraceable, as there is no “human trail”. He has also moved the technology of building into the super range.
Hamdasvetz is his real name, Hiram Hamdasvetz. No one actually knows that at this point. He lives in one of the most stylish (though not lavish) lairs ever created. It has even had a real photo-spread in an architectural digest of note (to be published upon his demise). He will continue on work until he can no longer feasibly work. (Of course, there have been some great advanced in life extension and clone reproductions).
This Science Villain (the proper name for a super villain without the super powers) explains a couple of problems in a comic styled campaign. This is also easily ported over to espionage, secret action games, cyberpunk, and near future sci-fi campaigns.
1) While players might never have contact with him, they can know about him and service. They might even tap him to build their own bases.
2) He explains how many of those secret lairs get built. There is an entire specialty field of knowledge that your average super villain (or even Science Villain) won’t have. The Villain can do their plotting while their “super contractor” does the building to their needs. (There might be others whos perform this role as well. He is a Named Version of this quiet role.)
3) Villains should be stealing building supplies before they are going to be doing any grand scheme. He explains why they aren’t. Beyond handling the logistics of getting those materials to the location in an untraceable way (after all, a secret base that people know where it is problematic), he sets up the obtaining and transporting basics (food, water, power, and air) in untraceable (or unassociated ways).
4) He is not a bad guy, he just has a very special clientele – like a special weapons dealer, a robot wranger, and so on. He will work for anyone who wants a very special building. He normally works in the Fringe, but he could be hired to do a “special building” for normal clients (corporations, governments, and so on).
5) I like using him in “cut scenes”, where the players get to hear him explain some cool features of this new lair to the Villain. This cut scene give the players out of character clues as to who is The Villain and features of the Lair that might be fun to use later when they assault the lair.
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? Responses (16)
I have 200 some odd ideas and partial submissions in my Mail and G-Docs. I just randomly choose one and polished it up.
I like this one. He's a simple, effective NPC that can fit just about anywhere with a minimum of modification.
This is a cool idea. The existence of fantastic lairs for villains is one of those things that requires a little more suspension of disbelief from me. (More so than superpowers, for whatever reason.)
MC Hammer? lol
I like him. But I must wonder -- why isn't he dead yet? Isn't that the first rule of any seriously evil villain, 'kill everyone who knows the secrets of my secret base'? I would either give him some serious defenses, or make it into a plotline. Hammer hires the party to kill a super villain who wants him dead, in exchange for helping them build their own base of operations.
Perhaps he puts in a good-old dead-man's switch to protect himself. If he dies, various destruct mechanisms are invoked.
Plots could write themselves easily around this point - perhaps an anti-hero, learning of this 'feature' chooses to invoke it by popping off Mr. Hammer. While this would have the effect of destroying multiple villain headquarters, the fact that some are located in populated areas - and could be construed as military provocations that could cause war - means that this would have to be stopped.
That is an awesome direction to take that in. Kudos! A list of interesting deadman switches for NPCs would also make a great 30s sub . . .
A great NPC for supers!
'Hammer hires the party to kill a super villain who wants him dead, in exchange for helping them build their own base of operations.' Dossta
'Perhaps he puts in a good-old dead-man's switch to protect himself. If he dies, various destruct mechanisms are invoked.' valadaar
Good work lads, those two lines make this npc seem a bit more exciting and dynamic for game-play, Opens up a whole new can of worms.
I'm mixed on him to be honest otherwise. I love supers to death, but also enjoy playing supers with some modicum of verisimilitude and realism (yes, i know, i know), if that makes any sense. Using this guy would involve a *wink* *wink* approach to game-play. Hey guys, check it out, a 'Villain's Lair Builder'
But, if tongue-in-cheek is the order of the day, then by all means, he rocks as an npc.
Cool idea! Someone has to build all those lairs. The downside is that my heroes would just hunt down and beat the Hammer until he gave them the location, layout, and defenses of the villain's lair. Either that or they would just 'borrow' one of those Thunder class diggers and just plow into the enemy's base.
Another fun idea: I could see the Hammer having escape vehicles on every block in town. You see him in public and he jumps into a phone booth that blasts off into the sky or the sidewalk drops out from under him and slides back into place without him there.
One last fun idea is that the Hammer died years ago and his empire is perpetuated by his drones. You think you're hiring the Hammer, but you never actually meet him. Only when you find the Hammer's true lair and find his corpse resting gracefully upon a throne in his command center do you realize that he had been dead all along.
This really struck me as neat, one of those unexpected 'so that's how it all works' subs that fills a missing niche in the over all world mechanics of a supers game without requiring a lot of fantastical hand waving or pointedly ignoring how there can be so many secret bases across the world (often in remote areas) in supers games.
Very useful, and nice job on it being flexible enough to fit into sci-fi and cyberpunk settings with minimal modifications. (One could adapt this to fantasy as well easily enough, especially with how many evil; warlords have dungeons and great keeps in remote parts of the lands.)
While I'm not really a fan of supers games this was still an enjoyable read.
If you were a Science Villian, the first thing you need to figure out is the escape route. So he has one.
It is not what you suspect. You see, you have to be twice as honest on the wrong side of the law (Thank you Dillon). It is about your Reputation and such. You don't damage your rep. If you are not 'in their society', you would be a danger. If you were a danger, you would either be dead or too risky to contact. If they even thought you would of installed an external self distruction, he would never get another job. Yet, clients would never hire him again if anyone suspected anything wrong like that. You get exactly what you get and no suprised. And Hammer still has an escape route.
Really, his escape route is an email drop.
You see, he would never take the psychotic client. You know the ones, 'Kill everyone who knows anything about this base?' kind. First, those people would never hire an outside person anyways. After all, it could leak out through the missing person. They probably would never get his name (he works through referal) and Hammer would never accept a request, if Hammer didn't know he was safe and he knew the villian/ organization. Yet, one can not be too careful.
His escape route. If you are going to see someone who might be a danger, you set the email timer. If The Hammer don't check back, the email goes out to every one of his clients. 'I have been comprimised. Rescue me or defeat X (and here is the address and here is everything on the target), or I send out the location of your project. You have 72 hours.'
Every villian, hero, and super agency, will respond. Now... this escape route would be spread around the Villian Community. Everyone would know it would happen. If anyone who would get his name (as a referral) and would check out, they would know about this.
So if you are an unknown quantity or seemingly dangerous, you don't get a face to face. You get remote contract, maybe if you get contact. Unless the Hammer knows you, you are never going to see him. He will design the thing and let it go. His Wrenches will build it, then leave. You pay ahead of time (only heroes and organizations get credit... they will pay off).
It is only a few beings that get Face to Face time. Most of those were villians he was hanging out with when captured.
Most of the time he is in his lair, drinking Kona coffee, designing things in his HOLO CAD system, and using his rolodex to determine supply sets, and a few lawyer contact layers creating shell companies.
I do like Draco's ideas .
Another good super, plenty of cool ideas here.