Role Playing Games

Game Book Reviews

Evil Unleashed

Book Line: ChampionsSKU: 223
Book Type: EnemiesFormats: Softcover, PDF
Author: Steven S. Long, Darren Watts, Allen Thomas, Scott BennieReleased: July, 2006
Cost: 24.99$ISBN: 1-58366-093-3
Page Count: 126Hero Designer: Yes (SKU: 745)
Common Abbreviations: EUPrint Status: In Print

The Upside:

Evil Unleashed is the eighth offering up of a character book from Hero, and the fourth in the Champions line. But unlike all the other character books, this one is reprints characters from various supplements.

The book is divided into three chapters, the same as other character books. Master Villains, Teams, Solo Villains. A good solid organization of things, and a formula best not messed with.

Chapter 1 - Master Villains. Four master villains and reprinted here. Interface (from Champions Battlegrounds), King Cobra (Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth), Mechanon (Champions Universe), and Teleios (the Champions genre book). With the Master Villains themselves we have their various underlings and henchmen for a total of fifteen character write-ups.

Chapter 2 - Villain Teams. Reprinted is Cirque Sinister from Vibora Bay, a five member mystic villain team. And we get a brand new villain team, Merc-Force 1, a trio of "in it for the money" villains to use. The leader is "Stareye," an ex-US military superhero who went AWOL after being rejected for a military super-team. He formed the team from two other ex-military supers. First up is "Piledriver," also part of the same super-team that rejected Stareye, Piledriver was instead incarcerated for bad attitude and his inability to take orders. The last member is a nice twist, "The Cahokian" is from an alternate Earth, a super-patriot in his home dimension he turned down the US militaries offers to work for them. All three characters are well written, Stareye is a Mentalist/Energy Blast, Piledriver a Flying Brick and The Cahokian a tech-based (crossbow) Energy Blaster.

Chapter 3 - Solo Villains. There are twenty-seven villains in this chapter, taken from the following source books: Champions genre book, Champions Universe, Millennium City, UNTIL: Defenders Of Freedom, Vibora Bay, Villainy Amok, The Ultimate Brick, The Ultimate Metamorph, and The Ultimate Speedster. I'll cover the two new villains in more detail. Josiah Brimstone is a demon haunted Mystic character. Josiah's soul has been replaced with a Demons, reflected as a Multiform. As such he isn't quite pure villain, making him an excellent sometimes ally. The other new character is Vixen, a good example of someone who's mostly normal with a trick. She's a cat burglar by trade (with an intense dislike for VIPER), with the ability to turn intangible for a short period of time. The hook here is she's not simply an evil supervillainess, but a potential plot device for a PC - romantic interest, redeemable evil, or a hook against VIPER. The other twenty-five characters, being taken from a wide source of material, are even more spread out in theme and abilities than the other supervillain books in the Champions line.

Overall, the book gives us fifty write-ups (including the low level henchmen of the Master Villains), only five of which are new. It's about average in length for Hero's character books as well. As is it's a good bargain for the price, a wide variety of supervillains and you don't have to go collecting a dozen other source books for more villains to include in your games.

The Downside:

It's a book of reprinted material, you either want it all combined into one easy to reference source or you don't.

The only actual complaint I have about the book is the lack of a summary table for all the villains. The summary table would have turned this reprint book into something much more useful than gathering various villains into one source.

The Otherside:

The book actually comes into it's own when you step outside the Hero System. If you need more villains for your superhero game, and don't mind converting stats or just need some personality ideas, this is a good book to pick up.

In the end, is the book worth the price tag? Depends. The five new villains are interesting, the two solo villains the most interesting I believe. Having a number of villains in one spot versus the dozen supplements they're taken from can be helpful if you want to use the majority of them in your campaign. But the lack of Summary Table is a real let down for the book. I still recommend it for those needing some more variety of villains in their games however.