5719 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

DC Heroes RPG – Stock thugs and criminals stats


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This is a semi-technical article for the DC Heroes RPG.

As with essentially everything on writeups.org this article depicts fiction (particularly super-heroes comic books) ; references to real-world facts are only thrown in for those who need some verisimilitude.


Ordinary thugs

The sets of generic stats in this article are presented in rough order of fighting power and rarity in stories — from the weakest and most common to the most elite.


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Run-of-the-mill street thug

These are hardened street operators – often gang members, low-lives with distant connections to organised crime, and other person with significant experience in brawling, street-fighting and crime. The basic thugs found througout Gotham city, or whom Daredevil used to harass at Josie’s seedy dockside bar, have these stats.

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Lowlife
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 007 HP: 000

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Street): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their ’hood), Familiarity (Gang culture or street culture)

Connections:
Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual, may include a SIA to some drug

Equipment: Usually one of the following two :

  • Basic melee weapon [BODY 03, EV 03]. Often a knife such as a switchblade, or a bat.
  • Poor quality handgun [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 03, Ammo: 06, R#05]. Often a cheap .380 semi-automatic — see our modern firearms articles.

Turk and thugs drinking at Josie's bar


Beefy street thug

Same as above – but markedly taller and bulkier. Most regularly hit the gym to pump iron and develop their musculature, though some are just plain big and strong (beer belly optional). These guys (they’re almost always men) tend to be about 6’1” and 200-230 lbs.

Traditionally, this type is depicted as being dim and mentally slow. Beefy street thugs will always spend their HPs to LDD the first RAPs they take.

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Lowlife
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 007 HP: 002

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Street): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their ’hood), Familiarity (Gang culture or street culture)

Connections:
Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual, may include a SIA to some drug

Equipment:
Sometimes use a melee weapon [BODY 03, EV 03 (04 w/STR)] — often a bat or an improvised weapon such as a handy chair, more rarely a weapon such as a trench knife.

Large thugs arm-wrestling at Josie's bar


Gun-toting gangsta

The two archetypes above reflect older “urban wasteland” clichés of the 1970s and 1980s – though those are still alive and well in comic books. This profile is a type that appears later in fiction, the mad-dog well-armed gang member.

Whereas the iconic weapon of the old-school thug is the switchblade, for these men it’s the machine pistol used in a drive-by shooting.

When they appear in stories they are often members a well-known, huge gang such as the Bloods, the Crips, the Gangster Disciples, MS-13, the Latin Kings, etc. In comics, they are often street triggermen of varied styles and ethnicities recruited by a fictional crime boss as expendable muscle – for instance sub-contractors for the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) or Two-Face’s mob.

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Lowlife
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 007 HP: 000

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their ’hood), Familiarity (Gang culture)

Connections:
Street (Low), their street set (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual, usually a SIA to meth or crack

Equipment:
One or both of those :

  • Poor quality handgun [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 03, Ammo: 06, R#05]. Often a cheap .380 semi-automatic tucked into their pants.
  • Poor quality machine pistol [BODY 02, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 06, R#06, Advantage: Autofire]. Often a TEC-9 converted to automatic fire — see our modern firearms articles. Some may have a submachinegun instead – but we suggest using the same stats.

Outlaw biker

Criminals with a lifestyle centred around their bike, often called “one-percenters”. Their activities in fiction center around smuggling, drug-trafficking and acting as itinerant mercenaries and thieves.

They may be part of small OMG (outlaw motorcycle gang) or affiliated to a chapter of a major OMG such as the Hell’s Angels, the Pagans, the Outlaws, the Mongols, or the Bandidos.

Fictional outlaw bikers populate such movies as Stone Cold, Master of Menace (by John Candy) or Beyond the Law.

Outlaw bikers will expend all their HPs on either the EV of their first attack, or their first LDD attempt. They are almost always depicted in fiction as being large, strong, violent types – essentially modern-day barbarian raiders.

Dex: 02 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Thrill
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Criminal or semi-criminal
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 006 HP: 003

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 04, Gadgetry: 03, Weaponry (Melee, firearms): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry only to build, repair and maintain motorbikes, choppers, trikes and similar vehicles

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Highways in their home state), Expertise (Drinking), Familiarity (the routes to major biker events, motorcycle mechanics, biker culture), Iron Nerves

Connections:
Their gang (High), Underworld (Low), Local law enforcement officers (Low)

Drawbacks:
Usually a SIA toward some drug ; bikers who are shady types but not dangerous criminals often have a Mistrust. Common Drawbacks are a MIA toward the OMG lifestyle and/or partying and drinking, or a MIH of “rice burners” and “crotch rockets” (motorbikes different from their preferred types).

Equipment: Always a hog – that is a Harley-Davidson or Valkyrie motorbike, as opposed to sports bikes and imports [STR 03 BODY 05, Running: 06, R#02], plus one, two or three weapons among the following :

  • Melee weapon [BODY 03, EV 03 (04 w/STR)]. Usually a knife, bat or brass knuckles.
  • Chain [BODY 03, EV 03 (04 w/STR), Stretching: 01]. At least 4 feet long.
  • Poor quality handgun [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 03, Ammo: 06, R#05]. Often a cheap .380 semi-automatic.
  • Decent-quality handgun [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 07, R#03]. Usually a classic all-American semi-automatic – which often means a Colt M1911 .45 ACP variant.
  • Repeater Shotgun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06 (Diminishing), Range: 03, Ammo: 07, R#03, Recommended STR: 02, Advantage : Scattershot, Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range – use the Range given next instead, Drawback: Very Long Reload]. Preferably a pump-action American shotgun, such as the ubiquitous Remington 870.

Outlaw bikers in an old video game


Professional henchperson

The hired help for super-villains ; during the Silver and Bronze age these guys often have colourful uniforms coordinated with their boss’s. These also represent the bulk of the manpower for organisations such as Hydra, Cobra, H.I.V.E., etc.

Comic book fans have sometimes wondered where all these men and women got their training, as they often operate very advanced equipment. The Marvel Universe ended up postulating an actual school for henchmen, run by the villainous Taskmaster.

The stats below assume the existence of an “henching scene” – social circles where henchmen can learn which villain is recruiting, what is they pay and benefits, exchange favours, etc.

DC comics occasionally feature dialogue between Gotham City henchmen who have worked for the Riddler, Two-Face, Scarecrow, some versions of the Joker, etc.

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 002

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03 and probably 3 APs in a specialist skill such as Military Science (Demolition), another Vehicles Subskill, Martial Artist, another Weaponry Subskill, a Thief Subskill, etc.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their city), Familiarity (High technology operation)

Connections:
Street (Low), Henching scene (Low)

Drawbacks:
Henchmen are less likely than most criminals to have Drawbacks

Equipment:
Varies depending on their organisation. If you have no idea of what would work, they’ll have a Submachinegun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire].

Comic book henchmen with energy rifles


Mob associate or wiseguy

An experienced operator with genuine connections with a mob (“associate” or “connected guy”), or an actual made man. This is the sort of manpower that will be deployed when clashing with the Mafia, the Triads, the Yakuza, the Cartels, the Mafya and other brand-name criminal organisations — or with crimelords such as Hammerhead or Black Mask.

These men (they’re always men) are more experienced, older, better-connected, and have a defter touch than the gun-toting gangstas — chiefly because fictional depiction of gangs like the Bloods or Crips tend to under-estimate their size and sophistication.

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 004

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 03, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their city), Familiarity (Mob lore), possibly a Language (Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, Sicilian, Russian, etc.)

Connections:
Street (Low), Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual

Equipment:
Medium-calibre handgun [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#03]. If expecting violence, most will have one weapon among those:

  • Repeater Shotgun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06 (Diminishing), Range: 03, Ammo: 07, R#03, Recommended STR: 02, Advantage : Scattershot, Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range – use the Range given next instead, Drawback: Very Long Reload]
  • Submachinegun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire]. In some case assault rifles or carbines will be depicted, but submachinegun stats will nevertheless be used.
  • Double-Barrelled Sawed Off Shotgun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 07 (Diminishing), Range: 02, Ammo: 02, R#04, Recommended STR: 03 Advantage: Scattershot, Limitation: Projectile weapons has No Range – use the Range given next instead, Drawback: Long Reload. Note : EV can be raised to 08 Diminishing by shooting both barrels at once, expending two Ammo and increasing Recommended STR to 04]

Beyond be dragons

Past this box, the profiles are clearly cinematic. They correspond to elite, specialised types of henchmen seen in more spectacular stories.

It is best to use them sparingly. Thugs are by definition not meant to be dangerous to super-heroes, and having too many faceless opponents who turn out to be high-trained combat experts destroys the verisimilitude of the game world unless it’s supposed to be video game-ish.

These NPCs exist at the cusp of being a “named” character – as opposed to a faceless, generic NPC used in the story as an extra or stuntman then discarded and forgotten like the previous profiles usually are.


Melee mobster

These men are usually criminal associates (that is, with tangible connections to a mob), and they specialise in close combat. They are normally seen in comic books or martial arts movies, as they tend to break suspension of disbelief in other media.

These gentlemen are often — but not always — depicted as part of an Asian mob, such as the Yakuza or the Triads, and wielding low-tech melee weapons popularly associated with those cultures.

In comic books, melee combat is a perfectly viable tactic even against opponents armed with guns, and those who engage in it are often presented as being tougher and more dangerous than similar thugs armed with firearms.

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 005

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 03, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Melee): 04

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (their city), Familiarity (Mob lore), possibly a Language (Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, Sicilian, Russian, etc.)

Connections:
Street (Low), Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual

Equipment:
Melee weapon [BODY 04, EV 04]. These weapons tend to appear along predictable ethnic lines – Italian- and Russian-flavoured gangsters with bats, Japanese ones with a katana or a nunchaku, Chinese ones with a hatchet or sabre, Jamaican ones with a machete, etc. etc.


Hitman

A low-cinematic killer for hire and firearms expert. Excels at eliminating unimportant characters, but out of his depth against persons with some narrative immunity. In fiction those work singly or in pair, and prefer a precise and professional hit, though they are sometimes depicted as using more realistic methods such as planting explosives in the target’s car.

Hitmen will usually spend their HPs on the EV of their killing shot.

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Assassin
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 008 HP: 005

Skills:
Military science (Demolition): 03, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 04

Advantages:
Familiarity (Mob lore), possibly a Language (Cantonese, Italian, Japanese, Sicilian, Russian, etc.)

Connections:
Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
Depends with individual

Equipment:

  • Shades [BODY 01, Shade: 01]
  • Silenced handgun [BODY 02, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 09, Thief (Stealth – only to muffle the shot): 03, R#03]. See our modern firearms articles.
  • Sniper Rifle [BODY 01, Projectile weapon: 06, Range: 08, Telescopic vision: 04, Ammo: 06, R#02. Limitation: Projectile weapon has No Range – use the Range given next instead]. See our modern firearms articles.

Soldiers

In some cases, criminal organisations will be able to deploy trained, experienced, well-armed soldiers as part of their operations.

The most famous real-world example of this would be Los Zetas  (a rogue unit of special forces troops who entered the drug trafficking business), but there have been examples in comics for a while – such as the commando troops sent by the Yakuza after Shado and Green Arrow during the late 1980s.

For those, use the stats for generic soldiers of the proper level of skill.

Yakuza paramilitary commando


Huge muscular fighters

These are full-time bodybuilders and fighters with a visibly superior physique. They are often 6’2” and 230 lbs or more and often have a background in boxing, mixed martial arts or the like – plus an impressive level of physical strength. Few henchmen, bodyguards and enforcers qualify for these stats – particularly the superior STR.

Huge muscular fighters will usually keep their Hero Points for LDD.

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Athlete/fighter
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 008 HP: 005

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 03, Vehicles (Land): 02

Advantages:
Usually none

Connections:
Henching scene (Low)

Drawbacks:
Usually none

Equipment:
Usually none

Very muscular thugs vs. Captain America


Evil karateka

This type of henchman – a highly trained, experienced hand-to-hand and martial arts specialist – is almost never seen outside of martial arts stories, and perhaps in some contexts where weapons of all kinds are prohibited.

They can also appear as sparring partners for martially adept crime lords such as the Kingpin, as early opponents in martial arts tournaments, etc. — and of course as advanced students from that rival dojo. You know the one.

Note that these stats can also work for a former heavyweight boxer – though the archetype is less common and people tend to associate “martial arts” with Asia.

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 005

Skills:
Martial artist: 04

Advantages:
Familiarity (Martial arts lore), possibly a Language

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Evil dojo (Low)

Drawbacks:
MIA toward brutality, Attack Vulnerability (-1CS OV/RV when kicked by the princess at the end of the game)

The Kingpin training against multiple karateka


Evil weapon master

Essentially the same type of person as above, but fighting with a melee weapon rather than bare hands and feet.

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 008 HP: 005

Skills:
Weaponry (Melee): 04

Advantages:
Familiarity (Martial arts lore), possibly a Language

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Evil dojo (Low)

Drawbacks:
MIA toward brutality

Equipment: Typical choices are one of the following:

  • Nunchaku [BODY 05 /STR/ 04, EV 03 (04 w/STR), Limitation : /STR/ only for Grappling]
  • Bo staff [BODY 04, EV 04]
  • Kusari-gama [BODY 05, EV 03 (04 w/STR), Extra limb: 04, Stretching: 00, R#02]
  • Katana [BODY 06, EV 04]

Spandex-clad henchmen

Competent, well-trained, determined professionals. The name comes from the Bronze Age observation that henchmen with a skin-hugging, colourful uniform tend to be depicted as more formidable than henchmen with no uniform, or less tight uniforms.

This was mostly true in past decades, though – nowadays these henchmen will have a more military-looking uniform. The henchmen of Syndrome in The Invincibles are exactly halfway between both dress codes.

These henchmen tend to be the province of superior masterminds with an ample budget, or the shock troops of vast organisations such as Hydra. Villainous masterminds who excel at motivating or training their henchmen (such as Doctor Faustus or Hugo Strange) might also develop team of such skilled operatives. Even master villains will not routinely deploy this level of henchmen – since in most cases less well-trained and driven personnel will work just as well.

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 005

Skills:
Martial artist: 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 04 and probably 3 or 4 APs in a specialist skill such as Military Science (Demolition), another Vehicles Subskill, another Weaponry Subskill, a Thief Subskill, etc.

Advantages:
Familiarity (Operation of high-tech equipment)

Connections:
Henching scene (Low), perhaps one or more current or former employer (or lieutenant thereof) (Low)

Drawbacks:
Usually none

Equipment:
Traditionally, a futuristic-looking handgun [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#03]. More recently, this type of henchman sports futuristic military gear, such as:

  • HIGH-TECH BODY ARMOUR [BODY 05, Radio communication: 06, Shade: 02, Skin armour: 02, Bonus: Skin armour works against energy attacks, Drawback: Real armour].
  • High-tech assault rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 10, R#02, Advantage : Autofire]. In some cases it may even be an energy weapon with Energy blast or Laser beam instead of Projectile weapons, though the R# will likely be 4 instead.
  • Perhaps even a mission-specific piece of gear, like a jetpack, a special sensor, stealth equipment, a vehicle, a special-purpose weapon….

Henchmen from the movie The Incredibles


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Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Azrael (outlaw biker entry), Adam Fuqua, Peter Piispanen, Frank Murdock, Jobe

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