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What are your favorite Champions opening adventure ideas?

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You are about to run a new Champions campaign.  What are your most fun ideas for adventures to open the campaign?  You do not have to actually have run it.  Just ideas to start your campaign on and what you first few games would be/were.  Who knows?  Someone reading this thread may like the idea and start their own campaign based on the idea.

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My current favorite is ...

 

There was a character in the group who had the distinctive looks limitation "Mud monster".  He's actually a hero who came from another universe and landed here.  The first adventure, he helps stop a gang from robbing a casino and gets his picture noted in the newspaper with the headline "Sewer Monster Saves Casino' (byline Jimmy Dugan).  This sets off a string of assassination attempts against him which leads him to a corrupt businessman pumping toxic sludge illegally into the sewers even though he knew it would mutate the homeless into horrific mutants.  

 

For the longest while, he didn't know why his beer fridge at the base had the insulation removed and filled with plastic explosive.  The strange thing is he still has the fridge.  They removed the detonator and reinstalled the refrigeration unit and are using the fridge.

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The two most iconic Opening Adventures I can think of for Champions are:

 

A villinous agency is robbing all of the local banks. The heroes must stop them.

 

An arsonist is setting a series of apartment buildings on fire. The heroes must save as many residents as they can before the building collapses, as well as find and defeat the arsonist or discovery why these apartments are being burned down.

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I rather favor the rampaging monster/supervillain causing havoc in Campaign City. That works particularly well for drawing the future members of a team together initially. The PCs notice all the media coverage of the rampage, or just see or hear the sounds of destruction in the distance; it's clearly beyond the capacity of local LEOs to stop; it's ongoing, giving the heroes enough time to get to the scene before the villain flees. The rampage can just be a pointless Hulk-out, or if preferred there may be a mysterious cause or clue to other things behind it, which can lead to future adventures and gives the heroes more incentive to continue to work together to solve it.

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First adventures I have run included:

 

  • Save people form a burning building.  The heroes are in the news - most don't want to be in the news.
  • As part of the same session the players all happened to be at a local indoor/outdoor mall when an armored truck full of cash is being robbed by Ankylosaur and his goons.  Best part was when my wife's brick (Wonder Woman homage) and our daughters psychic (she had TK powers) pushed a really big truck very hard into Ankylosaur - can you say "Move Thru by Mack Truck"....

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Before starting one Champions campaign, I created a new villain group (called ADEPT), and decided to use the villain team's first appearance as the hero team's creation as well.  ADEPT's plan was to break Utility out of PRIMUS custody in an attempt to recruit him into their team.

 

So the individual heroes (none of whom knew each other yet) each had brief encounters with either minions of the villains, or individual villains, or investigating thefts / crimes by the villains.

  • Hero A encounters a trio of makeshift robots (made by Villain A) stealing PRIMUS uniforms from a dry cleaning shop
  • Hero B witnesses Villain B picking up a shipment of weapons (stolen PRIMUS blasters) from VIPER
  • Hero C is testifying at the trial for a solo villain he had caught previously, when Villain C's minions steal the (empty) PRIMUS prisoner transport vehicle, which has a hologram generator (with presets to make it appear to be a UPS truck, grocery truck, etc.)
  • Hero D runs into Villains D and E breaking into a bank after hours
  • Hero E is investigating the theft of a number of UPS trucks by Villain C when he overhears a thug* trying to recruit his brother to be a driver for a new villain group, who needs a bunch of drivers for an upcoming operation.

The thug drops enough villain names that Hero E figures out the other four crimes were all related, being committed by a new villain group.  So he contacts the other heroes to get together and compare notes.  They figure out the villains are going to disguise themselves as PRIMUS agents (with the stolen uniforms and weapons) to pull a snatch-and-run during a prisoner transfer, using the hologram generator and the additional UPS trucks (driven by hired goons paid from the stolen money) for a mobile shell game to hinder pursuit.

 

It not only brought the hero team together; it gave them a nemesis team that crossed swords with them throughout the campaign.

 

*Not the brightest bulb in the lamp, the thug mispronounced practically everything, including the villains' names.  He called ADEPT "ADOPT", Artificer "Artificial", Dr. Discus "Doc Disco", etc.  One of my favorite NPCs. 

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I liked the campaign that started with a newspaper running trash stories on the PC heroes causing them to investigate each other only to find that a local crime boss was feeding the newspaper with pictures and stories that were untrue. There were several set piece battles to confront the crime boss but the need to roleplay their way out of a difficult social situation.

 

The whole thrust of the campaign was to establish themselves as heroes rather than dangerous vigilante/probable villains.

 

Doc

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I enjoyed a game where the premier Super Team suddenly vanishes at the climax of an epic battle and the PC's are new untested heroes that suddenly find themselves in the position of protecting the city.

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I've never really played or ran a Champions campaign. The few times I tinkered with supers was more of a tech demo for the system.

 

I liked the New Millennium Bay City and was building up a campaign around that setting. It didn't go anywhere though. So for all practical purposes, I have no "favorite" opening adventure types. I would probably look at some of my favorite comic books for inspiration.

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Having the players all be associate members of the Superhomeys is also a pretty good intro. The players get sent to deal with all the situations the senior douchecapes won't bother with.

 

 

I think making that literally the case would be fun: have a super high powered team that handles world ending cosmic events, and delegates the "boring stuff" to the PCs.  The big time team is a publicity hound bunch of jerks who treat them like the help, take credit for everything, etc until the PCs split off on their own and have to build up from scratch (with the other team trying to keep them down so they have no competition for publicity and adoration, merchandising, endorsements, etc).

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The two most iconic Opening Adventures I can think of for Champions are:

 

A villinous agency is robbing all of the local banks. The heroes must stop them.

 

An arsonist is setting a series of apartment buildings on fire. The heroes must save as many residents as they can before the building collapses, as well as find and defeat the arsonist or discovery why these apartments are being burned down.

 

I've been listening to a lot of old time radio lately and I thought of your post when I heard this episode of Sherlock Holmes.

 

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An old nazi uboat is found and brought up to the local university. surprise it contains a giant Nazi Robot. I like to introduce clues using a newsletter ith short articles and ads. some are leads to adventures some dead ends some just funny.

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19 hours ago, Edott said:

An old nazi uboat is found and brought up to the local university. surprise it contains a giant Nazi Robot. I like to introduce clues using a newsletter ith short articles and ads. some are leads to adventures some dead ends some just funny.

 

Maybe the U-Boat is a Giant Robot.

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1 hour ago, Cassandra said:

 

Maybe the U-Boat is a Giant Robot.

 

A decepticon!  Incoming Michael Bay explosions!!  Lots of exclamation marks!!!

 

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To me, the game starts during character construction. After the group has decided on what kind of game we want to play (street level local, city's best and brightest, national hero team, global protectors, etc.) and players have the basic power builds in place, we have a group session where we build out Disads (or whatever they are called these days), and establish a "history" of the PCs. It is a free-form shared story telling session, where I push with questions like, "What was the first case Captain Cosmo and Ice Princess worked on together?" and let the two players throw out ideas. Then "How did Ice Princess save Big Mojo's life?" and the two players come up with a story. "What secret did Big Mojo uncover that required the Lioness to help him?"  etc. 

 

I write it all down as we talk it out. We build the disads based on the story... "Ok, so that means Captain Cosmo has now seriously pissed off the Hunger Man, so that is a hunted right there," and players will ask, "So, I was thinking that is when we ran into VIPER... or is VIPER not a thing? Another kind of group?" and I can provide some key world building details like, "Let's go with the VIPER having been pretty much demolished over the years of fighting off heroes and law enforcement, but let's say you've run into some kind of organized crime ring using high tech, but one that has no name, yet."  etc. etc.

 

After we have this session, the more traditional game play starts, but the great part is, you have players already invested in the world, because they helped shape it, and PCs already invested in the "team"... and I do my best to weave in the pieces of the story that the players came up with, which gives me fodder to work with and let's me know what the players think would be fun. So when "the Hunger Man" shows up, the players already have the "oooh, Captain Cosmo has a problem!" right from the beginning. Whatever the first couple adventures are, they are shaped by things the players introduced, mixed with my own plot ideas... and so, hopefully, have a unique, immediate hook for the players to be invested.

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