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fdw3773

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About fdw3773

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    Omaha, NE
  1. Many years ago I picked up what would later become known as Champions: The New Millennium (C:TNM) 1st Edition. Similar to what many fans mentioned in previous posts, I was confused at first and wasn't sure what new direction Champions was going or if that was Fifth Edition going forward using the Fuzion game mechanics. Within a year of owning the book, I passed it on to someone else. I would later come across Champions: The New Millennium 2nd Edition which had incorporated more Fuzion game mechanics in addition to conversions to 4th Edition Hero System. My guess would be that it was in response to fan feedback. I just recently purchased a copy of C:TNM off the clearance rack of my local game store for the nostalgia and after re-reading it again after going through later editions, I gained a better appreciation of it based on some observations that could best be framed as, 'the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.' The Good It's a standalone book that contains everything you need for character creation, combat, powers, etc. The starting universe provided is well-resource. It's really nice having Grond, Mechanon, and Dr. Destroyer with complete stats in the same book for both Fuzion and Hero System. The rules for vehicles and mecha combat incorporated from the Fuzion system are interesting. The artwork is impressive, cover to cover. The art style reminds me of Jim Lee and Michael Turner, who I am fans of. Hopefully Champions Now will be as visually stylish and not another Fantasy Hero Complete in terms of graphic design. The Bad Fonts are kind of small, no doubt to reduce costs and fit everything in the neat, compact book. I never really got used to the Fuzion game mechanics, nor did the players, so we went back to Hero System 4th Edition rules after a few playtests. The Ugly The cover and binding are delicate and fragile. I may have to laminate this book myself like they do at the public library with old paperback books otherwise it'll fall apart after I read it again. The backstory that killed off the original Champions Universe was a let-down. Of all the names for an epic villain the writers could have thought up of that caused the demise of two or three generations worth of heroes and villains, was 'the Proprietor' the best they could do? Anyway, it's a book to consider if you're an eclectic Champions collector like I am to round out your collection.
  2. fdw3773

    Champions Now Information

    I didn't pick up on this comment until much more recently. Would Champions: The New Millennium, that came out in the 1990s in that short partnership between Hero Games and R. Talsorian Games count as a "rules-light" version of Champions? I remember briefly owning it and from my playing experience, the rules were simplified to make the Hero System to fit the Fuzion Games system for character creation, powers, and so on. I also remember reading about confusion in various fan forums on whether or not Champions: The New Millennium was its Fifth Edition or not (it wasn't, as Fifth Edition came out a few years later). I share the same disappointment in that the development of a rules-light version Champions wasn't even discussed for consideration. In general, when I'm introducing the superhero RPG to brand-new players, my go-to system has been Icons: The Assembled Edition as a result. Although I occasionally get brand-new players when I run Champions at game conventions, the majority of the participants have been players who, "played it for several years then stopped after <insert edition number here>" and wanted to play for the nostalgia. "HERO seeming outdated and falling behind the times"... I thought that I was alone in that sentiment when I compare Champions to Mutants and Masterminds, Icons, or even the Super Powers Companion for Savage Worlds. Guess not...
  3. When I read the game mechanics portion of Champions Complete(CC) and compared it Hero Basic 6th Edition, it seemed comparable. I don't have Hero System 6th Edition Volumes I and II as a comparison reference to see if CC was the full 6e rules set without the examples as you described or not, but if you do, then I'll take your word for it. It wouldn't be the first (or last) time I misinterpreted what was advertised and what was delivered as a product.
  4. From my understanding, the intent of Champions Complete was to be like the "Big Blue Book" was for 4th Edition where it provided you a stand-alone RPG system for the superhero genre. Essentially, it is Hero Basic 6th Edition with an abridged version of Champions as a sourcebook to help you design your campaign. You might be onto something with HERO being afflicted with the "3 steps forward and 2 steps back" syndrome you describe. For example, while 5th Edition had great cover and interior design art that supported extremely well-written sourcebooks that provided great context and background material, the giant tome of rules was a major turnoff (thank goodness for Hero Sidekick 😉).
  5. No, they are three different scenarios with different sets of villains and foes. The only common element is that they are designed to allow players from DC/Marvel/Extended Universe to crossover and play simultaneously.
  6. The recent discussion in a different posting about the Champions Now Kickstarter project made me think back to my Hero System/Champions experiences than spans over 30 years. Even though my first superhero RPG was Villains & Vigilantes by Fantasy Games Unlimited, when I first received Champions 3rd Edition as a gift, I became a lifelong fan and collector, to include the various comic issues published at one point by Eclipse Comics that featured Marksman, Flare, and so on. In addition to owning/playing Champions, I also owned/played DC Heroes by Mayfair Games (1st and 3rd Edition), Silver Age Sentinels (Tri-Stat and d20 versions), Mutants and Masterminds and later Icons (both original and The Assembled Edition) by Green Ronin Press, Heroes Unlimited by Palladium Books, along with independent titles like Prowlers & Paragons, Invulnerable, Supergame, and Guardians. In the end, though, I always found myself going back to Champions. While I really enjoyed 3rd and 4th edition, by the early 2000s those books seemed dated when compared to other superhero games being released like Silver Age Sentinels, Mutant and Masterminds, and Aberrant. Also, the binding started wearing out, as these books were not as durable as the other books that I had (e.g. Robotech RPG series and source books by Palladium). When the 5th Edition Hero System came out, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. While the source books were well-designed and styled, the "Big Black Book" and later Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) that consisted of over 300+ and later 500+ pages of rules respectively, were a major turnoff. I would not become aware of the Hero Sidekick (Hero Basic 5th Edition) for several more years (it wasn't carried at my local game store). Years later, when I saw Hero System 6th Edition in its "college textbook" design with volumes that totaled over 600 pages of rules next to the latest version of Mutants and Masterminds and related source books published by Green Ronin, I couldn't help but wonder, "What was Hero Games thinking!?" After speaking with other fans about 6th Edition over the years, a common reaction was that 6th Edition seemed more like an exercise of writer's self-indulgence that did not significantly improve the system. Not surprisingly, this was followed by disparaging remarks about the senior staff at Hero Games. Dungeons & Dragons is a similar situation where it is a long-standing game system with multiple editions. In recent years, Wizards of the Coast has made all of the Dungeons & Dragons editions available. I have relatives, friends, and colleagues who have collected the latest edition (5th) to add to their game collection while still actively playing their favorite previous edition in their respective gaming groups. Some like the "old school flair" of 2nd edition, others like 4th, and still others like the current edition. A common question that has come up has been, "Which edition of D&D is your favorite?" So, with that in mind, "What's your favorite edition of the Hero System/Champions?"
  7. Nuke Con is scheduled for Friday, October 5 to Sunday, October 7, 2018 here in Omaha. The location is at the Ramada Plaza Hotel at 3321 S. 72nd St, Omaha, NE 68124. Registration is open and the website is www dot nuke-con dot com. I'm scheduled to run Champions on Saturday, October 6th at 9:00 AM, 1:30 PM, at 4:30 PM.
  8. The convention was PretzCon held here in Omaha, NE, this past May. I ran Champions and Icons: The Assembled Edition and am typically the only one who runs superhero RPGs during these events (most RPG players participate in D&D, Pathfinder, and Shadowrun). The next event is NukeCon this fall where I will be running Champions exclusively since I've retired my Icons campaign due to limited player interest.
  9. Given how extensive the Hero System 6th Edition rules set is (unless you only use Hero Basic) and 5th Edition a.k.a. Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) was, am not as surprised as I thought that fans, players, GMs, and even writers are looking backwards towards earlier editions like 4th and 3rd. In my most recent game convention experience, I found myself using 4th and 3rd Edition rules more to create the Pre-Gen characters for players to use at the Champions table I ran over 5th and 6th Edition. Given that close to half of the players participating at my table hadn't played Champions before, using the simpler rules set paid off significantly, enabling them to play and have a lot of fun without being overly confused by the rules.
  10. Hopefully, you will get the answer from him. In the meantime, I'm a firm believer of Occam's Razor where the simpler explanation of an occurrence is usually the better. With that in mind, a reasonable explanation would be that he's using 3e rules because that's the one he's most familiar with, so it would be the best for him to adapt from it. Champions 3e was arguably the most complete of the early rules systems while not being too rules heavy (e.g. 5th Edition).
  11. You bring up some very insightful observations. If the aforementioned shocked reaction you describe is across the Hero Games senior staff, then it may be more indicative of a problem that is often observed in long-standing works such as novel series, television shows, films, and of course, game books. The problem is that the senior staff suffers some combination of being out-of-touch with what their fans/customers want, complacency to where they believe their own work requires no significant vetting, editing, or revision, or perhaps even an unwillingness to bring in new talent to explore new ideas. Was Champions Complete necessary? Given how unwieldy the Hero System 6th Edition rules were and that the company was not printing more copies of Hero Basic 6th Edition, the answer is definitely yes. From a style and design perspective, could it have been better? Again, absolutely yes. Was Fantasy Hero Complete necessary? Yes, since the intent seemed to be Hero Basic 6th Edition with a fantasy sourcebook as a stand-alone game. Did it have to be sub-par? No. Am equally puzzled regarding the poor aesthetic design and layouts from Champions Complete and Fantasy Hero Complete, especially since previous source book editions for 5th and 6th were exceptionally well done, even with grayscale interior art. 🤔 At least Hero Games is making previous editions available on PDF for fans to select and use based on preference. 🙂
  12. Thanks for the link. I did a precursory look at the rough draft and it's definitely something with a lot of refinement ahead of it across game mechanics (substance) and style (graphics and layout) if it's going to meet its desired intent and not look like something that recycled existing ideas poorly and attempts to pass itself off as something new and better.
  13. I must have misinterpreted what was written on an earlier post, "Why Now Champions Now?" that read, "And, finally, four: get new players to try the Hero System, and old ones who have moved on to other games to come back and try it again. This last part is the important one to Champions Now: I wanted to publish a product that would simultaneously interest some older players, while encouraging the generally younger fans who purchase books from Indie Press Revolution to give a form of Champions a try." From my understanding, the project was drawing from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions into something to interest new players to try it and current and former Champions players to collect it. So again, it was misinterpretation on my part. The idea of a game book with no internal artwork, or even cover art, is somewhat disturbing, especially for the superhero genre. As a longtime Champions fan and collector, the last thing I would want to collect is a book that reads like a dry textbook....but then again, even textbooks have diagrams and images to illustrate its concepts.
  14. As someone who had Fantasy Hero Complete at one point, the finished product was not that impressive, so you're probably correct in the idea that it didn't fare that well in terms of sales. The graphic design and interior art were disappointing to where they were major detractors that resulted in various negative comments being posted about it in game forums. The Fantasy Hero 6th Edition source book had a beautiful design and unique font-styled titled, yet Fantasy Hero Complete had a generic font title with cover art that was confusing (attempt at satire, maybe?) and was a significant step backwards from both 6th and 5th Edition Fantasy Hero source books. A concern I have is the latest Kickstarter project, Champions Now, intended to re-energize 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Editions of Champions, will result in something as graphically regrettable as Fantasy Hero Complete was cover to cover, further reducing the chances of a quality Star Hero Complete being produced later due to lackluster sales.
  15. fdw3773

    Champions Now Information

    Hopefully, this Kickstarter project will prove successful in publishing a first-rate product that attracts new players and is something that longtime Champions players will want to add to their collection. At $20K, it's a pretty modest project and a concern is that the cover and interior artwork would be subpar. Mighty Protectors: Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 was a recent Kickstarter that resulted in a great product by Jeff Dee and Jack Herman; despite raising over $1 million, Palladium Books' Kickstarter for Robotech RPG Tactics was a disaster. Here's hoping for the former and not the latter!
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