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Build a Shared Champions Campaign World Wiki?


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We've been talking about what we can do to propagate Champions. Could we, together as a group, build a wiki that fleshes out an entire campaign world? We could have a blurb at the top that says, "Your contributions may be compiled into a campaign book and printed out. These profits will go to Hero Games."

 

Like, if we made a huge campaign wiki, then we could then take excerpts of it and print it out. (The campaign world would have to be completely fresh. We couldn't borrow anything from existing intellectual properties.)

 

The key to it is that we stat all of the characters in Champions. Probably 6E should be the standard, but I would also want to see 5E conversions. So, we start a wiki, and anyone can edit it.  Has anything like this been attempted?

 

(I would recommend, don't contribute idea that you are attached to or plan to publish yourself later. Only contribute stuff that you're comfortable becoming part of this bigger thing.)

 

I just thought of it over coffee a few minutes ago and I perhaps haven't considered the ramifications, but I wanted to key it in here while I was still excited about it. To me, what Champions has that other games doesn't have is a skilled, imaginative fan base. (I'm not dissing other games. I just mean I see Champions enthusiasts as having a certain something special.)

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The reason I say we build in 6e is that it is the newest edition. We can totally have earlier conversions. I imagine the default character sheet appears in 6e form and then there are tabs that show yo

You might run into some problems from the retail chain.    

Ah...I remember Hepzibah Colorado.  The only thing which is important is that it got walled off by The Skull. Somehow more like these times than not.

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4 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

If folks work on this, I would recommend putting it all together under a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/). Might help protect the work and the creators.

 

Excellent idea!

 

Another idea I had while finishing my coffee was that we keep the campaign world based on the real world, i.e. New York and not Gotham/Metropolis etc.

 

The reason I suggest this is that we could use Google Maps to help the project and not be bogged down trying to design Spatula City.

That being said, people may want to go that route and I want to make this work, so if everyone wants to build fictional cities, we could go that way.

 

I also have no idea if we would build it on an external wiki site (any suggestions?) or try to set up the wiki to be based here at herogames.com. I feel like it would work better if we based the wiki at herogames.com

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10 hours ago, cptpatriot said:

One of the things about using real locations is the use of real world politics. I would vote to completely avoid using any real world politicians.

 

I totally agree.

 

8 hours ago, steriaca said:

Well, I created the fictitious Prince A Pal arcade and restaurant chain. I'll probably would put the thing up there.

 

Nice!

 

I think we could ask for a wiki here at the site but I see no reason why we can't start building right here on this thread. No sense asking for a wiki if we don't show we're serious. It will be easy to copy-and-paste off this thread into a wiki.

 

I think it makes sense to make fake cities, a la DC. I'm going to use a fake city name generator.

 

Here's the site I used: https://www.mithrilandmages.com/utilities/CityNames.php

 

I came up with Rush City. When I Google that, it's the name of a real town in Minnesota. But there's no reason we can't use it.

 

Okay, the fake city....let's be funny and locate it where Metropolis is supposedly located...you can't copyright GPS. Metropolis is south of NYC, down the coast a bit, according to my source.

 

So there's a start. Rush City.

 

 

 

 

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I based these categories off New York CIty:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

 

Anyone can fill this in. Literally anyone reading this!

 

Name: Rush City

Country: United States
State:
Region:
Constituent counties:
Historic colonies:
Settled:    (year)
Consolidated    (year)
Named for:    (Where does the Rush name come from?)
Government
 • Type:    Mayor–Council
 • Body:    Rush City Council
 • Mayor: (name of mayor)

Population:

Major airports:    
Commuter rail:    
Rapid transit:    
 

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12 hours ago, cptpatriot said:

One of the things about using real locations is the use of real world politics. I would vote to completely avoid using any real world politicians.

 

That right there--

 

and my almost lack of comic book knowledge-- is why my setting is completely fictional.  Campaign City has never, in forty years, even been pinned down to a state!  :lol: 

 

I can't not point that out, given the number of people during the failed earlier attempt at a beginning adventure (Hepzibah, Colorado) who kept insisting we had to have everything down to the damned census numbers because it was going to be _so important_ to the players....  :rolleyes:

 

Forty years.  A dozen plus completely different groups.  I don't know-- a hundred players?  More?

 

None of that crap was _ever_ important.  Never even came up.

 

All I knew about comics was Metropolis, Gotham, Central, Keystone--  and I knew none of them were real places or pinned down as to where they were.  I thought that was some important thing about comics, so I ran with it.  It was in my notes as "the city" and "the campaign city" while we tried for a year or two to come up with a name we liked.  Finally we just decided that we'd been calling it "the campaign city" so long that it would better to just add capital letters and let it ride. ;)

 

 

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On 7/2/2020 at 10:35 AM, Sketchpad said:

If folks work on this, I would recommend putting it all together under a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/). Might help protect the work and the creators.

 

I'm not sure how that works (and don't have the patience to wade through potential legalese at the moment).  Nor do I know how group projects, in general, work when it comes to creator rights.

 

Let's say I contribute some really cool idea that I've been toying with for decades and it gets included in a small part of the book. I decide later that I can finally dedicate the time to flesh out that idea as it's own book.

 

1) The concept for this wiki book is that all the profits go to HERO. Would I still have ownership rights of my contribution and be able to write my own for-my-profit book using it? Could HERO tell me "no"? Could I take it and use it in another non-HERO universe or have I permanently ceded the idea to be part of the HERO universe (unless I file of the serial numbers and rename everything)? I don't have a particular problem with it staying in the HERO universe but if I think of an awesome short story to use it in the Wild Cards universe, it'd be nice to know whether it's worth my time plotting it out and pitching the idea before I spend my time obsessively thinking it through.

 

2) Would I have any control over how my contribution is used in the future in HERO products? Not that I expect that my contribution will turn out to be secretly willing pawns of Evil Space Nazis From Outer Space if some other author touches it but I expect that my contribution will turn out to be secretly willing pawns of Evil Space Nazis From Outer Space if someone else touches it. :D

 

3) What happens with those ideas that I throw out for the wiki which don't get chosen to be included? Does that material remain part of the group effort perhaps for inclusion their second or third campaign book (or to go dormant because those ideas belong to a mostly defunct group)? Do those ideas become open for use by the other contributors in their HERO projects because they were once part of the group? Or do all rights revert to me?

 

Tossing off casual ideas off the top of my head or helping someone else fine tune their idea is one thing. I'll literally do that all day long for fun.

 

But offering ideas which I've put quite a bit of thought into over the course of years is quite a bit different, for me at least.

 

Very much looking forward to the project. Just trying to clarify to what extent I can feel comfortable contributing ideas in which I've become emotionally invested.

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2 hours ago, archer said:

 

I'm not sure how that works (and don't have the patience to wade through potential legalese at the moment).  Nor do I know how group projects, in general, work when it comes to creator rights.

 

 

Me too. But I am good at legalese and I will make sure that it's in place.

 

Let me start by saying I am soooooooooooooooooooooooo happy you wrote your response. I felt like this thread was just going to die a lonely death. I'm happy you are considering the idea and that may mean others are too.

 

2 hours ago, archer said:

 

Let's say I contribute some really cool idea that I've been toying with for decades and it gets included in a small part of the book. I decide later that I can finally dedicate the time to flesh out that idea as it's own book.

 

1) The concept for this wiki book is that all the profits go to HERO. Would I still have ownership rights of my contribution and be able to write my own for-my-profit book using it? Could HERO tell me "no"? Could I take it and use it in another non-HERO universe or have I permanently ceded the idea to be part of the HERO universe (unless I file of the serial numbers and rename everything)? I don't have a particular problem with it staying in the HERO universe but if I think of an awesome short story to use it in the Wild Cards universe, it'd be nice to know whether it's worth my time plotting it out and pitching the idea before I spend my time obsessively thinking it through.

 

 

I see your point. I honestly feel that--and people are going to dislike my position on this--you should kiss any rights goodbye when you add to this project. Think of it like you were writing an episode of "Criminal Minds." You wouldn't expect to be able to use that idea again. But your name would be on it. I can develop the license so that our names remain attached to the parts we did. But I feel that should be that. You can choose to donate or not donate. You can choose to donate a character write-up or the history of the mayor's life or a backstory about how the local TV station is controlled by a criminal organization. Or you can add nothing. Honestly, it's these details that halt projects like this, and I totally get it. But could we start with the premise that it's actually goodbye to the intellectual property and we won't be disappointed...?

 

2 hours ago, archer said:

 

2) Would I have any control over how my contribution is used in the future in HERO products? Not that I expect that my contribution will turn out to be secretly willing pawns of Evil Space Nazis From Outer Space if some other author touches it but I expect that my contribution will turn out to be secretly willing pawns of Evil Space Nazis From Outer Space if someone else touches it. :D

 

 

I think, I honestly believe, that the nature of this project will mean that everyone is afraid to touch it with a 10-foot pole afterward, commercially speaking. Like, Hero will say, "Geez, do we really wanna mess with this weird license? What are the implications?" I think if my wildest dreams came true, this wiki would be completed, maybe 2000 people would access it, and Hero Games would become the nexus of this kind of player-generated content. We would be drawing in like-minded people and popularizing Hero.

 

2 hours ago, archer said:

3) What happens with those ideas that I throw out for the wiki which don't get chosen to be included? Does that material remain part of the group effort perhaps for inclusion their second or third campaign book (or to go dormant because those ideas belong to a mostly defunct group)? Do those ideas become open for use by the other contributors in their HERO projects because they were once part of the group? Or do all rights revert to me?

 

 

 

The ideas will be included automatically because of the wiki format. If I can get it set up, and I'm sure I can, then whatever you wrote would be canon. Period. There would be no vetting. Yes, that's disturbing, unprofessional, counter-intuitive etc., but it's the only way I think this project can work anyway. So if archer writes that the TV station owner is named Kevin Jameson, we may wince, and we may say, "Geez, that reminds me of J. Jonah..." but unless it's offensive or infringing on some existing intellectual property, we leave it.

 

If we're talking about printing a book and chopping down the sheer amount of text, then yes, information will be deleted, but will remain available in the full wiki.

 

2 hours ago, archer said:

 

Tossing off casual ideas off the top of my head or helping someone else fine tune their idea is one thing. I'll literally do that all day long for fun.

 

But offering ideas which I've put quite a bit of thought into over the course of years is quite a bit different, for me at least.

 

Very much looking forward to the project. Just trying to clarify to what extent I can feel comfortable contributing ideas in which I've become emotionally invested.

 

I think your first sentence in the quote is the key. Do not overthink it. This is a fun exercise. Keep the level of "casual ideas off the top of my head." Don't use the ones close to your heart. I feel that is the key. If you are thinking twice about including something, don't include it. 

 

I imagine the wiki is composed of some cool stuff, like the main hero team, how the mafia of the city (or cities) is constructed, etc. But also some lame but necessary details, such as the main industry of the city, street names, where he dog pound is located. So if you're reluctant to give away any cool stuff, chip away at the mundane instead while we all figure out where the project is going.

 

PS: I did not fully answer all of your questions, but my son wants me to watch a movie with him so I am cutting it here! :)

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3 hours ago, pbemguy said:

 

I see your point. I honestly feel that--and people are going to dislike my position on this--you should kiss any rights goodbye when you add to this project. Think of it like you were writing an episode of "Criminal Minds." You wouldn't expect to be able to use that idea again. But your name would be on it. I can develop the license so that our names remain attached to the parts we did. But I feel that should be that. You can choose to donate or not donate. You can choose to donate a character write-up or the history of the mayor's life or a backstory about how the local TV station is controlled by a criminal organization. Or you can add nothing. Honestly, it's these details that halt projects like this, and I totally get it. But could we start with the premise that it's actually goodbye to the intellectual property and we won't be disappointed...?

 

 

(I normally don't mind wading through legalese but I'm running on about 54 hours without sleep at the moment and would trust that I understood, or would remember, what I've read. Thanks for the reply.)

 

That's perfectly fine as a starting point, unless others can find a better way for it to easily work. I basically needed to know what to expect before starting rather than risking anyone finding out it wasn't going to act like she thought it might long after already making her contributions to the project. I much prefer established rules which everyone (at least mostly) understands to unending chaos and drama. 

 

If anyone really balks at the idea of signing over their most precious characters for the project, it might be that someone much more clever than I could find a way to make it work so that they retained the rights. In the original superhero team for the Champions game, if I remember correctly, the creator of Gargoyle reserved that character for himself yet that character's image showed up on a cover or two of official HERO products.And I think that character was at least mentioned in the Champions comic book.

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If you're having trouble getting the ball rolling you might read through threads like

 

5th Edition 250 Points Comic Book Characters

Create a Hero Theme Team

Create a Villain Theme Team

 

When you find a character or organization you like, ask the author of the post if they'd like to donate the concept to The Wiki Project. And if they would like to donate, whether they'd care to personally do a more complete write-up or not.

 

The heroes and villains obviously don't necessarily have to remain on that suggested team. Many of those team characters are quite a bit more...whimsical...than others.

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8 hours ago, pbemguy said:

 

I see your point. I honestly feel that--and people are going to dislike my position on this--you should kiss any rights goodbye when you add to this project. Think of it like you were writing an episode of "Criminal Minds." You wouldn't expect to be able to use that idea again. But your name would be on it. I can develop the license so that our names remain attached to the parts we did. But I feel that should be that. You can choose to donate or not donate. You can choose to donate a character write-up or the history of the mayor's life or a backstory about how the local TV station is controlled by a criminal organization. Or you can add nothing. Honestly, it's these details that halt projects like this, and I totally get it. But could we start with the premise that it's actually goodbye to the intellectual property and we won't be disappointed...?

 

 

I think, I honestly believe, that the nature of this project will mean that everyone is afraid to touch it with a 10-foot pole afterward, commercially speaking. Like, Hero will say, "Geez, do we really wanna mess with this weird license? What are the implications?" I think if my wildest dreams came true, this wiki would be completed, maybe 2000 people would access it, and Hero Games would become the nexus of this kind of player-generated content. We would be drawing in like-minded people and popularizing Hero.

 

Losing their IP rights will discourage people from participating. I'm on board with authors submitting their work under a Creative Commons license (probably CC BY-NC, which allows for redistribution for non-commercial purposes only). Hero Games would have to negotiate a seperate license if they wanted to publish it as a commercial product, but the original author would be able to do whatever they wanted.

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I will address the IP author rights issue later. No one is getting a Netflix deal from Champions products.

 

I wanted to return to a previous topic in city generation.  Marvel and DC took two separate approaches to locations. DC, the older company, took the approach of, “Real cities exist, but we don’t much talk about them, because our stories take place in Metropolis, Gotham City, Central City, and the like.”  Their geography was nebulous, and they had little consistency (until later).  Marvel Comics, with more emphasis on more relatable characters with flaws problems, took the approach of, “The world outside your door.” They used mostly real world or locations such as Manhattan, and Los Angeles. This served to keep characters grounded, and continuity consistent between writers.

This is going to be a large project in the end, built incrementally by volunteer hobbyists over time for the benefit of Hero. Why make things more difficult or confusing?  Google maps, are a fine resource for this, And there s nothing to say that when doing maps for publication, they have fictitious or renamed streets, slightly altered geography, or super hero tower headquarters in place of such-and-such bank building. But the rest of the city remains as it is, and even if not included, the GM can answer the question of if Hyperbrick smacked Arachnid Boy at the corner of Fairfax & Pico, would the knockback carry him all the way to Sepulveda Blvd. just by looking or up. This avoids the problem that derailed The Dome adventure with the niggling, Model Railroader derailing, that bogged down upon Hepzipah City.  All the questions about census, land use, major traffic corridors and public transportation have been answered already. 
 

What is needed are playable assets and characters for GMs to Use in their campaigns, without needless world building that bring in inconsistency  between supposed products. We need to focus on adventures, villains, organizations, and gadgets useful to GMs, especially new  GMs. 

Pleas, let us just use real world locations for now. Populate them with interesting, fictitious people, and go from there.  We want this to produce results, rather than being a layout that sits in our basement unfinished. Think of the real world as the location for the next big adventure, and worry about creating the Wakanda analogue later after we have some success under our belt. 

 

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1 hour ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

Losing their IP rights will discourage people from participating. I'm on board with authors submitting their work under a Creative Commons license (probably CC BY-NC, which allows for redistribution for non-commercial purposes only). Hero Games would have to negotiate a seperate license if they wanted to publish it as a commercial product, but the original author would be able to do whatever they wanted.


I think I would disagree. I agree with PBEM Guy, that this is a volunteer, creative effort, a public service to Champions, if you will, and as such, the IP is given away freely, so that Hero can publish Material from the Wiki freely and without restrictions. I think you underestimate the power of volunteer labor, especially when it is around something cool or useful. Lots of creative folk put out stories for free all over the internet. Citizen journalism flourishes around events they care about.  I think as long as people are credited, that is sufficient. this isn’t about them, it’s about producing content for Champions. 

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I'll probably go back and quote people specifically, but generally, I love where this is going.

 

When I post my comments, I am totally not married to any of my ideas. What I mean is, I want to shape this idea into a workable project. My only agenda is to get the wiki finished and to make it good. 

 

My sense from the recent posts:

1) That we should focus on making a campaign resource that fits with a real city or cities. In truth, my campaigns never ever use fake cities and I prefer the Marvel approach. I use Google maps, at least once a week in Champions, in precisely the way Scott Ruggels describes:

2 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Hyperbrick smacked Arachnid Boy at the corner of Fairfax & Pico, would the knockback carry him all the way to Sepulveda Blvd.

 

2) Although there is support for the "kiss your IP rights goodbye" approach (which I personally prefer), I am also familiar with the arrangements that were made for Foxbat and Gargoyle and Marksman and Flare etc.

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On 7/10/2020 at 11:36 PM, pbemguy said:

I can develop the license so that our names remain attached to the parts we did.

 

Keep in mind, before developing any license, you should make sure that Hero is okay with this. Whether it's free or not, I would loop Jason Walters in and make sure that Hero doesn't have any issues with you using the system for said project. If you're planning on using the Community Content license, look very carefully at it. While I'm not a lawyer, I did find some things that made me hesitate. 

 

On 7/11/2020 at 12:10 PM, pbemguy said:

Although there is support for the "kiss your IP rights goodbye" approach (which I personally prefer), I am also familiar with the arrangements that were made for Foxbat and Gargoyle and Marksman and Flare etc.

 

Which arrangements were those? I think some of any kind of arrangement has changed quite a bit over the years considering some changes that were made. 

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