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Champions Begins, The writening


Christopher R Taylor
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59 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Another option for the faux Iron Man is to ignore that he's ever out of the suit; the scenario could be simple enough that there's no down time or non-hero moments.

Do we have a "Force" character who is stuck inside the suit? Or we simply hand wave the focus limitation, saying he can get into and out of the blasted thing with no resistance at all, then note that it is not the only way to build power suits?

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I’d suggest then to right now put an Iron Man type on the back burner. Get the other types nailed down first. 

 

He (or she) could be an “advanced” character.  Here I would have two sheets. One in suit  and another out of suit.

22 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Another option for the faux Iron Man is to ignore that he's ever out of the suit; the scenario could be simple enough that there's no down time or non-hero moments.

Or how about a cyborg or Android? 

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On 1/30/2021 at 11:34 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

OK I've been struggling with something here, and its character builds.  I have no problem building Champions characters, having made hundreds, maybe thousands over the years.  No, the problem is that the standard Superhero per Champions 6th edition is 400 points (and 75 complications).  This is... its a lot of points.  So many points that it is challenging to create a character that isn't excessively complicated, overly powerful, or lengthy for this project.

 

Anything over 300 points its hard to build without stacking in very powerful abilities (over 60 active points) or just lots of them.  I get it, the idea is there are lots of options and particularly skills and such for Champions these days.  But, for this project, we don't want heaps o' skills and abilities.  There are three reasons for this

I would go with 300/60 CPs. That is roughly where the originals would be at in 6th Ed terms. Do you have Hero Designer? Some of my own 300 COs are in the computer I can send them to you. I agree with limiting skills. 

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On 1/31/2021 at 3:09 AM, Khas said:

Agree with starting at 300pt making clear that this is a low-powered superheroic level. 

Let’s clarify here a minute. I know the book has 300 listed as Low-Powered and Benchmarks to go with it. However you don’t have to go with route. You can have 300 co built to standard benchmark. It just means that your characters won’t be as broad in powers and skills as a typical 400 cp.  I’d suggest building them with standard benchmark in mind. This way if potential players and GMs like the system (and these characters) they can use it pretty much outta the box with other stuff as is. I believe it’ll be easier to add 100 pts of additional skills/powers at the standard benchmark then having them to recreate them at a new benchmark (low powered to standard).  

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Another character build related question: should we have them worry about END?  I mean, not at first, but eventually, when all the other concepts have been presented.  I'm torn because END book-keeping is a bit of a complication, and further 6th edition made END and Recovery so cheap that its nearly meaningless, but at the same time it is a core concept of Hero and Champions and sets the game apart from nearly every other system out there.  Plus its a useful limiting concept for character builds: he can do this but only for so long.

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OK here's my rough for the intro to Chapter One, the first scenario bit ("Memories")  Its just a rough overview of combat and interaction with the environment

 

I haven't gotten to the NPCs yet, I expect Viper Agents will be very simple and have basic gadgets.  I grabbed the 5th edition VIPER book and looked it over, its hard to find an actual VIPER agent write-up.

Chapter One GM.pdf

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CT, I believe standard agents are roughly skilled normals with 15 STR (probably for easier math). I’m wondering because the closer to normal, the more Super the Supers are. Here I’m looking at Speed. If the agents are Speed 2 then Speed 5 will seem that much more Super. Btw, the BBB has easier access to Viper builds. (Btw I’m not against using “standard” build. I usually build my characters against agents for build comparisons.) if you would like some builds, let me know.

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I agree, my philosophy of agents is that they are supposed to be cannon fodder, I want my heroes to mow through them, I want them to do that Captain America thing where he gets buried in a pile of them then throws them all away.  Agent power creep has been big time in later Hero stuff, more than I like.  But that's just my opinion.

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OK here is my very basic outline for the adventure.  Its 5 parts (I jettisoned the parade sequence since it just felt like filler) and have it broken down like this with the scenario and what elements of the rules are introduced in each one (subject to change as I write each section):

 

Memories (200 point PCs)

-How to hit and deal stun damage

-Perception rolls

-Dexterity and Speed

 

Assault on Tanghal Tower (225 points)

-Interaction with NPCs

-Skills

-Use of powers for other than combat

-Recovery as a stat

 

Digital Distress (was Microfilm Madness) (250 points)

-Basic Combat Maneuvers

-Skill Levels

-Presence Attacks

-Presence as a stat

 

Combat in Christopher Park (275 points)

-Killing and other alternate damage

-Complications

-Martial Arts and other combat maneuvers

-Body as a stat

 

Doomsday (300 points)

-Multipowers

-Foci

-Multiple and Combined Attacks

-Mental Powers

-END Cost

-OMCV, DMCV, and Endurance as stats

 

The final scenario is basically "here's Champions in all its facets" without the super complicated parts like power pools.  Multipower seems crazy confusing but that's only true if you use variable slots.  Make everything fixed and its a super simple idea: you can use any of these abilities, one at a time.  I've built a bunch of 300 point characters that are pretty stripped down and I'm in the process of making up lower powered versions staged up for each scenario. 

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Is there a reason why you listed points per chapter? I don’t think that will work out well building characters to each point level. At least that may make it harder to create the characters.  I like how you’re introducing chucks of the game at a time. Chapter 1 memories sounds intriguing.

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A few more thoughts. This may seem odd but I’m on the line about introducing martial arts. If you feel it’s good idea then I’d suggest the maneuvers are the generic martial art since they are really just better standard maneuvers.

 

Also I know you intend this to be a standalone work-which is great! I do see that this could be a great resource for people who already bought Basic and or CC. If you weren’t aware, Basic is (intentionally) missing certain Powers and such. But I don’t think that this is a problem since most basic character builds can be built using Basic.

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Just hit me. If we really wanted an Iron Man type, how about his armor be represented as a Complication? Infrequently naturally. And in the actual build section just have a note that he was built this way for ease but typically types like this are built with OIF.

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Quote

Is there a reason why you listed points per chapter? I don’t think that will work out well building characters to each point level.

 

The point values are not hard and fast, they're just a guideline for me as I work backward from the full build.  I'm working to make each character as a 300 point finished character then strip back abilities down to 200, for example.  How much they actually end up at each stage will vary but it gives me a goal to work toward.

 

The Players won't see any of that, point values etc won't show up and how much everything costs won't be introduced at all.  I would like to have the ability for people to buy stuff, but then I lose the control over making each section of rules as a tutorial and I'd have to include lots of rules on how to build things and how costs work etc which would basically double the size of the booklet.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

The point values are not hard and fast, they're just a guideline for me as I work backward from the full build.  I'm working to make each character as a 300 point finished character then strip back abilities down to 200, for example.  How much they actually end up at each stage will vary but it gives me a goal to work toward.

 

The Players won't see any of that, point values etc won't show up and how much everything costs won't be introduced at all.  I would like to have the ability for people to buy stuff, but then I lose the control over making each section of rules as a tutorial and I'd have to include lots of rules on how to build things and how costs work etc which would basically double the size of the booklet.

 

I think in an intro "quickstart" points are entirely beside the point and advancement is handled by the additional rules you are introducing in each section.  As long as the various characters can do what they need to at each section of the adventure it doesn't really matter if one is built on more points or not.  Grey out the sections of the character sheets you aren't using yet, and then bold them when you add them in later sections along with the explanation of what they do.  (Or swap a blast for a Multipower as you explain what they do)
By the time you get to the end you can get 300 point characters with full writeups.

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OK here is the proposed lineup of characters that players can choose from to play through the tutorial:

 

Blindside—Martial arts are great, but what if you could also turn invisible? (this is a placeholder for a "look what a cool idea you can build with Hero" character

Blurred Lion—The cat ears and tail don't slow this speedster down.

Dr Nope—Spiders might be creepy, but this character is just stylish with spider powers.

Princess—She’s little and she’s cute, but she can juggle Teslas and bounce bullets.

Red Raptor—A devastating fighter with deadly claws and fast healing.

Spellbinder—The eerie and awesome power of magic is at your command with this character.

Street Knight—Maybe just a mere mortal, but the gadgets and skills make all the difference.

Supernova—Flight is great, and blasting bad guys is fun, but that force field keeps you going.

Tank—Who’s big and strong and can take a ton of punishment?  Oh, and that blast is powerful, too.

Trooper—This power-armored character has amazing technology and uses it well.

Vulcan—Maybe he’s not really a god, but he can sure make and fix just about anything, and fight toe to toe with just about anyone.

 

I dropped the Captain America clone because I couldn't come up with a good one that felt reasonably unique (plus that would make 13 and some people are really superstitious about that still).  I could add in Crusader from Champions 4th, with a new name, and another (maybe a shrinker or stretcher?).  I really wanted to do a Magic Girl type character (from many, many Japanese comics and cartoons) but I couldn't get the build simple enough for our purposes here.

 

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Princess—She’s little and she’s cute, but she can juggle Teslas and bounce bullets.

 

 

As a reader, I'd be disappointed if her power wasn't to summon alternate versions of Nikolai Tesla from parallel dimensions.

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