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DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?


Steve Long
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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

A few random notes for the forensics section (probably most of these would be covered anyway, given in part your mention of buying $600 worth of forensics books while in Portland last year, but just in case):

 

Chemical reagents, for both organics and illegal drugs

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR)

Blood spatter analysis

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS)

Electronic enhancement of audio and video recordings

Face recognition software

Diversionary interview techniques (see Portraits of Guilt by Jeanne Boylan)

 

If there's a way to discuss how certain special powers in superhero, science fiction, and modern fantasy games can throw off forensics -- even just in an occasional sidebar (my recommendation) -- then please do it. For example, in my own notes on HERO System forensics I've actually worked out an optional expansion on the Cellular Adder for Shape Shift to make it tougher to overcome forensic examinations.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

CHAPTER THREE -- FORENSICS: A basic primer on criminalistics and forensic pathology.

QUOTE]

 

A basic primer on how Private Investigation/Detective agencies, Bail Bond, Repo Companies, and other legitimate companies who operate at the "fringe" of the legal/law enforcement system work.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

A few comments from thoughts developed by previous posts.

 

One relates to the gun thread; I agree with the opinion that not too many guns are needed. Mainly differences in rounds with a few gun examples. The differences between a .45 and a 9mm are going to be greater then the differences between a Beratta M9 and a Glock 17. A good section on the various shotgun rounds. Anything from flechettes, birdshot, buckshot, beanbags etc. What differences in penetration, damage, and area effect each round may have, and what the effect of adding a choke to the barrel can do, shortening the barrel, etc.

 

As mentioned before a good discussion on the differences between realistic and cinematic. For example in cinematic almost all heroes will have PSLs vs range with pistols. A cinematic hero can shoot a villain 100 ft away with a derringer, something most realistic heroes would even try.

 

Definitaly lots on conspiracies and various corporations. Maybe discussion on groups that do work similar to the the Company from the Pretender TV series.

 

The title doesn't bother me, but shortening to DC is going to require me to rewire my brain or continue to wonder why there is an entire thread on DC, but not on Marvel. ;)

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I was also thrown by the title; I didn't think I wanted this product until I read your description, Steve. Now I can hardly wait until it comes out.

 

Two suggestions for things I'd like to see in it:

 

1.) Espionage and Danger: International had Size rules for weapons/gadgets/devices, along with the modifiers to Perception to spot concealed gear. I'l love to see a section on how to handle this; it just seems so appropriate for this genre. I don't necessarily suggest bringing back the Size rules; just include some way to figure out what a particular weapon or gadget's modifier to Concealment/Perception is.

 

2.) For the weapons, gadgets, and devices that you do write up and include, please include both cost and weight. As mentioned previously, cost is an important factor in this genre.

Weight matters, too, because Encumbrance can be a huge factor in a Heroic level game.

 

Thanks your for attention.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I'm glad to see Resource Points in the book, I've been in games that mixed custom (point-bought) gear with cash-bought, and the cash folks were getting away with an awful lot.

 

If there's room, think you could put an example of poison gas or bioweaponry into the weapons chapter? I'd also like to see a more detailed rundown on explosives.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I hope that Dark Champions stays true to the stated genre of modern-day action-adventure. I consider costumed vigilanties Champions characters with guns. The book should focus on spies, cops, and military action, with Costumed vigilanties sprinkled in.

 

And I hope that the art (cover art especially) is more along the lines of modern-day action-adventure. Nothing will send the wrong message on the switch of focus in Dark Champions like a picture of Nighthawk fighting terrorists. Swat teams vs. terrorists or something like that would be better.

 

Trying to be helpful. ;)

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

TheQuestionMan

I am looking forward to this GENRE book for the Espionage and Military, Mercenary, Terrorist Sub-Genres (or is it Meta Genres). Some examples like La Femme Nikita, Mission Impossible, The Pretender, and every good Cop/PI show out there.

 

This sounds good. How about a Teaser to get a feel for what you have planned.

CHAPTER TWO -- CHARACTER CREATION: optional "Resource Points" rules for managing characters' equipment and other resources.

 

SuperPheemy has a good point here !

I'd like to see some treatment on how Law Enforcement (the Super SWAT teams I mentioned in your "Guns" thread) evolves to deal with a Dark Champions universe. Things like how such a unit is organized, where they draw personnel from (for example, not only would a Super SWAT have Police Recruits, but it would bring volunteers from Fire Departments, and Paramedics as well.)

 

Oh, and a teaser on Criminal Insanity. How a twisted mind gets twisted. Obsessions, manias, etc… Along with treatments, causes, and evolutions. You could almost do an entire sourcebook on that one (you didn't really need those last three hours of each day for sleep anyway...)

 

Spence echo’s my thoughts one this. It’s important for really gritty style games.

CHAPTER THREE -- FORENSICS: A basic primer on criminalities and forensic pathology. A basic primer on how Private Investigation/Detective agencies, Bail Bond, Repo Companies, and other legitimate companies who operate at the "fringe" of the legal/law enforcement system work.

 

Some Links to my favourite shows:

The Pretender’s Links

http://members.fortunecity.com/jarod007/intro.html

http://home.datacomm.ch/oreocookie/

 

La Femme Nikita’s Links

http://home.datacomm.ch/oreocookie/

http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/7198/index.html

 

Mission Impossible

http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/1574/

http://www.atari.com/missionimpossible/uk/

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

At the moment all I can say is that I'd like to see the book in my hands. I hope to be able to add more worthwhile comments in the near future. In the meantime, all the best to Steve and to all the rest who are working on this, by myself most eagerly awaited of HERO supplements. ;)

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

On the title: I KNOW THERE IS NO WAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: so instead of wasting my typing, I suggest a sub title to distinguish it from Champions (Maybe: Dark Champions: The Modern Adventuring Game or something)

 

I agree with you, it seems the genres don't get a whole lot of time to prove themselves and this is without a doubt my favorite use for HERO, so I really hope the cover art and title just scream

 

THIS IS NOT JUST FOR SUPERHEROS!!!

 

Sorry Steve won't utter another word about the name :) I'm just happy the book is on the way no matter what its called

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I really hope the cover art and title just scream

 

THIS IS NOT JUST FOR SUPERHEROS!!!

Skip the "just" part -- DC (as I understand it) is supposed to be action-adventure, and not superheroes at all. That, I imagine, is the main source for the controversy about the name: even without the earlier edition, the title evokes mental images of costumed vigilantes like Batman and Punisher, not action heroes like Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, or the A-Team. The cover art will need to counter this by not even hinting at costumed vigilantes -- everyone wears either normal street clothes, or real-world law enforcement uniforms.
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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Structurally, I don't know if it would work, but I'm wondering if this needs the "campaigns" breakdown visible in both versions of Ninja Hero.

 

Cops & PIs campaign - normal people, city-wide scope, realistic equipment (Law & Order, CSI, Adam 12, Magnum PI, Barnaby Jones, etc.)

 

Espionage/Special Forces campaign - normal people, international scope, realistic equipment

(Queen & Country or Whiteout comics, Secret Agent / Danger Man TV series, Rainbow Six, Tom Clancy, some gritty Green Arrow stuff)

 

Secret agents & street ninjas campaign - heroic people, international scope, romantic equipment (Mission:Impossible, James Bond, Nick Fury/SHIELD, GI Joe, Walter Jon Williams or William Gibson cyberpunk)

 

Urban vigilantes - heroic/superheroic people, city-wide scope, realistic equipment (Punisher, gritty Daredevil)

 

DC: TAS - heroic/superheroic people, city or international scope, romantic equipment (Batman, Batman:TAS, gritty Spider-Man street-level stories, Green Arrow vs. organized crime)

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

A couple of things in this last post of Tom's brings up a thought...

 

Maybe some points can be made about the possibility for entirely non-combat campaigns in the genre. I don't mean just CSI type stuff; the Mission Impossible TV series generally got through each mission without a single shot fired or punch thrown. Real-life SWAT teams are often called out and do little more than show their willingness to use extreme force -- basically a massive boost to one officer's Persuasion roll.

 

In any event, I second his suggestion for "breaking down" the possible types of campaign in the genre (though I'd assume you'd be doing this anyway).

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

A couple of things in this last post of Tom's brings up a thought...

 

Maybe some points can be made about the possibility for entirely non-combat campaigns in the genre. I don't mean just CSI type stuff; the Mission Impossible TV series generally got through each mission without a single shot fired or punch thrown. Real-life SWAT teams are often called out and do little more than show their willingness to use extreme force -- basically a massive boost to one officer's Persuasion roll.

 

In any event, I second his suggestion for "breaking down" the possible types of campaign in the genre (though I'd assume you'd be doing this anyway).

Good idea, Bob, I second that.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

No violence? My players would start attacking each other!

 

Actually, I've always wanted to do something Mission Impossible style.

 

Played a couple of sessions of Shadowrun where we did just that... Got in, got out, took what we needed, did what we were paid to do... not only did we not fire a shot, they didn't even know we were there...

 

Fantastic, tense, intense roleplaying.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Haven't read every post here... so apologizing if I'm repeating...

 

One thing I'd love to see as optional rule

 

"Cool Under Fire"

 

Stealing the concept from the old Twilight 2000... basically that characters can act, not act, act with minuses or plusses... based on how the maintain their composure in combat.

 

Supers... dont' worry about this. But in "quasi-realistic" campaigns, the idea that you have to roll and Ego roll when being shot at or whatever, in order to take a action "Do you REALLY stick your head out and fire?" :doi: is something I've played around with in my DI campaigns. Those tended toward more "realism" so if I asked my players to make an Ego roll with minuses before their character charged the machine gun bunker, well, they didn't complain. Some kind of optional rule on such "Cool Under Fire" would be great... and probably translate to any genre but supers... sci-fi, fantasy, post apocalyptic, etc.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I'll second RDU Neils request and expand it to a request for a discussion of overall combat psychology to cover not only can character keep their cool in combat, but also things like do they have the ability to kill other humans at close distances (the old saw from WW2 was that 10% of the soldiers were doing 90% of the killing).

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I third RDU's comment about acting under fire. I've tried using PRE and EGO both of which worked ok, but it would be nice to see something semi-official, might as well work in fear for horror while your at it. (since I hope the Horror genre will at least get a little room in this book).

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Can we expect any cyberhero elements? I realize that's another one of those "down the line" products. Just thought I'd see, since it's the kind of thing I've been tinkering with on and off for a year and a half now.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

No, there won't be any particular Cyber Hero elements. But I think between what's in SH (which I deliberately made more extensive than I otherwise would have for just this reason) and what'll be in DC, doing a Cyber Hero game will be pretty darn easy. Compared to the many genres we've heretofore ignored entirely, there's a wealth of CH stuff to work with. :hex:

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

I really cannot give enough support for a good section on the interaction of criminal law with the individuals who will be the character focus of the book. While the current Fifth Edition products do have some of this material in, for example, Champions discussing some of the criminal law implications, it is less than what was in the Fourth Edition Dark Champions.

The sections on criminal law and procedure in the old version were some of the best I had seen, both in terms of accuracy and readibility. They were wonderful snapshots of those areas of the law that informed a number of players who did not understand the criminal justice system. To be honest, they were better in some respects than bar review material I have encountered.

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Re: DARK CHAMPIONS: What Do *You* Want To See?

 

Yeah, every genre you do makes any future genre books easier to do. . .

 

Definitely true! For example, having several of the Heroic genre books under my belt makes it easy to mix/match/tailor appropriate material without having to write it from scratch every time. I went that fershlugginer route with the Trek RPGs from LUG, and I ain't doin' it again. ;)

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