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Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.


Sammael
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I've recently started a DC Adventures Campaign that I'm switching over to the Champions Complete rules set when I can (I'm still reading the rules). I'm not in a hurry to make the switch. I want to do it right. So I'm learning the rules now. Once the theory is down, we'll play some combats then a couple of one-offs before actually switching. I plan on using DC characters and plenty of home-brew characters. The DCA Power Level of the campaign is 16 (out of 20). I'm currently considering 650 point characters. I'm looking for any advice I can get as to point levels and any caps or restrictions that might be prudent for a JLA level team.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Welcome to the Boards Sammael! and to Champions. Hope you enjoy it.

 

650 is a really high benchmark for your first campaign in the rules. You may need that to create copies of the JLA that you feel are accurate representations, but that is A LOT of points for this system and can bring in a number of issues.

 

Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with DC Adventures and so cannot comment on any conversions.

 

Mostly just wanted to say Hi!

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Alternatively' date=' is there any sage advice for a new [i']Champions[/i] GM?
Welcome to the boards!

 

I would actually use the KISS method and keep it simple. With you just starting, I would say to use the 350 point character method if you have 5E, or whatever the 6E is if you have that (I think 400?).

 

For starting out, I would use pre-made adventures so you (hopefully) don't get stumped. Now, to get a better feel of the game, you might get your players to have one character each (again, I'd recommend pre-made) and you do combat against them with one villain per character and just do a knock-down-drag-out fight to understand combat. The noncombat skills are pretty much self-explanatory and/or understandable by reading their entry in the rules book.

 

Also, let your gaming companions understand that Batman wouldn't be built on the same points as Wonder Woman, who wouldn't have the same points as Superman. But in the HERO System, you can make Batman-like, Wonder Woman-like and Superman-like characters on the same amount of points so that everyone starts off the same. In Champions (5E; presumably in Champions Complete) for 6E), the superteam called Champions has Nighthawk who's based off Batman and Ironclad who's based off Superman and Kinetik who's based off the Flash (minor differences, such as Ironclad not flying). Just modify them to fit your preferences.

 

EDIT: Hyper-Man actually created a thread called The Classic Justice League starting members on 350 points. I haven't seen that thread in a long time, but I believe it has some (if not all) those characters in 6E form strewn about as well.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Welcome to the Boards Sammael! and to Champions. Hope you enjoy it.

 

650 is a really high benchmark for your first campaign in the rules. You may need that to create copies of the JLA that you feel are accurate representations, but that is A LOT of points for this system and can bring in a number of issues.

 

Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with DC Adventures and so cannot comment on any conversions.

 

Mostly just wanted to say Hi!

 

Hello psyber624! :)

 

Well, if 650 is that high... I'll have to think harder about it. Thanks for the tip.

 

The main thing for me is that I don't want the players to feel like they've got Heros just starting out in their careers. I'd like them to be roughly comparable to the Justice League.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Welcome to the boards!

 

I would actually use the KISS method and keep it simple. With you just starting, I would say to use the 350 point character method if you have 5E, or whatever the 6E is if you have that (I think 400?).

 

For starting out, I would use pre-made adventures so you (hopefully) don't get stumped. Now, to get a better feel of the game, you might get your players to have one character each (again, I'd recommend pre-made) and you do combat against them with one villain per character and just do a knock-down-drag-out fight to understand combat. The noncombat skills are pretty much self-explanatory and/or understandable by reading their entry in the rules book.

 

Also, let your gaming companions understand that Batman wouldn't be built on the same points as Wonder Woman, who wouldn't have the same points as Superman. But in the HERO System, you can make Batman-like, Wonder Woman-like and Superman-like characters on the same amount of points so that everyone starts off the same. In Champions (5E; presumably in Champions Complete) for 6E), the superteam called Champions has Nighthawk who's based off Batman and Ironclad who's based off Superman and Kinetik who's based off the Flash (minor differences, such as Ironclad not flying). Just modify them to fit your preferences.

 

EDIT: Hyper-Man actually created a thread called The Classic Justice League starting members on 350 points. I haven't seen that thread in a long time, but I believe it has some (if not all) those characters in 6E form strewn about as well.

 

Thank you, Kirby and I'll look for that thread right now. :)

 

In Champions Complete, a Standard Superheroic character is based on a maximum 400 point budget. I must confess to being prejudiced by the "Standard" portion of the term. It sounds weaker than Justice League. Silly me. :)

 

EDIT: Just discovered the link in your post. Thread is very good and will be a great help to me. Thanks!

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Standard is where most start. Most of the leaguers are "standard" heroes. Only a couple are mythic.

 

You're right of course, but I can't help feel that I'd more often rather play Batman than Robin. Having just visited a thread where some of the JLA big guns were crafted at 400 points, I must say that I'm a lot more inclined to consider Standard.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Standard is where most start. Most of the leaguers are "standard" heroes. Only a couple are mythic.

You're right of course' date=' but I can't help feel that I'd more often rather play Batman than Robin. Having just visited a thread where some of the JLA big guns were crafted at 400 points, I must say that I'm a lot more inclined to consider Standard.[/quote']Just to add my two cents to this, most "Standard" characters, using the "non-lethal" blasts, could actually put an "everyday Joe" in the hospital in one hit, if not the grave. Designed lethal (Killing) attacks would kill most normals in one hit as well.

 

But you wouldn't do that, right? :angel:

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Another thing to note for this conversion. I do not know how DC Adventures handles things, but due to HERO's concepts of "getting what you pay for" "accurate" (and I use that term VERY loosely) representations of published characters can vary wildly. Building Superman in HERO with accurate representations of his stats would easily come out to 650 or more points (based on the guidelines given for stats in the examples) However, some characters, like Batman, could easily be built on far fewer points (depending on how far you want to go with his gear.)

 

Of course for what you are doing it is really easy to "modify" the scale of the stats somewhat to allow them to fit into the game. For instance, if you are running a 400 pt campaign you might state that the "max" stat is 60-80 pts. If you consider Superman to be the strongest person in your campaign, he gets max Strength (say 60 for this discussion. Its a fairly common cap) You then build the rest of your heros relative to that (Even tho 6e suggests that STR 60 can barely lift 100 tons, in YOUR campaign STR 60 is as strong as Superman and everything is relative to that). You can do the same for other stats as well. (Flash is the fastest character, so his DEX is 40 and that is the max, everyone else buys DEX relative to his 40, Batman has the biggest EGO, so on and so forth).

 

I have frequently seen recommendations that you keep SPD within a range of about 3-4 points. Flash may be the fastest man alive but it would generally be recommended that he still only have a SPD of about 7 (due to issues with the gameplay experience if he is faster). Average heroes about 4-5, etc. You also want to keep OCV/DCV into a relatively tight range. A difference of about 5 CV is generally enough to be considered an autohit (if OCV is higher) or automiss (if DCV is higher) and even a difference of 3 is enough to make it a fairly safe bet. Just something to keep in mind.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

As someone already beat me to the punch about my JLA thread (thanks Kirby!) I would also suggest digging into the Code vs. Killing Complication/Disadvantage (there's a link in my signature below on this topic as well).

 

Welcome to HERO!

 

You also might find some useful info at this great fan created website:

http://www.killershrike.com

(A good place to start might be http://www.killershrike.com/GeneralHero/HEROAnatomy.aspx)

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Just to add my two cents to this, most "Standard" characters, using the "non-lethal" blasts, could actually put an "everyday Joe" in the hospital in one hit, if not the grave. Designed lethal (Killing) attacks would kill most normals in one hit as well.

 

But you wouldn't do that, right? :angel:

 

:slap:

 

Sammael. Really? ;)

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Another thing to note for this conversion. I do not know how DC Adventures handles things, but due to HERO's concepts of "getting what you pay for" "accurate" (and I use that term VERY loosely) representations of published characters can vary wildly. Building Superman in HERO with accurate representations of his stats would easily come out to 650 or more points (based on the guidelines given for stats in the examples) However, some characters, like Batman, could easily be built on far fewer points (depending on how far you want to go with his gear.)

 

Of course for what you are doing it is really easy to "modify" the scale of the stats somewhat to allow them to fit into the game. For instance, if you are running a 400 pt campaign you might state that the "max" stat is 60-80 pts. If you consider Superman to be the strongest person in your campaign, he gets max Strength (say 60 for this discussion. Its a fairly common cap) You then build the rest of your heros relative to that (Even tho 6e suggests that STR 60 can barely lift 100 tons, in YOUR campaign STR 60 is as strong as Superman and everything is relative to that). You can do the same for other stats as well. (Flash is the fastest character, so his DEX is 40 and that is the max, everyone else buys DEX relative to his 40, Batman has the biggest EGO, so on and so forth).

 

I have frequently seen recommendations that you keep SPD within a range of about 3-4 points. Flash may be the fastest man alive but it would generally be recommended that he still only have a SPD of about 7 (due to issues with the gameplay experience if he is faster). Average heroes about 4-5, etc. You also want to keep OCV/DCV into a relatively tight range. A difference of about 5 CV is generally enough to be considered an autohit (if OCV is higher) or automiss (if DCV is higher) and even a difference of 3 is enough to make it a fairly safe bet. Just something to keep in mind.

 

According to the DC Adventures Hero's Handbook, Superman - built on 290 points - has a Strength of 19 with Enhanced Strength 4, Limited to Lifting (giving a 23 STR for lifting purposes allowing him to lift 200,000 tons). DC Adventures uses the MEGS philosophy of (roughly) doubling scale with every point of ability. In case you don't recall Mayfair Games' DC Heroes RPG, MEGS stands for Mayfair Exponential Game System and improving an ability by 1 point doubles the power of that ability. To double it again, just add another point. It's obvious, even to a newcomer like myself, that Champions Complete is not a MEGS-style game. I'm ok with that. I like your idea of capping characteristics to reflect the prowess of the iconic members of the JLA. Tasty food for thought there.

 

I really appreciate the heads-up on the SPD/CVs. This is pure gold as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

There are quite a few JLA members you can semi-plausibly build on standard starting points. You'd just have to avoid the high cost ones like Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, and instead focus on the likes of the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Aquaman and the Atom.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

As someone already beat me to the punch about my JLA thread (thanks Kirby!) I would also suggest digging into the Code vs. Killing Complication/Disadvantage (there's a link in my signature below on this topic as well).

 

Welcome to HERO!

 

You also might find some useful info at this great fan created website:

http://www.killershrike.com

(A good place to start might be http://www.killershrike.com/GeneralHero/HEROAnatomy.aspx)

 

Thank you, Hyper_Man! I love your JLA thread and write-ups. They are inspirational reading.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

I had the old DC RPG with that system' date=' never got to play it but it was a good read. i really loved the "trading cards" of the DC heros that came with it. Was tons of fun reading up on all those stats :)[/quote']

 

I was late to the system. I never owned it until Blood of Heroes: Special Edition, by which point the DC stuff had been removed due to loss of license, and never had the opportunity to play it.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

I had the old DC RPG with that system' date=' never got to play it but it was a good read. i really loved the "trading cards" of the DC heros that came with it. Was tons of fun reading up on all those stats :)[/quote']I picked it up, but was never able to play it. I did enjoy reading some of the adventures and source books I have for it, though.
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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

There are quite a few JLA members you can semi-plausibly build on standard starting points. You'd just have to avoid the high cost ones like Superman' date=' Wonder Woman and Batman, and instead focus on the likes of the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Aquaman and the Atom.[/quote']

 

Hyper-Man has some 400 point write-ups of Superman and Wonder Woman that look good. I agree with you that they'll look better with a few more points and I'm considering throwing 50 points at 'em just to top them off. I'm thinking Aquaman is a lock, since one character is an ancient pre-sinking Antlantean wizard. Well, that, and I've always been fond of Aquaman.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

One of the reasons for Power Limitations is not only to simulate superhuman powers such as those that come from being an alien, but also for play balance. Superman, for example, could have a power limitation "Does Not Work During Red Solar Radiation Exposure (-1/4)" on his powers. That means he gets more points to build his powers, but will lose them from time to time, as he often does in the comics. I don't see why The Man of Steel or any character has to be build on more then 350 Points, or even 250 Points (my personal choice) if all other major characters are built at the same level. To build a Hero on an excessive amount of points means that their powers will be shut down half the time and the entire universe would be after them, and their psychological limitations will prevent them from making any common sense decisions.

 

Further a lot of extra points are spent on "stunts". These are powers or skills that the Hero has used once or twice in a specific comic. Even George Reeve's Superman passed through a wall once on the show, but the Man of Steel doesn't have Desolid normally. This is what VPP, Power skills, and Cramming are for.

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Re: Justice League-type DC/Champions campaign. Advice, please.

 

Hyper-Man has some 400 point write-ups of Superman and Wonder Woman that look good. I agree with you that they'll look better with a few more points and I'm considering throwing 50 points at 'em just to top them off. I'm thinking Aquaman is a lock' date=' since one character is an ancient pre-sinking Antlantean wizard. Well, that, and I've always been fond of Aquaman.[/quote']

 

Re: My version of Superman and the rest of the JLA

 

Certain assumptions had to be made to get all the characters in on the same points (350/5er or 400/6e). With Superman, it was that he pretty much starts out with all of his powers at the start of his superhero career. He might increase his skill with using them with XP (ex: buy off some of limitations on senses) but his basic power level starts really high. It's skills (both combat and non-combat) that he is deficient to begin with. Think the first season of Superman: The Animated Series. Batman when used in a full superhero setting with the JLA comes from the opposite direction. He's like a "what if" an experienced Dark Champion's (street hero) character graduated to the big leagues. So he's practically maxed out on skills from a street level setting perspective but will end up spending most of his future XP on more KS skills and Perks like bases and contacts. If either is to be used as more faithful to JLA continuity NPC's then it makes perfect sense to throw more points towards the builds. However, if they are to be used as player characters then I think they all work on the budget presented.

 

:D

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