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I wonder how many have stopped using Champions/HERO for similar reasons to this?


Hyper-Man
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Howdy,

 

I started Champions with 1st edition back in '81/'82, but was burnt out of it by 3rd edition -- it became a war of "who spent their points better" and devolved more into a situation of mechanics fighting mechanics, as opposed to roleplaying and flavour. We tried Villains & Vigilantes, which is amusing for a game now and then. I also ran Gurps Supers for a while, which was so-so. For a while in the 90s my fallback was Chaosium's Superworld, which I love but only handles the gritty (read: low) end of superheroics really well. I *loved* Silver Age Sentinels, and still do - a GREAT system with a perfect balance of complexity, detail, and playability.

 

M&M did nothing for my group - none of us are fans of d20.

 

THAT all said, I feel myself being sucked back into Champions with 6E. This edition is a powerful tool and seems to have more options and is a little better with abuses. With the software to aid in character creation, it is really a strong platform for the genre.

 

Cheers,

 

Ken

Welcome back!
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I've never seen Ray Palmer as a Martial Artist. He's a brawler that uses his height and density adjustment powers to see him through. I don't think I've seen any write ups of him that included any form of Martial Arts. He does, however, have some small skill with a sword.
HA would be cheaper if purchased through a EC [shrinking].
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Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics.
Okay, lets go with no Hero terms. Superman is not a brawler, he is a brick. His main shtick is super strength, not "brawling". I mean, you can argue that almost all bricks are "brawlers" but most people would not identify them as such if we consider "brawler" its own (sub)arch-type.

Many people use the term "brawler" in the super hero genre to refer to someone who is a good fighter without formal training. That definition also fits many golden age super and pulp heroes. The only difference between a martial artist and a brawler is often formal training (the pulp hero that was a boxer versus the pulp hero that was just good at hitting people) and it is not uncommon to group "brawlers" in with martial artists signifying that they are an unarmed melee fighter that doesn't necessarily use powers.

 

Better?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I introduced by Wife to the Hero System, oh...about 8-9 years ago. She was hooked and we play it quite a lot. We also play other RPGs too. That's the nice thing about RPGs...there are a lot of them, and you can play whatever you want (Yes, I know...they do cost money, but I've been gaming since '75 and have a lot of, umm...books. About $500K or so worth...). Anyway, the Hero System is still my wife's and mine favorite RPG system -- why? Because, with very little exception, you can play any Genre, any Character and there are very few (if any) rules modifications. Is it perfect? No...no RPG system is. But we like it...and we will raise our two young kids on it -- a 6-year old boy, and a soon to be 9-year old Girl (who is already learning - with help - to build characters in Hero's!).

 

~ Nadrakas

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Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics.
Martial arts is not a mechanic, but a recognized form of (usually) unarmed combat. So, no, I wasn't speaking in terms of mechanics. And I've never seen a character sheet for Ray Palmer that included MA.

 

Superman: fights using raw strength with no training for combat. BRAWLER. Where Batman would be a scalpel, Superman is a sledge hammer.

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Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics.
You capitalized "Martial Arts" while referring to a "write up" of him. Seemed like you were referencing Hero Martial Arts, not actual martial arts. My bad.

 

I still disagree with Superman being a "BRAWLER" though (not sure why you capitalized that either). Like I said, if Superman is a brawler than 90% of Bricks are. For that matter, every character who ever hits anyone without a weapon or martial training is a "brawler". It makes the word so generic as to be pointless. Green Lantern? Brawler. Spiderman? Brawler. Jubilee (she punched someone once)? Brawler. Literally every superhero that has ever punched someone that isn't a martial artist? Brawler.

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Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics.
Only if their punching something is their primary means of doing damage. Characters like the Scarlet Witch strike a pose and point. Oh, and Wanda does have training in the martial arts courtesy of Captain America.

 

Why are you so insistent on finding an argument?

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The version of "Champions" that I play is a personalised one developed (from the original rules I think) by the GM and no published version exists. Character generation takes even longer under these rules than it does for standard "Champions" but, one the character has been created, it feels very "alive". Certainly "St Barbara" has a convoluted background , but that was MY choice (and it gives her some fun attitudes) but I think that she is more of a "real" person because of it. The character generation system allows me to use my imagination, and I like that !

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Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics.
So is the difference between Brawler and Brick merely an issue of strength level and/or defenses to you?

 

And I'm not looking for an argument, I thought we were having a discussion. If anything, the post this reply is in started the snark with your "Heaven forbid that we not speak except in Hero System mechanics." and you're the only one yelling (cap locking words).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have not quit Hero as a player because most of my group still primarily runs it. If they're comfortable building everything while I just need to make the one character, I'm still game. However, there are a few reasons I've become jaded with GMing it as I approach a crusty 28 years old in December.

 

 

1) Character Creation. Powers are the main reason it takes so long. If you go the Equipment route, you still must build it all, putting more front load work on the GM's shoulders. Hero does provide lots of pre-built Equipment, but something about picking Equipment from lists seems to run counter to all that Toolkit talk in the core rules. Convenient, yes, but D&D gives me Equipment lists and skips the Toolkit stuff. What's the point of driving home the Toolkit stuff when it's more convenient to just use pregen equipment and get on with the game?

 

Then there's a sort of conundrum I have with Hero Designer. Sure, you don't technically need it, but it organizes character creation so well that it's hard to not use it. It speeds things up too much. That said, and this isn't HD's fault - personal problem - is that my fellow players frequently forget that Hero Designer is not the Hero System. For that matter, I've seen many character builds over the years that wouldn't have been made if it took more than some keystrokes and clicks. What's more, it's hard to put that lightning back in the bottle.

 

 

2) All the Rules. At its core, Hero is solid and rather simple. Unfortunately, that core is buried under oodles of rules and garnished by oodles more errata. More rules means either asking for more investment from your players or else more hand-holding. Hero needs to give up a lot of its crystal clarity in favor of letting groups house rule the system to what they like.

 

For that matter, I find that most of the time, rules clarifications mostly boil down to telling you no before you ask.

 

 

3) So much emphasis on combat. Almost every CHAR is primarily intended for combat. Most Powers are combat oriented or described in combat terms. There's a whole second volume of the core rules for combat. I find it hard to build a non-combatant in good faith in such a combat-oriented set of rules.

 

Combat in Hero has a fundamental logic to it that is internally consistent and nuanced to be sure but I think some of it could sink into the background more like all the CVs and Speed. Let's face it: making Speed, a stat that dictates how many actions your character gets in a Turn, into something you can buy ensures that you get to play the game more than other players because of how you spent your points.

 

I've been a fan of combat being more integrated with Skills for years, but it mostly isn't in Hero. I think it would have a more modern approach if it treated combat as another Skill. Otherwise it's like an intricate miniatures game. Good rules for a miniatures game, but a miniatures game isn't the kind of RPG I'm looking for.

 

 

I think there's more, but those are the main reasons I'm jaded with Hero, more as a GM than as a player. I think Hero needs to soul-search in these times and reinvent itself. I haven't read Champions Complete, but judging from the page count it at least sounds like a step in a direction I'd like.

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"Hero System/Champions... This is the game I have the most experience with. And the main problem with it, is that character generation can become consumed by serious amounts of complication. So much that it can be off-putting to even gamers who have serious experience with it."

 

Maybe it's because I've been playing since Champions I-II-III, but I can whip up a rough character draft in ~5 minutes, and have him fully polished in another 15. So can most of the other players in my regular gaming group.

 

That said, we do have one guy who takes ~3 DAYS to make a 350 point 5th ed character. But my observation is that his brain just does not work in the same way as everyone elses. He gets all wrapped up in the details of the SFX and how it's all tied into his origin story, then gets overwhelmed at trying to represent the tiniest details through game mechanics.

 

"How do I represent that my character was molested at age 12 by his youth pastor? Would I get more points having been molested by a Catholic priest, since it's a larger and more powerful organisation?"

I usually take a few days to write up a character. It's not that it takes me that long to open up Hero Designer and bang out the mechanics. I can do that in my head pretty much. I need that time to have a good idea, one that hits me strong and begs me to write her up and has a good handle for me and a good fit in the campaign. That's why I need a good idea of what the campaign is about, what kinds of things we will be doing. What the other PC's are. Better yet is sitting around for a session brainstorming characters and how we can fit their backgrounds together.

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The fact that Figured Characteristics were no longer Figured added a bit of complication to the process for me. The adoption of and proper use of Unified Power certainly added some to the issue.

Weird, that's the last thing that even entered into my consiousness when converting a 5e character to 6e. I just kept the Stats the same between versions. I might have dropped some stats that I bought up too high because you got that insane bonus for doing so in 5e. I have only had a couple of characters take more than a few minutes, and those were because core powers were altered in 6e and could be reworked.

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I love the Champions Systems because of the flexibility and the concept of "Special Effects". The Atom comes to find. The Silver Age Atom could shrink to microscopic size, and ride on electrical impulses in telephone lines to get from place to place. Now one could spend a lot of points buying Shrinking, or they could simply use Megascale Teleportation with a limitation Only along Phone Lines. That way you save points and remain true to the character concept. In combat Ray Palmer is basically a Martial Artist who happens to be four inches tall. He can use Teleportation to simulate going in and out of microscopic size in hand to hand combat.

That's because too many Hero players get too tied up in Literal translations of power from concept. They see that the Atom Shrinks and never ask themselves what things he does WHILE he is shrunk. Nearly every new player who posts a "How to Build" is because they were too focused on a tree to see the forest. It's why I always recommend that people make a list of plain english abilities the character should have. Reasoned from how they see the character using their power(s).

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  • 7 months later...

I understand about fanboy or fangirl for that matter defensiveness. I've been on the receiving end more than once. Anytime you indicate that something in the Hero system isn't completely optimal, even though you specify was the best system (and is now only one of the better systems out there). People come out of the woodwork and start yelling at you. I've called them lemmings. I've been banned for that in the past. I've also been banned for responding in kind after someone has yelled at me for page after page of repsonses. They never got banned for that, but when I say something even something tame in response then I get banned. Yes those who own the Hero system tends to take good care of the boot lickers. I will probably be banned for this, because this website does not believe in free speech. That's ok. I've left this game before for YEARS. Not for being banned, but for the reasons I was banned.

 

I've been around the Hero System since 2nd edition, so even longer than you, but that does not matter, unless I am constantly spouting about how they can do no wrong. I've been banned before for stating the fact that I was the one that gave the meaning for the first Anagram for FREd. It was shortly before 5th edition was launched, They displayed the cover and people were psyched. Someone asked Steve Long, what we were going to call the new edition, and Steve said, "You can call it Fred for all I care." I jumped on it and said, "OK, FREd it is. Fifth Rules Edition. It caught on, though it is forgot now, because before the year was out they revised the fifth rules, and the anagram became "Fifth Revised Edition" or FREd still. After that happened, I brought that out, some fanboys disagreed with it, cause there memories are about as long as their fingernail, so I posted a link to the original forum post. (Which you cannot do now, since they are all gone.) Boy that made them mad, cause they couldn't say I was wrong anymore. So I got banned again.

 

The time I decided to leave, probably about 10 years ago now, was after they produced The Ultimate Mastermind. That was an idea they stole from me. Which is too strong, it is an idea I gave them. Steve Long had posted asking for ideas for new Ultimate books. They had a couple at the time and were expanding based off their success. I posted several. Two of which were the Ultimate Energy Projector and the Ultimate Mastermind. Both of which Steve responded too saying they were too genre specific and wouldn't work for the series, since they were trying to make something that worked in more than the super hero genre. I responded that I could see the point with the Energy Projector one, though commented that Energy projectors exist in Fantasy as well. I did not see the point for the Ultimate Mastermind though, cause there are masterminds in every adventure based genre. Steve disagreed, I said OK, and things went on, until they came out with both of them. I commented on the fact that I came up with those ideas, and Steve shot them down. They denied it. Again I posted proof, and they used a lame excuse about them not being able to remember everything that was suggested to them, and that they came up with it on their own. I never asked for anything as simple as even a mention in the book. Cause it was never suggested that that would ever happen. I just wanted a public acknowledgement on the forum, that I suggested it and they printed it, especially since it was publically broadcast that my ideas weren't right for the book series. Technically, had this been a trial for plagiarism, which I want to make known, it is not, the excuse that they didn't remember an idea they were presented with, and came up with it on there own would not hold water, once proof was given that it had been presented to them previously. I wasn't going for any of that though. I just wanted someone to say, 'I guess it was a good idea, cause we used it.' But didn't get that, I got banned again instead for being wronged by the company. So they lost me and all my money since then. I have not bought one thing. I didn't even play the game anymore because of it. I am only back now because someone I know wants to play a Silver Avenger in a game.

 

I actually like M&M a lot better anyways now. So if they want to ban me again for telling the truth, then good for them. You all will see if that happens and you can see if you want to give your money to a company that would behave in such a say to a fan that had been with them for over 30 years. I'll post again in two days on this page if I can, if not, you'll know why.

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You know, 99% of the bannings I'm aware of, were because the offending members acted like an asshole. Either towards the general membership or towards the moderators/admin. So on a guess, repeatedly and loudly being a negative presence can get you banned. Not for having a less-than-positive opinion of the system.

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I've said critical things about 5E-6E design trends in the past and was never given a warning, let alone banned.  Its important to remember that the Internet is not a license to "throw down and get medieval" in our social interactions. Online criticism should be just like criticism delivered in person. It should be measured, fair, and give credit where credit is due. I am one of those people who does not like the exponential ramping up of granularity in Hero as a design approach and philosophy. On the other hand, the recent editions kept the system alive and introduced several ideas and elements I do like -- and give Steve props for.

 

I've been playing Hero as my main system for 24 years and was first introduced to it 30 years ago. The core mechanics and systems are actually fairly spare -- its the multiple strata of stuff that has accumulated I don't always care for. It wasn't a conscious decision, but when I look at the games I've run over the years, it occurred to me that I stopped running supers shortly after 5E came out. I tend to run games that don't require a heavy investment in character design time, or require complex character designs.

 

I prefer to run historical, fantastiques, low fantasy, pulp of all sorts, noir, or modern games that don't require much in the way of powers. I do like some of the new talents and super-skills Steve introduced, but try to keep those down to a bare minimum on any given character. Just enough for flavor and utility. Incidentally, I do like the approach Steve took in the 6e Champions character designs -- which are fairly basic compared to many 5e designs. It shows you can roll things back and keep it simple if you want.

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Greywind,

 

Sorry, you weren't there. That may be your opinion, but its just not the fact. Maybe it is better now. Hopefully. In the past, I had said just a few minor negative things, had pages of responses telling me I should find a new system, because I was looking for a house rule for a perceived flaw. Or told much worse. And when I would say something as simple as the dreaded L word. (lemmings) I would get banned. Not really banned. That maybe too strong of a word. I would be put on suspension and not allowed to post for a few days to a few weeks.

 

Now imagine my shock when instructed by the powers that be at Hero that me suggesting people blindly following them can be compared to lemmings is WORSE than others telling me I should kill myself because I don't like something with the rules and asking if anyone else felt the same way and had a work around.

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Vondy,

 

I agree with you.  And I freely admit there were times when I was suspended (banned is too strong a word, I wasn't actually banned, just had privileges revoked for a few days I think once for a few weeks) where I deserved it. But other times (and most times) where on other sites I never would have been, and didn't deserve it. I also agree to give credit to where it is due and though I still have not bought a thing from Hero in years, I recently looked at Champions Complete and was tempted. I like a lot of what I saw in there, and was pleasantly surprised that some of the rumors I heard (like adding a 4th die to the resolution mechanic) weren't true. I have to say Steve did good here.

 

Though, I have to add, as I mentioned in my first post he, himself has not always been that good at doing just that. Even upon receiving proof that I had suggested to Steve directly the ideas that they ended up using, no one at Hero would even suggest to say well it was a good idea. They insisted that they came up with it independently, which may be the case, though with giving the exact same idea to the creator who shot down said idea, only to have himself a few months later does not sound like coming up with it independently. At best it sounds as if he the thought came too him later again in a way that would work how he originally said it wouldn't (though I suggested how they would originally) and he may have forgotten the part where the idea came from someone else. To those that, that sounds reasonable too though, I reiterate, if it were a legal case, where you plagiarized without remembering you did so (again, not claiming this is the case, only comparing it) you would still be found guilty.

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