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Marvelfan007

Champions Universe

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The most recent edition of Champions Universe (for Sixth Edition HERO System) was printed in 2010, and covers events in the CU from distant prehistory through 2009. That may make it slightly dated, but not to the extent that the background info would be inappropriate to use today.

 

Champions Universe lays out a pretty detailed and coherent timeline and universe survey, but Hero Games has published dozens of other books, for Fifth or Sixth Edition, delving into more focussed portions of the official setting. However, this book is the foundation and broadest overview.

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I personally am not a big fan of 'real-time' superhero universes.  As we know, comic characters age slowly if at all, and always reflect the current events/pop culture of their period, whenever it is.  Tying a character to a specific year means eventually you are forced to retire them or trot out a clumsy explanation as to why they don't age.

 

I have a .pdf of the latest Champions U. (still reading through it), but it is chock full of nice background and story ideas - I suppose you can always alter the timeline to suit your needs.

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After reading the CU book, ask here if you want more information about particular parts of the setting, and we can recommend the 6e or 5e books with the most information (or just answer directly). I wrote a bunch of the mystical, Doctor Strange-y stuff, so I am somewhat expert in it. :)

 

Dean Shomshak

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Yeah I think to best represent a comic book genre, slow and mostly unchanging should be the key.  Does it make sense that characters be killed and change and retire and stuff?  Sure.  But it doesn't happen in the comics except in very rare circumstances, so its not genre representative.

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After reading the CU book, ask here if you want more information about particular parts of the setting, and we can recommend the 6e or 5e books with the most information (or just answer directly). I wrote a bunch of the mystical, Doctor Strange-y stuff, so I am somewhat expert in it. :)

 

Dean Shomshak

 

That's rather like saying that Godzilla is somewhat tall. :thumbup:

 

There are quite a few people here who are familiar with the lore of the setting and would gladly offer info or suggestions, myself included.

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Super-Mage/Mystic Package Deals/Templates would have been appreciated Dean. Did you ever write them up?

 

Natural Talent

Apprentice

Journeyman

Master

Archmage

 

What did your version of the Archmage/Sorcerer Supreme look like?

 

Who were his Allies, Enemies, and DNPCs besides everyone on Champions Earth?

 

Living down to my name!

 

QM

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No, I never wrote package deals or templates. Ultimate Super-Mage and Ultimate Mystic included some loose discussion of how to build mystical characters, but my playtest experience was that characters varied too much to be nailed down to any formula more detailed than, "A big Multipower for spells, and an Elemental Control for all Powers the character must use at the same time."

 

The Mystic World discussed the role of Archmage in the CU. It sounds like you've already read The Mystic World, QM, so I probably don't need to repeat what's there.

 

For the current CU, the most important aspect of the Archmage is there isn't one, and all the last Archmage's sanctum and mystical paraphernalia got blowed up real good: Steve and I thought it was important to leave GMs and PCs a blank slate they could fill in the course of play. As such, designing further allies, DNPCs, and other accretions around the office was not a priority.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Note that the Champions Online MMORPG has played out the Vibora Bay Apocalypse, and as a result of those events, Robert Caliburn has ascended to the office of Archmage. Since Cryptic Studios and its current parent company, Perfect World Entertainment, own the Champions IP, that can be considered "official."

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What mystical/magical artifacts were symbols of the Archmage?

 

Adventure Concepts

1. Assemble Artifacts to replace the Archmage's paraphernalia?

2. Mystic/Magic Items common to Archmages/Sorcerer Supremes?

3. Pacts with Mystical/Magical Cosmic Beings?

4. Allies of an Archmage?

5. Resources of an Archmage?

6. Enemies of the Archmage? Most obvious already noted, but who are his typical Archnemesis?

 

Common Ability/Powers of a Mage?

Mystic/Magic Sense? Like Mental Awareness?

Astral Form pros and cons of Multiform vs Duplication?

 

Common Mystic/Magic Knowledge vs

No Champions Earth Archmage - Google easy

 

Uncommon

Circle of the Scarlet Moon destroyed the Archmage and all his paraphernalia.

 

Rare

Artifacts of the Archmage

 

Very Rare

Name of the Archmage?

Names of the Celestial/Primordial/Gods?

Pacts of the Archmage?

 

 

Just asking for scenario ideas related to said questions!

 

QM ;p

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All good questions, and good ideas for archmage-related scenarios. But I am also in a rather delicate position here. As LL mentions, the CU is the intellectual property of Cryptic Studios now. If I posted anything with even the faintest hint of a suggestion of an implication that it was official, that could be interpreted as a challenge to Cryptic's ownership, and they could sue my ass off.  So while I'll tell people who've only read the 6e books on what I wrote for 5e, try to clarify passages that people find unclear, or explain choices made in the writing process, I will not post any new material to expand on what was published.

 

For instance, if anyone who's read the mention of the Archmage in the 6th ed CU book wants to know more, I'll tell how the office began with the legendary Thanoro Azoic, about whom virtually nothing is known except his/her/it's name (and even that is dubious). The line of Archmages broke for a century in Classical times, until the Hellenistic mage Thestor located the cosmic entity Kryptos, personification of Secrets, and restored the office. Thestor's grimoire, the Krypticon, was subsequently passed from Archmage to Archmage. Seven more Archmages followed Thestor, both men and women and from around the world. One of these Archmages, the Immortal Tulku, retired from the office and is still alive, but senile. The Russian mystic Bohdan Stanislavski became the last Archmage until the Circle of the Scarlet Moon killed him in Siberia in 1908. Unlike many events in the Mystic World, ordinary people noticed this.

 

But I won't suggest other past Archmages, their deeds, allies, enemies, or tools of power. That's trespassing a little too closely on Cryptic's rights for my comfort. I am deeply sorry, but...

 

(I also don't know a thing about the MMORPG or what it might have done with characters and concepts to which I contributed. LL and other people can fill in there.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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Pretty much. I know and you know that we'd just be spitballing idea for fun, player to player. But would the lawyers know? (I can't even blame Cryptic's lawyers for this hypothetical hypervigilance. I gather that if you don't guard intellectual property this closely, you can lose it. And I do not wish Cryptic ill.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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Yeah I think to best represent a comic book genre, slow and mostly unchanging should be the key.  Does it make sense that characters be killed and change and retire and stuff?  Sure.  But it doesn't happen in the comics except in very rare circumstances, so its not genre representative.

 

I don't think the flex-time of the major comic book companies is an element of the genre that is worth preserving in RPGs.   Campaigns just don't last that long. 

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I don't think the flex-time of the major comic book companies is an element of the genre that is worth preserving in RPGs.   Campaigns just don't last that long. 

 

That has long been an aspect of comics that I don't like. Let the characters have lives, kids, grow old, die. Maybe the kid will be a Legacy. Maybe not.

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That works in a campaign where it's just a group of friends advancing the world and characters they create as it suits them, and as their own lives change and move on. For a company which has a lot of money and public name recognition invested in its characters, the priorities are rather different.

 

Even many of the current official Champions Universe published characters are getting pretty long in the tooth. Not including the immortal ones, of course. ;)

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The NEW Champions 2015

Defender 2 -Daughter of Defender and Witchcraft, the Archmage pf Champions Earth. A technology and magic Gadgeteer/Inventor.

 

Shadowhawk - Son of Darkhawk and ? A Dark Champion, but more Nightwing than Batman.

 

Brava, The Questonite Woman. Daughter of Saphire and Alexander McKenna. A Brick with a Body of Questionite. Trained by Ironclad.

 

Zip Zap, former Sidekick of Kinetic. Speed Powers. Hyperkintic/Speed Power Tricks.

 

 

Work In Progress.

 

 

QM

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The Circle of the Scarlet Moon killed the last Archmage of the dead-tree published CU, Bohdan Stanislavsky, in 1908. This involved a massive explosion in Siberia.

 

His apprentice, the next Archmage-in-training, had already been killed fighting Edomite horrors in Africa. This apprentice was never named in the CU material to which I had to remain consistent when writing The Mystic World.

 

Vincent Dimitrios was part of the Mystic Masters setting. In that setting the Archmage is still alive but very old and too feeble to carry on the good fight. He calls the PCs together to act as a collective defender of Earth. At that time, there was no coherent CU; Steve Long decided not to follow MM when he organized the current CU.

 

I think Steve made a good choice. MM had many excellent features, and I view my own "Super-Mage" work as carrying on from it, but it did build its setting around a particular story arc that not everyone will want to use. A living but enfebled Archmage is also just a little too convenient of an NPC... and a little too close to the Ancient One from Marvel. Learn from your sources of inspiration, but don't imitate them too closely!

 

You could name Stanislavsky's dead apprentice "Vincent Dimitrios" if you want, but I don't see any particular need to do so. First you need to decide if defining somebody who's been dead more than a century even matters for your CU campaign. (Like, if -- as in Mystic Master, spoiler alert -- he isn't really or entirely dead.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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