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Darren Watts

Golden Age Champions Discussion Thread

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Maybe not so much one-trick ponies but (usually) having simpler power concepts than modern heroes - but I kind of like that.

So then would we build a character with Strength, a bunch of brick tricks then just having a high STR? But not have Martian Manhunter wide suite of various powers?

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So then would we build a character with Strength, a bunch of brick tricks then just having a high STR? But not have Martian Manhunter wide suite of various powers?

People forget that the Golden Age gave us The Spector and Doctor Fate. Both characters are not your typical bricks, because they are not bricks.

 

Then there are 'super skilled' normals like Congo Bill (this is years before he became Congorilla).

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Guys,

 

I believe this KS needs a bit more love. It is koving ohhhh soooo slowly. More updates woulfd help. More art preview would help. More excerpts would help. Heck, knowing how much shipping will cost would help.

 

Come on guys, a bit more active support!

 

Well, we don't have any more art to show you, because the art budget is built into the Kickstarter. I'm happy to share a couple more excerpts, though. How about a sample plot seed from Chapter 5?

 

<5> The Atlantic Charter Assassination Plot

 

                In August of 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt declared that it was time for a brief fishing vacation. In reality, he boarded the heavy cruiser USS Augusta and headed to Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, where he met in secret with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for the first time and drafted what became known as the Atlantic Charter, a statement of goals and principles the two nations shared and intended to pursue once the war was over. The United States was still formally neutral, but Roosevelt knew that could and would not last – Hitler and the Axis needed to be defeated, and the United States’ military might would be required to do so. The meetings did not discuss any particular military tactics, but rather concentrated on what the two nations would strive to achieve in the world after the war was over. Victory was assumed.

                Of course, the meeting was top secret, but in a world of super powers such things can always be discovered, and the Axis powers send superhuman assassins to remove the leaders of their two most feared enemies in a single stroke. If the PCs have any sort of good relations with FDR, Harry Hopkins, or the American military, they can be asked to provide security for the meeting (which takes place on the Augusta while the HMS Prince of Wales sits nearby, all in a remote and scenic bay surrounded by rocky shores and forested hills.) If you haven’t introduced the Axis Legion as a team yet, this might be an excellent opportunity to do so; they should be supported as needed by teams of Skorzeny’s commandos, Von Stahler’s Eisenmenschen, or even Atlantean soldiers who might be the ideal choice to deploy some explosive charges to the bottoms of both ships…

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People forget that the Golden Age gave us The Spector and Doctor Fate. Both characters are not your typical bricks, because they are not bricks.

 

Then there are 'super skilled' normals like Congo Bill (this is years before he became Congorilla).

 

For a weird chunk of the 1940s, Dr. Fate was little more than a flying brick (the half-helmet period).  ("In story" I think the reason was that Nelson felt Nabu was exerting too much control over him.  In reality, I think the writer just got tired of dealing with big-magic as a power.)  

 

The Spectre, on the other hand, was all over the map power-wise.

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So then would we build a character with Strength, a bunch of brick tricks then just having a high STR? But not have Martian Manhunter wide suite of various powers?

 

Superman, in his first appearances, was strong, tough (not invulnerable, but "nothing less than a bursting shell could pierce his skin) and could leap over a tall building.  That was it.  The rest (and the power escalation) came later.  

 

Martian Manhunter is (kind of) the first Silver Age superhero, and fits that mold much better than the Golden Age mold.

 

There are, as always, exceptions to the Golden Age heroes usually had simple power concepts, but the fact that the exceptions stand out kind of supports the idea.  Many heroes had no powers, many had a single power. 

 

Some noteworthy DC heroes (mostly concentrating on heroes who were part of a team)

================================================================

Batman - no powers, limited gadgets, skilled (but not the "bat god" of today) fighter.

Hourman - Super strength for one hour.

Hawk Man - Fly

Atom - no powers

Dr. Midnight - see in the dark

Flash - run/move real fast (very few of the modern-era speedster tricks)

Wonder Woman - strong, deflect bullets with bracelets, magic rope of truth.

Sandman - Sleep gas gun.

Crimson Avenger - No powers

Wildcat - no powers

Black Canary - no powers

Green Arrow - trick arrows

Star Spangled Kid & Stripesy - no powers

Shining Knight - A flying horse, armor, and sword

Staman - Gravity Rod (precursor to his Cosmic Rod) Let him fly and move things (with gravity)

 

The "simple" concept falls apart with DC's mystic yahoos: Green Lantern / Dr. Fate / Johnny Thunder / Spectre - Ill defined mystic abilities that did whatever the writer wanted (at least until Dr. Fate got temporarily emasculated).

 

Over in Marve-land  (mostly concentrating on heroes who were part of a team)

=========================================================

Human Torch - Fly, flame blast, minor defense to some physical attacks due to flaming body

Namor - Strong, tough (nearly bulletproof), fly, swim, breath underwater

Captain America - barely powered plus shield

Red Raven - Fly

Blue Diamond - nearly invulnerable

Miss America - Strength, Flight, (and X-ray vision for a while, but that went away)

Whizzer - speed (but even fewer speed-tricks than the GA Flash)

Thin Man - could get extremely thin (conceptually simple, although systme-mechanically a bit involved)

Patriot - No powers

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I skimmed through the postings and might have missed an answer to this:

 

Will there be package deals to aid in building soldiers for the Allies and Axis powers (American GIs, German soldiers/stormtroopers/SS types, etc)?

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I skimmed through the postings and might have missed an answer to this:

 

Will there be package deals to aid in building soldiers for the Allies and Axis powers (American GIs, German soldiers/stormtroopers/SS types, etc)?

As I've been slapped on the wrist recently myself on this very issue, they're called "templates" now and yes we have a bunch of them. dw

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As I've been slapped on the wrist recently myself on this very issue, they're called "templates" now and yes we have a bunch of them. dw

 

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you list the template names? I'm curious to see them.

 

Are soldiers going to be built like VIPER or UNTIL agents, paying points for their typical load of equipment since this is a Superhero setting?

 

Would there be Equipment Allowance guidelines for how much a typical soldier would carry in and out of combat? 

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Darren,

 

I think I failed to make my point. I wasn't asking for an excerpt for me here on the board (but thanks for that). My point is the KS is very slow, earning a few dollars a day, with no comment in a week. Interest needdb to be generated here, on the M&M and SW boards but even more do on KS. How about you post your excerpt as an update? Wait a few days and post the character sheet of one of the characters on the cover? Than another excerpt. Than a M&M sheet? Than how about an update with shipping rates estimate?

 

My point is the KS needs to be actively supported. If the creators don't bother to show up why would potential backers?

 

Anyway, apologies about the critics. I really want this to succeed at the hardcover level.

 

DD

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Superman, in his first appearances, was strong, tough (not invulnerable, but "nothing less than a bursting shell could pierce his skin) and could leap over a tall building.  That was it.  The rest (and the power escalation) came later.

He learned how to fly and gained his heat vision and many super-senses by 1945. He also withstood two atomic bomb blasts, flew through the molten core of the earth and into the sun by 1946. When did the Golden Age end and silver begin for Supes, who was published with no hiatus? Point being, he evolved to massively powerful pretty quick in the Golden Age.

 

Some noteworthy DC heroes (mostly concentrating on heroes who were part of a team)

Two points of order.

 

First, throughout the Golden Age, Superman and Batman were not really "part of a team". The Justice Society rule was that all characters featured had to have their own ongoing feature (that's why Hourman was dropped in favour of Starman), but could not have their own monthly book - such characters became honorary members. Superman and Batman were honorary throughout the Golden Age (but did appear in one issue, I believe redrawn to replace two other characters, and also appeared in a Johnny Thunder strip in #7). Wonder Woman was treated similarly as the JSA secretary, and Flash and Green Lantern eventually became honorary members on receiving their own books.

 

Second, the "team" Golden Age books were not really team books. JSA was written as "Opening and closing bookends" with a solo story for each hero in between. Later in its run, the "in betweens" became more than one character (typically only one or two, not sure if it was ever 3) at a time due to declining page counts. Seven Soldiers of Victory followed the same format. Initial JLA followed a similar format of small sub-teams in chapters.

 

Marvel had no formal teams, really. The All-Winners Squad appeared all of twice, in 1946, following the same format.

 

That's a tough format to model into a game - maybe GAC will comment on that?

 

Wildcat also only appeared once in JSA in the Golden Age (as did Mr. Terrific) I believe when the publishers of National and Detective (for which All-Star was a joint book) got into a scrap so one group's characters did not appear.

 

Green Lantern as originally portrayed used his ring to charge his own body with lantern-energy, so he was strong, fast and tough, but new powers rapidly followed (much like Superman). Continuity was a lot looser, so powers tended to come and go. Pretty sure before the end of the JSA run, Atom had super-strength.

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Darren,

 

I think I failed to make my point. I wasn't asking for an excerpt for me here on the board (but thanks for that). My point is the KS is very slow, earning a few dollars a day, with no comment in a week. Interest needdb to be generated here, on the M&M and SW boards but even more do on KS. How about you post your excerpt as an update? Wait a few days and post the character sheet of one of the characters on the cover? Than another excerpt. Than a M&M sheet? Than how about an update with shipping rates estimate?

 

My point is the KS needs to be actively supported. If the creators don't bother to show up why would potential backers?

 

Anyway, apologies about the critics. I really want this to succeed at the hardcover level.

 

DD

Hi DD! I appreciate the concern, but I can tell you I'm working myself to exhaustion posting all over the internet. KS updates only go to the people who've already supported the campaign, and so they're a *lower* priority to posting elsewhere on social media. (That said, this one will be going out there too shortly.) I've got two conventions upcoming, a couple of interviews and at least one podcast hitting in the next ten days. So, I take some exception at the idea that I haven't "shown up."

 

As for posting sheets in other systems, again you're asking for things the kickstarter itself is intended to finance. None of that is done yet.

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Of course, in the above I did not mean to suggest that existing supporters were not greatly and whole-heartedly appreciated. This is what happens when you post tired. ;)  There will be additional excerpts and whatnot posted for everybody, and if we do make it you'll all get to see the whole thing! dw

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Right now, as it stands, the "average" kickstarter projections for this project (based on my modeling, which is +/- ten percent, weigh in at about 32,800. It will require a lot of extra work to get it to the 40,000 needed. 

 

The other option is to add a hardcover level and only print it with the Kickstarter. Of course, this means you're adding 25 dollars to every copy for people who want hardcover. 

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I'm practically certain it'll reach twenty thousand, somewhat hopeful for thirty, pretty pessimistic about forty. I know this will be a great book with a lot of value for interested parties, who definitely include me; but let's face it, it doesn't have the legendary status of Strike Force.

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Hi DD! I appreciate the concern, but I can tell you I'm working myself to exhaustion posting all over the internet. KS updates only go to the people who've already supported the campaign, and so they're a *lower* priority to posting elsewhere on social media. (That said, this one will be going out there too shortly.) I've got two conventions upcoming, a couple of interviews and at least one podcast hitting in the next ten days. So, I take some exception at the idea that I haven't "shown up."

 

As for posting sheets in other systems, again you're asking for things the kickstarter itself is intended to finance. None of that is done yet.

I wasn't suggesting you were not working hard but simply that the KS page felt... unloved. KS updates are for everyone to see. That being said,I understand posting on other gaming boards might provide greater exposure. Thanks for posting there and for making updates on KS.

 

As for my suggestion regarding the other systems cs, it was to generate interest from other crowds (I personally don't care about the other systems). If they don't exist, they don't exist.

 

Good luck with the conventions!

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One of my favorite parts of this book to write was the chapter on archetypes, which refers back to the earliest breakdowns of superheroic "character classes" from Champions. I address all of the different subtypes of Bricks, Energy Projectors, etc. present in the Golden Age, rename a couple (the "Martial Artist" is better explained as the "Mystery Man"), and add a fistful of brand new subarchetypes. Forthwith to demonstrate, an excerpt from "The Sidekick":

 

<4> The Derivative Kid

The first type of Sidekick to spring to most players’ minds, the Derivative Kid has more or less the same powers or skills as his mentor at a lower level, a costume either based on his mentor’s or specifically designed to stand out in contrast, and the stock standard personality for kids in 1930s and 40s popular culture: inquisitive bordering on outright nosey, brave, usually a wisecracker, and with an absolute faith in and even hero worship of the adult he’s working alongside. Robin defines the archetype the same way Batman does that of the Mystery Man, and his popularity led to a small army of clones: Bucky (Captain America), Speedy (Green Arrow), Sandy (Sandman), Pinky (Mr. Scarlet), Stuff the Chinatown Kid (Vigilante), and Dusty (The Shield.) The Guardian had an entire team of noncostumed preteens similar to the Our Gang kids of the movies in the Newsboy Legion. In a rare gender switch, Cat-Man took on a girl Sidekick named Kitten. If the mentor hero has superpowers, his Sidekick might as well. Toro had the same powers as the Human Torch, usually portrayed as being a few Active Points less. Similarly, Dan the Dyna-Mite (TNT) and Roy the Super Boy (Wizard) had similar powers to their mentors.

 

<4> Female Counterpart

Several superheroes of the period had their girlfriends wind up joining them in their war against injustice on occasion. Most notable was Hawkgirl, who appeared in Hawkman’s first story as Shiera Saunders, and was eventually given her own set of wings and costumed identity. (In the retconned stories of the All-Star Squadron, she keeps up protecting the homefront when her husband enlists after Pearl Harbor.) Bulletman created a second Gravity Regulator Helmet for his girlfriend Susan to wear, and she joined him in his adventures as Bulletgirl. Doll Man’s girlfriend Martha underwent a similar transformation late in the Golden Age, duplicating her boyfriend’s power to shrink and adopting a costumed identity. The Human Torch briefly teamed with Sun Girl, who had no powers but was armed with several interesting gadgets that were given no explanation, including a “Sun Gun” that fired blinding light beams.

 

<4> Comic Relief

Several superheroes in the Golden Age had Sidekicks who were mostly suited to slapstick comedy rather than serious superheroing, even if the hero himself was generally not portrayed as particularly lighthearted. Green Lantern was frequently aided by a portly taxi driver named Doiby Dickles, who would drive his cab “Goitrude” into dangerous situations armed only with a ludicrous approximation of a Brooklyn accent. Captain Marvel, who had already acquired a superpowered “family” consisting of his long-lost sister Mary and best friend Freddy Freeman (better known as Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior) also had a recurring sidekick named Uncle Marvel, a “lovable old fraud” character who claimed to also have superpowers that his various physical ailments prevented him from showing off at that particular moment. Plastic Man was regularly aided by Woozy Winks, a doltish ex-con who once saved the life of a wizard and was rewarded by being gifted with invulnerability.

 

<4> The Boy In Charge

A similar archetype to the Sidekick is the Boy In Charge, a teen (or even younger child) with no or limited powers but who has access to a much more capable ally who for whatever reason is bound to the young hero and follows his orders. The ally can vary widely in power level, from a cheerful adult bruiser of a chauffeur to a magical genie who can grant wishes in a wink. Examples of this type include Star-Spangled Kid & Stripesy, Johnny Thunder, The Boy King, and Kid Eternity (who summoned any number of temporary Sidekicks from the mists of history.) Two players can work together to create this sort of partnership if the characters themselves are of approximately the same value (perhaps one is smart and skilled while the other handles the rougher stuff.) Otherwise, it’s best to have the player build the more powerful servant as their primary PC, with appropriate limitations to reflect that the “sidekick” is actually the one in charge. Perhaps the more powerful ally can only appear for a limited amount of time each day, or is inconveniently sized for some activities (like the Boy King’s giant statue.)

 

<4> Unusual Sidekicks

Some comicbook Sidekicks defy any sort of categorization. The Vigilante was occasionally assisted by an ornery old cowboy named Billy Gunn, who the hero had met when he was running an arcade at Times Square and persuaded to come out of “retirement.” The Crimson Avenger, who in many ways resembled the radio show hero the Green Hornet, further appropriated the idea of an Asian sidekick like Kato, called Wing. Unfortunately, where Kato was an impressive combatant, skilled driver and inventor of Green Hornet’s souped-up car, Wing mostly told jokes in pidgin dialect while his mentor did the crimefighting. Captain Marvel had yet another occasional sidekick in Tawky Tawny, an anthropomorphic tiger who wore a loud suit and hat. An actual tiger who had been given a serum that allowed him to walk and talk like a human being, Tawky became friends with Captain Marvel after accidentally causing a panic in the city, and took a job as a docent at the Museum of Natural History when he wasn’t helping his pal fight criminals...

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Feel like punching something today? How about Hitler? dw

Feal like punching Trump, but since that is not doable, Hitler will have to do.

 

Apologies for the people on the board who would rather punch Cliten. Clitan? Clitin?

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