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Jason S.Walters

Champions Now Information

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The first wave of role-playing design was its own Renaissance, marked by greatness of all kinds. If you were playing then, you'll remember. And if you weren't, you'd be amazed at what that wave held. One of them was Champions, the Super Role-Playing Game.

 

Hero Games is proud to present Champions Now, to be created by pioneering game designer Ron Edwards, author of Sorcerer and co-founder of The Forge. Ron will revisit the original three editions of first-generation Champions (1981 to 1988), recovering the power of this foundational era of superhero roleplaying.

 

To learn more, including reading a playtest document and watching videos, head over to Kickstarter. If you like what you see, please back our ambitious, fan-inclusive project. 

 

With this announced, I thought it might be prudent to explain what Champions Now will – and won’t – be.

 

Is This The Hero System 7th Edition? No. This is exactly what it says it is: a version of Champions inspired by its earliest roots in 80’s gaming, yet updated for the 21st Century. Technically speaking, it’s not even a “Hero System” product, because Champions predates the Hero System as an independent game engine, which was born out of it.

 

Does It Replace The Hero System 6th Edition? No. Nor the fifth or fourth editions, either. Each of these versions of the Hero System has its own feel, style of play, storied history, and large number of support products. We still sell them, support them, and will continue to do so. (I’m personally still publishing Hero System 6E material.) If you like them, please continue to play them. We wouldn't ask you to do otherwise.

 

Is This First Edition Champions? No. Well, not exactly. A lot has happened in roleplaying game design and theory in the last forty years, and Champions Now will take this into account. Unusually for a version of Champions, Ron is placing a large focus on character play and development through play, but far less on mechanical character creation. This is his vision of Champions, informed by the important work done by himself and other small press game designers over the last decade. It isn’t simply a reprint or our version of an “OSR” game.

 

Why Ron Edwards? Besides being a Champions fan from way back, Ron is considered by many to be the father of the “indie” game movement of designers who self-publish their work, which often focus on collaborative storytelling and narration. He is also the author of numerous interesting essays on comic books and roleplaying games, some of which are going to find their way into the pages of Champions Now. You can read some of his work HERE.

 

What is your agenda here? Simple. We thought it would be interesting to see what Ron would do with the early versions of Champions that he loves, and he thought it would be interesting to spend time after the successful conclusion of the Kickstarter project including you - the backers - in what that will eventually mean. I can't answer any further because I don't know yet. You'll have to participate to find out.

 

Jason Walters, Publisher

 

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My impression is that Ron wants to create a book about how to create a great superhero role-playing experience. That book will include two ruleselts that players and GMs can use to do so. One ruleset is a revised version of Original Champions (1st-3rd editions). The other would be a new rules set with a more modern indie approach designed to capture the same flavor.

 

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3 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

I could dig up at least a dozen character sheets from the 80's where I could disagree with you.  😃  I swear to you, I could add up a column of numbers three times and get four different results!  


Yeah, the math hasn't changed in 30 years and from the playtest doc, this edition will not have appreciably different math. I mean if you were doing something additive like Robot Warriors or Fuzion Champions Powers, you wouldn't need anything ex perhaps a simple spreadsheet that can add columns. But, it looks like Hero Math will be in force for this game

PS the doc didn't really do anything to change my negative opinion about this project.

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34 minutes ago, Tasha said:


PS the doc didn't really do anything to change my negative opinion about this project.

 

Hmmm....

Negative opinion. 

 

That would imply understanding of what it is 😜

 

From what I gleaned from between the lines, it appears to be yet another version of the core mechanics, but nothing to establish an entry level playable micro-setting.  Or any setting. 

 

Currently I have 6 versions/editions (arguably 7 if you consider 6th and CC differen).  Another edition of core rules will not address the issue of immediately playable setting to allow immediate play without need for hours of study. 

 

But after reading the KS write up I came away with zero understanding of what it was intended to be/accomplish.

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Are the 6th edition books in print? I don't think they are. If they aren't won't this confuse people? I know you said this isn't 7th edition. But folks who don't come to the hero games website will just see a "new" champions book coming out. If you are recruiting a new player and they go to amazon next year looking for "champions" will they find the 6th ed books for sale or will they find this nostalgia edition for sale (from 3rd party resellers)?

 

I'm not understanding the need for this. I've been reading the forums and the facebook groups and nothing has explained to me who this is for, other than the nostalgic RPG player.

I'm also curious if the comment above by rjcurrie is accurate as that's the first I've heard about there being two game systems in the book.

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I'm one of Ron Edwards' Patreon supporters, so I knew this was coming.

 

rjcurrie is correct about the two rule sets.

 

Ron tends to work on the principle that setting details (mainly) emerge during play. As such, big data dumps are pointless or possibly harmful. So setting is a DIY thing, based on some very basic information from the GM plus what the players come up with for their characters. (DNPCs, Hunteds, other supporting cast, PC motivations).

 

For comparison, Aaron Allston apparently did write up a background history for his Strike Force campaign, but most of his setting grew out of play.

 

A lot of Ron's writing on early Champions can be found on his old blog: https://adeptpress.wordpress.com/tag/champions-rpg/

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1 hour ago, jmucchiello said:

Are the 6th edition books in print? I don't think they are. If they aren't won't this confuse people? I know you said this isn't 7th edition. But folks who don't come to the hero games website will just see a "new" champions book coming out. If you are recruiting a new player and they go to amazon next year looking for "champions" will they find the 6th ed books for sale or will they find this nostalgia edition for sale (from 3rd party resellers)?

 

I'm not understanding the need for this. I've been reading the forums and the facebook groups and nothing has explained to me who this is for, other than the nostalgic RPG player.

I'm also curious if the comment above by rjcurrie is accurate as that's the first I've heard about there being two game systems in the book.

 

Actually, I've worked very hard at making certain 6th Edition (and even some 5th Edition) books are made available print-on-demand via DriveThruRPG when we sell through their print runs. In fact, the only reason the core 6th Ed rules aren't currently available that way is because Ruben and I had to recently redo their layout to fix some problems. But they will never really go out of print.

 

This isn't a nostalgia project - or, at least, not mostly one. In fact, Ron removed much of my "nostalgia" text from the Story within the project. Rather, Ron came to us with a proposal. He wanted to back to the deep roots of the Hero System - back before the 4th, 5th, and 6th Editions - and create his own modern version of Champions, informed by storytelling and other narrative influences. And, being that Ron is the guy that created THIS and did THIS, we decided that it sounded like a fun idea. Which is why we're doing it. 

 

 

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I have to say, I find myself in a similar position as Spence and jmucchiello. From the information I got from the Kickstarter page, I'm unclear as to the nature and purpose of this project, and what it would offer a Champions player like myself that I don't already get from the existing rules and campaign support materials. I'm willing to be enticed, but I would need a clearer sales pitch.

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For what it's worth, having backed this Kickstarter, I am thinking of expanding my rough spreadsheet for creating 1-3e characters into a full page character sheet that looks like a splash page.

 

Picture in the top left hand side. Blurb in the top right. The actual character sheet is on the bottom. The format of the latter would be like the 1-3e half page character writeups.

 

Don't like that idea? Come up with your own. It's going to be a loooong playtest, with hopefully lots of Actual Play.

 

I tried to eliminate the following image. But having failed to do that, it's an example of what the top half of my ideal character sheet would look like.

image.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

You don't "Need" Hero Designer for 5th or 6th edition Hero either. But it's useful.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Palindromedary Now!

I feel like using HD in 6th (and particularly with CC/FHC) is actually harder than just using a word-processing program and a PDF rulesbook to create content.

 

To be fair though... filling out paper sheets for HERO is a nightmare, so HD does still have potential value to my CC/FHC players.

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1 hour ago, assault said:

For what it's worth, having backed this Kickstarter, I am thinking of expanding my rough spreadsheet for creating 1-3e characters into a full page character sheet that looks like a splash page.

 

Picture in the top left hand side. Blurb in the top right. The actual character sheet is on the bottom. The format of the latter would be like the 1-3e half page character writeups.

 

Don't like that idea? Come up with your own. It's going to be a loooong playtest, with hopefully lots of Actual Play.

 

I tried to eliminate the following image. But having failed to do that, it's an example of what the top half of my ideal character sheet would look like.

image.jpeg

 

 

So your ideal character is Wonder Woman?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

My ideal tagline has a palindromedary

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32 minutes ago, Cantriped said:

I feel like using HD in 6th (and particularly with CC/FHC) is actually harder than just using a word-processing program and a PDF rulesbook to create content.

 

To be fair though... filling out paper sheets for HERO is a nightmare, so HD does still have potential value to my CC/FHC players.

 

I never saw it as a nightmare and still build mine paper and pencil.  Can't do it with PDFs though, PDF is just anti anything productive to me.  I guess I'm old.

 

  I only use HD as a math check and character sheet neatness. 

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I should clarify that when I said PDF of the rulesbook I meant a PDF of CC/FHC (which are very nicely organized and bookmarked)... It takes me forever to find anything in 6e V1&2 so I rarely use them.

For in-session reference I vastly prefer to have hard-copies of the rules handy. During play I only use PDFs to reference seldom-used NPCs.

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@Cantriped

 

I've never really bought into epubs of any kind for references or work.  They just don't feel right to me and my retention is lower.  

 

I do read a lot of fiction on kindle and my phone.  If I don't really need to retain details, they are fine.

 

I only have my game books in PDF for when I am on travel. 

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7 hours ago, Lucius said:

So your ideal character is Wonder Woman?

 

Why not?

 

But more importantly, it was the first example of the kind of splash page I wanted that I could find.

 

It's mostly a Golden Age thing, unfortunately.

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Reading through the playtest document was quite a trip down Memory Lane for me, remembering those wild and woolly days when characters were 100+150 points in Disadvantages and martial arts was a damage multiplier instead of an adder.

 

Just for the sake of nostalgia, I'm backing it for a PDF, but I'm not really interested in paying any extra money for a special, unique villain that no one else will have. I would have happily added $5-$10 extra for a new version of Enemies with 5-10 villains instead, so whoever thought getting ONE unique collectable villain for $5 was a swell idea must really love collectable card games, I guess.

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