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Jason S.Walters

Champions Now Information

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13 hours ago, randian said:

When the funding announcement was emailed they admitted the Champions 3E, Champions II, and Champions III pdfs they're including are scans. I'm sure many of us have seen bootleg scans of books, and their quality usually leaves a lot to be desired: misaligned pages, fuzzy or out of focus images, and of course massive size. I am quite disappointed.

 

 

You've seen bootleg scans.

 

These won't be bootleg.

 

Project Gutenberg's books are often scans of the originals...because we're talking manually printed.  Sometimes they're pretty poor;  but if the work's put in, the readability can be very good.  The size...they might be large, yeah.  Eek.  Got 4 gig on my Kindle, got 16 gig on my iPad, got Google and Dropbox accounts to stash this.  I'll grant that size may be an issue WRT file load times, but other than that?  Nah.

 

One big thing with the playtest doc is, he's aiming for significant simplification, which IMO will be helpful.  I've been goofing off developing character ideas for a Drew Hayes Super Powereds universe...total of 5 books.  Only origin stories are Mutant, and Tech Wizard.  Even the latter is rare among Heroes;  they tend to be on the sidelines in a support role.  And generally, every character is fairly well themed.  It's been fun.  Some in Hero, some cases, tried to use GURPS.  With both it's very easy to get lost in the weeds of all the options, variations, and what-all.  And that *can* devolve into the character being buried in the numbers.  Easily.  Simplifying the rules doesn't prevent that, of course, but his emphasis in characterization first helps.

 

And it's going to be quite a bit different.  He's probably going to go with Endurance issues again being front and center.  He talked about killing attack issues;  we went back and forth in comments on it...that one of the major problems is simply the killing damage dice.  It's one of his YouTube videos, with our exchange of comments below.  So there's going to be some qualitative differences that may well *not* be applicable to full-scale Hero.  

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I kind of doubt it, but one never knows.  I've been poking around at a 3rd edition template every now and then.  To use it you'd need to do a lot of editing of files outside the software, and I'm not sure how close it would get to being rules compliant, but I've been trying.

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53 minutes ago, Steve said:

I found the ancient Heromaker software available for download from archive.org, so you might be able to do 1st-3rd edition characters using it.

Note, it's written for 4th Edition.  Fairly compatible, but Hero Designer would be more flexible in that you can modify some stuff.

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On 6/27/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

I keep thinking that whatever Ron Edwards wants to do with Champions Now, why couldn’t he have done with CC? Sure figureds is out but really if the game is less about the mechanic and more on playing then going back to 3e is a bogus argument.  Now Jason Walters said that Champions Now can be easier to learn for younger kids. Great! Again why couldn’t that have been done (as supplement) for CC? We preach how Hero System can be changed to have the game YOU want. Well apparently it can’t.

 

Although I'm a backer, this is sort of what bothers me. The powers that be refuse to re-print the 6e core books because Champions Complete is the new standard set of rules, but then turn around and back a project to re-write the rules to 3e, and present it as what appears to be yet another "official" direction for the ruleset. We've also been flatly told "no" on a possible "HERO System Lite" type of ruleset, yet Champions Now appears to be exactly that. Although I like the project, it seems like it could have been astronomically more beneficial to do the same narrative-based introduction to Champions with the CC rules, and then add the Character Creation Cards to the mix when they become available.

 

In short, this seems like some seriously mixed signals are being sent. Sure Ron Edwards has a lot of great stuff to offer, and because it's being presented as a Champions campaign book, I can understand that it is more of a personal project. But I'm not sure what it does for HERO's long term health to promote it against its own Champions Complete. If this is a set up to eventually introduce a new ruleset for Champions, it is messy beyond belief. We can all go back to 3e on our own if we want. I don't think it's a good idea to introduce new people to an older ruleset (if that is actually part of the intended purpose). 

 

There is a lot of emphasis these days on narrative driven, rules light games, and I appreciate introducing emergent character development and storytelling into Champions (although it is suggested with each edition that players can take unspecified Complications to develop as game play progresses). New players are more likely to bite on something like this. After going to Origins this year and seeing how nuts people still are for Cypher System, it seems that they aren't afraid of universal systems as long as they have a narrative driven approach. It seems that it is just as possible to do this with HERO and Champions, but probably more desirable to do it with the most recent rules. 

 

I don't want to repeat myself too much, but I'm really disappointed that a lot of people expressed a desire to develop a rules-light version of Champions in order to introduce it to new people, but were shut down without any discussion. Yet now we're getting that very thing, but with an outdated version of the rules. Will it help HERO? Maybe. But it may only be an OSR nostalgia piece with no extended support, which only adds to the woes of HERO seeming outdated and falling behind the times. 

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Yeah, Heromaker would be more useful for making 5-6th edition characters than 1st-3rd.  

 

The template I've (partially) got will be just the 3rd edition Skills, Powers, and Disadvantages costs.  Character files would need manual tweaking to come out correctly.

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 2:16 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

I want to strongly emphasize:  I don't think the old way was necessarily better.  It was different.  (And, sadly, is now dead, which is what I'm hoping will change with this Kickstarter.)

 

The Kickstarter is to bring back Champions 3rd edition. Not to bring back the old Justice Inc, Danger International, or 1st edition Fantasy Hero. Do you hope that if this succeeds, it will lead to a revival for those other early games?

 

 

On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 9:13 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Do you seriously think Jason would have gone for this if he thought it would harm the game?

 

With all due respect for Mr. Walters, whose judgment in these matters I concede is far superior to my own, there is at least potentially a difference between "things that might hurt Hero System" and "things Jason Walters thinks will hurt Hero System."

 

I may not personally see any harm in this project and am inclined to trust Mr. Walters but I respect the concerns of those who have them.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary notes that there are still those out there playing Justice Inc who never moved on from what they regard as already perfect.

 

 

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I would observe that the reason it was done with 3rd edition is that Ron is the one writing it, and that 3rd edition was the one that generated the play experiences he was looking to replicate.  I don't see any reason the techniques, and even some of the rules, wouldn't work with the edition of your choice.  (For the general "you" of course.)

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7 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

The Kickstarter is to bring back Champions 3rd edition. Not to bring back the old Justice Inc, Danger International, or 1st edition Fantasy Hero. Do you hope that if this succeeds, it will lead to a revival for those other early games?

 

I do hope exactly that.  At the very least, I hope it helps me find more people to play the earlier versions with.

 

Quote

With all due respect for Mr. Walters, whose judgment in these matters I concede is far superior to my own, there is at least potentially a difference between "things that might hurt Hero System" and "things Jason Walters thinks will hurt Hero System."

 

I may not personally see any harm in this project and am inclined to trust Mr. Walters but I respect the concerns of those who have them.

 

I too can respect their concerns, but Jason also has more interest -- by which I mean financial -- in success or failure of the Hero System, and more knowledge about how to do that, than I do.  

 

Also a lot of people -- myself included -- have put forth armchair solutions to The Problem, but very few -- and I am likewise not one of those few -- have taken any initiative to write the kinds of products we'd like to see.  If any of us had put our keyboards and time where our mouths are, maybe this would be one of our projects we'd be discussing here instead.

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19 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Also a lot of people -- myself included -- have put forth armchair solutions to The Problem, but very few -- and I am likewise not one of those few -- have taken any initiative to write the kinds of products we'd like to see.  If any of us had put our keyboards and time where our mouths are, maybe this would be one of our projects we'd be discussing here instead.

 

I've seen it written all over the place on these forums that we are most definitely not allowed to rewrite the rules to fit our projects, that the IP of HERO is not something we can tamper with, and to even ask is met with silence or curt refusals. Yet Champions Now is doing just that: literally changing the rules in interesting (and probably fruitful) ways to achieve a feel. It's sending a mixed signal.

 

So unless "our" name is Ron Edwards, I don't see how any time spend trying a project like this is possible. I suggested a Fantasy HERO Basic project a while back, and the basic final assessment was that it wouldn't be allowed for the reasons listed above. I wonder if maybe it's not time for DOJ to put their money where their mouths are on these type of projects. Perhaps Champions Now will actually make that possible. This is why I backed the project, and I hope that it opens the door to some similar project proposals from us lowly amateurs who also have a vested interest in seeing the games and the system itself succeed. 

 

I remain skeptically hopeful.

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On 6/30/2018 at 11:57 PM, incrdbil said:

the most useless words in gaming systems: "narrative driven approach.". Systems don't drive narrative. They can't. Players and Gamemasters do.

 

Although technically true, I don't think it's a very sympathetic interpretation of what is meant by "narrative driven approach." Ron Edwards makes a really good point when he says that Champions has become largely min/max and simulationist driven largely because of the system. He wants to show a way to use the system to emphasize the emergent storytelling that other systems emphasize. A system like Fate actually does drive the narrative, in that it requires the GM and players to derive their characters as the story is told. Yes it depends on them, but the system reinforces the "role playing" part of the RPG which I've seen left out of all the HERO and GURPS games I've had the misfortune to play lately. It's unfortunate that the role playing has been lost from many of the RPGs on the market, Champions and HERO included. They became "roll playing" games. They don't need to be that way (and no, not all are devoid of role playing), and Ron's project appears to be emphasizing it. 

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9 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Although technically true, I don't think it's a very sympathetic interpretation of what is meant by "narrative driven approach." Ron Edwards makes a really good point when he says that Champions has become largely min/max and simulationist driven largely because of the system.

 

Systemns are min-maxed by players. Even systems like FATE can be gamed, especially if by nature you are a good BS artist.  Any system can be min-maxed, and  that even includes the old rules of Third edition. Let me through together some lame EC, work out the right break points for Martial Arts, and take figured characteristics at the right values for maximum effectiveness.....

I'm confused how 'simulationsist' has become a naughty word. Systems have to simulate something, provide some for of measure, character comparison, challenge resolution. If a system doesn't simulate the cornerstones of the games genre to some degree, its not helping the GM run the game.
 

Role playing can be emphasized with any game, but its up the GM. No system can kill it, or crate it. A weak role player is a weak role player whatever the game. All this talk of  emphasizing role playing and having more 'narrative driven elements" could be doen with Champions Complete. Just do an expansion on HAPS, their interactions with Complications,  luck would handle most of it, and a few rules for broadening skill areas. 

Oh well, what will be will be. If it somehow actually gets more players to playing the current game and generate fresh target market, great.

 


 

 

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7 hours ago, incrdbil said:

I'm confused how 'simulationsist' has become a naughty word. Systems have to simulate something, provide some for of measure, character comparison, challenge resolution. If a system doesn't simulate the cornerstones of the games genre to some degree, its not helping the GM run the game.

 

I didn't cast it as a naughty word, but perhaps overemphasized over the years. My thoroughly untested opinion is that video games (even or perhaps especially RPGs) have negatively affected tabletop RPGs by being driven too much by individual achievements and less by role playing. I'm not talking "room full of theater majors" here, I'm just talking about actual interaction. As you say, it depends completely on the GM and the players. But the emphasis over the decades has been towards simulation, which a computer can do much better for what people tend to want these days. The narrative emphasis is simply an attempt to make tabletop gaming more than a craps game.

 

If you've seen Ron's YouTube segments, you'll agree that he is emphasizing what you are saying about making Complications more interactive. All those things you list seem to be what he is leaning towards. He is, however, explicitly giving credit to the "narrative" games as an example of how this can be done well. They didn't change game mechanics, they changed the emphasis on gaming: "Hey, let's not sit around watching each other roll dice while we each have our noses in our phones until it's our turn to roll dice." Ron's project is a throwback so simpler game mechanics, mixed with the idea that Complications and such can develop over time and intermingle with the other characters. This is the emphasis of narrative based games. It's still a game, with mechanics that can be min/maxed, but he emphasis is different.

 

7 hours ago, incrdbil said:

Oh well, what will be will be. If it somehow actually gets more players to playing the current game and generate fresh target market, great.

 

On this point, I wholeheartedly agree. I'm not totally sold on the project, but I've reconsidered how it might be useful both for helping change the perception of Champions, and get it in the hands of a new generation of gamers who are more interested in the storytelling aspect of RPGs and less on the murder-hobo, video-gamey aspect of gaming. Plus it's a good reminder to us all that we get to choose the kind of game we emphasize, whether it be gamism, simulations, or narrativism (his terms, not mine). Your points are well made on this, and I appreciate you bringing it up.

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19 hours ago, incrdbil said:

I'm confused how 'simulationsist' has become a naughty word. Systems have to simulate something, provide some for of measure, character comparison, challenge resolution. If a system doesn't simulate the cornerstones of the games genre to some degree, its not helping the GM run the game.

 

On 6/30/2018 at 11:57 PM, incrdbil said:

the most useless words in gaming systems: "narrative driven approach.". Systems don't drive narrative. They can't. Players and Gamemasters do.

 

I thought about what you wrote, and spent a good chunk of the day reading about why "simulationist" has become a "naughty word." What I discovered was a very old, very long debate that I was ignorant of! You probably have more of a history with the terminology, and this is a whole can of worms that I was unaware of before I responded to your post.  So I'd like to say that I'm not trying to devalue your position or promote one theory over another. Although I do value narrative in gaming, I now realize you probably have certain assumptions when you posted the previous couple of things, and I jumped into it without fully understanding the history.

 

I'm sorry if my comments or replies seem combative. That wasn't my intent when I wrote them. . . .

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4 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

 

 

I'm sorry if my comments or replies seem combative. That wasn't my intent when I wrote them. . . .

 

No worries. I sensed nothing combative, and your points are clear, reasonable, and fair.

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As I only pop in here once in a while so I totally missed this. 

Shame as I would probably have pledged. 

 

Do you think it will get opened up after the initial run?

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Hopefully, this Kickstarter project will prove successful in publishing a first-rate product that attracts new players and is something that longtime Champions players will want to add to their collection. At $20K, it's a pretty modest project and a concern is that the cover and interior artwork would be subpar. Mighty Protectors: Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 was a recent Kickstarter that resulted in a great product by Jeff Dee and Jack Herman; despite raising over $1 million, Palladium Books' Kickstarter for Robotech RPG Tactics was a disaster.

 

Here's hoping for the former and not the latter! :)

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7 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Missed this completely.

 

Where is it standing now?  Did it happen?  Can it be bought or pre-ordered in any way?

 

 

It funded, and is currently in playtest.

 

Early drafts were pretty freely available, but the current one is a lot more closed off.

 

There are some pretty radical changes, but anyone familiar with the Hero System could start playing it in a matter of minutes.

 

If my life would leave me alone for a while, I could run a playtest game online, but stuff just keeps on happening.

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On 6/30/2018 at 7:05 PM, Brian Stanfield said:

I don't want to repeat myself too much, but I'm really disappointed that a lot of people expressed a desire to develop a rules-light version of Champions in order to introduce it to new people, but were shut down without any discussion. Yet now we're getting that very thing, but with an outdated version of the rules. Will it help HERO? Maybe. But it may only be an OSR nostalgia piece with no extended support, which only adds to the woes of HERO seeming outdated and falling behind that times. 

 

I didn't pick up on this comment until much more recently. Would Champions: The New Millennium, that came out in the 1990s in that short partnership between Hero Games and R. Talsorian Games count as a "rules-light" version of Champions? I remember briefly owning it and from my playing experience, the rules were simplified to make the Hero System to fit the Fuzion Games system for character creation, powers, and so on. I also remember reading about confusion in various fan forums on whether or not Champions: The New Millennium was its Fifth Edition or not (it wasn't, as Fifth Edition came out a few years later).

 

I share the same disappointment in that the development of a rules-light version Champions wasn't even discussed for consideration. In general, when I'm introducing the superhero RPG to brand-new players, my go-to system has been Icons: The Assembled Edition as a result. Although I occasionally get brand-new players when I run Champions at game conventions, the majority of the participants have been players who, "played it for several years then stopped after <insert edition number here>" and wanted to play for the nostalgia.

 

"HERO seeming outdated and falling behind the times"... I thought that I was alone in that sentiment when I compare Champions to Mutants and Masterminds, Icons, or even the Super Powers Companion for Savage Worlds. Guess not...

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I may be missing some important connection-- perhaps it is exclusively the inclusion of thematic art or settings that qualifies it as Champions, but isn't 6e Basic pretty much rules-light Champions?  Or Fantasy?  Or Sci-fi?

 

(of course, this may not be 6e; is there a version of 5e with 6e-style Characteristics?)

 

 

oh-- 

 

And thank you, Assault.  I assume there will be some sort of announcement when it becomes a buyable product?

 

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