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What's your favorite edition of Hero System/Champions?

Favorite Hero System/Champions Edition  

66 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favorite edition of Hero System/Champions?

    • Early Series (1st, 2nd, 3rd Edition)
      5
    • 4th Edition
      24
    • 5th Edition
      18
    • 6th Edition
      30


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18 minutes ago, assault said:

On the trained normal thing: most superheroes aren't Superman.

 

It's much more common for them to be like Cyclops - a normal person with a single power. Someone who is inferior to Batman, Green Arrow or Hawkeye in every respect.

 

But nobody says they shouldn't be in a superteam.

 

And nobody is saying Batman shouldn't be on a super team, either... just not with the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc. The X-Men are a great example of a team of people who are well-trained humans with a kick ass power, or actually superhuman, but none of them were Superman or WW levels.  Not until Phoenix, and I loved when Byrne and Claremont talked about how they really had to do something about Phoenix, because if she was so powerful, what was the point of the rest of the team?

 

Marvel thought about these things (back in the original 25 years of the company). When Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Hawkeye were the Avengers with Cap, their were in continuity ramifications that this team was significantly underpowered and it struggled. When the published the Handbook of the Marvel Universe, they clearly detailed power levels that scaled within a somewhat reasonable range, and it was clear that lower end characters were outclassed by higher end characters.

 

Don't get me wrong... I frickin' love the archer and martial arts characters... WAY more than the god-like JLA types. I like the lower level, bronze age Marvel supers (X-Men, Alpha Flight, Avengers even w/Thor who always outclassed the others)... and I truly believe that original Champions was designed to emulate that era and style of comics originally. Silver Age or even post-Crisis Superman was always out of scope (not impossible, but not really the target character type). Can you have a flying strong guy and an archer on a team, sure... but that is much more likely to be Nova and Hawkeye... not Supes and Green Arrow.


Again, it is a matter of scale in a quantified RPG. In the comics, the things that destroy verisimilitude are like "one panel, Flash safely evacuates every living thing from Seoul, Korean in the milliseconds between impact and the detonation of a nuclear warhead. If he can do that... no other story concept matters, because he is essentially omnipotent. 

23 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Weird. 

 

I have tried three time to post an apology and a request for deletion, but it doesn't seem to go through. 

Seriously people:

 

Forget everything I have said today.  I was not and still am not in my right mind. 

 

I am sorry for any issues I caused or nerves I stepped on. 

 

And FYI... you may have rambled a bit, but you were hardly out of line. No worries, mate.

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

If any wandering moderator would be kind enough to delete my posts from today, I would be much obliged to you.  I had no business being here today, distracted as I was / am, and didn't put my heart or mind in anything I said.  I'm pretty sure it was abrasive or otherwise out of place, though. 

 

I appologize to everyone; this is traditionally a bad few days for me every year, and without fail, I think I can operate unaffected.  And without fail, I can't. 

 

Sincerest appologies to everyone here; I'm going to see if Hermit will oblige me with a clearing of the slate. 

 

I am sorry for anything I did or said. 

 

 

Duke

 

Good grief, a complete apology on the internet. I nearly choked.

 

Kudos, Duke. I think the earlier posts should stay just to reinforce the value of the last two in this thread.

 

Doc

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If we are trying to emulate the source material, that source material has had Bats and Supes hanging for 60+ years. 

 

There are limits to what you can reasonbly simulate from the source material in a game.  For one thing, you don't have writer's fiat controlling the events, and for another things happen routinely in comics that few players would tolerate (like being knocked out, captured, disabled etc by some stupid ambush or cheap trick just to set up the next plot point).  There are some aspects to the comic books that we cannot, and sometimes ought not, try to simulate.  That's one of the understandings when you change media: what works in movies may not work in a book or may work better in a game or vice versa.  


Generally, Player Characters act more intelligently, tactically, and reasonably then comic book characters.  Unless they mean to play for laughs, nobody is as dull and easily fooled as Captain Marvel in the golden age, for instance.

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8 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

There are limits to what you can reasonbly simulate from the source material in a game.  For one thing, you don't have writer's fiat controlling the events, and for another things happen routinely in comics that few players would tolerate (like being knocked out, captured, disabled etc by some stupid ambush or cheap trick just to set up the next plot point).  There are some aspects to the comic books that we cannot, and sometimes ought not, try to simulate.  That's one of the understandings when you change media: what works in movies may not work in a book or may work better in a game or vice versa.  


Generally, Player Characters act more intelligently, tactically, and reasonably then comic book characters.  Unless they mean to play for laughs, nobody is as dull and easily fooled as Captain Marvel in the golden age, for instance.

 

Sure.   But I don't think locking out certain character concepts, especially those that are iconic to the average person (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man) is a good example of the tropes we should be avoiding for the game as a whole.  A group of players wanting an Avengers or JLA game wants a game where Thor, Cap and Hawkeye, or Superman, Aquaman and Batman, can stand together and each be effective characters.

 

Maybe not every player charact6er should be tactical.  All Supers are not combat-trained, and we play out over an hour the actions they take in 12 seconds.  The game might be better if we did not allow for, or insist on, taking the time to examine every possible option, measuring distances to each relevant hex (why does anyone buy Absolute Range Sense - in combat, we let everyone have those benefits for free anyway) and required actions like "I will close with ArmorGuy - if I can get there in a half move, I will punch him, otherwise I will do a Move Through" rather than "Oh, ArmorGuy is 2 hexes further away than my half move - I will close on [measures distance to four other opponents on the battlemat, three of which are within a half move] ShieldDude and punch - no, wait, he is not as strong - Grab him.

 

I would also suggest that someone playing Golden Age Captain Marvel would have Complications aligning with his really being a young kid, so he should make mistakes consistent with that reality, those complications and the character he has chosen to play.

 

In my view, the biggest problem arises when the GM makes playing in character a losing proposition. Failure to use the best possible tactics = defeat?  Then we will only have tactically-minded characters.  Capturing the villains means they escape for next session and murder a busload of people, or maim a DNPC?  Then we kill the villains.  Striking at less than full power means we get taken out because one wasted hit is the difference between a win and a loss?  Then we never show restraint.  We train our players on how to play with the consequences of their decisions.

 

Sorry for the topic drift :(.  This is an issue in all editions.  Although with campaign guidelines from 4e up to make more consistency between PCs, there's less likelihood of one player showing up with a 90 STR and 40/40 resistant defenses while a second figured 20 STR and a Martial Strike with +2d6, and 10 PD/ED would do the trick.

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10 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

 

There are limits to what you can reasonbly simulate from the source material in a game.  For one thing, you don't have writer's fiat controlling the events, and for another things happen routinely in comics that few players would tolerate (like being knocked out, captured, disabled etc by some stupid ambush or cheap trick just to set up the next plot point).  There are some aspects to the comic books that we cannot, and sometimes ought not, try to simulate.  That's one of the understandings when you change media: what works in movies may not work in a book or may work better in a game or vice versa.  


Generally, Player Characters act more intelligently, tactically, and reasonably then comic book characters.  Unless they mean to play for laughs, nobody is as dull and easily fooled as Captain Marvel in the golden age, for instance.

 

I completely agree with your general point.  But just wanted to point out the statement (in bold above) as being somewhat in error. 

In my supers games, the Hero or Heroes being knocked out, captured or temporarily disabled happens all the time.  It is a supers game and that is one of the tropes.  The trick to it is that it cannot be arbitrary.   The event has to be "plausible" within the game world. 

 

Some of the greatest sessions we ever played were ones where the team escaped the "Death Trap".

 

Without the ability to temporarily stymie the Heroes (knocked out, temporarily disable, etc.) the villain cannot escape and you never get the recurring arch-villain. 

 

The reoccurring nemesis is extremely difficult if you ascribe to the concept that players will refuse to play or tolerate a game that includes those events.  I see this concept floated all the time on Supers related boards.  And then just laugh because the only players I ever had this issue were murder-hobos and munchkins.  It isn't issue of the game and plot, it is the need for better players.  

 

But I agree 100% that no material based on a source that is completely controlled by a writer or writing team (books, comics, movies) can be 100% transferred to an RPG.  To do so invites the one thing that will set off players, RAILROADING!!! AARARGGGHHHHHH..     If they aren't already crying it since that is one of the catch all whines of the poor gamer these days.

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Sorry for the topic drift :(.  This is an issue in all editions.  Although with campaign guidelines from 4e up to make more consistency between PCs, there's less likelihood of one player showing up with a 90 STR and 40/40 resistant defenses while a second figured 20 STR and a Martial Strike with +2d6, and 10 PD/ED would do the trick.

 

I find the discussion interesting.  As I noted above, I do not think it is possible that material can be ported directly from written or video form to the table.  But then if you step back and take a look at the reality of gaming (at least from my view point and experience) the entire point is moot. 

 

I have yet to play a Champs game where Player 1 has a 2000 point Superman and Player 2 has a 400 point Batman in the same game. 

A PC build on 400 points based on Batman can stand with a PC built on 400 points based on Superman.  400 points is 400 points.

 

But that means you cannot actually bring the Comic as written to the RPG Table.  Even though I have always liked Batman (the Detective version) I never liked Justice League because it had too many ultimate power characters.  

 

It is also the reason why I do not allow a player to build their favorite character concept for their first PC.  I explain that we are going to run some throw away PC's first to get a feel for how the game plays.  This has always worked best for my games. 

 

But as they say, your mileage may vary...😉

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I have yet to play a Champs game where Player 1 has a 2000 point Superman and Player 2 has a 400 point Batman in the same game. 

 

Yeah, you can have point diversity -- a 400 point character and a 250 point character (done it before) -- but if the divergence is too wide, then it just does not and cannot work.  I mean writers have tried to make up for Batman's points by giving him every skin ever and every gadget ever, but he's still not Superman.  Ultimately as Clark eventually tells him: you're still just a man, no matter what suit you put on.

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Although I have never had a chance to test this "in game" I did give it a bit of thought a few years ago when in the planning stages of a campaign a player did voice his intention to play a "batman/green arrow" type character in a game that would include a bunch of really super powered characters. 

 

After some thought on how I could make that work my plan was going to be this: 

 

I was going to make SPEED not a count "as SPEED" of the character, but rather how much "screen time" a character gets (a common practice I've seen mentioned on the boards here for years). 

Then I was going to limit the amount of SPD the "super powered characters" could have to 5-6 MAX (even any "speedster"), but I would allow (require) the "non-super characters" to go higher then that (up to 10 or more). This would not only bring the point totals of the characters in closer alignment (300 pt "batman" spends an extra 50 points on speed to bring him to a 350 pt. character for example. 

This would allow the batman/green arrow/black widow characters to move more often, avoid attacks, get into better positions, hold actions, abort, find weaknesses, use superior senses, build traps/tricks, take out more goons, etc... while the powerhouses tanked and did massive damage, etc.... 

 

Never got a chance to try it out in play because the player decided to go with a different type of character, but I think it might have worked. 

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Yeah, you can have point diversity -- a 400 point character and a 250 point character (done it before) -- but if the divergence is too wide, then it just does not and cannot work.  I mean writers have tried to make up for Batman's points by giving him every skin ever and every gadget ever, but he's still not Superman.  Ultimately as Clark eventually tells him: you're still just a man, no matter what suit you put on.

Yeah until Batman pulls out Kryptonite and then pummels Clark.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Yeah, you can have point diversity -- a 400 point character and a 250 point character (done it before) -- but if the divergence is too wide, then it just does not and cannot work.  I mean writers have tried to make up for Batman's points by giving him every skin ever and every gadget ever, but he's still not Superman.  Ultimately as Clark eventually tells him: you're still just a man, no matter what suit you put on.

 

Agreed on both points.  I was just (I thought) pointing out that in the end it really doesn't matter on the gaming table.    All of the games I have run or played in, the PC's were built to the same starting points.   While there have been a few that chose to start with significantly lesser point values to meet a concept.  Generally the experiment fairly ended soon and they make a full point PC because of many drawbacks.  Some of which you have pointed out up thread.   Unless the group is experimenting, the PC's in a table top RPG will all be of a similar starting point and generally maintain comparable power.  Where a book/comic/movie can easily mix anything because the writer controls all. But the end of the road is that we are discussing a table top RPG.  So any real divergence in power level isn't going to be an issue unless the GM/Players ignore guidelines and decide to experiment.  Or at least this is my experience so far. 

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I think personally every player should GM a scenerio or two. Just so the player has the feeling of the other side of the screen. I know since I’ve been a GM, when I’m the player, I do things in game and build things as characters to help the GM. For example I took a DNPC of a Master for my (surprise) martial artist, I could tell the GM wanted him (the Master) to disappear. So I improvised a scene where the Master could leave unnoticed. Another was for my dwarf. I lived away from the group at the time so I made a character that could come and go as needed. Hence he was cursed by the Cult of the Anvil and at various times a fog would come and take him away.

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9 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I think personally every player should GM a scenerio or two. Just so the player has the feeling of the other side of the screen.

 

I'm 100% behind you on this one. 

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3 hours ago, Amorkca said:

Me too Ninja-Bear; but if I don't GM we don't play - I have 6 players who refuse to GM.  Sucks...

Sorry to hear that. Do they complain about your GMing cause in that case I’d be you GM then.

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In the earliest days in our Champions games (1e) the PCs were all 250 points to start, so there was not very much point diversity, and our teams very much followed the X-Men/Avengers paradigm. Our group at the time was very much Marvel heads, and kind of curled our lip at Superman, as a Deus Ex Machina in a red cape   The disparities arose when that first generation of Champions characters, after two games a week, 2-3’experiejce points per game, over the course of two year, became 400 point veterans. Someone cycling in a new character had the benefit of player experience to build a much more efficient, and rules savvy character, but it was lacking the mileage, of the veterans. After buying back some disads, adding flash defense goggles, getting encrypted coms with the other team members, and a few more strength and con points, and a few levels, the veterans were polished by experience and became quite capable. Our GMs never even thought of allowing a new character being built for anything other than 250 points, for the first year, and when it was allowed, the resulting builds had more offensive and defensive capability then some of the vets, but also glaring gaps in their builds, sometimes resulting in “glass cannons”. However the new 250 pointers, were a bit under powered for their first few months, but because they were lower points than the veterans and knew it, were played more cautiously, working on tighter teamwork to compensate for any short comings. There are few things as satisfying as good, right, teamwork. Our teams would become expert set up artists, and were very effective (when we could assembles the band together) at convention games, bamboozling unfamiliar GMs with held moves, perfectly timed hay makers and fastball specials. As anti- social as some of my characters were, I was always a team player. 

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