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Whats YOUR Champions universe like?

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I find peoples adaption of their own superhero universes an intriguing and fascinating subject. Whats your universe like? who are the movers and shakers? is more a DC like place or Marvel? What elements of the official champions universe do you use? or have you eliminated or changed? do you use other games characters such as Mutants & Masterminds or Villains and Vigilantes or Heroes Unlimited? or is it a universe of characters you have completely created from whole cloth of your own?

 

Mine is a very heavy homage based combo of DC/Marvel with the serial numbers just barely scrapped off but using game characters whenever I can.

 

What about you? 

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I haven't run anything in some time, but when I do I start with the core of the official Champions Universe. It's so broad, deep, and coherent, it gives me a basis to build or adapt almost anything I need. I do modify many parts in small or big ways to suit my purposes, and draw in bits from many other Champions/Hero sources, published by Hero Games or other parties; as well as some fan sources.

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I borrowed elements from the official Champions universe, DC, Marvel, Astro City, pretty much every comic universe, then added my own cosmology and origin of superpowers and mixed in some of my own ideas.  That's one universe.

 

The second one I created was for Golden Age champions and it was a mix of Freedom Force and a short story about Captain America vs Thor in WW2.

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I haven't run anything in a long time.

 

I do a recognizable Earth but often with changed city names like DC does with Gotham, Central City, Metropolis, etc. I don't want to face player comments that I didn't get the details of Cleveland just right...and I also obsess about never, ever getting details wrong so the name changes keep me from going down endless rabbit holes of research.

 

For ancient history rather than just using the Champion Universe explanation of Progenitors, elder gods, and everything else, I pick and choose what I want to blend with my own ideas and with ideas from other fictional sources. Watching the TV show Ancient Aliens is almost a spoiler since the show seems to deliberately be a series of plot points and background ideas for a superhero campaign.

 

Mystery men started showing up in numbers starting in the early 1920's to combat various rogue military veterans who were committing crimes then crossing jurisdictional boundaries to foil pursuit. Keep in mind this was in the era before the aggressive Hoover FBI the country came to know in the 1930's. Counties didn't necessarily cooperate with each other much less states cooperate with each other rapidly on law enforcement matters. There was a lot of Bonnie and Clyde style activity going on, many times with the perps wearing masks and toting military-grade weaponry. The heroes pursuing the criminals across jurisdictional lines (because the police couldn't) also wore masks and eventually costumes to let any police in the area recognize them as friendlies.

 

After Prohibition and the rise of the criminal cartels, there was more need of mystery men than ever but the FBI became uncooperative with and jealous of their competition. Hoover's men uncovered secret identities of heroes, subjected them to blackmail, and in many cases prosecuted them for minor violations of law during their vigilante activities.

 

WWII saw more legitimately superpowered heroes and more actual permanent teams. The war played out much as it did in real life but with heroes foiling Nazi experiments, supervillains, and monsters on every continent as Hitler continued to devote resources to find the one superweapon which would allow him to conquer the world. Heroes worked closely with Allied command but generally not on large battlefields since the heroes with their unique skills often weren't any more bulletproof or artillery-proof than a normal soldier. There wasn't a pressing need to get a precious and versatile resource like a superbeing killed in the chaos of a random battlefield when he could be much better used in other settings.

 

The atomic bombings in Japan led to the eventual rise of several Japanese mutant heroes and villains plus contributed to the rise of kaiju as a continuing threat in the Pacific.

 

Post-war in the US, Hoover and McCarthy joined forces for communist witch hunts and used the HUAC hearings in Congress to persecute and jail heroes who took a stand in favor of civil liberties rather than blindly following the government line. In later decades, government organizations such as PRIMUS and SAT were formed but there's always been a level of tension and distrust between those organizations and the heroes due to the history of the government not being trustworthy partners for the heroes.

 

During the Cold War, the Soviets used captured Nazi scientists to jump start their own experimentation on political captives in an attempt to engineer superbeings. There was mixed results with a few of the political captives being given superpowers and breaking free and with other created supers being brainwashed into serving the state. However, there was no magic formula found to trigger the development of superpowers in any being at will. The Soviets eventually shared some of their research with the other Warsaw Pact nations and performed experiments on volunteers from various communist groups worldwide in attempts to bolster revolutions and communist governments.

 

No direct imports of heroes and villains from Marvel/DC. Lots of direct imports from HERO products and from various HERO fan sources.

 

As for top heroes, Lucky Strike is probably the most widely known since he's close to a hundred years old, was a TV star in the late 50's and early 60's, and was the corporate mascot for Lucky Strike cigarettes for decades. Lucky Strike has a variety of luck-based powers (he warps probability fields around him so truly bizarre things can happen like the supervillan's beloved mother wandering onto the battlefield and striking up a conversation with the mother of one of the heroes, who also happened to wander onto the battlefield). When his ship was destroyed in the South Pacific during WWII, he washed up on the island which had the Fountain of Youth and survived on its water for a couple of months until rescue. He never discovered the nature of the waters and to this day doesn't suspect the reason why he is immortal. Anyway, Lucky Strike picks up skills and martial arts maneuvers as if they were Tic Tacs since learning things is a great way to fill his time (not only the years but also extra time on his hands due to his inability to sleep) and can consult on a variety of subjects. During his adventuring career, he discovered that he was deliberately chosen and created to be an avatar for Tyme, one of the cosmic beings who underpins the nature of reality in his universe much like Eternity and Infinity do in the Marvel comic book universe. God really does play with dice.

 

Crane is a power armor hero who used to be my PC in another campaign. He was formerly known as Kid Crane, a pre-teen budding martial artist, and was best known for going to hero get-togethers with his parents (legendary martial arts hero White Crane and her gadgeteer husband) and playing with the other heroes' children. When his parents disappeared on a mission, Kid Crane eventually gave in to his curiosity and entered his father's basement workshop. There he found a mostly completed set of power armor which he claimed as his own, justifying in his own mind that it was probably going to be his birthday present anyway. He used the armor to conceal his youth and joined the hero world with the idea that he would eventually find out what happened to his parents, even if he had to work his way through every villain in the world to do it. The power armor systems had a lot of long start-up times for many of its abilities like life support against radiation, life support against cold, nightvision, etc. (presumably most of those bugs would have been worked out if the armor had been fully finished). Crane eventually picked up enough technical skills to be able to maintain the armor systems on his own and became old enough that he no longer had to maintain the pretense in his civilian identity that his parents were still alive and well so that he wouldn't be swept into the foster system.

 

Bount'ee Hunt'r is an alien insectoid bounty hunter (his name comes from his first understandable words in English, his real name in his native language is a series of released pheromones combined with some ultrasonic clicks). He's kind of a cross between Boba Fett and Lobo as far as his legend and skills go. When an alien civilization has a problem with someone who is on Earth and they don't want to mount a full-scale invasion, Bount'ee Hunt'r's name always comes up as a potential way to deal with the irritant. (The apostrophes in his name are there to represent the clicks he makes when he speaks.)

 

Captain Kung Fu was a redneck bar-fighter with way too much DEX and SPD for his own good. He used his physical abilities to simulate being skilled in martial arts and was never on the ball enough to understand that having "Kung Fu" in his name might be offensive to the heroes and villains who really were skilled in real martial arts. Captain Kung Fu died in a hail of machine gun bullets when confronting time-travelling WWII German soldiers, which is what happens when you don't have enough resistant defenses. He has in own statue in the city park of his home town and is fondly remember by its residents.

 

If I start up a game again, I plan to add a couple of my creations from the "Supers Image Game" thread in this forum. Lady Unluck would be a good addition as a counterpoint to Lucky Strike. And Topper would make for a good gentleman villain.

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I don't think I answered all of the original questions.

 

My universe plays out like a blend of the Wild Cards universe and the Marvel universe without much DC influence. If the players want to do a solid 4 color campaign, it would play out more idealistic like classic DC. But I rather like the seedy government with secret projects and schemes which Marvel does just so much better than its competition.

 

I own the original Villains and Vigilantes plus a couple of supplements and the original Heroes Unlimited. I use them mostly for inspiration rather than direct conversion of characters. But I've used the "random character generated by dice rolls" thing from V&V a couple of times to come up with the bare bones of what later became campaign villains.

 

I also own Marvel Superheroes with a number of supplements and the Mayfield DC Heroes with several sourcebooks and modules. I have the issues of Adventurer Club which shows how to convert characters from both of those systems into the earlier editions of Champions. The DC heroes books are good for adaptations of characters and I personally find them much more useful than the Marvel material.

 

The movers and shakers varies. I really enjoy using VIPER, GENOCIDE, Mechanon, and Dr. Destroyer. I'm not fond of Menton. I'm not sure why I feel like I do a better job acting as some villains rather than others when they're all three racist snobs....

 

Bad guys who are written up as being good planners and who lead teams often do things like stealing gold relics and decorations from Catholic churches in Mexico or overthrowing a country in South America rather than committing crimes within convenient driving distance of the heroes headquarters. I try to play the buffoons as buffoons and the brilliant planners as brilliant planners, but I admit that's an area where I struggle sometimes.

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The History of the Champions Earth

 

Mid 1920s through the early 1940s

   The Pulp Era began in 1925 with the first major adventure of Doc Savage and his Fabulous Five; it lasted until the early 40s overlapping with the later heroic age. Among the most active heroes were: Savage (1925-1945), The Shadow (1929-1940), globetrotting explorer Jack Colt (1927-1939), private eye Blake Diamond (1930-1944), Agent 13 (1932-1937) and adventurer Preston Walker (1926-1932). Most kept fighting as long as they were effective, some (Agent 13 for example) dropped out of sight as soon as their “mission” was accomplished, a few like Jack Colt had the end of their careers written in blood, one – Doc Savage – vanished mysteriously only to reappear half a century later un-aged and in perfect health.

 

Late 1930s through early 1950s

   World War II brought forth the Golden Age of Heroes, and for the first time the super-powered hero made his appearance. The late 30s and early 40s gave birth to many heroes whose legends have lived on throughout time. Among the most famous were: Captain America (1940-1945), The Flash (1940-1954), The Atom (1941-1954), Steel (1942-1959), Union Jack (1939-1956), Tricolor (1940-1944), The Human Torch (1942-1947), Bullet (1940-1946) and the man who had started the age - Patriot (1938-1946). One by one the heroes appeared, in July of 1941 they were united by President Roosevelt to partake in a secret mission overseas. From this early gathering came Team America, the greatest gathering of heroes ever seen. Not since the days of Mount Olympus had the world known such power. This was truly the Golden Age of Heroes. Then on the Day of Infamy naval and air forces from the Empire of Japan shattered the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor, aroused from her peacetime slumbers America entered the Second World War. In January of 1942 President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill brought forth all the various Allied heroes and proposed to form them into a single all-powerful group, this was the birth of the Liberty Legion.

 

   But the real heroes of the war were not those who donned colorful costumes and had strange powers. They were the Americans and Canadians, the French and Greeks, the British and Norwegians, the Australians and Poles, the ordinary citizens who joined their nation’s armies in the fight for a free world. These men fought in khaki and green and navy blue, marched through winds and rain, trudged across parched deserts and sailed through icy Atlantic swells. These soldiers risked - and many lost - their lives and to them all specially gifted heroes bow in reverence. And there were yet those brave men and women who fought their war in the shadow world of espionage: Nick Carter, Matt Helm, Hugh North and Jessica Mason. All too often these heroes paid the price of valor with blood. Until at long last their sacrifices were rewarded with victory and with peace.

 

   The war was over and so came the decline of the Heroic Age. The 1940s began with the birth of the superheroes and ended with their slide toward obscurity. The final crushing blow came in 1954 when the successor to the wartime Liberty Legion – The Justice Society of America, came under suspicion by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Rather than divulge their secret identities the Society disbanded, its members retiring to private life.

 

Early 1950s through Early 1980s

   The McCarthy Purges brought on the Age of the Superagents; government founded and operated combined paramilitary, espionage and law-enforcement organizations. The most active agencies were: UNTIL – the United Nations Tribunal on International Law (1950-1970), Task Force X (1954-1969), SHIELD – the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Directorate (1964-2003) and UNCLE – the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (1960-1983). Armed with high technology and nerves of steel they battled the multi-national cartels of crime, terror and conquest: Viper, the Secret Empire, Hydra and Thrush. For thirty years they turned back the tide of evil that threatened to swamp the world. Alone, they stood unflinching and afraid of nothing save the return of the one menace that they were ill equipped to handle. In September of 1983 the menace returned when in the tiny Balkan nation of Latveria, Doctor Doom seized the throne. The Supervillains had returned.

 

Early 1980s onward

   The time had come at last! This was to be the greatest Age of Heroes. It was heralded in by the return of the fastest man on Earth – the Flash in 1983. Among the first of the new breed was test pilot Hal Jordan summoned to the side of a dying alien and given a fabulous ring of power to become – Green Lantern. A freak accident during the testing of an experimental nuclear reactor transforms scientists Mark and Angela Stoddard into Sunburst and Solar. The test flight of an experimental spaceship transforms Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm into Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the second Human Torch and the Thing; thus is born the Fantastic Four. Genius Industrialist Anthony Stark creates the high-tech armor to become the Invincible Iron-man. Mythology and reality collide with the return of the Norse God of Thunder – the Mighty Thor. In Gotham City a child orphaned by a killer’s gun had sharpened his mind and body to a razor’s edge, Bruce Wayne became a cancer on the Underworld in the form of the Dark Knight Detective – the Batman. As the world rushes headlong to the future the rate of genetic mutation is given a violent surge by nuclear research giving rise to the mutant children of the atom and thus emerge – the Uncanny X-Men. 1987 saw the return of the Sentinel of Liberty, the greatest human combatant of all time – Captain America! As a teen Peter Parker learned a hard lesson about power and responsibility, since then he has lived up to that responsibility as the Amazing Spider-man. The child from Krypton, raised in Smallville, had moved to the city of Metropolis where he fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice, this last son of a destroyed world has become the greatest hero of all time – Superman! Schooled by the master mage known only as the Ancient One this former surgeon has become the Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme – Dr. Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts. A victim of mob violence Zack Thomas became the living terror of mobsters everywhere as the dark avenger known only as the Wraith. And still more followed them.

 

   This was now the Silver Age of Heroes and inspired by the teams of the Golden Age some of the greatest that ever lived banded together to face menaces that no one hero could defeat. Taking their inspiration from the post-war Justice SocietyThe Flash, Green Lantern, Atom II and Blue Beetle became the first Justice League of America. In Canada - Blue Star, Sprint, Green Arrow and Apache Chief are the Avant Guard. Across the globe are the four teams of fire and purpose collectively known as Strike Force. But foremost of the teams of the Silver Age are the Earth’s mightiest heroes – the Mighty Avengers.

 

   But these strides forward are not without the occasional step back and the two most disastrous occurred within four years of one another. In 2003, on the recommendation of its director, Colonel Nick Fury, SHIELD was broken up and disbanded as a result of massive enemy infiltration following which Fury and a handful of trusted subordinates spent the next three years cleaning up the corruption. Then far and away worse, in 2007 Superman was struck down saving Metropolis from the rampaging beast that the press dubbed – Doomsday. The greatest Hero on Earth had made the ultimate sacrifice for his adopted home and the entire world mourned in an outpouring of grief the like of which had never been seen. Was this the signal for the decline of the Silver Age? It seems doubtful, UNTIL has been updated and brought back into operation under Fury’s command following the break up of SHIELD. Patriot has returned and taken up residence in Metropolis where he leads a new Strike Force team that has pledged to follow the Man of Steel’s noble legacy and life goes on. Freedom, Liberty and Justice are anything but free. They must be earned through courage, fidelity and sacrifice. But in the end it is that which makes them worth having.

 

   According to definition a Hero is a man who fights against overwhelming odds for a cause, ideals or the lives of innocents. The cause and ideals will vary with the morning’s headlines; while the innocent, in today’s world of muddy morality, may ultimate prove to be the guilty. Which leaves but one constant in that definition. That a Hero is, above all, a man. A man subject to pressures and responsibilities far above those of other men. After a time those pressures and responsibilities can begin to take their toll upon the soul of even the most valiant of heroes. And it is then that the test of a true Hero begins.

 

The True Heroic Age has just begun.

 

 

 

Major Known Heroes of the Silver Age  (1983 onward)

and select Elder Statesman Heroes

 

Name

1st Appeared

Affiliation

Power type

Current Status

Doc Savage

1925

US Gov.

Highly trained / Super Science

Semi-retired

Patriot $

1938

US Gov / L L / Strike Force

Mutate - highly trained

Active - Metropolis

Captain America

1940

T A / L L / Avengers

Mutate - highly trained

Active – East Coast

The Atom

1941

T A / L L / JSA

Mutate - highly trained

Retired - 1954

Sub-mariner

1941

Atlantis / Avengers

Alien – Sea Powers

Semi-retired

Steel

1942

US Gov./ Liberty Legion

Mutate - Brick

Retired - 1959

Nick Fury $

1943

SHIELD / UNTIL

Highly Trained

Active - worldwide

The Flash II

1983

Justice League of America

Mutate - Speed

Dead - 1998

Green Lantern

1984

Guardians / JLA

High Tech - Ring

Dead - 2004

Power Girl

1984

JLA

Alien - Brick

Dead - 1996

Sunburst !

1984

Solar

Mutate – Density control

Active – L.A.

Solar !

1984

Sunburst

Mutate – Energy control

Active – L.A.

Atom II

1985

JLA

Mutate - Shrinking

Active – San Francisco

Ace of Diamonds !

1985

US Gov.

Highly Trained

Retired - 2001

Blue Beetle

1985

JLA

Gadgeteer

Active - Dallas

Mr. Fantastic

1986

Fantastic Four

Mutate - Stretching

Active - NYC

The Invisible Woman

1986

Fantastic Four

Mutate - Invisibility

Active - NYC

Human Torch II

1986

Fantastic Four

Mutate – Flame control

Active - NYC

The Thing

1986

Fantastic Four

Mutate – Brick

Active - NYC

The Hulk

1986

Avengers / Defenders

Mutate - Brick

Dead - 2005

Thor !

1987

Avengers

God of Thunder

Active – East Coast

Iron-man !

1987

Avengers

Powered Armor

Active – West Coast

Doc Pym

1987

Avengers

Gadgeteer

Active – West Coast

Wasp

1987

Avengers

Mutate – Shrinking

Active – West Coast

Professor X

1988

X-Men

Mutant- Egoist

Active – Shiar Galaxy

Cyclops

1988

X-Men / X-Factor

Mutant – Energy blaster

Active - NYC

Jean Grey

1988

X-Men / X-Factor

Mutant - Telekinesis

Active - NYC

Beast

1988

X-Men/ Avengers/ X-Factor

Mutant – Agile brick

Active – NYC

Iceman

1988

X-Men / X-Factor

Mutant – Ice powers

Active – NYC

Angel

1988

X-Men / Defenders

Mutant – Wings

Semi-retired

Midnight $

1988

none

Mutate- Darkness cont.

Active – Hudson City

Captain

 Mar-vell

1989

Kree Militia

Alien – highly trained

Dead - 1998

Lightmaster

1989

Justice League of America

Mutant – Light control

Semi-retired

Doctor Druid

1989

Avengers

Egoist

Dead – 1992

Atomic Knight

1989

Defenders

Powered Armor

Semi-retired

The Batman

1990

Justice League of America

Highly trained

Active - Gotham City

Spider-man !

1990

none

Mutate – Spider powers

Active – NYC

Hawkeye

1990

Avengers

Highly trained

Active – West Coast

Captain Atom

1990

Justice League of America

Mutate – Atomic cont.

Active – mobile

Power Man !

1990

Crusader & Starburst

Mutate - brick

Active – Seattle

Samson the Strong !

1990

Strike Force

Mystic Brick

Active – Metropolis

Superman

1991

Justice League of America

Alien - Brick

Dead - 2007

Crusader !

1991

Power Man & Starburst

Martial Artist

Active – Seattle

Starburst !

1991

Power Man & Crusader

Mutate – Energy cont

Active – Seattle

Black Canary

1991

Justice League of America

Mutate – Sonic Powers

Active – Gotham City

Daredevil

1992

none

Mutate – Hyper Senses

Dead – 2008

Scarlet Witch

1992

Avengers

Mutant – Probability cont

Semi-retired

Doctor Strange

1992

Defenders

Sorcerer

Active – Vibora Bay

Hercules

1993

Avengers

Demi-God – Brick

Inactive

Black Knight

1993

Avengers

Highly trained

Inactive

Mockingbird

1993

Avengers

Highly trained

Active – West Coast

Wonderman

1993

Avengers

Mutate – Brick

Active – West Coast

Blue Star

1994

Avant Guard

Mutant – Electric cont

Active – Canada & UK

Sprint

1994

Avant Guard

Mutant – Speedster

Active – Canada & UK

Green Arrow

1994

Avant Guard

Highly trained

Active – Canada & UK

The Wraith !

1994

none

Highly trained

Inactive

Apache Chief

1995

Avant Guard

Mystic – Grower

Active – Canada & UK

Major Victory

1995

Justice League of America

Mutate – Brick

Active – D.C.

Centurion $

1995

Strike Force

Powered Armor

Active – MA & Hong Kong

Copperhead

1995

Captain X

Powered Armor

Dead – 2000

Storm

1996

X-Men

Mutant – Weather cont

Active – NY

Wolverine

1996

X-Men

Mutant – senses & regeneration

Active – NY

Colossus

1996

X-Men

Mutant – Brick

Active – NY

Black Widow

1996

Avengers

Martial Artist

Active – East Coast

Captain X

1996

Copperhead

Martial Artist

Inactive

Captain Marvel II

1997

Avengers

Mutate – Energy cont

Inactive

Karate Master

1997

Justice League of America

Martial Artist

Active – San Francisco

Ms. Marvel

1997

Avengers

Mutate – Brick

Retired – 2001

The Vision

1997

Avengers

Android – Density cont

Semi-retired

Black Dragon

1997

Strike Force

Martial Artist

Active – US

Atomic Force !

1998

Strike Force

Mutate – Magnetic cont

Active - Florida

Nightcrawler

1998

X-Men

Mutant – Teleporter

Active – NY

Amazing Man

1998

Fantastic Four

Mutant – Phaser

Active – East Coast

Nightmare $

1998

Strike Force

Mutate – Brick

Active – New England

The Flash III

1998

Justice League of America

Mutate – Speedster

Active – St. Louis

The Scarlet Spider !

1999

Strike Force

Mutate – Spider powers

Active - Boston

Gunmetal Silk

1999

Midnight Archer

Highly trained

Active – Chicago

Midnight Archer

1999

Gunmetal Silk

Highly trained

Active - Chicago

Shadowcat

1999

X-Men

Mutant – Phaser

Active – NY

Mind-Star $

1999

Strike Force

Mutant – Egoist

Active – Boston

Tigra

2000

Avengers

Mutate – Cat powers

Active – West Coast

She Hulk

2000

Avengers/ Fantastic Four

Mutate - Brick

Active - LA

War Machine

2000

Avengers

Powered Armor

Inactive

Blademaster !

2001

Strike Force

Highly trained

Active – Paris

Rogue

2001

X-Men

Mutant – brick/ power-leech

Active - NY

Ultrahawk

2002

Strike Force

Mutate – Energy blaster

Dead - 2005

Guardian $

2002

Justice League of America

Mutate – Cosmic power

Active – MA & NV

The Sandman!

2002

none

Highly trained

Active - Hudson City

Starfox

2003

Avengers

Alien – Brick

Inactive

Ms. Marvel II

2003

Fantastic Four

Mutate – Brick

Active - NY

War Chief !

2004

Strike Force

Mystic Brick

Active - Europe

Shadowalker !

2004

Strike Force

Martial Artist

Active - Metropolis

Green Lantern II

2005

Justice League of America

High Tech – Ring

Active – CA

The Ghost !

2006

none

Mutant – Invisibility

Active – Vibora Bay

Wonder Woman

2006

Justice League of America

Amazon – Brick

Active – D.C. and NYC

Jack o’ Lantern !

2007

none

Martial Artist / Gadgeteer

Active – Hudson City

Psi Force $

2007

Strike Force

Mutant – Telekinesis

Active – Metropolis

Harmony $

2007

none

Highly trained

Active – Northeast US

Dark Angel $

2008

none

Highly trained

Active – Hudson City

Longbow $

2008

none

Highly trained

Active – Hudson City

Sea Sprite !

2008

Strike Force

Mutate – Sea Powers

Active - Miami

 

 

 

Major Known Villain Organizations

Name

Leader (s)

Approximate Size

Goals

Viper

Serpent Council

12,000

World Domination

Demon

Inner Circle of Morbanes

8,000

Mystical Power

Hydra

Madame Hydra & Baron Strucker III

11,000

World Domination

A.I.M. 1.

Scientist Supreme

14,000

Recognition of Sovereignty

C.O.B.R.A.  2.

Unknown   3.

1,000

Unknown

The Secret Empire

Unknown  4.

7,500

Rule of America

 

 

Major Currently Active Villain Teams

Name

Members

The Destroyers

The Black Skull II*, Star Smasher !, Sonic Spirit !, Blowtorch !, Ares, Black Paladin !

The Masters of Evil

Baron Zemo III*, Goliath, Mr. Hyde, Living Laser, Boomerang, The Grim Reaper, Tachyon $

The League of Thieves*

King of Clubs*!, Jack of Spades!, Ace of Hearts!, Queen of Diamonds!

The Sinister Squadron

Terminator*, Blacklash, Force!, Shadowdragon!, Bullseye

Brotherhood of Evil Mutants

Magneto*, Mystique, Sabertooth, Blob, Toad, Pyro, Juggernaut, Destiny

Femmes Fatal

Cheshire*, Moonstone, Titania, Howler$

Grab $

Black Diamond*, Bluejay, Cheshire Cat, Hummingbird

The War Machine

Warlord*!, Warbird$, Warcry$, Warhead$, Warmonger$, Warpath$

Eurostar $

Fiacho*, Durak, Feuermacher, Mentalla, Scorpia, Ultrasonique

 

 

 

 

 

Major Active Villains

Name

Stomping Grounds

Power Level

Doctor Doom

Latveria, New York City

Extreme

Loki

Asgard, Northeastern US

Extreme

The Mandarin

Valley of the Dragons in China

Extreme

Ultron XII

Continental US

Extreme

The Joker

Gotham City

Moderate

Ras Al Ghul

Middle East, Gotham City

High

Juggernaut

New York

Very High

Ronan the Accuser

Kree-Lar

Very High

Hobgoblin!

Metro New York

Moderate

The Kingpin

New York City

High

Baron Mordo

Transylvania, Vibora Bay

Very High

Baron Zemo III

Eastern US, Germany

High

Batroc the Leaper

France, New York

Moderate

Thermostar $

Eastern US

Moderate

Green Dragon!

Boston, San Francisco, Hudson City

Low

Star Smasher!

Eastern US

Very High

Crimson Dynamo

Mobile worldwide

High

Force!

New England

Moderate

Grond

Western US

Very High

Blacklash

Los Angeles

Moderate

Boomerang

San Diego

Low

Ares

Olympus, Eastern US

Very High

The Fixer

Western US

Moderate

Goliath

Metropolis

Moderate

Living Laser

Western US

Moderate

Nebula

Mobile - Deep Space

Very High

Moonstone

Continental US

High

Stormfront $

Mid-western US

Moderate

Magneto

Eastern US

Extreme

Galactus

Mobile – Deep Space

Incalculable

Tigershark

Atlantic Ocean

High

Cheshire

Northeastern US

Moderate

Terminator

DC, Baltimore, Gotham City

High

Taskmaster

Hudson City

High

Sinestro

Western US

Very High

Madame Hydra

Western Hemisphere

High

King of Clubs!

Northern US

Low

Jack of Spades!

Western US

Low

Ace of Hearts!

Southern US

Moderate

Queen of Diamonds!

Eastern US

Moderate

Terrax

Mobile – Deep Space

Very High

Mystique

Eastern US

Moderate

Annihilus

Negative Zone, New York City

High

The Absorbing Man

Seattle

High

Kraven the Hunter

Africa, New York City

Moderate

Kang the Conqueror

Mobile across time and space

Very High

Card Shark $

Hudson City

High

The Red Skull

Philadelphia, New York City

High

Mechassassin $

Europe

High

Anubis $

Egypt, Metropolis

Moderate

Blowtorch $

Hudson City

Moderate

Firewing $

Eastern US

High

Howler $

Metropolis

Moderate

Shadowdragon $

Hudson City

Moderate

Icicle $

Chicago

Moderate

Tokofanes $

Southern US

Extreme

Black Skull II

Metropolis, Europe

High

Penny Dreadful !

Hudson City

Low

Baron Strucker III

Eastern Hemisphere

High

Black Paladin $

England, France

Very High

The Riddler

Gotham City

Low

Tachyon $

Chicago

Moderate

Masque $

Eastern US

Low

Talisman $

Vibora Bay

Moderate

The Imperial Khan $

Taqiristan

Very High

 

 

Known Hero Teams of the Silver Age

 

The Mighty Avengers

Founded: 1988   currently active

Sanctioned by: US Gov., UN & UNTIL

Current Bases: Avengers Mansion, New York City

                       Avengers Compound, Los Angeles

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Iron-man

1988 - F

yes

Inactive

Thor

1988 - F

no

Active - NYC

The Hulk

1988 – F

no

Inactive - Dead

Doc Pym aka Ant-man, Giant-man, Goliath & Yellowjacket

1988 – F

no

Active – LA

Wasp

1988 – F

yes

Reserve

Captain America* - EC

1988

yes

Active – NYC

Hawkeye* - WC

1990

yes

Active – LA

Scarlet Witch

1992

no

Reserve

The Beast

1993

no

Reserve

Sub-mariner

1997

no

Reserve

Hercules

1993

no

Reserve

Black Knight

1994

no

Reserve

Mockingbird

1995

no

Reserve

Wonderman

1995

no

Active - LA

She-Hulk

2003

no

Active – LA

The Vision

1998

yes

Reserve

Starfox

2003

no

Reserve

Ms. Marvel

1999

no

Inactive

Captain Marvel II

1997

yes

Reserve

Doctor Druid

1991

yes

Inactive - Dead

War Machine

2001

no

Inactive

Tigra

2001

no

Active – LA

Black Widow

1999

no

Active – NYC

Sersi

2008

no

Active - NYC

Quicksilver

2009

no

Active - NYC

 

 

 

The Fantastic Four

Founded: 1986   currently active

Sanctioned by: US Gov., NYPD & UNTIL

Current Base: Four Freedoms Plaza, New York City

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Mister Fantastic *

1986 – F

yes

Active

The Invisible Woman

1986 – F

yes

Active

The Human Torch II

1986 – F

no

Active

The Thing

1986 – F

yes

Active

She-Hulk

1999

no

Inactive

Amazing Man

2002

yes

Inactive

Ms. Marvel II

2006

no

Inactive

 

The Uncanny X-Men

Founded: 1988   currently active

Unsanctioned Organization

Current Base: Unknown location in New York State

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Professor X

1988 – F

yes

Inactive

Cyclops

1988 – F

yes

Reserve

Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl

1988 – F

no

Reserve

The Beast

1988 – F

no

Reserve

Ice-man

1988 – F

no

Reserve

Angel

1988 – F

yes

Inactive

Storm *

1996

yes

Active

Wolverine

1996

yes

Active

Colossus

1996

no

Active

Nightcrawler

1998

no

Active

Shadowcat

1999

no

Active

Rogue

2002

no

Active

Gambit

2008

no

Active

 

 

 

 

Avant Guard

Founded: 1996   currently active

Sanctioned by: Canadian Gov., UK Gov. & UNTIL

Current Base: Akiminski Island, James Bay, NT

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Blue Star

1996 -F

yes

Active

Sprint *

1996 -F

yes

Active

Green Arrow

1996 -F

yes

Active

Apache Chief

1996 -F

yes

Active

 

The Dynamic Defenders

Founded: 1997   inactive as of 2002

Unsanctioned Organization

Former Base: The Retreat, Arizona

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Doctor Strange

1997 – F

yes

Inactive

The Hulk

1997 – F

no

Inactive

Atomic Knight

1997 – F

no

Inactive

Angel

1999

no

Inactive

 

Justice League of America

Founded: 1986   currently active

Sanctioned by: US Gov., UN & UNTIL

Current Base: Watchtower space station

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

The Flash II

1886 – F

yes

Inactive – Dead

Green Lantern

1986 – F

yes

Inactive – Dead

Atom II

1986 – F

no

Reserve

Blue Beetle

1986 – F

no

Reserve

Power-Girl

1990

no

Inactive - Dead

Lightmaster

1993

yes

Inactive

Captain Atom

1992

yes

Reserve

Black Canary

1993

no

Active

The Batman *

1997

yes

Active

Karate Master

1999

no

Reserve

The Flash III

2000

no

Active

Major Victory

2000

no

Active

Superman

2003

yes

Inactive – Dead

Guardian

2004

no

Active

Green Lantern II

2006

no

Active

Wonder Woman

2007

no

Active

 

 

Strike Force

Founded: 1998   currently active

Sanctioned by: US Gov., UN & UNTIL

Main Base: Strike Force Mansion Command Headquarters, Boston

Additional Bases: Hong Kong, Paris, Miami, Metropolis

 

 

Membership Roster

Name

Year joined

Served as leader

Current status

Centurion * Bos $

Strike Force Commander

1998 - F

yes

Active – Boston, Hong Kong

Black Dragon

1998 - F

no

Active - Boston

Nightmare $

1998 - F

no

Active - Boston

Atomic Force * Mia!

1998 - F

yes

Active - Miami

The Scarlet Spider !

1999

no

Active – Boston

Mind Star $

2000

yes

Active – Boston

Saturn Five!

2001

no

Active - Miami

Ultrahawk

2002

yes

Inactive - Dead

Blademaster * Par

2002

yes

Active – Paris

El Cid !

2002

no

Active – Paris

Patriot * Met $

2003

yes

Active - Metropolis

Musketeer !

2003

yes

Active – Paris

Witch Hazel !

2004

yes

Active - Miami

Dreadnought

2004

no

Active - Paris

Saber $

2002

yes

Active - Metropolis

Challenger !

2002

yes

Active – Hong Kong

Ronin

2003

no

Active – Hong Kong

Commander Atlas !

2004

no

Active - Miami

Steel Dragon * HK !

2002

yes

Active – Hong Kong

Psi Force $

2007

no

Active - Metropolis

GunRunner !

2005

no

Active - Miami

War Chief !

2005

no

Active - Paris

Tsunami

2006

no

Active – Hong Kong

Samson the Strong !

2007

no

Active - Metropolis

Shadowalker !

2007

no

Active - Metropolis

Sea Sprite !

2008

no

Active - Miami

 

 

Notes:

   An F denotes a founding member.

   An * denotes a team’s current leader.

   Footnote 1. A.I.M. denotes Advanced Idea Mechanics.

   Footnote 2. C.O.B.R.A. denotes Corporate Organization for the Benevolent Return to Autocracy.

   Footnote 3. UNTIL suspects the following individuals have COBRA ties and may in fact lead the agency:

                       Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne, Justin Hammer, Alvin Roxxon, James Sinclair, Gideon Stevens.

   Footnote 4. UNTIL believes this may be a front organization for the Red Skull, Hydra or both.

   ! = needs updating, $ = ready to go, no symbol = needs to be created.

 

Metropolis is in southern New Jersey along the Atlantic coast side. Gotham City is in southeastern Maryland on the Chesapeake. Vibora Bay is in northern Florida in the pan-handle along the Gulf Coast. Hudson City is in Connecticut turned 90 degrees so that the city is oriented East /West rather than North/South along the bisecting Stewart River.

 

Anti-aging treatments have been available since the introduction of Perpetuon by Stevens Bio-Med in 2000, a one-time treatment known as Anagathics Beta was introduced three years later. In the former case annual treatments purge the build-up of aging toxins from the body resulting in no change in physiological age, while the later treatment slows the build-up of aging toxins by two-thirds resulting in a physiological aging of one year for every three that pass. Perpetuon treatments cost approximately $750,000 each, down from $3,000,000 when first introduced. The Anagathics Beta treatment costs $400,000, down from $750,000 in 2003. The two treatments are not compatible. Some superheroes have taken advantage of the treatments, some haven’t. In some cases the cities that they protect have footed the bills as a way of thanking the heroes for what they have done over the years.

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My first Champions setting incorporated a great many characters and concepts from the mystical side of the CU.

 

No, wait. That's technically true, but the causality is backward from what it sounds. The mystical CU incorporates a great many characters and concepts from my first Champions campaign. I wrote The Ultimate Super-Mage way back when, based on about 20 years of mystic-heavy campaigns. Steve Long liked it enough to port a lot of it into the CU.

 

My current campaign setting, the Millennium Universe, jettisons all of that. It's all homebrew, except for a few villains whose write-ups I ported in Steve Long does it very well and why reinvent the wheel. (Backgrounds are changed, though).

 

I've always preferred the Marvel style, and my settings reflect that, with one important exception: I have never used "anti-mutant prejudice."

 

My current setting is called the Millennium Universe (because supers start appearing, at least in public, in 2000). I posted a thread about it some time back. Oddly, when I Google it I only get a link to the second page, but it's all archived and available:

 

Millennium Universe Overview - Page 2 - Champions - HERO Games

 

Dean Shomshak

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My "universe" is essentially a collection of spare parts I can slot together when I need one, rather than a coherent thing. These days, though, I'm leaning to not pre-defining the setting, and instead growing it out from the PCs. These two approaches are similar in some ways, since my "spare parts" universes were very light on for background anyway.

 

What published characters do/would I use? Very few. I prefer characters whose write-ups are short and lean - the opposite of the 5e/6e style. Even most 4e characters are a bit long winded for my tastes. On the other hand, I happily steal from Gadgets and Gear, Villainy Amok and the 5e Champions genre book.

 

There are DC/Marvel influences of course. The early Avengers, including the (1965-66) Cap's Kooky Quartet period, are particularly influential.

 

I also draw on elements from the Australian comic industry.

 

I've got a whole pile of material for other superhero RPGs available to mine, although I rarely do this.

 

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Wow.

 

This is well-timed.  Today's youth group game was...  

 

_derailed_ because of this very thing. :lol:

 

The whole youth group gaming was a spur-of-the-moment sort of thing, and I really had no time to prepare.  As a time-saving device, I didn't create a new background; I figured that I'd just drop them into the existing background (you know: the one my main supers group has been playing in since '82. :lol:

 

Yeah...  I didn't think that through.

 

Let's say that the day we started this campaign-- well, the day Jim started it, in 1982, the world was _exactly_ like it was, up until that very moment, except that super-powered individuals have been popping up and doing things for a few generations.  For the most part, they first appeared around WW, and the rate at which they appeared increased ust before WW2.  That was it.  That was the only difference.

 

That world today, though---   Wow.

 

One of the things I believe in whole-heartedly is that the players should have lasting effects on their world.  Dump the joker in jail and fight him again next month?  No.  That's not going to happen in my universe.  First, it's silly.  Second, it works against player satisfaction, and player satisfaction is my most driving force as a GM.  Giving in to them?  No.  But making sure that they are happy with the long-term results of their efforts, and that the time they devote to the story of the game has an effect on it.  If they are playing characters with the ability to "make a difference in the world," then by Crom, they should see that difference as the world evolves.

 

There is absolutely no way I can detail in a forum post all the things that (now) separate our world from the modern world in which we live, but let me touch briefly on the handful of differences I had to explain this afternoon.  (Oddly, these kids loved hearing about the "history" of their new world.  We had a pretty good time today).

 

This all started because a new player (who had been watching us the last couple of sessions and wanted to give it a try) wanted to build a telepath.  Reflexively, I told her that her connection to Opal was a zero-cost power, and if she wanted to be able to block out the other Telepaths in the background she would need a dedicated point of Mental Defense, but it could also be used as regular Mental Defense.  The look of confusion on her face slammed it home to me:  That's nothing that makes sense.

 

So here we go (the much-shorter, likely less-explained version (because typing sucks) of what we discussed today) with a small taste of the things that are different in "the world" today:

 

Opal:

 

During the mid-90s, after the creation of the Hole--

 

oops.  The Hole:

 

A large chunk of the eastern seaboard is now a massive crater.  It runs from W. Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  End result of badly-organized alien attack using un-refined gravitic ore.

 

Opal:

 

The way that Marvel fears mutants-- Jim began a slow burn distrust of telepaths in the late 80s.  After all, what is more scary than someone who can read your mind?  Especially if you're a high-level corporate?  This lead to a love / hate relationship with telepaths and massive corporations.  They were perfect spies and moles, and often hired as such.  But how do you trust them?  How do you know that they aren't selling your secrets?

 

Government agencies, politicians-- military brass.  There was a huge push to keep telepaths at a distance from government anything.  Corporations followed suit (publicly, while hiring them regularly).  Tech agencies made hugh profit selling both effective and bogus "psi-blockers" to an increasingly-nervous public.

 

After the creation of the Hole, and the Texas Stand-off.

 

Oops again--

 

The Texas Stand-off:

 

--

and before that--

 

GM'ing in our group has always been a round-robin sort of affair.  Not everyone in the group, but two, and sometimes three, people share the duties.  Some evenings you're burned out and pass your notes to a sub.  Sometimes you can't make it.  Sometimes you need a break from the "main story" and someone else will run a short-arc for a session or four and give a chance to taste play yourself.

 

One of the subs followed comics and at that time there were inklings of this idea that all superheroes should be arrested and prosecuted as vigilantes.  Doug took this idea and ran with it, mandating that there should be a federal registry and anyone who refused was a criminal.  Ironically enough, it wasn't a year or two later that there was some big comics thing about just that sort of thing: giving up secret IDs and reporting to field agents, etc.

 

At any rate, none of us liked it (it was just so...  anti-comic book; to this day Doug won't tell us if he did it to goad us against it or because it was something he really wanted to see happen.  Good on him.  At any rate, he handled the absolute failure of it with great aplomb).  The build-up led to a showdown between three deputies, two federal agents, and Martin Power, who simply refused on the grounds that he wasn't a super hero.  He was a super-powered individual who helped people who needed his help.  No mask.  No costume.  No Secret ID, and he wasn't going to be drafted into government service.  He was also the most powerful superhuman (by a factor or two) in the universe at that time.  There was no violence, but lots of media coverage.  Martin used this opportunity to announce to the world that anyone with any sort of ability (it wasn't just costumed heroes they were after: all metahumans were required to register, even if the only "power" they had was a photographic memory) to find a way to get to  his farm.  Get to his farm, and he would help them.  Within a few weeks, his farm held over one-thousand alleged "potential threats" to humanity.

 

There was a military show of force and an attempt to split focus.  While a high-ranking group of officials tied up the the players at the main entrance, an armed column attempted to storm the property from the rear.  The alarm was sounded by a sixty-eight year old Baptist minister whose only power was ballistic flight.  He had discovered his powers as a child, and never told anyone.  He never used them for anything but the occasional self-serving joy ride.  Now he was expected to become a government agent, in complete defiance of his religious beliefs.  He wrapped a scarf around his face, launched himself to the Power ranch, and served the others of his kind as best he could.  To protect his family, his mask remained on and he called himself the Red Rocket (his SFX featured a red rocket-like contrail, and South Park hadn't ruined the term "red rocket" yet).  He launched himself to the pow-wow at the front gate, informed the PCs there, half of whom remained to "deal" with the envoy, and the others beat feat for the armed advance.  Red Rocket carried one of the PCs, as she was a T-porter who had not memorized that location.  Red Rocket flew in over the hills, sonic booming and red fire raining down behind him.  As soon as she could see the refugees standing in defiance of the armored column, she teleported to them to organize their resistance.  The moment she disappeared, there was a burst of weapons fire.  Moments later, a handsome sixty-eight year-old black baptist minister fell into the crowd, eyes glazed, blood soaking his modest brown suit.

 

All the PCs had arrived then, and the crowd opened, letting them see Red Rocket.  I was very proud that at as the GM detailed this scene, all the players moved as one.  Within just a few Turns, the entire column was disarmed and the more powerful PCs were destroying the tanks and vehicles.  They went out of their way to hurt _no one_.

 

And the media saw it all.  Martin Power carefully took one of the camera men by the hand and led him directly to the body of Red Rocket.  One of the most poignant images ever aired on television was Martin Power gingerly carrying Red Rocket's body, as two small twins lay holding him, crying "please, Mr. Red.  Please be okay.  Who is going to protect us from the soldiers?"

 

The mandate was instantly struck from all government motions.  It was decreed that Super Heroes apprehending villains was no different from a Citizen's arrest, and no one need be a member of any agency to perform one.

 

Now, Opal:

 

A recurring general in our group was one General Hammond "Ham" Kerrigde.  He had his fingers in several pots under the banner of "national defense."  Like most others of his archetype, his favorite stuff was super weapons and super-surveilance.  He had carefully been working against protocol with regard to telepaths.  His agents had spent nearly two decades searching for "like-minded patriots" who were gifted with Telepathy.  Others of his agents worked tirelessly for technology to increase their abilities while still others focused on training them to be able to merge their gifts into a single signal or a super-acute receptor.  Project Opal was a resounding success, far in excess  of Kerridge's dreams.

 

In a single instant, Opal was born.  A sentient mind of pure psychic energy piggy-backing on the minds of a small group of psychics.  It's first sentient self-directed action was a powerful explosion of psychic energy that momentarily wrapped the earth in a warm, loving blanket, welcoming every telepath on earth into its mind.  In an instant, every living telepath within lunar orbit of earth was connected, irrevocably forever.  Opal itself has little dealings with humans.  It is a mind of a complexity that cannot be understood by mere humans, even the telepaths who's slightest thoughts continue to give it life.

 

Short version:  made for a wonderful story arc fraught with action, confusion, adjustment, and the death and insanity of thousands of telepaths world-wide.  Those who survived are forever linked to Opal (giving them random glimpses of thoughts and concepts so far advanced as to mystify them or temporarily put themselves into a vegetative torpor if they focus on them too closely) and each other.  Further, they are all far more powerful than the were before.  All telepaths are connected to all other telepaths, and not just in thought.  Their minds and emotions are open to each other.  A telepath cannot keep a secret from another telepath.  What one knows, all know.  Obviously, this doesn't make them instantly skilled at everything:  the knowing of a field and the knowing of a procedure are far different than the understanding of it or the practiced technique itself.  Just throwing that in there before someone comes along to tell my why we are all wrong for doing this.  Fact is any Psi has always been beyond rare in the history of our group, and this story arc played out so beautifully that we wouldn't write it out of our world now for anything.  Further, no telepath will harm another, ever.  Because of their bonding under Opal, while each maintains individuality, their over-all sense of self now includes the close connection they share with all others.

 

At this point, Opal is two things: Opal is the sentient gestalt mind with little concern or interest in human activity beyond the occasional need of a human telepath (which Opal has a very slight parental instinct for) to be soothed or reassured (though some of the telepaths who went insane from the onslaught of the initial connection and are now comatose are very well-cared-for by Opal.  When it has finished restoring their minds and helping them adjust, it will release their consciousness back to their bodies.  Periodically, one wakes up and returns to "life."

 

Opal is also that part of all telepaths that is now, forever, involved in global politics.  Having the support or rejection of this aspect of Opal is a powerful thing, and has forever changed the face of politics globally. Fortunately, this aspect of Opal prefers peace, as the telepaths, joined as they are via their senses of self, find it in their own best interest, and the best way to protect each of its component "selfs."

 

Opal will not go away, either the gestalt mind or the connected telepaths of earth.  When a new telepath is conceived, or someone gains the power of telepathy, Opal senses it, and expands its abilities enough to make the link.  Opal is not cruel.  It teaches each of its selves how to block out the connection while the self needs to be a single self, but the connection is always there.

 

 

Commercial flight:

 

There is no self-powered commercial flight in North America.   A small airplane was used as an attempted murder weapon at some point in the eighties (real world); I remember hearing about it on the news: pilot flew it into a small apartment house or something like that.  At the end of all the hullabaloo, it was determined to be completely accidental, and the fact that the pilot and one of the people living there had animosity toward each other was coincidental.  For a day or two, it had the local media thinking "what if?!" until it was resolved.  

 

Well it had us thinking "what if" as well, and when 9/11 happened, it was cemented.  During the moratorium on air travel after 9/11, in the game world, one of the players decided to use his powers to create a small commuter company calling itself Telekinetic Continental and began soliciting for powerful telekinetics, powerful flying bricks-- anyone who could conceivably use their powers to move something the size of an airplane any great distance.

 

Within two years, all civilian "airplanes" are in fact powered by super-humans.  There was no government mandate; it was a logical development made from a unique idea.  In our game world, many super-humans chose to neither defends the world nor destroy it, but simply to live in at as the majority of humans do.  Many of them use their powers commercially, and for them, this was just another opportunity.  Early adopters of super-human-powered flight were lauded with accolades that they were taking steps to remove "flying bombs" from our skies and the companies themselves loudly tooted their horns about the shocking reduction in fuel consumption (and therefore pollution), etc, that this innovation provides.  Eventually, these companies implemented similar programs in Canada, as did some of Canada's own airlines.

Today, there are simply no engine-powered air flights in North America, and very few in Mexico.  Super-human-powered flights are available in Europe and the far east as well, and in India, where this development has made air travel affordable to far more people than ever before.

 

Air travel otherwise is much as it was before: scheduled flights, connections, over-booking, and delays.  Though it is a lot quieter now that "planes" are essentially gliders being lofted and propelled essentially by "human power."

 

Engine powered flight will likely always exist (small craft owned by hobbyists, other countries, etc), but it is nearly defunct in North America.

 

Anyone who remembers the skies and the weather during the post-9/11 moratorium on flight will know just what I'm saying when i tell you that the skies and the weather have never been more beautiful.

 

 

There are many, many more, but it has taken me my entire "computer time" to type up this little bit.  

 

I guess what I wanted to say most of all is that when my players change the world, it stays changed, and they will always have something to look at and say "that was because of us.  We made a difference."

 

Even if it's just weird.

 

 

 

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I almost always try to run my Champions games in the city where the players live.  Usually we live in a big enough city for this to make sense.

 

I then use the Marvel universe as a backdrop and use the Champions villains and organizations as appropriate.  Every once in a while the players will run into an actual Marvel Universe Villain or Villain group and the fun really happens.  For instance when they were fighting the Wrecking Crew.

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I tried something like this once. I ran a campaign set in the city that we all gamed in and the surrounding towns. It was a one on one campaign with the player playing himself as a super. His real life friends and family were the NPCs. We both enjoyed it very much.

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My current campaign runs sporadically when I can.  Here's a very quick synopsis.

 

The players are the preeminent supers team.  Some champions villains have appeared in a form fitting for this universe as starting villains.  For example, Dr. Destroyer was a scientist hired by Primus to work on solving a mutation problem caused by illegal toxic waste being dumped into the sewers and affecting the homeless.  He was fired/quit when there was a severe disagreement with his methodology.  He believes that the world governments are inefficient and ineffective.  He has conquered North Korea and controls all air traffic in the world.  Mechanon was a robot being examined by an unscrupulous business man trying to exploit the technology.  The players accidentally activated him while exploring the business man's laboratory and with its corrupted programming is out to destroy all life as we know it.  Marvel and DC heroes and their dimensional equivalents have visited this universe.  They have had problems with this universes Joker and Harley Quinn and the DC Universe's Harley Quinn and Joker.

 

Right now, they are dealing with this universes Viper which President Trump hired after firing the "ineffective" Primus who couldn't stop Destroyer.  Viper has a very low retirement fund (something due to in all likelihood to the fact that their blasters leak radiation killing the user in about 10-12 years).  After a world martial arts tourney sponsored by wizards, the players lost to a fighter who wished that all the corrupt politicians were removed from Washington DC.  President Trump, at his golf course, was safe but Viper took over Congress in a coup.  Viper now leads the country with President Trump as "the leader of the United States".  The players are currently fighting Viper to take re-control of the country.

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On October 13, 2018 at 6:29 PM, archer said:

I don't think I answered all of the original questions.

 

You know, I didn't either!  

 

Let me attempt to address that.  To be fair, I'm not going to spend near the amount of time on it that I did last night (wife works tonight, so it's double-daddy-duty for me), and even then, saying I scratched the surface of our shared world is a gross overstatement. :lol:

 

On October 13, 2018 at 9:10 AM, tigersloth said:

 1) Whats your universe like?

 

2) who are the movers and shakers?

 

3) is more a DC like place or Marvel?

 

4) What elements of the official champions universe do you use?

 

5) or have you eliminated or changed?

 

6) do you use other games characters such as Mutants & Masterminds or Villains and Vigilantes or Heroes Unlimited?

 

7) or is it a universe of characters you have completely created from whole cloth of your own?

 

8) What about you?

 

[formatting edited in by someone who is not tigersloth.  Hey; I'm not trying to put words (or numbers) into anyone else's mouth, here. :lol: ]

 

1) I have provided a very tiny sample.  Honestly, until my recent attempt to move our existing universe to an entirely new set of players (as opposed to a new player here and there joining one of the existing groups, where they can be coached in as we go), I didn't really appreciate just how much it had changed and grown over the years.  I have to say I am very, very proud of the depth and complexity that has been created merely by the stories we have told since 1981-ish.  I shan't waste your time with more examples; I will only say that I have just recently become fully aware of just how rich it is.

 

2) Movers and Shakers

 

The players, always.  I'm not a big fan of the Harry Potter spectator-to-his-own-life style fiction.  Further, I can't imagine wanting-- or even being able-- to get really invested in a character who will forever be in the shadow of some plot device NPC or worse-- some GMPC.  The great movers and shakers who are in our universe were all PCs once: Willoughby Daniels, creator and founder and still CEO of Daniels Industries-- one of the earth's premier technological research institutes, was Projectile, a PC from our very first adventure  (Jim's brother's character, if I recall correctly).  His origin included him being wealthy with the profits of his tech research and development firm, as well as directly attributing to his gaining powers (lab accident sort of thing).  When he retired the character, the character continued with his private life, and Daniels Industries has continued to set a shining example to the world.  Every time the PCs need to consult with trusted pros for a technical problem in electronics, biology, robotics-- Steven can get a little beam of pride that our help is going to come from his very first character, even if he's an NPC now.

 

And things like that are critical, I think: the game is about the players (and in this case, I include the GM, even if you don't round robin the way we do from time to time).  The story is about the players.  The players _should_ be the movers and shakers.  How many really great books have you read or truly fun movies have you watched (other than Harry Potter) where someone else made all the decisions, took all the moves, made all the actions-- you know: the main character was just an observer?  I don't mean Sherlock's Watson, either.  While he _is_ the narrator, he is _not_ the main character.  Not to say these movies don't exist; not to say these books don't exist.  They do.  And they're terrible.  Sure, in comics, you have a hero who is "of a level," and is affected by X / can affect Y; subservient to A / master of B.  He will only ever be 'so' great.  That's fine-- for a book.  You know: where one writer really is _all_ the characters: he _is_ the lonely detective and he _is_ the powerful congressman.  He is everything he wants to be, and by default, even if his main character is a simple beat cop hunting a clue, he is also the powers that be.

 

When you have four, six authors, each contributing through control of one single character...   it's frustrating if they are not allowed to affect the world; if they are not allowed to grow into one of the prime forces in your little shared universe.  It will take time, cooperation, and effort, but if they will never leave the shadows, they will eventually leave the table.

 

4) elements of the Champions Universe

 

None.  Well, mostly none.  our first adventure featured the GM using a couple of villains I _assume_ are from the 1e book.  When I bought 2e, Jim ran us through the little adventure that came with it, and he used the villains from the second little pamphlet (the one with the weird staples in it).  For reasons I don't really understand, Cheshire Cat remains in our universe (though not the new one with the goofy cat hat.  "Our" CC hasn't changed his look since 4e.  He also talks like a news anchor.

 

Foxbat is on-again, off-again, and almost exclusively to help new players get familiar with the system or to complicate a situation that has gone wrong in a genuinely humorous way.  He doesn't pop up often.  I think he's popped up in a non-introductory fashion maybe five?  Six times?  Like since his inception.  I used him and Leroy a few weeks ago to demonstrate to the youth group I've been conned into running ;) to introduce them to the system in a fun and non-threatening way.  That's about what he's good for, in our group anyway.

 

We sort of use the 4e, 5e, and 6e Champions:  They all died in horrific ways, and some of them are vaguely remembered.  Defender is still alive in a wheelchair and makes a living as a TV repairman.  Before everyone looks at me like I've eaten the sacred cow, it wasn't my doing.  To be fair, I'm not unhappy about it.  But the other GMs were so unhappy about the "replacement Champions" that they took measures to make sure they never popped up in our games in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  Each died a humiliating, ignoble death; I remember that.  Don't ask me what they were, because I don't remember.  My contribution was that the only Champion still active is Seeker, because I just couldn't imagine anything that would add more salt to the wound than that. And he has never, and will never, be a part of our game sessions or impact our world in any significant way.  The last anyone heard of him was his press conference that he was off to search the planet for the malevolent force responsible for the deaths of his teammates.  And his 5e replacement teammates.  He took out his 6e replacement himself, believing that this was the person behind the deaths of the others.

 

The bulk of our "elements" come from two sources:  the real world around us, and the character sheets of the PCs.  if a player takes a particular Hunted-- or Hunting-- then that character must exist.  Who is he?  What does he do?  Where does he do it?  _How_ does he do it?  Is it a he, or a they?  Same questions, over and over, until they get answered.  If it becomes a major piece of the set, it gets easily, casually, and co-operatively ret-conned in.  For example: the original concept of our universe was super-humans started showing up (at least publicly and in costume) around WW1, with their numbers and incidence slowly increasing ever since.  Then, a few years ago, while I was working up a couple of villains for a session, my daughter, just past her toddler years, wanted to "help."  She "made" a character.  She told the story she wanted, and I fleshed it out.  Owing to the nature of the character's origin (to pull together all the disjointed elements a five-year-old thinks are coherent :lol: ) , the universe changed again, and Big Jack Brass became the world's first superhero in the 1860s.  He would remain a force for good, showing up here and there, every now and again, until the great awakening that occurred during WW1.

Further, we have no history of great superheroes and individuals from the past (beyond the real greats of the real past, of course).  Why?  Because comic books don't, either.  Sure: you can point to a hundred examples in thirty seconds of superheroes from the thirties or forties.  But you know what?  I can, too!  Why?  Because they are not in the past.  They are still active.  They are still published.  They get ret-conned and brought forward, over and over and over again-- Tony Stark was first captured during the Korean War, if I'm not mistaken.  How old would that make him today?  I'm not precisely sure (because I don't know what age he is supposed to be), but if my grandfather was any example, I'm thinking "pretty damned" is accurate enough.

 

Our set pieces come from origin stories and Disadvantages and Contacts and professional skills-- all sorts of places, but they all have one thing in common: they can be found on character sheets dating back to 1981, and they run on as recently as six (seven?  Yeah; definitely seven) weeks ago.  Not only does it give us a rich and full backdrop, but it gives us a _mutually-created_ backdrop: I promise, in the long run, your players will enjoy having had as much--perhaps even more-- creative input as the GM did.  And it's so stinking _easy_!  It's not a matter of having to make huge changes (usually.  Once in a blue moon you have to add an alternate Wal-Mart around the globe, or note "except for the first guy, who appeared in the 1860s" :lol:  It's just a matter of folding into the story a few elements that the player thinks are important for his new character, and letting it grow on its own.

 

I suppose this, maybe, counts as using published elements (?)  We have used some of the location names.  Not the settings, even a little bit, but the fact is that from the earliest days we have fought the good fight in Campaign City (which I have explained elsewhere), which has led to a tradition of fictional locations (we use real ones, too, but most of us aren't familiar with any "real" metropoles (yes; I know it's wrong.  Laugh with me!  :lol: ).  Sometimes, when things are so far off track that the locals have never even seen a railcar, you've got to wing it for a minute until you can get your bearings.  Sometimes "Cooperston" doesn't just flash to mind, but you remember the name of that setting book you saw online a couple days ago....  If that counts, then we do have some "official" place names, even if we can't tell you p-turkey about the official setting.

 

5)  Eliminated or changed:

 

We have eliminated everything.  Well, we have "eliminated" (best read with a nice, Schwarzeneggerian accent) the Champions-- at least, all of them who weren't the originals, in the manner that various GMs though most fitting for usurpers to the various thrones.  But that could be simply "not using," since they DOA in our universe.  Other than that, we use nothing official.  Sure, we-- the various members of various groups- -have various sourcebooks for this, that, or the other.  We want to support our brand, like anyone else, and we do enjoy reading them and looking for inspiration ---

 

On that note, why is every damned 5e PDF missing the cover and in full-on greyscale?!  Do the colored electrons cost more?  Jeez.  Sometimes you _want_ the book, but either can't afford-- or, more commonly under the new model, weren't around for one of the two hundred printed ones ever published (I know; but I swear that's what it feels like, and _don't_ tell me "POD!" because _NO ONE_ is doing it, despite what they claim.  "Sure, so-and-so .com sells the book POD."  "Hello, so-and-so .com?  I'd like to purchase a POD of this book. "  "are you on crack, Buddy?  We did that for like a week, and we ain't ever doin' it again."  "But your add--" "is wrong.  It ain't hap'nin'.  Why don'cha buy a nice greyscale PDF?  Ya kin print dat.  Oh, you might want three or four "black" cartridges for the splash page, though, cause they painted the thing solid black on every one of them."--  Do us less-financially-able fans not deserve color?  Or cover art?  Don't say it's file size, because memory has been cheap for a couple of decades now.

 

Sorry.

 

Moving on---

 

We don't use anything published.  It's not snobbery; we just don't need to.  Character sheets gave us our earliest (and some of our best) villains and organizations ( evil _and_ good), and we filled in the blanks as we played.  Character sheets _still_ give us our best stuff-- so much so that, unfortunately, some of it _has_ gone unused.  It exists, but it never got explored. :(  Adding anything from outside would just be clutter, really.  Heck, we don't even use all the rules! :lol:

 

6) Characters from other game sources?

 

No.  For all the reasons listed above.  The Iron Duke tempted me, but that was likely just a personal conceit. ;)

 

 

7)  Your own personal universe from whole cloth?

 

Yes!

 

No!

 

Yes?

 

No?

 

Yo?

 

I'm going with "yo," just to be safe.  As noted: our first adventure, and one other, used published characters.  Cheshire cat pops up every couple of (real) years.  Foxbat serves a specific purpose for "one-off" non-cannon training events.  The Champions _exist_.... sort of....

 

But I can't say "I built it," either.  I inherited it from my first GM: I became his co-GM, and eventually his job took him far, far away from us.  I had a new co-gm, and he added stuff.  There are currently 3 "GMs" in both of my regular weekly games and my monthly game.  I am the only GM for the youth group, but I also think that as school turns fun in the winter (festivals, dances, football games, etc), it will draw to a close shortly enough, and likely unfinished. 

 

But the GMs didn't make it all themselves, or even as a team.  As noted above, the bulk of our universe came straight off character sheets, right down to retired characters being active as important (or unimportant) NPCs.  Our world was and is and as it never really stops growing likely will always be the end result of some delicious "group think."  It started out that way from a necessity that quickly became a habit that has grown into a much-loved tradition.  In the end, it was built exclusively by every single player who has ever sat at our table.

 

8) What about you?

 

No; of course I'm not in there!  I'm old, fat, have two kids and a bad heart.  I have no business what-so-ever running around in spandex (aren't you lucky!) taking swings at evil masterminds.  The very notion is ridiculous!

 

:D

 

 

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Well, crud!

 

I skipped Question 3, even after enumerating it.

 

3) Is it more DC or Marvel?

 

I have no idea.  Seriously.  I am not versed enough with comics to answer that.  Oddly, the same can be said for the majority of my players.  In fact, comic book publishers might want to get on the stick and start making good, episodic, affordable stuff again, because I've noticed that the younger a person is, these days, the less likely he is to know diddly-over-squat about actual comics.  He knows the cartoons or the movies, and that's it.

 

I can tell you this much:

 

As a non-comics guy, the constant discussion about "Marvel Movies good; DC movies bad"-- or vice-versa-- is hilarious.  As a person without enough comics background to really give a rip about either of them, the only actual differences between these movies is not story, plot, director, or anything else.  They're all just as good as each other (except Iron Man 3.  That was just awful.  Even worse than Spiderman Homecoming and Winter Soldier put together).

 

I would love to say my lack of background makes me more objective, if only because it amuses me to think of the zoo-level poo-fling fest that would occur immediately after.  In all seriousness, though, my ignorance does allow me to judge the movies based solely on themselves.  In my own, uneducated, expert opinion, the only real appreciable difference between the Marvel Movies and the DC movies is the lighting.  If you can clearly see all the glorious background details-- little thing.  Like the sun. It's a Marvel movie.  The whole world is made of shades of blue highlighting black and grey, it's a DC movie, because apparently they bought all their cameras and sets from 1994.

 

But the movies from either group are just as good as the other guys.

 

Truth to tell, if the movies are any reflection of the comics, then the only real difference seems to be that ridiculous mutant thing, and we don't have that.  We had a long-running fear of telepaths thing-- I mean for like twenty _real_ years, which would be something on the order of sixty game years---

 

Oh; let me explain that.  We Retcon backwards.  Or sideways.  Or whatever we need to do.  Characters aren't fixed in time in our universe any more than they are in comics.  Remember the example of Tony Stark first being captured in the Korean War, then Viet Nam, and most recently the middle east?  They keep moving him up so they can reboot him?  Honestly, I think that _most_ aspects are "reboot" are far better suited to what comics do than is "retcon," but I suppose they do a lot of that, too.

 

We go the other way.  A player retires a character after a few years of play. He wants his new character to be able to say "I was so inspired by him when I was a kid!"  Fair enough.  That character steadily slips back just a bit in time, little by little, until his associates retire or move on or -- well, until they all become NPCs one way or another.  When that happens, well it's a step forward in time; we're now in the life of the adult who was inspired by those early heroes.  It works far better than you'd think, as it allows you to "catch up" for all that combat time and downtime between games that was wasted.  You know:  just because the heroes finally made it to the eastern border of Badistan (not a place in our world; just something that amused me) and the GM says "it's three in the morning.  Go home.  We'll pick it up next week."  Odds are those characters didn't stand there for a week before making their next move.  All that lost time can be pulled out of the story and placed at the end of it.  How easy is it?  How well does it work?  So well, and so easy that we didn't even notice we were doing it until one of the players decided his new PC was the grandson of another player's PC he retired a year or so prior.  Then it just sort of hit all of us. :rofl:  It works great.

 

But I don't think either comic company does that routinely.  The goal of comics is status quo at all costs, and constantly dragging characters _forward_ so they don't have to age and disappear until long after they stop selling books.  Then they just start appearing in other character's books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes; that's a large blank space, and it has a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That one, and the one after it (just before this, if you were wondering) are intended to draw attention to this last little bit:

 

We definitely have a feature in our campaign that we did _not_ create ourselves, and I can't remember who it came from.  I remember where, though.  It came from this very board, many years ago.  I attributed it to the author when I first introduced it, but I no longer remember who it was.  (granted, I never told my players _all_ of it).  It was the delightful, upscale chi-chi restaurant "Le Piège Évident."  After using it four or five times, I even had one PC remark "Man, why do the _always_ want to meet us there?  I swear, something happens _every time_ we go there!"

 

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

 

The gig was up when the wife of one of my players started playing.  She speaks French, and the first time I sprang it on the group with her in it, she laughed herself to hiccups. :D

 

I am so sorry I don't remember who you were, but I really want to thank you for that bit.  It has been so very, very wonderful in terms of long-game payoff. :)

 

 

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When Champions 1e came out, I was in high school, and I was already in a group that ed "Advanced Melee/ Wizard, and Bushido. After the con, we all returned with out copies of 1e, made characters, and started running. We never looked back on Melee/Wizard after that.  Also at the time was the middle of Chris Clairemont's run on The X-Men, so we loved the complications. Our Champions world was mostly made of  Hero products, with a dose of Marvel attitude and such.  We traded GMing Duties, and this became something of a shared universe.  Being a bit mathtarded, I tended to GM the least for Champions, mostly because I wanted to play, but I GMed enough that I put my stamp on some of it. It was basically made up of mostly the Hero official product, and what ever the Adventurer's Club published. (I Do remember one of our players becoming dramatically unhinged after his more perfect than perfect hero rant into the Gilt Complex. Wasn't my doing.) We  would use book villains, but each of us had their own custom villains, that they would crack out if things got too predictable.   The setting was the San Francisco Bay Area, where we lived, but back then the cold war was still a thing and the locality had a number of military bases, most of them closed now, so there was a bit of a cold war influence.  While we didn't use Marvel Heroes and villains, we did occaisionally file the serial numbers off if we wanted to try out a type of character. However we did use a lot of  Marvel  plots. At the time most of us in the game had vast comics collections, and could pull some scheme together from our long boxes. all in all, it was fun, until the group fell apart when everyone left for their various colleges, though we would still get together at conventions or a time.

Then I got invited to the fantasy Hero Playtest, and my attitude towards GMing changed.

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On 10/13/2018 at 9:40 PM, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Heavily modified Champions Universe using elements from all editions along with my own stuff.

 

Pretty much this. Quite frankly, even though I can name major characters from DC and Marvel, I couldn’t really tell you the difference between those two Universes.

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Superhumans have always been around.  At first they were though of as Gods but as Humanity gained knowledge and technology they were hunted as Demons and Witches.  Finally they were accepted after helping out in the American Revolution which started the whole costume adventurer tradition while fighting the Tories.  Currently non-powered costumed adventurers are called Crime Fighters, and those with powers are called Superheroes.  Legally those who aren't working for the Government are Bounty Hunters.

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My Champions universe is sort of like...

"What if Steve Gerber, Steve Ditko, Peter David, and Kurt Busiek team-wrote a comic combining Big Trouble in Little China, The Muppets, The Court Jester, Clue, and Princess Bride then it was made into a movie directed by Ed Wood, John Carpenter, Kevin Smith, Taika Waititi, and Brad Bird, starring Brendan Fraser, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Weisz, Gina Torres, Helen Hunt, and Lori Petty with a soundtrack by Weird Al, Gorillaz, Devo, the B-52's, White Stripes, They Might Be Giants, and The Shaggs?"

 

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RDUNeil's RDU is now so far removed from Champions Universe, as the Earth has been impacted by 30 years of gameplay.  We are now in the realm of social science fiction after an apocalyptic war with an alien invasion as irrevocably changed the planet.  Talking about 80% casualties.  Mars is terraformed.  LA is gone.  England is Fey realm.  Atlantis has re-emerged.  Nation states are in total disarray.  I could go on.  

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