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Starting Points For A Low Level Campaign


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Hi Everyone,


After a 13 year lapse I'm getting back into playing Champions again. In the past our group always played the default power level or higher(250 points - 350 points). I'm wanting to run a lower level campaign similar to the "Wildcards" series of novels.

The player's characters will only have one or two powers, or be highly skilled(martial arts, special forces, etc.).


The Champions genre sourcebook suggests something like 200 points or so. I still think that may be higher than what is needed.

I've seen decently powered characters posted on rec.games.frp.super-heroes built on 100 - 150 points.


Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent amount of starting points for a "realistic" supers game? Also, what would be a good ratio between the character points and disadvantges(ex. 100 character points & 50 disadvantages, 75 & 75, etc.).


Any suggestion or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks for your time,

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200 points is a good start for a lower level game. I believe the reason for the suggested higher points in FReD (5th Ed) is so that the PCs don't have to skimp on the skills. In the past, when creating a PC, too many people were putting nearly all their points into powers. (I've seen this in PCs presented to me at gaming conventions- PCs with no non-combat skills... can you imagine?) But now people can put the same amount into powers that they always have and still get some decent skills for their PC. Personally, I think it's a great idea. In our group, when we played 4th Ed, we set a standard: 10% of a character's points must be in non-combat skills (Breakfall counted as a combat skill due to it's usefullness). Even then, it seemed that most people in our group still bought as many skills as possible, and all at the minimum cost. Now we don't have to do that. With more points to spend on skills, the characters are well-rounded and work better in non-combat situations.



Just have your players put more points into non-combat skills and actually put more than the bare minimum points in skills the PC excels at. I'd say, for a game like you are describing, set a minimum of 50 or 60 points out of the 200 for non-combat skills, perks, contacts etc., but not for talents. That should do it. :D






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I think Champions 5th edition raised the bar a bit on power levels. You can still make a really good character for 250 pts or less.


Here's some advice that might help (or it might not, but hey, ya never know, right?).


Brilar, make a villain or two for your game. Aim for 150, 175 or even 200 pts (I like 175pts if only because it's one half of the "standard" 350pts). If you can come up with a good villain for that amount of points, then that's what you should institute as the limits for your game.


My recommendation would be to make the limit 150 or 175 pts, then only allow up to 50 (or 75) pts to be spent on "powers", and for our purposes higher-than-normal stats are considered powers. Magmarock's suggestion also is good--mandatory skills, say 10% of points, or a set 15pts, or whatever.


If you make the game 150pts, give them up to 75pts in disads, only half which can be Psych Lims. If you make the game 175 pts, same thing--75 in disads but only half in psych lims.


If you decide to go the 200 pt. route, give them 100 in disads but allow up to 60pts in Psych Lims.

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Guest Keneton

350 is fine


Do not limit points, just set an active point or DCceiling. I lieu of this use the ER from Digital Hero #3 possibly set at MAX 75 for a low powered campaign. If you want grit, set the er limit to start at 65 or 70 with a max of 75.


Watch CV's and speed and you will be fine. Limiting points limits people to also having less skills and such wich may be the opposite of what you really want to do.


I'd prefer a fleshed out low powerd guy to 150 points spent on powers with no reagrd to skills. Limiting points will find that result!


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I wouldn't go below 175. 200 or even 225 would be fine IMO. Other folks here have it right. If you restrict points too much you just end up with PC's that have too few skills.


I just built a couple of 100 point NPCs 'skilled normals.' I could barely get everything to fit skill & stat wise even without powers for two of them.

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200 points seems right to me.

Limit the amount of powers a character can have..Tachyon and Tommy are definitely not designed as PC's, and are more apporpriate for actual Champs Campaigns.

Restrict Elemental Controls completely

Severely Question Multipowers.

Don't forget to engineer the "realism" that wildcards has...the only "true blue" super in the game is probably the Turtle, and HE is socially dysfunctional.



Billy Ray has speed, slightly parahuman strength, and karate...plus his regeneration...and very little else other than attitude and guts.

The Harlem Hammer has PD, maybe ED, and STR.

Tachyon has an EC or Multipower with Mental Abilities.

Shadow has Darkness, and a ranged power transfer

Wraith has Desol...perhaps with "Usable against Objects" in a pinch, or an additional desol that affects the real world...and no other powers.

Tommy has a Telekinetic Multipower or EC of phenomenal level for the wild cars universe.

Tripps (the Multiformer) obviously spent damn near all of his character points on the Multiform. JJ Flash is an EC Flame Projector, Aquarius a mild brick with shape shift (or his own Multiform) and tremendous swimming speeds, the martial artist has metahuman damage absorbtion and an invisibility in darkness, Cosmic Weenie has shape shift and desolid.

Croyd Crenson...is a Varaible Power Pool, and a few fixed settings...STR, DEX...PL: Occasional Joker Aspects

Brennan has skills, combat training, zen, and a small multipower for his bow.

Golden Boy is off the scale too, but doable...PD/ED, STR...and that's about it. No real movement ability. A LOT of skills though...look at his manuevering during the political debates. He's just a rotten detective. :)

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Thanks for the rundown on the Wilcards. I remember seeing somewhere(the Great Net Book of Heroes..I think)full fledged character write-ups for several of the Aces and was suprised by some of their point totals(both high & low).


Outside of Tachyon & the Turtle the only other Aces I can remember being of "normal Champions" power level would be Fortunato and the Astronomer, even though I would like to see a write-up for Bloat. :D




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Bloat seems more of a plot device than an actual character...


I think he'd be the most expexsive for sure...I'd certainly reread that book if I was considering it.


I was particularly fond of the Ace that was Monroe's bodyguard in Card Sharks...he was comfortable with his abilities and had that "detective" aura... :)

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Originally posted by Brilar



Thanks for the rundown on the Wilcards. I remember seeing somewhere(the Great Net Book of Heroes..I think)full fledged character write-ups for several of the Aces and was suprised by some of their point totals(both high & low).


I've got a few writeups in the GNBoRH (Billy Ray, Blaise, some others). Michael Surbrook has done a couple of the Wild Cards, as well.



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