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Perceptions of the game change

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1 minute ago, assault said:

 

Out of curiosity, why shouldn't it be an end of the world crisis? If anything, they are easier to play and run.

 

Are you worried about the PCs failing?

 

I actually find a a good crime spree or mystery easier to play and run 😉

 

But to answer the question. 

 

First, in a superhero story the End of the World Crisis is the climax, not the beginning. 

 

Second, the target audience should be new Champions gamers that are trying to learn the game without any insight or assistance by anyone with experience.  This means their character builds will not be built very well.  So we dump new built PC's being played by new players with a GM who is still learning the rules and have them take on Mechanon or Doctor Destroyer?  Not a good way to introduce a game. 

 

No, give the players and GM's something that they can play a get comfortable with the game.   One of the strengths of the current D&D Adventure Campaigns is that they are designed to be played with newly created characters.  It means that everyone can play them regardless of how experienced they are with D&D.  A beginning/Intro campaign needs to be aimed at beginning players using beginning characters.  Follow on campaigns can begin moving toward more detailed or complex games. 

 

But the emphasis needs to be selling the basic game in the first place.  Which means you need an accessible basic campaign for them to play.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Spence said:

 

You are actually mixing two completely different things here.

 

Valid point.  In my defense, I've had a couple of decades of exposure to the "you can make any character and any world you want" marketing pitch for HERO; it kind of stuck that I should stay generic there...   :lol:  But yes; you make a valid point.

 

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The problem is that while Hero has a setting called Champions, they stopped.  No that is not right.  They only partially supported it. 

 

It's also why I can't really be the guy to produce an adventure: the bit in the back of BBB (which the "Mob Rule" comments the other day demonstrated I don't remember for _squat_ these days) and the Hudson City / Dark Champions stuff were about all the "official" world there was, and they really didn't overlap a lot in the official material.  Someone mentioned San Angelo a page or two back, and honestly, _that_ setting was better-supported than anything that wasn't Dark Champions back then.  And really, it's about all I know of the "official" setting.  At this point, I've been running in my own universe so long that when 5e stuff suddenly appeared, I just didn't need it.  There was a lot of it, yes, but it was just _years_ too late to be of any use to me.  The original Guardians have all retired; the 4e Champions are all dead at the hands of the Silver Shrike (except for Defender, who is a wheelchair bound research scientist at the premiere technology company of my universe....

 

Mechanon got destroyed early on; Dr. Destroyer is dead by his own hand ( caught up in his own nuclear device plot)-- the list goes on and on.  The only thing the 5e re-hashing of thirty-and-more year old properties did for me was a trip down memory lane.

 

You are _absolutely_ right; it was not supported, but really, it _couldn't_ be, because there was nothing new, and there was absolutely no way to know if any of these characters or setting still had value.  The "new" stuff was a couple of settings (which would have been a great place to start printing new adventures with new characters and new villains).  The most interesting "new" thing was the talking gorilla super-scientist, but I can't use that either because I already _have_ one!  It's a _staple_ of comics, so we tossed one in a few years ago and he still pops up now and again.  Though honestly, he's insanely popular with all of my groups, but more than him they love his research assistant.  Go figure...

 

Anyway, before this goes more astray:  A new location:  Check.  We got Millennium City.  New characters: Check.  We got Kinetic.  New villains:  uhm....   _some_....?  I think?  Okay, some.  Right there: that's where a couple of adventures start brining things to life.  But it didn't happen.  Instead, we got the history of the universe from the big bang to how it all ends at some point where you want to start creating your adventures.

 

 

 

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  It is why I so dislike the move to POD casts.  I just don't have any time to participate and I can't really listen to them as a back ground to work.

 

Oh man do I hear you there!

 

Though honestly, I wish I were more tech-savvy.  If I could write a bit of software that would edit out the filler words "errr...  hum...  uh....  like, .....  yeah; oh yeah... yeah..." and the long dead pauses, not only could I make enough money to hire "paid pros" to create adventures, I could listen to four hours of podcast in roughly eighteen minutes.

 

 

 

 

Quote

No Mega-Villains. 

 

Fine by me.  All the "official" universe ones were dealt with in my universe a generation ago anyway.

 

 

2 hours ago, assault said:

 

Out of curiosity, why shouldn't it be an end of the world crisis? If anything, they are easier to play and run.

 

Are you worried about the PCs failing?

 

 

I can't answer for Spence, but I _can_ tell you why I agree with him:

 

It's asking for a _lot_ of commitment to a game world that, for the new player, isn't even a tangible thing yet.  They've made no friends, enemies, or connections, or tied themselves to it in any way, yet they are supposed to feel stirred to save their friends, family, community, and world from certain doom at the hands of what'd-you-say-his-name-was-again?   It's a bit much as a first step.

 

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 12:00 AM, Beast said:

then Champions Complete in a starter box or as a starter pdf package

 

 

If you're looking at a starter kit of some kind, I would leave Champions Complete out of it. The idea for most beginner boxes is to create sales for core products. For such a product, I would include a limited version of Sidekick that covers the basics and maybe gives a handful of templates to play with. Then include an adventure book, a flip map, some standees (or pawns), a good set of 12mm d6s, and a pad of simple character sheets. I would really recommend looking at the D&D 5e Essentials Kit as an example of how to do such a product.

 

21 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:
 

<---Paid pro right here, and yes I can do that Digital Painting style. and yes, I can volunteer a couple of pieces, BUT I would rather be paid, please.

 

Please pay Scott, as he deserves it. I've been a fan of his since he worked on Hero books and hate to see a creator go unpaid. 

 

4 hours ago, Trechriron10 said:

I have three words for HERO games.

 

Content. Creator. Program.  (DTRPG --> Lots of Eyeballs --> Share the profits --> If the creator does well HERO makes some cash...)

 

Also, Kindle versions would be amazing. I read my Fire on the Porcelain Throne and it would be awesome to read HERO there... :D

 

Hero's licensing program is pretty good. I've had a few discussions with Jason Walters, and he's always been very approachable about things. As far as e-book or Kindle variants, a Kindle Fire can read PDFs quite well. That's how I carry most of my RPG books around when I travel. If you haven't grabbed it, I suggest getting the Adobe Acrobat app for it. Works like a charm.

 

In reality, from what everyone is talking about, what you mainly need at this point is money. Particularly if you'd like to put a set like this together professionally. Few people enjoy working for free, and a project like this is unlikely to put them on the map. This means hiring at least one writer, one or more artists, and someone to handle layout and logos, not to mention editors. Particularly if you want something high end (like Pathfinder or D&D). A project might do well on Kickstarter, but it should cater to old and new gamers alike. Maybe this might be better as a universe starter set that's "Powered by the Hero System" like a few other books have been? That way it could be something new and work as a primer to a new supers universe that could be inspired by Champions (and other like properties).

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2 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

Valid point.  In my defense, I've had a couple of decades of exposure to the "you can make any character and any world you want" marketing pitch for HERO; it kind of stuck that I should stay generic there...   :lol:  But yes; you make a valid point.

 

 

It's also why I can't really be the guy to produce an adventure: the bit in the back of BBB (which the "Mob Rule" comments the other day demonstrated I don't remember for _squat_ these days) and the Hudson City / Dark Champions stuff were about all the "official" world there was, and they really didn't overlap a lot in the official material.  Someone mentioned San Angelo a page or two back, and honestly, _that_ setting was better-supported than anything that wasn't Dark Champions back then.  And really, it's about all I know of the "official" setting.  At this point, I've been running in my own universe so long that when 5e stuff suddenly appeared, I just didn't need it.  There was a lot of it, yes, but it was just _years_ too late to be of any use to me.  The original Guardians have all retired; the 4e Champions are all dead at the hands of the Silver Shrike (except for Defender, who is a wheelchair bound research scientist at the premiere technology company of my universe....

 

Mechanon got destroyed early on; Dr. Destroyer is dead by his own hand ( caught up in his own nuclear device plot)-- the list goes on and on.  The only thing the 5e re-hashing of thirty-and-more year old properties did for me was a trip down memory lane.

 

You are _absolutely_ right; it was not supported, but really, it _couldn't_ be, because there was nothing new, and there was absolutely no way to know if any of these characters or setting still had value.  The "new" stuff was a couple of settings (which would have been a great place to start printing new adventures with new characters and new villains).  The most interesting "new" thing was the talking gorilla super-scientist, but I can't use that either because I already _have_ one!  It's a _staple_ of comics, so we tossed one in a few years ago and he still pops up now and again.  Though honestly, he's insanely popular with all of my groups, but more than him they love his research assistant.  Go figure...

 

Anyway, before this goes more astray:  A new location:  Check.  We got Millennium City.  New characters: Check.  We got Kinetic.  New villains:  uhm....   _some_....?  I think?  Okay, some.  Right there: that's where a couple of adventures start brining things to life.  But it didn't happen.  Instead, we got the history of the universe from the big bang to how it all ends at some point where you want to start creating your adventures.

 

 

 

 

Oh man do I hear you there!

 

Though honestly, I wish I were more tech-savvy.  If I could write a bit of software that would edit out the filler words "errr...  hum...  uh....  like, .....  yeah; oh yeah... yeah..." and the long dead pauses, not only could I make enough money to hire "paid pros" to create adventures, I could listen four hours of podcast in roughly eighteen minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Fine by me.  All the "official" universe ones were dealt with in my universe a generation ago anyway.

 

 

 

 

I can't answer for Spence, but I _can_ tell you why I agree with him:

 

It's asking for a _lot_ of commitment to a game world that, for the new player, isn't even a tangible thing yet.  They've made no friends, enemies, or connections, or tied themselves to it in any way, yet they are supposed to feel stirred to save their friends, family, community, and world from certain doom at the hands of what'd-you-say-his-name-was-again?   It's a bit much as a first step.

 

 

 

All I can say you've pretty much nailed it :rockon:

 

Oh, and you answered for me better than I did :shock:

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The first published Champions adventure was The Island of Doctor Destroyer.

 

Mechanon was one of the sample villains in the 1e Champions book.

 

Aaron Allston introduced the Overlord very early in his campaign.

 

Opposing megavillains isn't a form of gratification that needs to be delayed.

 

Of course, the multi-thousand point monstrosities from 5e and 6e aren't suitable for this use - or nearly any other, really. That's a strike against the official CU. Some of the second tier villains might be more suitable, but even they lean towards the overly high powered side.

 

In terms of complexity: "blow up the villain's base/Orbital Mind Control Laser" isn't hard.

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12 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

If you're looking at a starter kit of some kind, I would leave Champions Complete out of it. The idea for most beginner boxes is to create sales for core products. For such a product, I would include a limited version of Sidekick that covers the basics and maybe gives a handful of templates to play with. Then include an adventure book, a flip map, some standees (or pawns), a good set of 12mm d6s, and a pad of simple character sheets. I would really recommend looking at the D&D 5e Essentials Kit as an example of how to do such a product.

Sketchpad, you took me out of context as I started by using a version of Wildstrike as an intro to Hero system, THEN a boxed version of CC

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10 minutes ago, Beast said:

Sketchpad, you took me out of context as I started by using a version of Wildstrike as an intro to Hero system, THEN a boxed version of CC

 

I apologize, Beast. I must've misinterpreted. However, I would still avoid a boxed version of a core book these days. They work better as introductory sets, particularly if you can keep them inexpensive. The Essentials Kit is only $25, which is a great price these days for a printed box set.

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2 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

 

I apologize, Beast. I must've misinterpreted. However, I would still avoid a boxed version of a core book these days. They work better as introductory sets, particularly if you can keep them inexpensive. The Essentials Kit is only $25, which is a great price these days for a printed box set.

Accepted

Wildstrike was a cheap intro to Fusion that now could be done as a free pdf
then a boxed version of CC would be the 2nd step of bringing more into the fold
as it would have more inhand support than having to download and print

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23 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

In reality, from what everyone is talking about, what you mainly need at this point is money. Particularly if you'd like to put a set like this together professionally.

 

Which is why I go back to my earlier statements hidden somewhere in the forum.  First get as Trechirron10 put it:

5 hours ago, Trechriron10 said:

I have three words for HERO games.

 

Content. Creator. Program.  (DTRPG --> Lots of Eyeballs --> Share the profits --> If the creator does well HERO makes some cash...)

Like Miskatonic Repository or a DM's Guild style place for people to be able to put up their creations and maybe make a few cents with the additional benefit that Hero gets a little income without the need to expend resources.  Generate a trickle of income that just may turn into something more. 

 

29 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

Hero's licensing program is pretty good. I've had a few discussions with Jason Walters, and he's always been very approachable about things.

 

That may be so, and probably is.  But Bob the gamer who has an adventure he thinks people might like and would put it up on a Content Creator Program outlet will probably not commit to the binding ties of a formal license agreement.  Especially someone with no idea of just what a contract of this type entails. 

 

Are all the adventures I've bought form the Miskatonic Repository at the same standard of an actual Chaosium full color glory hardbound published adventure?  No.  But they were good enough to run and I use them either as written or modified. 

 

So....

Step One: Open the content market, preferably on DriveThruRPG for wider exposure.  Once (not if, I am being optimistic) it shows results they can move to Step Two.

 

Step Two:  Fund a Kickstarter for a Intro Campaign Book

 

Step Three: Do a second print of Champions Complete.  No changes to content, just a facelift to format it into a modern product. 

 

Step Four: Begin publishing adventures, campaign books and supplements at a regular schedule.

 

It may take months or years between steps, or it may not.  But something needs to happen. 

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28 minutes ago, Sketchpad said:

 

I apologize, Beast. I must've misinterpreted. However, I would still avoid a boxed version of a core book these days. They work better as introductory sets, particularly if you can keep them inexpensive. The Essentials Kit is only $25, which is a great price these days for a printed box set.

 

The D&D, Call of Cthulhu and Star Trek Adventures starter sets all have quickstart rules, pregens, maps and an intro adventure.  

 

A teaser or taste of the game entice people buy the main rulebook. 

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9 minutes ago, segerge said:

Because I came up with a playable timeline intended to be played this summer with friends of mine in Indianapolis that Real Life has prevented me from Game Mastering

 

Man that is a bummer. 

Real Life can be a pain sometimes.. 

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1 hour ago, Sketchpad said:

 

If you're looking at a starter kit of some kind, I would leave Champions Complete out of it. The idea for most beginner boxes is to create sales for core products. For such a product, I would include a limited version of Sidekick that covers the basics and maybe gives a handful of templates to play with.

 

I _totally_ get where you're going, and I would very much _love_ to agree with you.

 

But I can't.  Not because you're wrong;  you're not wrong at all.  I can't agree with you because I really believe the best way to generate interest in _any_ game is to show off the best parts of it.  The best part of the HERO System is, hands-down, building and playing super heroes.  Now understand that when I say that, I am _really_ saying something that is quite powerful to me, because superheroes is not now and has never really been my bag.  I'm a space opera (dear god, not Star Wars) junkie from way back.  But HERO is not even a "derived from" system with regard to Champions.  It _is_ Champions.  "Derived from" suggests some base element was pulled from the original source.   As many of the conversations on this board demonstrate, nothing has been pulled.  Lots and lots of things have been tweaked, changed, what-have-you, but nothing really pulled out and left for "Champions only."  In fact, Champions is about the only genre that can make full use of all the rules in the system.

 

The other genre that can make a passable demonstration of the system is Fantasy, and in particular insanely _High_ Fantasy.  You know: super powers with robes and wands.

 

Everything else is, necessarily, _not_ super heroes.  It's also where the system loses a _lot_ of granularity and some of the older editions without the extra rules just sort of broke down almost entirely.  If the idea of a boxed set is "baby's first crack rock," then I really have to stick with the idea of presenting it as it has always been, in spite of pretending to be lots of other things, too:  a super hero game.  (Sure; I love it for the system, and use the Champions 2e running gear for _all_ my games, Champions or not (some tweaking required ;) , but it shines brightest when it does what it was meant to do.

 

For that reason, I would have to agree with the suggestion of using Champions Complete as the candy in the box.

 

To go a bit further, I don't think there is any _need_ to bring up the HERO System _at all_ in the boxed set, save perhaps the "Powered by HERO System" tag on the box or the cover of the book.   I know the majority of us here seem to be old farts, or dangerously close to it.  So it stands that there's a good chance that a large percentage of us started with 1e or possibly even 2e (sorry 3e guys; there's a reason for this ;) ).  To those guys I ask this question:

 

How many of you were already using, or considering using, the Champions rules for non-Champions games?  How long did it take you to notice "Crap!  I can do something other than super heroes with this!"

 

It didn't take too long, because very, _very_ shortly into 2e HERO Games introduced Espionage: Champions for James Bond.  (see, 3e guys?  By the time 3e came along, everyone had already noticed that Champions works with everything).  I can't swear it, but I'm willing to be that Champions was the _first_ genuinely generic rules system (though, again, it doesn't do the "bottom end" power levels with a lot of flair or color.  However, it _does_ do them, and play ably so.

 

I think Champions Complete is precisely the book needed, because if _my_ thick head noticed within weeks of learning to play that the system could do Traveller, and then proceeded to create all kinds of wacky genres and scenarios, well-- there is no way I can believe that if _I_ noticed that anyone with even half a mind could possibly not notice it for themselves.

 

Take the 3e route, though:  Champions 3e boxed set; Justice Inc:  one thin rule book (or at least Champions Complete; it's thin enough to work), one thirty-to-sixty page "world book," and possibly even a villain pamphlet or some sort.  Then an adventure to get you started.  I'd go the 3e route here, too:  Three adventures (sort of) to get you started.  Start off with something like Viper's Nest  (dungeon crawl) or even this Wildstryke I just learned about yesterday:  something fairly simple to get you used to the combat rules and the book keeping, and then a couple of other adventures (loosely related, perhaps, but definitely tied to the world book setting).  A map never hurts (Rose's, anyone?  :lol:  ), and everyone loves dice.  For what it's worth, while I love the HERO dice as a souvenir, I find them to be a bit large for rolling a satisfying handful.

 

 

Quote

Please pay Scott, as he deserves it. I've been a fan of his since he worked on Hero books and hate to see a creator go unpaid. 

 

I guess I have, too.  It's just that until recently I didn't know he was him.  :lol:

 

 

Quote

That way it could be something new and work as a primer to a new supers universe that could be inspired by Champions (and other like properties).

 

 

Yes indeed; that's rather what I was seeing when I first started shooting off my mouth:  new supers; new villains; new stuff without fears of someone else saying "no" or getting some sort of share of it.  HERO Games is stagnant.  I'd like to see that fixed.  :)

 

 

 

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I thing a reboot of the Champions universe without all of the um, dramatic stuff that has happened over the years to major characters and locations to bring it to year zero where the PCs come in and build the history would be a good thing to do.  Let the campaign define the world's events, not some write up in a book that's grown over the years.

 

I really really like the idea of Astro City Champions but Kurt Busiek absolutely turned that idea down sadly :(

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16 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I thing a reboot of the Champions universe without all of the um, dramatic stuff that has happened over the years to major characters and locations to bring it to year zero where the PCs come in and build the history would be a good thing to do.  Let the campaign define the world's events, not some write up in a book that's grown over the years.

 

I really really like the idea of Astro City Champions but Kurt Busiek absolutely turned that idea down sadly :(

 

I support the reboot idea 100%.  Or at least a restart. 

Something with a little less weight and more freedom for new players. 

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49 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

How many of you were already using, or considering using, the Champions rules for non-Champions games?  How long did it take you to notice "Crap!  I can do something other than super heroes with this!"

 

It didn't take too long, because very, _very_ shortly into 2e HERO Games introduced Espionage: Champions for James Bond.  (see, 3e guys?  By the time 3e came along, everyone had already noticed that Champions works with everything).  I can't swear it, but I'm willing to be that Champions was the _first_ genuinely generic rules system (though, again, it doesn't do the "bottom end" power levels with a lot of flair or color.  However, it _does_ do them, and play ably so.

 

 

I started early, with Espionage, and it's adventures, but also I was n the original Fantasy Hero Playtest, that was done with some variant 2nd Ed rules, but when the book came out for 3rd Ed, a lot of the costs and limitations changed, but it was still easy, this was late 1983? when I was at San jose State, at the same time L. Douglas Garrett was, and that's how I got the invite.

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By the time Fantasy Hero came out we were running EVERYTHING you can imagine with Hero.  Some systems handle some concepts better -- Paranoia does that kind of thing better, Call of Cthulhu handles that better (in my opinion at least), but yeah.  Vietnam War, post-apocalyptic survival, science fiction, westerns, swashbuckling 18th century Europe, mystical medieval Japan, you name it, we had a Hero version and it worked flawlessly.

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2 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

By the time Fantasy Hero came out we were running EVERYTHING you can imagine with Hero.  Some systems handle some concepts better -- Paranoia does that kind of thing better, Call of Cthulhu handles that better (in my opinion at least), but yeah.  Vietnam War, post-apocalyptic survival, science fiction, westerns, swashbuckling 18th century Europe, mystical medieval Japan, you name it, we had a Hero version and it worked flawlessly.

 Oh, when Doug started Running his Costa Diego campaigns at Conventions, we found out that it was a perfect system for running 80's action movies with Mercenaries , automatic weapons and exploding trucks. Later Sean Fannon ran a Buddy Cop/ Action Movie campaign at conventions, and I would do my perrenial Convention run against my monster therapods . 

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So, we need to jetisen all the years of hard work and detail, and start with "superheroes day one"? Well, it is doable, but you have to basically do all tge work. We can provide, say, two supervillian teams, ten solo villains, and one or two major masterminds. But after that, then what?

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1 minute ago, steriaca said:

So, we need to jetisen all the years of hard work and detail, and start with "superheroes day one"? Well, it is doable, but you have to basically do all tge work. We can provide, say, two supervillian teams, ten solo villains, and one or two major masterminds. But after that, then what?

 Adventures, duh. XD

 

Seriously thought, Maps, adventures plot seeds, and a way to provide adventures in a regular and timely fashion, and each adventure book of say, three adventures contains a new villain or team, but NO NEW RULES. 

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3 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

 Adventures, duh. XD

 

Seriously thought, Maps, adventures plot seeds, and a way to provide adventures in a regular and timely fashion, and each adventure book of say, three adventures contains a new villain or team, but NO NEW RULES. 

 

With emphasis! NO NEW RULES

 

Hero has already pretty much done everything it can with rules. 

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Personally, were I do be the head of such a project, I'd power down things a bit, too.  350 points is plenty for a starting character, and gives them room to grow and add later.  Having converted hundreds of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition monsters and  characters into 6th (literally), a 250 point old school character ends up around 300-350 points, depending on concept.  I'm fine with having a higher powered campaign as well, I just don't think that ought to be the default for a base campaign.

 

And if there's any portion of humanity that understands the principle of starting out a beginner and growing with experience, its gamers.

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