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A while back, we spent some time discussing how Hero needs a way of introducing people into the game for modern players.  In the past, it was fine to print a book of rules and hand them to people, because folks were more accustomed to long-form reading, studying, and figuring rules out on their own.  For those who like this sort of thing and still do it, well that's great.  But for many others, especially younger players we want to draw into the hobby, we wanted something more. Also, its not that Hero is complicated or difficult to learn, but it has gained that reputation in recent years, and its useful to help people see that isn't the case.

 

From this discussion came the idea of building a "tutorial" for Champions, a scenario that each session gave the players and GM more of the rules until they knew the full structure of the game and how to play it.  The name we came up with for that was Champions Begins (a riff on Batman Begins).

 

The concept was this: a simple scenario of superhero-ing in several parts, each of which introduces more of the rules step by step.  With that would be tips on how to run a game for the GM and how to play RPGs for players.

 

I've started writing on the main sections of the book, and am almost done with scenario 1.  My idea was this: use the old Viper's Nest scenario as expanded in Viper 4th edition, because its great at bringing players into the scenario a little bit at a time and is a classic for the game. With its six chapters, that gives us 6 sections to teach people the game with.

 

I figure for each character we give them only what they will use for each scenario, adding with each one points and abilities then added in the next chapter.

For example, chapter one is just pereception rolls, very basic combat (no END use, Body damage or special attacks), and movement.  So Character X gets stats, a few powers that let them hit things, move, see, and not be hurt.

Chapter two adds skills and presence attacks, so Character X now gets a list of skills added to the sheet!

These upgrades can be treated as "experience points" in lumps that help players get used to the game.

 

Much has been said about how we could and should step up more to help our hobby out.  Much has been discussed about how we can reach new players and excite them with Champions by putting out new content and running games.  Well, here's your chance!   You can help out and contribute materially to this goal, by giving the game a tool that would help players learn Champions and become familiar with real role playing games.  They've played computer games.  They've watched movies.  Now they can BE a hero.

 

Pitch in and help us out!

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I don't mean to wet-blanket the idea I chipped in on and think is great, but are we allowed to make and distribute this?  I know the Hall of Champions license forbids reprinting core rules.  Is the plan to get a different license for this (and if so, how are you going to get the IP rights from the people who help make it)?  Or are you planning it as a pile of page references? 

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I want to emphasize something here: this is intended to be a free product for download and use by all.  Its meant to be an introduction to Champions and Hero Games (and role playing in general) that will help launch people into the hobby and enjoying Superhero Role Playing.  Nobody gets paid, for this one, except the warm feeling of helping out our hobby and favorite game and introducing others to it.  Plus, showing off your talents.

 

What we have:

 

A couple characters and designs

The basic scenario outline

The philosophy on how to build it

One writer

 

What we need:


More character designs

Art (interior and cover)

Editing

More writing

 

I will in time show the characters I have come up with, and I'd love for others to do so as well, and I'll get into more of what the idea is behind that as time goes on.  But we need everyone who can to pitch in and give this a shove.  Artists especially, if you want more exposure, and to do some work for Champions and/or comic books here's your shot.  Please, everyone, consider it.  I'm setting aside paying work to try to knock this out as fast and fine a quality as we can.

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Ok. I can write up something and create character designes using the dead tree version of Champions Complete. But of course everyone knows my spelling is atrocious. 

 

What heroes do you need? I would say simple concept and design characters. You probably already have a brick built. Bricks are rather simple and straightforward characters.

 

Since VIPER is going to be the villains, we probably need new and fresh faced Dragon Branch members. Or candidates. I have some ok ideas.

 

Razerhead: A light mutant brick with a razor sharp mohawk. Part of his mutation is that his own hair has the strength of steel.

 

Winterblade: A 'normal' with an ice generator disguise as a sword. Think our tribute to all of DC Comics ice gun guys (Icicle 1, Captain Cold, Mister Freeze). But with a sword.

 

Hot Foot: Cyborg with artificial legs which set things on fire.

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13 hours ago, steriaca said:

What heroes do you need? I would say simple concept and design characters. You probably already have a brick built. Bricks are rather simple and straightforward characters.

 

I am definitely not an artist but I can put together character write-ups. 

Like steriaca ask, what general concepts do you need and where are they.  Helps with fleshing out backgrounds.

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Ok. A six chapter or more "this is how you do it" project. 

 

Chapter 1: Basics of Fighting (Against VIPER Agents).

Chapter 2: Skills, Contacts, And Roleplaying. 

Chapter 3: Advance Combat (Against VIPER Agents).

Chapter 4: Advance Skills And Integration. 

Chapter 5: Bring on the Dragon Branch!

Chapter 6: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Perhaps this is off topic or has been proposed before, and of course it would have to wait until after the lockdowns are all said and done, but...

   What about Hero sponsoring game days at local game and comic book stores?   Get a local volunteer (maybe pay him off in downloadable freebies) to GM a trial game using this new free version of the rules and provide him with a starter episode and a bunch of handout starter characters.
    It’s advertising for the entire line of books, hardcopy and otherwise. Building a new customer base and at the very least getting the name HERO Games out there.

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On 5/23/2020 at 6:49 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

I want to emphasize something here: this is intended to be a free product for download and use by all.  Its meant to be an introduction to Champions and Hero Games (and role playing in general) that will help launch people into the hobby and enjoying Superhero Role Playing.  Nobody gets paid, for this one, except the warm feeling of helping out our hobby and favorite game and introducing others to it.  Plus, showing off your talents.

 

 

 

What we need:


More character designs

 

you can use any of mine that are in the downloads section
just give me a buzz if any work for you to use or tweak if need be

https://www.herogames.com/profile/136-beast/content/?type=downloads_file

 

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Generally speaking, projects like this tend to focus on simple characters, both heroes and villains. Bricks, basic Energy Blasters, bait bone Mentalist, maybe a Martial Artist with a small handful of options. Also maybe a Speedster of the "run up and hit you" type (as opposed to run around you and create a tornado type).

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How do we balance the need to keep initial stages simple with the need to show HERO in it's best light and give the strongest start possible? 

If we start the complexity too high, there's no point in "easing in" the rest.  We'll have lost interest. 

But if we don't include enough of what makes HERO great, we won't have a strong hook and will suffer losses of interest. 

 

On 5/23/2020 at 6:48 PM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I don't mean to wet-blanket the idea I chipped in on and think is great, but are we allowed to make and distribute this?  I know the Hall of Champions license forbids reprinting core rules.  Is the plan to get a different license for this (and if so, how are you going to get the IP rights from the people who help make it)?  Or are you planning it as a pile of page references? 

Repeating this question.  I have an interactive digital character sheet with integrated rules references that I'm working on.  If we can do this legally, I'd be open to providing my sheet which should be a huge help for players trying to learn the rules. 

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The concept we had originally was to create a series of very familiar (read: clones of popular characters) heroes in male and female versions each, so people can quickly pick up and enjoy their version of that hero.  For example:

 

Spider-Guy/girl!

Super strong flying Guy!

Brooding Dark Knight Guy!

Amazon Girl!

Mythical god Guy!

Armored Guy!

Berserker animal Guy!

 

And so on.  The spider-guy I built.  He's called Dr Nope and he doesn't have webs or spider sense, but he has clinging and 360-degree vision and can leap long distances.  Plus he has a poisonous toxic punch he can do.  The idea is to make them as simple as possible, as easy to recognize and play as possible, but without being too much of a rip off or copyright concern.

 

That said, having some basic archetypes like an energy projector, a brick, etc would be good.


Things to avoid: Mentalists, super mages, and any character that requires complicated builds.  These are introductory characters for total novices, they have to be as stripped down and basic as possible.  Especially since each chapter will be building them up, so the first chapter has to be super, super simple.  If you can come up with a way of building a mentalist who has no mental powers in chapters 1-2 at least (no MCV or mind control type stuff yet, no flash, etc), then okay but I doubt its feasible.

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I was thinking of the bad guys. Sure; most of the time we have the agents (Part 1, when they rob a bank, Part 3 when the heroes uncover a safehouse for VIPER Agents), but Part 5 has the 'young Dragons' (in spite of the name, they are only Dragon Branch candidates and not full members yet).

 

That is basically the idea, to put it generically. 

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17 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

How do we balance the need to keep initial stages simple with the need to show HERO in it's best light and give the strongest start possible? 

 

IMHO, the character templates need some ability to customize them. It can be as simple as, "Pick one of these three extra abilities."

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I was thinking we use the most classic and old school bad guys, Brick, Blue Jay, etc.  That way they're already made, already in the pipeline, art is already done, etc.  This would be part of the Community project, which allows us to reprint rules (in this case just a small part of them) and use old art.

 

This is the structure of the classic Viper's Nest adventure (combined with Christopher Park):

  1. Memories - heroes are at a funeral when VIPER starts taking hostages
  2. Assault on Tanghal Tower - VIPER tries to capture plans for an old Tesla device
  3. Microfilm Madness - a fight between UNTIL, VIPER, Crusher Gang, and the Heroes
  4. I Love A Parade - VIPER springs a trap to humiliate UNTIL and the PCs
  5. Combat in Christopher Park - A VIPER agent wants to be a witness against his employers and must be procteted
  6. Doomsday - VIPER unveils a super weapon based on the Tesla device

Now, some of this needs to be updated for modern tech and culture, but the basic arc is pretty good to work from at least, and its been a part of Champions since 3rd edition.

 

Quote

IMHO, the character templates need some ability to customize them. It can be as simple as, "Pick one of these three extra abilities."


I'd like to do that if possible, but just the character sheets and explanations are going to be somewhat sizable already.  multiple stages of two genders of 6+ character sheets plus notes for the GM on all of them.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I was thinking we use the most classic and old school bad guys, Brick, Blue Jay, etc.  That way they're already made,

 

I have an intro mini-campaign i am in the process of trying to make publishable for Hall of Heroes (maybe).  I had stopped due to misunderstanding HoH requirements. 

 

It is a serial robbery campaign featuring GRAB and it is built using the 5thEd version from   Conquerors, Killers, & Crooks.

 

I've pretty much completed it in Spence lingo but will need to run it through a formal playtest. I have run variations of this since 3rd ed off the top of my head.  But a version for public use requires an organized and coherent writeup.  Which you know far better than I do. 

 

The hardest thing for me is player pre-gens. 

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The Player Pre-Gens are the most critical part for this, but yeah they are a bit of a pain.  We need enough to be an interesting array of choices, but they also have to be broken down into stages of advancement (say, 50 points each, starting at 250, for example).  And each stage has to match and add in the stuff introduced in that stage of the tutorial.

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4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The Player Pre-Gens are the most critical part for this, but yeah they are a bit of a pain.  We need enough to be an interesting array of choices, but they also have to be broken down into stages of advancement (say, 50 points each, starting at 250, for example).  And each stage has to match and add in the stuff introduced in that stage of the tutorial.

Can you give any idea of general needs for the pre-gens?  Any guidelines, complications, or power/skill restrictions?

 

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  Just make sure to choose character options that will appeal to first time players.  Obsidian is a great character, with a lot of role play potential but Defender is an easier hand out to somebody who “just wants to play Iron Man”.

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My vision of the pre-generated characters for this project looks like this, but we can discuss it and adjust where needed:

  1. 400 point total characters with 100 points minimum of complications
  2. Simple builds as possible, with no "block of text" mega powers or fiddly, difficult to understand or use power structures
  3. Easily broken down into lower-powered increments to match the tutorial increases
  4. Very recognizable archetypes mostly tied to existing and popular comic book and movie characters (rip offs, basically)
  5. Very distinct, iconic concepts which anyone can easily and readily pick up immediately
  6. A focus on combat and interaction over role play
  7. Modern concepts and character names, backgrounds etc which appeal to younger players
  8. Able to be constructed as either male or female versions without much or any change in name, etc

For example, Dr Nope (who I've attached to this post) is a very stripped down simple Spider-Man clone.  I've included the first stage (Tutorial chapter 1) character and the last stage (full final Dr Nope rough) versions.  Version 1 has only extremely simple, combat, movement, and perception powers with no complications (they aren't part of the first chapter).

Dr Nope 1.hdc Dr Nope.hdc

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