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About fdw3773

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    Omaha, NE

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  1. For "What happened to HERO?", here is one person's observation based on personal experience starting with Champions 3rd Edition, followed by 4th through 6th along with New Millennium and some Champions II books read along the way with a lot of discussion with fellow players at game stores and the conventions over the span of several years: At a minimum, there is a disconnect between the game design writers and the fans that purchase and play the games. Most of the fans I spoke to at conventions stopped playing Champions sometime around 4th edition because they were turned off by how rules heavy 5th Edition was even though there was Hero Sidekick. The publication of 6th Edition products and the excess amount of rules seems to reinforce that dissonance between game designers and customers, even though there was Hero Basic. To echo a sentiment already mentioned in this forum, "Hero System stopped reading a like a game to play and was more like a reference to read but not necessarily use." The textbook styled formatting of the published 6th Edition rules didn't help market the product either at brick and mortar game stores compared to other published superhero games. Graphic design of products appear to be getting lower and lower in quality. The cover art to Champions Complete conveys the superhero genre, but the interior art quality varied. Compared to the impressive art of the Champions 5th Edition source book, there is a significant downgrade. The cover art to Fantasy Hero Complete was just terrible overall, especially when compared to the cover on the Fantasy Hero 6th Edition source book. Similarly, the cover art of Champions Now offered as a preview is disappointing. While definitely a step-up from something like Fantasy Hero Complete, does the character featured as the centerpiece portray the superhero genre? Maybe, along the lines of Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange, but does it have the impact in clearly conveying the message that, "this is a superhero game" like the covers of 4th, 5th, and 6th Edition game books? Not really. The recent announcement that Champions Now is using raw, unfinished art and its justification can be interpreted as a cop-out in failing to deliver a quality product. Again, there's a disconnect between the game designers and fans. Champions Now. This is still confusing. It was presented as a Kickstarter project intended to generate new interest from new players in Champions and perhaps reconnect with players who enjoyed previous editions, but a perception that emerged is that Champions Now is an exercise in self-indulgent nostalgia by an independent game designer that the fans paid for via Kickstarter. The lack of promotion for Champions Now, it being over six months late in publication, and now use of raw, unfinished art seems to reinforce that negative perception. Given that the focus is promoting Hall of Champions and supporting it with quality products, am puzzled by the mixed messages concerning Champions Now. Granted, I am conveying a lot of what has already been said in various forums, but just wanted to add another fan's observations gathered over the years to this recurring question.
  2. I didn't have the game support materials for it to develop to the desired fidelity, but one of the ideas we kicked around many years ago was that a tactical mastermind like Dr. Doom or the villain Destro from G.I. Joe was controlling multiple Kaiju like the Smog monster, King Ghidorah, Gigan, etc. as his high-powered muscle through some powerful technological artifact. The idea was from the classic monster movie Destroy All Monsters but instead the mastermind was Dr. Doom, Destro, or maybe even Lex Luthor or Brainiac, and not the alien Mysterians or Xiliens. Another idea was that Black Adam from DC Comics gets amped up to where he could challenge Superman directly and has power over Egyptian god avatars. I think I got the idea from the Egyptian god cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh cartoon series involving Obelisk the Tormentor, Slifer the Sky Dragon, and the Winged Dragon of Ra. Finally, we once danced around the idea of Transformers' Starscream or Masters of the Universe's Skeletor stealing or stumbling upon celestial artifacts to become powerful enough to challenge Superman-level heroes and potentially defeat them. Given how narcissistic and annoying Starscream was portrayed as a character (along with being a bad shot), he seemed like the perfect fit for a villain to become epic level and then wreak total havoc against heroes and his fellow Decepticons since he would finally "win" in overthrowing Megatron. 😉
  3. Other villains to draw inspiration from are Onslaught, which would be merging Professor X's mental powers and making them more offensive-oriented with Magneto's powers over magnetism; Cthulhu or some other type of Lovecraftian-inspired deity; Unicron from Transformers: The Movie which has a standard write-up in the Hero Bestiary (Fifth and Sixth Edition) as the archetypal "Death Star-like" battle station that can modified to transform into a gargantuan robot; and assorted Kaiju ("strange beast" in Japanese) such as King Ghidorah, Mothra, Mechagodzilla, etc. that are running amok on the planet. The Kaiju have a write-up in the Hero Bestiary (Fifth and Sixth Edition) that can be modified with a power upgrade to challenge epic level superheroes.
  4. For inspiration, you could draw from Superman as depicted in DC Injustice where he has no problem using lethal force to impose his will. Similarly, you could adapt from the Plutonian in the miniseries Irredeemable where the world's greatest hero goes insane and rogue as a result. The Plutonian is arguably more powerful than Superman since he has comparable power levels based on his psionic powers but without the weakness to Kryptonite and magic.
  5. Here's another fan-favorite from a previous event I hosted: AC Comics' Stardust. 😉 Stardust.pdf
  6. Here's a Third Edition writeup of a fan-favorite during a Champions event I hosted during a game convention in 2016: Ms. Victory from AC Comics' FemForce. MsVictory.pdf
  7. Here's my version of Superman for Third Edition. While a 725-point character build seems extremely high, it doesn't come close to 1,000+ point builds I've seen over the years developed by other players for Superman (am thinking they were replicating the Silver Age version who was virtually god-like). The simpler format and approach will make introducing Champions to new players at the next demo or convention this upcoming spring significantly easier than in years past. 😀 Superman.pdf
  8. After reviewing the challenges I had with introducing Champions (5th and 6th Edition) with brand new players and the excessive amount of rules, I looked back at the 3rd Edition which was the version I first started with decades ago. In addition to the nostalgia, I really enjoyed the simple game design and approach. After revising some old 5th/6th Edition characters to 3rd Edition, I found myself enjoying the Hero System again. Attached is one of the characters, DC Comics' Huntress. The format is similar to how characters are depicted in the game book. Let the Third Edition Renaissance continue! 😀 Huntress.pdf
  9. Based on my own experience at game stores across different cities in two different states within the past five years or so, am inclined to also support that observation. The Champions and Hero System related materials have been typically kept in the used game book section to be sold at a reduced rate. When asked to order a Champions or Hero System product, the game store cannot order it from any of its distributors. Champions and/or Hero System books have either been print or download on demand or ordered via eBay or Amazon through a book or game vendor clearing its old inventory. I guess that's why I've been gunshy of running Champions at game conventions in recent years or at my local game store because if the players get interested and want their own set of game materials, I have to refer them elsewhere and not my local game stores that I support. They cannot order it from the store we're playing in. By contrast, other superhero RPG demos that I previously ran have gone so well (e.g. Icons) that the players went out and bought their own copy of the rules as a reference and to start up their own campaign when they return to their home state or area after the event.
  10. In addition to the simplified 5th Edition character sheet template, I also adapted Champions: The New Millennium format that uses the Hero System statistics instead of the Fuzion system. I think it came out well and looks less compressed than the other, but I'll let you determine for yourself. If you like it, please let me know and I'll post it in the downloads areas as well. 😉 Supergirl.pdf
  11. The latest Champions Now update on Kickstarter states that the first draft still needs to be reviewed and surveyed by backers before publication, with the tagline, "It shouldn't be much longer now." Given the projected completion date was June 2019, it's safe to say that the fans who supported the Kickstarter effort have been extremely patient. It's curious that there hasn't been much promotion by Hero Games beyond the initial announcement and follow-on justification of the project when there was some fan pushback. One cannot help but start to believe the criticism that Champions Now is an exercise in self-indulgence by an external game designer that the fans paid for via Kickstarter. 😒
  12. Thanks for the kind feedback. The template is uploaded in the Downloads section, Hero System 5th Edition for your use.
  13. Version 1.0.0


    This is a simplified, fillable character template for Champions in Microsoft Word.
  14. Thanks! Attached is an example what I will most likely use at the next game convention if I run Champions, since I will likely use 5th Edition which most of the participants are familiar with and is my favorite in terms of resources and art design. The character sheet I've developed is based off of player feedback that I mentioned earlier and some additional factors. Please also keep in mind that I only run Champions once or twice a year at the game conventions here in Omaha, NE, so I provide pre-generated characters that I adapted from the DC and Marvel Universe for players to use when they show up. The factors are the following: 1) The players, especially new ones, liked having the statistics spelled out (Strength, Dexterity, and so on). 2) The players preferred having the character sheet organized into distinct sections: Characteristics, Health (STUN, BODY, END), Offense that listed OCV, DCV, ECV, SPD, Phases, and all of the attacks that character had in terms of powers, weapons, and martial art skills, Defense that listed Physical, Energy, Mental, Power, and Flash Defense ratings, then Powers & Equipment (Offensive powers are already listed in the previous section and are not listed twice), Skills, Talents, & Perks, then finally Disadvantages and points in Characters, Powers & Skills, Disadvantages, and total points so that the players know that 364-point Cyclops is going to need backup when he's going up against 900+ point Apocalypse. This also made it really easy for them to find the information and decide what action to take for their respective characters. 3) The players were not interested in things like "Powers and Tactics," and "Quotes." If I was running an ongoing campaign, then the player may want to develop those areas as flavor text to really give his or her character some depth. Also, the background information was minimal in general, a short paragraph or two at most. For example, players who wanted to play Spider-Man at my table were not interested in reading every minute detail of his backstory beyond that Peter Parker became a crimefighter stemming from guilt due to his role in the death of his beloved Uncle Ben who taught him, "With great power comes great responsibility." The character template is in Microsoft Word that I input manually using the information from the Hero Designer PDF after I complete a character writeup. If it's something you'd like to use, please let me know and I'll coordinate emailing a blank template to you. Cyclops.pdf
  15. I wish you the best of luck. As a comparison about simplifying and reverse engineering, attached are the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Edition versions of Superman that I wrote up for some recent game events. Some observations and lessons learned from the past several conventions I've participated in are the following areas that influenced how I designed the character sheet: 1) Players were disinterested with seeing every single point and related rules-listing on the character sheet. They like seeing the overall point total to get an idea of how powerful the character they're using is, but that's about it. The players understood that while Batman's utility belt can get stolen but Iron Man's suit can't if they're being worn, so listing things like OAF Arrangement, OIF, etc. was not necessary. 2) I had to create a character sheet of pre-generated characters that displayed the important information and easy to read. The four to five page character sheet or small font PDF produced by Hero Designer with the minutia details was a major turnoff for visiting players. 3) New players were unconcerned about things like height/weight and related data featured in the Fifth Edition character sheet since they were familiar with the pre-generated character they used from cartoons, comics, and/or movies about the character (e.g. Iron Man, Wolverine, etc.). They just wanted to know what the statistics meant, what powers they had and at what level they were. Superman3E.pdf Superman4E.pdf Superman5E.pdf
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