Jump to content


HERO Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About fdw3773

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Omaha, NE

Recent Profile Visitors

233 profile views
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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. 😒
  4. Thanks for the kind feedback. The template is uploaded in the Downloads section, Hero System 5th Edition for your use.
  5. Version 1.0.0


    This is a simplified, fillable character template for Champions in Microsoft Word.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. I first started playing Champions with Third Edition in the late 1980s. I received it as a gift and can relate to the nostalgia, happy memories, and simplicity associated with the system, especially when the game rules and mechanics associated with Fifth and Sixth Edition can reach the point of being a major turnoff. Like you, I've been looking back at it and was happy when the pdf version became available since the original book I had has since been retired. I have also reversed engineered some of my Fifth and Sixth Edition characters to Third or Fourth Edition, which has made it easier to introduce to brand new players who have never played this genre or type of game before at conventions.
  9. Old Man brought up a lot of valid points and recommendations about the Hero System and Champions in general. Like him, I'm equally puzzled that an RPG system has not emerged to the forefront yet in the superhero genre in the same way D&D has for the fantasy genre in the past 20 years or so since the first X-Men film revitalized mainstream interest. Marvel Comics did attempt to capitalize in the RPG market in recent years, though. First, there was the release of Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game in 2003 by Q.E.D. Games that used a diceless game mechanic. The game production run quickly expired, most likely due to disappointing sales. Heck, I didn't even know of its existence until I came across a copy in the RPG section of the a used book store within past year or two even though I visited game stores regularly. Later, there was the release of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game in 2012 by Margaret Weis Productions that also met a similarly abrupt fate. Given that Marvel FASERIP originally published by TSR from the 1980s remains in a highly positive light by superhero RPG fans, am surprised that Marvel hasn't worked a new licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast (WoTC) to relaunch it with an updated version of this old school classic. Since WoTC bought up TSR and its properties, am thinking that they retain the rights to the FASERIP game system. Green Ronin Publishing had licensing agreement with DC Comics to release DC Adventures, which was the DC Universe using the Mutants & Masterminds game system. To this day I'm still puzzled why its production run ended so quickly (barely a couple of years) because the products were first-rate quality. Even now, the remaining books are highly sought after by collectors. My best guess would be that the money involved with the licensing was too high to what Green Ronin Publishing was willing to keep paying when the agreement was coming up for renewal. Right now, the superhero genre is enjoying a huge spike in popularity across mainstream audiences through film and television. The question remains: which, if any, of the superhero games out there can capitalize the way D&D has in the fantasy genre?
  10. Is there an estimated publication date for Champions Now? I contacted Ron Edwards who was spearheading the project and he informed me that his portion of the project (e.g. game design, mechanics, and play-testing) was complete. Am really hoping that the final print-on-demand product will be something first-rate like Mighty Protectors or Prowlers & Paragons; I will definitely save up and spend the extra $$$ for a hardcover edition. 😀
  11. Some other factors for your consideration on the enduring appeal of D&D: - The published D&D products always seemed to be first-rate quality during its period of release. Even with first edition that came out in the 1970s, the hardcover and softcover books were excellent quality. The cover and interior art featured some of the best known artists in the genre (e.g. Erol Otus, Larry Elmore). D&D products always seemed more readily available to review and purchase also. My first reading of a D&D book was not in a game or toy store, but in the book section of a department store (Horne's) in downtown Pittsburgh. D&D books could also be readily found in toy stores and book stores (e.g. Toys R Us, B. Dalton, Waldenbooks when they existed in the marketplace). By contrast, I wasn't aware of the superhero RPG until the mid-1980s when my local game store featured Villains & Vigilantes. Champions wasn't even featured at that store, and my brother came across it by word-of-mouth and went to a store in the next town over to purchase Champions (Third Edition) as a gift for me. - D&D was able to reach a much wider audience that other companies. It had the 1980s cartoon, a comic book series published by DC, and was supported by various fantasy novel series (e.g. Dragonlance) that generated interest in the product. Years later, many of this is considered nostalgia for players to re-introduce to their kids. Yes, the D&D theatrical and direct-to-video films were awful, but at this point I think it's considered camp where, "they're so bad that it's actually good to laugh at." Also, being mentioned periodically in popular culture (e.g. Big Bang Theory) certainly helped as free-advertising. - The popularity of the fantasy genre in mainstream film and television and computer games most likely kept genre interest going to enable players/DMs to bring in new players. The popularity of Warcraft, Warlords Battlecry, Heroes of Might & Magic, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Willow, and so on likely made it easier to recruit new players who may have been gun-shy at first but those mediums probably made D&D seem more appealing. Although they've been around a long time, superhero movies didn't seem to really pick up as a recurring theme until the first X-Men film came out (outside of the first two Superman films with Christopher Reeve and Batman films with Michael Keaton). Could Champions, or the superhero genre in general, be as popular and enduring in the RPG world as D&D? It's hard to say, even in retrospect. Champions had a comic series for a while published by Eclipse Comics, but it was a small, independent company and distribution was limited. For me, Champions issues were hard to come by at the comic store. Having the aforementioned factors certainly could have helped Hero Games expand to a wider audience and generate/sustain interest. DC Heroes (Mayfair Games) and Marvel FASERIP (TSR) faded away when licensing agreements ended by the early 1990s, which definitely hindered things since both had mainstream connections, especially since later RPGs were poorly designed and/or supported and ended soon after release (e.g. DC Universe by West End Games). Not sure why DC Adventures that used the Mutants & Masterminds game engine ended so quickly in terms of licensing agreements and publishing between Green Ronin and DC Comics since the products were first rate and is a highly playable system. Given the popularity of superhero movies and television, it's certainly possible and there are certainly superhero games that are out there trying to tap into that market (e.g. Mutants & Masterminds, ICONS, Champions, and Mighty Protectors). If the product is high quality like the Champions 6th Edition sourcebook was and marketed right, Champions Now could help revitalize the brand along a similar way Mighty Protectors (Villains & Vigilantes) and Prowlers & Paragons for its current fan base and branch outward. If it's a disappointment like Fantasy Hero Complete was in terms of graphic design, then a great opportunity was probably missed. Anyway, just some food for thought towards the discussion.
  12. I first started playing Champions/Hero System with 3rd Edition in the late 1980s and over the years collected earlier edition books followed by 4th, 5th, and 6th Edition. In terms of 6th Edition products, I have Champions Complete, Hero Basic, and Champions. Am not sure if there is an overall reason why 6e is disliked, but here are two observations for your consideration that I gathered from my own experience as a customer and from talking with the dozen or so players/fans I meet in game conventions over the years when I run Champions: 1) In terms of style and graphic design, Champions 6th Edition products seem dated compared to other superhero game systems. Champions Complete's cover and interior b&w art was average and the soft-cover binding was okay, but previewing it next to other games like Mutants & Masterminds, Icons, or even Savage Worlds: Supers on the display rack, there was a distinct different in quality in terms of style. While some in this forum liked the textbook design for the 6th Edition rule book covers, the fans I spoke to in person didn't care for it (myself included). People still do judge a book by its cover to see if it's even worth previewing or passing on it outright. 2) The amount of rules made it difficult to introduce new players to Hero System. I had Hero Basic, but others had saw how many other rule books there were to get started for 6th Edition and were immediately turned off. A common occurrence was that the players had previously played Champions until <insert edition number here> for one reason or another but then stopped, most commonly due to the excessive rules being piled on in later editions. The Champions Now kickstarter is drawing upon 3rd Edition or early rules for various reasons, drawing a mix of support and criticism of Hero Games senior staff being out-of-touch as to what their fans want as mentioned in other discussions. Even now, my go-to system of superhero games for brand-new players has been Icons and not Champions, and that's even with simplified versions of characters that I created (4th Edition versions). People who still play Champions/Hero System are going to choose their favorite edition and pull aspects from others accordingly to round out their campaign. It's unrealistic to convince them which is better than the other (or vice versa) in terms of game mechanics. Some like the simplicity of 3rd Edition and earlier (hence, Champions Now that's under development), some like the completeness of 4th Edition (BBB with George Perez cover art), others like the detailed comprehensiveness of 5th Edition (sourcebooks are extremely well done), and others like the new mechanics of 6th Edition (e.g. no "freebies" from Figured Characteristics).
  13. I've been playing Champions/Hero System for years and never considered presenting the information that way and was using templates that I created from the character sheet model provided in the books. What you presented makes great sense, especially when I introduce Champions to new players who might get overwhelmed by seeing all the stats in one long list as portrayed in current character sheets. Thanks! I'm definitely modifying my character sheets based on your idea!!!
  14. I didn't pick up on this comment until much more recently. Would Champions: The New Millennium, that came out in the 1990s in that short partnership between Hero Games and R. Talsorian Games count as a "rules-light" version of Champions? I remember briefly owning it and from my playing experience, the rules were simplified to make the Hero System to fit the Fuzion Games system for character creation, powers, and so on. I also remember reading about confusion in various fan forums on whether or not Champions: The New Millennium was its Fifth Edition or not (it wasn't, as Fifth Edition came out a few years later). I share the same disappointment in that the development of a rules-light version Champions wasn't even discussed for consideration. In general, when I'm introducing the superhero RPG to brand-new players, my go-to system has been Icons: The Assembled Edition as a result. Although I occasionally get brand-new players when I run Champions at game conventions, the majority of the participants have been players who, "played it for several years then stopped after <insert edition number here>" and wanted to play for the nostalgia. "HERO seeming outdated and falling behind the times"... I thought that I was alone in that sentiment when I compare Champions to Mutants and Masterminds, Icons, or even the Super Powers Companion for Savage Worlds. Guess not...
  15. When I read the game mechanics portion of Champions Complete(CC) and compared it Hero Basic 6th Edition, it seemed comparable. I don't have Hero System 6th Edition Volumes I and II as a comparison reference to see if CC was the full 6e rules set without the examples as you described or not, but if you do, then I'll take your word for it. It wouldn't be the first (or last) time I misinterpreted what was advertised and what was delivered as a product.
  • Create New...