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How Champions Now is Different From Other Champions Rulesets (With some errata and rules clarifications) Here's a collection of information that I've confirmed with the author about the rules as of May 23, 2020. I may add or edit this as new issues arise. Most of this is about dispelling assumptions of us who are familiar with other Hero rulesets. A few things are actually missing or unclear in the text. The best way to read and understand the Champions Now text is to take the text literally without outside connections. Pretend you have never read a roleplaying game before and have no assumptions to bring into the text. Do not connect what you know from other games to the text and do not try to fill in parts you don't understand with the way another game does things. Player Characters Start with 200 points. The 200-240 listing is a legacy error. (Errata). The Ratio compares what the point total of the character would be without applying limitations to the total with limitations. Any point reductions due to the framework itself are left intact. Situations Side Effects must be directed against the character who has them on his sheet. Powers Concealment does not cost endurance to maintain (errata). Drain. Drain has no range and requires a grab maneuver to apply. When bought as a transfer, you cannot take the Costs Endurance limitation (errata). Entangle gives 1 def and 1d6 core body per 10 points assigned. (errata). Flight can also be defined as gliding, super-leap, super-running, super-swimming, or swinging. These redefinitions do not require advantages or limitations and do not change the points required. They do change the dynamics of how the movement can be used in play. Flight must be acquired in 10 point increments; you cannot allocated 2 points to get +1 hex. Force Wall does not cost endurance to maintain, but does cost endurance to fill in any holes blasted in the wall. This power gives 1 resistant defense and 1 hex side for every 5 points; this means that a 50 point force wall has up to 10 hex sides, each with 10 rDef. The user might, for example, specify it as fewer than 10 hex sides, but still with 10 rDef for each side. Images costs endurance each phase (errata). Instant Change. 10 points gives either 1) a change between only two preset alternate forms or 2) changing to multiple forms. Per page 210, using the Instant Change to deceive needs a Disguise skill roll. Life Support. All combinations of life support must have one specific exception where it doesn't work. Negation. Paying Endurance each round prevents the target power from recovering. The target must pay endurance for the full power just to use it at the reduced level. Regeneration recovers Strength, Presence, Body, Dexterity, Intelligence, Ego, Speed, and power at the rate of d6 units per recovery. Destroyed traits are regenerated based on the Core total of the regeneration power in units. For Strength and Presence, one unit is a d6. For Body, Dexterity, Intelligence, Ego, and Speed one unit is 1. For a power, one unit is 5 base points. Running Power does not exist. You can not buy additional running. You can buy flight as super-running, but you must buy the power from the ground up; it does not add to ordinary running. In addition, you can push Strength to gain extra running for one action (see pushing below). Stretching may add its inches to base running distance, depending on the special effect. Teleport's base 20 points includes one free memorized location. Also, ignore the mention of “noncombat move” as it is an editorial oversight and should have been removed. Increased teleport distance must be acquired in 5 point increments; you cannot allocated 1 point to get +1 hex. Weaken has no range and requires a grab maneuver to apply. Weaken may take the Lethal advantage. (Errata.). Endurance Costs Endurance cost is 1 per 5 base points of the power. Advantages do not increase endurance cost. Any power that you pay endurance to start or maintain turns off when you are stunned or knocked out. Power Design Rounding. When calculating final power points, retain fractions until after any Limitations are applied. Then round to the nearest whole number and round 0.5 down. Combined Attack. Two powers may not be delivered in the same attack roll unless they are defined as combined. Combined Power. You may define any two (or more) powers as combined. Once combined they must always be used together and activated in equal proportion. Powers within a single slot of a Multiform or Elemental Control are always combined. [Unconfirmed: I believe that Multiform slots can be considered combined with each other when they are active. In contrast, I suspect Elemental Control slots should always be considered separate. As a guide, I believe that powers outside of a framework can't be combined with powers inside a framework.] Modifiers Be sure to read the advantage or limitation description closely. Many modifiers give a specific list of which powers it may be used with. Powers not on the list are not allowed. Advantages Expanded Scope Advantage (p. 96) A power bought at one scale only works at that scale. To have flight, teleport, or awareness at different scales, buy separate powers (power frameworks can help here). Lethal can also be added to the Weaken power (errata). Reactive with Usable vs. Others means that you can direct the reaction against a target other than the one that triggered the reaction. Limitations No Range, as the text says, can't be applied to an attack power. For that see Aura or Strike advantages. When it refers to "Illusions" read "Images." Frameworks Each framework has nuances that reward careful attention. Here is a summary of the important difference (but not all the rules). Variable Power Pool (p.92 and p. 103) Control may only be modified by these three options: Advantage: 0-Phase Reconfiguration (1), Limitation: Configuration can only change in special circumstances (½), Limitation: All powers inside the pool must take a specified limitation or set of limitations (¼)(this limitation remains ¼ even if the required limitations are larger.) Pool point total is never modified. Elemental Control (p. 93 and p. 104) Control can only be reduced by limitations that apply to all slots. Powers in slots must cost endurance. Characteristics other than Strength are not allowed inside an Elemental Control. To calculate the cost of a slot, subtract the pool from the active points of the slot, then divide by any limitations. Slots Real point value equals (their Active points less Control Active points) / (1 + limitations from the control + limitations on the power). Slots may contain more than one power, but these powers must always be used together, activated in proportion. Multiform (p. 93 and p. 106) Multiform requires actual changes in the form of how the power is delivered and described. It is not for selecting different variations on a power, such as you might want for Judge Dredd's multigun or variations on Teleport. Elemental Control does the work that most multipowers in the Hero System do. Pool total is reduced only by limitations that apply to all slots. To calculate the cost of a slot, divide it's active points by 5, retain fractions, then divide by limitations, and round off. Only by limitations that apply to all other slots may be applied. Any further limitations provide no reduction and function only as special effects. Slots may contain more than one power and these powers can be used independently. Activating a slot requires you commit the full Active points of the slot from your pool, even if you are not using the full power of the slot. Changing the configuration of active slots requires a half phase action. Fighting Half and Full Actions: think of half actions only as components of a full action. If you only do a half action on your phase and declare your phase done, it's done. Attacks are Half Actions unless otherwise noted. Combined Attack. Firing two or more powers at a single target using one attack roll s fine, provided the Special Effects make sense. See also Combined Powers above. Defenses are applied separately however. Martial Block: does not require you hold, prepare, or abort an action. You simply declare “I'm blocking” and apply +2 to your defense and you are considered blocking subsequent attacks until you take your next action. The block, of course, can only affect attacks with the appropriate special effect, usually a hand to hand attack. The half action status is primarily for judging whether the character has enough attention and appropriate positioning within the logic of the preceding "panel." A full move is the most common situation where the character can't perform a martial block because he's focused on moving. Many other full actions, however, do allow a subsequent block action-- e.g run half move to opponent, punch opponent, end phase. On their phase opponent hits back. I block. This would be classic martial arts interplay. Move-Through and Move-By are considered the same maneuver for the purposes of buying levels and power modifiers. Together Ron refers to them as "Move Attack." Mind Bar locks down an attacking power only if the attacker's roll fails. Mindscape is maintained by attacking each phase. It stops when the attacks cease. Noncombat Movement doesn't exist. Recovery. When you take a voluntary recovery the effect is the same as if you were stunned--your defense drops to 6, you can only do free actions, you can't pay endurance to maintain any powers, and any powers that require endurance turn off (errata). Recovering Points. Each recovery restores Endurance and Knockout by your Recovery score, and also 1 unit lost from any characteristics or powers. For Strength and Presence, one unit is a d6. For Body, Dexterity, Intelligence, Ego, and Speed one unit is 1. For a power, one unit is 5 base points. Damage done by a power with the Destructive advantage does not recover normally. Pushing to add effect: pay 1d6 Endurance per 1d6 effect or Strength added. Pushing for Advantage: pay 1d6 Endurance to "expand" a die of Strength or 5 Active Points of a power with a 1/2 Advantage. The only advantages allowed are Area Effect One hex, Area Effect: Explosion, Piercing, High Impact, or Severe. You can expand some or all of the units in your Strength or power. You can also push your Strength or Power beyond it's purchased maximum as above and then expand each of the pushed units. In total, this costs 2d6 Endurance per extra unit with the advantage. Push for extra running: you can push Strength to gain extra running. To gain extra running, pay 1d6 Endurance per 1d6 of Strength you want to activate. In effect this "expands" a die of existing Strength to give +1 running. If you've expanded all your existing Strength and need even more running, then push for more Strength then activate each extra dice as described under Pushing for Advantage. In addition to the extra running, you can use all that temporary Strength if it fits into your action (errata). Breaking Things. Defense values listed for inanimate objects and vehicles is technically resistant, i.e., it stops Piercing as well as ordinary damage. However, this can and should be ignored or reduced depending on the specific material and the specific special effect of the damage one. The Destructive advantage may also have additional effects on inanimate objects. Comics vary a lot in their dramatic enforcement and relaxation of physics, so you'll have to arrive at your own notions of what a fire-blast does to a wooden door, in terms of its Defense, or anything else damaged by anything else.
I'm sure this thread has been posted many times with many permutations and combinations. But, would it be weird to rewind Champions to 5e, offer the ruleset for free, send some volunteers to every gamecon (assuming they ever reopen) to spread the word? I say rewind because it feels like 5e is more in use. It's what I use in my online campaign, for example. Then the money could come from people posting supplements etc. here and Hero could get a huge cut of every sale. I understand why 6th edition was made, and I understand the reasoning of Champions Now. But this is along the same lines. It just feels like the company is still thinking inside the box. And I know that's not the case, because there are some really smart people pulling the strings.
(Please post any questions or discussion about content of this thread to ) In this thread I'll lay out an example of developing a Champions Now game. This comes from a game I GMed early in 2019 using the Beta rules. As time allows, I will post each player character in a separate post. Then I'll write about developing NPCs and villains based on their Situations. Then, I plan to post a number of important villain character sheets. I'll be copying some of the material I wrote on the Adept Play forum last year, but leaving out the actual play summaries and a discussion on emergent plot. You can find those at Champions Now Beta playtest--Seattle and Champions Now Beta playtest--Emergent plot? Making Characters We had an initial character development by email, a face to face session of finalizing development. I followed the game setup in the Beta document closely. To start, I emailed my players the portion of the Beta rules that explains the Person, Problems, and Powers approach. I said we're creating our own superhero book, right here, right now, with no reference to any other cannon. I asked them to create humans who have relationships in Seattle – no aliens or amnesiacs. For powers, I encouraged them not to think in terms of mechanics, but rather how they would appear in a comic. I also kept initial development separate, so they didn't get into extensive world building in advance. Here are the Two Statements I sent: Techno-wondrous discovery. Fraught personal lives and the political history of Seattle. I designed the powers to conform with the players' visions for the characters. I did most of the mechanical character and power creation in the interests of time, with the exception of Breakthrough, whose player has some Champions experience. I've updated all of the character builds to conform to the final rules released in 2020. [Edit: I just noticed that the final rules recommend 200 point starting player characters, so I just replaced Breakthrough, Radioshack, and Gray Wraith is 200 point versions. The hardest part of dropping the cost was cutting back on situations!] NEXT: Breakthrough II, Radioshack, and Gray Wraith, Rebels of the Emerald City.