It took about four sessions to arrive at a title, but we did, and Rod provided this fine logo.
It’s been seven sessions, and I am afraid it’s slogged quite a bit, paying off a bit later than I'd hoped. There’s no one reason, but a perfect storm of details which conspired to turn play into very long sessions. I’ve edited out a lot so they’re bearable at all for watching, but even with that, I had to split this one (the third session) into two. I don’t ordinarily like to do that, preferring to retain the naturalism and not-actually-trivial human interactions and sideline conversations, but in this case, I want to focus on events of the fiction. I think I’ll make a montage later of “teaching Champions in play” moments though, which could be valuable.
We are seven sessions in, at the time of this writing, using the Alpha version of Champions Now. That Alpha is not much changed from the first-generation rules (specifically the 3rd edition core book and the supplements II and III), but it’s philosophically highly-directed toward one of the directions that was supported by those rules. I wanted people to playtest at this level first, to experience and arrive at a number of things that were supported by the older texts – basically, so when I said I was recovering a lost strength and in many ways even a lost game, they’d believe me.
It’s been a good strategy. Only playing the Defiants could have broken me out of purist mode and generated the rules that have now entered playtest as Beta. And others’ readings and play have really mattered as well, including the conversations you can see in Seminar and a few grassroots play-groups, e.g., Graph Paper Games.
So what’s up with our heroes here? You may recall that the two starting statements for play were:
- Super-powers are subject to IP law
- Young-adult economic crisis in San Antonio, Texas
Which brought us the Oblate (Michael), Crawl (Finn), and Silverbeak (Brian) – two of which would undergo name changes, but not in this session yet. You might want to imagine one of those intro/recap page spreads with all the supporting cast standing around and introducing themselves, because it’s huge, busy, and collectively opinionated. For this sessions, you need to know Michael’s wife Amanda, his colleague and advisor Cheryl, his ally Father Ochoa, his boss Dean John Weylunde, Brian’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer Powers, her current boyfriend Matt, his father Robert, his supervisor Gardner, and Finn’s buddy Jennifer Edwards and brother Liam.
Plus the unpleasant and looming presences of Myrmidon Inc featuring the hero Myrmidon, Immigration and Customs Enforcement including the super-group Ghost, and AmyBiota, friendly green business face of the Brooke Army Medical Center, all of whom factor into this session as well. My prep notes look like a wall of crazy full of loops and squiggles and arrows pointing every which way.
Part 1 for this session may bore you to tears because even though I began by pointing out that we should have begun with all the heroes already and associated and active as such, but we promptly failed to act on that point. It features no super-combat or indeed any violence at all ... but stay with us, OK? The spirit of Chris Claremont cradled us in its big talky hands, apparently, as the payoff for every emotional or relationship detail in this session turned out to be incredible later.
Besides, the second half of the session gets most entertainingly violent indeed.