Playing First-generation Champions

Mark and Jahmal and me are doin’ it! Followers of Comics Madness know that I’m trying out my hard-won thoughts on best practices for “first-generation Champions,” prior to what I think of as the Big Wrong Move it underwent for its 4th edition in 1989. I spilled my every last thought on role-playing concepts and game design through a brutal series of posts, and this game is one of the results.

It’s set in the Kansas City greater metropolitan area, and as it happened, Mark and Jay independently came up with |”enhanced future soldier stranded in our time” concepts. We decided they came from opposing sides in the future war but are now partner super-heroes! They’re Agent One and ARC. See the attached sheet for what I sent the players.

I also asked that we specify a very concrete, real-world “thing” which concerned them, meaning players and heroes both, rather than have it all be SF/future imaginary conflicts. The players focused on issues concerning police, so we decided that there’s a police captain in the area who’s pushing for a full-on reversal of current policies. I’ve been reading about a few communities in the U.S. which went this route, refusing military material, refusing foreign training, refusing War on Drugs methods, et cetera. None of them are major cities, but I thought it’d be cool to have someone in there trying.

For the first outing, they ran into a villain I’ve been wanting to use for a long time, based on this design by J. E. Shields which I have the rights to. She never got a chance to show up in one of the comics I was doing, so now’s the time.

More about her later! Suffice to say she was tough and whacky, and they managed to stop her nefarious acts but not to apprehend her.

So much to talk about!! Rules concepts, play concepts, superhero concepts, and more. Look for it here in this space – it’s just gonna have to be a video of me ranting. We have an audio of the first run, to be posted soon, as well.

Here’s the final post of the multi-piece blog series I did on this topic: Knockout, with all the prior posts listed in it.


4 responses to “Playing First-generation Champions”

  1. Test post, with some minor content
    Obviously this is mostly a test post. The actual content is me spouting gibberish.

    I can’t help myself when I see anybody’s campaign guidelines – I have to fiddle about with them to see what kind of characters they allow/encourage.

    The most difficult part for me would be only partially designing a character – it only takes me 10 minutes to sketch out an almost book-legal 3e character, so stopping halfway feels “wrong”. Worse because I’m often literally doing it on the back of an envelope, on a bus or at the pub!

    Choosing disadvantages is the main mechanical thing that slows me down. I think that’s mainly because I don’t have a mental “library” of disadvantages that add up to a coherent character. Or rather, I don’t have 150 points of disads that I can slot together like that. I can manage 100 easily enough.

    Fluff text and art are things I add later. For some reason my sentences become a bit Yoda-esque once I start trying to write “fluff”. As for art – I literally failed a university subject because I couldn’t draw the specimens in front of me. It was even worse when they were under a microscope.

    • I was pretty curious to see what you came up with. Some of what you said seemed … off-track from what I'd provided, or maybe I'm over-reading. The idea that one kind of goes list-first and fills in the slots, is what I'm trying to get the players away from. Anyway, and never mind whatever I just said, did you end up with a notion for a character?

  2. We blame Vegas!

    Mark and I could Skype, but Jay's Vegas hotel room blocked it; Mark and Jay were fine in my Appear In room, but I was all fuzzy and underwater to them; and eventually, nothin' worked. The recording became audio rather than visual a short way in, and then dropped. We played a bit, as follows, with some amusin' stuff, and I think our enjoyment is evident, but not to the point where my planned characters to introduce, The Good Guys, managed to appear. We shall however persevere! (click on the image to see/listen)

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