Whew – and here we launch into game design, for me an uncharacteristically scary moment, because this isn’t just anything, this is Champions – and playing what is undeniably either my elevation or profanation thereof.
I have a bunch of Beta playtests beginning, and this one got going first, with Frank and Alan. I sent out the two statements to them, in this case authored by me without discussion. I already knew that both lived on the U.S. west coast, so my choice of location was not arbitrary.
- Powers are bright, fun, and hopeful.
- Long-term history and politics, and fraught personal lives, on the Left Coast.
I was quick to curtail the inevitable email conversation that began then, preferring them to work separately and to meet one another and me with in-development concepts in hand. We ended right where we should, with the players revising and composing their to-play versions with no sense of anxiety, indecision, or confusion.
How we did that, in the video, may appear to you as a casual conversation – it’s not. I’m working the three-corner concept all the way, taking what they did with the initial statements, riffing on it with associations or suggestions of my own, bringing up rules as concepts available for use. I’m bringing all the strengths of the game to bear on exactly what we’re doing in this precise instance, without leading them toward any point of my own making. By the end, we have something a’borning which is very much ours, on the edge of play.
I’m particularly happy with what’s mine: Doctor Darius Darkstar, the original Power Star’s history, Mike’s idealist brother, Mike’s ex and now brother’s wife who owns the restaurant he founded, the super-cave with its Tesla coil and its network of tele-portals, the Dark Cohort, the nosy journalist, the lovely possibilities of Higgs space, Advance’s former history, Vince’s energy research and career, Vince’s wife (who is obviously one cool ol’ broad), some vile villain of Advance’s past … it is all I can do to keep from disclosing my scribbled list of super-names I plan to use for this one. It’s blazing off the page.
One of the characters is located in Seattle and the other in Humboldt County. I’m looking forward to a multi-location context for action throughout the region, with lots of visits to interesting energy concerns which can implode or explode spectacularly.
The title came to me the next day, maybe not of the duo, who knows, but certainly the name of their alliance, and of the comic itself: Legacy.
Attached you’ll find Alan’s character sheet, after he reworked it following the session.