The first wave of role-playing design was its own Renaissance, marked by greatness of all kinds. If you were playing then, you'll remember. And if you weren't, you'd be amazed at what that wave held. One of them was Champions, the Super Role-Playing Game.
Hero Games is proud to present Champions Now, to be created by pioneering game designer Ron Edwards, author of Sorcerer and co-founder of The Forge. Ron will revisit the original three editions of first-generation Champions (1981 to 1988), recovering the power of this foundational era of superhero roleplaying.
We know that time and tides went elsewhere. Fourth edition Champions and the Hero System have their own storied history beginning 1987-1989. Steve Long revised and expanded this body of work into the Hero System Fifth Edition in 2001, and then revised and expanded it again in 2009. There were lots of good books, lots of great games, and lots and lots of superheroing.
And that's fine. Things change. Only... there is one little point, one observation, one whole creative superhero subculture left back there in the past. One that just happened to rock the hobby to its foundations and train a whole generation of play and design, including a bunch of Big Ass Names who wrote the Big Ass Games you know well.
So our goal for Champions Now? To show you why the original Champions created by George MacDonald and Steve Peterson was actually just that good. To celebrate and recover that explosive quality. The final work will include best practices for the original rules and a new rules-set to bring their strengths forward, as well as practical essays about superhero comics and gaming.
It will also include you. See these people playing this game?
Right here is a very sketchy yet usable playtest document. We're playing this thing right now and so can you. We want to know what you do with it! Pledging playtesters get serious props right there in the text, saying what they said and what it means.
Halfway there breaking news! Hero Games is providing the PDFs for Champions 3rd edition and for the supplements Champions II and Champions III to all backers at named tiers at the completion of the campaign. The playtest document was written assuming you'd have these in hand, and now you totally will, as of July 1.
That's why you see that long delivery period - so you can play. This isn't a pre-order for a prefabricated product that would have been pumped out anyway. The point of crowdfunding is inclusion, and this is how that happens.
Another example are Ron's short videos, like this one, which initially appear as updates and are archived into a public resource at Adept Play. What you tell us about how you play and what happened - that's what upcoming videos are made to address. If you want, you might even get to be in one!
Save The Day By Saving A Tree ($15.00) You receive the electronic version of Champions Now!
PDF Plus More! ($20.00) You receive the PDF of Champions Now plus a spin-off villain otherwise not available to the average citizen! (Different backers get different characters chosen at random.)
Clutched In Your Hand! ($30.00) You receive both an electronic and physical copy that you can hold in your heroic hands!
Triple Threat! ($40.00) You receive the electronic version, the physical version, and three spin-off villains that other backers shall never face!
Team Up! ($60.00) For US retailers only (or international retailers with a freight forwarder in the US). Four copies of the book and a PDF to preview. You can increase your pledge by $15/book to add as many more as you want. We will cover the shipping costs in the United States. Not available to international retailers unless you have a US freight forwarder, sorry!
Into The Danger Room! ($75.00) Same as Triple Threat! ($40.00 level) except that you also get to participate in a character creation jam session with Ron Edwards and famed Hero System designer Steve Long! (These will be conducted in groups of backers.)
Heroes Assemble! ($200.00) You receive the PDF, two copies of the physical book, and get to game with Ron online; with the game built to kick off your own continuing campaign (this is intended for several people to collaborate on a single pledge).
Note: US backers can add multiple books to their pledges at $30 each with no additional shipping, but international backers are limited to one book per pledge.
Ron Edwards is a wanderin' Californian who has wound up in Sweden. He is the co-founder of the legendary website The Forge, a creator-owned-game publisher site, and the author of some notions about role-playing. His previous works include Sorcerer, Trollbabe, Spione, and Circle of Hands. He won the second Diana Jones Award for "excellence in gaming" in 2002, and is the author and creator of this project.
Steven S. Long is a role-playing game author and one of the owners of Hero Games. He has written for numerous companies, including White Wolf Publishing, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Steve Jackson Games, Last Unicorn Games, and Chameleon Eclectic. He has written, co-authored, edited, or developed over 200 RPG products. Steve will be assisting in the development and playtesting phase of this project.
Jason S. Walters is an author, essayist, and publisher best known for running Indie Press Revolution (IPR), a distributor of micro-published roleplaying games. He is also one of a small group of investors that purchased Hero Games in 2001, and serves as its CEO. He is the developer of numerous roleplaying games, including Champions Complete, Fantasy Hero Complete, and At The Hands of An Angry God. Jason is the publisher for this project.
Ruben Smith-Zempel was made in Oregon. He showed his creativity at an early age, charging his 3rd grade classmates 25 cents for paper and cardboard army vehicles (for the G.I. Joe’s, of course). Thus was born an artist who would never shy away from creating things important to his hobbies. Ruben has served as head graphic designer on dozens of RPG projects and will be handling layout and graphic design for this project.
Risks and challenges
I've published a lot of books over the years, a bunch of them here on Kickstarter! Four successful ones under Hero Games, four successful ones under Blackwyrm Publishing, and three under High Rock Press. So I know that crowdfunding projects are hard and a lot can go wrong. Artists don't turn work in, budgets don't work out, printers make mistakes. You name it. And complex roleplaying game projects can end up taking *way* longer than you anticipate! The stories I could tell you...
Fortunately, everyone involved in the Champions Now project is a veteran game publisher or designer. We'll get it done.
- Jason S. WaltersLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)