Frequently Asked Questions
Nope. It won’t even be numbered. It’s a Hero Games project and concerns one of their historical properties, and has no “place” in the saga of editions and revisions.Last updated:
Not that either. There are two parts. One is, almost entirely, a presentation of the rules from that time, with some changes here and there (marked as such), and focusing hard on some features of those rules. The playtest document here at the Kickstarter is built to develop that one. The other is a new game system that will be familiar to Champions players in a lot of ways but definitely its own thing.Last updated:
Depends. I think that term doesn’t tell us much. If you mean, “looks back at older texts with fondness and excitement for play,” or, “thinks the older texts were not just cheesy, but excellent,” then yes, for sure. But a lot of us have been doing that without calling ourselves anything for a long time.Last updated:
Yes, he’s one of its encouragers. Steve and I are long-term Champions buddies and general fans of one another’s work.Last updated:
For this project, I am another role-player who considers Champions to have “saved” role-playing for him. At all. Like a lot of people reading this, I would never have returned to this role-playing activity without it (in my case 1985), and I also consider it to have been the most influential design upon the hobby, most ungraciously unsung.
As for all my credentials, publications, awards, and internet kerfuffles people are trying to list about me, never mind that – except to say that you can see Champions DNA in a whole lot of my work, specifically, this one, first-generation.Last updated:
Why is first-generation superior to the others? (subset: which I know better and really like) (subset: which I always heard were disorganized, incomplete, and too quirky)
Hol’ on there, no one said “superior.” I am saying there is a thing in these rules which doesn’t feature strongly, perhaps at all, in the later ones, especially 4th-5th and the Hero System as such.
If you’re excited about playing that thing, this work will bowl you over; I speak from extensive experience doing just that. That doesn’t mean that either you or I won’t want play 4th/5th/Hero for its own sake too.
If you’re not excited about that thing, then no blood no foul, we will wave nicely across the waters. However, especially since there’s no threat or challenge to your preferred thing, you may get a little interested or curious just to see what’s up, or to appreciate the full history of the game’s development.Last updated:
That’s definitely the safe choice for crowdfunding, treating it as a pre-order catalogue. This isn’t that kind of campaign; this one is supporting the development of the product rather than merely signing on to buy it before release.
The good news is that both the creator and the publisher are brutally experienced at making that happen, and we’re all about extensive participation, ongoing chat, and influential input along the way. “Playtester” unfortunately all too often means you played a couple rounds of fight scene at a con and signed a paper – here, it emphatically means something more.
That goes for art too. I want backers to be able to say, “that one’s mine,” throughout as much of it as possible.Last updated:
In role-playing, “story” can mean two totally different things.
One of them places the GM in the status of the comics editor-in-chief, novelist, or film director, with a planned epic and a kind of Swiss-watch manager role in play. The story will be delivered and the players get to be “in” it. Adventure #5, The Coriolis Effect, is a good example. Dennis Mallonee’s mode of play was directly strongly at experiencing this visionary epic, and players were expected not to ruin it. Doing it with different players and heroes doesn’t really change much.
The other places the GM more like a player in terms of NPCs, with the events and interactions growing right out of what happened last time. There may be plenty of unknowns and secrets that the GM brings into play, but there is no future-plot or planned-climax; those appear in a more organic, caused fashion. Aaron Allston’s Strike Force campaign sourcebook is a good example, and its text is very clear that many of the outcomes and content came from players’ commitment to their characters’ decisions and development. Here, a different set of players and/or heroes would produce a completely different story. (In fact, Aaron used The Coriolis Effect in this campaign, and the supplement includes an essay about how he used it without being strictured by its expected plot.)
Another good example of this second type, which is best described as a whole salad of complicated and somewhat unpredictable NPCs, intended to produce who knows what when mixed with players' heroes who make their own decisions, is Scott Heine's Mind Games.
A lot of material in first-generation Champions supports the second way, especially the great essays by Steve Peterson, Aaron Allston, and Mike Stackpole in Champions II and Champions III. These, and the play that it inspired and taught for me and many others, are exactly what Champions Now is built to do.Last updated:
Three kinds. The first is tweaking the rules to focus on certain things: bringing Endurance up as a major feature of play, highlighting the ways to shift actions around the Speed chart, dialing back a variety of over-powered attack rules, reinforcing how mental abilities are applied and phrased - things that don't change rules so much, but when applied, the rules operate with more punch.
The second is really changing things. I kept the playtest document very close to the original rules, but I have my battle-plan for bigger changes and am looking forward to people trying them as we go along. Examples include using others' Disadvantages more proactively, as if they were powers of your own, treating Power Frameworks as variants on Variable Power Pool and making the trade-off found in Multipower into a Limitation instead, and (finally) resolving and cleaning up the perennial rounding issue while maintaining the unique strengths of the Champions point system.
The third is how stories emerge from play - no script, no safety net, perfectly good chance of producing a stinker, but empowered to produce brilliance right out of "just playing our characters." It's more like the first thing in this list because fantastic ideas about this are already explicit in the rules I'm working from, but they're also mixed with contradictory ideas and mismatched rules from other contributors, in the same texts. I'm extracting those principles into a how-to-play teaching text which matches the ideals and practices of authors Steve Peterson, Mike Stackpole, and Aaron Allston from the early days of the game.Last updated:
Some are and some aren't. If you can see it through my YouTube feed, then it's intended for anyone, at this point. Others you can only get to through the link in a backer-only update. When the campaign is over I'll switch'em all to public status.
In related news, a generous backer is producing transcripts from the YouTube caption feature, which apparently thinks I speak clearly enough to make this easy, so those will be made available too, as soon as practically possible.Last updated:
It's not design by committee, but design by me as the game is brought to life through play.
1. What a group experiences in play, from character creation and during sessions, lets me know what the game mechanics actually do.
2. What they completely bork, knowingly or not, lets me know what explanations aren't working.
3. What they see in the text lets me know what's really there as opposed to what I only think I put in there.
Therefore the design is mine, but it's informed by real people encountering the text and the experiences. The text is then written based completely on this reality, so that it operates as a genuine manual rather than a bloodless encyclopedia, or a pseudo-explanation that only the writer finds useful.Last updated:
We're aiming for a 6 by 9" softcover black & white interior book around 300 pages, maybe 200, no more than 400. No more than 1.4 pounds. No bigger than it needs to be. The first edition Champions was 8.5x11" and 64 pages in 1981 and cost $10, which would be $27.21 in 2017 dollars.
Softcover books are more durable to ship than hardcover, and easier to keep in print.Last updated:
Backers from the USA can add as many additional books as they want by increasing the amount of their pledge by $30 for each extra book. No additional shipping required.
Here's how to increase your pledge: Log in to your Kickstarter account, and you should see a green "Manage your pledge" button near the top right hand corner of the page. Click that, then click the blue "Change your pledge" button and find the "Current reward" box and enter your updated Pledge amount (+$30 for each additional book to the United States). Click the green Continue button, then the blue Confirm button. Done! No charge for additional shipping in the USA, just the flat $3.
Sadly, we can't offer additional books to International backers (Canada, Australia, Europe including UK), but after the Kickstarter is fulfilled they will be available from herogames.com and IndiePressRevolution.com. IPR sells to 250+ stores worldwide including Canada, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Peru, Phillipines, Singapore, and Thailand. See https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Stores/ for their current list, although that may change by June 2019.Last updated:
There is now! See Update 18 and the $60 Team Up! tier, for US retailers (or international retailers with a US freight forwarder). 4 books for $60, add more for $15 each, we'll pay for shipping. See Update 18 for more details.
After all the Kickstarter copies are shipped, the book will be available to retailers through Indie Press Revolution worldwide.Last updated:
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