While Gamma World seems to be the theme for many a game blogger this month, I think I'll be sticking to Champions for the time being. I really want to run this bad boy again but I got to thinking...why did I ever stop?
The answer, somewhat indirectly is Mutants & Masterminds but it goes a bit deeper than that.
First, Champions is a lot of work. While each player must go through the process of character creation one (or in many of our games a few times to create alts), the GM has to continuously create multiple characters, villains and fellow heroes that populate the campaign's universe. That takes up a lot of time, especially if you're like me and 'numerically challenged'. Punching numbers into a calculator makes it right and easy but it doesn't make it much faster.
Sure, I could use the NPCs and villains provided in Champions products but to be honest, the majority of them are gawd awful. Seriously. I have no idea how the people who created the Hero System, the one game capable of doing virtually anything and everything in any genre, could give us such boring, uninspired villains. It boggles the mind.
I imagine Rembrandt or Michelangelo requesting his patron give him an art studio filled with the best and varied array of paints, sculpting materials, brushes, etc. and than holing themselves up in that studio for a month, only to emerge with a drawing of a stick figure on a book sized canvas.
The Champions themselves, the main superhero team as depicted in 4th edition, are equally tragically uninteresting. They miss all the ques needed to make them visually iconic or part of a history the way M&M's Freedom League are. So disappointing.
Anyway, what it all means is Champions takes time and I don't have tons so I was looking for a game that could basically do what Champions did but was quicker, easy and required less math. Mutants & Masterminds is just that and hence my favorite Supers game. So why look back?
Champions handles certain things better than M&M. Superspeed and what you can do with it is much cooler in Champions. The way Advantages and Disadvantages work with both the character concept and their powers is a bit more in depth. Combat is easier for those who've traditionally played games with random damage determination and hit points to comprehend. And I do have fond memories of that game and that counts for quite a bit (OSR anyone?).
So I need a way to make the character generation process faster.
One idea is to get ahold of Hero Lab. I'm not sure it's still available for 4th Edition but I'll check.
Another, and one I've used many times in many Superhero RPGs, is to find someone on the 'net whose created stats for known Marvel or DC characters and reskin them. Use Blue Beetle's stats, draw a new pic and call him 'Bug Out, The Insect Avenger' or something.
Finally, I'll see if I can find any notes from my old campaigns but unfortunately that is unlikely to happen. I have no idea where my old Champions notes are.
If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for speeding up the Champions character creation process please feel free to comment and let me know. I'm going to need all the help I can get.