Monday, May 2, 2011

We Are The Champions - Part I

Welcome to May and my first post A-to-Z Challenge post.

One of the things I discovered during the A-to-Z Challenge (and it was much more of a challenge then I had first thought) was that it's very difficult to make my brain follow a pattern of discussion on a subject I am not completely obsessed with.

What this means is that if I intend to do a month of blogging on the Muppets and a Muppet RPG I can and I will. If I have to come up with something that fits a certain letter each day, that's tough. My mind might be on Magic in Norse folklore but it's X day or something and I can't figure out how to fit it in. No, for me I prefer to either post about whatever is on my mind at the moment or go all OCD and do something like my Muppets RPG project. I'm just happier that way.

That said, my newest obession is one of my oldest obessions...the Superhero RPG. As much as I love Mutants and Masterminds (and I do LOVE Mutants and Masterminds), I'm considering running a Champions campaign utilizing 4th Edition (the last great edition of the game in my opinion - more on that in a moment).

My first Superhero RPG was Villains & Vigilantes (actually I think it was Dungeons & Dragons but that's a discussion for another time) and in the same classic sense of rivalry between Marvel and DC fans, if you liked V&V you had to dislike Champions. It was a rule or something like no 'tag-backs'. Truth is I never even looked at the game for more than a few minutes at a time. Each attempt to decipher it's ridiculously complex (in my 12-13 year old opinion) rule set had me dropping it like a hot potato. Too much math burns my eyes (still does).

It wasn't until high school that I would cross paths with Champions in full force. As one of the three or four mainstay GMs of the
High School of Art and Designs Gaming Club I had the chance to meet with a fellow by the name of Will who was running Champions and had been since it first came out in '81. As a matter of was the same campaign.

Will was having some difficulty with one of his current (at the time) players, a 'hero' PC who was in truth one of the major villains of the game. The PC in question was a religious fanatic best described as a cross between Tony Stark and William Stryker. Imagine if Lex Luthor was Professor X. Skrulls find out he has access to an army of mutant superheroes and is friends with major government and law enforcement personnel as well as Reed Richards and the Avengers. Want to invade the Earth? Kill Luthor/Prof. X first. That was basically the idea behind the PC's dad.

The PC then turned the resources of his father's non-profit foundation for helping superpowered individuals from difficult backgrounds and circumstances into a one man war against extraterrestrials after the alien invaders had killed his father in the aforementioned scenario.

If you're an inner city mutant youth who can't control his flame blasts, this guy and his organization are there to help. If you're Superman, Silver Surfer or the Martian Manhunter you'd best watch your back. His war against those heretic, unclean, blasphemers from the stars included other PCs.

Will had seen me GM Star Wars and Villains & Vigilantes and knew from a mutual friend what a comic book fan I was. He asked if I would play in his game to tip the sides a bit and give 'good' a fighting chance so his campaign wasn't completely wrecked by this one extremely smart, sneaky, well prepared and driven nutcase. How could I say no? At the same time, this was Champions...I had no idea how I was going to accomplish the task he requested of me.


Barking Alien

Tune in tonight for Part II and May's very first Muppet Monday! Woohoo!


  1. We old Champions players laugh at you old V&V players! Ha!
    (there you go- old tribal allegiances reborn!)

  2. Have at thee point based scum! ;)

    Truth of the matter is, while there is a special place in the my nostalgia center of my brain for V&V, I'm a much bigger fan of Champions and M&M.