Friday, May 4, 2018


With the exception of a single, personally significant post, I decided to take the month of April off from blogging. 

It hadn't been planned ahead of time and I'm not sure at what point during the month I made that formal decision, but I am very glad I did. Things were especially busy and hectic and I really didn't know what, if anything, I wanted to say regarding the hobby. 

It's a new month and I've had experiences that I want to discuss. I took a break and now I'm born anew, ready to talk about my new campaign, TV shows, movies, and my ideas for the future.

Praise the dice and Hallelujah!

The Gospel According to Champions

We have returned once again to the universe of my old friend William Corpening, whose epic 10+ year Champions campaign was as deep and layered with mythology and pathos as anything Marvel or DC Comics has created. 

In the past, when I have adapted Will's Champions Earth-Wilco Charlie-1 to my own games, I designated it Champions Earth-Alpha Delta-1, a variant timeline/parallel world in which the story continued after I left the original campaign along a different path. 

Since my last major event in the game was an alien invasion (The Invasion: Earth War crossover to be exact), I usually start my campaigns six months after that occurrence. It should be noted however that while that was the last time I was in the game, the original campaign continued for another two and a half years. 

My newest campaign is set in yet another universe, Champions Earth-Alpha Delta-A, with the idea of being a direct sequel to the original. Our story begins not six months after my last time playing Will's game, but rather six months after Will's game actually ended. The status quo is quite different. The major NPCs are different, with some heroes and villains gone, some returning, and many new ones entering the arena. 

It is a world many of the players find familiar and yet this take on it is almost equally surprising and fresh. Win-Win!

Preaching to the Choir

One thing that has been reinforced to me time and time ago over the past few years is that you need to have the right people for the right game and vice versa. Sometimes matching the group up with a game such that we're all on the same page feels like a monumental task. Other times, it just works. The parts all fit together with hardly any effort. 

Champions is that game for this group.

After such false starts and failed attempts, we have returned to the game that four out of six of us love. The remaining two are new to the setting and the system, having never partaken in them before.

My girlfriend is just learning to play RPGs in general, but she is clever, creative, and gets the general idea of Superheroes. She is a self-proclaimed problem solver, so she gets jazzed by the idea that figuring out a crime or defeating a villain is simply an obstacle to be overcome. 

Our other new addition also gets Superheroes and is well versed in Anime, Movies, and things that can easily be tied in. He represents an area of the game universe that hasn't been explored very much, but it's out there just waiting to be investigated. 

Basically, this is a group that understands the genre and is primed to be immersed in a campaign that embraces it. Those who know the setting really enjoy it. Those that don't are curious to find out about it. 

Since I tend to focus my games on the Player Characters, the universe they live in, and how they interact and relate to it and one other, I'm over the moon to have players with solid character ideas that link into key aspects of the setting. 

All in all this is looking very promising largely because of the people involved. 

Amazing Grace

To this very day I'm stunned that I love this crunchy, math-heavy system as much as I do, but Champions (specifically Hero System 4th Edition) is by far my favorite Superhero RPG. 

I've been playing (as a player) a rule-light Supers game over Google Hangouts for a few years now and while I have been enjoying it, the system is starting to get to me. It feels flat. The characters are not mechanically different from each other as powers have little variation in how they apply to the situations in the game. Skills are an after thought. There really isn't a feeling that one particular attack is better than any other in a given moment except you might have higher dice. My 10 Power is better than your 8 Power for example, but what power it actually is seems inconsequential. 

Champions not only gives you options, it gives you variety. It allows you to play the character you want to play the way you want to play it. It lets me, the GM, dial up or down the detail, the difficulty, and the scope based on my preferences and the story I want to tell. 

Every ability, every power, every situation or condition is able to be translated into the games mechanics. In it's crunch and rules-heaviness there is a certain elegance, a beauty in its complexity. . 

I love that it works, that it works well, and that my players get it. 

As the month goes on I will include more details regarding this campaign including information on the Player Characters, the plots and subplots, and anything else that seems interesting enough to share. If anyone out there has any questions about the campaign, please feel free to ask.

Can I get an Amen?

Barking Alien


  1. Amen, and good gaming to all of you!

  2. Well it looks like we're on similar chronometric wavelengths - here's to a new start!

  3. Amen! I wish I could comment more often, but as I cannot, know this: reading about your sci-Fi and superhero game experiences and ideas is always enlightening and entertaining, especially against the tide of D&D-only blogs. Have a good flight!

  4. I am very excited by this turn of events.

  5. I have been planning to write the "science" of CHAMPIONS. Maybe I will. I'll keep you posted.