Monday, August 22, 2016

Friday night recap: Champions gets a second, longer look

Does your gaming group have their own shirts?
Before I get into recapping the last gaming session at my house, I have to share the joy that is having one of your players custom order shirts for the entire gaming group featuring the logo of the brewery the PC's created as part of the last campaign I ran.  The brew in question is "Flask o' Tarrasque," a proud product of The Bad News Bears Inn, Tavern, and Brewery.  This "Legendary Fortified Brown Ale" does have the disclaimer that it may be habit-forming.

Anyways, I don't think I have ever had a campaign engender this much genuine fondness from my players in all my life.

Once most of the players had their new shirts on, we undertook the arduous task of learning how to play Champions Complete, which is a scaled-down version of Hero Games, Sixth Edition.  Originally I had only about four people scheduled to show up but it exploded at the last minute to eight.  Some asked if I was going to prevent latecomers from participating, but I wanted to "stress test" the system to see how it performs under a large load.  But because there wasn't enough time to build the complex Champions PC's, the latter arrivals had to use the generic "Champions" pre-gens from the book.  Interestingly enough, some of the sample pre-gens are pretty rules-lawyerish for my tastes, but there you go.

Learning the rules and have eight 400-pt PC's battle five 400-pt villains in one fight took two hours (and interesting enough, only five segments on the Speed Chart).  Despite that people liked the detail the rules offered in terms of the characters, the slow pace of gameplay perhaps turned me off worse than anyone.  I'm not sure if that is just because people are unfamiliar with the rules or if it is just the way the game tends to play.  I have memories of most Champions sessions with my friends being "get to the fight, fight, leave the fight" in terms of plot.

There are still two regular games ongoing, neither of which are being led by me, so I can take my time trying out different options on the odd Friday night when there is nothing else going on.  Looks like Champions is in the "try again later," category, at least.


  1. As you well know, I'm a big fan of Champions, though earlier versions.

    If you are the type of GM, or player who must know every rule in order to feel comfortable playing it, then Champions is a game best played when you know every rule, and not a moment before.

    Champions is therefore a game for those who have either mastered it (like my friend Will), or those for whom 'A working knowledge is fine, and we can hammer out the details later' (like me).

    1. I basically went with my knowing all about the game and translating what the players wanted to do into the game mechanics. For example, one player figured out the "Move Through" maneuver on his own, but I had to tell him out it worked out in terms of damage, et al.

  2. That should've been fine. That's pretty much what I do.

  3. 8 players, all of them new to Champions - whoo boy! I would say it sounds like a recipe for frustration but it sounds like you did manage to get something done.