A joy to listen to, but I’m afraid I’m no less scared of Champions.
Have you seen the Hero in Two Pages handout? It doesn’t do a bad job of showing the heart of the game.
The main thing for me is that I don’t feel Hero is as complicated as something like Pathfinder. I tried to learn Mutants & Masterminds and my brain seemed to actively repel the information. Hero might have a lot going on if you want to use a bunch of options but, like GURPS, it feels like a logical design, which is never a sense I get from later D&D etc.
I’ve been poking a bit at Pathfinder recently because of the forum game, and I get the impression that a GM there is expected to be able to find and abide by a specific rule. One of my personal GMing principles is that stopping to look up a rule breaks the flow of the game and therefore should be avoided if possible; if I know roughly what should happen, that’s usually good enough. I don’t always keep to this, but it’s a thing that’s doable in GURPS and I suspect in Champions too, while in PF there may well be a specific list of allowed things that a GM has to memorise or look up.
(Jon, what do you have in terms of quick reference for Champions when you’re running it? For GURPS I use the screen, but generally the only things I look up are range modifiers and occasionally reaction rolls or fright checks. The detailed combat modifiers hardly ever matter.)
I’m still getting the hang of what I need, so right now I have Champions Complete with a number of Post-It bookmarks, a fan-made Hero 6E GM screen (which is perhaps rather too comprehensive, making for very small print) and a couple of open PDFs to search. I also printed NPC character sheets and laminated a turn chart so I can mark off the segments and phases as we go. Far more than I do for most games!
Hopefully I’ll be able to reduce the actual reference material substantially after a few games.
I had not. Thanks!
Yeah, gorillas were a DC thing. When I ran DC Realtime with a friend (a campaign where the characters began their careers when they were first published and aged realistically from then on), I had one episode where Grodd showed up in New York and released a virus that caused human mentalities to become more “simian.” We had a great scene where the current Batman (Bruce Wayn’s grandson) leaped up on his desk and made inarticulate threatening sounds . . .
@RogerBW, I wasn’t happy that I was using Mind Scan correctly, so I double-checked the rules in CC and 6E vol1:
A character can use Mind Scan to determine the number of sentient minds in an area, without Scanning for any particular mind. (If the character’s Mind Scan is defined as affecting some class of minds other than Human, he counts the number of minds of that type, such as the number of Animal minds.) To do this, he declares his target area and makes a Mind Scan MCV Attack Roll against DMCV 3 (including modifiers for the number of people in the target area). If the roll succeeds, he knows how many sentient minds are in that area, plus or minus 10%. If the roll fails, the GM should give the character incorrect (possibly wildly incorrect) information about the number of minds in that area.
So, mostly right, but we need to define the target area more closely.
I feel that a large area should be harder to scan than a smaller one, but maybe that’s my GURPS head talking.
Hard to relate to real-world measurements, but I can also see the case for suggesting that a mental scan for other minds doesn’t necessarily tie itself to distance. Pick a useful target area (too big and you end up with something unhelpful such as “There are definitely some minds in Europe, quite a lot in fact”) and your issue then is whether you can distinguish one mind from another: the more active signals crowded into that space the harder it is to count numbers or locate a particular one. That probably fits the comicbook approach seen with Professor X using Cerebro.
This is generally how I try to run Pathfinder. Sometimes I will stop and check something, and I did a lot more in the early stages of my campaign. Sometimes I’ll ask a player to look it up, if it seems important or likely to come up a lot, while I get on with something. However, my players are very familiar with the system, which helps a lot.
Session 1: Alvin and the Chipmunks After an All-Night Cocaine Bender: The Blackpool Tower’s still there, but the Pleasure Beach is gone…
Session 2: Jiminy Cricket Winking Heroically: Agents. Gonna have to fumigate to get 'em out.
Session 3: None More Green: But why would I jump out of this aeroplane? It isn’t broken.
I discover here one of the semi-regular difficulties of new systems: gauging how powerful something is. I took the low-powered versions for most of my powers (not the default dicepools) since 8 or 12 dice sounded like a lot. With some play under our belts now, I think I’ve misjudged that. Between the way effect is calculated and the amount you can soak up, those dice are probably necessary. Further experimentation required.
Sometimes it’s a lot, sometimes it isn’t. I’m sure that guy is OK. Agents are tough, right? (Next episode.)
Champions is pretty infamous for requiring a bucketload of d6. And there’s a big difference between 8 dice and 12 dice when it comes to damage. 8 is “probably knock out a normal person in one shot,” 12 is “probably knock out a trained but non-super combatant in one shot.”
I really enjoy this game, but it seems to be about people with superpowers, rather than superheroes. Does that make sense?
“As soon as we’re within range where we can fly without getting too shagged out” isn’t a sentiment or consideration you expect from Captain Marvel.
I think that part of this may be that we don’t yet have a feel for how damage-proof we are. (NewMind has defences only as part of his multipower, so if something hits him by surprise he’s in trouble.)
Personally I feel I understand “person with superpower” much better than I understand “superhero”.
Session 4: Spurting My Growth Juice: The crunch hits. We hit back.