CHAMPIONS: The WorldWardens
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In the early 20th Century, the world was changed by a magical ritual gone awry. Intended to restore the waning forces of magic to the world, it succeeded far better than anticipated and warped the nature of reality to allow possibilities that had previously been barely imaginable. Now, almost a century later, superhuman beings inhabit our world, battling to protect or enslave it…
THE STORY SO FAR…
Victoria Armiger, daughter of the famed 1960s superhero Captain Courage, inherited his fortune but never felt the calling to personally follow in her father’s footsteps. Instead, she set up the charitable nonprofit* Armiger Foundation* to honor her father’s memory in less esoteric ways. In addition to a variety of philanthropic activities, the Foundation set about assembling and sponsoring a team of superheroes to carry on the legacy more directly.
Dubbed the WorldWardens, the new supergroup was based in San Francisco and was initially composed of phasing brick Adam Smasher; Smoke Screen, a stealthy individual with smoke-based powers; Silver Dragon, a secret agent, technician and martial artist who could transform into a dragon; Enermatrix, a powerful flying lightning projector; and Pinball Wizard, a bouncing mutant with spherical metal trick weapons.
The WorldWardens’ first mission, against a drug ring controlled by the evil King Cobra that was distributing the mutagenic narcotic Snake Oil, ended disastrously. Tipped off by the superheroes’ investigation, Cobra’s fanatical minions had time to remove all essential equipment and personnel and destroy the remainder. In the aftermath Silver Dragon’s superiors lost faith in the new team and reassigned her to other duties.
Shortly thereafter the WorldWardens redeemed themselves when an at-sea earthquake triggered a tsunami that flooded much of Southern California. While assisting relief efforts the WorldWardens discovered that a tribe of extradimensional shark-men called Karkaradons, led by the sorcerous Goblin Shark, had invaded the flooded areas of San Francisco and were herding survivors for blood-sacrifice to their evil god,-king the “Destroyer.” Goblin Shark was driven off and the survivors rescued, raising the team’s profile significantly.
A week after the tsunami, Congressman David Sutherland, who had publically retired as the superhero Invictus to pursue political aspirations, contacted Adam Smasher to request that the WorldWardens bring in the rogue geologist Lincoln Carter, better known as the supervillain SARGON, as a person of interest in the recent disaster. Pinball Wizard took a leave of absence for medical reasons connected with his mutant physiology. The remaining three members, Adam Smasher, Enermatrix, and Smoke Screen, located SARGON repairing his prototype anti-earthquake device in the San Bernadino desert valley over the San Andreas faultline. SARGON insisted that the recent disaster had been artificially induced by someone else, and that his device would prevent the same from happening again. SARGON fought the heroes and was subdued, but before they could bring him in the mercenary supervillain group known as the Brain Trust teleported in, attempting to kill SARGON and destroy his earthquake-control device. The Brain Trust was defeated but all but the super-agile cat-woman Lynx escaped. Persuaded that the device was potentially beneficial, the team took in SARGON but did not dismantle the machine, which authorities took control of to study.
Meanwhile, the rogue Empyrean named Arvad, exiled king of the undersea dome-city of Lemuria, has pledged the magic and technology of his Loyalist followers to the rebuilding of coastal California. The Lemurians, divided between the short-lived but shapeshifting reptilians Recidivists and the near-immortal, human-appearing Loyalists, are engaged in a civil war that ousted King Arvad, who is generally deemed to be courting allies from the surface world to reclaim his throne.“CHAMPIONS: The WorldWardens” is an online role-playing campaign conducted using the software tools Maptool (for tactical gameplay) and Skype (for VoiP—voice chat). The campaign follows the traditional superhero team genre and employs a modified version of the present-day Champions Universe, as published by Hero Games, as its setting. The rules employed use the 6th edition of the Hero System as a baseline, with house rules and adaptations for the method of gaming. The campaign is gamemastered by Epiphanis (Ralph Young).
A. Character Creation
Characters are created as per the Champions 6th Edition rules, with 400 character points and a mandatory 75 points of matching complications. All PCs are subject to GM review and revision, both at creation and during play, at the GM’s complete discretion. The tone of the campaign is “Bronze Age”; not as tongue-in-cheek as the Silver Age comics, but not as dark as the “Iron Age.” Superheroes do not get a free pass on killing villains; characters need not have a Code Against Killing but killings will have serious consequences, and failing to meet the expectations can result in punishments or even loss of PC status (i.e., the character becomes an NPC).
Character creation is subject to a “Rule of X” style system in which SPD is cross-indexed against maximum possible modified OCV to determine AP limits on all attack powers and primary characteristics, as per the following table:
PC SPD cannot be below 3 or above 9. Maximum OCV is calculated by taking the base OCV and adding all Combat Skill Levels and the highest possible OCV bonus from any Martial Maneuver (but not Standard Maneuvers). If the character’s MOCV is greater than OCV use MOCV instead. A perfectly well-rounded 400 point character will have a SPD of 5, a maximum modified OCV of 10 (about 6-8 being base OCV, the remainder being CSLs and Martial Maneuvers), and an AP Limit of 60. AP Limits above 80 are not allowed; below 40 are not recommended.
All intiative, even for mental actions, is based off of DEX. This simplifies matters considerably.
C. Maneuvers & Combat Rules
This campaign uses all of the Standard and Optional Maneuvers listed in 6E2 56, plus the rules for Guarding and Interposing on 6E2 128. Knockback (6E2 114) is used, but not the rules for Wounding, Hit Locations and Placed Shots, Impairing, Disabling or Bleeding; or Mystery Damage. The Hit Locations and Critical Hits rules as used in the rulebooks are replaced by the house rules for Critical Hits given below.
D. Critical Hits
This house rule is a mashup of elements of the Critical Hits rules as described in 6E2 118 and the Hit Location & Placed Shot from 6E2 108-111. The version of the rules presented here replaces both of them.
Critical hits are a possible result of any attack dealing standard or killing damage. Attacks that don’t inflict standard or killing damage, even Drains of STUN or BODY, do not inflict criticals. The attack must target an individual’s DCV, not his MDCV or the area he is located. Targets that have the “No Hit Locations” power are immune to critical hits.
The effect of a critical hit is rolled as any other damage with respect to penetrating defensive powers. After the target’s defenses have been applied, however, the damage to the target’s BODY and STUN are doubled.
Example: Ironclad hacks the villain Quartz with his sword, doing 4d6 of killing damage. He rolls 14 BODY and 28 STUN. Quartz had 15 rPD and a total PD of 20. On a normal hit, the attack would do no BODY and 8 STUN. On a critical hit, however, it would still do no BODY, but would inflict 16 STUN (which is greater than Quartz’ CON of 15, and stuns him).
Determining criticals is a little difficult, but the software does the heavy lifting. Against a normal target, a “to hit” roll of 8 or less on 3d6 has a chance of critting if the roll is less than 2x what is needed to hit the target.
Some targets, however, are considered “vulnerable.” The conditions on the table at 6E2 37 that are indicated as 1/2 in the “Hit Locations” column are deemed vulnerable to critical hits. The most common of these conditions are being stunned, entangled, taking a recovery of being knocked out. Also, if the attacker is Interposing and gets an OCV bonus against the defender from it, the defender is considered vulnerable to that attack only. On attack rolls against targets with these conditions, a crit occurs on a roll of 12 or less in which the roll is less than 1.5x what is needed to hit the target. Since every condition that renders one vulnerable to critical hits also reduces DCV, a vulnerable target is at a tremendous disadvantage.
The following table shows how these attacks work.