Champions Lite

February 12, 2020 - 2 min read

I got ideas for how to condense Champions down into a few key pages, a project called Champions Lite. What I didn’t have was a good idea for how to translate the original game’s combat mechanics into an elegant and on-point system. So here’s a shot at how to organize the game.

Time Intervals

Time is divided like this:

  • Panels (a comic book panel)
  • Pages (six Panels)
  • Spreads (a special Panel going into a lot of detail or showing something especially dramatic)
  • Issues (a single game session, expected to take 2-4 hours)
  • Collections (several issues which create a story arc)

Pools and Regeneration

  • You start with 30 END, 30 STUN, 30 BODY
  • You can’t act if you’re out of STUN or BODY
  • You regain 3 END for every Panel where you didn’t appear
  • You regain all your STUN if you go for a Page without appearing, or at the end of a combat
  • You regain all your BODY when time passes, or when an Issue ends without a cliffhanger

Combat Rules

  1. The Champions “Turn” is replaced by “Pages”. The twelve Phases of a Turn are replaced by “Panels” or “Spreads”.
  2. Every Page, everyone declares which Panels they’ll be in. Declare in order of highest STUN to lowest STUN. For ties, declare in any order you want.
  3. You can add yourself to up to 3 Panels for free. Adding yourself to more costs 1 END per Panel. Removing yourself costs 1 END per Panel, if you don’t like where you’re at now.
  4. Any Panels without occupants will be filled with Reaction Shots by the GM, which can set up Complications or otherwise advance the story.
  5. If you aren’t in a Panel, you can’t act, but you also can’t be acted upon.
  6. Each combat has a Safety Limit, by default set at 5.

Effect to Levels

When you’re called on to turn an effect amount rolled on the dice into a number of levels, it works like this:

  1. 1 point of effect = 1 level for Rare effects (“Zymoxian superpowers”)
  2. 2 points of effect = 1 level for Uncommon effects (“tunneling underground”)
  3. 3 points of effect = 1 level for Common effects (“fire-related powers”)
  4. 4 points of effect = 1 level for Very Common effects (“any movement”)

Standard Effects

You can spread your effect amount across any of these outcomes.

  • Harm - reduce STUN by effect amount
  • Wound - reduce BODY by effect amount, up to the game’s Safety Limit, and half STUN past that
  • Penalize - apply a penalty to one or more levels when attempting to take some action in the fiction, like “Entangle: -4 penalties to movement”. Lasts until Canceled or negated by the fiction. Use Effect to Levels.
  • Cancel - reduce a penalty by the effect amount. Use Effect to Levels.
  • Wide Shot - apply the standard effect to everyone in the Panel with you, e.g. Area-Effect Attacks
  • Negate - reduce some other power’s level by the level of this one, e.g. Armor-Piercing attacks

I’ll try to work up an example fight soon.