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 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
- The Champions “Turn” is replaced by “Pages”. The twelve Phases of a Turn are replaced by “Panels” or “Spreads”.
- 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.
- 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.
- Any Panels without occupants will be filled with Reaction Shots by the GM, which can set up Complications or otherwise advance the story.
- If you aren’t in a Panel, you can’t act, but you also can’t be acted upon.
- 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 point of effect = 1 level for Rare effects (“Zymoxian superpowers”)
- 2 points of effect = 1 level for Uncommon effects (“tunneling underground”)
- 3 points of effect = 1 level for Common effects (“fire-related powers”)
- 4 points of effect = 1 level for Very Common effects (“any movement”)
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.