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seeking Champions 5 pbem game

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Anonymous
June 8, 2004 10:52:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

I am looking for a basic, fairly normal 5th edition Champions superhero
pbem game, preferably run on YahooGroups (YahooGroups just makes pbem
games so much easier to play). This seemed like a good place to look.

Now, you'd think this would be all there is to it -- "Hi there, I'm
looking for game -- anyone looking for players?"

Sadly, the control freaks, the fanboys, and the pervs appear to have
taken over pbem gaming, so I have to spell out what I'm looking for, and
what I'm not. I apologize for the length of this message, but I guess
it's better to get it out of the way up front so there are fewer
misunderstandings later.

What interests me:

* As a player in a supers game, I value cooperation and creativity.

* I like the opportunity to defend the innocent and rescue the endangered.

* I enjoy the occasional moral quandry or pyrrhic victory, but in the
long run I want to know that I am fighting the good fight.

* I like some mystery and horror thrown in from time to time to spice
things up, as long as the mysteries do eventually get (mostly) solved,
and the horrors eventually get (mostly) driven back.


What does not interest me:

* I am not interested in a game with as many house rules as there are
official rules -- two or three is okay, but more than that is just not
worth the hassle. Hero 5 has been playtested and bug-fixed six ways from
Sunday, and I think it's just fine. Stop fiddling with the trivia, and
let's play.

* I am not interested in games that require all of the players to play
established DC or Marvel (or Buffy, or Harry Potter) characters -- I do
not mind if they show up as NPCs, but I am not interested in a game
where we just ape someone else's characters.

* I am not interested in games that exist only to satisfy the GM's
desire for free internet porn -- I do not mind an adult situation now
and then, but if I want smut I know where to get it.

* I am not interested in games where the GM is a control freak who
imposes bizarre requirements on how the players format their posts,
whether that is mandatory past tense, mandatory first person, mandatory
"one asterisk means this but two slashes means that", or whatever -- I
am happy to tolerate just about anything from the other players, as long
as we are all having fun, but I am simply not interested in jumping
through inane hoops. For Pete's sake, it's a role-playing game, not a
novel or a technical manual -- stop micromanaging how players write
their posts, and let's get on with the game.

About me:

I have been role-playing for umpteen years, and I have been playing
Champions for most of that (in addition to White Wolf, D&D, and assorted
other games). I have played in numerous pbem games, and I have run more
than a few (mostly successfully). I truly appreciate how much work it
takes to be a good GM, particularly a good pbem GM. I think I am a good
player, and I make a genuine effort to get along with the other players
and make the GM's job easier. (You'd think this would go without saying,
wouldn't you? I wish that were the case.)

If you have an opening in your 5th edition Champions superhero pbem
game, or if you want someone to play an NPC for a while until a PC slot
opens up, drop me an email.

bblackmoor@blackgate.net
2004-06-08
June 9, 2004 4:43:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote in message
news:2imu8lFp88qtU1@uni-berlin.de...
> I am looking for a basic, fairly normal 5th edition Champions superhero
> pbem game, preferably run on YahooGroups (YahooGroups just makes pbem
> games so much easier to play). This seemed like a good place to look. . .
.. snip well articulated game description.

If you find such a game, I'd be interested in joining myself. I can't find
any Champions players in my area.
Anonymous
June 9, 2004 1:09:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

David wrote:
> "Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote...
>
> If you find such a game, I'd be interested in joining myself.
> I can't find any Champions players in my area.

Will do.

bblackmoor
2004-06-09
Related resources
Anonymous
June 10, 2004 1:42:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Wed, 9 Jun 2004 00:43:38 -0400, "David" <nospam@home.net> wrote:
>> I am looking for a basic, fairly normal 5th edition Champions superhero
>> pbem game, preferably run on YahooGroups (YahooGroups just makes pbem
>> games so much easier to play). This seemed like a good place to look. . .
>. snip well articulated game description.
>
>If you find such a game, I'd be interested in joining myself. I can't find
>any Champions players in my area.

Me too! That sounds like it'd be a great game. Good luck finding it.



--
chuk
Anonymous
June 11, 2004 7:16:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Chuk Goodin wrote:
>
> That sounds like it'd be a great game. Good luck finding it.

I am close to giving up, actually. I have been looking for months now
for just a normal Champions pbem game run by a sane, reasonable GM. Do
they just not exist anymore? It doesn't seem like this should be so much
to ask. I feel like Taylor at the end of Planent Of The Apes.

bblackmoor
2004-06-11
Anonymous
June 11, 2004 11:18:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 15:16, Brandon Blackmoor <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote:
>Chuk Goodin wrote:
>>
>> That sounds like it'd be a great game. Good luck finding it.
>
>I am close to giving up, actually. I have been looking for months now
>for just a normal Champions pbem game run by a sane, reasonable GM. Do
>they just not exist anymore? It doesn't seem like this should be so much
>to ask. I feel like Taylor at the end of Planent Of The Apes.

Is web based out of the question? Apparently Hero Central has a fair few
that might be open.



--
chuk
Anonymous
June 11, 2004 11:18:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Chuk Goodin wrote:
>
> Is web based out of the question? Apparently Hero
> Central has a fair few that might be open.

I travel a lot, and although I can check email just about anywhere
(thanks to Palm, Bluetooth, and T-Mobile), surfing the web is less
convenient.

I'll check it out though. Do you have URL for it?

bblackmoor
2004-06-11
Anonymous
June 12, 2004 4:32:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 15:16:30 -0400, Brandon Blackmoor
<bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote:

>Chuk Goodin wrote:
>>
>> That sounds like it'd be a great game. Good luck finding it.
>
>I am close to giving up, actually. I have been looking for months now
>for just a normal Champions pbem game run by a sane, reasonable GM. Do
>they just not exist anymore? It doesn't seem like this should be so much
>to ask. I feel like Taylor at the end of Planent Of The Apes.

Personally, Champs just doesn't sound like a system I'd use for
running a PBEM from my past experiences running them years ago.
Anonymous
June 12, 2004 4:47:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 15:16:30 -0400, Brandon Blackmoor
<bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote:

>Chuk Goodin wrote:
>>
>> That sounds like it'd be a great game. Good luck finding it.
>
>I am close to giving up, actually. I have been looking for months now
>for just a normal Champions pbem game run by a sane, reasonable GM. Do
>they just not exist anymore? It doesn't seem like this should be so much
>to ask. I feel like Taylor at the end of Planent Of The Apes.
>bblackmoor
>2004-06-11


I guess it also depends on how strongly you feel about some of your
requirements. For example, you hate having to deal with House Rules.
If it's a choice between (A) a game with a number of House Rules or
(B) having no game, how strongly do you really feel about that?

The same goes for your other requirements. I don't recall offhand
your complete list of requirements, I just remember reading it and
thinking that you wouldn't be interested in the place I'm playing
because it didn't meet your requirements in more than one regard. But
if you have found that you can't get what you want, you may have to
decide if you're willing to go with a less-than-perfect situation.
Anonymous
June 12, 2004 8:05:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Harold Groot wrote:
>
> I guess it also depends on how strongly you feel about some of your
> requirements.

I only have three, really, and they all boil down to "just a normal
Champions game". No smut, no nit-picking control freaks, and I want to
create my own character. Maybe that's too much to ask. Wayne thinks
Champions isn't best suited to pbem. Maybe all of the reasonable GMs
agree with him. :/ 

bblackmoor
2004-06-12
Anonymous
June 12, 2004 8:00:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 04:05:04 -0400, Brandon Blackmoor
<bblackmoor@spamcop.net> wrote:

>create my own character. Maybe that's too much to ask. Wayne thinks
>Champions isn't best suited to pbem. Maybe all of the reasonable GMs
>agree with him. :/ 

The problem is that one Champ's virtues--it's detailed, player-control
combat system--is an active deficit in PBEM; it essentially gets in
the way. At that point the only reason you're using Champs is because
you want it's other big one--it's detailed character creation. And
I'm not sure that's normally a good enough reason.
Anonymous
June 13, 2004 5:11:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Wayne Shaw wrote:
>
> At that point the only reason you're using Champs
> is because you want it's other big one -- it's detailed
> character creation. And I'm not sure that's normally a
> good enough reason.

You're probably right. I will re-think what it is I actually want from a
pbem game.

bblackmoor
2004-06-13
Anonymous
June 14, 2004 2:35:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote in message
news:2imu8lFp88qtU1@uni-berlin.de...

[snip requirements]

If I could figure out *how* you run a pbem game, I'd run one myself. And it
would be pretty close to your requirements (except I'm still using Champions
4th edition and don't really want to learn a whole new set of rules at the
moment).


--
David Meadows
Heroes: www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts/
A comic book -- without the pictures
Anonymous
June 14, 2004 2:35:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

David Meadows wrote:
>
> If I could figure out *how* you run a pbem
> game, I'd run one myself.

It's a lot of work; much more than a face-to-face game, in my opinion. I
have run more than a few (mostly successfully), and I don't think I'll
run one again any time soon.

bblackmoor
2004-06-13
Anonymous
June 14, 2004 9:43:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 20:46:40 -0400, Brandon Blackmoor
<bblackmoor@spamcop.net> wrote:

>David Meadows wrote:
>>
>> If I could figure out *how* you run a pbem
> > game, I'd run one myself.
>
>It's a lot of work; much more than a face-to-face game, in my opinion. I
>have run more than a few (mostly successfully), and I don't think I'll
>run one again any time soon.

Same here. I've run at least three over the years, and frankly, never
thought they were worth the trouble. Of course part of the problem is
people flaking, but even with everyone responding promptly it's a huge
chunk of work.
Anonymous
June 14, 2004 11:06:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:20, Brandon Blackmoor <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote:
>Chuk Goodin wrote:
>>
>> Is web based out of the question? Apparently Hero
> > Central has a fair few that might be open.
>
>I travel a lot, and although I can check email just about anywhere
>(thanks to Palm, Bluetooth, and T-Mobile), surfing the web is less
>convenient.
>
>I'll check it out though. Do you have URL for it?

www.herocentral.net

The site is run by one of the guys from the Hero Games website. It might
be picky on a PDA, though.


--
chuk
Anonymous
June 14, 2004 11:06:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Chuk Goodin wrote:
>
> The site is run by one of the guys from the Hero Games
> website. It might be picky on a PDA, though.

Yes, unfortunately so: the site can send email, but the mail it sends is
not standards compliant (which is to say, its format is wrong and will
not display correctly on many, perhaps even most, standards-compliant
email clients). I pointed this out to them, and it does not appear that
they will rectify the situation any time soon, if ever: it is apparent
that they do not even know what the relevant RFCs for email are, much
less why they should adhere to them. Dan Simon, he fellow who responded
to my email informing them of this, recommended that I avoid Hero
Central if such things were important to me.

More evidence that the world really is going to hell in a handbasket,
and that a meteor strike is what this planet really needs. The
coleopterans might do a better job with it.

bblackmoor
2004-06-14
Anonymous
June 15, 2004 10:45:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@spamcop.net> wrote in message
news:2j4arfFt6em8U1@uni-berlin.de...
> David Meadows wrote:
> >
> > If I could figure out *how* you run a pbem
> > game, I'd run one myself.
>
> It's a lot of work; much more than a face-to-face game, in my opinion. I
> have run more than a few (mostly successfully), and I don't think I'll
> run one again any time soon.

I imagine it would be more work than a face-to-face game, but there is
presumably the luxury of spreading that workload over an extended period,
rather than trying to do it all in a single three-hour game session. It's
something I've considered doing before (not necessarily champs, but
something) -- I love creating and running campaigns but can't fit another
"regular" game into my week. A pbem should allow me run something parallel
to my existing game, as long as turn deadlines weren't too insane.

But every time I toy with the idea, I hit a brick wall of mechanics that I
just can't figure how to make work.

One point I always stall on is I can't see how to sensibly run a combat when
a single round might have fifty discrete actions that have to be resolved,
in order, with one action resolution having to be communicated before the
next action can be chosen. How many months of real time does a combat take
to play? And if you start "compressing" combat in some way, it's no longer
Champions...

And the back-and-forth of a regular conversation between two characters is
even worse, and no amount of fiddling with rule mechanics is going to fix
that...

Obviously people do manage, but I really can't imagine how.


--
David Meadows
Heroes: www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts/
A comic book -- without the pictures
Anonymous
June 15, 2004 10:45:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

David Meadows wrote:
>
> One point I always stall on is I can't see how to sensibly run a combat

You fudge a lot of it. You don't tell the players you are fudging it,
although of course they know -- it's a (as much as I despise the phrase,
it actually applies here) "suspension of disbelief" thing. But you
ignore the details when the details do not matter. Or, at least, when
you think they do not matter. Sometmes you'll be wrong, and have to
rewind a little and cover your ass, but that will happen less as time
goes on, and if you are gracious about it no one who has experience
playing in pbem games will complain.

You do keep track of rounds and who has acted in what round, but that's
mainly to keep the frequest posters from ovrwhelming the infrequent
posters. And you do roll dice (at least, I do), but I find it much
faster if the GM rolls dice for everyone and then tells them what they
rolled. The problem is that you have to make sure you know all the
character sheets inside and out, because if you are wrong about
something, it can really break the mood when you fix it. The alternative
is to only tell the players the results, and not the actual numbefrs
that were rolled, but then you will have to deal with people convinced
that you have overlooked something when events are not in their favor.
Pick your poison.

It also helps if you have people post not just their current action, but
also a contingent action based on what they expect the results of the
current action to be. "I shoot him, and if he goes down I fly away;
otherwise I keep shooting." That helps keep everyone in mind of the
state of the fight, and reduces the number of questions from Gail asking
what Bob is doing, and if he needs help (or whatever). Combat, oddly
enough, is not really as much trouble as you might think. It's time
consuming -- it may well take a week or two for one fight -- but as long
as the players post as frequently as they ought (at least once every
other day, and at least every day for the GM), it goes fairly smoothly.

The only rough spot is when you have one player who goes a week without
posting. How long do you wait before you say "Mighty Max holds his
phase", and move on? I am a softie, and tend to wait on that person for
too long, and the game suffers as a result. Live and learn.

I should point out that none of this is particularly unique to
Champions. I have run D&D pbems and a Risus pbem (Rough Magic), and they
both worked very much the same way.

> And the back-and-forth of a regular conversation between
> two characters is even worse, and no amount of fiddling
> with rule mechanics is going to fix that...

This, alas, is true. Thre really isn't much you can do about it. The
best you can is step in and steamroll things ahead when it's obvious
that the players are not saying anything new. Like if they are
discussion whether to head to the mountains now or spend the night at
the inn -- that conversation could go on forever, and some players will
let it. You have to take decisive action and say, "okay, the group
decides to do this, and night passes".

Of course, then you'll always get the one ambitious soul who wants to go
off on a solo adventure while everyone else is asleep. You have two
coices: let them, or explain to them that the reality of a pbem, game
means that if you were to run them on their solo jaunt, that the rest of
the players would be sleeping for the next month. The best thing to do
in such a situation is -- that's right -- fudge it. Ask the player
straight up what they want their character to accomplish while everyone
else is alseep: have them name a goal, simply and succinctly. Then you
roll dice, tell them what happened, and morning comes and you move on
with the game.

> Obviously people do manage, but I really can't imagine how.

Like anything, it gets easier with experience, but even after having
done it a few times adf mostly doing it successfully, I make tons of
mistakes. So you can't beat yourself up over it. You do the best you
can, and plow ahead.

bblackmoor
2004-06-15
Anonymous
June 16, 2004 1:12:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

After trying (and failing) to find a Champions 5 PBEM, it occurred to me
that potential pbem players far outnumber pbem GMs. One reason is that
many who would like to run a pbem game do not know how to start. With
that in mind, I started a thread on the Hero Games site to share my own
experiences as a pbem GM and player:

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18287

If you have experience as a pbem GM, stop by and share your wisdom. :) 

bblackmoor
2004-06-15
Anonymous
June 17, 2004 12:47:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@blackgate.net> wrote in message
news:2j9a93FtqapkU1@uni-berlin.de...

[lots of advice]

Thanks for that, some very interesting tips. If I was to run a pbem, I'm not
sure that Champions wouldn't be the rules I would choose. I think something
with a more streamlined combat system would work better.

Well, it's still something I want to do but not something I want to jump
into without more thought.


--
David Meadows
Heroes: www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts/
A comic book -- without the pictures
!