CHAMPIONS: The Justice Squadron
CHAMPIONS: The Justice Squadron is a Champions/Hero System 6th Ed. RPG campaign meant to be played in weekly sessions on Monday nights starting at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time and continuing for 2-3 hours. Play will be via Maptool with Facebook Messenger used for voice and visual communication.
If interested in playing, we require you to be 18 or over, speak English, have access to a computer with both audio and visual communication capability, and a Facebook account. Also necessary is the Maptool v1.70 software, which can be downloaded for free here:
If you wish to join, become a fan of this page (this will require a free Obsdian Portal account). I will follow up with fans about joining the campaign.
CAMPAIGN HOUSE RULES
Generally, this campaign uses Hero System 6th Edition rules. A character may use the cheaper Champions Complete rulebook instead, but there are a very few points where the two rulesets differ. In such cases, 6th Edition controls, but those cases are so rare that most players can use Champions Complete without much concern.
Characters are meant to be built by standard superhero rules, starting with 400 character points and 75 points of Complications. Everyman Skills include the standard modern setting list, plus Power Skill. The setting is a slightly modified version of the Champions Universe published setting.
There are four major house rules: the Effective AP (EAP) Ceiling, Heroic Action Points (HAPs), Improvised Powers, and Critical Hits. These are described in the sections below.
In creating a player character, there are no imposed Maxima for any particular powers or statistics, but its generally a good idea for efficiency’s sake to keep most of your powers below your character’s EAP Ceiling. Still, it might also be a good idea to build one or two above it so that you can have a little extra power when needed if you break the ceiling with HAPs.
Pushing powers is permitted, and a good idea to use with Breaking the EAP Ceiling even if you keep all your powers purchased at levels under that ceiling. Combining Pushing with Haymakers is also a good idea, as Haymakers effectively break the ceiling without spending HAPs.
Generally, it’s a good idea to have an OCV in the 8-12 range, and a SPEED in the 3-7 range. If your EAP Ceiling is low due to high OCV accuracy, focusing on Armor Piercing and Penetrating attack powers is a good idea. If your EAP Ceiling is high but your accuracy is low, regular and Area of Effect attacks are preferable.
Criticals are invaluable especially to high-OCV characters, and using Entangles to render targets crit-vulnerable is tactically effective.EFFECTIVE AP (EAP) CEILING
With the exceptions of SPEED and Combat Values (CV), every Characteristic, Talent, Perk, Skill and Power a character can buy is subject to an “Effective AP” (EAP) Ceiling. A player character can build a character with traits higher than that limit, but in most situations those traits cannot function at higher than the AP level of the Effective AP Ceiling. Thus any use of those powers at higher levels, and any loss of END or charges to fuel them, would be wasted on the excess.
Each PC has a single EAP Ceiling based on the highest possible CV she can use for an attack, including combat skills and maneuvers known, for the higher of her OCV or mOCV, cross indexed against her SPEED (if the SPEED is subject to limitations, only SPEED that could be used for an attack roll is counted.) Each character has just one EAP ceiling at any given time, but if his SPEED or maximum CVs are altered, that EAP Ceiling also changes – so, for instance, if the character’s SPEED or OCV are increased with an Aid effective, his EAP Ceiling will be reduced accordingly. To determine the EAP limit at any given time, use the table below.
The EAP Ceiling will apply to all of the character’s statistics except SPEED and CVs (OCV, DCV, mOCV and mDCV). Any statistics that can be used to stack with each other for a combined effect are treated as a single statistic for purposes of the EAP Ceiling. Thus, in the case of: multiple Linked Powers; Powers subject to a Naked Advantage; the Strength characteristic used with a Hand to Hand Attack Power; Strength and movement powers in a Move By or Move Through; Martial Arts combat DCs with the attacks they apply to; and the Resistant Protection Power added to the PD or ED characteristic, the AP values of all of the statistics involved in the effect are added together and subjected to the EAP Ceiling limit.
Compound Powers do not count as a single AP against the EAP Ceiling unless they otherwise stack as described above.
There is one major exception: the DCs added by the Haymaker basic maneuver are NOT counted against the EAP Ceiling limit. This does not apply to Powers built to simulate Haymakers, however.
The EAP Ceiling can be broken in one very important way: by spending two Heroic Action Points (HAPs, see below), a character removes his EAP Limit entirely until immediately after he completes his next Attack Action. Once the Attack Action is resolved, the EAP Limit returns.
HEROIC ACTION POINTS (HAPs)
At the start of each session every player character rolls Heroic Action dice to determine how many Heroic Action Points (HAPs) he receives for that session. HAPs must be used in the session they were first rolled in; they do not carry over to future sessions and are lost if unused.
The PC gets one Heroic Action die to roll for every 50 full character points, including experience points, their character has at the start of the session. Thus, a 400 point starter character gets 8 dice a session, and every 50 experience points thereafter gets another Heroic Action die. Additional Heroic Action dice cannot be purchased.
Heroic Action dice determine the number of HAPs received the same way BODY damage is determined with a normal attack. For each die rolled, a result of 1 gives zero HAPs, 2-5 gives 1 HAP, and a 6 gives 2 HAPs. Thus, typically a character will get the same number of HAPs as dice rolled, give or take one or two. HAPs can be used in a variety of ways:
• Improvising Powers: A character can spend one HAP to make a Power Skill roll to attempt to temporarily redefine one power, see the section below. This is a half-phase action by the character.
• Breaking the Effective Active Point (EAP) Ceiling: At any point a player can spend two of her character’s HAPs in order to remove the character’s EAP Ceiling (see above) entirely until immediately after the character completes its next Attack Action (Multi-Attacks and Autofire attacks are considered one Attack Action). Breaking the Ceiling can be done at any time by the player, even when it is not the character’s phase, and does not cost an action.
• Reroll a 3d6 Check Roll: Immediately after making any 3d6 Attack Roll, Skill Roll, or Activation/Breakout Check Roll, the player may spend three of the character’s HAPs to reroll the dice. The result of the new roll replaces the old one. The player may continue to reroll as long as he has HAPs to purchase new rolls. It does not cost the character an action.
IMPROVISING POWERS (POWER SKILL)
In this campaign, the Power Skill for a character’s own Powers are an Everyman Skill. It has specific house rules regarding how it is used, however.
To temporarily alter a character’s powers, a character must first spend one HAP and use a half-phase action. This allows the character to attempt to temporarily alter one of his Powers to another power of equal AP value. The new power must fit the character’s existing theme and special effects and is subject to GM approval.
The alteration requires a successful Power Skill roll. Failure means the HAP and the half-phase action are wasted, but the character may expend another of each to try again.
If successful, the altered Power remains altered for as long as the character concentrates on it. While concentrating, the character’s DCV is halved. He may voluntarily stop concentrating at any time. If stunned, knocked out, or otherwise rendered unconscious, the concentration is automatically ended. If the character takes STUN or BODY damage, he must make an EGO check or lose concentration. Loss of concentration for any reason causes the Power to immediately revert to its original purchased form, but the character’s DCV is no longer halved by it.
If a Power Skill is used for other purposes, such as being defined as an activation roll for a Power, using it in such fashion does not cost any HAPs.
CRITICAL HITS (REPLACES HIT LOCATIONS)
This campaign does not use the optional Hit Locations or Placed Shot rules. It does, however, use special house rules for critical hits. Critical Hits only apply to Attack Rolls that target an enemy’s DCV (not mDCV).
If the target is subject to an condition that would halve the OCV modifier to a Placed Shot penalty (eg, stunned, knocked out, taking a recovery, surprised out of combat, etc.) if those rules applied, that character is instead considered “vulnerable” to critical hits (or “crits”). The unmodified attack roll to score a crit against a crit-vulnerable target is less than 75% of the target’s effective DCV. This only can only occur when the unmodified dice roll is an 11 or less.
If an attacker’s unmodified Attack Roll on 3d6 is less than 50% that needed to hit a normal, non-vulnerable target’s effective DCV, the roll is a crit. Practically, this is only possible if the unmodified roll is an 8 or less. These are shown on the table below:
This may seem too mathy, but this campaign is online and I use a macro to figure it out automatically.
On a crit, the STUN and BODY damage that would be applied AFTER all defenses, damage reduction and damage negation are accounted for is doubled. This damage is not limited by the EAP Ceiling.
Targets with the No Hit Locations Power are immune to crits and take only normal damage from them.
Area of Effect attacks cannot score crits. Autofire attacks can crit, but only the very first “shot.” All the shots of a Multi-Attack can potentially crit, but all are subject to the next OCV modifier, making such less likely.
An Attack Power may be subjected to the limitation “Conditional Power: Only Works on a Critical Hit” which is a -1½ Limitation. Such a Power is treated as if the Attack Roll missed and had no effect if it did not score a crit, but on a crit it takes effect and the damage doubles as usual.
CHAMPIONS: The Justice Squadron Comments