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The Champions/Hero System
Points of Clarity List
This is the unofficial Champions/Hero System Points of Clarity List. It is a resource of official and unofficial clarifications to many commonly asked questions and ambiguous rules. The most current version is available via the World Wide Web at http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/ratinox/champions.html. A text version is also available at ftp://ftp.ccs.neu.edu/pub/people/ratinox/champ/champions.faq. If you are incapable of anonymous ftp, you may request a copy from email@example.com.
The Red October BBS has gone on-line with a wealth of Champions related material. There are also a number of Champions-related links on Yahoo.
There are some Champions-related files at ftp.umd.umich.edu.
Finally, there is a mailing list for Champions related discussions.
All list administrivia should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (hero-l
and champ-l are the same mailing list, one address is an alias for the
other). It may take a few days for the administrator to add you to the
list, so please be patient.
Champions is HERO Games' super hero role-playing game using the HERO
System. Champions and the HERO System are Trademarks of and Copyright
by Hero Games. This file is in no way meant to infringe against Hero
Now that the legal stuff is out of the way...
The HERO System is a universal role-playing system. It is a point
based system that allows creation of characters from any genre, of any
level of ability. Unlike many so-called "universal" games, Champions
is a "power based" game, rather than an "effect based" game. What this
means is that a lightning bolt spell, a blaster rifle, and a fiery
super hero's flame all use the same Power (Energy Blast in this
example), but the Special Effects define the ability and any
Advantages or Limitations it has.
Originally, Champions and the other HERO System games were published
separately, each rule book containing a complete reproduction of the
current edition of the rules. With the publication of the 4th edition
Champions Hard cover, all the rules are in one book, and individual
source books are published to cover various genres.
The HERO System Rulesbook is a reprinting of the majority of the 4th
edition hard cover, but without the super hero background and campaign
material. It contains the complete rules from the hard cover, and the
errata published in Adventurers Club #16. It also has a usable index
and costs $15 less than the hard cover.
There is now a softcover printing of the Champions book. It, like the
HERO System Rulesbook, contains the AC#16 errata.
Champions Deluxe is a reprinting of the entire 4th edition hardcover
(it is often listed as "version 4.2" of the rules), bundled with the
HeroMaker software. Champions Deluxe has a number of subtle changes
throughout, some of which contradict previous printings of the fourth
In any case where a discrepancy between various versions of the 4th
edition arise the most recent revision have been given preference.
Special Effects are of the utmost importance when defining mechanics.
Many of the answers here may not fit the special effects you require.
Remember, work from the effects backwards, and see what does work.
Generally, many problems and confusions may be solved by applying
these two rules of thumb:
* If you can create an effect using several different mechanics, the
one with the higher Active Cost is usually the most appropriate.
* If you can create an effect using an "unusual" Power to simulate
an existing Power, do not do it; use the existing Power instead.
As always, a bit of common sense should always prevail.
Points Of Clarity Summary
+ Multiple Attacks
+ Use of Multiple Powers
+ Holding Actions
+ Defensive Maneuvers
+ Movement Skill Levels
+ Absolute Powers
+ Advantages with Strength
+ Continuing Charges
+ Gradual Effect
+ What is "Stun Only" worth?
+ Move to rec.games.frp.(super-)hero(es)?
+ Minimum Real Cost
You may perform only one attack action during a Phase.
Use of Multiple Powers
You may simultaneously use as many powers as you have time, Endurance,
and framework point allocations to activate.
Whether or not you may use multiple powers simultaneously to make an
attack is a frequently argued issue. This issue is made more unclear
because various people at Hero Games have provided diametrically
opposed answers to the question. At this time, the "correct" answer is
"whatever the GM decides".
Note: if you do allow the use of several powers in a single attack,
the combination of powers should fit within the campaign guidelines.
If there is a 12DC maximum in the campaign, a character cannot
simultaneously use both his 4D6 RKA and his 12D6 EB at full power.
According to Steve Peterson, you may hold your Segment 12 action into
Segment 1 of the next Turn. You do not lose your "free" post-Segment
12 recovery if you do.
According to Steve Peterson, once you perform an action which ends
your action phase, you may not perform any additional actions during
that phase. This includes: moving more than half your movement,
dodging, blocking, aborting to a defensive action, or performing any
action that requires more than a half-Phase action to perform while
doing nothing else.
Defensive maneuvers and the bonuses they provide remain in effect
until the start of your next Action Phase. If you abort to a defensive
action, your Action Phase starts at the point you begin the defensive
Movement Skill Levels
Each skill level with a Movement power reduces that power's Turn Mode
by 1". Skill levels for 1 Movement cost 2 points per +1 and may only
be used in this manner for "controlled" movement (Running, Swimming,
Flight, Gliding). For "uncontrolled" movement (Leaping,
Teleportation), Movement Skill Levels may be used to affect your OCV
when you need to target a specific hex. Note: all vehicles have Turn
Modes for all controlled movement forms. Including Movement Skill
Levels in a vehicle will make it more maneuverable.
Optionally, Movement Skill Levels may be used to change your
Acceleration or Deceleration from the given 5"/inch moved. Each Skill
Level will allow you to increase your Acceleration or Deceleration by
Can you duplicate something that you have not paid points for, such as
the Crown Jewels? If not, then why do duplicates not appear naked?
(Credits for this answer go to John Kim
Normally, you may not duplicate anything you haven't paid points for.
Special effects define how a particular character's duplication works.
One method, some form of biological cloning ability, would in fact not
duplicate any gadgets or clothing. A temporal fugeuing effect, calling
future selves to the present, may be able to duplicate whatever you
have handy. Or not, as you catch yourself in the shower (this is a -0
limitation special effect that a GM can have lots of fun with).
Also remember that anything you duplicate will disappear when the
duplicates recombine (or go home, or whatever).
If you really want to duplicate other things that provide powers, use
a Variable Power Pool with limitations which add up to "only to create
duplicates of non-living things." If you want to duplicate living
things, you'd better have a very good reason and effect for
Duplication, Usable By/Against Others.
When a Multiform character earns experience, the points are added to
the base form's total. Note that all the forms are still one
character; a character with three forms does not earn three times the
experience as a single form character.
To "improve" a secondary form, the Multiform cost of the base form
must be increased with those experience points. This increases the
"base cost" of the secondary form. Or, you may instead opt to add a
"bonus disadvantage" to the secondary form's character sheet. Remember
that the total cost of the secondary forms cannot exceed the cost of
the base form minus the cost of the Multiform power.
You may lift as much as your Strength allows you to carry and still be
able to fly. Movement powers are not normally restricted by Strength
or how much one carries.
Drains, Suppresses, and Transfers only need to cover the minimum cost
of an "absolute-cost" Power in order to render it useless. Thus, no
matter how many Advantages you have on Desolid, you only have to
Drain, Suppress, or Transfer 40 Points of it to render it useless.
To Drain, Suppress, or otherwise adjust a Power or Characteristic that
has a specific number of points associated with it, you must Drain,
Suppress, or otherwise adjust the full point cost of one "increment".
Likewise, the victim does not regain the use of that "increment"
until the full Active Point cost has been recovered.
Advantages with Strength
According to Bruce Harlick, you apportion Strength among the base
Power and all Advantages. If you have a 1D6 HKA, Autofire, Armor
Piercing, and you have 20 Strength, you could increase the attack to a
maximum of 1.5D6, because you must pro-rate half of your Strength to
the two Advantages.
There are some exceptions, primarily Reduced Endurance and Charges.
If your campaign lists other advantages as not increasing the Damage
Classes of a power, then these should probably be excluded as well.
To get a Continuous effect on a Power with Continuing Charges requires
the Power to be Continuous (either Constant or Persistent), or have
the Continuous Advantage. A napalm grenade would be a Ranged Killing
Attack, Area of Effect, Uncontrolled Continuous, with "n" Continuing
Charges of "x" duration.
Bruce "I'm Line Editor So I'm Right" Harlick sez:
A Continuous Attack Power requires that a character spend a
half-phase attack action to maintain the Power. He could make a
half-move, but could not make any full move maneuvers, nor could he
launch any other attacks. To be able to launch new attacks or do
full moves the Attack Power would also need to be Uncontrolled for
a total Advantage of +1 1/2.
To simulate attacks which "follow" the target, like poisons or drugs,
you need the Gradual Effect Limitation from Adventurer's Club #16 or
Steve Peterson sez:
One level of Hardening cancels both one level of AP and one level
of Penetrating. Thus, a Penetrating AP attack against defense that
has been Hardened (at +1/4) is treated as the attack without
Penetrating or AP. A Penetrating Double AP attack would act as an
AP attack against that defense. Does that clear things up?
A power with this limitation has its effect spread out over a period
of time. For example, a 6D6 Killing Attack with Gradual Effect 1 Hour
would do 1D6 KA every 10 minutes. The first increment of damage is
applied to the target immediately. [Note: there is a different version
of this modifier in the Hero System Almanac #1.]
Gradual Effect Time Limitation
1 Turn -1/2
1 Minute -1
5 Minutes -1 1/2
1 Hour -2
5 Hours -2 1/2
1 Day -3
1 Week -3 1/2
The target of a Gradual Effect attack gets his defenses once. He takes
no damage from the attack until the cumulative damage of the attack
exceeds his defenses. In the example above, the target has 8 points of
resistant defense, and the dice roll 4 BODY when he gets hit and 5
BODY after 10 minutes, then 3, 1 and 6. He would take no BODY damage
initially and 1 BODY after 10 minutes since 9 BODY exceeds his
defenses. After that, he will continue taking the damage without any
more defense (it has already been applied to the attack).
Gradual Effect is usually used on a power with the NND or AVLD
Advantages, where the target takes all of the damage, or none of it.
What is "Stun Only" worth?
Nothing; the disadvantages of doing no Body damage or Knockback are balanced
by the fact that such a power does no collateral damage to the landscape nor
will it permanently hurt innocent bystanders if you miss.
Move to rec.games.frp.(super-)hero(es)?
No. While there is greater participation in a Usenet newsgroup, there is also
quite a bit more "noise". You may discuss Champions all you want on the
superheroes' newsgroup, but the list will remain where and as it is.
Rounding is for the "real" costs of a Characteristic or Power. You could get
1 point of COM for free, as it has a "real" cost of 1/2 CP per point of COM,
and you get the round-off. Body has a "real" cost of 1 CP per point of Body,
so you have to pay the full 2 points to get +1 Body.
Several Hero/Champions supplements have used some strange rounding methods
for calculating Stun from odd STR or CON. According to the main rulebooks,
the formula is (STR/2)u + (CON/2)u ("u" means "round up"). Minimum Real Cost
The minimum Real Cost of any Power, Characteristic, Skill, or whatever, is 1
point, regardless of rounding.
Copyright © 1997, 1998 by Stainless Steel Rat <email@example.com>
Last modified: Mon Jan 13 12:49:51 1997