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Long time ago I played Champions by Hero Games. Now I have kids who have taken an interest in RPG's so I thought I would introduce them to Champions for Christmas (Shh! Don't tell them!)

So the Champions system (now in 6th editions) has changed a lot since then (4th edition.) When I played the Champions book was all I needed. Now I see they have split the rules out into a Hero System rule book, which is a separate book.

My question is, what do I need to get started running a Champions campaign? It looks like I just need:

Is that accurate, or am I missing something? It looks like the Basic Rulebook is enough to get started, but I am not sure.

My second question is if there is another book that is highly recommended for getting started with my boys. Champions Universe or Teen Champions perhaps?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I've found the P.S. 238 sourcebook to have a very nice simplified version of the 5th Edition rules and a setting built for younger players. You might give that a try.

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The changes in Hero System are not that many.

6th ed turns the old figured stats (PD, ED, Stun, Rec, Spd, End) into non-figured, and drops Com. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same game mechanics.

You would, however, be doing just fine with 4th ed, 5th ed, or 5th revised ed core rulebooks, and at much lower a price, by buying used.

4th ed's "champions" was a consolidated champions sourcebook and 4E HSR. 5th Ed champions was a sourcebook for 5E HSR, rather than a consolidated rulebook.

My personal advice is FREd (5th Revised Edition); it's got tons of stuff that will be available inexpensively, and is fully 4th compatible, too.

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May I also suggest the Hero System Sidekick book. Here is what the store says about it:

Sidekick contains all of the core HERO System rules, including character creation, combat and adventuring, and equipment ? but without all of the additions, options, and details found in the standard rulebook. Sidekick boils the HERO System down to its essential elements so you can easily teach yourself the game, bring new players into your campaign quickly, or refresh your memory on a crucial rule. And when you're ready to move up to the complete HERO System, learning it will be a snap because Sidekick's already taught you the basics!

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The Champions Complete book might be just what you're looking for.

According to the product description

At 240 pages, Champions Complete includes everything superhero gamers need, and nothing they don't. New players will love the unmatched freedom of Champions that allows them to create and play exactly the hero they imagine. Longtime fans will appreciate the tight, concise new approach, presenting the full game system in a fraction of its former length.

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The Basic Rulebook will start you off fine, but I might suggest the full Character Creation book if you can swing it — superhero games like Champions lend themselves to characters with interesting and customized abilities, and the CC book will give you the tools to make those.

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So if I understand that Basic Rulebook has the basics of character creation, while the full Character Creation goes into more details? – Jim McKeeth Dec 6 '10 at 5:03

JIM - Looks like you might need Vol. II as well.

the 5th Edition, commonly known as HERO FREd (Fifth Revised Edition) was all in one book. It's not The New Hotness, but it's certainly less to purchase -- and I found that it worked just dandy.

Regarding the other book - I guess it depends on whether they liked Teen Titans or Justice League Unlimited better.

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"Vol. II: Combat & Adventuring" goes with "Vol. I: Character Creation" doesn't it? I thought the Basic Rulebook was a condensed version of both. – Jim McKeeth Dec 4 '10 at 16:35
DERP -- you're right. – Dr Rotwang Dec 5 '10 at 3:54

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