Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things I Learned From Champions: Being A Hero Isn't Easy

Some people think that just having powers, putting on a costume, makes you a hero. But playing Champions, with a bunch of players (and a GM) who are fond of things like guns, physics, action movies, military doctrine, anime, improvised munitions, thrillers, building codes, and extremely detailed scenario review can make things difficult.

Stopping a simple bank robbery? Not so easy if you have a secret identity. Or if the bank robbers (especially competent, trained, non-powered ones) have a plan, and are committed to hurting their hostages if necessary to get you damn cops (and super-heroes) back. Or if there are other complications, like a S.W.A.T. team that (understandably) doesn't want untrained vigilantes -- amateurs, really -- playing hero.

It was actually in Champions that I really began to admire police, firefighters, hostage negotiators, and bomb specialists -- going forward with their jobs, laying their lives on the line, relying on other professionals on the team to work as a team to get things done with no loss of life, if possible.

It was also one of the things that made me realize that kicking down doors, killing monsters, and taking their stuff was a world away.

Many folks talk about the narrative in a game being more important than other considerations -- but narratives have to work for an ideal audience. And our ideal audience -- us -- weren't satisfied with scenarios with gaping plot holes. And strangely enough, trying to run through this plausibility gauntlet made these adventures more difficult and fun.

Or maybe not so strange. Heroism is all around, I guess. When you look hard enough, you can really see it all around.

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