Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Black Band Brigade Mini-campaign (Part 1)



A Tron - Magneto piece of art by
DMurdoch gleefully repurposed
as a visual peg for this
Champions Complete mini-campaign.
On a dark and stormy night, the PCs are traveling together when their vehicle is struck by a sudden meteor from the heavens. The meteor turns out to be a humanoid alien, charred and dying. With his last moments of clarity, he bequeaths an alien weapon of power: the charred black metal armor fused to its body.

Bits of the armor peel off into inky black strands, attach themselves to the wrists of the PCs, and transform into futuristic looking wristwatches.

These black bands grant great power that the PCs must learn to master if they are to survive the various factions that will hunt them down.

However, not all the black bands went to the brigade. Some of them, in fact, seem to have found hosts or bearers that have gone missing since the incident.

And the black bands are imparting some sense of impending danger, of being chased, of being hunted by unknown powers intent on exerting their control over them once more.


Players are asked to build PCs with Skilled Normals (50 CP, 30 pts in Complications), but will be playing characters worthy enough to play in the Standard Superheroic (400 CP, 75 pts in Complications) range.

This is because the 300 CP in powers and abilities and 45 pts. In Complications will be a mandatory package assigned to all the PCs.

Next Post: The Power of the Black Bands


  1. This reminds me of three separate campaigns where I pulled something like this.

    1) The Titan the Golem and the Fiery Lass: in a AD&D 2e (skills an powers) post-Wars Greyhawk campaign I had 3 superheroes and a villain (and minions) from a different dimension plummet into the campaign setting. The titan was a super-growth guy, the golem a super-cyborg, and the fiery lass was a human torch type character; the villain was somewhere between Doom, Magneto, and Kang. This provided a weird, very much not normal splash in an otherwise typical AD&D campaign. I was trying to entice the group to stop playing AD&D and start playing Champions or FASERIP Marvel...successfully.

    2) I ran a "white event" / common origin low-powered supers campaign that touched off with a "meteorite" which was actually the final condensed quintessence of a dying dimension that was ruled by different quantum principles. Many of those exposed to the emanations of the "SEED" developed superhuman abilities, though some were horribly mutated or died. Think Wild CARDS but with a different non-Dr. Tachyon origin. I had high hopes for the campaign but it failed after a few sessions.

    3) in a "Grey HERO" campaign (Fantasy HERO set in Greyhawk), one of the players wanted to play a character whose mother was an Erinyes. The PC, named Coravix, had black wings, regenerative capabilities, and hellish weaponry & abilities. He entered play with a grand entrance, ejected from some extra-planar battle he plummeted to earth in a ball of flame and cratered hard; only to regenerate before the other PC's eyes when they rushed over to investigate. Unbeknownst to all, he was not the only thing that came thru...

    The one thing I would caution is that if you don't periodically tie the story back to this sort of splashy origin, it will lose its relevance over time, but on the other hand if you tie things back to often or if it serves mostly to constrain options / limit what is possible, or if its the ONLY hook in the will have problems.

    Also, you can trap yourself; if the opening is so splashy, it sets a certain expectation for further fantastical over the top occurrences; it may become difficult to either maintain the same level of player interest if you don't keep providing such flash and bang, or to keep topping yourself depending on which way you go.

  2. Are there any notes on these campaigns online? Would love to hear more?

    Thanks for the advice on running campaigns like this. As a mini-campaign, it's not really meant to go the long haul; more of a 6 episode mini-series of a campaign, really. But since these mini-campaigns are meant to be introductory for GMs as well as players, I think I'll put that in the campaign tips section.

  3. The first 2 were pre-world wide web; some of the info about the campaign #3 was in was up on my original website back in the mid to late 90's, but most of that era of content didn't survive the transition when I upgraded from static html to dynamic web app. I have some paper notes locked away in boxes in storage, but I don't really have the inclination to dig it up.

    If you have some specific questions I could try to dredge up details from memory.

  4. Point restrictions wouldn't really apply given the inflation of point totals in the editions of Hero.

    But what power levels in offense defense did you have? Any restricted powers?


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.