Wild Kats #1 [Champions Now RPG]
Young WildKats! #1 hit the racks this week! Ava Romero, daughter of the Improbable Adam Prime and every bit as tough, fast, and resilient teams up with Outrider, the current owner of the dragon Wohredrigan’s mystical hoard.
We’re playing Champions Now RPG. Our setting statements:
- “Powers come with outside expectations and accountability”
- “Larger than life problems in Chico, CA”
This is my first run with multiple players in Champions Now. My favorite part for this session is pulling in an old villain fromBig Damn Hero, my 1v1 Champions Now run and making a new one tied to BOTH players. I’d say situations are Champions Now’s ‘Killa App’. When making villains I often start with situations, sometimes with a rough comic book concept as a base, sometimes not. I know Matt, Wilhelm, and I are playing for 3-5 sessions. Looking over the PC situations I’ve got:
Ava Romero (Adam Prime’s daughter)
- 10 DNPC: Mom, Public Identity, public defender, DA aspirations.
- 40 DNPC: Dad (Adam Prime), Secret ID + Hunted, small group, superpowers, ruinous
- 10 Hunted by Dad, unusual capabilities, manipulative
- 20 DNPC: Rudra “Rudy” Ray - Psych: dedicated slacker + grifter, all the time - irrational, 1d6 unluck
- 10 Psych: sometimes, irrational - good samaritan
- 10 Psych: sometimes, irrational - dedicated student
- Secret ID: Jaimie Palmer 15
- Enraged: when encountering undead, 14- 15
- Hunted: Wohredrigan spirit, wants revenge 5
- Psyche: stands up for, and protects, people (often) 15
- Psyche: wants to grow hoard (a lot, stated) 15
- Unusual looks: predatory aura. 8- 5
- Vulnerability (radiation, all) 25
- DNPC: mom 5
Situations in Champions Now, as you can see, very evocative. These are nice player picked flags that establish setting and come with mechanical weight. What is a Wohredrigan spirit? Who is hunting Ava’s dad? We haven’t even gotten down to the powers and skills section yet!!
My take: Ava is a young legacy hero, and Jaime(Outrider) is that miscellaneous weird magic hero - that I don’t know what to do with, yet. I know I gotta bring the ‘Larger than Life’ right out the gate.
Uncanny X-Men #194 is in my head. The Juggernaut is doing some mundane, boring old banking, and the X-men are on high alert, thinking he’s up to some B.S. They give him space but are waiting on him to make the wrong move –then Nimrod shows up ruining everybody’s day! That’s what I’m shooting for in YW #1.
I want to tie these two characters together tighter, sure the players may ‘opt-in’ on their own but I want a reveal in issue #1. That WTF!! moment. It takes me some iterations but I am attracted to the idea of their Dependent NPCs (DNPCs) working together. Why would an English teacher and a public defender work together? hmmm…
My Main villain has also got to be in issue 1. I’m thinking that’s the ‘Juggernaut’ in this session. Somebody who’s is beyond accountability and disrupts expectations - just F*ing up our setting statement. “Black Tom Cassidy” a druid, magic oriented, and big league. I want to tie him skin-tight to the PCs. Not some random Big Bad…but Family business. His situations are their situations.
- Crushing on Jacquline Palmer (circa College) - Outrider’s DNPC mom.
- DNPC: Adam Prime, Brother - Ava’s dad. (FYI- Adam Prime was vat engineered)
- Public ID - Black Tom, Echo Class threat
And that’s the Now for session #1. Uncle Tomas is doing a consulting gig for Dolores Romero(Ava’s mom), she’s called him in to look at a strange tattoo on a student who is in the witness protection program. Jacqueline Palmer, his English teacher is in on the WitSec program. The local authorities get all twisted and antsy, they send everything when ‘Black Tom' shows up at the high school. Ava and Jaime are bound to show up - their moms are there and it’s all CNN breaking news! We play to find out what they do about the reveals - Adam Prime has a brother. Jaime’s mom dated Tomas in college.
Wait?? Did I say WitSec?! Spokane is just up the road, sounds like special guest villain Triple Threat AKA 3-Pain is in this issue!
But What powers does Tomas Cassidy have? How many points?
Truth is I don’t know. I didn’t want to commit before I saw how it played out. So other than his situations, I roughed out a couple of spells about 40AP and an ego stat bump to support those 3 magical spells. Session one in the books, I’ll fully stat Black Tom Cassidy now. I know who he is.
The WTF moment.
There’s a moment where Tomas addresses Ava’s mom as ‘Ms.’ Romero. That implies he doesn’t know who she is. Tomas just knows Ava is Adam’s kid and he’s consulting with the DA’s office through Ms.Romero. Tomas then gets all mushy with Mrs. Palmer, Jaime’s mom, he even asks if she dumped that loser med guy she married - Jaime’s dad! And the PCs witness it all!
That was a nice WTF! moment!
Tomas isn’t just some major villain…he’s family. Like Uncle Joe.
It wasn’t all soap opera, Outrider helped save some police officers from Black Tom’s magic. Ava took a couple of swings at Tomas after he tried to mind control her to go home. Both heroes got to witness the awesome assassin Triple Threat FKA 3-Pain as he dogpiles his duplicates onto Ava.
All in all, it achieved my goals of a day in the larger than life, establishing the big bad villain, complicating the status quo, make skill tests, walk through the combat phase with low stakes combat, and bonus: keeping everyone tight. No fillers.
Big thanks to Ron Edwards for fielding questions on how to structure a dragon’s hoard SFX, I left those lessons with a broader view of the Champions frameworks, I’ll show what I learned next time when we do a deep dive into Black Tom’s druidic magic power.