Last Saturday I got the chance to run Champions (Hero System) for the first time in ten years. I used Hero 5th Edition as that was the last version I got the books for. To me the Hero System is voluminous but not particularly complicated. Also I simplified things for the players by having a session where they sit down with me and come up with a list of powers for their characters. I then take that and create the actual character.
For this round I got the Hero Designer software to cut down the time I would need to help the players create characters. At $25 dollars it is a pretty good deal. What made a A+ program was the easy way it had to enter (and remember) custom modifiers. That made it a snap to use the paper character I have from years ago.
I got the characters finished and had enough time to run a sample combat. I was definitely rusty but the system came back to me. After all it was my primary RPG from 1986 to 1989 (Fantasy Hero 1st and Champions). The biggest difficulty was trying to figure out how to do one player's siphon kinetic energy power. In the end it wasn't as hard to setup as I thought after I figured out that absorption. Also I highly recommend the Until Database of Superpower in conjunction with the main rulebook. It is easy to find something close to what the player wants and modify it to the exact power.
Also it is interesting on how Tim of Gothridge Manor Just above Suck post related to the champion game. While superheroes, they are not the most powerful hero, yet. Some of the players struggled with this expecting their character to be more capable than they were. However in all fairness they targeted the supervillains first. When they finally got down to the lackeys they tore them up fast especially the speedster who was able to knock out a half dozen of them in a single round with a series of move bys.
So why this was a tale of TWO RPGs. Well because I been refereeing Swords & Wizardry for a while now (over two years), and I was startled by the contrast in complexity. I guess I lost the taste for RPGs with detailed mechanics I once had. With GURPS I have 20 years of notes and experience to make the game second nature. With the Hero System the change in my tastes was made apparent.
I have a fun campaign planned out for Champion but I am glad that I have decided to limit it to a half dozen sessions or so. After Champions I moving on to Traveller which I ready ran at a convention.