Champions Online Designer Talks About Powers and Mechanics

Champions Online allows players to draw from an assortment of superpowers to create their hero, but what happens when the fiction of a superhero clashes with the traditional mechanics of t

Champions Online allows players to draw from an assortment of superpowers to create their hero, but what happens when the fiction of a superhero clashes with the traditional mechanics of the RPG game? In a recent interview with Champions Online Daily News, designer Brian Urbanek talks about the various power sets for Champions Online and how unlike in traditional RPG games, when a hero and villain fight over a long period of time, their resolve and resources harden rather than degenerate.

Most game models are a degenerative model, right? Think in terms of the way most RPGs have worked; they have something like a point system. The fight starts and you have all of your resources and as the fight goes on you become weaker and weaker, you have less and less resources to do things with and your points go down.

This always bothered me and, as I found out, it also bothered some of the other early developers for Champions. Fundamentally it just isn’t the way the fiction works. In the fiction, as the fight goes on for heroic characters and for villain characters, your resolve hardens. You draw upon ever greater reserves of your internal energy to fight harder and harder as the stakes get higher. You actually get an escalating model in fiction.

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