The Champions (Hero Universe)
The Champions are a prominent superhero team in the Hero Universe, the official setting of the Champions role-playing game. They serve as an example of a balanced team dynamic, a team of NPC allies, or a source of pregenerated characters to allow players to bypass the game's lengthy character creation process.
First to third edition
The Champions team used in the first three incarnations of the Champions role playing game were the comic book hero team later known as the League of Champions. Because of the separation of the Champions comic book and gaming franchises, the original Champions would be removed from later editions of the game.
- Flare, flying woman with light generating power.
- Giant, who used a magic harness to grow in size.
- Icestar, mutant with the ability to generate cold.
- Marksman, gadgeteer, trained normal.
- Rose, psychic woman.
The first version of the Champions appeared in the core rulebook for the fourth edition of the game. They were made up of:
- Defender/James Harmon IV, a millionaire garbed in a suit of powered battle armor.
- Seeker/Don Morgan, an Australian taught martial arts by a Japanese soldier.
- Jaguar/Santiago Villagatos, a detective with the ability to transform into a half-feline form.
- Obsidian, an alien prince whose rock-like body gives him superhuman strength.
- Quantum/Starlyn Jackson, a mutant heroine with a fiery temper and the power to fire energy bolts.
- Solitaire/Elaine King, a sorceress with mental powers and a crystalline "widget" through which she directs her powers.
While details of the location of their base of operations are left vague in their information to allow the GM to locate the team wherever they wish, various sourcebooks give the Champions' home turf as New York City.
Champions: The New Millennium
Taking place after the fourth edition setting, the New Millennium timeline was created after an apocalyptic battle killed most of the heroes (and many of the villains) of Earth. A new team of Champions was formed to take the place of the old:
- Quantum/Joanne Amos, a mutant with control over quantum mechanics, former special agent of the Guard, and team leader.
- Behemoth/Prof. Jacob Manning, a professor who gained the ability to turn into a super-strong, super-powerful demon form after an encounter with the Shadow Realm.
- Seeker/Adam Hunter, a genetically engineered supersoldier trained in the martial arts and melee weapons.
- Solitaire/Shannon Havelock, a self-taught sorceress.
- Defender/Glen Harmon, a teenager who became pilot of an alien battlesuit, recruiting a group of classmates named Team Defender to study, maintain, and reverse-engineer the alien technology.
- Fistfire, a new hero whose recruitment into the Champions formed the framing device for the setting exposition and the rules explanation.
Expansion books added Marksman/Donald Henderson, a former Champion who retired due to injuries, founded the Arcadian Academy for rising heroes in his retirement, and eventually joined the reformed Champions; Crusader/Sir Michael of Livingstone, a time-travelling knight who mixes modern gadgets with archaic martial training and his enchanted sword Hasufring; and Speedster/Gerald Spence, a hero who gained super-speed powers from a chemical accident.
With the Hero Universe heavily revamped for the fifth edition of the game, the Champions were revamped as well. Defender was the only previous member to be kept. The new members of the Champions are:
- Sapphire/Corazon "Corrie" Valenzuela, a pop singer who discharges energy bolts.
- Ironclad/Drogen Lar, an alien gladiator with a metal body that gives him superhuman strength.
- Nighthawk/Mark Whitaker, a grim martial artist/gadgeteer.
- Witchcraft/Bethany Duquesne, a young sorceress.
The latest version of the Champions is headquartered in Millennium City.
After several years with the team Nighthawk quit over a difference of values with Defender and was replaced by Kinetik, who possessed super-speed powers, and Nightwind, a martial artist, which current status is unknown.
Seeker is tacilty portrayed as a member of the new Champions in the in-game comic book published about them, as Nighthawk refused to market his image.
- Defender/James Harmon IV, a millionaire garbed in a suit of powered battle armor, who gives out repeatable story missions in Renaissance Center.
- Dr. Silverback, a hyperintelligent gorilla and scientist, who appears in-person and as a hologram in Millennium City and in several story arcs in Monster Island.
- Ironclad/Drogen Lar, an alien gladiator with a metal body that gives him superhuman strength, forming a story contact on Monster Island.
- Kinetik/Brendan Grant, a speedster who gained his powers from a chemical exposure, who is a story contact in the City Center neighborhood of Millennium City.
- Sapphire/Corazon "Corrie" Valenzuela, a pop singer who discharges energy bolts, who is a non-story contact in Millennium City and a story contact in Vibora Bay.
- Witchcraft/Bethany Duquesne, a young sorceress, who is a story contact in the Downtown neighborhood of Millennium City.
Although no longer a Champion, Nighthawk appears in his rotating event and in a recurring 'Alert'.
In the Terran Empire setting for Star Hero, the Champions continue to exist, though as a secret organization of psychics "defend[ing] truth and justice" in the face of an increasingly corrupt Empire. No specifics are given as to their membership, except that the group's number fluctuates between 3 and 20 (a breakdown by species is given of the seven members as of the year 2640) and all members have "varying levels of psionic power."
By the time of Galactic Champions the group's previous incarnation had expired, but was re-formed in early 3000 in response to an invasion by the interdimensional conqueror Istvatha V'han. This incarnation of the group includes:
- Defender/Jack Harmon, a descendant of the original, wearing the same battle armor.
- Bulletproof/Max Wroblewski, a Golden Age hero with near-invulnerability and a super-metabolism
- Thalya, an Empyrean with super-strength and energy powers.
- Firedancer/Geneva Burchette, a fire-wielding energy projector.
- Gavis Gan, a serpent-like alien with kinetic manipulation powers.
- Sage/Zes'arau Al'gari Vikon, a powerful Varanyi psychic.
- Rampart/ral Xah, a diminutive alien with immense super-strength.
- Charm, a Kalishari with exceptional reflexes and luck.
The Champions operate out of Champions Plaza, a headquarters complex in the "old neighborhood" of Millennium City.
In Other Media
The protagonists of the comic book based on the Champions game were likewise called the (League of) Champions. They were based on player characters from the first campaign using the Champions system and character sheets for them were printed in early issues of the comic. The core membership included:
- The Marksman/Donald Henderson, the head of an electronics firm who uses a sonic gun and a variety of other gadgets to fight crime. After the comic broke from the makers of the game his name was changed to Donald Hunter and his alter ego became the Huntsman.
- Icestar/John Grayson, a hero able to generate ice.
- Flare/Teresa Feran, a blonde bombshell raised by Nazis to have the power to control light.
- Rose, a psychic detective.
Other superheroes to have belonged to the group include Giant, wearer of a harness created by Zeus that enables him to grow to superhuman size, Gargoyle, a monstrous strongman, and Nightwind, a gadgeteer with a ghostly motif to his tactics (no connection to the Nightwind mentioned above). Later in the comic's run the Champions were joined by Sparkplug, Flare's sister with powers similar to her own but electrical rather than light-based, and Icicle, Icestar's younger sister with ice-generating powers as well. They were frequently aided by Dr. Arcane, a wizard hero from the 30's and 40's, and his granddaughter Donnah Hannah, who possessed significant mystic potential of her own and sometimes fought evil as Lady Arcane (and once was a member of the team under the alias Transpower, though the Marksman was the only one to know her true identity).
- 1. Champions Fourth Edition. 1991 Iron Crown Enterprises
- 2. Allston, Aaron. Champions. 2002 DOJ
- 3. Watts, Darren & Steven S. Long. Champions Universe: News of the World. 2007 DOJ
- 4. Champions vol. 1 #1. Eclipse Comics.