Rules of the 400

Campaigns set in the World of the 400 use Champions, as all right-thinking superhero campaigns do. Allegedly we use 4th edition with the ECNG House Rules further modified as follows, but things broken in 4th edition use 3rd edition rulings instead, possibly so much so that I should really claim I'm using 3rd edition.

House Rules

Additional Rules modifications for this campaign:

  1. Light Reality - unnamed normals typically have primary stats of all 5's, which means that a pistol (1d6 K) has a 1/3 chance of critically wounding a normal human, and a 12d6 energy blast will *vaporise* a bystander. Normals are fragile. PCs still start with base 10 in attributes.
  2. Bricks and Bullets Rule - Integral Resistant Defenses are subtracted from the BODY of a killing attack *before* it is multiplied by the stun multiplier. This does not apply to defenses bought through a focus, which are handled in the usual manner.
    For example, Kid Chrome has rPD 10 and is shot by a 2d6 rifle which does 8 body, 40 stun. He takes nothing (but checks for knockback). MindLass only has the 4rPD body armor PEACE issues, plus her own PD of 4. She takes 4 body and 32 stun.
  3. Potential - Any points you don't spend at the outset can be bought as Potential instead, which allows you to grow faster as you get EPs. If you start with 10 points of Potential and gain 10 EPs, you can buy 30 points of powers and wind up with 0 Potential, 10 EPs spent, and 10 points of a special disad called "Potential Realized."
  4. You Snooze, you lose - When I'm running the speed chart and get to you, you have two seconds to start telling me what you're doing, or you're automatically holding. If you don't think of what you're doing by the time your next action comes, you lose the held action. Think up your next action while everyone else is moving, DON'T wait until I ask. Likewise have your dice in your hand and roll them as soon as I tell you; hunting for them or sitting there and rattling them won't be tolerated (in appropriate dramatic moments where the entire fate of the world rests on your shoulders I will permit a few seconds of dramatic tension-building shaking, but NOT on every roll!). In particular, anyone running fast characters had better be comfortable thinking fast, or should consider playing a slower character instead.
  5. Writeups - I award an extra point of EP for a reasonable writeup (preferably electronic) of the action. This can be letters home, a journal, press reports, whatever you like as long as it records the action and is interesting to read. You get the EP after I read the writeup.
  6. Hero Points - You can burn an EP to reroll dice, but you have to take the second roll. (I'll only use this rule if all players agree they want it.) Burning a hero point to avoid a critical failure also negates the EP award for the session, and permits the other players to taunt and mock you for being a weenie for that session only. Not used so far.

UN PEACE Character Generation Guidelines

The rest of this is from Gretchen's email on UN PEACE, edited to suit my tastes, but there's nothing here the Academy players would be struck blind for reading. Academy characters are constructed fairly similarly, but tend to be a couple of years younger (12-15 instead of 14-17).

Approximately 30 of the 400 are between the ages of 14 and 18, of which 10 are heroic to some extent. Six of those will be the PCs for this campaign, so you represent most of the teen superheroes in existence, a bright shining beacon of hope for the future of the entire world. So stop giggling and stand up straight! You'll be based in New York City at the start but will wander the globe where-ever people need help and photo opportunities present themselves.

PCs should be specialized rather than generalized, with a tight special effect. 100 base + 100 disads + a 25 point disad I'll reveal in play + UN-PEACE package (25 points).

Damage limits: 8d6-12d6, with the upper end on PCs with large gaping glaring weaknesses. If you're flexible (that means you have a defense, a movement, and an attack, or are useful in a large variety of circumstances), restrict to 8d6 attack. Threats should be either smallish or if largish handleable by clever team thought or just plain piling on. These are kids; they shouldn't be able to take on experienced adult paranormals head to head. Defenses should be low.

60 point hard (non-negotiable) active point limit on attacks, and that's only if that's the ONLY thing you do. 40 points is much better, since I plan to be generous with EPs and everyone's starting as a kid.

Restrict stats to 20 or below unless it's in your shtick and you have a good reason. Paranormals do have a good reason for having stats in the 15-20 range, just because they're special, but if you're going to have lots of amped stats and that's not your shtick you probably want disads based on having a weird metabolism or something; it's the 'we're kids' thing. Defenses should be kept low so combats are over quickly.

You should save points back and start at less than 250 points, paying disads for it, so you can learn interesting uses for your powers without having to wait for EP to pay for it, or buy Potential to grow faster. Figure on starting at 10 points per year of age, ignoring Potential and the UN Package.

UN Package

10" Flight, OIF (jetpack)
4rPD/4rED Armor, OIF, (helmet and bodysuit without special joint protection)
Radio Hearing and Transmit, OIF, shortwave only [5]
Perk - Diplomatic Immunity, Ablative [5]
Watched - UN
Public ID
Unluck 1d6 (or you can substitute anything else appropriate)

Copyright © 1996 Carl Rigney