Role Playing Games

Game Book Reviews


Book Line: ChampionsSKU: 220
Book Type: NPCsFormats: Softcover, PDF
Author: Allen ThomasReleased: July, 2006
Cost: 26.99$ISBN: 1-58366-051-8
Page Count: 128Hero Designer: No
Common Abbreviations: EVPrint Status: In Print

The Upside:

Everyman is what every superhero games needs: A bunch of NPC normal people for your superheroes to interact with. It's easy for your team of supers to fight the supervillain, but how do they deal with anti-superhero activists, lawyers and super-wannabes?

This book is chock full of such characters, seventy-seven of them in fact. 77 NPC characters with complete write-ups and stats. Each character gets a full page (some spill over to two pages).

The book is divided into eight chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the Superhero World:
Chapter 1 - At The Office; a collection of people for your Secret Identity to interact with. From bosses to nosy work mates.
Chapter 2 - In The Media; reporters, stars and other media types.
Chapter 3 - Law And Order; Cops, P.I.s, prison guards and lawyers.
Chapter 4 - On Campus; students, activists and teachers.
Chapter 5 - My Life As A Hero; super bases need housekeepers, secretaries and PR agents too.
Chapter 6 - My Life As A Villain; bad guys have relationships too. And a few assorted unsavory types.
Chapter 7 - Among The Multitudes; a collection of miscellaneous characters that didn't fit in the other chapters.
Chapter 8 - The GMs Vault, plot hooks and more plot hooks.

The book itself is simple in layout and easy to follow. Each character starts with a short stat-block (sans points, as the characters weren't built to point balance but as plot devices), and a page long (or more) description, including an introduction on each character, brief history, goals, appearance and a favorite quote.

The Downside:

If the book has any drawbacks it's because it's not generic enough. The book was written with the Champions Canon Universe in mind, thus all the characters' histories and backgrounds are embedded in he Champions Universe.

Though very little work would be needed to lift them from the Champions and place them in your own Superhero Game, in fact most of that work would consist of changing a few names.

The Otherside:

The book, despite referencing Champions Universe people and places, is easily and readily adaptable to any game system and any Supers game. The most work involved might be to convert the stats for each character, but even that isn't always needed.

If you need a quick set of NPC Personalities for your players to interact with this is definitely the book for you. Well prepared, well organized and easily utilized.