This last Saturday was another attempt to reboot my long-suffering Champions game. It didn't go badly, but smooth it was not...
Out of six players, five made it. One couldn't do it due to work reasons that took him WAY out of town, and that was expected, so that was no big deal. Out of the five folks that showed, one player kept the character he's been playing for a bit, another two players reverted back to other characters they had played previously that were not their current characters, and the last two players gave me brand-new never seen-before-by-me characters right about game time.
So much for hitting the ground running...
After much character consternation, and a LOT of side tangents (which is something of a sticking point with this group), things get rolling with four characters. The fifth one never showed up as the player changed his mind about wanting to play him and decided to come up with a different concept. So it goes...
After a great cosmic event (called "the Collapse") in which several alternate timelines get shoved into one, returning hero, Ace, is transplanted to Chicago. Being connected to the U.S. Government in a fashion that no one truly understands, Ace is directed/persuaded/has-the-idea-planted-in-his-head to form a new team for the city as the old one is lost to the eons via the Collapse.
Meanwhile, in Lake Michigan, alien transplant Prince Dormin (fish-man extraordinaire) encounters a being creating sheets of ice along the surface of the lake. Prince Dormin goes to say "hello", and ends up freaking the poor guy out, so much so that he runs off to call his friend so they can turn in this alien to the government or the Tabloids, whoever will pay more. Ace, in an effort to gather like-minded supers to his cause, has heard reports a mysterious fish-man in the city.
Long expository story made shorter... Ace meets Prince Dormin on the shore of Lake Michigan. While there, they get spotted by Torque, who just happened to be cruising by on his motorcycle at the time. Torque calls his friend Jury-Rig. While waiting for Jury-Rig to show up, the fearful ice-making guy has returned with his friends to capture Prince Dormin. Hence, the newly-forming team is confronted by the (not-so) super-villain team known as Core Dump.
Iceberg -- A pretty bog-standard Iceman-like energy projector.
Sunstreak -- A speedster who can generate moderate beams of heat from his hand.
Grenade -- A limited energy projector who can explode at the end of his leaps.
Thug -- A flying strongman who's pretty much about two letters short of an IQ.
- and -
Bunnymaster -- Core Dump's dastardly leader who has enhanced hearing (big rabbit ears) and wears larger, spun-cast aluminum bunny feet. Plus, he's pretty good at Savate.
The teams clash, and in the end, Thug and Iceberg are captured while Sunstreak, Bunnymaster, and Grenade all high-tail out of Dodge once they quickly realize just how far in over their heads they were against the PCs.
Overall, not bad, but the game was sidetracked for the first couple of hours with the character issues and the *MANY* conversation tangents this group tends to take. While I myself am guilty of some of them, there was enough non-game related conversation that after being interrupted by such in my first sentence of trying to actually start the game on THREE SEPARATE INSTANCES, I almost just packed up my notes and killed the game right then and there.
I am glad that I didn't, and that I found the patience to continue, but a conversation needs to be had with a number of folks, because it is affecting at least one player's enjoyment of the game...
...and one game master's...