The Saving Throw
Hero System ~ Dark Champions: The Animated Series 07.09.2007
Saving Throw's review of Dark Champions: The Animated Series.

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Dark Champions: The Animated Series
published by Hero Games reviewed by Martin Drury
128 pages, 2005, $26.99
Content 13
Organization 12
Consistency 12
Intelligibility 11
Review Scoring

   Dark Champions: The Animated Series is a supplement for the Dark Champions game that attempts to capture the style and feel of the Batman and Justice League cartoons in a table top gaming experience. The book is split into three chapters, one describing the purpose and goals of the book, and two others devoted to actual gaming.

Chapter one is basically the how and why of using The Animated Series supplement. Included in this chapter are listings of some things to avoid when running an Animated Series game and explaining the need for a lighthearted version of the Dark Champions game. Unfortunately, the chapter is a little short on specific examples, so if you are not familiar with Batman and related cartoons, it's easy to not understand the full purpose of the book.

The rest of the book is split into two sections, Hudson City Knights and Hudson City Powers. Hudson City Knights features themed villains and heroes, wacky theme based crime sprees, and a limited amount of information about how to run a campaign with that classic "POW!" feel of the old Batman television series. Hudson City Powers does the same, but with super-heroes and super-villains, presented at a street-level instead of uber powerful, world effecting heroes and villains. Again, the chapter provides plenty of examples of heroes and villains, but not much on how to run a campaign featuring these lighthearted super powers.

With all the examples of heroes and villains, Dark Champions: The Animated Series presents a good starting point for creating a lighthearted Dark Champions campaign, but falls short when it comes to actual game mechanics. For those wishing to convert Dark Champions to something a little less "dark" it is a good resource. For someone wanting to just pick up a title and play a Batmanesque game, Dark Champions: The Animated Series by itself is not enough, but as a supplement it is more hit than miss.

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