Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Old School Champions: 1st Edition, 2nd Edition, and the Island of Doctor Destroyer

Among the variety of Champions material I've picked up recently I've made a few discoveries that were new to me and I thought I would share.

First off - and this is probably not new to those of you who really care - for some reason I always assumed the color-cover version of the old Champions rulebook was a reprint of the 2E book. Apparently I was wrong. I knew the grayscale cover was the second edition of the game and that's the one I started with, but who knew that the first edition had a color cover? It also has more art on the back, unlike the gray one which has the speed chart instead. It's only 56 pages long and is organized somewhat differently than the gray-cover second edition which is 80 pages long. So I learned something I didn't even realize that I didn't know! It's a little embarrassing considering how long I've been around this game but there it is. I will say after looking through 1E that I am glad I started with 2E - it's just better in every way - organization, completeness, and even the art is at least consistent - it's almost all Mark Williams in the 2E book.

Also, there are at least two different printings of The Island of Doctor Destroyer. One version I have is staple-bound and has a blank inside cover. The other version I have has slightly different coloring, the cover is separate (like an AD&D module) and has a large hexmap of the island printed on the inside of the cover. That's a pretty noticeable difference having just read through what I presume is the older no-map version, only to have the nice shiny big-map version arrive in the mail.

Even Heroic Worlds - a handy resource when you're digging into older games like I am - doesn't mention two separate versions. Since all of the older Champs adventures are in this staple-bound format maybe the separate one is a later reprint? My copy of that version is certainly in much better condition though that's no guarantee. I poked around the net a bit and didn't see anything about it so maybe someday someone will shed light on it with a comment here.


Hedgehobbit said...

The grey covered book came in the box. That's what I started with. From what I remember, the biggest difference from 1e to 2e was that 2e limited the number of figured characteristics that you could sell back. Otherwise you could by 100s of points of Con and sell back the END, STN, & PD for more than the Con cost.

I also always thought that there was a color covered version of the 2e book.

Blacksteel said...

Hi Hedge - upon further review there was a color cover version of 2E so I am not totally crazy. I started with the 2E boxed set myself. I think maybe the color cover book was sold as a standalone between the boxed set and 3rd Edition.