A lot of people have been confused by this book (mostly those unfamiliar with gaming) so I thought I'd put up this FAQ online.
- What the heck is this? Is it a book? Is it a game? Should I buy it? Answer: this is a book 'and' a game. However, it is not a computer game, board game, miniatures game, or video game. It is a tabletop role-playing game. If you're unfamiliar with that term, please check the link or Google it. Think Dungeons and Dragons, but different. I've tried to make the game less violent and dark in general so it's appropriate for all ages (over 3 years old, because of the dice).
- If this is a game, how do I play? I'd suggest checking out the 'Basic Version' of Challenger for free across the internet. It has 9 easy steps to learning to play a role-playing game in only 38 pages. If you play the 3 included adventures out, you'll have a 'way' better understanding of how to play this game.
- What do all these funny abbreviations mean? Here's a short list of abbreviations with explanations to help you out: RPG (role-playing game), GM (game master), XP (experience points), HP (hit points), GP (gold piece), PC (player character), NPC (non-player character), RR (risk rating=the number you need to roll on 1d20 to succeed. Because some things in the game add bonuses to your d20 roll, you 'can' roll numbers higher than 20 with it), Str (strength), Int (intelligence), etc. If there are any other abbreviations that confuse you, please let me know!
- Okay, I know how to make a character, now what does the GM (game master) do? I'd suggest skipping over to chapter 7 the GM's Section and reading the sections on 'running the game' 'designing adventures' and 'list of monsters'. Basically, the GM designs adventures for the players to undertake. Adventures contain challenges (the GM designs) see 'challenges' and awards xp (experience points) to make the characters of the players (PCs) stronger (see xp awards at the start of the GM's section). If you have any other questions about what a GM does, feel free to peruse the GM section. Also, running the sample adventure included in the book and checking out the examples of play should quickly help you learn everything you need to know.
- What do I need to Play? How long does the game take? Most adventures play out in under 2 hours. You will need 1 or more other players. One player will be the GM (referee and adventure designer/adjudicator) and all the others will be players controlling characters (PCs). You will also need: polyhedral dice (one full set per player is ideal) or an online dice roller/random number generation app, pencils and/or pens, erasers, scrap paper, and character sheets (which you can get for free on the internet. Just search "Challenger RPG character sheet" etc.). A full set of dice includes: 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d10 (percentile), and 1d20. The number before the 'd' is how many dice you roll, the number after the 'd' is how many sides the die has.
- How do I do stuff in the Game? roll your twenty-sided die (d20) and try to get high numbers. State what you're doing to the GM. Add any bonuses (identified by a + sign) to your roll. If you're using a skill, the GM will determine whether you succeeded or not based on the RR of his challenge (the RR number is what you need to roll at or above on 1d20 to succeed on that skill/challenge, otherwise you fail). If you're using a power, roll your d20 if required and follow the rules designated in the power description. If you succeed on your power use, it is almost always successful (the final call is always up to the GM).
- How do I 'level up' and 'get stuff' in the game? Whenever you gain experience points (rewarded to you by the GM for doing heroic things) you write them down on your character sheet. At the end of the 'adventure' you can purchase 'additions' to your character by consulting the first few pages of Chapter Seven: The GM's Section. When you buy/find new equipment or magic items you write them down on your 'character sheet' along with any 'character additions' you buy with your experience points (xp).
- How do I role-play? What is it we actually 'do' at the table? Role-playing doesn't require you to jump up and down and run around. All the action takes place in your imagination. You describe what your character does and says and the GM describes the results. Please note, you can only 'attempt' things. The GM has the final call on what succeeds or not or may call for a d20 roll to determine if your action was successful or not. Acting as your character can be a lot of fun. The GM gets to act too. He plays all the 'roles' of all the villains, non-player characters (NPCs) and practically everyone and everything else in the game. He sets the scene your characters act upon and writes the script like a director, but you get to improvise your lines and 'attempted' actions.
- What do the numbers before powers mean?: They are a remnant from an older version of the game. Feel free to ignore them.
- Why does this game stink so bad?: Probably because you haven't let me know why yet, so I can fix it. Please do so if you have the time and inclination. Thank you.
- Why is this game so good?: I had a lot of help from a lot of very creative people such as yourself. Challenger wouldn't be what it is today without the invaluable and continuing feedback from a lot of really great people. Thank you.
- I have more questions, help!
...Crash Course for New Players