Welcome to the realm of superpowers, superheroics, and tremendous property damage!

The GATEWAYS campaign takes place in a fictionalized version of our Earth in the year 2022. You will play a character blessed (or perhaps cursed) with abilities beyond those of normal humans.

If you’ve never played in a superhero RPG before, you may wonder what to expect. Fortunately, comic book archtypes and stories are deeply embedded in our culture. Even if you haven’t read a comic book since you were a little kid, almost everyone has seen superheroes on TV shows and in movies. Although a passion for comic books will only add to your experience in this campaign, it isn’t necessary.

To get a great idea of what a high-powered superhero fight can look like, check out the clip below. (This “trailer” is part of the new MMORPG, “DC Universe.”) Watch the trailer and you can see many different powers and combat maneuvers at work, and you can see the sorts of actions that can occur in a superhero slug fest.

Superhero Battle

Once you become familiar with the HERO System, you will be able to identify a number of iconic elements from the video clip. Here is just a brief list, with the times indicated of where they are in the video:

Time Action
0:39 Knockback
0:45 to 0:45 Grab and Throw attack
0:50 to 0:53 Knockback
1:13 to 1:14 An Autofire attack
1:25 to 1:26 Dodge
1:27 to 1:28 Grab and Throw attack
1:46 to 1:49 Dive for Cover
2:03 Block
3:16 to 3:17 Area of Effect explosion
3:30 to 3:32 Taking a recovery
3:41 to 3:44 Move Through attack
4:19 to 4:27 Vulnerability (in this case, to Kryptonite)

Wow! That’s a lot of action in a short span of time. If you exclude Lex Luthor’s opening monologue (villains DO tend to talk a lot!), all those actions (and many more) take place in the span of just four minutes.

These are the kinds of dramatic elements that make the superhero genre one of the most vibrant, colorful, and engaging of all. Now buckle yourself in for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime…

To jump right in and get a quick overview of the most crucial elements of a superhero setting, head on over to Ten Things You Should Know. Because of the prevalence of the superhero genre in our culture, many of these will be familiar to you — even if you haven’t read a comic book in years.

The HERO System RPG

The GATEWAYS campaign will use the HERO System 6th edition rules, and we will be using the superhero genre rules, often referred to as CHAMPIONS. If you feel so inclined, check out the HERO Games web site.

So what is so different or special about the HERO System compared to other RPGs? The biggest difference is that HERO uses a “point buy system” to create characters. Unlike games such as Dungeons & Dragons, there are no “levels” or “character classes.” Put another way, you can design exactly the type of character you want, without trying to force him or her to fit into a preconceived template.

If you’d like a brief crash-course in what the HERO System entails, check out this post from the HERO forums from the HERO forums and download the 2-page PDF. It does an excellent job of encapsulating the basics.

The GATEWAYS Setting

To help familiarize you with the GATEWAYS setting, check out the GATEWAYS Overview page. For a quick encapsulation of the most important differences between GATEWAYS and “mundane” Earth, check out GATEWAY’s Big Ten Differences.

You can also hop on over to the SIGNPOST page and access all of this wiki’s pages from there. This page is the “hub” for the wiki.

Happy super-heroing, and have fun!