Yeah, I'm in the same boat as mythfish... Played 3rd and 4th Edition Champions heavily from 87 to about 91 or 92, but have only managed one or two games a year since, usually at DunDraCon.
I have the massive black tome that is 5th Edition Hero System, but haven't made very much use of it.
My favorite Champions character (and maybe all-time character) was Ace, the teenaged mutant who didn't have full control of his powers, or of his mouth for that matter. He was my primary character for the era mentioned above, and he really grew in an organic way across those games, which made him memorable for me and for the guys I played with at that time.
I made a 'grown-up' version of him in the waning days of that campaign, after he had 'been away' for a while, but never got to bring him back since the campaign evaporated. -- But I did play that version earlier this year, at DunDraCon, with one of the other campaign members running the game. It was gratifying to revisit the character in an older form and imagine how he's changed.
Okay now I'm going to geek-out and give you his plot arc. He was a teenager when he started to play at being a superhero. He didn't have control of his myriad powers, and made a lot of bad choices, but his heart was always in the right place. When I decided it was time for him to grow up, I decided it would be more dramatic if he went away and came back to the campiagn with a new attitude, like a kid going off to college and coming back four years later older and wiser, still recognizable, but with experiences under their belt they couldn't get at home.
Well, like I say, he never actually came back since the campaign went away, too. But I never totally let go of the character. In a one-off game with some of the folks from the original campaign, I played another Ace, a young girl who admired the original Ace and was angered by his 'giving up' (he was just gone! He must have lost faith!) and took up where he left off, or at least tried to do so.
Eventually, I imagined the events of his dissappearance like so: He moved away, and came up against a very powerful (undefined) foe who litterally knocked him into the middle of next week -- Ace was blasted into the future. Getting there was like skipping a rock on a lake, with Ace as the rock. He flashed into one year in the future, existed there for awhile and then skipped again, five years this time, again spending many months there before skipping again to his final destination -- about 80 years in the future. There he became a freedom fighter -- called The Liberator -- in a hellish nightmare world that is conveniently undefined beyond the adjectives. There are oppressors, there are victims, there is doom, gloom, hopelessness, blood, devestation, death, war and horror. Eventually, he learned as much as he could about how all this came about and found a way back, more or less, to his 'own' time.
So he came back, with the personal goal of trying to avert or lessen this dark future. As I would play him if I had any sort of campaign to play him in, he exists along side his young self and alongside this young girl who admire(s/d) him. I like how the complex temporal stuff appeals to my adult sensibilities and how the 'Ace Family' aspect appeals to the kid in me who remembers reading the Batman Family and Superman Family comics of the 70's.
If the undefined qualities sound akward, let me briefly explain. The orignal character was not concieved with an extensive background. This allowed my to play the character in response to the adventures at hand and define him based on what he faced. There was no chaffing of the I'm-a-wilderness-warrior-in-a-city-? sort, that we sometime run into as roleplayers. I think this freedom is what allowed him to grow and made him so memorable. By not defining the horror of the future world, I can respond to events in any given game as if they do or do not relate to that future in a completely improvisational way. It's fun!
...er, what was the original question?
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!
Pbp Secret of Bone Hill characters:
Flavia, WAR, Beekeeper, L, Str 10, Agi 10, Stm 7, Per 10, Int 12, Lck 7, AC 10 hp 5, staff, jar of honey, 10-ft pole, 1 pc chalk, 50' rope, 2 torches (1 lit)
Hector, DWARF Apothecarist, L, Str 5, Agi 11, Stm 12, Per 10, Int 6, Lck 10, AC 10, hp 11, sword, shield, cudgel, steel vial, chest, flint & steel, empty flask, lg sack
Chendris, WIZ, Alchemist, N, Str 11, Agi 9, Stm 12, Per 15, Int 13, Lck 15, AC 10, hp 3, staff, empty flask, 50' rope, 2 candles, lg sack, oil (1 flsk), 1 torch, snakeskin tome; speaks gnoll
Darrow, CLR, Hunter, N, Str 11, Agi 12, Stm 8, Per 16, Int 7, Lck 12, AC 10 hp 5, short bow, 6 arrow, 10-ft pole, deer pelt, torch (lit)