In April 2017, you may recall, the Bundle of Holding presented a big double offer of 67 Champions Fourth Edition ebooks that, thanks to the hard work of Jason Walters and his team at Hero Games, all appeared in .PDF for the first time anywhere. Those two Champions 4E offers presented rulebooks and adventures published between 1987 and 1993. But the history of Champions and the Hero System reaches back well before that. Hero Games published Champions in 1981; it was one of the first superhero RPGs. In the early 1980s Champions quickly grew beyond its roots into the all-encompassing Hero System, with standalone RPGs about modern-day espionage, pulp action, fantasy, science fiction, and giant robots.
These two 2018 offers — among the largest in Bundle of Holding history — collected all those early books. Almost all of them appeared here in .PDF for the first time, fruits of another ambitious effort by Jason Walters. All these ebooks are sold individually on DriveThruRPG, but these two bargain-priced bundles were the best way to acquire, at one stroke, a whole virtual shelf of Hero-ic games.
These are good-quality .PDF image scans of the original 1980s hardcopy books with OCR (optical character recognition) applied. Some text is light, but it’s all readable and copiable. A few covers show wearing, price stickers, handwriting from the original owners, or other minor artifacts.
Questions? Check our Early Champions & Hero System Bundles FAQ.
Early ChampionsThere were fourteen titles in this Early Champions offer’s tremendous Core Collection (retail value $73.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Champions core rulebook in its First (1981), Second (1982), and Third (1984) Editions (plus the introductory adventure “Viper’s Nest” and the original hex-map); the jam-packed rules expansions Champions II and Champions III; no less than five collections of supervillains in the popular Enemies series (I, II, III, International File, and Villainy Unbound); the Gadgets book of weaponry and equipment; and the Gamemaster Screens for First and Third Editions.
Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got this offer’s entire Bonus Collection with twenty-one more titles worth an additional $110, that’s right, $110:
- Three famous genre sourcebooks: Strike Force and Super-Agents by Aaron Allston and The Golden Age of Champions (the version for Champions Third Edition) by Chris Cloutier.
- Five Organization Books: PRIMUS and Demon, The Blood & Dr. McQuark, The Circle & M.E.T.E., CLOWN, and Red Doom.
- Four early adventures for First and Second Edition: The Island of Dr. Destroyer, Escape From Stronghold, Deathstroke, and The Great Super-Villain Contest.
- Eight adventures for Third Edition: Atlas Unleashed, The Coriolis Effect, Neutral Ground, Scourge From the Deep, Target: Hero, To Serve and Protect, VOICE of Doom, and Wrath of the Seven Horsemen.
- Autoduel Champions, the licensed supplement from Steve Jackson Games that combined Champions and Car Wars.
Early Hero SystemThis Early Hero System offer presented the standalone non-superhero games, together with all their supplements and adventures. All these games use the Hero System rules and are compatible with the various early editions of Champions.
There were six titles in this offer’s Game Collection (retail value $52.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks: Espionage!/Danger International (plus the introductory adventure “Merchants of Terror”), Fantasy Hero First Edition, Justice Inc., Star Hero First Edition, and Robot Warriors.
This offer’s Supplement Collection added thirteen more titles worth an additional $77.50:
- Three Justice Inc. books: Aaron Allston’s pioneering lost-worlds campaign supplement Lands of Mystery and the two-fisted pulp adventures Trail of the Gold Spike and The Adventure of the Jade Jaguar.
- Five Espionage!/Danger International books: Border Crossing, Here There Be Tigers, Mugshots 2, SHADOW Over Scotland, and the Origins Award-winning campaign sandbox by Michael A. Stackpole, Stormhaven.
- Three Fantasy Hero supplements: Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes, Magic Items, and The Spell Book.
- The original version of the Hero System Bestiary, written for the pre-Fourth Edition rules. (We presented the 4E version of the Bestiary in our April 2017 Champions 4E Essentials offer.)
- Robot Gladiators, the sole supplement for Robot Warriors.