City of Champions Online: Issue I: Origin Stories

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Having found the tragic truth that an art degree is worth less than the paper it is printed on, Jacquelyn Jones is frustrated with her dead end work as a graphic designer for a marketing firm, finding new ways to try and convince people that this week's 50 cent off sale is actually worth driving to the store. She's tried other VRMMORPGs, but they've all been fantasy-based, with a couple sci-fi games thrown in. But she wants something more, something Super.

Superhero VRMMOs have had a... subpar reception in the past, in part due to the fact that the nature of most MMOs makes for fairly unheroic tales. After the couple hundredth time blasting the same group of mooks from the same faction on the same street corner of the same city, using the same powerset as everyone else because you only have a few options, it is hard to think of yourself as a hero anymore.

But then she heard about City of Champions Online. For the first time, a developer partnered with a tabletop RPG maker to use their system to create a VRMMORPG, and it was one of the systems designed to be used with superhero games! And despite the name, there was no getting stuck in the same city as all the other players. The game world was a detailed replica of the real world, down to having some of the same shops and restaurants in town. She could be whoever she wanted, whatever she wanted.

Now, she just has to find a way to become the heroine she's always wanted to be.

 

My Opinion: 125 pages, $0.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is a Super Hero themes LitRPG story that has some political satire and deals with themes of racism. There’s also lots of curse words. Last 15% is glossary of game details, ability and character descriptions.

The game mechanics in this story are detailed but also mostly front loaded. They appear in detail during character creation for the main character (up to 14% mark). After that the mechanics pop up a lot less frequently and appear as saving throws, informational name tags, and whenever the main character gets a new power.  I would have liked to have seen more game mechanic details in the rest of the story but what is there is consistent and the main character grows in power according to the game rules established.

The story is interesting. 90% of it takes place in the game where the main character is a vampire of color, with healing powers. The character herself has a good balance of powers and disadvantages. The early part of the story is the MC learning her created avatar background and learning how to use her powers. The mid part of the story establishes the villains, which are

**Spoilers**

 

White supremacists. There’s a larger conspiracy that’s revealed in the story that I thought was a nice twist. Also, the end of the story didn’t conclude the way I thought it would. Which was a nice surprise.

If you’re looking for a story that combines RPG with Super Heroes, then this is a good read for you. If there’d been more game mechanics in the main portion of the story or if the midsection had a little more variety in the villain theme (not everyone has to be white supremacist or nazi wannabe) it would have gotten a 7 out of 10. But as is, it gets a:

 

Score: 6 out of 10

City of Champions Online: Issue I: Origin Stories

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