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Dark Champions book cover
|Designer(s)||Steven S. Long|
|Publication date||1993 (1st edition for 4E rules) 2004 (2nd edition for 5E rules)|
Steven S. Long wrote the subgenre book Dark Champions (1993), as well as several additional sourcebooks supporting it.:150 Hero Games later released the modern action game Dark Champions (2004).:152 Dark Champions only had a handful of releases, ending with Dark Champions: The Animated Series (2005), the new Hero Games's first subgenre book.:153
When the original Dark Champions book was published in the early 1990s, its focus was on dark vigilantes in a superhero or almost-superhero setting, focusing on adventures similar to those of Batman, the Punisher, and others. The edition provoked some controversy upon its release because of an emphasis on The Harbinger of Justice, an extraordinarily powerful and murderous vigilante who was the setting's signature character.
The second edition, published in 2004, emphasizes general action-adventure scenarios such as one might find in the adventures of James Bond, Lara Croft, The A-Team, the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies, and so forth, though costumed vigilantes are still considered a subgenre (given detail in a supplement, Dark Champions: The Animated Series). Harbinger still appears but is somewhat de-emphasized.
Dark Champions also introduced the Hudson City campaign setting, which has been expanded with further supplements.