Jump to content


HERO Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About Alcamtar

  • Rank
    the Cleaver
  • Birthday 07/28/1967

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • Jabber

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Occupation
    Driver software engineer
  1. I don't suppose you have a reproduction hexmap of Saduria? I am looking at making a better map but the hexes in my copy are nearly illegible.
  2. Fantasy Champions

    He-man is especially appropriate since he never actually kills anyone with that magic sword. It is obviously STUN-only. The elves in The Silmarillion are absolutely champions-level superheroes, standing up to Morgoth himself. The portions of the Thor movie that took place in Asgard and Jotunheim depict a fantasy champions world. There is the anime interpretation of Dante's Inferno for inspiration. The comments on Youtube are priceless.
  3. Campaign Idea - Feedback requested

    OK well here's a stab at it: Effect defined as Major Mental Transform 6d6 for 60 pts. It's at least major because it affects the target's nature, but is not severe since it is not a total re-write of their psyche, and has no effect on "adventuring" abiltiies. I'd be inclined to allow it to be minor, since choice of beer is a pretty minor thing, but BtB it must be at least major. The transform adds Psych Comp: will not drink any other beer or alcohol (total, 20pt). No dependence was indicated in the original post, although you could slip that in easily. Dependence would raise the transform to Severe. It is not an all-or-nothing transform; if one beer doesn't get you, the second one surely will. Major Mental Transform 6d6 (60), Reversed by dispelling a 90 AP curse, or by drinking something even tastier. AVAD (mental defense instead of power defense, +0) Works against EGO not BOD (+1/4) Limited Target: sentient beer-drinkers (-1/4) [brewing] 250 charges that never recover (-1) Extra Time: one month brewing time (-5) OAF: the recipe book (-1) OAF: immobile brewery arrangement (-1 1/4) RAR: PS Brewer (-1/4) [Potion] Usable by Other (+1/4) No Range (-1/2) OAF: fragile expendable beer (-1/4) Must be imbibed (-1/2) Charges never recover, so you have to sink 8 CP into each batch of beer. Still, you're getting 30+ addicts for each CP invested, which is a pretty good return. There are technically three foci: the book, the brewery, and the beer. I split them up above for clarity, but it is a single focus for rules purposes. A quick google search says that it takes about 2 weeks to ferment beer and another 2 weeks to age it before it is ready to drink. Thus 1 month to prepare. I guessed that 250 pints approximates an industrial size batch of beer, but really I have no idea. Usable by other instead of trigger; the one who drinks this does so willingly and brings it upon themselves. No doubt at the urging of their comrades who have already partaken. Base: 60 Active: 90 Real: 8 (-10 total limitations) Prohibitionists could make good use of such a book: get everyone hooked, and then cut off the supply! Actually this is pretty funny. A potion that only has the effect of getting you addicted... I don't think I would treat this humorously at all. I would leave it low key, just put it on the menu and wait for a hapless PC to try it by mistake, or have a drink bought for them by an NPC. Let it spread silently and wreak its economic and political havoc. A likely plot would be hiking the price on this beer, driving the other brewers out of business while enriching oneself on the monopoly. The guilds would be in an uproar, but as soon as they taste the new brew they would cheerfully "admit" it is truly better, drop their lawsuit, and change professions in shame. This sort of thing could spread nefariously and require subtle and speedy investigation to get under control. If the king gets a taste, he might even order the investigation halted. The distributor could run it like organized crime, they could break kneecaps and threaten to cut off the supply to any middleman that reveals the source. Eventually once everyone is hooked they could come into the open, though still protecting their "trade secret" in a fortified factory guarded by armed thugs. The R&D arm could be hard at work developing new "variants" like hallucinogenic beer, beer in pill or powder form, etc. But rather than being slapstick, or an emergency, I could see it forming a subtle backdrop to a campaign. Something nobody notices or pays attention to, or maybe they mention it in passing. Like everyone addicted to their cell phone or their morning coffee or their latest netflix binge. It's just known and accepted, and so enjoyable that people LIKE being addicted. Why change a good thing? Only if the pesky PCs take notice and do some digging do they discover the seedy secrets behind it all, and get themselves into trouble trying to fix a problem nobody thinks needs fixed. Just had a thought: maybe failing your brewer roll creates a tainted batch of beer that tastes... bad. Real bad. So bad that where before, you would not drink any other beer, now you would drink ANY beer but this. Sort of like how if a food makes you sick you can't stand it anymore. That could be another way to reverse the curse. A villainous brewer would of course need to test each batch on an unsuspecting victim to ensure any tainted kegs are destroyed and not distributed.
  4. Fantasy Champions

    Agreed. When it is well balanced it is a lot of fun and works very well. OP asked about pitfalls. One pitfall is thinking you can easily mix heroic FH materials into a superheroic game. Not saying it can't be done, but that I failed to make it work smoothly. At this point I think it is a trap that looks easy but may be difficult or impossible. (And if folks here disagree, I would love practical advice on how to pull it off.) Another pitfall is expecting it to work like "other games you may have played." There are few games offering "superheroic" levels of play. D&D scales smoothly, while Hero is more like two different games in one book. Both end up being a completely different game at high levels; the in-between is the gotcha, and how they work at high levels is different. Anyway I wanted to not just name these issues but explain a bit about why.
  5. Fantasy Champions

    I started a game like this, with a solo ~400 pt character running through a moderately high level D&D module (X4). Since it was a solo PC we targeted around 10th level equivalent elf, expert at both combat and magic. It is easy to sink that many points into a FH character, and he looks really good on paper, and fits my idea of what a high level character should be capable of. He is a good match for the larger monsters. He was able to take on a wizard mounted on a wyvern and three trolls simultaneously, and basically one-shotted a dragon. But the vast majority of fantasy monsters in the bestiary are far outclassed, not to mention entire armies. In practice that means either I rewrite them to be tougher (thus negating the "high level" effect), or fights with lesser foes become dull. Dull in the sense of the PC being virtually invulnerable, so it becomes an exercise in dice rolling with a predictable outcome (or being hand-waved). One idea I considered was using Champions villains (from books or websitse) and re-skinning them as fantasy characters and monsters. That would save some effort in designing characters from scratch as they are already at a superheroic level. But this runs into a different problem, in that the PC is designed around heroic fantasy tropes, so certain aspects of the character (defenses for example) would be under-powered when facing an actual superhero built to Champions standards. We may pick that game back up if time permits, and I think its salvagable, but it's more work than I expected because nearly all the foes need to be custom-built to be interesting, and the module is really not useful as written since everything must be redesigned. So against suitable foes it works very well and is a lot of fun. But if you want a high-level D&D feel -- or if you want to make broad use of the bestiary and other resources -- then I don't think it does as well, unless you are careful to limit character power to stay within typical heroic parameters. Orcs can't whittle away at superheroes like they can in D&D because Hero characters don't have enough BODY, that level of invulnerability is necessary. I guess the gotcha in my experience is that the Fantasy Hero resources are not applicable, and (at least in my case) the Champions resources are not applicable.
  6. Magic System Design

    I really like GURPS magic; it feels both realistic and "tight" (for lack of a better description), yet has enough complexity to be interesting. But mostly I think I just like the powerstones and staves. And variable mana levels. And the healing/necromancy angle. And - oh yes - accidental demon summoning. It's one thing to say wizards use a lot of jewels, its another thing to define exactly how and why they do so, and to do it in a way that is not limiting. I've often toyed with the idea of a purely technology-based magic system. Essentially taking the idea of AD&D material components, GURPS wizardly tools like powerstones and staves, and magic items, all unified by an underlying metasystem like medieval alchemy. All magic is derived from physical objects and props: tools, components, jewels, staves, scrolls, potions. Incantations and concentration and personal END are useless and irrelevant. All magic is external. Stripping a wizard naked is a guaranteed way to take away his power. In such a system, magic would be just like technology; you buy it at the market, kings have research departments and defense contractors, wizards become engineers and technicians. It might lend a "Recluce" feel to the world. I tend to prefer multiple magic systems in a world, sort of like how D&D has magic spells and clerical spells, but expanded to dozens of competing systems. Ideally they all access the same underlying metaphysical rules, only nobody knows what those rules, only a particular tradition that can access those rules in a particular and limited way. I have done the multiple systems idea several times, but rarely gotten far with the unified metaphysics or really even tried; but I like the idea. In terms of flavor I really gravitate toward a dark medieval flavor, with demons and alchemists and curses and ancient forbidden tomes, but also paladins and holy hermits and stuff. High fantasy with (potentially) super powerful wizards, but a world that fears and avoids magic rather than benefitting from it. Worlds steeped in magic, or that get too gonzo with the planes and stuff, I think lose their flavor. A nice way to make magic powerful yet rare is to make it horribly dangerous. I have a soft spot for warhammer for this reason, with its necromantic decrepitude, sorcerous insanity... and then there is GURPS with its accidential demons and "Umana" accidents. I did a magic system once (not for Hero) that was authority-based. The Creator made a bunch of gods and demons and elementals and delegated his authority to them, and they in turn can delegate to wizards or priests. Authority means you simply will it, and it becomes so. It is not about effort or technique, but having the "right" to command and order things. Knowledge comes into play because you can only command what you know of and understand. But mortal authority usually comes with strings attached, thus magical traditions and limitations; multiple levels of delegation are all cumulative with respect to limitation. All creatures are born with authority to command their own body; everything else must be acquired through relationship with other entities. It was an interesting idea to toy with, especially for creating hierarchies of planar entities, but hard to define mechanically. I like alignments, not necessarily AD&D alignments, but I think it adds a mystical air to magic. I think elemental or political ("politics of hell") alignments could be interesting. You see Elric dealing with this sort of thing. Here's a favorite system, many here are probably familiar with in some form: Clerical Petition Pool: This idea is from an old Adventurer's Club. A deity is a Contact, accessed through a Faith skill roll. The cleric has a no conscious control VPP that represents how "important" he is to the deity's plans. Instead of casting spells, the cleric prays; the GM secretly makes a faith roll, and if it succeeds: interprets the prayer, designs a power, and triggers the VPP. Powers are invisible, indirect, and use no END; The GM is encouraged to use the minimal effect necessary to accomplish the request, and to do so in a way that is easily explainable by a skeptic. So, nobody is ever quite sure if the deity intervened or not. Except of course the cleric, who is always convinced of it. (This system of course requires a great deal of trust between player and GM! I have tried it and it can be hard to think of something on the spur of the moment. I found myself using a lot of raw superhero-like powers, because it takes too much time to fully flesh things out with limitations. It is also important to have a clear idea of what the deity wants, so you know when to say yes or no, and how to interpret things.)
  7. Unfriendly home page!

    For what its worth, this is how it appears on my phone: This is what comes up for www.herogames.com: The icon on the upper right that says [<- News] does nothing. The icon on the upper left opens a links "toolbar" with the following options: I mostly browse on a PC because I sit at one all day at work. Someone who learns about hero through social media is likely to follow a link on their phone, and get this. Really, I personally don't care a whole lot. I doubt Hero gains many customers via drive-bys on the website, or via word on mouth on social media or websites. In this case the posting was on the Fudge RPG forum on Facebook, a site that is often browsed on phones, and was made by a person who already plays RPGs but had never heard of Hero. I posted a link and when I followed my own link, was a bit startled. So I followed it up with a link to the much more informative wikipedia article, which spends about half the article discussing past financial difficulties and entanglements, but at least gives an overview of what Hero Games is. Anyway I just posted here as a public service, since perhaps nobody noticed. if everyone's cool with it, I am too.
  8. Unfriendly home page!

    I didn't see any "about" link on mobile. There is what appears to be a back button that doesn't go anywhere, and a button that brings up links to sign in, forums, store, chat.
  9. Unfriendly home page!

    Just an observation. I was responding to a mother whose son is playing hero. She wanted to know about it, wasnt even sure if it was an rpg, and I posted a link to the website. On mobile, www.herogames.com goes straight to the news page, a wall of text about random uninteresting (to a newbie) topics. Nothing about what hero is, or what its about. I could not find a page that said what hero games actually is. It presents a very off-putting and closed community. As if to say "if you have to ask then you're in the wrong place." The wikipedia page is a bit negative but more useful. By way of suggestion, it would be nice to see a page that has some graphics, some text that "hero is a roleplaying game that does X and Y" etc. And maybe some ideas where to go for more information and what products are available.
  10. Swap-in Replacement for D&D 5e?

    I also wanted to address an idea for how to do D&D Vancian magic, if that is what you are interested in. There are three core mechanics that regulate spells in D&D: (1) how many and which spells you know, (2) the need to memorize them each day, and (3) how many times you can use them per day. In Hero, spells you know (1) are bought with points, and memorization (2) is the Delayed Effect advantage. Just like in D&D you can reskin it in Hero as pre-casting, hanging spells, enchanting acorns, "stacking your rack", whatever, it is the mechanic that matters. The time spent memorizing is the "casting time" in Hero, and delayed spells are released instantly. If you want a casting time at time of use, then either do not delay the spell, or create a custom limitation. A really nice thing about Delayed Effect is that you can take huge limitations on casting time to reduce the cost of your spells. Nothing about Delayed Effect says that you cannot re-memorize spells, unless you add a custom limitation "can only cast in the morning." How many times per day can be handled multiple ways. The simplest way is charges: X times per day. That also eliminates END cost, which is not present in D&D. But another (more fine-grained) method is to have an Endurance Reserve to power your spells, tuned so that it recharges all its points every day. For example a 240 END pool that recharges 10 per hour. This allows each spell to vary in how much of your power it consumes, at the expense of tracking END points and recoveries, and also when you're desperate you can wait an hour to get a few points back. Cantrips are almost free and unlimited while a single huge spell may drain nearly all your power. This accomplishes the effect of "use per day" in a way that is more reflective of fantasy literature, but it is not as true to the flavor of D&D. Duration from spells can be handled with Time Limit. A pure D&D system that would be very easy for players: Multipower with X-point reserve, all: N charges (?), Delayed Effect (+1/4), incantations (-1/4), gestures (-1/4), requires OAF fragile spellbook to cast (-1.25), requires light to use (-1/4), extra time 5 minutes (-2) [Campaign rule: number of delayed spells are limited by the charges in the multipower.] That says that you can cast N spells per day, up to X active points each, you can restrain or silence wizards to keep them from casting spells, and memorization requires 5 minutes with a spellbook and light to read it. X is 30 for first level spells, 45 for second level spells, 60 for third level, etc. You only need one Multipower sized to the largest spells you can cast. So if you have 3/2/2/1 spell slots, but a 4th level multipower with 8 charges. It would look like this: Multipower with 75-point reserve, 8 charges (-1/2), Delayed Effect (+1/4), incantations (-1/4), gestures (-1/4), requires OAF fragile spellbook to cast (-1.25), requires light to use (-1/4), extra time 5 minutes (-2). Cost: 17 points (4v) Shield: +2 DCV and 10 Power Defense, 20 active. (14v) Magic Missile: 1d6 energy RKA, Autofire x3 (+1.25), NND vs shield spell or power defense (+2), accurate vs DCV 3 (+1/2), 71 active (10v) Sleep: 3d6 Drain STUN, Uncontrolled (+1/2), Increased max effect x2 [36 STUN] (+1/4), area 4m radius (+1/4), only until asleep (-1/4), active 60 (2v) Levitate: Flight 20m, only vertical (-1), concentrate 1/2 DCV throughout (-1/2), active 20 (15v) Fireball: 10d6 Blast, area 20 ft radius (+1/2), 75 active [15 per 2d6] (10v) Phantasmal Killer: Mental Blast 2d6 (20), does Body (+1), Time Limit lingering 1 minute (+3/4), active 55 You cannot have more spells active than the pool size. To levitate (20) while casting a fireball (60) you'd need an 80 point pool, or you need to reduce the power of those slots so they fit (which is why this example bought them as varaible slots). For example, 5m levitattion would fit with a 7d6 fireball. If you want spells only to be prepared in the morning, use standard charges. If you want to allow a mage to rest during the day and recover spells, make them charges "recoverable after a 4-hour nap" or something. Cantrips are special, you can use them in 5E D&D at will, but they are weak. Creating a separate Multipower for cantrips allows them to use different rules: Cantrip Multipower with 15-point reserve, Reduced END zero (+1/2), incantations (-1/4), gestures (-1/4): cost 15 points (1f) Acid Splash: 1d6 energy RKA, 15 active (1f) Chill Touch: 1d6 energy Blast, NND vs power defense (+2), 15 active (1f) Light: Images +1 PER vs Sight, only to create light (-1), 13 active Cantrips are usable at will and require no END, but you can only use one at a time. They have a separate multipower from regular spells. As with other spells, silencing or restraining a wizard will prevent cantrip use. In play, this is how it would work: In the morning, the PC recovers his charges. He spends 5 minutes per spell to pre-cast spells, until he has used all his charges, selecting which spells will be pre-cast. During the adventuring day, casting a spell is as simple as saying "I cast X" and taking a half phase action to discharge it. As each spell is used up, it cannot be re-used until the charge recovers the next morning. If a player choose not to use all his charges in the morning, he can cast the spell at any time during the day by simply spending the 5 minute casting time, and can either use the spell immediately or hang it for later. That's all there is, its about as painless as FH magic gets. Cantrips can be used at will. House Rule: Normally all limitations apply at casting time, but a table rule for this system is that incantations and gestures and concentration apply at the time of release, allowing silence spells to be effective. The GM can tweak Hero as desired if he feels it is balanced and fun. House Rule: Since spells are inherently limited by charges, Delayed Effect simply accepts that limit and no additional limit need be applied. This construct can be adjusted a lot, but it is a starting point to show some ideas.
  11. Swap-in Replacement for D&D 5e?

    OK, some history, from one man's perspective. Back in 1985 when Fantasy Hero was first published, it was a single game in one book, $15 for 155 pages. In that space it contained everything needed to play, including a bestiary and a spellbook, plus some sample items and two adventures The 6th edition rules required two rulebooks plus fantasy Hero: $125 for 1250 pages. Those 1250 pages still did not contain a spellbook or a bestiary. Rules have been trending toward simpler and smaller. Many people do not have endless hours to read books, or a lot of spare cash, and they want a pick-up-and-play game. Savage Worlds was 150 pages and only $10, and was as complete as the original Fantasy Hero, and has been enormously popular, while Hero 6th was languishing. The size of the rules scared off new players, and the large minimal investment eliminated impulse buyers from giving it a try on a whim. Back in the 1980s Hero was simple, and it was grown. Much of the growth is good, new powers and better ways to do things, but along with the growth came explanation. Hero always appealed to tinkers and do-it-yourself types; the old books gave you a toolkit and let you figure out how to use it. I was drawn to the game (from AD&D) as much for its simple and lightweight rules, and the interpretive freedom they gave me, as for the mechanics themselves. They were easy to memorize. I enjoyed creating new modifiers or thinking up new ways to apply existing modifiers. Much of the length in 6th edition came from explanation: each power and modifier had pages upon pages of explanation, examples, discussing every possible way anyone had ever thought to use the mechanic and providing an official ruling for the correct way. The system was no longer simple and lightweight, there was no interpretive freedom, no creating new modifiers or thinking of new ways to use them. That is because in 30+ years it is well trodden ground, I rarely through of anything that hadn't been thought of before, and the 6th ed rules were the encyclopedic reference for it all. It was predigested. Fantasy Hero Complete was (in part) an attempt to go back to what made original Fantasy Hero great. It contains all the rules that were in 6th edition, incorprates errata and tweaks a couple of things, and cuts away the explanation to again make it "the GM's game" instead of "someone else's table rules." It should probably be thought of as 6.5th edition, and it officially supercedes 6th edition, though I believe it is 99% identical. It is cheap enough every player can afford their own copy, which was not true of 6th edition. It is much easier to GM in my opinion, because when I see a modifier I want I can just use it without needing to check every power and related rule to see if there is an official editorial on how it can and cannot be used. Still not perfect for me but a huge step in the right direction. For those that want a more complete treatment, the 6th edition PDFs are still available as reference. I avoided 6th edition initially, but after FHC came out I went out and bought the 6th edition rules and FH hardbacks on ebay. FHC is the game I use in play, the others are on the shelf to consult. In my opinion FHC makes the game playable and digestable. The rest is optional. Since FHC supercedes 6th edition, I don't feel like I'm cheating if I don't bother to look something up, and that frees me to just play. Also FHC does have weapons (p.249) and armor (p.248). Money and equipment is left out because most people have their own game worlds and don't use it anyway. I always found the old FH price lists to be useless because they had too much stuff to wade through, and because they denominated prices in iron pieces and stuff. At my table I just grab an old Expert D&D book and use that. YMMV as we used to say, but seriously use whatever you like and/or already know. If you are using 5E D&D, just use those prices and equipment. For weapons and armor, a good way to do it is mass(kg) = D&D gold pieces for armor, and real cost = D&D gold pieces for weapons. That way prices are directly tied to utility. Something else to understand is that not everyone likes how weapons were statted up in 6E. Older editions used a different weapons list, with different design principles. And GMs may need to modify the list, removing some and adding others. That is why FHC lists "sample" weapons and armor. In the end, most Hero GMs have a house rules document that contains all the non-rules information players will need: duplicate and adjust the weapons list, add other equipment, assign prices, make your own mini-PHB.
  12. Swap-in Replacement for D&D 5e?

    I like using roll high for damage and attacks, and roll low for skills, as it requires fair dice. I know I have dice that obviously prefer high or low and its an easy "cheat."
  13. Swap-in Replacement for D&D 5e?

    3d6 + OCV - 10 = DCV hit is what I use. When OCV = DCV (not uncommon), I use 3d6 >= 10.
  14. Modelling Modern Smart Phones

    Smartphone is a VPP, only one power at a time (apps are full screen), only for information/communication powers, takes 1 full phase to switch powers (wait for app to start) and an activation roll (do you know what app to use and have it installed?) All powers bought with: OAF fragile expensive, requires concentration 0 DCV (you are glued to your phone when using it), extra time: full phase to do anything useful, 32 charges (decent battery life but eventually it runs out), (recoverable charges if you have a replaceable battery), activation roll (do you have coverage), Side Effect: Mind Control (distracted by social media and/or games whenever you look at the darned thing) All that as a piece of equipment that everyone gets for free. If you lose it, you have to wait till next session to get another one. But I never meet anyone without one, no matter how often they seem to destroy theirs or how poor they are. People find a way.
  15. As mentioned, a continuing charge is a good way to represent a very long term effect. 100 years on the time chart should be synonymous with "forever" in most campaigns - at some point the time scale ceases to be meaningful and shouldn't cost anything. if you want to burn permanent CP like you would with Indepedent, you could use a single nonrecoverable charge (-4). That way the points are gone permanently, and if you want to cast it again you have to invest more CP. Independent also makes the power entirely disconnected from the PC, so you no longer have any ability to control it or turn it off. You could simulate that with Persistent, so it doesn't end when the caster goes to sleep, and Uncontrolled, so you can't turn it off. A continuing charge is automatically Uncontrolled, but you have to define a way to turn it off just like defining a way to reverse a Transform. Could be a remove curse spell or something else. So: one nonrecoverable charge continuing 100 years (-1.25), Persistent (+0.25) Instead of buying CP, you might make it very difficult to recover the charge. For example, a curse that is only usable once a year, or requires the tears of a baby dragon to recover a charge (which I'd put at -2).