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Introducing 5 Players to HERO


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#1 Manic Typist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:22 PM

So, it looks like my HERO campaign is going to kick off sooner than later, and of course I'm further behind on my preparations than I'd like.

 

I obviously want to make this a great experience for them, both for my personal sake (I like GMing great games) and to hopefully create 5 new HERO regulars.

 

Besides the great HERO in 2 pages resource, which I've already given them, what other tips, tricks, handouts, or other resources have you leveraged when showing new players the ropes/trying to jazz them up for how great HERO is.

 

It's a high fantasy/steampunk game that I've referenced several times on the Fantasy forum.


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Eosin- ~ "'Wrong' is a D&Dism ~ 'I do it this way' is a Heroism." SCUBA Hero- "If you did Turn the Palindromedary, how would you know? :think:" Roxanna: I need a margarita. Niels: I don't think Dwarves make mixed drinks. Ithan: That's because when Dwarves mix their alcohol, they get fire and explosions! It would be wonderful. It would be like that scene in that movie that everyone quotes where the one guy says something awesome to the other guy.

#2 Cantriped

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:27 PM

Which Rulebooks are you using? The ​Hero System 6th Edition (the two volume set),​ Hero System Basic Rulebook, or Champions/Fantasy Hero Complete?

Are you using Hero Designer to output sheets, or are players filling them out by hand?



#3 Manic Typist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:02 PM

Hero 6th Core (2 volume set, though only I own them to my knowledge and I am building all PCs except for one player who is fairly familiar with the system- however I will rebuild his using HD for both ease of access and validation).

 

Hero Designer output sheets.


Eosin- ~ "'Wrong' is a D&Dism ~ 'I do it this way' is a Heroism." SCUBA Hero- "If you did Turn the Palindromedary, how would you know? :think:" Roxanna: I need a margarita. Niels: I don't think Dwarves make mixed drinks. Ithan: That's because when Dwarves mix their alcohol, they get fire and explosions! It would be wonderful. It would be like that scene in that movie that everyone quotes where the one guy says something awesome to the other guy.

#4 Cantriped

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:27 PM

There aren't very many resources available that I know of for making the two-volume set easier to plow through, and given their size I would imagine they will be somewhat difficult to reference during play.

 

If you happened to own a copy of CC/FHC, I would suggest simply bookmarking "Characters And The World" and/or "Combat" and leaving it on the table during play for your players to reference. I own both, so I use one copy for myself, and leave the other on the table for the players to use during games.

 

Since you will be building all of the characters in HD, for a cast of (mostly) new players... I suggest writing up a concise handout for each character summarizing their capabilities (especially any special abilities they possess), noting special restrictions/complications, and suggesting strategies for them to employ. Be prepared to spend half a session explaining how their abilities work, also be prepared to have to rewrite at least half of the characters entirely. What you write may not mesh in play with how they imagined their characters, regardless of how detailed their descriptions. You will save yourself a lot of head-ache in terms of explanations if you are able to make a concerted effort to keep the initial builds simple; Power Constructs might as well be Greek to new players (even ones used to other Table-Top RPGs), and GMs experienced with Hero tend to forget about the learning curve when writing powers (especially for worlds they are excited about and have heavily researched).

 

It might serve you well to find/make a very short combat example you can demonstrate to your players; which preferably uses all the same optional rules you are using. Act it out if you can; place/move pawns for the combatants and roll the appropriate dice (but use the pregenerated results). This will help the game mechanics click for those who "learn by seeing/doing".

 

Make sure you read up on all of the combat modifiers, maneuvers/martial maneuvers and optional combat rules (such as Hit Locations) as close to immediately before play begins as possible. Usually I read both Characters And The World and Combat in CC/FHC immediately before play begins... but in CC/FHC that amounts to about 30 pages, so its less of an investment than the 200ish pages than the two-volume set uses to describe the same basic rules. However, nothing slows down play faster than having to skim through ~100 pages of rules to find a single rule, so make sure you are confidant you can adjudicate the core rules from memory.

 

Speaking of ruling from memory... I run with the House Rule that if I cannot find a needed rule within 3 minutes, I make a reasonable temporary ruling and move on. After the game I look up anything I had to make such rulings on, and note them. At the beginning of the next session I inform the table what the actual rules were, and try to play them from then on. However the results of the previous session stand, even if they would have been impossible under the actual rules.


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#5 Manic Typist

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:16 PM

Some good thoughts.

 

1) I do not plan on having any copies of the rules in front of the players. Partly because my hard copies of the rules are in another state (thankfully I saved all my electronic files from the store before the purge, just in time). I want the players to focus on engaging with the game itself while I handle the rules, and will slowly explain rules over time. Eventually I will suggest some books that they could purchase- the APGs for instance.

 

2) I do plan on running an intro combat - I will give the players a group of NPC mooks who are more limited in power than the PCs. They will engage in a brief mission that ends...not well for them, but sets the scene for the kick-off of the campaign. Essentially, the PCs won't see that particular locale until much later in the game, and hopefully the reappearance of it will pique their interest and put them on their guard for the terrible force the fell upon the NPCs they piloted.

 

3) I think a brief summation of how I envision the PC's working is a good idea, especially for the wizard I still have to build.

 

4) I also go with a similar "here's the ruling; I'll look up the rule another time and be better in the future" approach.

 

Does anyone have any game aids or other shortcuts that they like? Chips, using dice to track health, beads? I'm definitely going to teach the players "Take your OCV, add 11, roll. Whatever # you make it by, that's the DCV you hit (unmodified by hidden things). Just call out "I hit DCV X" to me during combat." Anything else? Such as "a +X modifier increases your chance of success by this % on the bell curve." Has anyone used that, and if so did you find it useful?


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Eosin- ~ "'Wrong' is a D&Dism ~ 'I do it this way' is a Heroism." SCUBA Hero- "If you did Turn the Palindromedary, how would you know? :think:" Roxanna: I need a margarita. Niels: I don't think Dwarves make mixed drinks. Ithan: That's because when Dwarves mix their alcohol, they get fire and explosions! It would be wonderful. It would be like that scene in that movie that everyone quotes where the one guy says something awesome to the other guy.

#6 Cantriped

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:50 PM

Now that I think about it... There is a fancy 6th edition "GM Screen" floating around here somewhere that had tons of tables all crammed into just a few pages. If you found that, you could print it and give it to the players as a pamphlet to accompany the Hero In 2 Pages and the tables already included on their sheets.


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#7 bigdamnhero

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

I'd strongly recommend using a simplified, playable character sheet that leaves off most of the costs and so forth.

 

I'm definitely going to teach the players "Take your OCV, add 11, roll. Whatever # you make it by, that's the DCV you hit (unmodified by hidden things). Just call out "I hit DCV X" to me during combat."

I'd suggest going a step further and writing OCV+11 on their character sheets. Essentially then it becomes the same as the Skill/Char Roll mechanic: subtract 3d6 from this number and tell me how much you made it/missed it by.

 

A few years ago I started putting an Attacks Table on all my character sheets; for each of the character's main attacks, it lists their (modified) OCV+11, relevant CSLs, DCV with that attack/maneuver, damage and any Notes. It requires a little more work on my end than just spitting out a HD export, but really simplifies things for new players. Looks like this:

 

Attack               To Hit   Skill    DCV    Damage     Notes

Base Attack        16-      +0        5           3d6

Martial Punch     17-      +2        7           5d6

Knife                   16-      +1        5           1d6 K     can Throw 20m

Fireball               16-      +0        3           6d6         16m Radius

(etc)


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#8 bigdamnhero

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

Oh, I also keep a spreadsheet with everyone's SPD & DEX on it so I can tell the players when it's their Phase rather than having to do the "Who Goes On 4?" roll call every Segment.


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#9 Manic Typist

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:53 PM

I'd strongly recommend using a simplified, playable character sheet that leaves off most of the costs and so forth.

 

I'd suggest going a step further and writing OCV+11 on their character sheets. Essentially then it becomes the same as the Skill/Char Roll mechanic: subtract 3d6 from this number and tell me how much you made it/missed it by.

 

A few years ago I started putting an Attacks Table on all my character sheets; for each of the character's main attacks, it lists their (modified) OCV+11, relevant CSLs, DCV with that attack/maneuver, damage and any Notes. It requires a little more work on my end than just spitting out a HD export, but really simplifies things for new players. Looks like this:

 

Attack               To Hit   Skill    DCV    Damage     Notes

Base Attack        16-      +0        5           3d6

Martial Punch     17-      +2        7           5d6

Knife                   16-      +1        5           1d6 K     can Throw 20m

Fireball               16-      +0        3           6d6         16m Radius

(etc)

 

 

Do you have a preferred export format from the Downloads section for its simplicity and ease of adding this kind of table?


Eosin- ~ "'Wrong' is a D&Dism ~ 'I do it this way' is a Heroism." SCUBA Hero- "If you did Turn the Palindromedary, how would you know? :think:" Roxanna: I need a margarita. Niels: I don't think Dwarves make mixed drinks. Ithan: That's because when Dwarves mix their alcohol, they get fire and explosions! It would be wonderful. It would be like that scene in that movie that everyone quotes where the one guy says something awesome to the other guy.

#10 bigdamnhero

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

Do you have a preferred export format from the Downloads section for its simplicity and ease of adding this kind of table?

Not really, sorry. I cut & paste into my own character sheet format which is, yeah, kindof a pain in the ass. SH_RTF-SimpleHeroic6e.hde works in a pinch.


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#11 RicoZaid

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

Awesome thread :D



#12 Manic Typist

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:19 PM

Does anyone have any favorite reference materials they like to print and hand out (besides Hero in 2 pages! Did that!) or post on a GM screen?


Eosin- ~ "'Wrong' is a D&Dism ~ 'I do it this way' is a Heroism." SCUBA Hero- "If you did Turn the Palindromedary, how would you know? :think:" Roxanna: I need a margarita. Niels: I don't think Dwarves make mixed drinks. Ithan: That's because when Dwarves mix their alcohol, they get fire and explosions! It would be wonderful. It would be like that scene in that movie that everyone quotes where the one guy says something awesome to the other guy.

#13 bluesguy

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:12 PM

You might want to check out this thread (it is long) that may have the kind of information you are looking for.


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