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I'm working on a premise for a Star Hero campaign, and is crossed my mind that Star Hero Complete would make a nice addition to the Complete​ product line. The idea has bounced around in my head for a few days now, so I thought I'd leave it here to get some feedback.

 

If such a product were in the works, what unique elements would you like it to contain that would differentiate it from Champions and Fantasy Hero Complete?

For example, ​Fantasy Hero Complete​ differentiated itself by including Ranged Martial Arts, and Talents drawn from Fantasy Hero ​(such as Turn Undead), but excluding modern skills (such as Bugging and Computer Programming). It had a more extensive collection of templates, example characters and a nice starter bestiary. It also included a larger list of primitive weapons and armor, but excluded modern ones.

 

To answer my own question. I think Star Hero Complete should include Ranged Martial Arts (like FHC did), while retaining the modern skills. It should have some iconic alien templates, and perhaps a few alien monsters to encounter. Obviously the example Automaton should be a Robot instead of a Zombie, the Example Base should be a Space-Station,  and the example weapons and armor should generally be futuristic (laser and gauss rifles, thermal detonators, light powered armor, etc). Most of all I would like for it to have more extensive vehicle rules (including the rules for G-Forces from Star Hero, and plenty of example Vehicle stat-blocks (battle-mecha, space fighters, transport ships, battle-ships, carriers, etc.).

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A fully fleshed out space opera campaign setting would be a better use of resources, IMO. We don't need more genre advice books, even in the streamlined Complete format. We need original settings that demonstrate and "teach" the system through concrete examples and galaxy-spanning adventures.

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While the general consensus is indeed that we need Setting & Scenario Supplements more than Rules Supplements/Source Books, that isn't the subject of this thread. I did not ask whether or not we needed Star Hero Complete​ (​nor to I actually care whether or not we do at this time), I asked what we think it should contain if such a product were being published. So simply saying that 'we don't need this' is not a constructive contribution to this discussion.

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Well, the most constructive thing I can offer is to suggest that the effort be spent on something else. Ultimately that's my point, as off-topic as it may appear.

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If I could have one book that had everything I needed to run a star-spanning Hero campaign, that would be fantastic! Give me everything that was in the old Traveller little black books. So, in addition to the basic HERO System, at a minimum I'd want starship rules (creation, travel, and combat), star system generation rules, and trading rules. The starship rules could be as simple as the ones for Champions in Space Gamer 75. Actually, I'd prefer something like that rather than something more elaborate.

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Sadly, I have no idea what the rules from Space Gamer 75 look like.

 

I've always thought the rules for vehicle/base construction were always cumbersome. I just haven't contrived a better way yet. It will be a while before I can focus in that direction anyway, so if there are easy rules like this Space Gamer 75 thing, I say include them. 

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That might be the same as the system that was used in the original Star Hero book, which was the final product released before 4th edition came out.  Not that that's any easier to find...

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Well spotted! There are definite similarities, which isn't surprising given that the authors of the articles are also the authors of 3e Star Hero (book #50 for 3e). But costs differ, and I'd say the one in Star Hero is a bit more oriented toward the typical HERO level of detail, whereas the articles primarily feature what they call the "Options" method of starship building, which uses a less detail-oriented approach to ship building (reminiscent of the Classic Traveller book 1-3 method of using modular components).

 

Personally, I prefer modular shipbuilding. I never understood the desire to define every nut and bolt in a ship, like some of the shipbuilding systems for other editions of Traveller (as well as other games) have offered through the years.

 

Fortunately, even the typical HERO level of detail isn't all that detailed as compared to Fire, Fusion, and Steel and the like.

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It should have some iconic alien templates,

That brings up some issues that separate SF from Fantasy. Most importantly, there's a lot less of a "Generic SF Warehouse" than there is of a "Generic Fantasy Warehouse." Consider, for example, races: In Fantasy, Tolkien and his innumerable imitators gave us Dwarves, Elves and Small-Folk-We-Can't Call-Hobbits as instantly recognizable types that are in public domain. A few other types have become similarly familiar. In SF, though, the best-known aliens are tied to specific settings and intellectual properties.

 

There are still some types, like the Honorable Warrior Race, the Intellectual Race, the Super-Advanced But Pacifist Race, etc. (I remember someone once posted a map of the Generic Type Galaxy that was pretty funny.) But I suspect many players will want to play actual Klingons and Vulcans.

 

As a publishing phenomenon, SF seems much more tied to media properties, especially Star Trek and Star Wars. I am not sure they have "coattails" in the sense that the best-known Fantasy series do. If you really love Star Trek, say, you don't *have* to look for books that are sorta like Star Trek but aren't -- there are hundreds of spinoff books. I suspect that limits the number of potential customers for any sort of SF game that is not another media tie-in.

 

I suspect a hypothetical Star Hero Complete would tend to look a lot like Traveller Hero, since that's the only SF game I can think of off-hand that's shown any staying power. Traveller also comes closest to being the Generic SF Warehouse. That's not itself an argument against a Star Hero Complete, but it's something to keep in mind.

 

Though it also means Star Hero Complete will actually be Space Opera Hero complete -- it won't be much good if you want, say, Planetary Romance Complete, Cyberpunk Complete or Post-Holocaust Complete. I suspect they'd need to be books of their own.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Dean hits on some key points.

 

For myself I enjoy two different types of scifi rpg settings.

 

The known setting game, Star Trek,Star Wars etc. This is what I usually play the most even if it is not my favorite.

 

The other is my favorite setting that actually involves bringing back wonder to sci-fi. In this type game, humanity only knows humanity and the PCs get to discover aliens and or alien artifacts.

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As someone who has come to Hero largely through the two Complete books, I would welcome Star Hero Complete. Some great points in this thread shape what the book would hypothetically be. The default approach would likely be on Space Opera, but there is no reason other sub-genres couldn't be touched in via templates and a few paragraphs each regarding capturing the tone. No need to detail every nut and bolt of a ship, just the bits that affect the story.

 

OK, really this was just a lot of words to say, "Yes, Star Hero Complete please."

 

Will you help me with a question however? If I play Hero using the two Complete books, would I be able to use the sixth edition Star Hero book to effectively run a game?

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Will you help me with a question however? If I play Hero using the two Complete books, would I be able to use the sixth edition Star Hero book to effectively run a game?

Thanks,

Matt

You should be able to. You may have to extrapolate a few things, but Star Hero will give you enough leads on how to do this. You may be happier, however, picking up the core rulebook PDFs for 6e for the finer details. Once you're more comfortable with the 6e rules you can look at the 5e sourcebooks (vehicles and so on) for more ideas, etc., because there is so much information out there.

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Will you help me with a question however? If I play Hero using the two Complete books, would I be able to use the sixth edition Star Hero book to effectively run a game?

You can use everything I've seen in Star Hero ​just as effectively in Champions Complete​ as you can in 6e1&2. Fantasy Hero Complete​ would be supplemental (providing rules for Ranged Martial Maneuvers), but it lacks the Modern Skills (like Computer Programing) necessary to run most futuristic campaigns. As was mentioned above, copies of the 5th edition Vehicle source books will also be helpful in providing lots of stat blocks that require minimal conversion (mostly just changes to their costs).

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You could also do worse than simply use the 3e Star Hero, or even Robot Warriors. The latter's gadget and vehicle building rules are quite solid and more streamlined than usual for HERO, and has the advantage over 3e Star Hero  of being available for purchase in .pdf from the store.

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You could also do worse than simply use the 3e Star Hero, or even Robot Warriors. The latter's gadget and vehicle building rules are quite solid and more streamlined than usual for HERO, and has the advantage over 3e Star Hero  of being available for purchase in .pdf from the store.

I quite liked Robot Warriors, It had some very interesting concepts.

Chris Goodwin also has a very nice Conversion document for Robot Warriors linked in his signature above.

 

 

Though it also means Star Hero Complete will actually be Space Opera Hero complete -- it won't be much good if you want, say, Planetary Romance Complete, Cyberpunk Complete or Post-Holocaust Complete. I suspect they'd need to be books of their own.

While it is true that the default Genre for Star Hero Complete would most likely be Space Opera, that isn't much different from the fact that Fantasy Hero Complete assumes High Fantasy, or that Champions Complete assumes Golden Age tropes. It won't really stop people from running other genres, although for more information regarding them, players should still turn to the relevant genre-source books for information.

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As someone who has come to Hero largely through the two Complete books, I would welcome Star Hero Complete. Some great points in this thread shape what the book would hypothetically be. The default approach would likely be on Space Opera, but there is no reason other sub-genres couldn't be touched in via templates and a few paragraphs each regarding capturing the tone. No need to detail every nut and bolt of a ship, just the bits that affect the story.

OK, really this was just a lot of words to say, "Yes, Star Hero Complete please."

Will you help me with a question however? If I play Hero using the two Complete books, would I be able to use the sixth edition Star Hero book to effectively run a game?

Thanks,

Matt

You should be able to. You may have to extrapolate a few things, but Star Hero will give you enough leads on how to do this. You may be happier, however, picking up the core rulebook PDFs for 6e for the finer details. Once you're more comfortable with the 6e rules you can look at the 5e sourcebooks (vehicles and so on) for more ideas, etc., because there is so much information out there.

 

 

I would tend to lean more towards the smaller/cheaper *Basic Rulebook* as I find that it covers everything I typically use in a "heroic" level game quite well.

 

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I’m not sure why plantary romance couldn’t be touched upon in a Star Hero book with of course reference to maybe Fantasy Hero Complete.

 

Cantriped I think what would hold up SHC would be the potential revenues.

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Planetary Romance doesn't have much to do with High Fantasy and definitely doesn't involve spells or a pseudo medieval setting (though it can go full Cro-Magnon). It's pretty much Space Opera limited to one planet following a particular line of plotting. I'd not see any problem with SHC being able to be used for it on its own. Or CC, for that matter. Though I'm sure there may be useful bits of FHC.

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