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Have you ever done a free "hero lite" PDF like "gurps lite"? It might help you attract new users. I'd like a dollar for every time I heard a gurps player say "My first gurps experience was gurps lite."

 

As for people claiming you'd be "ripping off gurps" i'd say gurps moved a bit closer to the hero system in it's 4th edition.

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This is an ongoing forum discussion, and a lot of different ideas have been presented. Several people are taking on different projects along these lines, but there is no "official" HERO System document.

 

Take a look at this free download that Xotl worked on this spring. http://www.herogames.com/forums/files/file/367-fantasy-hero-primer/

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I, personally, have zero knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes. As a fanboy, I have theories. In the end, it doesn't matter. The business model that Hero Games pursued was not one that sustained them. There are a lot of factors that probably played into that. I've heard that the recession of '08 had a pretty significant impact. I strongly suspect that the Hero Rules themselves are the only real asset that Hero Games can use if it ever tries to climb back into the market once we get a decent economy going and the gaming world turns its attention, once more, to Hero. If it gives those away freely, then it risks not having any marketable asset to leverage if those stars align again.

 

Personally, I really hope that someday, if Hero cannot make a commercial comeback, then the owners of the IP do release it into the ether as a free (as in cost) product while still retaining the rights to it. I don't want to see become "open" or covered under some license like Apache or Creative Commons. That way, the legacy of Hero can live on instead of fading into some obscure hole in the memories of a few, aging grognards. Ain't that day just yet it seems.

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So what is the rationale behind flat-out denial?

 

Partly that it would never happen without Powers.  Partly that to do it with Powers would make it too large and unwieldy to release for free.  And partly what Nolgroth said:

 

I strongly suspect that the Hero Rules themselves are the only real asset that Hero Games can use if it ever tries to climb back into the market once we get a decent economy going and the gaming world turns its attention, once more, to Hero. If it gives those away freely, then it risks not having any marketable asset to leverage if those stars align again.

 

None of those were qualified or given wiggle room; they were all definitively no, not going to happen and here's why.  

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I doubt HERO sales have that much to do with the economy. The market for PnP RPGs is STILL primarily white male nerds, and those are doing fine. Even the white female nerds are doing okay.  

 

The key issue is most likely one of marketing. Champions Complete is an excellent product, let down a little by its interior art. But if a friend hadn't given me his copy I'd probably never have heard of it.

 

I'm reminded of the John Carter movie. It was a pretty good movie and a great adaptation of the books, but it got practically no marketing, no merch and almost sank without a trace.

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Look no need for snark. ICM a grognard gamer, I got started in the 80's. Yeah a lot of horrible the GS came out of the 80's. Disco, hairbands, crack, AIDS, yuppies, Reagan, ad infinitum.

 

But the 80's was also the golden age of gaming. We had a lot of game companies that were good but no longer with us. We had microgames, we had boxed sets of games with dice and character sheets, we had a lot of game adaptations of books, we had real papergame magazines.

 

A lot of the things gaming had in the 80's are gone. No more boxed sets, no more microgames in small packages with maps and rule books, no more paper magazines, lawyers, smelling easy money, have invaded the game world and made getting rights to anything an expensive and hellish process. A lot if good game comlanies are either gone or reduced to shadows of themselves. A lot of the people in gaming from the 80's are gone too. :(

 

Now I remember champions from the 80's. Game stores always had it back them. Hero games was around in the golden age of gaming and now as I understand it the company and hero line are on life support. I don't want it to die even if I'm not big on it let we'. If it weren't for gurps I might have gotten more into it, but i'd like to see the company keep going g.

 

Maybe a HERO version of gurps lite or savage worlds explorer edition could help it have a resurgence. I'd like that. That's my motivation. Period.

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Well, in general terms, roleplaying and co-op storytelling is still going quite strong. I think we ARE staring to see a resurgence of old school PnP - video games knocked it around for a while, but now social media and print on demand (or don't bother printing) are bringing it back.

 

MMORPGs held sway for a while, but ultimately crumbled under their own weight of development and running costs and the harsh market of hardware upgrade cycles. Though they'll likely be back at some point once AI shrinks the cost of production a bit more.

 

But I saw my kids grow up to experience creative roleplay through Minecraft even when my old games weren't attractive (though latterly the boy has come around in a big way. Heh heh :) ) At heart, it's people telling stories to each other and THAT is the most human thing of all.

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about the closest I could see for a free version of Hero system would be a pdf of Wildstrike
which only had pre built characters for pit fighting

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When I see these threads, either a quick start or what they will call a shortened rule set, they ask one thing and then immediately change the subject to a related but completely different kind of thought. 

 

Every RPG has three distinctly different parts listed here in no particular order.

 

Part 1. Character generation.  Building a character. 

Part 2. World and adventure building.

Part 3. Actually playing the game.  Rules to do things in game and arbitrate outcomes.

 

Almost all of the attempts to bring this subject up attempt to immediately push another version of Character Generation instead of anything related to actually playing the game. 

 

A introduction set of rules for Hero, a Quick-play Ruleset, should not have anything that even remotely resembles building anything. 

 

A Fantasy Hero Quickstart should have X number of pregenerated PC's, a complete but short adventure and an abbreviated ruleset that covers the included PCs and adversary abilities.

 

A Champions Quickstart should have X number of pregenerated Superhero PC's, a complete but short adventure and an abbreviated ruleset that covers the included PCs and adversary abilities.

 

And so on. 

 

For a Supers game, minimize options.  No complex builds, simple single purpose abilities.  A "I have never seen a super game let alone played one" newbie should be able to run the character easily based on just the character sheet.  

 

Why yes "Bob the Gamer", I understand that you have been playing Hero since the year 1617 and you self esteem rests on your ability to impress people with your Hero builds.  But you are not the target of the product, you already own every possible product ever made.   A Quickstart is aimed at people that have never seen Hero before.    If the get a chance to PLAY the game, they may decide to buy the complete rules and continue playing. Maybe they will even move past playing and start building characters and things.

 

:angel:

 

 

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A introduction set of rules for Hero, a Quick-play Ruleset, should not have anything that even remotely resembles building anything. 

 

A Fantasy Hero Quickstart should have X number of pregenerated PC's, a complete but short adventure and an abbreviated ruleset that covers the included PCs and adversary abilities.

 

A Champions Quickstart should have X number of pregenerated Superhero PC's, a complete but short adventure and an abbreviated ruleset that covers the included PCs and adversary abilities.

 

And so on.

I couldn't agree more. Show them how easy & fun the game is to play. Plus that way you haven't given away the core of the system for free, which is (I would argue) character creation

 

For a Supers game, minimize options.  No complex builds, simple single purpose abilities.  A "I have never seen a super game let alone played one" newbie should be able to run the character easily based on just the character sheet. 

Yes. Tho I would add you don't want to over-simplify things, because you want to show people what Hero is capable of. The trick I think is to limit yourself to one "option" per character. So maybe one PC has martial arts; another has a Multipower for their energy blast; another has a "spell list" or a "utility belt" built as a VPP (all pre-built of course); the brick has Damage Reduction, etc. None of those are terribly complicated as long as each player only has to learn one of them; tho the GM has to work a little harder of course. One of the major strengths of Hero is the versatility in character creation, so I think you want to show off a little variety to give the idea of what you can do in Hero that you can't do in other systems.

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for supers it is WildStrike
for Fantasy just prebuild some characters with more killing attacks vs normal attacks
and do as a pdf

I couldn't agree more. Show them how easy & fun the game is to play. Plus that way you haven't given away the core of the system for free, which is (I would argue) character creation

 

Yes. Tho I would add you don't want to over-simplify things, because you want to show people what Hero is capable of. The trick I think is to limit yourself to one "option" per character. So maybe one PC has martial arts; another has a Multipower for their energy blast; another has a "spell list" or a "utility belt" built as a VPP (all pre-built of course); the brick has Damage Reduction, etc. None of those are terribly complicated as long as each player only has to learn one of them; tho the GM has to work a little harder of course. One of the major strengths of Hero is the versatility in character creation, so I think you want to show off a little variety to give the idea of what you can do in Hero that you can't do in other systems.

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Well, in general terms, roleplaying and co-op storytelling is still going quite strong. I think we ARE staring to see a resurgence of old school PnP - video games knocked it around for a while, but now social media and print on demand (or don't bother printing) are bringing it back.

 

MMORPGs held sway for a while, but ultimately crumbled under their own weight of development and running costs and the harsh market of hardware upgrade cycles. Though they'll likely be back at some point once AI shrinks the cost of production a bit more.

 

But I saw my kids grow up to experience creative roleplay through Minecraft even when my old games weren't attractive (though latterly the boy has come around in a big way. Heh heh :) ) At heart, it's people telling stories to each other and THAT is the most human thing of all.

So all white nerdy men are rich? It took me along time to justify paying $50 for Hero 5th. Now I can afford more gaming stuff but when money is tight, gaming goes to the side.

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6th ed Basic is 15$ and 5th ed Sidekick is 7$ in pdf

in either case both are cheap fully playable intro systems for Hero

 

And Fantasy Hero Complete PDF is $10. At this point, both Sidekick and 6th Ed Basic could comfortable go to the ~$5 range. Personally at $10 for a complete (if trimmed for brevity) rules set, I would never recommend either Sidekick or 6EB.

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Yes. Tho I would add you don't want to over-simplify things, because you want to show people what Hero is capable of. The trick I think is to limit yourself to one "option" per character. So maybe one PC has martial arts; another has a Multipower for their energy blast; another has a "spell list" or a "utility belt" built as a VPP (all pre-built of course); the brick has Damage Reduction, etc. None of those are terribly complicated as long as each player only has to learn one of them; tho the GM has to work a little harder of course. One of the major strengths of Hero is the versatility in character creation, so I think you want to show off a little variety to give the idea of what you can do in Hero that you can't do in other systems.

 

The problem is what we are referring to as “simplified”.  Your statement immediately assumes that by "simple" we are eliminating concept builds and curtailing builds (or at least I read it that way).  Or to re-phrase, we are simplifying the character generation rules. 

 

I am not referring to the actual build process at all.  I am talking about simplifying the actual PC, post creation, for actual in game play.

 

From the CC rule book, Witchcrafts powers in Heroes full “let’s drive new players away” glory.

 

Cost       Powers                                                                                                            END

60          Greater Witchcraft: Multipower, 60-point reserve

6f           1) Witchfire: Blast 9d6, Reduced Endurance (½ END; +¼)                             2

6f           2) Fascination: Mind Control 9d6, Reduced Endurance (½ END; +¼)            2

6f           3) Glamour: Mental Illusions 9d6, Reduced Endurance (½ END; +¼)            2

6f           4) Irresistible Slumber: Mental Blast 6d6                                                         6

6f           5) Terrors Of The Dark: Drain PRE 6d6                                                           6

4f           6) Man Into Frog Spell: Severe Transform 4d6 (humans into frogs,                6

                heals back if target is kissed by royalty of the opposite gender or

               Witchcraft voluntarily “dispels” the magic);

               limited Target (humans; -½)

 

And here is the same thing simplified for play by a real person

 

Powers                                                                                                                   

Greater Witchcraft:

1) Witchfire: A magical blast that does 9d6 normal damage. 

     Each use costs 2 Endurance points.

 

2) Fascination: Mesmerizes and controls the target if a role of 9d6 exceeds their EGO.   

    Extent of the control depends on how much their EGO was exceeded by.

    Each use costs 2 Endurance points.

 

3) Glamour: Traps the target in an Illusionary world if a role of 9d6 exceeds their EGO.   

    Extent of the illusion depends on how much their EGO was exceeded by.

    Each use costs 2 Endurance points.

 

4) Irresistible Slumber: A magical attack versus your DMCV that does 6d6 stun damage. 

    Each use costs 6 Endurance points.

 

5) Terrors Of The Dark: A successful attack reduces a targets Presence by 6d6.             

     Each use costs 6 Endurance points.

 

6) Man Into Frog Spell:  Roll 4d6 to transform humans into frogs.  Heals back if target is  

    kissed by royalty of the opposite gender or Witchcraft voluntarily “dispels” the magic.

    Each use costs 6 Endurance points.

 

In the first we have the standard build matrix with all the annotations and technobabble intact.  Lots of design info that is simply in the way and not used in actual play. 

 

The second shows the same thing in simple terms that an average player can actually use in play without extensive reading of the character generation/build rules.  The GM will handle all the mechanics with the Quick Start scenario filling them (the GM) in on the particulars of how the specific powers (Spells) work within the scenario.  Just like the Conan Quick Start gave the GM enough info to handle the Pict Shaman and the Chakan.

 

We have already had multiple versions of "simplified" or bare bones build rules.  Hero Sidekick, Hero Basic and Champions Complete all contain minimalist portrayals of the build rules.  And they (or versions of them) are what everyone seems to think if when you say "Quick Start" rules.    Pick up any of the real Quick Start rules out there.  They DO NOT have any character generation rules in them.   If people stopped asking for a free set of complete character generation rules and instead proposed a set of actual "Quick Start" rules, or in other words stop playing "bait and switch" with the concept, they (Hero) might change their mind. 

 

Once again, Playing Hero is not the same thing as Hero Character Generation.  They are not even close to the same thing.

We have all kinds of the shortened character generation rules already for most of the editions. 

 

What we do not have are ANY books or pamphlets designed at all for a player to sit down and PLAY through a game/scenario to see if they might enjoy a game using the Hero System. 

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Your statement immediately assumes that by "simple" we are eliminating concept builds and curtailing builds (or at least I read it that way).  Or to re-phrase, we are simplifying the character generation rules.

Not exactly. I'm not talking about eliminating or restricting any concepts, but rather about limiting how many "cool tricks" you pile onto an individual character. To stay with Witchcraft as an example: the character has not only a MP but also a VPP. Those are (arguably) two of the more complicated mechanics in the system, and now you're forcing a new player to master both of them right out of the gate. Does an Intro character really need both? I would say no: pick one or the other and go with it. Maybe you give her a VPP, and then during play you contrast it with Defender's MP to show the variety - but each player only has to learn one of them. Similarly, an experienced player might want both an Exploding attack and a regular AOE attack; but intro characters don't need both.

 

So it's not really about simplifying character generation, because you still have both MPs and VPPs, both Exploding & regular AOE; you're just being a little more judicious about how many options you throw at them at once.

 

That said, I also totally agree with "Plain English" playable character sheets that leave off all the chargen math, and other ways to simplify the presentation of the characters!

 

Another thing I use is an Attacks Table that lists each attack power/maneuver with the modified Atk Roll (OCV+11), relevant CSLs, DCV, Damage, END/Charges, & any notes. Puts everything in one place in a consistent format, and they don't have to expend brain cells on which modifiers go where.

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