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I have been a long time gamer(around 25 years) and played many different games. D&D was my go to for a REALLY LONG time but when 4th edition came out I was turned off of it.One of my friends found some stuff about the Hero System and we have been looking at it for some time. I have another group that is presently in a 5E campaign, yes still playing D&D just not my go to, that I believe is going to fall through with the DM but most of the group wants to keep playing SOMETHING and if I have to run something I'd like it to be Hero System.

 

The issue is that some of us are old school and want to have physical books, especially at the gaming table, but it appears that the only way to get printed copies is from a POD store, or by paying insanely ridiculous amounts on eBay or Amazon. Is this game no longer supported or is the Hero System travelling a dark path where we have to print our own stuff now? I understand this saves them money but it is, at least for me, yet another turn off to what looks like a great system!

 

Any legitimate information would be appreciated!

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You can get things like the Champions Complete and Fantasy Hero Complete are sold as paper and PDFs which covers the current version of the game, 6e.  Those two books will give you everything you need to get started playing.

 

If you want an older version then you need to be prepared to spend lots of $s for hard copies.

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I have noticed that in my searching over the last few minutes. I have PDFs of much of the material, including both the complete books. Was reading somewhere though that people were having issues with players understanding the Complete books though. As far as edition goes I am just looking for 6E V 1&2(which I believe are the newest edition).

 

I also don't think I have a POD store close to me either. Any help on that front would also be appreciated!

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18 minutes ago, Jerrod Owex said:

I have noticed that in my searching over the last few minutes. I have PDFs of much of the material, including both the complete books. Was reading somewhere though that people were having issues with players understanding the Complete books though. As far as edition goes I am just looking for 6E V 1&2(which I believe are the newest edition).

 

I also don't think I have a POD store close to me either. Any help on that front would also be appreciated!

 

Do you mean you not in the US? Drive Thru RPG is the POD producer for HERO stuff.

 

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6E1/6E2 lies in a sort of gray area. It is the most comprehensive expression of the 6th edition of the Hero System, but it is not the latest/newest revision of it. That honor goes to the Complete books, which do make changes to the rules since 6E1/6E2 was published. I guess you can think of the rules in the Complete books as Hero System 6.5.

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Well, I think it is best to be precise about it, you know? But I'm also aware that for many old-timers, "fully interchangeable" means "perfectly usable with a few adjustments". They don't want newbies thinking that just because a few things were changed/deleted/tweaked, that the Hero System as depicted in the Complete books is incompatible with 6E1/6E2, because it's not. But at the same time, there are differences, which may be confusing and/or annoying to newcomers who are unsure about which version to invest in.

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6 hours ago, Jerrod Owex said:

I have noticed that in my searching over the last few minutes. I have PDFs of much of the material, including both the complete books. Was reading somewhere though that people were having issues with players understanding the Complete books though. As far as edition goes I am just looking for 6E V 1&2(which I believe are the newest edition).

 

I also don't think I have a POD store close to me either. Any help on that front would also be appreciated!

Understanding what exactly? Nothing against D&D but I’ve also heard the same thing about that game too.  It’s probably could said about any RPG system. (Some more than others). I would suggest  Champions Complete. CC seems to be missing 1 chart (which is sad but errata happens). A very minor change to mental powers. They went back to pre 5th version of class of minds - which (imho) easier and was a optional way in 5th anyways. And one or two ther minor things. I’m sure in your gaming/ DMing career you’ve seen bigger problems in RPGs compatibility than what some people wants to make them out to be.

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4 hours ago, zslane said:

Well, I think it is best to be precise about it, you know? But I'm also aware that for many old-timers, "fully interchangeable" means "perfectly usable with a few adjustments". They don't want newbies thinking that just because a few things were changed/deleted/tweaked, that the Hero System as depicted in the Complete books is incompatible with 6E1/6E2, because it's not. But at the same time, there are differences, which may be confusing and/or annoying to newcomers who are unsure about which version to invest in.

Yup.  That level of precision is important, because the presence or absence of certain verbiage can have substantial impacts to how the game is played -- especially when some players' only exposures to the rules are CC when other players' are well-versed in 6e.  I've seen too many people try to sweep the subtle but important distinctions under the rug as if they are minor when, in fact, they aren't.  (Example: Classes of Minds is a BFD ... because whether or not it's present in the ruleset used for the game results in a massive delta in how Mental Powers are handled in the game per the rules a written.)

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I went down the same road about a year ago with the 6E. You can get the 6E2 directly form the Hero store but the 6E1 is the one that is hard to find. But fear not, you can find them if you are patient on Ebay for very good prices. I have been able to get 4x copies of 6E1 in great shape for about $40-50/each. It just takes time.

 

But to tell you the truth, while I LOVE the full color of the 6E1/6E2, the weight of them is massive in my backpack. I also bought the POD versions of them and I have to admit, I actually prefer them. Yes they are in b/w, but they are much smaller in thickness and weight. Matter of fact, I have also bought all of the other 6E POD books from DriveThru and been thrilled with them. 

 

Unless you are a collector/completest, I wouldn't worry about trying to find physical copies and would just go get what I needed as POD. Can't say enough good things about them.

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Welcome aboard, Jerrod! I understand the "old school" desire for physical books -- my school is among the older ones around here. ;)  If what you're interested in is the two core 6E volumes, you should know that the store on this website is advertising hard copies of both with "damaged" covers, for reasonable prices: http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/category/10-hero-system-general/ . I've bought such "damaged" books from Hero Games before, and in almost all cases said damage was barely noticeable. Hard copies of many other Sixth and Fifth Edition books are also available here.

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19 hours ago, Hyper-Man said:

 

Do you mean you not in the US? Drive Thru RPG is the POD producer for HERO stuff.

 

No, I'm in the US just haven't look at, or even thought about, Drive-thru RPG. Thank you for reminding me about them and letting me know they do HERO stuff!

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Also thank you to everyone else for the information. I'll have to look into the Complete guides more, I own Fantasy Hero Complete, thought I had Champions as well. At only 266 pages(FH at least) opposed to 788 pages between two books my players shouldn't be scared away too terribly much! Some of them don't like reading even the few pages about whatever they want to play, it's kind of irritating if I'm honest!

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7 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Welcome aboard, Jerrod! I understand the "old school" desire for physical books -- my school is among the older ones around here. ;)  If what you're interested in is the two core 6E volumes, you should know that the store on this website is advertising hard copies of both with "damaged" covers, for reasonable prices: http://www.herogames.com/forums/store/category/10-hero-system-general/. I've bought such "damaged" books from Hero Games before, and in almost all cases said damage was barely noticeable. Hard copies of many other Sixth and Fifth Edition books are also available here.

Thank you! I shouldn't have such an "old-school" feeling, I'm only 30! I had seen the "damaged" ones available but wasn't sure how accurate the quantity was, 6E1 having only one and 6E2 having 219 or so(or was it the other way around?) and those figures haven't changed in some time.

 

Having the more generic books will help in case I, or my group, gets a wild hair and decides they want to run something off-the-wall that's not fantasy or super-hero based!

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14 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Understanding what exactly?

Here are those issues: http://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/94641-problems-with-fantasy-hero-complete-and-newbies/. Haven't looked into the book much myself just poking around and found this and worried because a lot of people have been having issue understanding games today, wish they had to deal with THAC0!

 

I think the major issue is people are just lazy and don't want to have to read ANYTHING let alone hundreds of pages, which if they listened they would know they almost never have to read these things cover to cover like a novel. I haven't read a whole since the 3e books came out, hell my group for the longest time didn't realize that ranger HD went down to d8 because we all just very quickly scanned through for changes! Hero System has of course changed that, having no previous knowledge of the system until a friend found it a couple years back I have been doing a lot of reading since.

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My experience with (what would become) the Hero System began in 1982 with Champions 2nd edition, back when it was extremely readable, and profoundly shorter in length. It was a pleasure to read from cover to cover, to be honest. Then again, I came from a background in wargaming where reading a rulebook was a source of pleasure, not a chore. Still, for most RPGers circa 1982, accustomed to the combined length of the AD&D PHB and DMG, Champions was almost miniscule by comparison. Even the 4th edition BBB was incredibly readable and a joy to pour through cover to cover, despite its imposing size (for its time).

 

However I feel all that changed with 5th edition, and its dense, bloated, and over-specified presentation only got worse with 6th edition. The Complete books bring the system back to a much more digestible form, and they deserve a lot of credit for bringing some sense back to the brand. Unfortunately, a lot of newcomers feel they must have the ~800 pages of 6E1/6E2 to get the "complete" game system, making their lives needlessly difficult. If only Hero Games would just dump 6E1/6E2 from the product line all together and replace them with a single system reference volume (SRV), streamlined and written in the same readable style as the Complete books, I think the system would be much better off.

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5 hours ago, Jerrod Owex said:

Thank you! I shouldn't have such an "old-school" feeling, I'm only 30! I had seen the "damaged" ones available but wasn't sure how accurate the quantity was, 6E1 having only one and 6E2 having 219 or so(or was it the other way around?) and those figures haven't changed in some time.

 

Having the more generic books will help in case I, or my group, gets a wild hair and decides they want to run something off-the-wall that's not fantasy or super-hero based!

 

You can get physical copies of the 6E1 & 6E2 print-on-demand from One Book Shelf (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, etc). In fact, we set that up specifically for fans like yourself Jerrod! 

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If your players just don't want to read rules, then I heartily recommend the free PDF I'm Attaching below, "Hero in 2 Pages." All the rule mechanics for Sixth Edition that players need to understand and play their PCs, boiled down to two pages. Everything else they may need you can build for them, often simply choosing from the many templates in various books. I guarantee that as they become more invested in the game they'll want to read more.

Hero2Page.pdf

 

EDIT: I should probably put that in the free File Downloads for future reference.

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Jerrod I think I even replied to that thread. Lol. Anyways what I would suggest - no matter what book you buy- is to first take a sample character or just take a baseline character and FIGHT. Don’t worry about csls or anything else at first battle.  After a round or two, add one thing then another in.  Hero can be overwhelming at first I believe because many people want to use all the bells and whistles at first instead of getting a basic understanding first.

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