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About Altair

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    Very Powerful Hero
  1. Altair

    HERO simplified sheet

    Yeah, that's pretty much exactly my intent. I feel like the title sums it up - if you want a simplified sheet, this might be useful (as it is for me.) If you're thinking "how will I fit everything I need on a simplified sheet?" then it's probably not as useful to you.
  2. So, as a bit of a community outlier, I'll advocate for the devil: I'm not sure that Supers and Hero are the best match. (takes cover) Everybody still here? Gonna read further before declaring me Baron Poop of Incontinence Town? Let's assume yes I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the CC supers thing I ran, as did the players. Incredible amounts of fun! But, we did nickname those sessions "wargame Wednesdays," because the amount of granularity and attention to detail benefited most from big, tactical action/combat scenes. That were fun as hell - let's just be clear on that point - but weren't the sort of gaming anybody was terribly interested in sustaining. We had a lot of great discussions about what would happen if we wanted to run an ongoing RPG with what we had, and most felt that we'd wind up ignoring massive chunks of the system for actual play. Now, we still discussed doing so, but the rules provide incredibly robust support for certain playstyles, and it seems silly to not make use of that. Otherwise, why are we using Hero in the first place? Obviously, that's not everybody's experience. And I'm in no way trying to say that anybody's wrong for enjoying something, far from it. But the hobby has changed. Specifically, how people enter the hobby is very different. Wargaming doesn't really lead into roleplaying so much. And at this point, neither does LARPing, frankly. No, people who are coming into tabletop RPGs tend to be doing so from a couple different angles, in my experience. Reason one: This podcast/webcomic/youtube show that I like was talking about RPGs and how they're actually fun. I want in! These folks tend to go for whatever the original source was talking about. Lately, that tends to mean D&D 5th edition, or Fantasy AGE by way of Titansgrave. They're going after a specific thing that caught their eye, and that's usually not intricate mechanical representation. Reason two: This video game/novel/other is amazing! Oh man, it's based on a "pen and paper RPG?" Maybe I should check that out... Again, something sparked their interest; maybe a setting, maybe a type of mechanical interaction. Whatever it is, they want either more or adjacent to The Cool Thing These folks will usually hit up the property said game is based on. And why not, right? The idea that setting =/= system is alien from that perspective; it might be cool to play Mario with XCOM's mechanics, but that's not on the table (though I desperately want it now.) So if you like Shadowrun, you find Shadowrun.Honestly, I feel like the ball wasn't so much "dropped" as it was "punted into another stadium" with Champions Online in this regard. Reason three: My friend/sibling/co-worker/romantic partner is super into this RPG thing. So I agreed to try it out! This tends to introduce new players to whatever the person/group thinks is cool. That has strengths and weaknesses! We're pretty familiar with this. It's one of the reasons why I'm always harping on the existence of different agendas/play styles; I've seen so many potential new players turned off to the hobby because the person introducing them assumed they'd like it in the same way.My S/O is an incredibly dedicated gamer; but she prizes representational verisimilitude above all, and hates combat scenes. If I tried to introduce her to RPGs via a 4-color supers game in Fate, she'd hate it. (She hates Fate in general, as near as I can tell). She, however, came into gaming via reason four. Reason four: I'm actually super big into Role Playing, I do it all the time! I'm interested in exploring doing it outside of an online forum, though. I haven't done any quantitative studies on the topic, but my observation indicates that this is how people are coming into the hobby at the greatest rate. Forum RP generally doesn't have any mechanics to speak of, and I've seen a lot of people get turned off of tabletop RPGs, as they seem to involve "a lot of work that gets in the way of the fun part of the game, in order to minimize said fun bits." (That's a paraphrase, but whatevs. Whew! That was a lot of jabber to get to this point: new players tend to be less interested in complex simulationist mechanics than in the old days, because they're really not coming in via wargames. They tend to be interested in different things. So the idea that something with the complex structure of Hero is good for a mass-market Supers game, is one I'm not sold on. Many casual fans of the supers genre - of which there are SO MANY right now, capes are the biggest draw in theatres - could give a crap about the difference between an HKA and a Blast, let alone their real cost. Those aren't really value-added propositions, just more work. If I wanted to run or play in a supers campaign, I'd probably look at Masks (a PbtA game), Fate (via Venture City Stories), or Marvel Heroic. And I like Hero. But to my tastes, I'm not sure the experience of what I'd want in a supers game is strengthened by Hero's strengths. Now, that's just me, and don't get me wrong - I'd be ecstatic to play in a proper Champions game, no doubt - but to me, and many others, supers aren't really about granular detail. Now, if there was going to be, I dunno, a Deus Ex RPG? HOLY CRAP, do I want that. And I want it in Hero, because attention to detail is a bigger part of the cyberpunk experience to me. I daresay that Hero might be better suited to running Shadowrun than any edition of that game to date. Or yeah, even Epic Fantasy, because the variety of archetypes should be pretty different, and Hero does that neatly with a very slick combat system. Obviously, many people disagree with those assertions. That's good! People like different things. But no, I'm not convinced that doubling down on supers would be the best marketing strategy. Because I'm not sure that the current market wants to experience supers in a way that plays to Hero's strengths. Hero has amazing strengths! I consider it best-in-class at granular representation. That's an important tool in the kit! But it's not the 80's, where every RPG is some variant of wargame, and if that's not what you want, you should find the one you hate the least. You don't have to hammer in nails with your wrench, if you don't want to. If I were the Hero line developer, I'd go after some survey data, and try to figure what people want simulated. Then I'd go after that genre hard, because there really isn't much catering to the simulationist playstyle, and that's an opportunity. ... I am not, however, the Hero line developer, so I'mma slink off and dream about my Deus Ex Hero game now....
  3. In introducing Hero to a group of people who hadn't played it before, I got a decent view (albeit in a small sample) of people's introduction to the game. Frankly, if not for my rampant enthusiasm - made all the more notable, given how far outside my normal preferences Hero is - I doubt it would have caught on. Complexity is not, in its own right, value-added, and Hero is plenty complex. Again, not dealing with people who were new to the hobby, unintelligent or uneducated. But the question with a new system is always going to be one of investment vs. reward. It's not that Hero is particularly difficult from a mathematical perspective. It's not conceptually complex beyond most traditional games, there's no paradigm shift needed to play (frankly making its conceptual difficulty much lower than games like Fate, Apocalypse World or Dogs in the Vineyard, which really require a different mental approach to be worth it). It's not that Hero asks you to do any one thing that's particularly daunting. It's that Hero involves a lot of investment. A lot. Now, what you get for that investment is a richly detailed, highly granular, simulation-focused system. If you subscribe at all to the GNS typology, it's worth noting that there aren't very many systems out that really support a simulationist agenda. Hero offers robust support, while retaining plenty of interesting choices and challenges for a gamist agenda to feel satisfied. Even the narrative-focused folks can at least find plenty of support for interesting and dramatic scenes in the character options, as Ron Edwards talked about on his blog a ways back. Limitations are a great way to communicate a narrative agenda to the GM, and put different things on or off the table. That's a lot! That's a lot of good stuff. But it's not what everybody wants. Many people don't care that much about granular representation in their systems, they're more interested in other things. And if someone is primarily interested in a gamist or narrativist play style, what Hero offers is available in other systems for a lot less time investment. I generally endeavor to be catholic in my gaming consumption, and despite having a strong narrative focus as a default, I get a lot of value out of Hero, because of its granularity. It does things that other systems don't do. And sometimes that's exactly what I want. To be honest, I'm not sure that Hero's strengths are communicated that well to potential customers. How to do so is a tricky question, but as the least simulationist member of my local group, it's odd that I was the one to latch on to Hero. My S/O, the single most simulation-focused, granularity-preferring gamer that I've ever met, is still a bit wary of Hero, as she associates it with the supers genre, which is a non-starter for her. **TL:DR** Hero's very good at granular detail, and not shabby at other things too. But it does take a pretty big time investment to really get value out of it, and not everybody's that into granularity. Also, it hasn't always done the best job of communicating to potential players why it's awesome and worth the trouble; specifically, if you like detail, but not supers, you might pass on Hero. And that'd be a shame.
  4. Yo, I just left Cleveland not too long ago. I ran the Cleveland State University gaming club for a while - you can probably still find some people around that scene. Some really good people out there, though a lot of the local community is more LARP-focused, which is not everyone's thing. Also, welcome everybody!
  5. What's up, everybody? I don't know if I still count as "new" - I started with a flurry of posts - but I've definitely been lurking more since autumn hit. I'll chime in about play styles, rethinking various mechanics, and trying to be mindful of different viewpoints. Also, Papercraft. Anyway! How did you come up with your 'handle' (forum name)? It's an alias that I've used, based on a V:tM character. I actually don't use it on the internet much; I went with it here because I was a little intimidated coming on to these forums, and didn't want a handle that I really use elsewhere just in case. This was incredibly needless - this is one of the most welcoming online communities I've encountered, RPG or otherwise - but by the time I'd realized that, I didn't want to change my handle and confuse people. What was the first tabletop RPG you played? D&D 3.0, a Dark Suns campaign. It was kind of a toxic atmosphere, very "make fun of the new kid for not knowing the rules/rolling low," but I loved it anyway. I'd also been playing RPGs through LARP for a year or two by that point, so it wasn't really my first RPG experience. What was the first tabletop RPG you GMed? My roomate was running a Vampire: the Dark Ages campaign. He invited a bunch of people over for the first session, and then didn't show up. After waiting for an hour, he called me, gave me some sketchy details that I didn't write down, and said he'd be there soon. He was not there soon, so having very little idea what I was doing (I had not played any tabletop at this point), I gave it a shot. Went really well, much to my shock. What are you currently playing/GMing? I'm GMing a game set in the Mass Effect universe, based (loosely at this point) on FFG's Star Wars engine, that's been going for a little under 3 years, and wrapping up soon. I'm GMing a 1-player game for my S/O that's nominally set in Numenera, with a custom system (as she loathed Numenera's) that's heavily influenced by Planescape: Torment, and the unappreciated Nier. I'm about to start playing in an L5R game (again, with a custom system, as the GM has tried every edition, and isn't satisfied with any of them), and I'm super stoked for that.
  6. Altair

    John Wick 6e

    Really cool, though I thought this was going to be the game designer of the same name
  7. I know I'm a bit of a broken record here (age notwithstanding, "Skipping CD, or "MP3 on repeat" just don't have the same cachet), but I'm really big on the feel of a given system. With video games, you could say that the original Mario Bros. and Portal basically accomplish the same sort of things mechanically - you're given tools to traverse an environment. But the experience of using those tools is very different. Hero has immense versatility, but I'm more invested in its specific feel. I forget who pointed it out to me first, but combat has a very "comic panel" feel. I like that; it's different. Obviously, you can model all sorts of characters, but it's the way you model them that's interesting to me. Hero comes with a default flavor, that you can then season to taste. More lethality? Easy enough. Less bookeeping? House rule away. But the feel, both in play and in creation modeling - that's some good, unique stuff there. Solid. Goofy - but consistent - internal physics, and most of the complexity is front-loaded. I tend to answer with an endless refrain of "tell me more about your setting!", which might be just as bad Having just finished writing a product for both Fate & Savage Worlds, there's a lot of similarities, for sure. But the campaign is likely to be different based on which system it's being rendered in. And I love that. Not actually related to said product: what kinds of things do y'all look for in a Hero supplement? I haven't read a lot of little adventure or campaign things, looks like a lot of Big Settings (Champions, or newer stuff like The Day After Ragnarok). Is that just a function of the generic nature of the system, or is it that Hero tends to attract people who do very custom things, and therefore have less use for that kind of product? Just curious
  8. Toolkit systems have become much more popular in the second tier of gaming these days. You have the D&D/Pathfinder juggernaut, but what are the big, popular games after that? Savage Worlds. Fate. Apocalypse/Dungeon/Whatever World. Lots of other things too, but those three have massive* followings. The market has really shifted in support of toolkit systems, which I think is exciting for the future of Hero. I'm a "big toolbox" kind of gamer - when I run or play in a game, I want options. For my Mass Effect game, we looked at a bunch of different systems - Fate, Savage Worlds, a Shadowrun 5 Hack - before deciding on a Fantasy Flight Star Wars hack. One could argue that Star Champions does Mass Effect pretty seamlessly; if I'd known about it, it certainly would have been in consideration for the game. More tools! Yay tools! * Relative to the size of the RPG market, and their status as "second tier" systems, of course.
  9. Having a baseline is so, so important. "Cool, 20 strength - what does that even mean?" Context is massive. Hope it goes well with your wife, BDH!
  10. Reminds me a bit of John WIck's discussion of his Champions games in Play Dirty. Basically, doubling down on the social contract aspect of disadvantages, which I think is more important in Hero than in a lot of other games. In Hero, if it's not disadvantageous, it's not worth points. Explicitly. Ergo, a Focus limitation that doesn't wind up limiting at all isn't worth any point reduction. If it shows up, it's a request from the player that "this thing being a Focus" is to be a part of the game. If that's not going to be fun -- if they don't want The Thing taken away, and everyone's game will be worse if it happens -- then they probably shouldn't take a focus limitation. If they need the points, then the character should be built on more points. But people taking limitations that spoil the game for them serves no one. One of the things I dig about Hero is how explicit some of that stuff is. If I have an RKA 2d6 Pile O' Guns - beam limitation, maybe charges for ammo, but no focus? I am now a John Woo Hero, and I will always have a gun. Gets knocked out of my hand? I draw the piece on the small of my back. Lose that one? I grab an uzi from an unconscious henchman. No guns around? I've always got guns around, homie. Being able to clearly say "Ms. GM, keep your grubby hands off my gun," vs. "Ms. GM, please put your grubby hands on my gun; I want to see this character struggle without it" in character creation is COMPLETELY RAD. That it is said with CP makes it feel ironclad; solid. ... Unrelated: Would "John Woo Hero" be Dark Champions, essentially? Where's my gun-fu at?
  11. I enjoyed the history lesson. Once upon a time I was a budding music critic; during this time I developed an overwhelming desire to drown my readers in context. To this day, when I read a music or video game review, my immediate thought is "ok, what other things do they like?" Same thing with game design. So, reading you talk about the impact that Ninja Hero had on you, what you liked about it and why, was really informative. Frankly, I wish every RPG line developer would do a little essay about games that were influential to them, and how that effects what they see their game line as being about/for/good at. Anyway. I enjoyed muchly!
  12. Word. I like that there's a wide variety of what I consider to be really good universal gaming systems now. My initial interest in Hero was in an attempt to get something more granular and better suited to simulation that I was pleased with. GURPS just never really worked for me, so I'm thrilled to pieces with Hero now that I'm getting an understanding of it. I love that Hero can provide experiences like that. In my experience, the system really does model a very wide array of characters, and its assumptions about the world line up very well with what I like in games.
  13. Eh, not really. The system - while highly dynamic - is pretty solid, with consistent mechanics. Now, it's a lot more abstract than something like Hero, but that's by design. I really like Fate! I also really like Hero! They are very different ways to approach similar questions.