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Hero Designer

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When I get out of this place (2 months) my GF is going to allow me to use her old laptop. Along with Hero Designer I'll be putting Atom and a few other programs on it and really working on HeroBits, a project for HD. That's more for the HD forums I know.

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8 hours ago, Shoug said:

This is the whole strength of Hero. If you're just gonna run straight fantasy, play Burning Wheel. If you're running straight sci-fi space opera, run Traveler. If you want to run both at some point, in your own carefully built settings, Hero is for you. Hero is really a system for GMs that normally homebrew everything. It's the mechanics for designing your own mechanics.

 

If you use Hero for a fantasy RPG setting (akin to traditional D&D or C&C), once the players "grok" Hero and move away from simply replicating the reference system.  Their spells, skills and such it becomes one of the best of that type of RPG I have ever played. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

It doesn't have to be.  I say this over and over again, but it doesn't have to be!  

 

If all we present is the "homebrew everything" approach, which we've done for 31 years, we're going to find ourselves losing people, which we've been doing for at least 21 years.  

 

Absolutely.  I have been arguing that point for what?  20 years or more?

But while the official DOJ product has not shifted course, the new Hall of Champions gives us a path to add suitable content.

I am currently working on two projects that I hope will help. 

One is a Superheroic starter mini-campaign vaguely set in the CU.  By vaguely I mean the particulars around it will be extremely easy to shift to another world as required. 

The other is a D&D/C&C old school fantasy mini-campaign doing the same. 

 

The covid has really slowed me down since my ability to play test items has been effectively shut down,  And before someone trots it out, I have never been able successfully run or play virtually or remotely. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Or if you want to play a fantasy game but don't want to learn a whole new system.  

 

 

It doesn't have to be.  I say this over and over again, but it doesn't have to be!  

 

If all we present is the "homebrew everything" approach, which we've done for 31 years, we're going to find ourselves losing people, which we've been doing for at least 21 years.  

 

And no, "dumbing it down" isn't the only alternative to "homebrew everything".  There's a massive excluded middle.  

 

And not wanting to homebrew everything isn't a result of video games giving people the attention spans of overcaffeinated squirrels.  It's a result of growing up and having more responsibilities and less time.  

 

(Shoug, I'm not trying to imply you've said any of the above, but those are all objections I've seen raised when I've tried to say: we don't need to homebrew everything!)

 

"Homebrew everything" is just the impression I got by reading the rulebook of the game. Like, the nature of Advantages and Limitations reinforces the concept that players and the GM are really designing the mechanics by which their characters and world will function. The distinction between mechanics and SFX, a cornerstone behavior of homebrewers (which Hero makes an explicit intention of its design), further demonstrates this concept. That there are more materials out there that change the spirit of the game isn't obvious to people like me who just bought the most up to date core rulebooks and started reading.

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 If you aren't going to Homebrew everything. The everyone else neds to step up and  make "powered by Hero" types of books. And to "work" properly they need to be put together in an organized fashion for GMs, similar to how 5e D&D does it.  I am an artist, not a writer, much, so I'll have to leave that to others.  But I do believe in this modern age, there needs to be a bit more handholding.

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On 7/29/2020 at 11:00 PM, Scott Ruggels said:

 If you aren't going to Homebrew everything. The everyone else neds to step up and  make "powered by Hero" types of books. And to "work" properly they need to be put together in an organized fashion for GMs, similar to how 5e D&D does it.  I am an artist, not a writer, much, so I'll have to leave that to others.  But I do believe in this modern age, there needs to be a bit more handholding.

This is a fair assessment. I mean, I kinda like the way 6e supplemental material is structured from a spiritual standpoint, with categorized resources that remain relatively genre neutral. I think they fit the paradigm of the game well, "Here's a book that covers *all kinds of creatures* that your GM may want to use, here's one that covers all martial arts." 

 

But I think you're completely right. I think Hero is a game that depends on it's players to be confident gamers with solid experience and deep gaming wisdom. The GM has to hold all these complications that can have variable "frequencies" in his mind, and there's all kinds of Pandora's Box mechanics in the game that need to be used with caution and wisdom or they can get incredibly weird. Even Speed, one of the fundamental cool parts of the game, can't be used correctly without having a strong understanding of how disparities therein actually *feel.*

 

I absolutely agree that, *if* relevance with a newer audience is a concern, simplification and content supplements are not the answer. *Stand alone games Powered by The Hero System* are the answer. If you already Grokk Hero System, these games will be transparent, narrowly focused genre supplements. But to the larval acolyte, these games must be opaque, shielding them from the vertigo of peering into the abyssal well of dark power that is the whole, unbridled Hero System. The core 6e volumes should be referenced only within the introductory or conclusory texts of the game book as "The toolkit that will unlock omnipotent homebrewing capabilities," never as a required or even an optional reference manual for actually playing the game. It should stand on it's own two legs, and prove the fun that is possible with the Hero System as a "Game" and not a "System."

 

 

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The Hall of Champions rules expressly forbid this, but it would be intriguing if they did not. But Hero Games needs to publish material too and have some control over their IP.

 

Fortunately the Complete Series and Hero Basic Rules exist. They still don't quite carry the same weight as a standalone game complete with settings hard-wired in, but they do provide a significantly easier entry point than the 600+ pages of the Hero System Sixth Edition rulebooks.

 

That said, I do plan to write a few things fdor Hall of Champions -- I just need to get off my backside and write (which, ironically, requires me to get onto my backside for hours at a time).

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6 hours ago, Shoug said:

But I think you're completely right. I think Hero is a game that depends on it's players to be confident gamers with solid experience and deep gaming wisdom. The GM has to hold all these complications that can have variable "frequencies" in his mind, and there's all kinds of Pandora's Box mechanics in the game that need to be used with caution and wisdom or they can get incredibly weird. Even Speed, one of the fundamental cool parts of the game, can't be used correctly without having a strong understanding of how disparities therein actually *feel.*

 

This is exactly the situation. We aren't getting new players. If you judged by this forum alone the audience for Hero is the same Audience that was around in 199, minus deaths and gafiation.  Fortunately, this is not entirely true, but the growth is limited. The Discord Server seems to be attracting new players, but their question seem to be of the same sort of questions that most new players are asking, or they are asking how to make (Popular D 20 Based system's) flavor into Hero.  Sure it can be done, and that miiiiiight be a way to bring in new blood, but I am not so sure.  But since newer players are just now discovering virtual table tops like Roll 20, Fantasy Grounds and TTS,  because of the current plague, something simpler, and "complete" needs to be prapared, and available as a PDF or SRD for the online players.  No telling when we can get back to face to face.

 

5 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

The Hall of Champions rules expressly forbid this, but it would be intriguing if they did not. But Hero Games needs to publish material too and have some control over their IP.

This is a shame.  But the reasons are completely understandable.  However, Hero if they do want to attract more new players to the systems and products, they might consider offering a prize, or a contract to people submitting such products directly to them.  Leave Villain and monster supplements to Hall of Champions, but a complete background with NPCs Monsters, Spells and equipment, and a nice explanation of how combat works, ala The Fantasy Hero Primer, could be made into a slim, attractive product, and then Hero could see through sales, what is attractive and serve their market accordingly.  Grow the business back  slowly, through metered support to the various games, or release a new one if there is no interest. The books should be thought of in the size and page count of Champions I. Complete, but flexible, and cover original background material, or a low page count distillation of one of our illustrious GM's Homebrew campaign (not Champions*). givi9ng a discussion of how to GM it, and what players need to know. Low page count, Nice but not expensive printing, and some nice art, that is relevant to the text, and not Public Domain art that is vaguely r3elated to the subject. 

 

*If it is Champions related it needs to be a set up for new heroes, and have something related.  The problem with Champions is the Current slate of American Comic Books is unattractive, badly written, and that whole industry may go away.  Manga might be more of a positive example, and would attract the current fan audience, however acquiring rights and permissions would be a bureaucratic mess, what with the language and legal barriers, but it would not be insurmountable.  In fact, you may want to skip any sort of character creation within that Manga Based product, and just provide them the characters from the story. I think the licenses would be a little cheaper than anything American. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Ruggels said:

*If it is Champions related it needs to be a set up for new heroes, and have something related.  The problem with Champions is the Current slate of American Comic Books is unattractive, badly written, and that whole industry may go away.  Manga might be more of a positive example, and would attract the current fan audience, however acquiring rights and permissions would be a bureaucratic mess, what with the language and legal barriers, but it would not be insurmountable.  In fact, you may want to skip any sort of character creation within that Manga Based product, and just provide them the characters from the story. I think the licenses would be a little cheaper than anything American.

 

An understatement if I ever heard one about US Comics.  It has been years since they have published any worth reading.  I check every so often to see if they may be making a return, but they just get worse. 

 

I do actually read more manga these days as well as lite novels.  RPGLit as well. 

Some are better superhero stories than anything current in comics, and there are several Fantasy ones that would be great in a RPG using Hero.

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The more I think about it, the more it seems, a manga sort of game, with pre-gens, no character creation, with an enclosed, but somewhat open ended adventure in three or four parts that covers an arc within a Manga might work. The goal is getting new players comfortable with the system. without overwhelming them with character generation. Because the system in combat is pretty elegant.

 

Introduce character creation by having an index of how characters and powers are created. But keep it separate from the main book ( different, smaller type face for the index). The people who are motivated will seek out more materials and will want their own game backgrounds to build, but the rest, will be players comfortable with the system and stat bars, so they can pick up a pre-gen or GM-gen and sit down and play. For all the talk of how flexible the character generation is, the fact that 6e Hero comes in two volumes and looks like a tax law text book is not attractive to new young players. 5e D&D does not require a separate program like Hero Designer to create a character. 


Apparently, you just need the PHB, and an animated character to berate you, to create a Character. 

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Would an example sword and sorcery game -powered by Hero be a more viable option? You wouldn’t have the baggage I’d think of comparing to D&D. You could have the PC’s human. The bad guys Serpent men. A simple spell list.

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1 minute ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Would an example sword and sorcery game -powered by Hero be a more viable option? You wouldn’t have the baggage I’d think of comparing to D&D. You could have the PC’s human. The bad guys Serpent men. A simple spell list.

 Marketing wise, being "Generic" is about as attractive as the store brand Macaroni & Cheese.  Rather than Generic is has to be specific, and maybe  even a bit trendy, hence Manga. Another YouTuber explained that  going after a niche market, while still servicing your core market is a winning strategy. We aren't trying to toss the old fans and bring in new ones. We are trying to attract new players to the existing group. I suppose you could do a VERY abbreviated Turakian Age, centered in one geographic area, if there is a desire/requirement to use existing IP. Or any of the other ones, BUT the game must have pre-gens. simple explanations and no legalism in the base rules. Show slim stat bars in the books and extended , point costed stat bars in the Appendix.

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31 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Afasik Magna is a generic term referring to Japanese book style.it can however cover a broad range of stories similar to how Pulp is a ascetic but not a thing unto itself.

Manga, you mean? Yes.  Though, specifically, the one that would attract the most attention would be anything based on, or around typical Shonen (boy's) Manga, with it's main protagonist with deep reservoirs of perseverance, and a quirk that makes him different from most of the others, plus a cast of friends and rivals accompanying him to the completion of his journey. There are other genre's of Manga of course, Shojo, for girls. which is more plot, and relationships, and Genre's covering Sports, Fishing, Slice of life, Comedy, kind of like How  American Comics were, before the 1960's.  But Shonen Manga is the most popular, with Japanese, and Western audiences.  Again specificity would be the key to make an attractive product. Specific setting, or near specific.

Basically you want a  slim volume  with as small character sheet, with attractive art, that works for someone sitting at the table at the FLGS< either player or GM, without a lot of prep work. Everything necessary is covered, but only what's necessary. 

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38 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Manga, you mean? Yes.  Though, specifically, the one that would attract the most attention would be anything based on, or around typical Shonen (boy's) Manga, with it's main protagonist with deep reservoirs of perseverance, and a quirk that makes him different from most of the others, plus a cast of friends and rivals accompanying him to the completion of his journey. There are other genre's of Manga of course, Shojo, for girls. which is more plot, and relationships, and Genre's covering Sports, Fishing, Slice of life, Comedy, kind of like How  American Comics were, before the 1960's.  But Shonen Manga is the most popular, with Japanese, and Western audiences.  Again specificity would be the key to make an attractive product. Specific setting, or near specific.

 

👍 Nice short synopsis. 

 

I've actually been enjoying the manga/anime/RPGLit where the exist in a world where delving is an Adventurers actual job and the characters actually know they have levels and level up.  To me it was a bizarre premise but oddly turned out to be fun to read. 

 

39 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:


Basically you want a  slim volume  with as small character sheet, with attractive art, that works for someone sitting at the table at the FLGS< either player or GM, without a lot of prep work. Everything necessary is covered, but only what's necessary. 

 

It is amazing how this line of thought repeats every so many years.  But the best part is the idea isn't met with the hostility and outright anger it used to. 

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7 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

👍 Nice short synopsis. 

 

I've actually been enjoying the manga/anime/RPGLit where the exist in a world where delving is an Adventurers actual job and the characters actually know they have levels and level up.  To me it was a bizarre premise but oddly turned out to be fun to read. 

Any Recommendations?

 

7 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

 

It is amazing how this line of thought repeats every so many years.  But the best part is the idea isn't met with the hostility and outright anger it used to. 

 

I am probably going to  order a physical copy of MHI. to see what a "powered By Hero " game looks like and compare it to some other games. But the "Model" is  the first Champions book in terms of form factor.

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48 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Any Recommendations?

 

An short list

 

For RPGLit or Lite novels I have been read (listened to)

The Adventures on Brad series by Tao Wong.

Eden’s Gate series by Edward Brody

 

For Anime/Manga/Lite Novels the following series were decent:

Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? by Fujino Omori and Kunieda (horrible title for a decent story)

Goblin Slayer by Kumo Kagyu, Kousuke Kurose and Noboru Kannatuki

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash by Ao Jyumonji and Eiri Shirai.

Slayers by Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi.

Record of Lodoss War by Ryo Mizuno and Akihiro Yamada

The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk/The Sword of Uruk by Koichi Chigira

 

Not Anime/Manga related but great for RPG’s

Supers fiction

Wearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon

H.E.R.O. by Kevin Rau (great concept on the supers side, but needs work on writing interpersonal relationships/romance.  I found myself skipping entire sections.)

 

Monster Hunter genre:

S-Squad series by William Meikle

 

48 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I am probably going to  order a physical copy of MHI. to see what a "powered By Hero " game looks like and compare it to some other games. But the "Model" is  the first Champions book in terms of form factor.

 

I have it.  The biggest issue I found is that chargen is pretty much standard with suggestions.  They do have a ton of pregens from the source material.  But it is still tossing the entire kitchen at the players and saying "You go!"

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4 minutes ago, Spence said:

I have it.  The biggest issue I found is that chargen is pretty much standard with suggestions.  They do have a ton of pregens from the source material.  But it is still tossing the entire kitchen at the players and saying "You go!"

 

I keep suggesting that character generation should be modeled on the, "Superhero Gallery" in the Champions genre book. Pick an archetype, a characteristic set, your class abilities, a background skill set, a Complication package, and you're done.

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2 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

I keep suggesting that character generation should be modeled on the, "Superhero Gallery" in the Champions genre book. Pick an archetype, a characteristic set, your class abilities, a background skill set, a Complication package, and you're done.

Chargen, if there is one, would be an appendix  item, rather than a core part of the game.  The Chargen could use that Champions  genre book, or at least that style, however the important thing is to teach the combat system and how skills are used. But full Chargen should not be a part of these products at all. Directions on where to find the full information shopuld be provided, and the index and appendix should lists costs, but other than that keep it hidden from the group. Don't want to scare them away.

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9 hours ago, Spence said:

 

An short list

 

For RPGLit or Lite novels I have been read (listened to)

The Adventures on Brad series by Tao Wong.

Eden’s Gate series by Edward Brody

 

For Anime/Manga/Lite Novels the following series were decent:

Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? by Fujino Omori and Kunieda (horrible title for a decent story)

Goblin Slayer by Kumo Kagyu, Kousuke Kurose and Noboru Kannatuki

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash by Ao Jyumonji and Eiri Shirai.

Slayers by Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi.

Record of Lodoss War by Ryo Mizuno and Akihiro Yamada

The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk/The Sword of Uruk by Koichi Chigira

 

Not Anime/Manga related but great for RPG’s

Supers fiction

Wearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon

H.E.R.O. by Kevin Rau (great concept on the supers side, but needs work on writing interpersonal relationships/romance.  I found myself skipping entire sections.)

 

Monster Hunter genre:

S-Squad series by William Meikle

 

I know people here might be desensitized to this specific recommendation, but My Hero Academia is, IMHO, the finest superhero genre fiction in all the Lords' Realms. All Might is the best, most regal, most literally awesome "Superman" archetype ever manifested.

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14 minutes ago, Shoug said:

I know people here might be desensitized to this specific recommendation, but My Hero Academia is, IMHO, the finest superhero genre fiction in all the Lords' Realms. All Might is the best, most regal, most literally awesome "Superman" archetype ever manifested.

 

It's a great series, I have watched all the anime except the movies. 

 

My quick and definitely not all inclusive short list was just my most recent watch/reads that I had close to hand.

 

MHA would be great if all, or a majority of the players were familiar with it so they could have a better idea of how to create their power concepts.

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On 8/3/2020 at 6:32 AM, ScottishFox said:

 

I really liked this one.

 

It was the second anime I ever saw after tapes.  Or maybe third?  It has been so long I can't really remember.  But Macross and early Gundam were my first anime on tape.  With the coming of the anime golden age, I have watched so many I cannot remember them all.  My more recent like is the isekai stories, though some of them can be horrible.  But that is normal, for every great show there is a least one stinker and a dozen average ones.

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