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Gandalf970

Hero Designer

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Good recommendations all around. Thank you folks. 
 

Back to the previous topic, It’s becoming clear to me that character generation is the big stumbling block that new players balk at when new to Hero. Can it be possible to create something with judt pregens and combat rules, and a stack of either scenario ideas, or an Adventure Path sort of content? Something that a GM would need minimal prep for, and can be run F2F or a PDF on line for Virtual Tabletops online? 

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6 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Good recommendations all around. Thank you folks. 
 

Back to the previous topic, It’s becoming clear to me that character generation is the big stumbling block that new players balk at when new to Hero. Can it be possible to create something with judt pregens and combat rules, and a stack of either scenario ideas, or an Adventure Path sort of content? Something that a GM would need minimal prep for, and can be run F2F or a PDF on line for Virtual Tabletops online? 

 

You are correct in CharGen being an initial stumbling block.  And a intro that only contains a condensed "play book" for rules, uses pregens and has a small number of adventures that can be played individually or as a micro-campaign is very much a thing.  There are several RPG's that have done exactly that to very good effect by allowing players to actually "play" the game before they try to create a viable PC.  Making a viable PC can be a daunting task for a new player when the game uses limited or focused build routes like class/level style games like D&D, Pathfinder or C&C.  Even games like Shadowrun or Star Wars channel players down archetypes.  Hero on the other hand falters on having too much flexibility for the first time player. 

 

I've said it dozens of times.  Character Generation and Adventure Building are not and never have been PLAYING an RPG.  They are tools needed to get to the RPG. 

 

I was just thinking last night about creating a very basic set of intro-rules for Champions and one for Fantasy Hero.  Game play rules, not build rules. All of the rulesets that Hero has put out are "complete" rulesets in that they cover everything in detail so the players can expand on them as a "tool kit". 

 

An introduction rule-set only needs to contain the specific parts needed in that introduction/demo.  The pregen character sheets would have ZERO BUILD ANNOTATION.  There is no need to print numbers on the sheet when they are not explained anywhere.  Instead the sheets need to be annotated with needed information for just that sheet. 

For instance:

Polaron Dude has a 8d6 energy blast, yes I am a 5th Ed person.  ENERGY blast :yes:

Normally you might write it on the sheet as "Polaron Beam 8d6 EB  - 40 Pts - 4 END", but in a pre-built adventure with no build rules those numbers are meaningless.  So instead we say "Polaron Beam - 1 to 8d6 - pay 1 END for every 2d6".  The flavor text can describe the powers an what a Polaron Beam is. 

 

Each character sheet, PC or NPC, needs a short description of each skill/ability because there will be no mention of them in the "rules".  A short blurb in the "rules" on skill die resolution, but no list of skills because they are not needed.  Any skill would be on the character sheet. 

 

Many RPG's have a quick or intro ruleset that are not near complete, but are just enough to play a basic game.  The idea is that once you play the "Starter Game" you will want to buy the main books.  The RPG's D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Star Wars and Call of Cthulhu have all used them.  Some games have repeated it over multiple editions as they enable new players to "test drive" a game and have nearly immediate enjoyment without the need of investing a large amount of time.

 

Since success of this style of "starter" requires a set of minimalist rules, it would need Hero to be open to reviewing a quick-start ruleset and OK its use.  Otherwise you are back to the same point of requiring potential players to buy the full rules at the start in order to use the adventure.

 

The best way would be to have four sets of quick-start rules.  Supers, Fantasy, Modern and Scfi that are no more than 5 pages long in total with the differences being not in content, but flavor.  Bow instead of Rifle instead of Blaster and so on.  They would be inserted into the intro games along with pregens.  I would have sidebars that tie each item to the page in the full rulebook.  For 5th ed the core Rulebook and Sidekick.  For 6th ed it would be 6th Ed Vol 1&2, Basic Rulebook, Champions Complete or Fantasy Hero Complete.   The idea being, we gave you a taste here is the meal. 

 

The important thing is that the quick-start have just enough pertinent information to play a pre-build session, but not enough to build a complete game from scratch.  The document Hero In Two Pages is already a solid core for quick-start rules, only needing a few particulars aimed at specific genres. 

 

Something to ponder. 

 

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I would almost say, that Duke Elliot's "Dome City" would fit the bill as it's a self contained Superhero origin Story, and that if it had Pregens in it, then problems with picking inappropriate superpowers for the  Heroes would vanish, as they could be tailored. I could see this being somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-50 pages total and it's already completely self contained, as the whole thing takes place in an impenetrable dome.

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23 hours ago, Spence said:

Many RPG's have a quick or intro ruleset that are not near complete, but are just enough to play a basic game.  The idea is that once you play the "Starter Game" you will want to buy the main books.  The RPG's D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Star Wars and Call of Cthulhu have all used them.  Some games have repeated it over multiple editions as they enable new players to "test drive" a game and have nearly immediate enjoyment without the need of investing a large amount of time.

 

 

My biggest stumbling block with a lot of modern RPGs is the 500 page rulebooks you need to memorize just to start playing. Pathfinder 2 is 600+ pages, Shadowrun is a mere 300+ pages, unless you want to go with 5th edition which is 500. Numenera is two books clocking in at 400 pages each, Shadow of the Demon Lord is pushing 300(quite the lightweight!). Even the 5e D&D player's handbook is 300 pages, with another 300 for the dungeon master's guide. Fantasy Hero is only 250 which makes it practically a modern marvel though it still feels like a 'build your own fantasy game' kit. Also, props to Hero Basic which is 120 pages. It's the only thing that got me started into Hero.

 

The old D&D box sets(BECMI) were around 50 pages for the players and 50 for the DM books. The advanced D&D books? 100 pages for 1e players book and 120 in the DMG, with another 100 pages of treasure and tables. Even the GAZ setting books were about 60 pages a pop with modules clocking in at 30.

 

So yeah, I think the old red box D&D was probably the sweet spot. A light afternoon of reading the rules, 5 minute character creation, and a blank fantasy sandbox to play around it.

 

 

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