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More 5e Converts for the Fantasy HERO table


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Grabbed three new converts by eliminating some of the world building overhead by keeping ALL of the 5e character creation and class rules and simply using HERO to play the game.

 

Kicked off the new Dark Hold campaign where all of the known world was conquered by an invading horde of life eating horrors from the shadow realms.  All that remains of humanity is the Dark Hold.  A circle of onyx mountains closing off the last villages and cities of mankind.

 

Even there, when the light of day fails, night terrors stalk the lands for human souls.  Only the presence of the Shepherds keeps them at bay (think dark elf + slender man).

 

Our band of intrepid heroes start off as a group of problem solvers working under the guidance of Shepherd Flynn.

 

Things are going well until the day of the eclipse when strange things begin to change for the heroes - and others throughout the land...

 

30+ Years of Fantasy HERO and I still love it.  Best system ever.

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3 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Grabbed three new converts by eliminating some of the world building overhead by keeping ALL of the 5e character creation and class rules and simply using HERO to play the game.

 

OK, seriously how did you pull this off?  Are you "converting" 5e characters?

 

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2 hours ago, Spence said:

 

OK, seriously how did you pull this off?  Are you "converting" 5e characters?

 

 

Yes, converting their 5e characters as we go.  My previous Pathfinder campaign gave me some ideas which I refined during the Pillars of Eternity test run campaign.

 

D&D spells are converted to rough equivalents using a points per level basis.  (Cantrips start at 30pts, 1st level 45 pts, 2nd level 52 pts, 3rd level 60 pts, etc.).

 

D&D Armor converts exactly as is to rPD/rED.  Plate armor is +8 Armor class in D&D and 8 rPD/rED in Fantasy HERO.

 

The players continue to level up their characters using 5e templates/applications.  And I convert the abilities over to HERO equivalents between sessions.

 

So far the only part that has required some GM work is converting spells.  But I had worked out Active Points per D&D spell level in a previous campaign.

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We're only a few weeks in, but so far here are some of the background elements.

 

When the story begins there are only two known races.  The Humans of the Hold and the Shepherds - who escaped the shadow realms and have been the desperately needed protectors of mankind for a thousand years.

Humans of the Hold share a powerful affinity for the light of day and have the following traits:

* Humans who spend most of the day exposed to the light heal BOD at the rate of their REC/day instead of REC/month.

* They are a strong and vigorous people and during the day recover from exhaustion (LTE loss) with a single hour of rest.

* They find inspiration in the light and have advantage (5e term) on all skill checks and attack rolls while in direct sunlight.  The conversion of this is to roll 4d6 and take the best 3 dice.

* Humans of the Hold are terrified by the night.  They have disadvantage on skill checks and attack rolls after darkness falls.  Roll 4d6 and take the worst 3 dice.

 

Shepherds

* Are strongest at night and weakened by sunlight.  They have the opposite advantage/disadvantage traits as the Humans do.

* Can see in the dark

* Do not eat, drink nor sleep

* Can generate areas of consecration where the evil creatures of the night cannot enter without burning to ash (1d6 to 3d6 NND damage - does body - per phase) based on how close they get to the Shepherd.  Shepherds working in tandem can cover much larger areas.

* Shepherds cannot gain the benefit of resting unless they watch over 1 or more Humans during the night.  Shepherds who have no one to protect begin to starve to death.

* Shepherds are not born, but made by way of a process known only to the Keepers (the lords of the Shepherds possessed of strange and terrifying powers).

 

The daily cycle of night and day is interrupted by two hours of The Gloom which falls over the hold during Dawn and Dusk.  During this time a swirling gray hangs in the air and visions of times past or futures yet to come will fade in and out of sight.  The inhabitants of the Hold know not to look at an apparition for any length of time or the images will seem to become more real and often try to lure them away from safe areas or, when close to nightfall, try to distract them long enough that they cannot reach the common gathering grounds of the Shepherds.  One cosmetic aspect of the world is that color is absent at night.  A torch or lantern will only more brightly reveal the black and white reality of night time.  Sunrise returns color to the world as soon as it is brightly lit enough to see.

 

The Night is dark and full of terrors.  Not having a Shepherd around at night is extremely dangerous - almost suicidal.  The creatures that emerge are drawn to the living and scour the wilds and cities alike for unprotected prey.

If you need to travel you have to join a caravan with a Shepherd in it.  Taking to the roads for a multi-day trip without protection is certain death.

 

So far, in terms of party development:

Shepherd Flynn has become increasingly concerned that the Keepers and Shepherds aren't the benevolent protectors of mankind that everyone believes they are.  Flynn seeks to protect his people above all and lies with the truth like an Aes Sedai to keep them out of trouble.

Shepherd Gim ( later arriving player also wanted to play a Shepherd ) is a strictly by the book type of Shepherd and is growing increasingly concerned that Shepherd Flynn has strayed from the faith - perhaps heretically so.  He reports to Keeper Grim secretly to voice his concerns when he can.

Blue is a lazy ne'er-do-well whose primary goal is getting enough money for eat and drink without doing anything resembling honest work.  He's only along for the ride to avoid well earned jail time and to pique his interest in the strictly forbidden arcane arts.

Arietty is thick-skinned barbarian who is hoping they can find a cure for whatever malady that has been afflicting her since the eclipse (she's playing a half-orc and her racial traits are now visible in a world that is 99.99999% human).  When the visions appear in The Gloom they portray seductive scenes of great violence, avarice and cruelty.  Civilization was made for the weak - the strong take what they want when they want.

Blue and Arietty are both convinced the Shepherds are parasites of some sort, but neither wants to die when the sun goes down so aside from giving Flynn a hard time they don't give it much thought.

Occasionally my wife's fire witch joins in and my daughter will play with her beast master (Lorelei and her pet stag - Venison).

 

All of the characters - since the eclipse event - have retained their color at night.  This draws a lot of unwanted attention if they aren't careful (think chanting and levitating during the Salem witch trials).

They are changing and for now only Shepherd Flynn's vigilance has kept them from serious - potentially fatal - trouble with the authorities.

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33 minutes ago, Gandalf970 said:

Fantastic thanks Scottish Fox

 

It's been a fun campaign so far.  Currently the crew is taking a Dungeon Crawl break from the mass setting absorption in the classic In Search of the Unknown.  I believe it's the first adventure published by TSR for Dungeons and Dragons.

 

It's so old nobody at my table (besides me) knew what it was.  :)

I slightly predate D&D, electricity, pyramids, fire and other modern novelties...

 

One other aspect of the setting that was a big change from convention is that there are no known Gods.  Almost everyone worships The Light and fears The Dark.  Much smaller numbers of people worship (secretly) spheres of influence rather than specific named deities such as The Harvest, The Wind, The Sea, The Hearth, etc.

Shepherd Flynn worships The Storm (Tempest Cleric template) and his access to unconventional spells has lead to some suspicion from his fellow Shepherd.

 

In one episode Shepherd Flynn heard the name Varkuul in the rolling thunder of a lightning strike and upon inspecting the impact point - found a spiraling image of lightning burned into a tree stump.  He carefully cut away the wooden disk and carries it hidden on his person.

 

A plot point that won't get exposed to the players until very late in the campaign is that the old Gods are as sheltered / imprisoned by The Hold as the humans are.

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@ScottishFox, quick question about your conversion and characteristics. As you’re well aware of stats in D&D which may no be a big deal do cause a “penalty” in Hero system. I’m looking at you value 9.  Did you bother with it and go with a straight conversion or did you do a bump of sorts? (Note CON of 12 isn’t bad in D&D either but do you really want the PX’s to have such a low CON in Hero?)

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Very nice!  I like the setting and conversion notes.  One minor point that struck me in particular was the rolling 4d6 and taking the best (or worst) 3d6 for the result.  How has that been working?  I am sure I could figure it out statistically, but you know what they say about lies, damn lies, and statistics.  Anyway, it seems to me like a potentially nice alternative way to do Luck (Unluck) rolls in Hero.

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18 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Straight conversion, but I suspect after a few sessions of play that some stats will get more attention than they would in the usual 5e play.

 

Our barbarian has an 18 CON and everyone else has a 14 (which is very common in 5e due to point-buy price breakpoints).

Ok- I was asking cause I was looking at older stuff to convert.  So I think I’ll have to go by feel. For example Star Wars D20 has Bounty Hunter at CHA 9. So if I use CHA = PRE well that’s kinda sad. Anyways thanks!

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8 minutes ago, greypaladin_01 said:

This sounds like a very interesting idea and a great example of customizing HERO to do what you want.   I have a question however, how do you handle the concept of Saving Throws?

I would say that you don't.  Saving Throws were always one of the stupidest mechanics in D&D in my mind.  The lethal poison either kills you instantly or has absolutely no effect?  Certainly they could have done better than that.  I would just stat out some poisons and petrification effects at different power levels and use that.  There are a number of examples in the rule books that have already be written up.

 

Okay, if you want to keep Saving Throws for simplicity of play or just nostalgic feel, build those powers with the Limitation - No Effect if Character makes a CON roll, (or reduced effect if you don't want it to be all-or-nothing).  More lethal effects could have a penalty to the CON roll, less lethal ones might be at a bonus (with slightly different limitation levels).

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one of the things 5e seemed to do was remove alot of the save or die mechanics.  However saves are VERY intergrated into all of the race and classes in it.  If you are doing a conversion then ignoring the mechanic seems hard to do.  Especially since most saving throws are to reduce damage.   

 

However in a pinch the idea of the STAT roll as save does seem like the best adaptation.   Although I guess you could leave what the effect of a Save does to each spell when converted.

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1 hour ago, greypaladin_01 said:

one of the things 5e seemed to do was remove alot of the save or die mechanics.  However saves are VERY intergrated into all of the race and classes in it.  If you are doing a conversion then ignoring the mechanic seems hard to do.  Especially since most saving throws are to reduce damage. 

 

You could approach the saves by intent.  Damage saves are intended to make the PC tougher vs certain attacks or attackers.  Instead of a "roll", give the PC a def limited to the attack.

 

D&D does situational defense with a SR.

Hero does it with limited defenses.

 

Save vs Petrification = Def vs Transform.

 

Save vs Fire = Def vs Fire or Dam Reduction vs Fire.

 

And so on.

 

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16 hours ago, greypaladin_01 said:

This sounds like a very interesting idea and a great example of customizing HERO to do what you want.   I have a question however, how do you handle the concept of Saving Throws?

 

It's a reverse attack roll the way I do it based on the spell casting ability of the caster.

 

So if an attack roll would hit on a 11 or less then a saving throw works on a 10 or less.

Attack roll of 13 or less would be a saving throw of 8 or less.

Attack roll of 14 or less would be a saving throw of 7 or less and so on.

 

To keep the numbers roughly matched to D&D percentages I do keep track of which classes are proficient with which saving throws and they get their proficiency modifier added in.

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7 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

It's a reverse attack roll the way I do it based on the spell casting ability of the caster.

 

So if an attack roll would hit on a 11 or less then a saving throw works on a 10 or less.

Attack roll of 13 or less would be a saving throw of 8 or less.

Attack roll of 14 or less would be a saving throw of 7 or less and so on.

 

To keep the numbers roughly matched to D&D percentages I do keep track of which classes are proficient with which saving throws and they get their proficiency modifier added in.

 

I think I am following this, then you would use the advantage/disadvantage element you described before based on class/race/items.  I assume that characters can get bonuses to saves to reflect items or increased proficency modifiers?

 

I appreciate you sharing what you are doing.  I have always been intrigued by the toolkit nature of HERO, but rarely see someone overhauling it so much to fit their needs. 

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1 hour ago, greypaladin_01 said:

 

I think I am following this, then you would use the advantage/disadvantage element you described before based on class/race/items.  I assume that characters can get bonuses to saves to reflect items or increased proficency modifiers?

 

I appreciate you sharing what you are doing.  I have always been intrigued by the toolkit nature of HERO, but rarely see someone overhauling it so much to fit their needs. 

 

You are getting the gist of it.  The proficiency value is converted to overall levels with the caveat they can only be used on saving throws if they are proficient in that saving throw.

 

So far it's been a great compromise.  I get to DM a HERO game and my 5e veterans get to play a game they're mostly familiar with.  The dice are a little different and there are some changes to combat operations, but it's close enough to 5e that they feel comfortable building and levelling their characters.

 

 

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That makes sense.   Yes, it is a good way to get people to try out HERO.   Maybe we could impose on you to post some of the conversion builds of abilities and spells you mentioned at some point.   You mentioned point values for spells, but do you you budget the other abilities or just go for the 'feel' of what 5e grants?

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21 hours ago, greypaladin_01 said:

That makes sense.   Yes, it is a good way to get people to try out HERO.   Maybe we could impose on you to post some of the conversion builds of abilities and spells you mentioned at some point.   You mentioned point values for spells, but do you you budget the other abilities or just go for the 'feel' of what 5e grants?

 

In the past I've been more strict about balancing out the point costs of things, but since we're running with the 5e content straight from the PHB we're relying on Wizard's balancing (or complete lack thereof) for this initial run.

 

My previous converts were fairly easy because I had already DM'd 5e for them for a year or longer.  They trusted me enough to try the new game system.

 

The current group hasn't had me as a DM before and are long time 5e players.  So I'm easing them into it more gently.

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