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Reasons to buy into 4th edition?


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5th and 6th ed stuff is easy to convert, mostly just watch CVs and damage classes and defenses
there are a few things like the expanded change enviroment and regeneration in 6th
only downside is that Hero designer does not do 4th ed
you pretty much have to do everything by hand
there is Hero Creator software but it is really old
there have been excel sheets done for 4th but I have not gone looking for them(I have tons of 4th ed stuff that I would convert to 5th or 6th as needed)

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The Growth and Shrinking powers are more granular, dealing with a linear increase in height rather than doubling, with less things rolled in automatically if I remember the explanation someone gave in another thread recently, and accompanying lower cost for intermediate heights. I'd prefer to calculate mass as the cube of the linear dimensions rather than the listed... doubling I think? But that's not a (puts on sunglasses) big deal comparatively.

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6 hours ago, bpmasher said:

I've looked at 4th edition Champions and I might be getting the book.

 

The system seems simpler than 5th or 6th editions, but are there other reasons to buy into 4th (plus sourcebooks)?

Simpler can be deceiving though. 5th and 6th introduced options to fine tune things which are definitely would be GM territory in 4th. For example in 5th you can have an adder which allows you to T-port and and shed any velocity you have to no velocity. That’s not an option in 4th. (Of course you can always GM it in. ) it seems every edition has something someone likes and other parts you don’t. I’m not saying 4th is bad by any means either. It’s just that simpler isn’t always simple.

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3 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Simpler can be deceiving though. 5th and 6th introduced options to fine tune things which are definitely would be GM territory in 4th. For example in 5th you can have an adder which allows you to T-port and and shed any velocity you have to no velocity. That’s not an option in 4th. (Of course you can always GM it in. ) it seems every edition has something someone likes and other parts you don’t. I’m not saying 4th is bad by any means either. It’s just that simpler isn’t always simple.

 

Edition purity is a myth.  When playing any edition, if there's something from some other edition that does what you want it to, why wouldn't you use it?

 

There's three major rules changes between 3rd edition and 4th, and one between 5th and 6th -- note I'm not talking about the host of minor differences from one to the next in terms of changing point costs for some power or skill.  

 

I don't understand the notion that if "we're playing 4th edition" that something from a later or earlier book  is off limits.  At least if I'm the GM.  If you want a concept, ask me, and I'll try to come up with a point cost or something; what's the difference whether I pull something from a different "edition" or make it up myself?

 

More tools for the toolkit!

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Whether you base your rule set on 4E or 5E, the two editions are about 90% compatible, significantly more so than either are with 6E. That makes it very easy to use materials for one with the other. Those two editions each had extensive supplements published for them, particularly in the supers genre. Those are also now widely available in PDF form, far cheaper than their original cover price.

 

If I was limited to my 4E and 5E collection, I would have enough to run many games in almost every genre, and more stuff for supers than I could ever use.

 

EDIT: One of our forum colleagues created a detailed checklist (and thoughtful commentary) on all the changes from 4E to 5E.

 

 

HERO System 4th to 5th Edition Checklist-Commentary.htm

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I agree with Chris to an extent. I always felt that the best edition was 4e with a few of 5e's new ideas sprinkled in. But using 5e or 6e as the foundation is not my preference.

 

One huge advantage of 4e, in my view, is that it doesn't lure you into thinking you have to search the rulebook for the "official" answer to every tiny piece of minutiae that comes up in play (or during character creation). Quite a bit is left up to you and your players to reasonably extrapolate from what's given. Once you get the hang of that, you'll be using the system as a general framework for playing anything you can think of, and you won't find yourself consulting the rulebook very often. The same can't really be said, IMO, of 5e or 6e, as those editions attempt to encode every little possible contingency into the main rulebook, filling every margin with stuff you will feel compelled to use and adhere to.

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8 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

Edition purity is a myth.  When playing any edition, if there's something from some other edition that does what you want it to, why wouldn't you use it?

I wouldn’t say it’s a myth. There’s a lot of groups out there. Now should you play edition purity? That’s up to the group. Either way the point is that no edition is perfect so a rule or build will come up and the GM will make a decision one way or another. Hence simplier is the myth.

16 minutes ago, zslane said:

The same can't really be said, IMO, of 5e or 6e, as those editions attempt to encode every little possible contingency into the main rulebook, filling every margin with stuff you will feel compelled to use and adhere to.

Yes because there was no one at the time clambering for a Fifth edition and the question thread was void on the boards by people looking for answers.  <Roll the eyes>.

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Countless players had little or no issues playing 4e (errata aside) without running to BBSes every session. If you had to do that then you just didn't grok the game system. 90% of the material added to the 5e (and 6e) rulebook was stuff most players I knew had no trouble coming up with on their own using the very same rules framework Steve Long did.

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I wouldn't buy the book...the PDF is cheap, tho.

 

I'd suggest you review the document Lord Liaden linked.  TL;DR -- 5th is conceptually cleaner, but has some (relatively isolated) issues of its own.

 

But I also agree that there's no perfect edition.  6E APG, for example, has one of the nicest limitations I've seen...damage-based END cost.  It's not so much that you're knocked out but beaten down.  It's adaptable to any edition.  For 4E on, I have a house rule I call High Scale...acts like MegaScale but at lower levels.  Teleport needs MegaScale;  but running and flight with MegaScale either get INSANELY!!! fast, or just scream for the abuse of buying next to nothing in the base power.  (Recognize, 4" flight, with a 3 SPD, and 1" = 1 km means you're moving 1 kilometer per second...roughly Mach 3.)

 

And maybe you just want to adapt some things...like the stats decoupling in 6E, but mostly use 5E.  Makes sense;  6E can be a mess.

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14 minutes ago, ChaosDrgn said:

Tried dl'ing the file, kept failing.

 

Isn't the point of some games to be compatibility one way or another? 

 

The link is to an old (archived, I presume now) web page.  It contains links.  BitDefender is bitching about the links...which is only a little overly cautious.  It lets me load the page, but I have to confirm.  I suspect your AV might be just saying No.

 

Compatibility is a double-edged sword.  Yes, it helps existing players transition, but it can also impede the ability to fix issues by forcing the system to carry over poor/awkward features.

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8 hours ago, zslane said:

Countless players had little or no issues playing 4e (errata aside) without running to BBSes every session. If you had to do that then you just didn't grok the game system. 90% of the material added to the 5e (and 6e) rulebook was stuff most players I knew had no trouble coming up with on their own using the very same rules framework Steve Long did.

 

Perhaps not; but I was on discussion forums, including this website, years before 5E was published. Debates over the meaning and implication of specific words in the 4E rules were frequent, lengthy and detailed, and sometimes heated. When 5E came out, while a few folks did post complaints about their increased wordiness, most welcomed the clarifications. The proof of that was the rules questions to Steve Long, which were compiled into a FAQ making up a hefty volume in its own right, and which had to be updated several times.

 

The inevitable conclusion was that, while there perhaps was not a need for longer and more precise definitions of specific points, there was clearly a demand for them from the clientele. Of course taste and fashion in gaming was different then.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Perhaps not; but I was on discussion forums, including this website, years before 5E was published. Debates over the meaning and implication of specific words in the 4E rules were frequent, lengthy and detailed, and sometimes heated.

 

And let's not forget the 4e Trifecta of Cobble:  EDM, Desolidification, and Transformation Attack.

 

No matter what kind of unusual-- or downright weird!-- notion you had, someone had a way to do it with the Trifecta of Cobble.   :D

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

When 5E came out, while a few folks did post complaints about their increased wordiness, most welcomed the clarifications. The proof of that was the rules questions to Steve Long, which were compiled into a FAQ making up a hefty volume in its own right, and which had to be updated several times.

 

Just to pick a little fun out of this:

 

Would that indicate that the new volumes are not wordy enough, or that making them more and more wordy isn't actually helpful?

 

;)

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

Of course taste and fashion in gaming was different then.

 

 

And there was a relative lack of social media.  Seriously:  don't for a minute think that all of humanity hasn't been subtly changed by that.  All we really had in the early days of 4e were magazines (if you were lucky enough to be near a store that carried them), conventions (if you were lucky enough to have money, time, and one close enough to you that wasn't hosted by a pedophile  DragonCon), and-- if you were really, _really_ lucky, all the hardware and infrastructure that gave you access to a chatroom or two.

 

The difference?   We couldn't reach out and say "hey!  What does this mean?"! on a whim.  We would study it, interpret it, and keep re-doing those things until we found something that worked _for our groups_ or we tossed it (which also tended to work).  It wasn't really until we had the ability to reach out and question publishers and authors directly that we ever felt we had a _need_ to do that.   Once upon a time, we made it work in a way that made us completely happy.  A few decades later, we have a compulsion to make sure we are doing it exactly like ten thousand people we will never meet.  And better still ( I learned this one the hard way with Red October, way back when): finding out something that you and your groups "made work in a very satisfactory way" and had been doing for several years was actually _not_ what the publisher / authors had in mind, and that what they had in mind was something that your group didn't like at all.

 

In light of all those things, I have to believe that we tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves to attain some point of rules perfection that just flatly doesn't exist.

 

:(

 

Makes for tons of books to read, though!     :)

 

 

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On 9/27/2020 at 2:51 AM, bpmasher said:

I've looked at 4th edition Champions and I might be getting the book.

 

The system seems simpler than 5th or 6th editions, but are there other reasons to buy into 4th (plus sourcebooks)?

Are you looking to run 4th? It is a good system and you have Superheroic and Heroic rules in one spot. What are you looking for specifically?

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55 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Are you looking to run 4th? It is a good system and you have Superheroic and Heroic rules in one spot. What are you looking for specifically?

 

I was under the impression that the 4th edition is easier to run because the book is more concise.

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8 minutes ago, bpmasher said:

 

I was under the impression that the 4th edition is easier to run because the book is more concise.

 

Not wholly true. A better statement would be that  4th is easier to  learn because the book is more concise.

 

Once you get a little experience as a GM, your players won't be able to tell  4th, 5th and 6th apart during play unless you run into a specific power difference. The combat system and mechanics are largely unchanged since the game's origin.

 

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3 minutes ago, bpmasher said:

 

I was under the impression that the 4th edition is easier to run because the book is more concise.

Is there less fiddly bits? Yes. Can you run great games with 4th? Yes. Is there odd rules in 4th? Yes. I don’t think too many people missed how you figure STR Min in Heroic rules. I know I don’t. Is that a deal breaker? No.  I say if you get a great deal on it-go for it. Then run it. And of course if you have any questions ask. 

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1 hour ago, bpmasher said:

 

I was under the impression that the 4th edition is easier to run because the book is more concise.

The thing is 5th then followed by 6th is bigger because it’s expands the rules to do more than what is available in 4th (without house rules that is).  If you choose a newer edition, then to learn/run just start with the basics. Just because there’s a lot of options doesn’t mean you have to use them all or any. Add in what you want when you want.

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@bpmasher, hey I hope I’m being helpful not a PIA. I’m just trying to figure out what you want before you spend good money on it.  There is a Hero Rulebook  for 4th. Years ago a buddy suggested I get that before I bought the BBB.  In retrospect I think perhaps I should’ve as to learn the basic rules better than I did. But that’s just me.

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On 9/27/2020 at 1:16 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Whether you base your rule set on 4E or 5E, the two editions are about 90% compatible, significantly more so than either are with 6E. That makes it very easy to use materials for one with the other. Those two editions each had extensive supplements published for them, particularly in the supers genre. Those are also now widely available in PDF form, far cheaper than their original cover price.

 

If I was limited to my 4E and 5E collection, I would have enough to run many games in almost every genre, and more stuff for supers than I could ever use.

 

EDIT: One of our forum colleagues created a detailed checklist (and thoughtful commentary) on all the changes from 4E to 5E.

 

 

HERO System 4th to 5th Edition Checklist-Commentary.htm 143.93 kB · 8 downloads

Very useful!

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14 hours ago, bpmasher said:

 

I was under the impression that the 4th edition is easier to run because the book is more concise.

 

13 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

The thing is 5th then followed by 6th is bigger because it’s expands the rules to do more than what is available in 4th (without house rules that is).

 

Minor picking of the proverbial  nit:

 

Every edition after the first-- of _any_ game-- is precisely the previous edition and a collection of someone's House Rules. 

 

In the case of HERO 2 and 3e, it was the house rules / collective input of the creator and his original crew. 

 

In 4e, it was the rules Harlick and Co. came up with to make the various spread-out bits of 3e and its supplements work together coherently. 

 

In 5e, it was 4e combined with Steve's ideas / house rules (I know there was some group action going on there for input at one time, but we'll never who what came from where, as Steve doesn't answer those questions.   I would kind of like him to address the rumor that he had a 5e prepared back when Hero was still an Iron Crown property, but it's not really important.) 

 

It just bugs me- in any game- to hear House Rules p'shawed for being "not real rules" when the real ones are no more than the House Rules of the right guy to get them in a book. 

 

Let's say Lord Liaden had been the fortunate one to acquire the rights to the company and _he_ wrote the fifth or the sixth edition.  It probably would be equally as good, and possibly even better. 

 

Yet in that situation, anything Steve came along and posted here would be "just a house rule." 

 

It drives me a bit nutty: there are a lot of creative people here, some of whom have published supplemental material for this game.  I cringe at the thought that their ideas are automatically lesser because they weren't in the book. 

 

It also bugs me (though not as much, because at the end of the day, someone else's opinion of my game makes no difference to me) when I comment about a thing here or there that I don't like, only to be derided because "it's an official rule."  you know: by the same person  who shoots down House Rules in spite of playing a game that is  basically "the original plus X generations of House Rules." 

 

Yeah, that went nowhere, and it's directed at no one, but it's a pressure valve that needs relief every now and again.  :lol:

 

 

Quote

 Just because there’s a lot of options doesn’t mean you have to use them all or any. Add in what you want when you want.

 

That is absolute gospel.  Given the number of pages in the current edition, it's almost a necessity.  :lol:

 

 

12 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

@bpmasher, hey I hope I’m being helpful not a PIA. I’m just trying to figure out what you want before you spend good money on it. 

 

 

Rember that: Ninja-Bear is _never_ a pain!  He's one of the nicest, most helpful, most-willing-to-help-you-pick-an-idea-apart people on this board.    :)

 

Even if he disagrees with you, he won't steer you wrong. 

 

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