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Reasons to buy into 4th edition?


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16 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

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." 

Really agree with you on this point. Have had that happen more than once. Some people like to go strictly by the 'rules' and that's fine. However, it's your game; do whatever you want with those rules including don't use them. It does bother me when people puts someone down or snub their nose because  an opinion was given they don't agree with.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

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.)

 

I seem to recall Steve once posting that, for 5e, he was somewhat constrained in what he could do, while he had more free rein in 6e.

 

I don't know what his 5e process was.  Like most of us, Steve watches what other gamers do and cribs the ideas that work for him, I'm sure.  There was a 5e Revised, but that was more cleanup than substantive change, adding examples and corner cases here and there.

 

For 6e, Steve assembled a "sounding board" group.  To the extent that created a "6e by democracy", well, perhaps, but only if Steve was the only 18+ YO, since he held the sole vote and decided what would, and would not, be discussed.  There was also, as I recall, a "what do you want to see in 6e" Board for some time before he wrote 6e, and many of the issues discussed on those Boards made their way to 6e.  I think Steve started a few threads there with "I'm thinking of doing this", so how much was "Board ideas" is open to debate there as well.

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Minus a few tweaks, yes. 5E had been initially composed by Steve Long under Steve Peterson's editorial direction, so the latter had final say. I remember Long mentioning in a discussion that Peterson hated Limited SPD. Absolutely hated it. That was one restriction Long could lift when he gained control of the rules.

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8 hours ago, Tech said:

Really agree with you on this point. Have had that happen more than once. Some people like to go strictly by the 'rules' and that's fine. However, it's your game; do whatever you want with those rules including don't use them. It does bother me when people puts someone down or snub their nose because  an opinion was given they don't agree with.

 

 

Totally agree here! I wanted to say though that the reverse is true too! Some people don’t feel comfortable with House Ruling hence why we look for guidance from the Rules.

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15 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Totally agree here! I wanted to say though that the reverse is true too! Some people don’t feel comfortable with House Ruling hence why we look for guidance from the Rules.

Agreeing with you there. Quite frankly, house ruling should be the 'norm' to fit a campaign in the way the players want & like, as has been mentioned throughout the various editions: (paraphrased) "If you don't like something in the rules, change it."  If a group likes it completely by the book, good, it fits their campaign. If people want to change things, that's also good.

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On 9/28/2020 at 3:36 PM, Duke Bushido said:

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." 

First off, apologies to the original poster as this is pretty far from your original question. I think that you have a point here, Duke, and I agree that everyone should do what works for them in their game.

 

But I think the flip side here is that the official rules are there for a reason, so that everyone has a baseline to work from. Other official publications should hew to those rules, which then allows the local house rules to be applied in a consistent manner as well. If the "official" rules have 3 different ways to interpret something it gets very difficult to figure out which one a particular instance is referring to and even more difficult to apply your own house rules or modifications to it. I am greatly in favor of having more "optional" rules, although I would have liked it if they were all compiled somewhere so you could just have a check list of which optional or house rules you use. @Killer Shrike does an outstanding job of this on his campaign / setting pages, for instance. It's not that any one interpretation is "right", but it does allow for consistency, ease of common understanding and ease of adaptation.

 

Back to the original posters question: I played with the BBB for years and loved it. I played 3e for years and loved it. I have played 6e for years and love it as well. I find that the experience granted by years of the authors playing it and receiving feedback have encountered more potential issues than my individual experience and that gives them insight that would otherwise be lacking. To me, this makes for a more complete ruleset and is desirable for that reason. Does that mean any particular version is perfect? No. Do I still have house rules or things I prefer to play differently? Yes.

 

- E

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I sort of feel the whole House Rules vs. Official Rules debate is an odd one to hold in the context of the Hero System. Take, for instance, the Limited Power Limitation. You must come up with what you feel is a reasonable value for your custom Limitation yourself. One group may give "Only In Salt Water" a -1/2 while another group may give it a -1/4, and yet another group--the one where the campaign exists mostly in an arid desert--a whopping -1. The rulebook doesn't tell you what that Limitation is worth; you must "House Rules" it based on your own interpretation of how Limitations work and on the specifics of your campaign.

 

This notion that you take open frameworks like the Advantage/Limitation system, the Disadvantage (Complication) system, the Skill system, the combat system, the whole game in fact, and use it to play the game you want to play, is central to its design ethos. It seems as though that ethos has been lost in the voluminous tomes of the game's current incarnation. The Complete books were a decent attempt to undo the damage done by FRed and the 6e1/6e2 rules presentations, but they may have been too little too late.

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11 hours ago, eepjr24 said:

First off, apologies to the original poster as this is pretty far from your original question. 

 

Yes; indeed, OP!  My apologies as well.  Honestly, I hadn't expected that commentary to receive the attention it did.

 

 

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I think the flip side here is that the official rules are there for a reason, so that everyone has a baseline to work from. Other official publications should hew to those rules, which then allows the local house rules to be applied in a consistent manner as well. If the "official" rules have 3 different ways to interpret something it gets very difficult to figure out which one a particular instance is referring to and even more difficult to apply your own house rules or modifications to it.

 

Of course.  I am not saying "the rules are rubbish and should be thrown away" or trying to imply that they have no value.  It's the automatic reaction that published rule trumps house rule, period, or that house rules are inherently inferior because they are not published rules-- and all the while without really appreciating just what, at their core, the published rules _are_.  And it's not just HERO, mind you: any game that has gone through a revamping (or five) is essentially the same thing:  the original game, modified by a long run of house rules that have been found to work, for lack of a more specific word, "better" than did the previous published rule that this one has replaced.

 

For example:  LL mentioned that the original author _hated_ Limited SPD (which we can agree has it's potential for abuse, but is it really at higher risk than anything else?).   How many of us did it anyway, long before the official rules said it was okay?   So were those of use using this or a similar house rule doing something inferior to the published rules, and if so, why are the published rules now _different_, so different as to become the house rule we've been puttering along with for forty years or so?

 

_that's_ the thing that gets under my saddle.  As I said, there are some really creative, really insightful people here, some of whom have even done "official" things for the brand.  (And of course, there are a few lunatic hacks like me.  :D   .)  When someone asks for an official rule, then by all means, give him one.  When he just wants to know "how can I make this work," condemning offered ideas simply because book 5 of the published rules addresses it specifically....  Sure, tell him "Hey, book 5, page 9 says the official method is your-offered-assistance-here."  That's excellent.  But it's not _more_ excellent because it's official.   You can handle this two ways:

 

"Hey, book 5, page 9 says whatever-it-is-that-it-says-that-you-believe-will-be-helpful-to-the-person-asking."

 

Wonderful stuff right there; that's people looking out for each other, and I support it completely.

 

Then there's this:

 

"That's a questionable construct, there; it's clearly just someone's house rule.  The correct way to handle this is on-and-on-and-on, per the rules.  You shouldn't use the house rule because there is an official one."

 

 

HERO has been around a long time.  Not a lot of other games have six editions.  And even if you don't read them, the simple page count of the various editions would instantly suggest that those official rules change _a lot_.  Heck:  the last two editions have changes from one to the other, and they were written by the same guy!   The first three editions?  Same thing!

 

As someone noted above, HERO, perhaps more than any other game system, _requires_ judgement calls and case-by-case decisions.  I just don't get how shooting down someone for doing just that is right.

 

Final example?   How many people point to Shrike's page as examples of great ways to do this or that or the other?  How many of them are spelled out just that way in the rules?

 

Okay, that's a bit unfair, because the rules state "uhm, you should probably design your own magic system, tailor-fitted to your campaign or group."    But the rules-- every edition so far-- say "change what doesn't work for you (paraphrased, both times)."  I find it goes against the nature of what "helping" is to denigrate suggestions _specifically_ because they haven't been printed on paper for mass consumption.

 

 

That is all.

 

 

 

 

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I am greatly in favor of having more "optional" rules,

 

Agreed, but that also drives home the point:  if you have multiple "official" rules for the same thing, how can we accept that _all_ of them are superior than a house rule designed specifically for how your group wants that "thing" resolved?

 

 

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although I would have liked it if they were all compiled somewhere

 

So much that, right there.....  

 

When I first heard there was going to be a Player's Guide, my first thought was "perhaps the primary rule books could have been streamlined by simply picking _one_ rule for each of the situations, and compiling all the optional rules into a separate "GM's Guide" or something like that-- not only would that have made the core rules _slightly_ less intimidating (and perhaps potentially more attractive to new players), but it would have had all the optionals right in one place, easy to search, easy to peruse, and probably just a lot more fun to read through now and again when searching for inspiration.

 

Oh well.  maybe the seventh edition....    ;)

 

 

 

 

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Back to the original posters question: I played with the BBB for years and loved it. I played 3e for years and loved it. I

 

 

 

Yes, indeed.

 

For what it's worth, I think most of the long-time members of this board started with either 3e or 4e, what with those two editions having been printed in much larger quantity and give much further distribution than any other edition.  It doesn't hurt that they were both printed during the heyday of the RPG hobby, either.

 

4e remains popular, and from a personal opinion standpoint, I personally think it is the easiest edition from which to convert both forwards or backwards.  So much so, in fact, that as a general rule, when I do conversions of characters or adventures from other systems, I usually write them up in 4e if I plan to spread them around to fellow GMs who play at my tables.  The funny part is that I don't play 4e myself (specifically, I don't play _any_ "edition":  my games are 2e-based, but feature stuff from everything from 1st to 6th).  As someone noted above, learn _any_ edition.  The only really strong differences are in character generation and few of the more toward-the-edge combat situations.  In terms of game play, the only differences you're likely going to notice is how to determine range, END expenditure, and how pretty you are (or aren't).  These are so minor as to not be worthy of mention.  ;)

 

 

8 hours ago, zslane said:

I sort of feel the whole House Rules vs. Official Rules debate is an odd one to hold in the context of the Hero System.

 

Agreed, and for more reasons than just those you stated.  :)

(Sorry, Z; I'm all out of rep, but I've added you to the list )

 

8 hours ago, zslane said:

The Complete books were a decent attempt to undo the damage done by FRed and the 6e1/6e2 rules presentations, but they may have been too little too late.

 

 

I would love to address this a bit more fully, but I am already quite regretful of how much of the OP's thread I've derailed.  :(

 

 

(Sorry, OP.  Short version:  Any edition, _in play_, feels like any other.  At worst, you might think "why are my END costs wonky?," but that's about it.  Outside of that, it's a matter of how complicated you want character generation to be)

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

"Hey, book 5, page 9 says whatever-it-is-that-it-says-that-you-believe-will-be-helpful-to-the-person-asking."

 

Wonderful stuff right there; that's people looking out for each other, and I support it completely.

 

Then there's this:

 

"That's a questionable construct, there; it's clearly just someone's house rule.  The correct way to handle this is on-and-on-and-on, per the rules.  You shouldn't use the house rule because there is an official one."

I agree with what you are saying, maybe with different emphasis as we likely have different experiences that have shaped our opinions. I just don't see much of the second instance. I do see people warning about problems they have had with a specific construct, I certainly do that. But I also try to point out ways to mitigate or work around those issues, whether in the official rules or not. Sometimes people have bad days and it might come across otherwise, maybe they have seen the exact same construct used abusively in their games and maybe they should be taking a break from the forum... =P I did that for a while because life started stressing me out and I found myself getting snippy over things. 

 

Anyway, I don't think we are arguing really different points here, just maybe emphasizing different aspects. I use house rules, not as much as Shrike, although I do appreciate the cogent way that he lays out which he is using and why he adopted them. I tend to answer with an official rule if there is one, not because I think house rules are bad, but because I think you will be able to make much more nuanced decisions about which to use and when to use them if you know the content and intent of the applicable "official" rules. 

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One of Steve Long's mantras as the Hero Line Developer was, "You bought the book, it's your game now." I appreciate that he always peppered the rules and FAQ answers with, "The GM can rule to allow this if it makes sense for their game." Mind you, he's not above saying, "You shouldn't do X," but that's very rare and almost always conditional.

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On 10/2/2020 at 12:06 AM, Lord Liaden said:

One of Steve Long's mantras as the Hero Line Developer was, "You bought the book, it's your game now." I appreciate that he always peppered the rules and FAQ answers with, "The GM can rule to allow this if it makes sense for their game." Mind you, he's not above saying, "You shouldn't do X," but that's very rare and almost always conditional.

Well that Mantra has been Hero’s from the beginning. However Steve Long once promised me that he won’t send the Game Police after me for tweaking something for Basic 6th. 😂 

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I mean, you can build everything yourself regardless, but for me?

 

6th. I came in with 5th. I loved 5th. 6th is bigger, broader, messier in some ways if for no other reason than its scope, but it’s possibly the most refined of all the editions, and hands down my favorite. 

 

That said, if you like 4, do 4. If you have 5th & 6th and there’s a rule that you want to import, you know, do that.

Contemplating further, Persona would not be capable to its level of refinement outside of 5th or 6th. I twisted a lot of rules into new shapes but the ground work for those changes meant that things remained sufficiently balanced.

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