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Hello everyone! We have a variety of projects going on at Hero Games right now, both for quarter one of 2021 and for the year as a whole. I wanted to let you know about them, get your input, and ask i

Actually, I think a far better product than "Psionic Hero" would be an actual "Game Powered by Hero" Heroic Level psychic game.   Maybe it's a "psychics among us" game - these powers exist,

Bingo!  This goes for all genre/theme/settings or what have you.   The only real way to learn Hero is to play Hero.  But having to design everything before you can play really eliminate

14 hours ago, HeroGM said:

I think that basically got folded into Dark Champions

 

Nope. This was announced after Dark Champions. It was going to be released via High Rock Press and was listed along with Mythic Hero and a few other neat projects IIRC. 

I agree with Action Hero over Dark Champions. The latter always implied darker and/or street superheroes over spies/espionage.

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15 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

I'd like to see a couple of options on Starship Combat:  one "realistic" featuring drift, momentum, etc-- akin to the very first edition of Traveller (though the revamp wasn't bad, and was a bit easier to teach), and then something a bit more cinematic for those stories featuring 'fighters v capital ships' type combats-- you know: swerving.    :lol:

 

We're going to need at least three different systems - naval, aerial, and physics-based. :) 

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Thank you all for your responses. There are some interesting suggestions on this thread, and I will think about them. (Not being deliberately vague here; just avoiding a "laundry list" of responses for the moment.) I'm going to give a Patreon account serious consideration in Quarter Two 2021 after seeing how Champions International goes, both financially and artistically. Several of you had very good suggestions about how a Patreon account might work; I will remember those. 

 

Steve Long and I had a long discussion at GenCon some years back about High Rock Press doing a stand-alone Danger International book focusing on the "super" part of the super spy genre. Both that and Star Hero Complete are very reasonable recommendations for using the Hero Games Kickstarter account. But as I've just launched a fledgling program to produce and release regular content for Hero Games (as opposed to publishing a product every year or two), I want to see how that goes before I make any promises.

 

Jason Walters, Publisher

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5 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Icant check from work, but disnt one of the fantasy hero books from way back have naval combat?  Granted, sail-powered, but it shouldn't be that hard to extrapolate,

 

Also granted that I could be mixing my game system aupplements in my memory.   :lol:

 

You just had to go there didn't you.

Now I have to begin a search.....:weep:

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9 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Icant check from work, but disnt one of the fantasy hero books from way back have naval combat?  Granted, sail-powered, but it shouldn't be that hard to extrapolate,

 

Also granted that I could be mixing my game system aupplements in my memory.   :lol:

I wanna say it’s in Fantasy Hero Companion 2 for 4th ed. If my memory is right.

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On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

Hello everyone! We have a variety of projects going on at Hero Games right now, both for quarter one of 2021 and for the year as a whole. I wanted to let you know about them, get your input, and ask if there is anything you would like to see created by Hero Games in the coming year. Of course, I can’t promise you we will act on those suggestions! Only that we will listen and do what we can, given the limited time and resources that we have. Please feel free to comment.

Thank you for this update! It's quite refreshing.

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

UPCOMING NEW RELEASES

The following three projects have been turned into us, have been approved, and are in various levels of production right now. (If you have submitted a project to us and don’t see it listed here, don’t be alarmed! We simply haven’t gotten to it yet. These things take time.)

I am happy to see releases down the line. Reading the below, am I correct to say that all physical releases will be POD only?

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

Western Hero: Rough and Ready Roleplaying – This is a joint project between Kestrel Arts and Hero Games. Written by Christopher Taylor and based on work by Matt Forbeck, it’s an exhaustive, rules complete 276 page Hero System 6th Edition book. It has already been through layout, editing, and (due to the subject matter) sensitivity reading, and will be made available physically and electronically through DriveThruRPG, Amazon, Indie Press Revolution, and the Hero Games store. A Hero Designer Character Pack for this product will also be available for sale.

Looking forward to it. How "complete" is it? Is it a sourcebook or is it a book with everything you need to play? Does it have a "build it yourself" mentality or does it uses the HERO System to create an Old West gaming experience?

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

Institute For Human Advancement: Pride & Prejudice – Written by Thomas Stadley, this book is a 50,000 word Champions 6th Edition source book detailing the history, structure, agents, and technology of the infamous Champions Universe villain organization known as the IHA. It is currently being edited by AC, and will be made available physically and electronically through DriveThruRPG and Amazon, and electronically through the Hero Games store. A Hero Designer Character Pack for this product will also be available for sale.

Who is "AC"? How many pages are 50,000 words? 100ish?

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

The Hero System Book of Templates II – Written by Christopher Hackler, this is the sequel to Chris’ popular Hero System Book of Templates. I’m editing this book myself right now, and it’s excellent. At 33,000 words it’s even better than the original, and extremely useful to new players. It will be available in electronic and physical form from DriveThruRPG and Amazon, and electronically from the Hero Games store. A Hero Designer Character Pack for this product will also be available for sale.

The first one is excellent indeed. However, If I may offer my opinion on it, while the content is excellent, the production value is very amateurish. I assume all future physical products will be softcover, blsck and white PODs but hopefully, we can expect much better than what we have seen with the HSBoTI.

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

SECTIONAL BOOKS

Steve Long and I have come up with a new publication concept for releasing Hero System books, and we are going to try applying this concept to a couple of projects this year and see it works out, financially as well as artistically. I’m calling these “sectional books,” as they will be released in sections that stand alone as electronic products, but can be combined in the end and released as a complete print-on-demand book on DriveThru and Amazon. The stand-alone products won’t have any original artwork, but the final book they will be combined into will have an original cover and at least some original interior artwork (though they will be softcover black-and-whites).

I applaud the approach and I will support it. However, I doubt it will be sustainable beyond 1 or 2 books. Just based on Champions International, at $7.50 for a PDF of 16 pages, it will get very expensive for fans to support the sections and get the book. Say you want to combine 8 of them to get a 128 pages supplement, we will have to spend $60 to get the sections (because if not enough people buy the sections, the line will surely be dropped) and then will have to buy the combined book again. Anyway, let's give it a try.

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

Subject matter for these books will be selected in part based on their suitability for the format: meaning, they can be released in sections, then those sections can be combined into a unified, consistent final product (not a magazine or the like). The first two will be written by Steve, and will be Champions International – a collection of chapters about imaginary countries with exist in the Champions Universe – and Martial Enemies, which will detail a wide variety of martial arts characters suitable for Champions, Ninja Hero, Pulp Hero, or any of a number of other genres. He’s already turned in the first section Champions International: Lugendu, which AC is getting ready right now.

If the sectional book projects goes well, Hero Games will launch a Patreon account to support even more work in that vein, plus provide exclusive content to Hero System fans who choose to become backers. (But we’ll have to see how the project goes before I commit to that!)

I will support both International and Martial Enemies because it is my only way to support HERO these days. I am really not too enthused about the concept of Patreon but let's see what you come up with.

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

KICKSTARTER

At this point I don’t have any plans in 2021 a Kickstarter project. I’m willing to hear suggestions if you folks have any. But please keep in mind that the Hero Games KS account is reserved at this time for “big” projects. By this I mean comparatively large, rules-complete works which require no additional books to play. So I mean projects that are like Champions Now or Fantasy Hero Complete, but not Book of the Empress or Champions Villains III.

Totally up for it. Danger International or Justice Inc please. I am for games that use the HERO System as an engine not another rehash of the engine. Fantasy HERO Complete is a good example of what I do not want. It takes no stance at all about what the game is about but is simply another "build it yourself" book.

A game like Justice Inc should not have a how to build powers section. It should have a Pulp Talents section and a Psionic Powers section and perhaps a Eldritch Grimoire section. All pre-built with a cost (or cost per levels) and no +¼, -¾.

Sure the power of HERO is in the creation system but for that you want them to buy HERO, Basic or one of the Complete. How many more do we need?

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

I’m open to the idea of licensed intellectual property projects; though, again, I can’t make any promises. Actually getting licensed IP is an extremely difficult and time-consuming undertaking that I have only succeeded at twice (once here at Hero Games, and once at my own imprint High Rock Press); though behind the scenes I tried one dozen other times over the years unsuccessfully. Success requires either a perfect alignment of circumstances, or large sums of money; and the former is by nature unlikely, the later - nonexistent.

I don't believe you should waste too much effort on this.

On 2/5/2021 at 4:19 AM, Jason S.Walters said:

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

So far you fans have contributed forty creations to our Hall of Champions DriveThruRPG community content program! Please continue, feel free to contribute to the creative legacy of Hero Games, and maybe make a few bucks along the way.

-Jason Walters, Publisher

Thanks to all the creators!

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On 2/8/2021 at 2:01 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Champions International: Lugendu is in the website store. Purchased and downloaded, will read and review soon.

 

All right, it is with considerable pain that I have to say, this first entry in the Champions International sectional book was a disappointment. Aside from the minimalist color cover, almost all the rest of the book's 16 pages is text giving background information about Lugendu. While it is pretty broad in the range of subjects it covers, as far as its style and focus goes it reads more like a travelogue than a gaming supplement. The text is laid out in a sparse two-column style that looks like a fan product rather than a professional one.  There are exactly two character sheets. Aside from the cover, "artwork" amounts to several silhouettes of modern weapons, and a "Top Secret" stamp at the start of the GM's section. The layout of the land in Lugendu is only described -- there is no map. There are a few suggestions for plots to be inferred from the text, but details are sparser than has been typical for Hero books under DOJ.

 

I've bought quite a few of the smaller PDF books published for Fifth and Sixth Edition, on a range of subjects. Every one of them provides considerably more game utility in an equal or smaller number of pages, and looks better doing it, while costing me less than Lugendu. I understand the company's need to make a decent profit, but I don't feel what I got was an adequate return on the $7.50 US I paid for it.

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18 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

I am for games that use the HERO System as an engine not another rehash of the engine. Fantasy HERO Complete is a good example of what I do not want. It takes no stance at all about what the game is about but is simply another "build it yourself" book.

A game like Justice Inc should not have a how to build powers section. It should have a Pulp Talents section and a Psionic Powers section and perhaps a Eldritch Grimoire section. All pre-built with a cost (or cost per levels) and no +¼, -¾.

Sure the power of HERO is in the creation system but for that you want them to buy HERO, Basic or one of the Complete. How many more do we need?

Yes Yes Yes

 

What he said!

 

:rockon:

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I also agree.

 

Such a book is what I call a campaign setting book and, ideally, it would have stuff built out for immediate use in an easy-to-read format, with possibly a reference section in the back giving the cost breakdowns in case GMs want to modify any of it and still know the point costs.

 

"How To" genre books exist in plentiful supply already. What we don't have are interesting campaign settings with deep, ongoing product support. And that's what the system desperately needs, IMO.

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I think that one or more of these were mentioned earlier in this thread.   I really like the idea of sectional books or the idea of a way to buy the collection (finished bundle).

 

Various ideas for sectional books:

  • Real and fictional equipment and vehicles.  I realize that a lot of this is covered under the 6E Equipment guide, but was not sure if you could break them down by genre and/or intellectual property. 
    • Old/Low tech:  High/Low Fantasy, Historical eras around the world
    • Modern:  Dark Champions, Champions, Danger International
    • Future:  Traveller/Terran Empire, Super Science, Alien
    • Blended: Post-Apoc, Urban Fantasy/Supernatural, Anime, Pulp Hero
    • Maybe split up and expand the 5E Vehicle Sourcebook.
  • Geographic, (geo)political, social areas.  Like the Champions International series coming out right now (assumption as I have not bought any of the series)
    • Terran Empire races, worlds, continents.
    • Valdorian Age city states
    • Turakian Age countries (expand them)
    • Historical empires
    • Galactic Champions areas
    • Pulp, Fantasy, Champions secret societies and organizations
  • Steve's Mythic Hero line.  Yes, I went there....
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Well there are a few in depth campaign settings.   But they are too in-depth for easy entry.

 

From a players perspective on character generation, if an item is included as a selection then it is significant.

 

If a game includes 8 "races", 8 "cultures", 4 "archetypes", 10 "vocations" and 32 "backgrounds", then they will all need to be read and understood before a player can start to build a character.

 

If you use "cool names" for things instead of just calling a dwarf a dwarf if increases the difficulty and time required. 

 

Narosia is a cool setting, but it didn't double down on cryptic, it bazillioned down.  Every reference to "race" uses the new name rather than the common name plus new.  Making it difficult for anyone to identify the race with out STUDY.  And STUDY is the enemy of a game.  In Narosia a dwarf is a Tsverg, but the game does not actually say that.  I think they believe that using anything that even looks like a traditional RPG convention is evil so they deliberately obfuscated things.  So instead of making the entry Dwarf [Tsverg] or Tsverg [Dwarf] so the reader could easily understand and locate what they wanted.  We have 62 build elements (templates), with 16 of them deliberately obfuscated, that the players have to understand before they can begin building a PC. 

 

The initial book of a settings character design part, or initial part if you can break the book into Basic and Advanced sections, has to present an very short list of character options (race/class/archetype/etc) that will allow new players to read and make informed choices during ONE session. 

 

I have over 40 RPG books similar to Narosia in my collection.  Beautiful, well thought out and highly detailed games that you never see anyone actually play because in the time needed to actually learn all the options and then teach them to the players in order to reach the point where you can start, you could have bought, learned and completed a campaign in one of the dozens of other games. 

 

D&D and other similar games learned this years ago.  They start with a short list of options in the first book.  And then add more in later OPTIONAL books. 

 

While I am a big fan of Hero books, I love the Pulp Hero book, Hero and people that write material for Hero tend to go too far overboard in to the realm of unplayable due to far too much information.  And games powered by Hero tend to spend so much energy trying to make their settings not include anything that might be recognizable that they make the entire game unplayable. 

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14 minutes ago, Spence said:

Well there are a few in depth campaign settings.   But they are too in-depth for easy entry.

 

From a players perspective on character generation, if an item is included as a selection then it is significant.

 

If a game includes 8 "races", 8 "cultures", 4 "archetypes", 10 "vocations" and 32 "backgrounds", then they will all need to be read and understood before a player can start to build a character.

 

If you use "cool names" for things instead of just calling a dwarf a dwarf if increases the difficulty and time required. 

 

The initial book of a settings character design part, or initial part if you can break the book into Basic and Advanced sections, has to present an very short list of character options (race/class/archetype/etc) that will allow new players to read and make informed choices during ONE session.

 

Especially with Hero branching out to try new things, I really think we need a "game powered by Hero" which takes the above into account.

 

Let's assume Fantasy because that is where the market starts.  What does the game need?

 

It needs to explain the stats.  Maybe not all of them.  Maybe we actually build some as combined stats.  Maybe STR comes bundled with some STUN and some PD and CON comes bundled with some END, REC and ED.  Perhaps everyone gets 10 BOD and 3 SPD by default.  Those need not be the choices, but choices are needed.

 

It needs to provide some races, cultures, archetypes, vocations and/or backgrounds.  62 (above) seems like a lot.  Let's say 4 human cultures and 6 non-human races (you select one of the 10 choices), 12 vocations (segregated into 4 archetypes such as "Warrior", "Mage", "Devoted" and "Rogue" (you pick one) and 15 Backgrounds (pick 1).  If we got to 12 backgrounds and were out of great ideas, stop.  if we had two more great Cultures, add them.  But the number of choices must be manageable.

 

Now, let's make each Race/Culture cost 50 points, each Vocation costs 100 and each Background costs 25.  That's your 175 starting points.  DONE.  Within each, we might have choices (e.g. select 5 skills from this list; select 3 Prayers from the Orisons list and 2 from the Miracles, Minor list).  

 

Now we need to describe the skills, those mechanics taken up in the abilities gained through Vocations and the game play rules.  That's our Rules section.  Too many rules to fit the page count?  Cut something, and take all abilities related to it away. 

 

Now, let's pick a setting.  Maybe this will be a Turakian Age game, or perhaps we start from scratch.  Pick a location in the broader world and provide enough detail to make it a "home base".  MAYBE provide some broader info on the bigger world, but that's space permitting.  We can have a full world book, or new region books, later.  They can even have new races, cultures, vocations and/or backgrounds.  Provide some monsters and some short starting adventures.  Provide an xp system, but all they can do with xp is increase stats, buy new or improved skills or buy new picks from their race, vocation or background.  Don't even offer the option of buying from other cultures, backgrounds or vocations.

 

Get the adventure rolling, and map out a broader "adventure path" surrounding it.  If it sells, we can make Book 2 - more adventure, and some more character options for more powerful characters.  We left room for Miracles well past Minor, and should do so in all "vocation powers" structures.  They want to custom-design abilities and powers and new gear and new monsters and and and and?  Buy the Hero System.  Unlike most games, you can look under the hood and customize the game using the same toolbox the designers worked from.  Want more pre-designed stuff?  If you keep buying the books, we'll keep making the books!

 

But make and sell a game.  Not a "here is the huge system and an enormous list of options for what you can do to build a game within it".  A game already built from that huge system, pre-selecting the options for the gamers.  Is that for sure what they want, and it will fly off the shelves?  Nothing is for sure.  Is it similar to other gaming products, some of which pull in a lot more sales than Hero has in the recent past?  I hope so because that was the idea.

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1 hour ago, Spence said:

I have over 40 RPG books similar to Narosia in my collection.  Beautiful, well thought out and highly detailed games that you never see anyone actually play because in the time needed to actually learn all the options and then teach them to the players in order to reach the point where you can start, you could have bought, learned and completed a campaign in one of the dozens of other games.

 

One of the many patreon/kickstarter projects I sponsored (Narosia, Extinction Event, etc) but did not get around to reading.    

 

The only other idea i have for sectional books to merge them in with what Spence and Hugh said....    drop in items.   Mainly adventures.   Can you have a series of small adventures with a map/graphic or two that can either be dropped into a current campaign or gathered into a campaign when you have 3-5 of them?  

 

Back in the day, I did buy Fantasy Hero Battlegrounds and used most of those adventures in my group's campaign.  

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21 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

It needs to provide some races, cultures, archetypes, vocations and/or backgrounds.  62 (above) seems like a lot.  Let's say 4 human cultures and 6 non-human races (you select one of the 10 choices), 12 vocations (segregated into 4 archetypes such as "Warrior", "Mage", "Devoted" and "Rogue" (you pick one) and 15 Backgrounds (pick 1).  If we got to 12 backgrounds and were out of great ideas, stop.  if we had two more great Cultures, add them.  But the number of choices must be manageable.

 

I hear what you are saying, but 10 races/cultures, 12 vocations and 15 backgrounds is far too many for an entry to to a setting.

Initially you only really need  a few.  For example 4 vocations (Fighter Type, Rogue Type, Mage Type, Healer/Support Type), 4 races/cultures (human, elf, dwarf and other but something known and common), 4 basic backgrounds (maybe city, wilderness, frontier and sea/coastal). 

 

Remember that if you have a Mage you must then include complete and rounded spell lists through at least the 4th Level**. 

All the rest of the "classes" have to have complete playable everything lists up through 4th level.

 

D&D 5ed only has Fighter/Wizard/Rogue/Cleric and Human/Elf/Halfling/Dwarf for the basic rules.  Not the PHB, but the basic rules.  

This allows an entry point for brand new players to the game to actually get to play without getting shellshocked or option-frozen.

Those players that get the basic game then move on to the full game via the PHB, DMG and MM.  Experienced players just go straight to the PHB etc. 

 

The point is that new to the hobby players have a smaller bite sized entry point instead of choking on the full 15 course meal. 

 

And this only touches on an actual playable Hero powered game without the needed appendices showing the full build details and referring them to the Hero books so they can customize. 

 

**I know that Hero does not use "levels" but I am going to use the term to help describe what I mean.

 

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2 hours ago, Norm said:

 

 

One of the many patreon/kickstarter projects I sponsored (Narosia, Extinction Event, etc) but did not get around to reading.    

 

The only other idea i have for sectional books to merge them in with what Spence and Hugh said....    drop in items.   Mainly adventures.   Can you have a series of small adventures with a map/graphic or two that can either be dropped into a current campaign or gathered into a campaign when you have 3-5 of them?  

 

Back in the day, I did buy Fantasy Hero Battlegrounds and used most of those adventures in my group's campaign.  

 

I agree that Hero needs adventures and even campaigns, but they are a different subject from Hero Powered games. 

At least I think they are. 

 

I have several adventures I'd love to put in the Hall of Champions if I could.  But all the ones I have (superheroic type) made use of many existing Champions villains.  My initial plans was to use stripped villain sheets that just have the needed stats with zero build information and very abbreviated backgrounds with a referral to the source book, in this case Conquerors, Killers, And Crooks.  But in order to bring them now I have to completely redesign the villains and perform full playtests.  It is hard enough to create viable pre-gens.  Redesign the villains and you have to redesign the pre-gens too. 

 

I have a fantasy project in the works with two possible directions.  Once I get far enough along for it to be viable I will need to run it by the powers that be to see which direction is best. 

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3 hours ago, Spence said:

 

I here what you are saying, but 10 races/cultures, 12 vocations and 15 backgrounds is far too many for an entry to to a setting.

Initially you only really need  a few.  For example 4 vocations (Fighter Type, Rogue Type, Mage Type, Healer/Support Type), 4 races/cultures (human, elf, dwarf and other but something known and common), 4 basic backgrounds (maybe city, wilderness, frontier and sea/coastal). 

 

Remember that if you have a Mage you must then include complete and rounded spell lists through at least the 4th Level**. 

All the rest of the "classes" have to have complete playable everything lists up through 4th level.

 

D&D 5ed only has Fighter/Wizard/Rogue/Cleric and Human/Elf/Halfling/Dwarf for the basic rules.  Not the PHB, but the basic rules.  

This allows an entry point for brand new players to the game to actually get to play without getting shellshocked or option-frozen.

Those players that get the basic game then move on to the full game via the PHB, DMG and MM.  Experienced players just go straight to the PHB etc. 

 

The point is that new to the hobby players have a smaller bite sized entry point instead of choking on the full 15 course meal. 

 

And this only touches on an actual playable Hero powered game without the needed appendices showing the full build details and referring them to the Hero books so they can customize. 

 

**I know that Hero does not use "levels" but I am going to use the term to help describe what I mean.

 

 

I’m looking to Book 1 of a Game Powered by Hero, not necessarily a micro-starter book.  Hero is not going to compete as a “gamer’s first game” any time soon.  But my numbers were definitely the highest, not the lowest, I would consider.

 

I envision much less advancement, though, with no new spells, powers, etc. And limited advancement in the intro sessions.  More breadth, less depth, so we are not adding new races, vocations, etc. In the next few books, but providing advancement options as well as the new adventures, and possibly some new locations.

 

But adding four to eight full prefabs would also make sense.  Grab and play, if desired.  Or pop in a micro-book that introduces the full “Powered by HERO” game which starts with the book I described.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

I’m looking to Book 1 of a Game Powered by Hero, not necessarily a micro-starter book.  Hero is not going to compete as a “gamer’s first game” any time soon.  But my numbers were definitely the highest, not the lowest, I would consider.

 

I envision much less advancement, though, with no new spells, powers, etc. And limited advancement in the intro sessions.  More breadth, less depth, so we are not adding new races, vocations, etc. In the next few books, but providing advancement options as well as the new adventures, and possibly some new locations.

 

But adding four to eight full prefabs would also make sense.  Grab and play, if desired.  Or pop in a micro-book that introduces the full “Powered by HERO” game which starts with the book I described.

 

We are both using the same language but we are definitely not talking about the same thing.

I am taking about a normal playable game, not an mini anything.  I am advocating a Hero product that avoids the chronic insanely hyper-detailed completely unplayable messes that are the past. 

 

If a experienced RPG player cannot read and generate a complete PC in one day of receiving the book, it is a dead on arrival game.  

If a experienced RPG GM cannot read and run a basic included adventure in one day of receiving the book, it is a dead on arrival game.

 

If you include 5 types with 10 options then the players will read all 15 items before making the character because they want to make the best choices.

If you include 10 types with 30 options they will take as much time as possible to understand them all.

The more you add, the less of a chance people will actually play it.

 

And I am not talking just Hero here, a game does not to try an pack in everything in the first book.  If it catches on it can expand. 

 

And stop with all the cultures, no one actually uses any of them.  All they are is a selector for a free skill or something, but no one actually role plays any of them.  Even D&D's backgrounds are pretty much ignored after the player scarfs the freebee.  An RPG is a game for people to play out adventures, not  a method for game designers to try and build in depth realistic economies and social structures.  There are many of them out there and yet they are not the games that are actually being played. 

 

A good RPG book has information that will actually be used, not tons of information that only serves to confuse and obfuscate the game.  Extra information is what follow on books are for. 

 

Now it is true that I believe that Hero needs short intro books that use pre-generated material to teach how to play a game powered by Hero.  But full powered by Hero games will need to take in consideration the same need cut back on excessive volume that all RPG's need.  The point is to give players the ability to play, not try to impress people with page count of minutia. 

 

All just an opinion of course, but the more time goes on the more it seems to be borne out.

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10 hours ago, Spence said:

 

We are both using the same language but we are definitely not talking about the same thing.

I am taking about a normal playable game, not an mini anything.  I am advocating a Hero product that avoids the chronic insanely hyper-detailed completely unplayable messes that are the past. 

 

If a experienced RPG player cannot read and generate a complete PC in one day of receiving the book, it is a dead on arrival game.  

If a experienced RPG GM cannot read and run a basic included adventure in one day of receiving the book, it is a dead on arrival game.

 

If you include 5 types with 10 options then the players will read all 15 items before making the character because they want to make the best choices.

If you include 10 types with 30 options they will take as much time as possible to understand them all.

The more you add, the less of a chance people will actually play it.

 

And I am not talking just Hero here, a game does not to try an pack in everything in the first book.  If it catches on it can expand. 

 

And stop with all the cultures, no one actually uses any of them.  All they are is a selector for a free skill or something, but no one actually role plays any of them.  Even D&D's backgrounds are pretty much ignored after the player scarfs the freebee.  An RPG is a game for people to play out adventures, not  a method for game designers to try and build in depth realistic economies and social structures.  There are many of them out there and yet they are not the games that are actually being played. 

 

A good RPG book has information that will actually be used, not tons of information that only serves to confuse and obfuscate the game.  Extra information is what follow on books are for. 

 

Now it is true that I believe that Hero needs short intro books that use pre-generated material to teach how to play a game powered by Hero.  But full powered by Hero games will need to take in consideration the same need cut back on excessive volume that all RPG's need.  The point is to give players the ability to play, not try to impress people with page count of minutia. 

 

All just an opinion of course, but the more time goes on the more it seems to be borne out.

 

My starting point was riffing from the Narosia example.  The various tiers could certainly be trimmed, and there is no magic to any of the numbers, just enough choices to engage the players.  I'd put in "cultures" only as options to "races", and because I want a Dwarf, Elf or Human to have the same point costs so we don't have "humans end up with 50 points of free-form spending" which leads to analysis paralysis.  But let's not kid ourselves - the race gets left in the dust just as fast as a culture or background, and we have a human with pointy ears that spent some Life Support points on an extended lifespan because he wanted all the other benefits Elf contained.  Actually, we should also bundle the Complications into these package.  Hero has a built-in ability to enforce some role playing with that Culture selection.  Plus, I don't want "now pick 75 points of build-your-own complications".

 

But my starting point is the full game - without any intention to release three sourcebooks of new races/cultures, classes/vocations and backgrounds in the first year or two.  The focus there should be expanding the adventure, with whatever setting expansions, monsters, etc. are needed to support it (even a Rules Expansion if we need it), and growing the races, vocations and backgrounds with new, more powerful abilties as the heroes gain experience.  We can also add new lower-power abilities that could be used by starting characters, assuming they can use experience to buy more of these rather than big powers (maybe our Priest selects one Major Miracle, two Moderate Miracles or thee Minor Miracles - and yes, those need better names - or maybe he just gets to invest in more Miracles, some of which are more powerful, and more expensive, than others).

 

The starting point for the first book would be "how long is the book?"  Then "how many pages for each section?".  The number of choices will have to fit the allotted page count.  That includes leaving out mechanics wholesale to fit.  To me, a major key to a playable Hero game is "here is a manageable amount of choices", not "and then spend the 75 points left over on whatever you want".

 

D&D does this with "you get this much in Characteristics"; now pick a race - it has these abilities (and perhaps some alternates to select between); now pick a class - it has these abilities (it may have some internal choices like spells or bardic talents; it probably enhances some stats, like Warriors getting extra BOD); now pick your skills - you get this many (really, this is part of Class in D&D) and select a Feat.  I focus on the 3e model as that is where I am most familiar.

 

Rules and mechanics, of course.  Gear choices.

 

Enough setting and monsters to run the included adventure(s) and enough adventure to whet their appetite to buy an adventure book.

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