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Hero Games 2021 Update


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14 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

True, but problems with American policing are long-term, too. It's just that in recent years how deep they are has become impossible to ignore.


Yeah, I'm finding the old 70s and 80s cowboy cop movies a *lot* harder to watch since a chunk of my home town burned down this summer.  Cops kicking ass doesn't read the same to me anymore.
Turning the PCs loose to whup on whatever criminals need whupping doesn't really appeal to me. 

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Humm...back to what I think for HERO (thank god I'm not the CEO.)

 

What I see in the HERO System Psionic book:

 

1) First chapter should be about how to run a heroic level psionic campaign. From what extra stats to add (Mental Defense [MD], Mental Speed [MSPD], and Mental Endurance [MEND], for example), to exactly what an heroic level psionic campaign means.

 

2) Of course chapter two is the meat of this proposed book. A list of mental powers divided by both obvious categories (Telepathy, Mind Control, Telekinesis, etc.) but also in obvious categories (Pyrokinesis, Tempralkinesis, Electrokinesis, etc.). Everything is priced for a Heroic Campaign (30 points maximum), but can easily be upscaled to fit a Superhero Campaign if needed.

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I'm not sure about that one. A great deal of what you're describing is dealt with pretty thoroughly in The Ultimate Mentalist. Obviously that's for 5E, but differences in edition aren't hard to apply. You emphasize a "normals with mental powers" campaign style, which of course is only a small part of what TUM covers; but to me that sounds like it would also limit the target audience.

 

If you really wanted a heroic-level campaign of that type, I would suggest a smaller book specifically targeted to it, making references to TUM for more examples and advice. That way people who were interested in it wouldn't get extras they aren't interested in, and those who just wanted general advice on playing mentalists in various genres would know it's not for them.

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48 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

I'm not sure about that one. A great deal of what you're describing is dealt with pretty thoroughly in The Ultimate Mentalist. Obviously that's for 5E, but differences in edition aren't hard to apply. You emphasize a "normals with mental powers" campaign style, which of course is only a small part of what TUM covers; but to me that sounds like it would also limit the target audience.

Well, it doesn't have to limit itself to just Heroic levels of psionics. I do want the book to be accessible to a vast majority of people as possible. Some chapters on Superheroic and Star Hero levels of mental powers are welcome also. But would it make for a expensive book?

 

And I have always been in favor of new editions equal to new books. Even if things don't change much. I hate when things are not updated to the new editions, primarily because I don't own any of the past editions right now, and would rather have things point to the current edition than have "here is a past edition supplement, update it yourself'. I'm lasy about stuff like that. But that apparently is just me and everyone not buying the 6ed because of lack of updated books.

 

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I'm wondering if it might not be rather the opposite. Hero Games did quite a bit of updating of their books to 6E, but because the edition changes weren't earth-shaking, and most of the other stuff already existed for 5E, I got the impression from comments that the existing fan base wanted new material and weren't buying the updates in large numbers. I know that applied to me.

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I don't want them to reinvent the wheel. I just don't like being told "we are not going to print a new version of VIPER so you could have an updated copy of Ripper's stats".

 

What I'm getting at here is, if it isn't updated for edition x, with x being whatever the current edition is, and the old editions are not so easily accessible (out of print, only available as a pdf file, only exist as a print on demand), then the current edition is not worth the paper it is printed on. Color me spoiled by 4ed and the Classic lineup.

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A book that is half "How To" and half "sample campaign" isn't a System Core Book, IMO. It is more of a genre supplement like Fantasy Hero. And to be perfectly honest, I don't think I ever hankered for a Psionics Hero genre book.

 

I think a better approach would be to ditch the how-to stuff and just focus on a psionics campaign setting book. The psionics architecture in the setting would (or should) serve as a good How-To example in and of itself.

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On 2/18/2021 at 2:29 PM, Steve Long said:

 

As you probably know from posts we made years ago, we had planned to do one and I was really looking forward to writing it -- Aaron was going to do all the setting and NPC stuff, while I would write the genre material, character sheets, and other such stuff. Unfortunately, Aaron's death torpedoed the project. While I'd love to tackle the book myself (maybe even as a sectional book), but the sad fact is that we have lots of data that Pulp Hero supplements simply don't sell well. I love the genre and would love to write more for it, but aside from the occasional small PDF product that I can produce myself in my spare time, it simply isn't economically feasible. :(

Yes. I was saddened to hear of Mr. Allston's passing, not just that it meant the end of the Land of Mystery returning. 

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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, but are well-hidden and people work hard to keep it that way.  Maybe it's "noble psionics protecting the mindblind from psionics who would exploit them", or maybe it's various devious groups, each after their own advantage, and their own advantage alone.  Maybe it's modern world, or future-earth, or cold war earth, or scattered across a futuristic galaxy.

 

But pick one.  One theme.  One setting.  One way psionic powers work.  Whether normal weapons are typically also used or whether they are not.  Whether psionic powers can generate a force field making targets bulletproof or whether a gun is just as fatal to the most powerful psychic as to an ordinary guy on the street.

 

And write up that specific game that people can read through, pick some stats, gear and psionic powers and build characters they are ready to play at 2 PM next Saturday.

 

Not a Book of Infinitie Options you could use to build that game, or a slightly different game, or a completely different game, or a thousand and one different games.  One. Game.  that can be played right from the book.

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1 minute ago, Hugh Neilson said:

But pick one.  One theme.  One setting.  One way psionic powers work.  Whether normal weapons are typically also used or whether they are not.  Whether psionic powers can generate a force field making targets bulletproof or whether a gun is just as fatal to the most powerful psychic as to an ordinary guy on the street.

 

And write up that specific game that people can read through, pick some stats, gear and psionic powers and build characters they are ready to play at 2 PM next Saturday.

 

Not a Book of Infinitie Options you could use to build that game, or a slightly different game, or a completely different game, or a thousand and one different games.  One. Game.  that can be played right from the book.

 

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 eliminates the whole play thing before it even starts.

 

 

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:42 PM, steriaca said:

Humm...back to what I think for HERO (thank god I'm not the CEO.)

 

What I see in the HERO System Psionic book:

 

1) First chapter should be about how to run a heroic level psionic campaign. From what extra stats to add (Mental Defense [MD], Mental Speed [MSPD], and Mental Endurance [MEND], for example), to exactly what an heroic level psionic campaign means.

 

2) Of course chapter two is the meat of this proposed book. A list of mental powers divided by both obvious categories (Telepathy, Mind Control, Telekinesis, etc.) but also in obvious categories (Pyrokinesis, Temporalkinesis, Electrokinesis, etc.). Everything is priced for a Heroic Campaign (30 points maximum), but can easily be upscaled to fit a Superhero Campaign if needed.

 

On 3/6/2021 at 11:25 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

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, but are well-hidden and people work hard to keep it that way.  Maybe it's "noble psionics protecting the mindblind from psionics who would exploit them", or maybe it's various devious groups, each after their own advantage, and their own advantage alone.  Maybe it's modern world, or future-earth, or cold war earth, or scattered across a futuristic galaxy.

 

But pick one.  One theme.  One setting.  One way psionic powers work.  Whether normal weapons are typically also used or whether they are not.  Whether psionic powers can generate a force field making targets bulletproof or whether a gun is just as fatal to the most powerful psychic as to an ordinary guy on the street.

 

And write up that specific game that people can read through, pick some stats, gear and psionic powers and build characters they are ready to play at 2 PM next Saturday.

 

Not a Book of Infinite Options you could use to build that game, or a slightly different game, or a completely different game, or a thousand and one different games.  One. Game.  that can be played right from the book.

 

I'm in the same camp with Hugh here. While I dig the idea of a "Psi Hero" kind of book, I think it'd do much better if it were attached to a campaign-style book. Kind of like a Hero version of Psi World from FGU. Include some packages that might appeal to both players that want to play psi characters, and those that don't, along with some setting-specific gear and opponents. Within the packages, I would include occupational options, as well some power packages that emulate the setting. You want to play a telepath? Here's a bunch of telepathic-based powers with some various options within the setting that could be useful. 

 

I've ran a few psi-based games in the past and always had a blast with them. 
 

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On 3/7/2021 at 2:25 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

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, but are well-hidden and people work hard to keep it that way.  Maybe it's "noble psionics protecting the mindblind from psionics who would exploit them", or maybe it's various devious groups, each after their own advantage, and their own advantage alone.  Maybe it's modern world, or future-earth, or cold war earth, or scattered across a futuristic galaxy.

 

But pick one.  One theme.  One setting.  One way psionic powers work.  Whether normal weapons are typically also used or whether they are not.  Whether psionic powers can generate a force field making targets bulletproof or whether a gun is just as fatal to the most powerful psychic as to an ordinary guy on the street.

 

And write up that specific game that people can read through, pick some stats, gear and psionic powers and build characters they are ready to play at 2 PM next Saturday.

 

Not a Book of Infinitie Options you could use to build that game, or a slightly different game, or a completely different game, or a thousand and one different games.  One. Game.  that can be played right from the book.

Absolutely agree.

 

By the way, Extinction Event is such a product. I have not played it but it's the type of product that I would prefer to have from HERO. 

 

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/285180/Extinction-Event?term=extinct

 

Above, @Steve Long describes exactly the Danger International I do not want. Another genre/sub-genre book describing stuff from cavemen to modern. Not what I want. I want Danger International to be a game with a define context and setting, with a clear purpose where readers learn what the game is all about. Is the game about Bondesque/Bournesque spies or is it grtty and down to earth? Is it set during the Pre-War, the Cold War, the War on Terror, the Near Future? What are the stakes? Now, once DI establishes a base context/setting/purpose, I could totally see expansions covering the other eras and style. 

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4 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Above, @Steve Long describes exactly the Danger International I do not want. Another genre/sub-genre book describing stuff from cavemen to modern. Not what I want. I want Danger International to be a game with a define context and setting, with a clear purpose where readers learn what the game is all about. Is the game about Bondesque/Bournesque spies or is it grtty and down to earth? Is it set during the Pre-War, the Cold War, the War on Terror, the Near Future? What are the stakes? Now, once DI establishes a base context/setting/purpose, I could totally see expansions covering the other eras and style. 

This illustrated the problem of our current situation. The push of the Hero System as a "work book", and forgetting than many of us don't have the time to build our own worlds and build our own adventures. We need supplements and adventures and pre-built settings, not a "here are all the options, put them together however you wish".

 

I miss the days of once a week adventures, and once per month supplements, and once per season settings book.

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I know this is all "too late" and stuff, but how hard is it to have the boss put up a downloadable Villain Of The Week up in the store, charging something like $0.99 for it and give us some hope and saying "look, something we publish on a regular basis. We're not dead folks."

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Quote

Is the game about Bondesque/Bournesque spies or is it grtty and down to earth? Is it set during the Pre-War, the Cold War, the War on Terror, the Near Future? What are the stakes? Now, once DI establishes a base context/setting/purpose, I could totally see expansions covering the other eras and style. 

 

That's how I would approach it: write it up with a contained setting then subsequent releases that cover other settings, using the DI book as the basis.  But Steve Long is far better suited for this kind of property than I am.

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I got thinking about doing a book dealing with those super soldiers.  It would be easy to write them off as martial artists,  but they generally have great tactics,  analysis,  and other abilities that martial artists usually don't have.  I tend to think of them as a combination leader,  martial artist, and (psuedo) brick all wrapped up in one not-so-nice package. So let's give them their time to shine!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/5/2021 at 1:25 PM, steriaca said:

I live in Milwaukee Wisconsin, which has the urban nickname of Killwakee, the place where young black men go to die. Quite the opposite of Hotlanta, thats for sure.

I think "Bodymore, Murderland" has you beat.

On 2/18/2021 at 1:54 PM, Steve Long said:

 

Have no fear, I'm still working on it, slowly but surely. I'm currently doing a lot of research for it and a nonfiction work-in-progress called The Encyclopedia Of Mages, Magic, And The Arcane (or "EMMA," as I like to call it ;) ).

I wonder about the possibility of doing Mythic Hero as a series of sectional releases, pantheon by pantheon.  That has the merit of not needing to be completely finished writing it before releasing sections.  

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Very late to the conversation, but I would have no interest in an all encompassing Action HERO style supplement vs an updated 6E Dark Champions. HERO already is already effectively Action HERO and it boggles my mind to push for something in that direction. The splitting of 5E Dark Champions into Dark Champions and Dark Champions the Animated series really sucked IMO. On one hand, you went into a really dark gritty action hero setting that emphasized soul sucking overcomplicated "realism" and the other cartoony street action superheroes. The original 4E Dark Champions and it's sourcebooks was a much better presentation overall, combining gritty action with superheroes, most of whom were street level and you could lean either way without it being overdone.

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2 hours ago, Terminax said:

The original 4E Dark Champions and it's sourcebooks was a much better presentation overall, combining gritty action with superheroes, most of whom were street level and you could lean either way without it being overdone.


Agreed. But over the years Dark Champions became this catch-all genre space for anything born from action cinema, like espionage/spy thrillers, military action, dystopian future action/adventure, etc. simply because there was no place else within the brand to cover all of that. Dark Champions in effect became Action Hero without having the name to match. It's focus became blurred, in my view. Splitting Action Hero off from it would allow Dark Champions to re-focus itself on the dark, street-level vigilantism that was its original charter, while allowing the broader category of action cinema its own vehicle within the overall brand.

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