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Just looking for some feedback on 6th


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For the most part the game plays pretty much the same as it did in the older editions.  The biggest change is probably the stun multiplier for KA, which is a good thing.  It used to be that the single

Long story short: the mechanics are 90% the same as 4th. From a Hero system perspective: The costs for several powers have changed The details of how several powers work have changed A c

The only 10 point skill I recall was Acrobatics, which came bundled with DCV bonuses.   The challenge is that the system covers multiple genres, and then branches in to subgenres.  What does

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Long story short: the mechanics are 90% the same as 4th.


From a Hero system perspective:
The costs for several powers have changed
The details of how several powers work have changed
A couple powers were altered to be subsets of other powers (Transfer is now a Drain and an Aid bought together instead of a separate power for example)
Figured characteristics have been removed (buying more con no longer gives you more stun, you buy each separately).
5th edition allowed characters to throw multiple attacks on one attack action.  Apparently this was *always* intended to be in Hero since 1st, but wording was ambiguous.  Now it isn't, and 6th carries on in this.  It ended up not being as big a deal as was feared, but it's a thing.
Characters are no longer required to have as many disadvantages
There are new powers, new advantages, new ways of doing things, new stuff

 

The original 6E grew to two books of just rules with extensive examples and options.  For some folks this got to be too much.
The most recent version of the rules is in Champions Complete, which dials back the wordiness quite a bit and fits Hero and Champions back into one book again.
Champions Complete and 6E book 1 and 2 are basically the same rules, Champions Complete is just more concise.

From a Champions Perspective (if you are playing supers)
Starting characters get more points, the feeling was this does a better job of simulating modern comics
Campaign limits/suggestions make characters hit harder and take hits a little less well.  This isnt a change in the rules but a change in the recommended builds.  It makes fights go quicker
*Lots* of stuff in the "Champions Universe" has changed.  When 5th came out the universe was reshaped to only include characters that Hero actually owned and took another crack at lots of characters.  6th ed mostly kept what 5th had put into place.

Overall:
If you already have all your old books and just want to play with those, go ahead. 
If you want to be able to use the more modern books, I'd go ahead & pick up the 6E rules.

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I'm no authority on 6th, but as I understood it, another major change was that Figured Characteristics (including OCV & DCV?) are no longer figured, so the overall points spent on characteristics is higher, and Elemental Control is gone (replaced by a relatively minor 'unified' limitation). I don't recall the fate of other power frameworks, but it seems like you can expect to spend more on powers, too.
Also, skill inflation has continued apace. IDK if you remember all the way back to the introductions of professional skills in Champions II, but back then you could be a lawyer for 2 pts. by 4th you needed a perk to be a member of the bar, and, well, probably more, maybe a lot more points invested in skills to be any good at it. I seem to recall early examples from 6e having the skill set to be a lawyer adding up to something like 60 points.

So, characters build and balance quite differently than in 3rd/4th. It doesn't seem like it should feel that different, in play, though, FWIW.


Full disclosure: I had been away from Champions for a few years when my group's interest in D&D revived with 4e, and it was the discussions leading up to Hero 6th, here, which convinced me not to return to adopt the new ed. I'd been using 5e, nominally - I've always mixed up details of prior editions, since I started with 1st on - with plenty of 4th mixed in, and the odd variant. I wrapped my last Champions! campaign in 2009, were I to come back whole-heartedly to Champions!, I'd probably perfer 4th. The BBB wasn't perfect (I'd argue its as close as any universal system ever got), but the game has drifted from it's original strengths since then, I'd be happier to fix up 4e here & there than tackle 5th or 6th.

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If you're familiar with Fourth Edition, and if you don't mind PDF books, my suggestion would be to go with Fifth. Not that there's anything wrong with Sixth, but the changes from 4E to 6E are numerous, and although they don't fundamentally change how the system works they do take some getting used to. OTOH 4E and 5E are very close, and you can easily use materials from one with the other. There is a ton of stuff available for 5E in multiple genres, and it's less expensive than books for 6E.

 

Here's a summary of the changes from 4E to 5E:

 

 

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

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58 minutes ago, Opal said:

IDK if you remember all the way back to the introductions of professional skills in Champions II, but back then you could be a lawyer for 2 pts. by 4th you needed a perk to be a member of the bar, and, well, probably more, maybe a lot more points invested in skills to be any good at it. I seem to recall early examples from 6e having the skill set to be a lawyer adding up to something like 60 points.

So, characters build and balance quite differently than in 3rd/4th.


This was discussed a lot here on the boards as 5th and 6th each dropped.

My takeaway is that the Hero System still worked the same way, but the Champions Campaign Guidelines (and many other genre books) had been changed.
There is absolutely nothing stopping a character from buying PS: Police Officer 11- for 3 points and calling it a day, but the way Police are bought in most Hero publications involves PS: Police, KS: Law, WF: Police Gear, and Perk: Law Enforcement Powers.

I personally think the characters with 20 overlapping Skills are kind of silly, but I'm also not sure I like the idea that BlindNinja LawyerMan spent 3 points to be a lawyer and 397 points on being a superhero.  His lawyering likley comes up enough that if his player spend 15-20 points out of 400 on various law skills and perks that let him meet clients in jail or file injunctions I'm fine with it.  This is part of the reason starting points were increased.

And yes, Character Build and Balance have evolved in the 30 years since 4th dropped. 
4th Edition would have written up EyeblastMan with a 10D6 Eyeblast (maybe a multipower with eyeblast slots), some overall decent stats to let him survive a superfight, one or two skills, and done (and fit it into 250 points)

The 6th edtion "standard build" assumes a Eyeblast Multipower, some skills with his eyeblast, some skills reflecting what he is doing when he isn't eyeblasting, character stats that are probably more expensive but don't require him to have olympic level Dex scores to hit with his Eyeblast, a contact that reflects that his old teacher MentalX guy will still take his calls when he wants to borrow the SuperJet, and so on.  And it probably totals around 400 points.

The "6th Ed Recommended build" *is* a more complex writeup than the 4th ed recommended build was.    The people who prefer the simplicity of the 4th Ed writeups aren't wrong.  The people who feel the intricate writeups of 6th add some depth aren't wrong.

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Interestingly, there's a discussion on RPGnet right now about this same topic.  So, I'm going to copy over my summary of why I feel 4E is actually better than 6E.

 

Quote

 

Fourth edition was the last one before the lawyers got involved... :)

 

More seriously, 4e had clean mechanics. It had some balance issues, where certain stats, powers, and power frameworks were far more efficient than other similar options. In particular, buying Constitution would give you more back in secondary stats than you spent on the primary stat, and without a Rule of X system Speed is just broken. However, with a GM that has a decent understanding of the rules to keep abuses in line, the system runs smoothly and without a lot of complexity.

 

Fifth and sixth edition are more balanced, but not as friendly to newcomers. In particular, I feel 6E lost the core of the system with removing secondary attributes. Furthermore, the designers moved away from simple, clean builds to more complex builds that don't add much to the character besides unneeded complexity, and are often less balanced for a combat. I mentioned Shrinker before in one of the other Champions threads. Let's compare her two writeups in terms of powers:

 

Fourth Edition (Champions 4E):
50 Shrinking (4 levels, +8 DCV, -8 PER Rolls, +12" Knockback, 1/2 END [END cost 2]
50 10d6 EB [END cost 5]
25 Flight 15", 1/2 END (Only when shrunk, -1/2) [END cost 1]
05 IR Vision
05 Instant Change

 

Sixth Edition (Champions Complete):
48 Shrinking (0.0078m tall, 5.96E-6 kg mass, -16 PER rolls to perceive character, +16 DCV, takes +48m KB), Costs Endurance Only To Activate (+1/4), Unified Power -1/4 [END cost 5]


80 Multipower, 80-point reserve
3f 1) HKA 1d6+1, Penetrating (+1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END, +1/2), Affects Physical World (+2), Only When Desolidified Inside Target (-1), No Strength Bonus (-1/2)
5f 2) Blast 9d6, Indirect (enables Transdimension, +1/4), Transdimensional (from the sub-atomic universe to the normal sized world, +1/2), No Range (must be "inside" target, -1/2) [END cost 8]
5f 3) Sight Group Flash 9d6, Indirect (enables Transdimension, +1/4), Transdimensional (from the sub-atomic universe to the normal sized world, +1/2), No Range (must be "inside" target, -1/2) [END cost 8]
3f 4) HA +16d6, Proportional (HA dice can't exceed DCV bonus from Shrinking in use at the time), Lockout (Shrinker must start the Phase Shrunk and turn it off to use this attack, -1/2), Hand-To-Hand Attack (-1/4), Only Works Against Properly-Positioned Opponents (it only works if the target is standing directly above Shrinker, -1/4) [END Cost 8]
2f 5) Teleportation 20m, Megascale (1m = 10 km, +1 1/4), Only Through Phone Lines (-1) [END cost 4]


23 Desolidification (affected by any attack that breaks the object she's in), Only To Pass Through Solid Objects (-1/2), Unified Power (-1/4) [END cost 4]
21 Flight 32m, Linked (to Shrinking, gains 4m Flight per 10 points of Shrinking used, -1/2) [END cost 3]
18 Extra-Dimensional Movement (Single Dimension, Any Location corresponding to current physical location), Unified Power (-1/4) [END cost 2]
25 Detect Point In Normal-Sized Space Corresponding to Current Position In The Sub-Atomic Universe 18- (no Sense Group), Dimensional, Targeting

 

Okay, which of these two is easier to use, and which is a more satisfying opponent in play?

 

4E Shrinker gets small and sneaks around. A typical superhero has a 12- Perception roll and she gives a -8 to PER rolls so she's hard to find, but some heroes have enhanced senses. If she's discovered, she flies around and blasts people with her energy blast. She's very hard to hit (DC 15), but can get stunned or knocked out with one lucky roll, and any explosion, area of effect, or mental attack will hit her easily.

 

6E Shrinker is completely undetectable by most heroes, can escape anything if she has an action to enter the sub-atomic universe or jump through a phone line, and can flat-out kill heroes by shooting them from another dimension. Her only weakness is Endurance - she has to take actions to Recover in order to not run out of endurance after a few actions shooting people from the sub-atomic universe. Ironically, 6E Shrinker isn't good at the one thing her 4E version does - fly around in a combat shooting heroes. She spends 8 END on her energy blast and 3 END on her flight, for a total of 11 END. She has 50 total END, a SPD of 5, and a REC of 7. She'll be out of END in less than a turn, and taking an action to recover turns off her Shrinking and Flight.

 

Keep in mind, these writeups are both in the starter books for their respective editions. Shrinker is one of only five example villains in Champions Complete. I know I wouldn't use 6E Shrinker against anyone new to Champions, but I'd be fine with using 4E Shrinker.

 

By the way, how many points does 6E Shrinker have in Shrinking? I'd need a calculator to tell you. I do know that they had to use scientific notation for her mass, but if she wanted to shrink less than the maximum, I'd have to stop the game to figure out her new stats and proportional flight.

 

 

I also gave a followup, saying that you can writeup 6E Shrinker in 4E, and even make it simpler while preserving playability...

 

Quote

I'm not going to writeup the full character...for starters, there are things I would change about Shrinker for playability. That said, using just the 4E book, here's the base powerset:

30 Elemental Control - Molecular Rearrangement
30 Shrinking (4 levels, +8 DCV, -8 PER Rolls, +12" Knockback, 0 END (+1/2)
30 Desolidification (affected by any attack that affects her entire hex), 0 END (+1/2)
15 Extra-Dimensional Movement (any location in any dimension), only to go to the sub-atomic version of the current dimension (-1), 0 END (+1/2)

80 Multipower - 80 points
7u 10d6 EB, 1/2 END [END cost 2]
8u 8d6 EB, Indirect (same spot in normal space, +1/2), Transdimensional (from sub-atomic universe to normal universe, +1/2) [END Cost 8]
8u 1d6+1 RKA, Affects Physical World (+2), Indirect (same spot in normal space, +1/2), Transdimensional (from sub-atomic universe to normal universe, +1/2) [END Cost 8]
8u 2d6 Flash (normal sight), Affects Physical World (+2), Indirect (same spot in normal space, +1/2), Transdimensional (from sub-atomic universe to normal universe, +1/2) [END Cost 8]
4u Teleportation 5", x4096 noncombat, 2 floating locations, only along phone or power lines (-1) [END Cost 1)

25 Flight 15", 1/2 END (Only when shrunk, -1/2) [END cost 1]
44 Spatial Awareness, Transdimensional (sub-atomic universe to same spot in normal universe or vice-versa, +3/4)
05 Instant Change


That's a lot of points for a 4E character, but Shrinker can basically do the same things as the 6E version...and do so better, because I bought Reduced Endurance on several powers. If she just flies around and shoots people, she only uses 3 END per phase. The Desolid works just like the 6E one - her entire hex isn't affected if the object she's in isn't destroyed. The Flash is weaker, simply because Flash is one of the powers that was significantly improved in the transition to later editions. The Teleport is also weaker because we don't have MegaScale, but I did add floating locations so she isn't always using blind teleport like the 6E version. Finally, I removed the IR vision that the other 4E version had - it's redundant when she has Spatial Awareness.

This is the version of Shrinker I would use later in the campaign, when the characters have gained a lot of experience and no longer consider her a threat.

 

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I am largely with Jhamin on this subject. I also feel that 6e is the current release, the only one that will have new products and the one that will be best supported on virtual table tops. So those are other reasons in the +6e column for me. For instance, I am working on a character importer for Roll20, and I am doing it for 6e because that is the latest release.

 

- E

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IDK about this comparison of sample characters and 6th being 'more complex' - the Hero System has always been a poster child for complexity, especially in chargen, and 4th was a high point in it's day, 5th wasn't meaningfully more complicated, even though the book was thicker, and I can't imagine, and don't see from the 6th character sheets I've glanced at, any reason to think 6th characters need to be more complex than 4th or 5th. They might need more skills to model the same concept, and they might take more points to model the same powersets, but that's as far as it seems to go.

I wouldn't let fear of complexity scare me away from 6th.

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I agree, Opal. And you can play 6th rules with the more "general" skill groupings from the 4e era pretty easily, as long as all the players and GM are on the same page and the appropriate point ranges are used. Like everyone else, I have little things I would change with almost any of the editions, 6e included, but overall I think 6e provides the most options.

 

PS: I sounds heavily pro 6e in the last two posts and wanted to stress that I would play a 4e game in a heartbeat if that was what was running. I don't think you will be unable to do what you want in 4e, 5e or 6e. They are all good systems and it comes down to preference.

 

- E 

Edited by eepjr24
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I don’t agree with some of the design decisions for the rules in 6E.  However, I think the bigger problem with 6E in general (and Champions Complete in particular) is not the rules, but the way those rules are used for the source material provided to gamemasters.  It wouldn’t be hard to write up Shrinker in 6E with the functionality of her 4E character sheet, and that would have been a much better example character for Champions Complete to use.  I just don’t see how any GM uses the 6E Shrinker in an adventure for players new to the system.

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Agreed.  The 6e Shrinker has the same height and mass as the 4e Shrinker.  You can build simpler or more complex builds, consolidate or spread out skills, etc. in either edition.

 

Big 6e improvements to me (YMMV) (and some changes that attract commentary):

 

Decoupling of Figured's, along with repriced STUN, END and REC so they are actually worth buying on their own.  High REC, STUN and END can now compete with high defenses or reduced END.

 

Decoupling of CV from DEX.  You can be a good combatant with an 8 DEX, and not feel ripped off compared to the 23 DEX character.

 

Not a biggie for me, but a flashpoint for some, replacement of Comeliness as a charateristic with Striking Appearance as limited PRE.

 

Damage Negation has mixed reviews.  Basically, a defense that reduces DCs of incoming attacks before the dice are rolled.

 

Force Field is gone.  Buy it as Resistant Defenses that Cost END.

 

Force Wall is gone.  Barrier allows more options (like ice walls or earthen constructs).

 

Killing Attacks STUN multiple 1-3 eliminates the STUN lottery.  Want to knock someone out?  That's not a KILLING attack.

 

Transfer is now a Linked Drain and Aid.  I prefer this model (each side can be separately advantaged, for example, and it fixed some issues with AoE and capping out); some do not.

 

Armor Piercing at +1/4 is actually worth taking now.

 

No more Elemental Control - a -1/4 limitation, Unified Power, provides the previous "drain one, drain all" mechanic.

 

VPP - the size of the pool is no longer linked to the maximum AP, which is governed by the control cost.  This opens a lot of doors.

 

A few new combat maneuvers, such as non-martial Trips and Chokes.

 

No doubt I have missed some stuff.  Others may have notable changes as well.

 

Key NON-CHANGE:  The underlying mechanics are broadly unchanged, as are most of the character build components, although some pricing has been adjusted.  Character construction/point costs have changed somewhat, especially with the removal of figured characteristics.  Nothing has really changed in actual play.  This means most of the changes are cross-compatible, so you can import 6e elements to 4e or vice versa with limited complications.

Just now, Fedifensor said:

I don’t agree with some of the design decisions for the rules in 6E.  However, I think the bigger problem with 6E in general (and Champions Complete in particular) is not the rules, but the way those rules are used for the source material provided to gamemasters.  It wouldn’t be hard to write up Shrinker in 6E with the functionality of her 4E character sheet, and that would have been a much better example character for Champions Complete to use.  I just don’t see how any GM uses the 6E Shrinker in an adventure for players new to the system.

 

Probably the biggest issue - 6e continued the trend of Hero products aimed at experienced Hero gamers, and not at a new player base.  Not so much an issue for an experienced 4e player or GM.

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"Killing Attacks STUN multiple 1-3 eliminates the STUN lottery. Want to knock someone out? That's not a KILLING attack."
I never liked the STN LOTTO, except that it *could* give you the odd 'creased his skull' result where a bullet KOs a character while barely injuring him, as well as the classic dying-declaration possibillity where a dying character still has enough STN left to remain conscious and gasp out some last words (or even squeeze off a last shot and kill someone who really deserves it). But, those classic bits are mostly there for characters lacking resistant defense. The STN LOTTO also made it virtually impossible for a superman-style brick to bounce machine-gun bullets off his chest while still having total PD in a reasonable range (the way normal-tech weapons' KAs kept going up didn't help, either). It sounds like Damage Negation could have handled that last without eliminating the first. (What I did for the longest time was aply the STNx only to the BOD that got through defenses, so 20 resistant PD could outright bounce 3d KAs, while a character taking a few body from a 1d KA or through a low-DEF vest could still get a lot of stun to go with it, as also seems to happen in a lot of genres, FWIW.)

"you can play 6th rules with the more "general" skill groupings from the 4e era pretty easily"
I shudder to think what 6th skills must be like if 4th's extrensive skill lists, including the open-ended Professional, Knowledge, Area, & Science skills, can be thought of as 'more general." ;)

If anything, I'd like to go back to 1st edition's take on skills: just a handful of superheroing-applicable skills at 5 or 10 pts each.

(Warning, this is just a pet peeve of mine with game design, in general, and has been since the 20th century, so skip it if you don't like laughing at elders' rantings - heck, this rant goes all the way back to the introduction of the Thief to OD&D)

In all the many RPGs I've played and perused over the decades, fewer skills usually seems to work better than more, and a fixed skill list is always better than an open-ended one.

Because adding skills creates incompetence. You have your paleosuperhero built in 1e with "Detective Work" for 5pts, you're a dective, add INT/levels to get a 17-, you're a great detective. But you 'add' skills to the campain, say lifting Streetwise, Shadowing, Deduction, &c from DI or whatever, and adding them to your Champions! campaign, and that great detective is suddenly unable to do the full range of detecive work. He's become incompetent at something he was formerly great at, due only to the increased granularity.
It got worse: 4th, you'd want Streetwise, Criminology, Deduction, Interrogation, Shadowing, a PI liscence, AK: The City, and a number of Contacts, and, if you want to go all Sherlock Holmes, that decuction and maybe some other skills, you might want to be 18- or better, preferably 24-, so you can pull 'Extraordinary' checks. 5th continued the trend.
You could, in 1st ,buy litterally every skill in the book, and some overall levels and just be good at anything. It's not an insane superhero concept, really. From Doc Savage to the Taskmaster it's been out there. But, the older Hero got, the more prohibitive that sort of concept became.


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25 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Probably the biggest issue - 6e continued the trend of Hero products aimed at experienced Hero gamers, and not at a new player base.  Not so much an issue for an experienced 4e player or GM.

 

I think this right here is the biggest difference between 4th and 5/6.  4th features less complex writeups and shorter rules and power explanations.  Which was the only way it could have worked in 1989 when the book came out & jumping on the internet to ask a question wouldn't exist for most players.

When 5E came out, Hero had effectively been dead for several years (The Fusion Based Champions: New Millennium had driven a lot of fans away and not brought many new ones in) and the diehards were most of the community at that point.  The diehards were really happy that not only was the *real* hero system back, but Steve Long had written the new edition.  His stuff was generally balanced & his rules were precise and settled several years old rules arguments when 5th dropped.  These sorts of things don't matter for a more casual, non-internet based player base, but it started to matter more when every game had a forum to go with it.
His character writups were longer, but that very much followed a trend that had been going on for a long time at that point.  Even 4e writups got a lot more complex as the edition went on.  (Compare writeups in early 4th ed products like Challenges for Champions or Mind Games with later 4e books like Ultimate Super Mage or PRIMUS).

4E's single big book did a great job of taking someone who had played an RPG game, but never Hero and making them a Hero Player.  5th and 6th are by no means incomprehensible, but they have a lot more options and are thus harder to start from zero on.

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2 minutes ago, Opal said:

Because adding skills creates incompetence. You have your paleosuperhero built in 1e with "Detective Work" for 5pts, you're a dective, add INT/levels to get a 17-, you're a great detective. But you 'add' skills to the campain, say lifting Streetwise, Shadowing, Deduction, &c from DI or whatever, and adding them to your Champions! campaign, and that great detective is suddenly unable to do the full range of detecive work. He's become incompetent at something he was formerly great at, due only to the increased granularity.
It got worse: 4th, you'd want Streetwise, Criminology, Deduction, Interrogation, Shadowing, a PI liscence, AK: The City, and a number of Contacts, and, if you want to go all Sherlock Holmes, that decuction and maybe some other skills, you might want to be 18- or better, preferably 24-, so you can pull 'Extraordinary' checks. 5th continued the trend.
You could, in 1st ,buy litterally every skill in the book, and some overall levels and just be good at anything. It's not an insane superhero concept, really. From Doc Savage to the Taskmaster it's been out there. But, the older Hero got, the more prohibitive that sort of concept became.


At the risk of derailing the thread, I do agree with you.  More skills means more stuff to buy.
Hero started to react to this by having meta skills like "I know stuff: 11-" or "Science of any kind: 13-" but these kinds of things aren't on the general skill list and seems to be a case of Hero being in confict with itself.

The official 5e Lucha Libre hero suggested giving every PC a 8- "man about town" skill that let then know about anything and everything on an 8- because in the source material Masked Wrestlers seem to just randomly be able to read ancient Aztec or rebuild Airplanes because they are just really cool dudes, but a Masked Wrestling Service Station worker would still buy Mechanics 11- on top of the free skill.

So it's official and it isn't.  I'd like to see that sort of thing as a campaign choice like points or no points for equipment is.

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18 minutes ago, Jhamin said:


So it's official and it isn't.  I'd like to see that sort of thing as a campaign choice like points or no points for equipment is.

I feel like Steve covered this very well in Everyman Skills (6e)  and HS 6e - Skills (Subdivided Skills, Skills Costs by Genre, Combining Skills). But YMMV.

 

- E

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18 minutes ago, Jhamin said:

4E's single big book did a great job of taking someone who had played an RPG game, but never Hero and making them a Hero Player.  5th and 6th are by no means incomprehensible, but they have a lot more options and are thus harder to start from zero on.

This is why Hero is in its current position in the market.  Champions Complete is more approachable than the original 6E rules, but does not fulfill the claim on the back cover saying it is an “excellent purchase for first time players”.  What Hero needs is the streamlined simplicity of the 4E BBB, with several fleshed-out but uncomplicated heroes and villains for gamemasters to use as a model.

 

No, I don’t want to go back to the days when you bought a 5d6 Flash only to find out that the villain with IR vision is immune (because Flash defaulted to a single sense instead of a Sense Group).  However, I also want simple, easy to use powers that don’t stop play when the villain uses them for the first time.  Imagine a brand new Champions GM using Black Harlequin’s Jacks power against the group...

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4 minutes ago, Fedifensor said:

This is why Hero is in its current position in the market.  Champions Complete is more approachable than the original 6E rules, but does not fulfill the claim on the back cover saying it is an “excellent purchase for first time players”.  What Hero needs is the streamlined simplicity of the 4E BBB, with several fleshed-out but uncomplicated heroes and villains for gamemasters to use as a model.

Some heavy opinion going on there. I think Hero is in the position it is in for lack of money to have products flowing into the marketplace on a steady basis. And a lack of published modules that would be facilitated by the same. As always, just my .02.

 

- E

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22 minutes ago, eepjr24 said:

Some heavy opinion going on there.

It’s a feedback thread, so just about everything here is opinion.  That said, I know what HERO’s presence was at my local game stores in the 90s (when 4E came out) versus 2009 (when 6E came out) and 2012 (when Champions Complete came out).  Lack of money indicates problems with the product and/or the business model.  D&D 5E just had its best year ever, and Hasbro is expanding the line, so it’s not a general RPG problem.  Cortex Prime seems to be doing well, and clinched a licensing deal for The Dragon Prince, so it’s not a problem with toolbox RPGs.  The market problems of Hero are something the company is going to have to figure out, and I don’t think an MMO is going to sweep in this time to give a financial boost.

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D&D is unique in the TTRPG market because of it's hallowed first RPG status among established gamers, and it's unmatched mainstream name recognition (by RPG standards, still far from that of Superman or Harry Potter or anything actually mainstream or even Guardians of the Galaxy, for that matter).
Well, and the 80s finally coming back - the 50s came back in the 70s, the 60 came bake in the 80s, the 70s came back in the 90s... and it wasn't until 2015 or so that the 80s even started to come back... Stranger Things seemed like the watershed 80s comeback moment, and it included D&D quite prominently.

So yeah, "D&D is doing well, but (insert any other RPG) is still languishing," is a universal truism.

And, yes, there has long been a problem with the Hero System as a marketable game or business model - you don't really need anything but the core book. The Universal System seemed like the holy grail of RPG design back in the 80s, but it was quickly thrown over for setting-centric and storytelling and retro and indie designs, because it's self-defeating, it kills it's own market.

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4 hours ago, Fedifensor said:

I don’t agree with some of the design decisions for the rules in 6E.  However, I think the bigger problem with 6E in general (and Champions Complete in particular) is not the rules, but the way those rules are used for the source material provided to gamemasters.  It wouldn’t be hard to write up Shrinker in 6E with the functionality of her 4E character sheet, and that would have been a much better example character for Champions Complete to use.  I just don’t see how any GM uses the 6E Shrinker in an adventure for players new to the system.

 

If the GM is familiar with the system, all the features of 6E Shrinker aren't relevant. The GM uses the elements of the character he needs during play. The players aren't supposed to see her character sheet, so a 4E or 6E writeup for her makes no difference to them.

 

Now, if you want to talk about Shrinker as an example character for new players, I can certainly appreciate your concern.

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5 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

6th gives you a lot more options for powers and more precision in builds than previous, and even if you don't use it, I highly recommend picking up some things from it, such as the Transform power structure and how Area Effects work.

Megascale. Change Environment. Life Support.

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

If the GM is familiar with the system, all the features of 6E Shrinker aren't relevant. The GM uses the elements of the character he needs during play. The players aren't supposed to see her character sheet, so a 4E or 6E writeup for her makes no difference to them.

 

Now, if you want to talk about Shrinker as an example character for new players, I can certainly appreciate your concern.

It's a concern for both players and gamemasters.  You can't assume every Hero gamemaster knows the system backwards and forwards.  If you require that for people to buy into the system, it's going to eventually wither and die.  

 

Shrinker isn't just a villain provided by Champions Complete.  Her writeup is listed in the chapter that is literally titled Examples, and it's a horrible example.  The Champions are much better, even if I would have removed Witchcraft's VPP and mentioned in her writeup that it's something she would buy with experience.  The example villains, however, are a pretty bad selection.  I've already tackled Shrinker, but here are the others:

  • Arrowhead - OCV 12, DCV 8, with 3 Ranged Combat Levels is just going to frustrate new heroes relying on DCV to avoid being hit.  The Throwing Master pool is completely unnecessary, and there are too many specialty arrows that are unlikely to ever see use.  It's not horrible, but Champions has much better villains available that fill a similar niche and aren't a cheap ripoff of Green Arrow.
  • Black Harlequin - WAY too many complicated powers.  For example, a new GM will have to stop the game and reference at least three different areas of the rulebook to figure out what Attack Toys or Jacks does.  That's without including the VPP which has an NND that Does BODY as one of its example powers.  Killing off your new players with an attack that does BODY and bypasses normal defenses is not a good way to recruit people to the system...
  • Esper - It's ironic that the mentalist is the most streamlined design of the entire group.  About the only thing I'd drop would be the duplicate, since it has different stats without a separate character sheet.   I lament the fact that she has no personality - despite being a 6E character, she has less skills than most 4E characters (only 8 points worth), and one of them is, no kidding, "Radical Feminism".   That's just awful on multiple levels.
  • Green Dragon - A 3-point multipower that really doesn't offer much variety and could have just been bought as individual powers for the exact same price.  Two different "target falls" martial maneuvers.  7 points of weapon elements and 7 points of weapon familiarities without telling the GM how they will come in play in a superhero game where all the equipment are bought powers.  That's without getting into the horribly bad Asian villain stereotype...
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