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hancock.tom

Sports HERO

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I was reading some old threads and saw an idea someone had to do a genre book that would set out to model sports using the HERO system.

 

The more I think about this the less I think it would work. Only for sports already in HERO (like boxing or UFC) would this even be remotely possible, unless you totally altered the game in drastic ways.

 

Even if you basically came up with a new skill system for each sport, employ the OCV systems, etc., the movement system would have to be reworked as well. You would end up with something that didn't look that much like HERO anymore. I just don't think its a workable idea, although it would undoubtedly sell if there was some way of making it not blow.:think: Plus, the fact that no D20 supplement has come out for this makes me think there is some reason it wouldn't work that isn't system specific.

 

So, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to how this COULD work without a massive rewrite of everything?

 

If there is an old thread on this, give me a link and I will go away.

 

Thanks,

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Soccer Hero

 

I had, at one time, considered making a soccer playing martial artist.

 

Bonus to CON and Running.

Trip - Takedown

Shoulder Barge - Move by

Elbow - Martial Strike

Tackle - Sacrafice Throw

Kick - Offensive Strike

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Re: Soccer Hero

 

I had, at one time, considered making a soccer playing martial artist.

 

Bonus to CON and Running.

Trip - Takedown

Shoulder Barge - Move by

Elbow - Martial Strike

Tackle - Sacrafice Throw

Kick - Offensive Strike

 

I don't see where he fakes injuries, punches refs, grows his hair out to rediculous size, or takes his shirt off after defeating a bad guy?

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Re: Sports HERO

 

Well, building Football HERO would actually be fairly simple. I'm going to do some quick shorthand here, but there are multiple ways to handle it. Instead of focusing on the entire field (which would take forever to resolve) you select a play, and resolve based on that. Your hex movement is reduced slightly (otherwise everyone is gaining 2 yards per play, and I'm not sure how to handle "1 yard of movement when you fail to break the line) and a (really, really early, off the top of my head, seriously don't flame me, I'm making this up as I go) build might look like this:

 

* Team Structure, all team members are built using appropriate packages. Linemen, Down Lineman, Secondary (Spec: Safety, Spec: Cornerback) and what have. All of these people would have (as mentioned) Martial Art: Defensive Football Manuevers. These would include:

 

Block, To Stop Movement

Move Through (to overrun blockers and nail the ball carrier)

Dodge (to avoid being picked up by another blocker)

Strike (Hittin' fools wit da bawl!)

Throw (Target Falls, Tackle)

Horse Collar (Target Falls, damage is 2d6+7 on the location chart)

 

Skill position players would have package deals to cover them as well, including additional running (Wide Outs) some form of brace (lineman) and what have you. Plays would be set up on the field with the line acting as a force wall of sorts, resisted by the Defensive line. This allows people to run around and break through.

 

The quarterback would have Analyze Defensive Scheme, Precision Throwing, etc. and so forth. He would have to wait for the Wide Receiver to get open before throwing the ball, which means he may take extra time as the WR gets bumped at the line, doesn't make the right cut, etc. And this is the nuts & bolts version.

 

A cinematic version wouldn't require half this work - just a resisted roll on the line, attempted sacks as grabs with the QB aborting to dodge (evade grab) losing a turn, recovering, making a skill roll to analyze the field and throwing the ball up.

 

Everyone takes stun damage. On bad rolls, people take body damage. Enough damage breaks limbs. Then you just write the plot around the season and let the "football game" represent combat, in addition to all the other insanity you could do around it. Drugs, girls, hatred, insane fans, super bowl hype, evil owners (Playmakers) insane coaches who are alcoholic and hire prostitutes (Any Given Sunday) and so on.

 

You'd have to have a group that would find it interesting, but it's totally doable.

 

Minor Edit - Catching the ball should probably be built as a grab, if a defender and a receiver are in the same hex that the ball falls into range, they would make grab attempts - the one with better hands is going to have a higher chance at catching it. Also, making a roll to hit with the ball to a hex is going to make the QB more accurate, hence he'd have penalties associated with pressure, being harried, fatigue, and so on. Sometimes he's just going to throw one up, or be hit as he throws (which will really screw him up) thus putting the ball in weird places on his throw roll, which would allow a Defender to make a grab attempt at the ball. You would also be able to directly compare jumping heights and so on with absolutely no difficulty.

 

You'd build each "star" player with the appropriate disads, including "Vulnerabilty to STUN" or "Psych Lim: Easily Rattled - takes a penalty on plays following a hit" "Hot Streak" as an advantage, "Cold Streak" as a disad (and you can take both). You can apply elements of Ninja HERO if you want to do more showboat style plays, and build "Rage Meters" as players get hit and they save up before unloaded the mother of all hits on some poor unfortunate with the rock.

 

Then of course there're the dirty plays, the intentional attempts to end careers, all sorts of other insanity that I haven't even gone into yet. Oh, and one other thing I thought of:

 

Forward Pass (abort). Since nailing the QB is a primary objective, "getting rid of the ball" is a Defensive action, whether to avoid a sack, etc. If a Defender is pressuring you and you're about to take a sack, you may attempt to abort to a forward pass so long as you have an abortable action in the queue. This simulates all of the normal throwing/etc. procedures, and would use similar mechanics to spell casting while taking damage.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

I'm not totally convinced that this wouldn't work at all without either abstracting lots of important concepts, or skilling out every tiny thing in the game. I guess you would limit the players to skills and attributes anyway. There wouldn't be a lot of use for powers.

 

Your method of using combat maneuvers to represent the things the players do in the game is interesting. I can see that as one way to do things, either your way, or possibly set it up so that tackling is like an attack and getting tackled requires you to lose a certain amount of stun or something. It would hard to balance and make players easy enough to get tackled, but it would be easy to model the difference between a power runner breaking tackles as opposed to a shifty runner dodging them (extra pd vs. dcv levels or somesuch)

 

What I had in mind was to create some new skills like block, catch, evade block maybe, tackle, etc. I would probably build the players on between 150 and 350 points or so, just to have stat differentiation. no NCM of course, basically scale everything up for more statistical differentiation. Sure, you couldn't port the players into other HERO games but you need more different levels of strength, dex, etc. than just 10-20. Probably have to change the size of a hex, making it smaller, that sort of thing. A lot of the parts of the game could drop away. I would forget about spd chart (actual speed would just be extra running inches) forget about stun, pd, etc (unless they somehow factored into the injury rules), and i'd have to change most of the characteristic prices to reflect these changes. Perception rolls would let you "spot the play" or read the defense, that sort of thing. Maybe some sort of pre-based momentum system (that would make more sense for college than pro game) but the skills would definitely be the biggest hurdle for my game.

 

The problem is making the skills seem different. If you have "break tackle" at 14- how does that behave differently in the game than "juke move avoid a tackle" at 14-? Thats where I ran into problems.

 

Your solution of using different combat maneuvers does create some interesting variety where my skill system lacks some variety.

 

One thing I considered was making a whole lot more skills. Instead of just moving your running back towards the hole and rolling break tackle when you got there, you might have constructs like quick to the hole (+3 running, only to move towards a hole in the line), a "follow your block" skill (perhaps int based) that would dictate whether you were patient or just ran past the blocker, and then different skills for different moves, such as break tackle, juke tackle, spin, etc. On defense, you'd have multiple types of tackle, like power tackle, speed tackle (crappy names I know) like for instance a cornerback would have a low power tackle and a high speed tackle, because he is harder to juke but gets run over, and a D-lineman would have a higher power tackle, lower speed tackle... you get the idea. I'd do something similar for coverages and wide receivers, maybe breaking it out into zone and man, with some other things tossed in like route-running vs. recognize a route skill, that sort of thing.

 

I'm not sure what the best way to handle plays would be, maybe have the plays written on index cards (like a playbook) and your players can't/don't deviate from where they are supposed to go unless they make a perception roll or something? Maybe have a cadre of skills here too.

 

The real problem with it is that HERO requires some GM oversight for balance and I would want this to run like a wargame sort of thing. Lots of tweaking would be needed and by the end the system would only slightly resemble the hero system. Ever play bloodbowl? I'm afraid by the end we'd have something that resembled it pretty closely. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily, but I just don't know how great it would be.

 

Thia, what do you think of the skill based idea instead of the combat maneuver based idea? I think the combat maneuver based idea gives a lot more variety to what is going on, but its also going to be harder to get balanced, to get that wargamey balanced feel because of the variety.

 

Is building a game like this even worth the time? At best, I think we'd get an only slightly better version of what exists on xbox now, basically an improved version of bloodbowl.

 

Edited for typos

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Re: Sports HERO

 

Hey Tom.

 

Read your post, re-read my post, did some thinking, actively didn't post for a while as I think this is a really worthwhile idea and easily implemented, all things being equal, but my version of "easy" is often very different from everyone else's. So with that.

 

I look at it as a combination. I think that your concept of skills is really important, actually, as it represents skill players in skill positions. I think handling the ball is the primary concern, and that's most efficiently handled with combat manuevers, and without too much tweaking. Mind, this is a tool box, so there's no "breaking" the system, unless we ignore the guidelines.

 

Thia' date=' what do you think of the skill based idea instead of the combat maneuver based idea? I think the combat maneuver based idea gives a lot more variety to what is going on, but its also going to be harder to get balanced, to get that wargamey balanced feel because of the variety. [/quote']

 

Here I disagree - for a few reasons, actually, but I'll break this down in this post rather than rehash completely. A few notes.

 

Powers: There are lots of ways to model things in HERO. For example, a Quarterback puts "touch" on a ball - that's a TK - that bizarre ability to alter the path of the ball, or have it land one hex closer; it should be small, and "only while ball is in flight" and "require a skill roll" but it's one element.

 

Also, while we're on topic, "Analyze Defense" is a power, "HTH" can be taken as a power, Martial Arts can be built as powers (as my original post suggests) as well as armor, damage resistances, additional END, super leap (over piles), extra running, desolid to escape tackles, and so on.

 

For your point array, the easiest way to model it as such:

 

- Rookie, 150 pts.

- Youngblood (2-3 seasons), 200

- Journeyman (4-6 seasons), 250

- Vet (7-9 seasons), 300

- Seasoned Vet (10+ seasons), 350 (Yikes!)

- Star Status +50

- Super Star +100.

 

This would give Brett Favre 450 points - think you could model a living legend off of 450? You'll still have a great deal of variance among players, and a clear distinction between players, and playmakers.

 

Since this is a HERO Football conversion, all requisite off-the-field skills would be required as well, as I for one would buy this in a split second if I could convince 5 people to live the drama of a football season and make it interesting for them.

 

Is building a game like this even worth the time? At best' date=' I think we'd get an only slightly better version of what exists on xbox now, basically an improved version of bloodbowl.[/quote']

 

For my money? OH H3LLZ YES. If for no other reason I haven't seen it done before, that makes it huge. Second, I can only imagine what DOJ would do with the official NFL license. Just thinking about it makes my eyes water with joy. Don't like the way a player was built? Easy enough to fix him. Want to buy out Donovan McNabb's disadvantages? Go ahead, play him and earn the XP.

 

People could build franchise teams easily. Would it be an absurd amount of paperwork? Depends on the level of depth you want.

 

Is it worth it?

 

It's always worth it.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

I really need to quit being so cheap and buy that DH article on baseball.

 

 

Thia, thanks for your post. I think we are building towards slightly different goals. I think you are building towards something where each player might control one football built PC and I was thinking more along the lines of each player controlling an entire team of PCs. Did you ever play Paydirt, a football boardgame by avalon hill? I played it in november, and it sucked (very atypical of avalon hill, I think someone else wrote the rules originally) anyway, basically, it made me start thinking about this idea of adapting the HERO rules to football. So, you know where I am coming from. Less of a "I want to roleplay brett favre's retirement" and more of a " I want rules and crunch to simulate football" I think I used the word "Wargame" in an earlier post, and that is what I am trying to do. I'm not sure if thats exactly what you had in mind. You seem to be tending more towards the narrative roleplaying goal. Correct me if I'm wrong with that.

 

That said, i'm not sure if it makes a whole lot of difference to what we are doing here.

 

Anyhow, the only thing I have against combat maneuvers is that they add complexity. If you are looking at a game where each player controls 11 characters on the field at the same time, you have to really dumb down the HERO rules to make it playable. If everything (powers, martial arts, etc.) is available to everyone, an 11 on 11 combat time game could take a really long time to play out. I was sort of hoping this game would end up being (at least) playable in 3-4 hours like a regular football game. Thats one reason I prefer skills to combat maneuvers. Skill resolution is simpler and uniform, and the combat maneuvers are less uniform and thus take longer to resolve.

 

The more I work on my idea for this game, the less like HERO it looks, even though its definitely HERO derived. Honestly, looking at my notebook, it would be hard to tell if this was born from hero or gurps.

 

Basically, what I have done is developed a new skill list, with various opposed skills. For instance, an offensive tackle would have a high rating in pass block, which he would roll contested vs. the d-lineman's pass rush skill. Thats the sort of place I am at now. I'll use inches of movement to simulate speed, I'll need a new stat for acceleration, and if two characters end up in the same hex, some sort of skill roll will be needed based on whats going on, whether its tackle roll vs. break tackle roll, or tackle roll vs. juke roll, (there will probably end up being more than one type of tackling skill to demonstrate the different styles of tackling, one based on STR and one based on DEX)

 

Anyway, at this point, I've been whittling away at various parts of HERO you don't need to play football. No need for ED, for instance. I'm not sure about spd, because I haven't decided whether it will be turn-based or some sort of weak approximation of simultaneousness. I'll probably combine con and body and come up with some simplified rules for injuries, i'll get rid of PD, stun, etc. If there was a good way to simplify endurance, i'm going to use it (can you imagine tracking END for 11 players?)

 

Here is what I am looking at for stats:

 

Strength

Agility (dex without speed calculated in)

Conditioning (con/body, injury restistance and endurance stat)

Intelligence (perception, "reading" offenses and defenses, and perhaps PRE)

Speed (running inches)

Acceleration (how you get to full speed)

 

Like I said above, i'm going to use paired skills, like tackle with break tackle, pass block with pass rush, i've got a list written down. They'll have to be priced differently for balance purposes, and each skill will need a description of its results written after it, along with some stuff on when/how it can be used.

 

Anyways, the stuff I have written down has degenerated into a sort of HERO-lite and its got a lot of non-hero influences in it. That makes me feel dirty talking about it in the "other genres" board.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

I want rules and crunch to simulate football" I think I used the word "Wargame" in an earlier post' date=' and that is what I am trying to do. I'm not sure if thats exactly what you had in mind. You seem to be tending more towards the narrative roleplaying goal. Correct me if I'm wrong with that.[/quote']

 

Clarification: I want both. Whether its RPing the life of a specific member - "you play a QB who's wrapped up in strange conspiracy theory stuff while trying to lead a successful career," or a horror crossover "You play a QB who's been exposed to werewolves" or whatever, I want people to be able to build those characters and have them make sense within the context of HERO. To have the mechanical feel of a football player when set to paper.

 

I also want to see a fully functional football game, built into HERO. With each hex as a yard, so on and so forth. My vision for how that would work would be to handle the lines with individual rolls, and then "running a play" which would limit which people you roll dice for, rather than sitting around all day long resolving six separate conflicts (although you could reasonably do that, the game would take forever). As it is one play is going to take five minutes to resolve, then you have to reset the lines, troops, and positions of the players on the board.

 

The physical work is going to slow it down as much as anything else, unless you eschew all of that and go for a purely imagined/mathematical system. Here's some of what I'm getting at.

 

During a normal play, most folk are going to do one of two things: Pass, or Run. Let's keep it simple right now. You pass, or you run. When watching a live football game, we (the viewer) see multiple holes for people to break through, although the runner may not.

 

That's an analyze roll, which gets to your skill system, and why I think it's important. Now I'm already in agreement with you on something: Football is a War Game. It has to be. You have a unit of soldiers, divided into three squads (O, D, ST). Each unit is attempting to beat the other unit by penetrating their lines and placing the ball in their endzone/bomb in thier base. The parralells are all pretty obvious.

 

To simulate that properly, there are things that need to happen on every single down (and this is where the mechanics start getting dicey, but I have a vision, we'll just see how well my vision matches what you're looking for).

 

Imagine a playing field. Good. Now put an offense on it. Good. Now tighten that offense to: 1 QB, 1 HB, 1 FB, 1 TE and 2 WR. Line the Wideouts both on the left side of the field and assume you're lined up on the right side hashmarks.

 

WR WR TE LT LG C RG RT

 

QB

 

FB

 

HB

 

For all intents and purposes, this is a designed run out of the I formation, with the FB acting as lead blocker and the HB as the ball carrier. For that, we need to resolve a few basic things:

 

- The line, which goes on Segment 12 as people start moving. Those lines are embattled; you make one check for the O-Line, and one check for the D-Line. I haven't figured out how to simulate the O-Line yet, other than to make it Ablative - the longer its up the easier it becomes to penetrate. And I don't know where the Ablative rules are. :P

 

- The FB, who has to wipe someone out in order to create a hole for the Halfback. He doesn't need to make an analyze roll, he's going with the play.

 

- The HB, who needs to make an analyze roll. That roll will support his attempt to break through the line (unless he uses his movement to go around the line and break the play).

 

- The handoff is free - if the HB blows a roll it creates a fumble, but we'll be generous here and assume that the handoff goes without a hitch.

 

Okay, now we see, in our heads, all of these people in motion. We know that the WRs are blocking, and that the corners are going to try and blow past them. They now make rolls, probably Grab rolls to attempt to take people down. Those rolls are resisted (escapes by the Corners, as currently the WRs are doing the blocking) and the CBs make their way (at full remaining speed) towards the HB, who's going to have to start shedding tacklers soon.

 

If the HB breaks through the line, he's resisting his own O-Line (dodge) and trying to get through the Front 7 of the Defense (dodge/block/escape/evade/desolid on a skill roll). Part of the problem I'm creating here is that the game is either going to be too simple (roll for the Halfback... got it) or my version which is insanely complicated - in other words, I'm calling for skill rolls along the entire line:

 

HB makes two, at least, not counting break tackles

FB makes one to block

O-Line to resist penetration by the Front 7

Front 7 to get to the ball carrier

Secondary makes analyze rolls

Corners make opposed rolls with WRs

 

All to get in range of the ball carrier and make a Tackle attempt as a move-through.

 

Combat: Football is combat, so I'm very passionate about keeping combat rules in, because it already simulates so much of what the game needs to do. It's also the easiest way to track injuries (you'd only count BODY, unless someone takes enough STUN to knock them out).

 

Skills: Skill Position players are called that for a reason. WRs need to read defenses, be aware of the ball, juke, dodge, be able to block, and run really freakin' fast. In football, the difference between a TD and a 1 yard stand can be a half step of SPD - that's almost impossible to simulate in HERO terms - unless we use some sort of Sprint/Requires a Skill Roll mechanic.

 

There's a thought.

 

I'm rambling, apologies. I think, Tom, we want the exact same thing - you want a war game that simulates football. I think in order to do that effectively you need to simulate each players position and represent the battles at that position properly, because each one is an individual conflict. MLB vs. HB. DE vs. QB. CB vs. WR. I think while each play could take a great deal of time to resolve, it makes total sense.

 

Here's another reason I'm big on this - the further downfield the QB has to chuck the ball, the harder it'll be for him to hit the DCV of 3 of the hex he's aiming for. He has to aim for the hex to get the ball there, and the receiver has to make a roll to catch said ball once he's in the same hex/about to be in the same hex. In HERO the ball travels to its destination instantly, and that's fine with me, unless we want to include a "Hail Mary" mechanic wherein if the ball travels further than 30 yards, everyone gets a half-phase to move and get under it.

 

Pathing the ball could be tricky. Interesting subnote on the passing game.

 

Anyway. Does that clarify where I'm going?

 

Anyway' date=' at this point, I've been whittling away at various parts of HERO you don't need to play football. No need for ED, for instance. I'm not sure about spd, because I haven't decided whether it will be turn-based or some sort of weak approximation of simultaneousness. I'll probably combine con and body and come up with some simplified rules for injuries, i'll get rid of PD, stun, etc. If there was a good way to simplify endurance, i'm going to use it (can you imagine tracking END for 11 players?) [/quote']

 

Ah, I have a clearer idea of this now. Yes, I see where our philosophies are vastly different here, so let me address some of what you're saying here that I didn't cover already. (all of the above just spun off of my response to the first bit I quoted).

 

Skills = Powers (break tackle, etc) and that's good. I agree with that. I agree with the following:

 

- Toss: ED, END, STUN - they don't matter. Hero-LITE is okay so long as we're using HERO to build it, again, toolkit. The toolkit doesn't care. You can keep them for character sheets for star players, but otherwise don't matter.

 

- Time: Each Quarter equals 15 (20?) plays. Considering that on average a QB makes 25 or so passes, and a rusher has 25 or so touches, that's about right, one play per minute. Most drives are 7 to 10 plays long.

 

- Each play should resolve with skill rolls to set up, and combat rolls as necessary. I think you're right - you can resolve a CB/WR conflict with a skill roll, but making a Tackle, or plowing through the line - anything that will gain yardage, if you will, should be a combat roll. A DE can make a skill roll and get around an O-Line to get to the QB, for whom time freezes and he may abort to pass.

 

- The WR, if he succeeds, gets a step on the CB and is position ahead of the CB by his margin of success. If he fails, the CB has chucked him and he's "off route" by the CBs margin of success. Since the QB is throwing to a Hex, he has to adjust (a -2 penalty, RSR) to get it to the no-longer-open WR.

 

- Both the WR and CB make skill rolls and go up for the ball. An 18 (until we think of something else) draws a flag against the offender. I'd either like to expand what draws a flag (16-18?) or have "a pair of sixes" draw a flag. For example, if the QB goes to abort and throws the ball away, he rolls to do that. If he rolls two sixes its intentional grounding.

 

- The LB making a tackle is making an attack roll. Anyone else making a tackle should make an attack roll. A heavy enough hit (any time two of the dice are ones?) creates a possible fumble.

 

Those are the lines I'm thinking on. Let's find some common ground and get this rolling. I think between the two of us (and any other board lord who catches on and is interested) we can make this a really, really cool subgame.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

I can't stress enough how much of HERO i've stripped away. I'm not using OCV or DCV, that would just be one more thing to worry about. I'm using the same skill resolution system for everything, so there is no need for OCV.

 

The reason I've stripped away so much, like CV, and all the powers, is that I want every possible "move" from jukes, jamming WR at the line, maybe even swim blocks, post routes, fly routes, etc. to be covered in the game. There is just no way to do this using any complicated rules without the game taking like 20 minutes (or even more) to play a single down. Ablative armor somehow working for blocking is a great idea, it would simulate how a pocket "breaks down" perfectly. Unfortunately, it would add tons of complexity. It'll have to be done with a skill roll of an individual lineman vs. the individual pass rusher. Of course, I'm still thinking board game, I never intended this to be something that would be in the least bit compatible with the rest of HERO.

 

Compatibility is just impossible. If every football player has either a 13 or an 18 in dex, (dex skills being pretty important) thats just too granular for a game like this. I haven't got around to working out how the statistics and skills will interact but I might drop 3d6 for a percentile system (If I find a way to get a sort of flat bell curve on a percentile roll thats not a pain in the butt to count up) That way ray lewis could have a 98 in tackle, and urlacher a 96, because urlacher has 2 less strength, something like that. In HERO, they'd both have a flat 17- or whatever.

 

Anyhows, I'll PM you some stuff tonight. Like I've said before, its getting sufficiently non-HERO-ish for me to feel dirty still posting it to the HERO other genres discussion boards. I've stripped away a lot of HERO mechanics and replaced them with other stuff. I'd love to see a fully functioning football game built into HERO, but without changing tons of mechanics, it would require massive handwaving OR would take about a month to play a game of football.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

My best friend ran a WWE game using the Hero system and he said it turned out well. I didn't play in his game, but from what he told me is that he would have his players create a heroic level character at the start and they would work their way up from being a nobody to a superstar. He used only skills and made everyone take Secret ID's to begin with. He even used the combat system unmodified.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

Basketball's the only game I know anything about. I'm not sure how you'd pull off all those "twitch moves" in Hero. Maybe something based off of Fast Draw plus Martial Arts combinations. Shooting and blocking should be easy enough.

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Re: Sports HERO

 

Maybe the defender must perform a "combat maneuver" to stop someone from driving past him. Defender saves his action, ball handler starts to drive, defender uses saved action to perform a Stop Drive maneuver. Twitch moves become a matter of OCV & DCV, where levels and whatnot apply.

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