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sojdev

"Super Hero" Fantasy

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Hello all,

 

I'm relatively new to the HERO System, though I've played Champions in the past, I've never gained a complete grasp pf the game system (haven't played it enough at this point).

 

With the release of the 5th Edition, I decided to get back into it. So on to the question:

 

I want to create a game world that is fantasy in nature much like a Fantasy Hero game, but I want to keep the feel as "super heroic" as possible (i.e. change KA's to Normal attacks, etc.) and I want the players to be representations of various forces of nature, essentially low-powered avatar's of nature gods.

 

I don't want them to be equals to say a Champions super hero but I want them to be significantly more powerful than a standard heroic character.

 

So what I'm wondering is how many points should i start them out with, my first idea is 125 base points and possible 75 points in disads. What do you folks think?

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Well, if you have FH, or HSB for that matter, there are some fine templates for "elemental" characters. Beyond that, I think you need to let us know what the world is like, without the Fantasy Planeteers running around. Is it relatively low-powered, where the military might of Equivalent!Europe would have to be mustered to defeat a handful of Elemental Avatars; or somewhat more powerful, where it would only take the soldiers of a Baron, or maybe a Duke, to defeat them in a straightforward fight (yes, I know that any real avatar of an element would be able to prod bottom against a much larger force in its element, work with me here:D )

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Re: "Super Hero" Fantasy

 

Originally posted by sojdev

I don't want them to be equals to say a Champions super hero but I want them to be significantly more powerful than a standard heroic character.

So what I'm wondering is how many points should i start them out with, my first idea is 125 base points and possible 75 points in disads. What do you folks think?

Assuming they have to pay points for all of their powers, I'd make them more than 200 points if you want them to be significantly more powerful than a standard heroic character. The latter, not having to pay points for equipment and usually buying magic with hefty Limitations, have more "bang for the buck" than their 150 point total might indicate. I'd go with at least 250; at 200, their extra 50 points will probably all be eaten up just by paying points for the things heroic characters get for free or on the cheap. :)

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I'm imagining that the characters cannot utilize the tools of the mortals (i.e. weapons, armor, torches, etc.) so they must rely on their own abilities.

 

I want someone with a sword to be a nuisance, but say 5 or more guys with swords to be a problem. Wizards even more so as they are fairly rare and comparatively powerful.

 

Does this help?

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heh, on another note, I did originally plan to have the players make a limitation to all of their powers as "Only in Hero ID" so that they can travel among regular people without much concern.

 

I'm still leaning that direction and probably will insist that they purchase a racial package for their appropriate race. With that in mind, and the fact that I don't want any power frameworks, I think I'm leaning towards teh 250 point limit.

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Originally posted by sojdev

I'm imagining that the characters cannot utilize the tools of the mortals (i.e. weapons, armor, torches, etc.) so they must rely on their own abilities.

 

I want someone with a sword to be a nuisance, but say 5 or more guys with swords to be a problem. Wizards even more so as they are fairly rare and comparatively powerful.

 

Does this help?

 

I've done similar campaigns. I'd recommend that you think more in terms of permitted power, OCV, DCV, attack dice, PD, and ED limits than in terms of point limits. Even a standard Vampire or Werwolf runs 400 points or so; more point efficient character design might cut that down to 300 points or so but that's about it.

 

For what you want, I'd have the PCs design 100 point characters, then assign a package you put together of about 200-250 points. They can customize further from there with XP.

 

Beware of all powers marked with a stop-sign in FREd.

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Originally posted by OddHat

I've done similar campaigns. I'd recommend that you think more in terms of permitted power, OCV, DCV, attack dice, PD, and ED limits than in terms of point limits. Even a standard Vampire or Werwolf runs 400 points or so; more point efficient character design might cut that down to 300 points or so but that's about it.

Not a bad idea...not being overly familiar with this system, can I get any recommendations on possible ranges for this?

 

Originally posted by OddHat For what you want, I'd have the PCs design 100 point characters, then assign a package you put together of about 200-250 points. They can customize further from there with XP.

This sounds like a really good idea. Thanks

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Originally posted by sojdev

Not a bad idea...not being overly familiar with this system, can I get any recommendations on possible ranges for this?

 

Depends on how the game plays out. Maybe start with a max of 8rPD/8rED, 6DC for attacks, 7 OCV and DCV before combat skill levels are applied. That may be on the low end, but it means that one ordinary guard with a sword will only be a minor annoyance, but a group of bandits with bows and blades could prove a serious threat.

 

Moderately powerful Fantasy Hero mages & knights can surpass the power levels above with spells and equipment; you might want to go higher.

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Originally posted by OddHat

Depends on how the game plays out. Maybe start with a max of 8rPD/8rED, 6DC for attacks, 7 OCV and DCV before combat skill levels are applied. That may be on the low end, but it means that one ordinary guard with a sword will only be a minor annoyance, but a group of bandits with bows and blades could prove a serious threat.

 

Moderately powerful Fantasy Hero mages & knights can surpass the power levels above with spells and equipment; you might want to go higher.

What if I raise the resistant defense to 10 and leave the rest as is? Would that affect the DC very much?

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Originally posted by sojdev

What if I raise the resistant defense to 10 and leave the rest as is? Would that affect the DC very much?

 

A resistant Def of 8 vs. 10 won't make much of a difference; 8 means the PCs skin is as tough as very good armor. 10 means it's a bit better, and the PCs will rarely take body from anything other than enchanted weapons and magical attacks. 6DC means that the PCs can generally stun an "average" fighting man in one blow and take him down in two. 8DC would mean that the PCs could generally take down the "average" guard or bandit in one attack. There should be plenty of far tougher foes in a game like this.

 

If you don't have Fantasy Hero and/or the Hero System Bestiary I'd recomend picking them up. Great sources of ideas for something like this.

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Sweet! That is exactly the comparisons I needed. I do have Fantasy Hero and I have the Bestiary on order...should be here this weekend or early next week.

 

This is good info and a great starting point. Thank you very much.

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Some examples

 

Certain TV shows provide examples of the types of campaign you've described:

 

"Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog" -- The PCs are normal heroic level characters who become superheroes with the aid of magic weapons and armor

 

"King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table" -- At least I think that's the title. In this animated feature, the "knights" are a baseball team summoned backward in time by Merlin to take the roles of the missing King Arthur and his pals. In addition to being skilled athletes, they have Iron Man style mystic armor to enable them to beat off the bad guys. And they occasionally put their 20th century knowledge of science to use, too.

 

"Genesis Survivor: Gaiarth" -- In this anime trilogy, a society recovering from the effects of a high-tech holocaust regards technology as magic, having lost the ability to reproduce the wonders of the past. Characters who cast "spells" are actually using ancient ECM and weaponry without fully understanding what they're doing. The artifacts that still work are awesomely powerful, and soldier robots roam the wasteland as knights errant.

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More ideas

 

Some fantasy literature has a strong "masked avenger" theme. Sir Tristram adventuring incognito in Mallory's "The Death of Arthur" and King Richard's galavanting around as the Black Knight in "Ivanhoe" are two good examples. The Japanese anime feature "Raven Kabuto: The Golden-Eyed Beast" captures this feel as well.

 

Running a Batman or Zorro style campaign in the Middle Ages is more a matter of tone than of game mechanics. The heroes have secret identities and enough combat skill -- perhaps with unusual weapons -- to make them stand out from the crowd of jousting jockeys. Give them a reason to conceal their identities -- they're outlaws, have been dishonored, are dating the king's mistress, are trying to win their regal parent's approval. Throw in a love interest, a dark secret or two, and give them an arch nemesis or a goofy rogues gallery of baddies to fight. Fudge the die rolls and go light on the damage options to give it a very swashbuckling feel.

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WOW. I was just thinking of this last night...was tooling around with the Random Character generator in Champions. I was just thinking of running a straight Superhero Campaign, with fantasy wrapping. Using CKC as a spring board for my arch villains Ariax Thone a great fantasy name and he has such power. I fiddled with his defenses a little to add armor and gave him a double bladed sword , and the trappings of master villainy (a small army and keep, several contacts and leadership abilities) and boom. He is a horrifying medival warlard. Even better, the Warlord, all you have to do is make his alien tech nology "forbidden dwarven technomgaic" and he's a great master villain.

 

All this is several levels above what you are looking for powerwise but don't count out the stuff you already have. Change VIPER to the Order of the Emerald Serpent and you have a medival organization to battle against , just trade in their blasters for swords and crossbows...

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Re: Some examples

 

Originally posted by Kevin Scrivner

Certain TV shows provide examples of the types of campaign you've described:

 

"Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog" -- The PCs are normal heroic level characters who become superheroes with the aid of magic weapons and armor

 

"King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table" -- At least I think that's the title. In this animated feature, the "knights" are a baseball team summoned backward in time by Merlin to take the roles of the missing King Arthur and his pals. In addition to being skilled athletes, they have Iron Man style mystic armor to enable them to beat off the bad guys. And they occasionally put their 20th century knowledge of science to use, too.

 

"Genesis Survivor: Gaiarth" -- In this anime trilogy, a society recovering from the effects of a high-tech holocaust regards technology as magic, having lost the ability to reproduce the wonders of the past. Characters who cast "spells" are actually using ancient ECM and weaponry without fully understanding what they're doing. The artifacts that still work are awesomely powerful, and soldier robots roam the wasteland as knights errant.

Actually the real title is :KING ARTHUR AND THE KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE.

and Arthur and his buds are a football team summoned back to Camelot to help Merlin against Mrogan Le Fay and her Warlords of stone.

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Don't forget that the Avatars will have powers "beyond the ken of normal men", which changes the balance somewhat.

 

I ran a game where all the players were immortals and the power level was 200-250 points (or course, 150 points was a HERO) so even the non-combat-oriented characters could usually take care of guardsman or two.

 

Still with one or two exceptions the characters were not combat monsters. Indeed, the Devil got killed when someone ran a spear through his chest (OK, so being immortal, he woke up somewhere else in a bad mood, but still, his mortal shell was dead). His forte was emotional control and deceit, not hand to hand combat. Likewise, Death faced opponents with greater hand to hand prowess than he had, but that didn't matter when he could think about their hearts stopping and they did.

 

For your game I would suggest starting the average joe type NPCs on low points and see how it plays out. You can always throw more powerful NPCs into the mix later. Also, starting that way will hopefully make the players think more like superheroes (where do they fit in the big theme?) than fantasy characters (kill all the strangers you meet, loot their bodies).

 

cheers, Mark

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