Jump to content

"Outsider" perspective on Hero System


nexus
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=9638315&postcount=104

 

The thread itself

 

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9638315#post9638315

 

Taken from a post on rpg.net on "Games that didn't do as advertised". This post mentioned Hero System and how it "felt like a lie". I think it touches on some issues that have been discussed on the 6th Edition boards and this forum a few times and could make an interesting discussion.

 

Here's the post in question, in it's entirety

 

I don't see the major issue with 7th Sea personally. I don't think the mechanics were much to write home about, but it didn't seem to particular hinder swashbuckling/piracy any more than anything else. It was what it was on the tin; a game about swashbuckling and pirates. People really read too much from a sidebar in a supplement into these things. Brave new world ditto.

 

Most people reach for a supplement when they want a game to do more than it's currently doing. I see it as perfectly logical to present a shift in the game's focus under that circumstance.

 

 

Anyway, games that felt like a lie:

 

Exalted breaks things for me. You are supposedly this incredibly powerful character...but honestly I'm just not feeling it. Oh yes there are stunts and nifty description...but I can do that in D&D or any other game just as easily. Plus I would hope it would be easier to master.

 

HERO, actually. From the back of the 5th edition: "Unlike any other role-playing game, the HERO system provides you with unfettered flexibility, letting you exercise your own creativity without hindrance. Build any character, power, gadget, skill, weapon, ability, or vehicle you can think of!"

 

Unless of course you want a character who is immune to fire, or one who doesn't bleed, or a power that only lasts for one turn, or a power that hits automatically, etcetera, etcetera. You can make anything in the system with handwaving, true...but that hardly makes it different from every other RPG as it claims, doesn't it?

 

Danger Quest is a game of pulp action...with characters who would die in an actual pulp game.

 

Outside of those, I'm happy.

 

Emphasis mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 154
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I have no desire to make an account on the abomination board, but I noticed one example given was that you can't do immunities in hero with the example being fire.

 

Um... Desolidification, 0 End, Persistant, Only to Protect From Fire, 40 Points.

 

Bad example.

 

Its true Hero doesn't deal with absolutes very well. But there are ways to simulate them if you need to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

Doesn't Bleed: healing, Xd6, only to close wounds or stop bleeding, Trigger, only when having been dealt a gaping wound. Note: Requires a game in which bleeding applies. Otherwise, use an automaton.

 

A power lasting one Turn:

 

Lingering (a minor cheat, it's in Fantasy HERO, okay FINE...)

 

Uncontrolled. But Lingering actually addresses this problem outright. Or, stop paying END for it. Or, slap a limitation on it.

 

No, NOTHING hits automatically, you CAN reduce things to 3 DCV (AoE: Accurate) and then pump up your accuracy with that attack, but that must be bought & paid for because the benchmark is to be 'average' in accuracy, not automatic. It can be done, it can vary in expense, and I know now why people were so cheesed off when I pointed it out the first time.

 

Neither a feature nor a flaw; just a design element.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

 

HERO, actually. From the back of the 5th edition: "Unlike any other role-playing game, the HERO system provides you with unfettered flexibility, letting you exercise your own creativity without hindrance. Build any character, power, gadget, skill, weapon, ability, or vehicle you can think of!"

 

Unless of course you want a character who is immune to fire, or one who doesn't bleed, or a power that only lasts for one turn, or a power that hits automatically, etcetera, etcetera. You can make anything in the system with handwaving, true...but that hardly makes it different from every other RPG as it claims, doesn't it?

 

Immune to fire: Use a limited Desolidification, and it's possible under current rules. Oh, and link in Life Support.

 

Doesn't Bleed: Unfortunately, you have to break a rule to use the Automaton power on a character. But it can be done without too much anguish.

 

A power that only lasts one turn: This is so easily done it makes me wonder if Wolfgar actually even read the book. There's several ways to do it.

 

A power that hits automatically: Area Effect, on a large scale, with a limitation that it only actually effects one target.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary opines that the problem is that it's often not OBVIOUS how to do certain things.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

At most I see the need for the "What is hero? section at the front to explain that Hero does not use absolutes at all, as a design factor. Because absolutes don't really exist, even in fiction...Magic missile never misses...umm, except if you have a Sheild spell, or the right amulet, or (Lots of exeptions follow).

 

Or the classic "Worf is the toughest!" which means every second villian has to beat Worf to show just how "bad a**" they are....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I tried to be an "Ambassador of Goodwill" and answer some of the examples the OP put up in a hopefully non snarky manner and acknowledging Hero doesn't handle Absolutes very much. I expect it to end in flames or to be ignored but it seemed worth a shot. I'm not as good at it as Lord Laiden :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I think I need to step back from topics like this. I find myself becoming fatigued with defending or explaining HERO System to people who either don't know it or (legitimately or illegitimately) don't like it. HERO isn't perfect, it isn't for everyone, and people have a right to not be happy with it for whatever reason.

 

I think I'll leave the HERO advocacy to younger, more enthusiastic folks, at least for a while.

 

EDIT: Sorry to let you down, Nexus. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I don't want absolutes to be in MY game' date=' but it would be nice if Steve spent a page or so explaining how to make them for people who HAVE to have them.[/quote']

 

He did actually.

 

Granted he did it in Fantasy Hero but I hope the page makes it into the 6E core rules. (Fantasy Hero p250-251 on a discussion to create absolute effects that are often seen in spells in fantasy games.)

 

 

And Bleeding, ultimately, is a Special Effect of losing BODY. You can easily make a character that doesn't Bleed by a) not using the Option Bleeding Rules. B) Declaring they don't bleed because they don't have blood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

A power that only lasts one turn: This is so easily done it makes me wonder if Wolfgar actually even read the book. There's several ways to do it.

 

I'd like to point out that I have read it, but 1) It is a very big book and 2) I have a lot of other games to remember as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

Howdy. I was going to point you in this direction if you sent me a PM on rpg.net. Guess that would be redundant. :)

 

I have a little problem communicating sometimes, and had I thought any regular HERO players were going to read that post, I might have worded things a bit more diplomatically.

 

The thing is, HERO doesn't quite do Universal, it does HERO. It has a very specific framework and it's a great game, I never said it wasn't. But what HERO does best at the end of the day is HERO, and I think other senior members of this same board who love the game quite dearly have said as much.

 

My examples were bad, and I apologize for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I have a little problem communicating sometimes, and had I thought any regular HERO players were going to read that post, I might have worded things a bit more diplomatically.

 

The thing is, HERO doesn't quite do Universal, it does HERO. It has a very specific framework and it's a great game, I never said it wasn't. But what HERO does best at the end of the day is HERO, and I think other senior members of this same board who love the game quite dearly have said as much.

 

My examples were bad, and I apologize for that.

 

The key word on the back of the book is Toolkit.

 

HERO, at the end of the day is simply not a game. It's a set of instructions to make a game.

 

HERO does HERO in the same way DnD does DnD or Spirit Of The Century does Spirit Of The Century.

 

HERO is universal in that you can use the same set of rules to create a Pulp, Fantasy or Whatever type Game (with or without absolutes within the context of the game). This is the true test of a Universal - that ability to create a different Game every time.

 

You can't just pick up the book and start playing. Not the way you can pick up the 4E rules and start playing. Or pick up Spirit Of The Century and start playing.

 

HERO has no inherent Setting in the rules, therefor it has no inherent Game, and no inherent Expectations. You have to decide everything - starting point, style, genre, maximums, world physics, power level. All of it.

 

If you, for example, pick up Nobilis and follow the directions to make a Character you are now prepared to play a Nobilis Game. If you pick up HERO you quickly realize you can't even just Make A Character - you have to know what you're making the Character FOR.

 

Which is a more useful version of Universal than "all games you can create fit together" which is the mistake most people make when they think Hero is Universal. Not all games work together, not all Games assume the same set of ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I do wish sometimes that the cover of Hero didn't contain some of the hyperbole it does: ...unfettered flexibility.... excercise your own creativity without hinderance...build any character...you can think of...

 

The number of new players I've had to rein in because they've wanted a character who can do something they can think of, but that is way, way too beefy for the game we are playing depresses me, and more to the point, depresses them, and puts them off right from the start.

 

I think if we did not use absolutes on the cover we would not have to defend their absence from the system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I do wish sometimes that the cover of Hero didn't contain some of the hyperbole it does: ...unfettered flexibility.... excercise your own creativity without hinderance...build any character...you can think of...

 

The number of new players I've had to rein in because they've wanted a character who can do something they can think of, but that is way, way too beefy for the game we are playing depresses me, and more to the point, depresses them, and puts them off right from the start.

 

I think if we did not use absolutes on the cover we would not have to defend their absence from the system.

 

Weeeell... I have to wonder how much of that is a shortcoming in how the system is advertised, and how much is due to players wanting an ability more powerful than the standards of a particular game. IME most such players are trying to port something from another game they played into HERO, which was probably overpowered and unbalancing to begin with, unless the game builds in a specific counter to it (Magic Missile and Shield spells from D&D being one classic example).

 

If everyone is given enough Character Points and the Active Points allowed is high enough, HERO really will let you simulate nearly anything you can think of. Of course not every game should run by that standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I think if we did not use absolutes on the cover we would not have to defend their absence from the system.

 

Seems like a winner there.

 

I will say I'm capable of making characters that are just too downright weird to fit well in the system as well.:ugly:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I do wish sometimes that the cover of Hero didn't contain some of the hyperbole it does: ...unfettered flexibility.... excercise your own creativity without hinderance...build any character...you can think of...

 

 

 

Maybe we should put a qualifier on there in small print

 

"Build any character you can think of!"*

 

 

*No guarantee you'll find a GM crazy enough to let you actually play it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

Seems like a winner there.

 

I will say I'm capable of making characters that are just too downright weird to fit well in the system as well.:ugly:

 

But don't such characters also fail the 'good for roleplaying with a groop' test as well?

 

Some interesting concepts just don't translate well to being PC's. They might make wonderful NPC's and as such the 'correctness' of the HERO build is nowhere nearly as important as it is for PC's. The rules (character creation and everything else) in HERO are designed to focus on the PC experience first and formost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I have a little problem communicating sometimes, and had I thought any regular HERO players were going to read that post, I might have worded things a bit more diplomatically.

 

The thing is, HERO doesn't quite do Universal, it does HERO. It has a very specific framework and it's a great game, I never said it wasn't. But what HERO does best at the end of the day is HERO, and I think other senior members of this same board who love the game quite dearly have said as much.

 

My examples were bad, and I apologize for that.

 

I've said numerous times that hero shouldn't try to be universal. It doesn't work well when you do that. Its a toolkit. But then, I don't run super-heroic games, just heroic ones, so I don't run into a lot of the problems other people seem to have with the system. And I get that hero is not only complex, but densely written and thick.

 

At the same time, I noted one of the posters had compared hero to M&M and said if you wanted invulnerability you could just buy the power up to the games PL. You can do this in hero - buy the defenses up to the maximum damage possible in the campaign. Its just expensive (though lims for specific FX will make it cheaper).

 

Most of the things people want to do with hero, however, can be done insofar as you are willing to set options and tweak it for the genre and style of play you want. Out of the box hero won't be one size fits all. You have to fine-tune it for the play experience you want to use it for. The key is to come here and put it before herodom assembled. We'll throw multiple ways to achieve things that initially seem impossible out for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: "Outsider" perspective on Hero System

 

I do wish sometimes that the cover of Hero didn't contain some of the hyperbole it does: ...unfettered flexibility.... excercise your own creativity without hinderance...build any character...you can think of...

 

The number of new players I've had to rein in because they've wanted a character who can do something they can think of, but that is way, way too beefy for the game we are playing depresses me, and more to the point, depresses them, and puts them off right from the start.

 

I think if we did not use absolutes on the cover we would not have to defend their absence from the system.

 

That's a problem of the Players not the System.

 

Flat out.

 

 

If the Player doesn't want to work inside the genre then you're on your own. It's like trying to bring an D20 Modern Character to a Forgotten Realms campaign. Sure they both use some flavor of D20, but they're completely incompatible.

 

Just because other system force compatibility down your throat doesn't mean HERO isn't able to build anything you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...