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Assuage my fears about the complexity

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So I'm starting to like my new big HERO 6E books and I have a list of possible things I'd like to use it for.

 

BUT

 

It does look a bit on the crunchy side. And While I enjoy reading and learning game systemsmag-glass_10x10.gif, I find that most other people don't. I know there is that 2-page summary of HERO thing, but after reading it, I see that, while having good info, it doesn't REALLY tell the player how to do anything.

 

So what's the best way to go about bringing this system on line for a group? What's the best way to go about teaching someone how to play? What about teaching someone how to make a character?

 

I have a fear that I won't be able to use this system because I won't be able to teach it to anyone.

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

If crunchy stuff is your cup of tea then that helps a lot! The way I get people into the system is I run a game for a group, and I build their characters for them. I have them give me a concept and backstory and then I create the character sheet. Actual gameplay in Hero is not all that complex, but character creation and power building definitely can be! Once the players have sheets in front of them, but before the game starts, I go down the character sheet and give them a brief overview of what each stat means, how skills and skill rolls work, and a basic idea of combat flow. Then, as we go through the first game session I make sure that there is plenty of time and opportunity for question asking.

 

By going over the system and sheet beforehand, the players get a foundation for the ruleset and game flow. Then by playing through a session, things start to click and in my experience it goes very smoothly. The idea is similar to that of "doing assigned reading before attending class." You have a basic idea of how things work, and anything that doesn't quite make sense is explained in application.

 

A good way to ease them into character creation is when it comes time to assign and allocate experience points. I've found that most players will take to the system very quickly and most are very excited to begin creating their own character sheets.

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

A lot of groups only have 1 or 2 people who "really know the rules" - everyone else just needs to know what dice to roll.

 

The beauty of Hero is that all the crunch (or 99%) is up front in Creation. Once you hit the table and start gameplay the majority of the rules are on the Character Sheet. Skills will tell you what number you're looking to roll under, Powers and other effects tell you how many dice to roll.

 

For starters I would say find some example published characters, or build some very simple ones in your favorite genre, and then teach everyone How To Play (versus How To Make A Character) and learn the basic of what goes into gameplay from social to combat interactions.

 

After that, if only one person really does want to get into the crunch, character creation is simply starting with a Plain English Description of what the player wants, and then someone who does know (or wants to learn) the rules can build the character for them.

 

As I said, most of the work is up front in creation. It helps - more than in many other systems - to dedicate a game session to sitting down and talking about what everyone wants, and what the GM is willing to say goes in the world they're running. The more of an idea (even in just Plain English - not Rules-speak) you have of what you want the better you'll be able to later (when the time is needed) to express that Mechanically.

 

Also, leave a lot of Optional Rules to the wayside at first. Only introduce them when either you're comfortable with the rules to add more options or a Player wants to try something out - this is no time to say "you can't do that," make up something if you can't find or remember an immediate reference that seems fair with the understanding that "I'll look it up later and going forward we'll use the actual rule." Hero can be very forgiving in that it opens itself up to a lot of On The Spot Rulings very nicely - or at least with as few bumps as possible.

 

It helps, though it takes of space and time, when you create characters to write both the Mechanics and the Actual Desired Effect down both for every ability.

 

"This spell throws a ball of fire that explodes in a 12 meter radius for 6 Dice of Normal Damage" is also "6D6 Blast; Area Of Effect (12meters)"

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

... I have a fear that I won't be able to use this system because I won't be able to teach it to anyone.

 

This is the real problem.

 

The key to solving it is really one of motivation.

 

I try to explain that once you learn to make characters and play Hero you never need to start from scratch again (as with picking up the new system/setting combo flavor of the month).

Yes, it front loads a great deal of the learning curve but once learned it can be applied to any genre, but once players finally get the core 'reason from effect' concept behind Powers (one of the biggest selling points of Hero) they will see the possibilities for using Hero for virtually any roleplaying setting (including converting from other systems). In the long run it's actually cheaper on the gaming budget.

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

I find HERO is as complex as you want it to be. A number of character concepts (including, I'd say, the most common superhero builds) are fairly simple. Other things (say, an attack that deals damage to somebody, dispels any active effects on him, and drains his speed to increase your own) are fairly complex and should not be attempted without adult supervision and safety glasses.

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

Well for Hero system the simplest way is to run pregenerateds...you write up (or borrow) a few interesting characters and let folks run them....while the rule set is Very intemidating...the game actually runs very smooth and easy. And the rules are a Lot more intuative with a little play experiance....

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

My idiocy is widely acknowledged and rightly feared' date=' so:[b'] Dude, If I can do 6th, you can. [/b]

 

don't hold back.

 

Don't sell yourself short :).

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

This game is as complex as YOU want it to be.

 

On the inner core it is simple : roll 3d6 try to hit 11 or less.

 

You dont need to read/apply all the rules/powers. Just use what you NEED. As you feel a need preparing a scenario look into the book to find the rules related. For beginner, use precreated characters you found elsewhere. When you are used using them start making small modification. When you will feel the need to create your own characters and powers that will mean you have mastered the system enough :) congrats :P

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

Hero is not a complex system or complex to play. What it does require, in some measure, is a bit of thought before you build a character because you make ALL the decisions - there is not a 'character generation' system to guide you through. That can be daunting, so the real trick is to write down a good description of the character before you start to build, much like a blueprint, covering what they are good at. Don't be too ambitious (shy away from 'The World's Greatest hand to Hand Fighter'), and use these boards for ideas and even full builds - we are a very friendly bunch.

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

Nobody who uses the word "assuage" in a sentence correctly will find Hero too complex to play.

 

Is that pronounced ah-swage or ah-swaj?

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

I've been running a pretty popular Fantasy game for years now (well, I assume it's popular: people keep turning up more or less on time and have been doing so for 4 years, even though some other GM's games for the same group have folded over the same period). And you know what? None - not one - of the players knows the rules properly - most of 'em don't even have more than a basic grasp of the rules.

 

Doesn't matter. They tell me what they want their characters to do, I run it. The basic rules, though wildly comprehensive, are actually pretty consistent, so even if you have never come across a particular problem before, it's not hard to work out how to handle it on the fly. They don't have a good grasp of the rules, but they know what their characters can do, relatively speaking. And that's sufficient.

 

The same applies to updating character sheets. They tell me how they want the characters to develop, I tell 'em how much experience it will cost.

 

So yeah, what the other people said.

Step 1) Learn the rules Mmm-hmm. Crunchy goodness.

Step 2) Work out what you and your players want to run. You set up characters to their specifications (allow a little fine-tuning n the first few sessions)

Step 3) Enjoy!

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

Absolutely. the first Champions game (that's teh superhero version of Hero) I ran for the group I've been playing with for the last...oh, good grief - 25 years!...I gave them a character sketch and a description. They didn't even get a character sheet, let alone a look at the rules. I'd played before and knew the rules reasonably well, but removing the mechanics of the system (any system) from centre stage can allow more enjoyment of the game. Hero is all we play now, so it obviously worked :)

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Re: Assuage my fears about the complexity

 

I first just want to clarify that I'm not the one who needs to learn the rules. I already know the rules. The thread is about how to get my players to learn the rules.

 

 

And so basically what I'm hearing is that the best thing to do is start them with pregens or characters that I make for them, play for a while and hope that they (or even one of them) gets interested enough to want to learn the rules.

 

The truth of it rings true. :)

 

I already know which guy is going to be the one to try and which guy is going to be the guy that plays for years and still won't be able to make his own character.

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