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Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product


Jason S.Walters
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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

"Dozens" is of course exaggeration' date=' but it may seem like that at a glance; although I've never heard that reaction myself. Two or three variations per spell is probably enough in most cases, though, e.g. a higher-powered version, and one or two with different Modifiers.[/quote']

 

Some of the spells had as many as 13 most had 12 and generally the game mechanics write up takes more space than the description. For hero players this all makes sense for people new to hero it is intimidating.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

This is the problematic area, in my view. As LL notes, a huge Hero advantage is its flexibility.

I think it is a huge advantage for established HERO gamers first and foremost. However huge it is, it has been out there for decades now and the system is still very much on the fringe. What I suggest here is that this book should try to sell a fantasy rpg to non HERO gamers by using the HERO engine already tuned to the genre. Give them customization power with templates and freedom of choice and make sure to hide what would be seen as complexity. I guess a spell written with (-¼) and (+¾) is ugly and the power build system is complex to a non HERO adept. Point out in the book that the complete builds are available in the PDF appendix and make sure to write in said appendix that these builds were made with the power system found in Champions Complete. This is assuming that there won't be enough space in the printed book to put the whole system while remaining focused on providing a fantasy rpg. The idea here is to try to reach out in a different way instead of using yet again the same approach since HERO 4th. I won't pretend my idea is brilliant, only that it is different than the actual recipe. :)

 

 

If a Fantasy book presents a couple of magic systems, then I'm stuck with those choices.

Sure but this is the expectation of an established HERO gamer. A gamer coming from most of the other fantasy rpg would not see that as a constraint I guess.

I think, however, that we agree the Fantasy book needs character templates for races and professions, talents, perks, superskills and spells all written up as examples for the players/GM. We could easily put the full power creation rules in the GM section/advanced section along with full hero builds for the "pick, plug & play" builds in the front. But how many pages does it take to have a fairly broad list of racial and class type templates, a good cross section of talents and perks to match other fantasy games, a magic system or two, a wide selection of spells, a reasonable section of fantasy opponents (here, maybe, corners can be cut by referring to the Bestiary), a starting locale and a sample adventure, a selection of gear (mundane and magical) the combat, movement, etc. rules, then add the complete power construction rules?

You nail it on the head here. If the power system could be included in the GM section, in a very summarized way, that would be great! My first guess here is that it would be difficult to cram all the above in 240pp. My second guess is that what we HERO gamers perceived as a huge advantage will probably be perceived by first time buyer as extra complexity. My third guess is that said first time buyer would rather see extra fantasy focused content (setting info, creatures, an adventure) than a codified system to let him build advanced magic. Playing the game he might remain a Dungeon HERO RPG gamer only or, grabbing Fantasy HERO, Grimoire, Bestiary, Martial Art, Equipement Guide and/or Champions Complete, he might mutate into an established HERO gamer. :king:

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I think we perceive the same tradeoffs/balance.

 

Sure but this is the expectation of an established HERO gamer. A gamer coming from most of the other fantasy rpg would not see that as a constraint I guess.

 

But what are we offering the gamer from other fantasy games to incent him to move to ours? "Your game has two kinds of magic and so does Hero" suggests that I gain nothing and must learn a new system. Taken to an extreme, we could rewrite the core D&D system (with all its skills, feats, spells, etc.) to map to Hero mechanics, but will "here's a way to play D&D with just d6's" be a significant selling point?

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I agree it's a trade-off and balance decision. What kind of tradeoffs do you make to achieve a product balanced between fantasy and rules that will attract new players?

 

I think that's what I'm trying to say with my comment about "60% to 80%" of the rules. You want enough rules to show the power and the flexibility, without completely overwhelming new players with details. Where that line is between balance and overwhelming of course I'm not sure. I do find myself agreeing a bit more with DreadDomain in this discussion however. Fantasy Hero has been available for literally decades and remains a bit player. It's time to make larger changes rather than smaller incremental ones.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

IMHO, if you put the "simplified" notations for spells that I alluded to earlier on the thread -- spells being the most extensive use for Powers in the fantasy genre -- up front, you can include just about the same amount of system info as in Champions Complete elsewhere in the book. New players won't run into the intimidating stuff when they start reading the book, but when they're ready to explore HERO's full potential, it's there.

 

But of course it's up to Jason and the investors to decide where to draw the line. It's not a decision I envy them.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

IMHO' date=' if you put the "simplified" notations for spells that I alluded to earlier on the thread -- spells being the most extensive use for Powers in the fantasy genre -- up front, you can include just about the same amount of system info as in [i']Champions Complete[/i] elsewhere in the book. New players won't run into the intimidating stuff when they start reading the book, but when they're ready to explore HERO's full potential, it's there.

 

But of course it's up to Jason and the investors to decide where to draw the line. It's not a decision I envy them.

 

On this I agree mostly because once someone has read 150 pages then they will feel vested and reading through some technical stuff will be less intimidating.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Yes, but all Sidekick was, was a rulebook. Hopefully a new game book/"players' guide" book would be perceived differently.

 

However, you make a point, as neither PS238 nor Lucha Libre Hero were my favorite books either. I think those books had other issues, but I didn't try to hand them to newbies to learn Hero System. Without that kind of feedback, it's hard to say what new players want, or will tolerate. In my mind, one rules light "player handbook" with a mini-setting, plus one rules extension book to complete the rules, would be acceptable to the largest number of people, as well as a decent way to get new people started. I of course have no empirical evidence for that idea though.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I think we perceive the same tradeoffs/balance.

 

But what are we offering the gamer from other fantasy games to incent him to move to ours? "Your game has two kinds of magic and so does Hero" suggests that I gain nothing and must learn a new system. Taken to an extreme, we could rewrite the core D&D system (with all its skills, feats, spells, etc.) to map to Hero mechanics, but will "here's a way to play D&D with just d6's" be a significant selling point?

 

The selling point would still be. With Fantasy Hero you build any character you wish to. You aren't constrained by arbitrary "This feat requires Y feat and Z feat" to be purchased. You can have as many abilities as your point budget allows.

 

You give basic writeups and Real Point totals for every weapon/Spell/Magic item/Talent(Feat) that is appropriate for fantasy. You include enough rules so people know how to use the powers that make up the items. You leave all of the Power Construction stuff out of the rules. You publish those as a PDF that is included with the free DL of the PDF. That allows lots of pregen abilities. Without all of the complicated Power gen stuff. Heck with powergen Hero has a pretty simple character Generation.

 

I would also include the Equipment Pool rules and how it can be used to simulate a Spell book, and it's usefulness during character gen for limiting the amount of equipment characters have at start. I would also love to see a section that discusses why one might want to ignore the Equipment pool points after play starts and why some GM's might still want players to keep track of it.

 

The book should have a Specific Power Level in mind and effectively communicate that. I would love to see a chart that has suggested stat's for the Various Archetypes (ie Warrior, Rogue, Priest, Wizard). It's very important in 6e to give players a good foundation for what decent Characteristics are esp for the secondaries. New players have little to no guidance for what their secondary characteristics should be (ie PD, ED, STUN, END, REC).

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

One of the problems I heard a lot (on these boards) with 5th Edition Sidekick and 6th edition Hero System Basic Rules is that "It didn't contain the complete rules." So I'd be very careful about what you do and do not include in this book.

 

I would say that it should include every rule required to play and rules for using every genre appropriate skill and every power in the system. I hate how HSBR is missing stuff for actually playing the game. So when the players want to play with gamers with 6e1 and 6e1 they have an understanding of how the system works and how all of the powers work. They might not initially be able to create their own spells and items, but that is something that can be learned later.

 

Also I am all for including a PDF appendix with the FH book that includes the Spell creation. that Appendix might be a great Print on Demand option from Drive Thru RPG (or wherever Hero can get POD services). That PDF might also be a great place to put complete spell writeups that include powerpoint breakdowns (like are in HS Grimore and HS Equipment)

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I'm mixed in my response to this. On the one hand' date=' I agree that any pregenerated spells should be presented initially in an abbreviated format, for casual browsers who would be put off by the full HERO stat blocks. The [i']Fantasy HERO Grimoire[/i] actually does provide such a format at the beginning of each spell write-up, using only the stats a player would use during play: type of Power, number of dice, range, duration, AoE, casting time, etc., plus a textual description of the effect. However, that's followed by the full HERO breakdown for each spell. I'd like to see the spells presented all together in shortened form in one section of the book, with the detailed builds in another section, for when gamers become more comfortable with the system and want to know how it works (and to build their own original spells).

 

Looking at the HERO System Grimoire, I think the presentation is largely fine. I'll disagree with you that it's a good idea to have the spell description in one section and the detailed builds in another section. If you're going to have the content, have it all in one place. It will be better in the long run to have information that a starting player can ignore if they choose to, than require the slightly more experienced player to have to flip back and forth to different sections of the book to find information about a single spell.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

But what are we offering the gamer from other fantasy games to incent him to move to ours? "Your game has two kinds of magic and so does Hero" suggests that I gain nothing and must learn a new system. Taken to an extreme, we could rewrite the core D&D system (with all its skills, feats, spells, etc.) to map to Hero mechanics, but will "here's a way to play D&D with just d6's" be a significant selling point?

 

As someone with a gaming group that I'm trying to get to take up HERO as our primary fantasy RPG, having two "base" magic systems offers familiarity (particularly if one is for "arcane" magic and the other is for "divine" magic). I think even presenting up to four magic systems for characters to choose from (justified with background from the sample setting as opposed to simply focusing on the system mechanics) would probably be manageable. Much more than that will likely be challenging to the fledgling GM (such as myself) as well as the players. Presenting options for toolkitting and customizing the system in the GM's section of the material (as someone else suggested earlier) is something I can see working.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

The selling point would still be. With Fantasy Hero you build any character you wish to. You aren't constrained by arbitrary "This feat requires Y feat and Z feat" to be purchased. You can have as many abilities as your point budget allows.

...

The book should have a Specific Power Level in mind and effectively communicate that. I would love to see a chart that has suggested stat's for the Various Archetypes (ie Warrior, Rogue, Priest, Wizard). It's very important in 6e to give players a good foundation for what decent Characteristics are esp for the secondaries. New players have little to no guidance for what their secondary characteristics should be (ie PD, ED, STUN, END, REC).

 

I largely agree with these points. The caveat to the first point is that the GM's section of the material needs to provide the fledgling GM with some guidance on how to maintain game balance -- which is alluded to in your point about providing a specific power level and providing guidance on what is "reasonable" for the characteristics. In the games I have attempted to run (as a GM who is relatively new to HERO), the problem for me has been with OCV and DCV. At least 2 of my 5 players are prototypical power gamers, and they quickly figured out that one point of extra SPD (bumped up to 4 instead of 3) makes a HUGE difference in combat...and I didn't know enough about the impact/implications to say "No!". Couple that with min-maxed OCV, DCV, and enough REC to go "all out" for the entire turn and get all spent END back with a single post-segment 12 recovery, and you've got a bit of a problem. BODY can also be a problem for new players. Coming from other systems, they see BODY as "hit points", and, of course, more is better. If you're not careful, you quickly find yourself dealing with characters in what was supposed to be a low-fantasy game who play more like the cast of "Hawk the Slayer" and have more BODY than your typical whale.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Looking at the HERO System Grimoire' date=' I think the presentation is largely fine. I'll disagree with you that it's a good idea to have the spell description in one section and the detailed builds in another section. If you're going to have the content, have it all in one place. It will be better in the long run to have information that a starting player can ignore if they choose to, than require the slightly more experienced player to have to flip back and forth to different sections of the book to find information about a single spell.[/quote']

 

I respectfully disagree about the presentation of the Grimoire. I found it so unreadable as to be almost useless. This has more to do with it being solid chunks of small italicized text, with nothing to organize it visually, than with the actual content presented.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Looking at the HERO System Grimoire' date=' I think the presentation is largely fine. I'll disagree with you that it's a good idea to have the spell description in one section and the detailed builds in another section. If you're going to have the content, have it all in one place. It will be better in the long run to have information that a starting player can ignore if they choose to, than require the slightly more experienced player to have to flip back and forth to different sections of the book to find information about a single spell.[/quote']

 

The trick would be to have a complete writeup without points numbers with the exception of how many Real points the spell is. So everything you need to use the spell would be in the writeup for the spell with the exception of the active point values for customization. All the numbers with the exception of the real points of the spell (and end cost if any) would appear in the PDF. The PDF should have the complete writeup including all point values (Like you would see in the Grimoire) with possibly including the customization options from Grimoire. The front of the book would be ready for play stuff. The PDF would be all about customizing everything (ie Weapons, Spells, Custom Talents, Custom Maneuvers, Magic items etc).

 

Present all of the stuff that you do addition and other basic math in the Core Fantasy Hero Complete Book (Dungeon Hero?). Put all of the customization and power stuff that complicates stuff and turns new players off in the included PDF.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I respectfully disagree about the presentation of the Grimoire. I found it so unreadable as to be almost useless. This has more to do with it being solid chunks of small italicized text' date=' with nothing to organize it visually, than with the actual content presented.[/quote']

 

The main problem with the Grimoire write-ups on the spells that cause this problem were all of the ways to modify the spell to make it more or less powerful. In some cases, more space was devoted to all of the options to modify a spell than was given to the spell and description.

 

As an example, look at the write-up for Fireball (p. 135). There are 8 lines of basic statistics, 3 lines of description, 7 lines of mechanics, and then 23 lines of how to modify the spell...and in most cases, once a player understands the system well enough to want to start modifying the spell, they'll understand the system well enough to calculate the cost of adding advantages and or limitations to a spell. I'd be more interested in seeing options listed only if someone has come up with a particularly clever build -- and in those instances, I'd like to see a description of the effect of the changes rather than just the point costs. In the GMs section of the book there should probably be some kind of list of the in-game implications of certain advantages in a concise format. For example, adding the AOE (1 hex) advantage to a spell means the character now only has to hit DCV 3 in order to hit his target. An over-eager GM who hasn't taken the time to read everything in detail might allow that, not realizing that he's allowed a player to build an attack that will rarely ever miss.

 

The trick would be to have a complete writeup without points numbers with the exception of how many Real points the spell is. So everything you need to use the spell would be in the writeup for the spell with the exception of the active point values for customization. All the numbers with the exception of the real points of the spell (and end cost if any) would appear in the PDF. The PDF should have the complete writeup including all point values (Like you would see in the Grimoire) with possibly including the customization options from Grimoire. The front of the book would be ready for play stuff. The PDF would be all about customizing everything (ie Weapons' date=' Spells, Custom Talents, Custom Maneuvers, Magic items etc).[/quote']

 

I can go along with that idea...Everything would still be in one place for the spells (in the PDF), we just wouldn't burden the book with it...Saves on space, and makes the system simpler for the starting player. I'd been away from the thread for several days and had forgotten about the supplemental PDF.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Chiming in late but figured I'd toss in my $.02. Bit rambling and without quotes to some things I'm responding to.

 

My top 3 reasons for loving Hero:

  • Modular Effect Based Power System - Build what you want rather than relying on someone to produce the supplement with the power you want.
  • Any Genre - The rules are flexible and scalable enough you can run any setting. I've played fantasy, supers, steampunk, star wars, cross genre rules, etc. with hero.
  • Only one core book needed to run anything. Everything else I buy is examples and suggestions on customizing to a genre.

 

My preference is for "Dungeon Hero" (really like that title) is to have it be a complete setting and not genre book but not a rule book. If you want to capture the fantasy gamer (aka get some D&D / Pathfinder players to try Hero), give them something that is similar to what they are used to but showcases what Hero is capable of. Give them a setting, rules customizations, templates, sample spells, monsters, equipment, and an adventure/mini-campaign so they can hit the ground running.

 

Basically I'm suggesting something similar to the extremely popular Savage Worlds setting (like Hellfrost or Deadlands) or plot point books (50 Fathoms, Deadlands The Flood, Necessary Evil,... seriously get 50 Fathoms and read it; their best example of a plot point books capability). In the thread I saw mention on SW moving to a Rules+Setting book... there were 2 (ever) made that I know of (Pirates and Solomon Kane) and only one is still in print; even their main settings of Deadlands, Hell on Earth, Noir, etc. all require the main book. Think that shows that for SW players at least they prefer to have a main rulebook separate from the settings. The main book costing $10 made it take off like gangbusters.

 

Savage Worlds has set their focus on the time constrained gamers (adults with jobs and children) with their plot point settings and rules in general. While they do have some genre books (supers and horror; IMHO SW doesn't do supers well as it isn't scalable).

 

I personally prefer hero to have a genre free rulebook and was a bit sad that it was champions focus. Like others I prefer hero for fantasy and I wasn't well pleased having it be superhero focused. But I got the book and found that the superhero focus was just art, some text, and a few pages of genre info at the back. So with the idea that CC was the core rulebook going forward, I picked up 5 copies. I'm a bit miffed to learn there will be a fantasy hero complete ... won't be buying since I already have 2 core rulesets. Actually I've never bought any Hero setting/genre+rules included books (dropped out of the Narosia kickstarter because it did) after the different lines merged into Hero System as it violates what Hero means to me (one genre free rules book).

 

Maybe I'd buy a customized ruleset for a focused fantasy gaming experience that was based on Hero.... something to whet new players appetite for the potential of Hero and only had what was core for the game (so didn't reprint the entire core rules from CC). On that note I'd actually recommend streamlining the game in general. Take a look at these sheets teh bunneh uses for Titans

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php/89685-Hero-GUI?p=2332424#post2332424

Something like that would work quite well for fantasy.... the sheet can look pretty similar to what they are used to (D&D and Hero core stats aren't that different), there is no endurance, and no speed. The experience of such a dungeon hero game would be quite similar to D&D, help alleviate some fear on the complexity of hero compared to D&D (... D&D 3.X is more complicated than Hero really). A bunch of templates, talents, spells, etc in that format could be quite compelling and then point them at the core rulebook if they want to build their own stuff. Of course it is sacrificing some sacred Hero cows.

 

There is much about Savage Worlds rules I don't like - not scalable, randomly deadly from exploding dice, and the powers are completely combat focused (how useful is shapeshifting to a house cat for a minute or two). But I buy and play their products anyway because they very successfully targeted my gamer profile (married, demanding job, kids) with their core rules + setting plot-point books.

 

I also like Pathfinder's setting, modules, and adventure paths. I could run my newly acquired Rise of the Runelords for a year or more with my group with no more prep than reading the adventure and making some notes. But good lord the rules are a killer... spread across an infinite number of books with loopholes aplenty for power gamer builds. I could just limit it to the core and maybe advanced players guide... but still some good opportunity for power builds (or crap builds).

 

I'd love to see Hero go somewhat in the direction of Savage Worlds or Pathfinder. Core rules and a way to hit the ground running. I still want the genre toolkits too for when I have time... but I know what I (and many others) need is something that lets me just run with low prep and that is where Savage Worlds and Pathfinder win.

 

Some will say "you can't make money with modules"... tell that to Paizo and Savage Worlds folks. Piazo makes some good money on the rules but as far as I can gell the modules and adventure paths are serious money makers and certainly one of the reasons they had a market before making Pathfinder.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Fantasy Hero first edition is 160 pages, of less dense type than CC (CC is roughly 1200 words per page, FH1 is roughly 1000, not counting art and tables). The rules portion of FH1 takes up 94 pages, leaving 66 pages for the Campaigning (about 8 pages on how to run FH) and Sourcebook (remainder used for premade packages, spells, monsters, items, &c) sections; the rules portion of CC is 160 pages, with 80 for the remainder. I would suggest putting the full CC rules text into FHC.

 

FH1 contains 9 premade magic items (mainly "artifact and relic" type), 28 monsters (8 animals, 12 "manlike" (human, demi-human, and humanoid), 4 each classic fantasy monsters and undead), 3 racial templates (dwarf, elf, halfling), 4 "class" templates (warrior, wizard, rogue, priest) plus one additional created as an example of how to create them (viking), 30 premade spells of various types, conversion notes (to and from RuneQuest and MERP) and one sample adventure of about 15 pages, including writeups for NPCs and three sample PCs. Some of the magic item and monster pages (about 5 in total) are taken by specific rules for creating them, which would be moved into the main rule section. The remainder comes to roughly 60,000 words, or 50 pages at CC density. We've got an additional 30 to play with, giving a total of about 96,000 words.

 

FH1 was not really a lot of material to play with, but it was a very good place to start. My group brought in material from other HERO System books, and did a couple of wholesale conversions. Given the large amount of supplemental material available, I'd say an FHC (especially with a companion volume) could definitely be viable.

 

I just wanted to reiterate all of this stuff. Also: I don't see the point if it's not going to be Complete. If it's a subset, we're not introducing people to the power of the HERO System by giving them the power of the HERO System.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Some will say "you can't make money with modules"... tell that to Paizo and Savage Worlds folks. Piazo makes some good money on the rules but as far as I can gell the modules and adventure paths are serious money makers and certainly one of the reasons they had a market before making Pathfinder.

 

Paizo is a special case, though. They cater to the D&D fanbase, largest in the hobby. They can churn out generic adventures relatively quickly and cheaply, because of the uniformity of the game; and they have enough potential buyers that they can turn a profit doing so. There's no way HERO for fantasy will bring in anywhere near that number of players for the foreseeable future, no matter what the company does.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I've posted elsewhere that while modules may not be hugely profitable, they are nonetheless critical for creating a fan base. I love Hero but I don't have time to write up new adventures for every session--and I'm really, really familiar with Hero. Hell, I didn't have time for that before I had a family and mortgage; I'd say 90% of my Fantasy Hero games were straight converted D&D modules (which is incredibly sad). We need playgroups to be able to pick up a module and go. We also need modules to show newish players how it's done. If Hero targets the subset of players that have enough RPG experience and free time to pick up a 400-page RPG, learn it, and then make adventures and campaigns out of thin air, the customer base will be limited.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Agree with Old Man here. Adventures, splat books and such are fairly critical in selling the primary product, even if they themselves are poor sellers. The trick is learning to write scenarios that play to the strengths of Hero and not the conventions of D&D.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

- Use those "Equal Damage" rules from FH 6e. Seriously cuts down on space for weapons. Do still use the Slashing, Bashing, and Piercing rules though. Also, the idea of 5 or so pages for Weapons, Armor, and Shields sounds very "pick up and play" to me. Now is not the time to split hairs. Just tell the reader that there's a much more detailed Equipment Book available for purchase.

 

- Why not settle for 300 pages? FH 5e and 6e seem to indicate that there is more to Fantasy than Superheroes and I don't think readers will be particularly intimidated by a book that size.

 

- I still like the idea of mini-settings a la PA HERO and UF HERO. Sell them on PDF only. Could start with condensed versions of Turakian Age, Valdorian Age, Atlantean Age, and Tuala Morn.

 

- I like Templates, but I also liked the Superhero Gallery from Champions 6e. Again, that approach makes the game much more "pick up and play" to me.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

I am late to this thread and not a common poster (my account is many years old, but my first true post was earlier today) but I thought I would weigh in a bit here.

 

To Jason's first (?) question: given the options you seem to have offered, I prefer the standalone book. The reason is that if you went with a non-standalone, and the book pointed back at another book for rules, why would it be Champions Complete? If you are pointing back, point to 6th edition core books, reprinting them if necessary. That was the whole point of having core books in the first place.

 

To his next question (3 things): clearly all of HERO has customization/flexibility, so that goes without saying even though I just did...

  • Balance - In D&D low levels, mages had little to contribute while fighters could wade into combat. At high levels, mages were like nukes and fighters didn't matter. In HERO things are balanced and scalable. Even if power-gamers try to crush the system, point maxima, suggested optimization, and the like can more easily stop them, too.
  • Non-combat Characterizations - HERO has important facets like skills and disadvantages that often have no combat use. While other systems have non-combat stuff, I never see them actually used in game very much, but in HERO, I do.
  • Fantasy Combat Options - I see a few things about HERO combat that make it "better" than most systems: hit location, ablative armor, END/STUN/BODY, and probably a lot more that I am not thinking of right now. This means combat makes a kind of sense that others don't. Many friends ran away from D&D in the early 80s because of warts such as an 8th level fighter versus 20 farmers with pitchforks. Buying a helmet (or caring about helmets in the first place) is pointless without called shots/hit location. Killing Attacks (more common in fantasy) mean actually getting hurt.

As for the distribution question, do what ever gets more new people in. I know few people playing any RPG, but of those who do, it is hard to convince them to leave D&D. Right now, the second most common system that folks I know are playing is Fiasco, and well, I'm not sure that's really a HERO competitor right now, as it is more like collaborative writing.

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Re: Looking For Input On Potential New Fantasy Product

 

Just regarding the page count, I think the idea was to keep the book below a certain price point. Champs Complete is already forty bucks which is pushing my impulse-buy envelope.

 

It occurs to me that adventures could be published as PDFs for free, just put them behind a registration wall so people have to give us their email so we can spa-- I mean, send them updates, and to get an idea of the size of the customer base. They should also be forced to create accounts here on the forums because everyone here is awesome. :)

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