Jump to content
bluesguy

Experiences teaching people Hero Game system

Recommended Posts

I really like Savage Worlds, but it just plain cannot create the same detail for characters as Hero can. It also fails a lot of character concepts completely. Try to make a character with high skill and low power in magic and you fail. But if you are happy with 3 powers your mage can be downright unbalancing in some situations. I have also noticed the assumed starting point of Novice generates a lot of clones, to cure that I suggest starting at Seasoned, then last thing that drives me nuts is the high probability of instant death. I know that is a feature they are going for (Savage Worlds), but it can suck when a Goblin kills you and spending two bennies is not enough to stay alive.

 

Overall I like Savage Worlds for pick up or one shot games, but it does not appeal to me as a long running or campaighn type game because I do not want to spend a lot of time and energy getting invested in a character that will die because I rolled a 1 on my d8 and now I can work miracles (12.5%).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever its mechanics deficiencies might be, I feel that Savage Worlds does do one thing particularly well: as a brand, it focuses primarily on game settings, not generic genre books. Savage Worlds has a core rulebook and four genre supplements (the Companions). Beyond that, nearly every single SW product is a setting book or a supplement for a specific setting. This, I feel, is how an RPG sustains itself in the long run in today's marketplace.

 

I also like its general approach to published adventures: the Plot Point Campaign and its Side Quests. This concept integrates a major story arc into the very fabric of the setting, with lots of room for GMs to slip in custom-built sub-plots and adventures that hook into the main plotline. I think this idea strikes a good balance between giving casual players material to run with minimal preparation, and giving dedicated players room to craft their own stories within the broader scope of the campaign world and its epic struggles.

 

As a fan of the Hero System, I'd love to see it adopt the SW approach: stop with the generic supplements and focus exclusively on campaign settings with rich "plot point" style adventure structures upon which experienced groups can hang their own stories. The Hero System already has the mechanics side of things nailed down, and the 6e core library provides all the general purpose optional rules you could want (sort of detailed mecha rules, perhaps). What it lacks is the cornucopia of settings like SW has spawned. Campaign settings are like fishing nets: the more you have, the more fish you can catch... (fish, in this analogy, are newcomers to the system, in case that wasn't obvious.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, Hero tries so hard to be generic that even setting books feel generic.

 

Fantasy Hero is a good example, they still refrained from setting baseline assumptions and the sample characters are from a huge point range, so you cannot grab and go. With Fanasy Hero Sixth Ed Steve included several grab and go characters as well as generic mobs that should have made it into Fantasy Hero Complete or at least a free PDF download. Something to grab a player and bring them in, after they are grabbed then throw all the utility at them.

 

We do have some books that are grab and go, but they require you to have the main book already.

For the record Narosia should be coming out sometime in 2099 or so and looking at it the plan is for it to be a complete book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the record Narosia should be coming out sometime in 2099 or so and looking at it the plan is for it to be a complete book.

Which likely limits its viability to address the issues. While it may be complete, the (IMO) very poor delivery seems to hamper the ability to expand that setting, even if it's the greatest thing ever created.

 

(For anyone not aware, this was a Kickstarter and is now almost 2 1/2 years late on delivery.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as HERO v. something else, it really depends on the feel of the game you want to run, moreso than broad-stroke genre. 

 

"Fantasy" doesn't really communicate anything. Your standard Forgotten Realms-ish story can be done with D&D 3, 4, 5, Pathfinder, Fate, Savage Worlds, Imagine, Anima, Feng Shui, Cypher System, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Burning Whel or yes, HERO. 

 

And those will all feel very different. And that is very, very good! 

 

I am in no way a proponent of the "one system to rule them all" approach. SW has a very particular feel to its combat - fast, and frenetic, very pulp. If that's what I want - something like the excellent comic Skullkickers, then yes. Savage Worlds. Fate has its own little rhythm, its resolution has a pretty unique feel, and has a lot of shared narrative control between players and GM. D&D does what it does - I'm not super thrilled with it, but sometimes that's what you want.

 

HERO is what I would consider if I was really looking for distinction between characters, and wanted... whatever HERO combat feels like. Because right now, I still don't know, and I'm a big proponent of feel. 

 

But if I were to try to run/play every game in the same system - even if I really like that system - then I would be robbing myself of a wealth of opportunities, and severely diminishing my enjoyment of the hobby. It's worth noting, that this is not an attack on people who want to do this! If you have something that works for you, and works for the type(s) of game you want to run, then awesome! You're awesome, everything is awesome.

 

But it is hardly unsurprising to me that not everybody feels that way. I don't feel that way. I'm big on systems as toolkits - I use different tools for different situations. I'm super enamored with HERO, largely because it seems like a strong candidate for the high-granularity corner of my toolkit. This is why I'm trying to figure out what HERO is like, what it's good at. 

 

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me Hero's biggest strength is the ability of each of the Heroes to be completely different. In many games I see the same character run across my lap with 10 different names, while in Hero each character has the potential to be unique.

 

So while all systems do have pro's and con's, Hero is my favorite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the previous posts are interesting and have been discussed in other threads (System X vs. Hero; Pros and Cons of each)....

 

Let us head back to the topic "Experiences teaching people Hero Game system"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some good luck, using the pre-generated characters and couple adventures I posted in the downloads section. I have used them at a con once, ran my Mom, Wife and Brother through them (my moms first game) and used them for some other groups. 

 

Twice it turned into longer running games, with the player customizing the character with their experience as the game grew. Skim it and consider giving it a try.

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/files/file/210-in-service-to-the-throne/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time I ran a hero game at a CON it was a huge hit and people loved it.  I wish I had the time and energy to do that again, because conventions are a good way to expose players to something new and better.

 

Fascinating! My experience with Con games has been less than stellar, though it can be good for introducing new ideas. Some games just do better in those truncated time slots than others. 

 

Having said that, some of my most successful experiences in teaching new systems have come in those con-style, bite-sized events, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Related: I'm going to have some friends over tonight - including the Physicist & Computer Programmer I've mentioned before from my gaming group. 

 

I have this idea in my head of printing out some character sheets, and hosting a battle royal over ice cream sundaes, in an attempt to learn HERO combat. 

 

What do we think: good idea? Bad Idea? Tips or hints? Advice on types of Ice cream?

 

...

 

This last one is, perhaps, less on-topic. But if Black Harlequin gets punched through a giant banana split, I guarantee that'll be memorable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Related: I'm going to have some friends over tonight - including the Physicist & Computer Programmer I've mentioned before from my gaming group. 

 

I have this idea in my head of printing out some character sheets, and hosting a battle royal over ice cream sundaes, in an attempt to learn HERO combat. 

 

What do we think: good idea? Bad Idea? Tips or hints? Advice on types of Ice cream?

 

...

 

This last one is, perhaps, less on-topic. But if Black Harlequin gets punched through a giant banana split, I guarantee that'll be memorable.

 

I think it is a great idea.  It is beer and pretzels stuff, no great investment required from players.  

 

I had to run a few combats when I first bought Champions to get my head around how to use the system and run a couple of scenarios to get better at judging what was important to spend points on...

 

My friend bought into the system when the bad guy kicked him through three walls due to knockback and I turned to him and said, "your action".

 

He was amazed he was alive to begin with, never mind being able to get immediately back into the fight.

 

If you can run a fight where there is a huge amount of scenery to shred, explore knockback etc, you get a definite superhero feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing my players love about Champions is 'property damage' ("More Property Damage").... I always run my Superhero games in the city where 'we' all live.  So at one point it was all over New Mexico; another group it was the DFW area;  and currently it is the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.  This makes it more fun when they are involved in a fight someplace they all know about.  The players want a major fight (they had a minor one) in the Mall of America so they can be involved in major property damage at MoA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe that's why people seem to like Man of Steel so much.  After all, they didn't show the screaming children and families being crushed under thousands of tons of collapsing buildings, it just looked spectacular.

 

Yeah, there's definitely a balance to be struck. In our little rumble, our speedster used two actions to set up their shot - on phase 4, used a held action to evacuate the liquor store, on phase 5 ran accross a couple skyscrapers to build momentum, then hockey-checked the guy into it.  

 

I agree with both stances - collateral damage gives a solid superhero feel, and entirely ignoring the fact that urban centers are, by definition, full of people kicks me square in the verisimilitude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time I'll ignore the massive effects of superhero battles. If it's a very gritty, realistic campaign, it could be appropriate...but I don't see myself running such a campaign anytime soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prior to the deconstructionism of the 80s and the nihilism of, well, Millar, four-color superhero comics allowed the reader to safely assume that innocent bystanders miraculously avoided death and dismemberment despite the massive environmental carnage happening all around them. That's the genre convention I prefer as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I think that's what generally people are willing to buy.  The problem is if you otherwise present everything as realistically and "gritty" as possible, you can't then rely on the suspension of belief that allows you to ignore collateral damage.  If you're running an otherwise more "romantic" (as in less super hardcore) campaign, you don't need to worry as much.  Having a few scenes of people helping evacuate, saving a few citizens, and then lots of grateful people works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I was running a 'gritty' campaign then the characters would be built on a lot less points and it would be closer to Dark Champions than what I am currently running for Champions which is a Silver Age style game.  No one can destroy a building but they can sure take out cars, trucks, dumpsters, and all manner of stuff around themselves.  And yes they get to rescue civilians who get in the line of fire.  They like that part too.  My wife plays a brick (totally against type in a lot of ways) and her favorite thing so far with this character was using a parked semi as battering ram and then the axle as a 'bat' on Black Paladin and his horse.

Share this post


Link to post
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...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...