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I don't really agree. I very rarely get to play Hero these days, so when we use the system, I GM. As a GM, one of the things I like about Hero is that it's such a simple system to run. Character generation can be complex, yes, but the system itself uses a fairly simple, linear consistent game structure, which makes it easy to manage on the fly. That's one major reason it's remained my go-to system for games. The last time I ran a game, I didn't have my books with me, and to honest, didn't need them, even though we ran multiple combats in a variety of environments, plus a deal of non-combat activity (sneaking around, gathering information, building stuff, etc)


cheers, Mark


cheers, Mark

This pretty much mirrors my experience. Once you have done the prep work the rest is super easy.


The structure is so internally stable that it even stands up to adjusting elements within the campaign. Characters have right on the sheet all of their maneuvers and the game mechanics for their powers so you hardly ever have to open a book in combat.


Really the last time I played a game that required frequent rules reference it was Pathfinder (the most popular game on the market), the gamemaster was always flipping to situational modifiers or looking at how a power on a character sheet should work. For that game the game master had some great ideas but the system was really in the way.

With HERO there are baseline assumptions and once you get those the books really only cover elaboration or QA.

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Something that gets glossed over when people talk about RPGs is that once the action enters combat, the game becomes a wargame. And as wargames go, the Hero System is one of the best out there (for what it is simulating). I agree whole-heartedly that the mechanics are very intuitive and elegant on the whole. But the complexity of superhero characters makes playing the wargame well non-trivial. By way of analogy, the rules/mechanics for a game like PanzerBlitz are quite simple and straightforward, but playing it well is another matter entirely.


I've played in a lot of Champions games, and the vast majority of players did not really play their characters that well once combat began. That's because I've found that most roleplayers aren't wargamers at heart. Some are, but most of them fall into one of Allston's categories that isn't the Simulationist or Wargamer. Those of us at the table who cut our teeth on Squad Leader, Napoleonics miniatures, Star Fleet Battles, and BattleTech could see just how daunting the Champions character sheet was for everyone else once it came time to put all that data into action on the battlemat. Running a full-blown superhero character well is hard, just like playing chess well is hard.


Playing a coordinated team of villains well is hard times five or six (or however many villains there are). Being good at playing the combat game with one character is just one requirement; that talent has to extend to multiple characters with often widely varying abilities used in a coordinated fashion, to say nothing of playing them "in character" the whole time. In my experience, it is a rare individual who can pull it off with Champions, much much rarer than with D&D, d20, or any other commonly played system out there.

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Again, that doesn't really match my experience very well. There are certainly players who don't do combat well (edit: and our group has a couple ...), but in my experience, they do D20 or Hero system equally badly. Running a decent-sized team with multiple powers well is a challenge of the GM, but I honestly don't find Hero system harder than running a high level group of D20 PCs (rather the reverse, actually). It's not a question of experience, since I have lots of experience with both systems. It's more that a superheroic Champions PC can have a lot of options ... but generally fewer than a 15th level Wizard or Cleric in D20, and in my experience at least, is easier to run, since his options all use the same basic attack/effect or movement mechanisms. There's none of this "You can't use Vital Strike with Spring attack, because they are both attack options..." stuff.


I do agree that Hero system combat can be a bit war gamey - in fact, we used to do one-off skirmish war-games with Hero system: glorious over-the-top character design fun! - but actually (again, in my experience) it's less so than with say, Pathfinder.


cheers, Mark

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I also do not usually work with heroic system. Even Dragon Clans is more super heroic. So I do worry about equipment and money a little.


If you have Fantasy Hero 6e, see pages 172 - 181 for a nice list of equipment and the combat effects of some of that equipment can be found on pages 189 - 226.


Armor:  Do not use sectional armor because it is too complex to start out with. 


Weapons:  Limit the list of weapons that are available.


Money:  You have some choices on this one:

  1. Let them have the appropriate armor/weapons for their culture.  Basically assume they are trained in their home cultural norm for weapons and armor.  So a nomadic tribe might only have leather but a mounted knight would have chainmail or better and the same for their horse.  And then have them roll xd6 for how much silver they have to start with.  Generally I have the players start with 100 to 200 sp.
  2. Have them buy the right armor and weapons.  For this figure out what the cost of the most basic average equipment for the party, that is your base sp.  Then have the player roll xd6 for how much additional silver they have.  Then let them shop for what they want


Personally I go with the first approach.  I also guess how much they need to survive (food & lodging) for a month (room, board, & supplies).  That helps me figure out how much treasure to have them find/capture/appropriate from each adventure/job.  I try to keep the players relatively broke.

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I am definitely going to let them have generated characters.  (which already has basic equipment and a horse)  They are 15 years old.  I don't think they will care to figure out what to buy, how much it is, and how much they have back.


1 copper = $1

1 silver = $10

1 Gold = $100


So, I will let them roll 3d6 and that's how many silver they have left.  So the least they will have is $30 and the most is $180 

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I think the game is going to move to Friday instead of Saturday!  I have a very, very basic game in mind, but I just need to print off some maps...


and characters...


and traps...


Talking about traps.  This is what I have so far.  (I don't think they will read this).

They are going to start off in their favorite tavern. 

Cue roll play.

Then a man in a robe, who looks beaten and bruised rushes in and douses down a quick ale.

Cue roll play,

One way or the other he will say that he was hired to fetch a magical wand (controls the weather) for Lord Garreth  of the area.  but on his way to Garreth's house, his band of men were attacked by orcs.   He was the only survivor.

Cue roll play. (Which I'm sure they will help)

He draws a map for them, but lets them know that they need to retrieve the wand by midnight or it will be fully charged and they can use it to attack the city (or town)  It will be 10 p.m. and they have at least a half hour ride ahead of them.

Cue more roll play.

Eventually they will go down the main road until they veer off the less traveled path.

Cue roll play

They will soon realize that they will have troubles going down the path on their horses as it has too many trees.

cue roll play.

Eventually they run into a simple pit trap.  It will be dark by then, and the trap is well covered so a minus on PER rolls.

Hopefully at least one will fall into the pit.

cue roll play.


Now, I'd like to have 2 more traps before they reach the orcs.  Any suggestions?

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It is part of the extras provided to the Kickstarter pledges. Not sure if that is going to come out for the general public.


The setting itself is really narrowly focused on a mountain kingdom. Most of the map real estate is taken up by mountainous terrain. Perfect for dungeon delving adventures (there is always a cave/dungeon under mountains after all).  I would say it is less useful for surface wilderness adventures, but not by much. I would expect a lot of characters to have Climbing as a skill. Perhaps it would be an Everyman skill.


I'm not thrilled with the default magic system for the setting, but it can be easily replaced. It is not a terrible system in its own right, but for a general purpose product I would have like to have seen a more general type of magic system.

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That sounds awesome. Good luck.



PS; Someone said Fantasy Hero Complete comes with a setting. What Setting is that, I did not notice one.

I said that.


It may only be available for people who sponsored the Kickstarter :rockon: ...  It is made up of a kingdom, some towns, cities, races, classes, deities and magic system.  A very good starting point for a beginning GM

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I'm not thrilled with the default magic system for the setting, but it can be easily replaced. It is not a terrible system in its own right, but for a general purpose product I would have like to have seen a more general type of magic system.


A general magic system would have been nice.  But the Grimoire can meet the needs for a basic/general magic system pretty well.

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Forest traps: snares (grab by a leg and yank into the air or grab in a net and pull up), Bees on a stick (basically a tripwire connected to a beehive that falls), or the old punji stakes: small pits with sharpened stakes in them that point down and inward, very hard to remove your foot without being gouged and diseased.  Think Vietnam, but without the explosives.

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Forest traps: snares (grab by a leg and yank into the air or grab in a net and pull up), Bees on a stick (basically a tripwire connected to a beehive that falls), or the old punji stakes: small pits with sharpened stakes in them that point down and inward, very hard to remove your foot without being gouged and diseased.  Think Vietnam, but without the explosives.


I don't want to kill them - yet.  So, the snare and bees it is.

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Hum, now I have to go digging through my emails.

I backed the kickstarter (heck I even went so far as to order the signed number 1) but I do not recall being emailed a setting all I have is the FHC and the character pack for HD.


Sign in to Kickstarter and check you messages regarding this Kickstarter. There is a link with login information.

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My very first game I got stuck in a pit trap.  (which is why I included a pit trap).  It was D&D and i was a teenager *cough 35 years ago cough* 


I didn't have a clue how to escape that trap, so the GM gave me (my character) 5 tries to escape, and then let my character die down there, and we begun again, and he would not let me look for a trap, because he asked.  "Why would you look for one?  You don't know there is a trap up ahead."


And I fell in again, but the next time, I got out.  That was within the first 15 minuets of the game!


So, I kinda hope they fall in.


note:  3 hours and counting...

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February 20, 2014, I GMed a game for my son and his friend!!! About a week before this, my son approached me and asked me if I could explain to him and his friend how to play D&D. His friend has seen D&D played on YouTube, but he has never actually played it.


I explained to him that I knew how to play Fantasy Hero, and haven't played D&D since I was a teenager. (I'm 48 now). And told him the best way to learn how to play a game is to – well, play in it. So, I offered to be his GM and whip something up.


Luckily, I had a week to put something together, and here is how it went. First I told my son and his friend to pick out two types of characters they wanted to play. My son's friend wanted to play a person like Robin Hood who could use a bow and arrow as well as a sword, and my son picked a wizard.


So, I picked Tarina and Valerius from the Fantasy Hero book for them to play. Of course, I didn't tell my son's friend that his player used to be a female.


So, about 1 o'clock we sat down ready to play. Since I took their names off, I told them to start they had to pick names for their characters. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the way my son took lead.


He picked the name Harry Potter (yup, you heard me), and his friend picked the name Robin Hood. (Hey they are 15.) One of the biggest laughs we got was when my son accidentally said “Fairy Potter” instead. I won't go into detail.


We joked around a bit, while I tried to explain what all the STR, DEX, and so on meant. One of the powers Hairy Potter had was turning into one of 16 different animals. He said “I don't think I'll ever use that.” He used it 3 times.


After explaining their sheets, I set them just entering the tavern at 10 pm. There were a man at the end of the bar drunk and passed out, and 4 people playing poker at one table. It had one bartender and one serving worman.


Then I mentioned they had a bouncer. Tough looking and big. My son asked if he could punch him. I said with a wry smile. “You can try.”... He decided not to.


I explained the money system. 1 copper = $1, 1 Silver = $10, and 1 gold = $100. I had them roll 3d6 to see how many silver they had. Hairy had a skill of playing the trumpet (instead of the harp), and my son suggested that he go outside and play to earn money. Anyways, Robin Hood rolled an 8 and Hairy rolled a 10.


My son asked if his character could get drunk. I said sure. He asked the barkeeper how much it was for drinks. 1 copper for ale, 3 coppers for whiskey, or 10 copper for the “good stuff in back”. They both chose ale.


As they were drinking a man in a hooded black robe ran inside. He looked beaten and bruised. He ran to the bar, ordered an ale and drank it quickly, clearly out of breath.


They asked what happened and he explained that he was supposed to retrieve a magic wand that controlled the weather for a nobleman, but his men were robbed by orcs on their way to the city.


My son asked some really good (and surprising) questions. Like how many men did he have, how many orcs attacked them, and what kind of weapons did they have.


I had to think on my feet, and even stretched the truth on how many orcs they saw. They rolled a roll and saw through the embellishment.


The man said that the wand was out of power, and would regain all of its powers by midnight. They asked how they could help.


The man drew a quick map to the orcs camp and told them it would take a half an hour on horseback just to reach the turn less traveled path to the orcs camp.


He offered them 3 gold a piece to retrieve the wand for him. They took the offer (no counter offer or anything).


They reached the path, and discussed what to do. Hairy decided to turn into a falcon to scout ahead and see where the camp was.


I showed him a map. There were at least 10 orcs in the camp, and one giant scorpion. (25 foot tall scorpion). And there was magic inside the larger tent. (Magesight)


My son asked if that was the wand they were looking for, and I just shrugged.


He flew back and told his Robin. I told them it would be almost an hour to reach their destination. So, they'd get there by 11:30.


So, they started down the trail, on foot, (because there were too many trees to go on horse) and about half way there, I had them roll a PER roll. It was a minus to see the pit trap, but they were able to find a way around the trap.


They continued on. I had them roll again. This time Robin missed his PER roll. And a bee hive hit him on the head, and they were both being attacked by a swarm of bees.


After asking a few questions, my son figured out that fire may scare the bees away, but they were afraid of doing a real fire, as the orcs may see or hear them at this point. So, he cast an illusion of a fireball and chased the bees away.


The illusion has the expendable foci limitation, so, now he couldn't use that again.. They traveled forward and started to discuss what to do.


I told them, all their discussion (and travel) now made the time 11:40. 20 minutes until midnight. Hairy turned into a squirrel and went to the other end of the camp to see if he could look inside the larger tent to see how many orcs were in there.


6 of the orcs had no armor on at all. (4 of those were asleep), and 4 other orcs had armor and Hairy was making his way over to the large tent.


While he was heading over, one of the orcs saw Robin hiding, (at this point I told them they had Nightvision). So Robin lead the orc away and hid


Squirrel Hairy stepped into a snare trap, that was used as a sounding alarm. Robin managed to shoot the orc in the back of the head


The orcs looked at the squirrel in the trap and just said. “Never mind it's just a squirrel, we'll have it for breakfast.” But now all the orcs were awake.


Hairy got out of the snare trap (gnawing his way out), and found there was the chief orc and an orc mage inside the tent. And he sees the wand!


He gets back to Robin and now, they had to get a plan to nab the want. 11:45 p.m. 15 minutes to midnight.


Hairy sets off a fire in the woods to lead the 4 armored orcs away, while, Robin would try to get closer.


Hairy sets off a fireball in the middle of the camp. Setting the 3 unarmored ones on fire.


One of the armored orcs sees Hairy, and the biggest, baddest orc, twice the size of the other orcs, wakes up. He has armor on, and he sees Robin and does a full run to him. Luckily Robin is faster.


Robin has 2 weapon fighting, so he decides to go for it, and runs flat out to meet the giant orc in combat, while Hairy takes knocks out the armored orc.


Robin (in two rounds) takes out the big orc in two Phases (the benefit of having a higher SPD) but the orc mage cast a spell and the giant scorpion heads for Robin.


He doesn't know what to do. So, I suggest that if rolls a low enough INT roll, I will give him a hint on what he could do.


He rolls good, and right next to him is a pit covered by bars for prisoners. I told him he may be able to dart down there in time (like a dive for cover), and then maybe get an arrow off on his next Phase.


But he missed his DEX roll, and the giant scorpion catches him in his pincer.


Hairy sees this and decides to help his friend rater than kill the unconscious orc


But he rolls 3 sixes. I already told him that 3 sixes were always the worst possible outcome. So, the orc wakes up, knocks his staff away, and captures Hairy.


Their weapons are taken away. The staff is taken away. They are put in the pit. 11:50 p.m. I tell my son that he can do a spell without his staff, but it will take all of his END reserve.


But, first, he had a spell that did not use his staff, it was +30 PRE, (only for PRE based attacks) and there was one guy watching them (in armor).


So, I told him, if he rolled high enough, he'd drop his sword and run away, and no one would see him.


So, he rolled very high, the gun drops his sword and runs away, they get out of the pit and Hairy gets ready to turn into a falcon (note, several animals were considered). But he just wanted to fly in, grab, the wand, and fly back out.


11:55 p.m. No time for stalling. He managed to fly in, get missed by the chief (the mage didn't roll low enough to try and stop the falcon.)


I had them roll to see if they remembered there was a pit trap. They did. And they got to their horses in time to get away! 5 xp each!


They get back to the tavern, and were smart enough to see the money before handing over the wand. But as the man left with the wand, he let out a sinister laugh, saying Lord Garethon (their hunted) would be thankful they retrieved the wand for him.... To be continued next game.

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That is great you are having fun. Did you include a time for them to give you feedback. Sometimes it is weird to see what the players enjoyed our were they spend time as compared to what you the game master enjoyed.

Sounds like they really did have fun though and that is what matters most.

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Feedback... "Awesome."  and "I can't wait to play again."  and "do you think we can play some more later?"  and "I wish we didn't have to wait until Sunday to play again."


So, yeah, there was feedback.


Snacks for game day.  "$10

Dice for game day $2

Laughing, GMing for your son, and eagerness to play again.- priceless.

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