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Problems With Fantasy Hero Complete and Newbies


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Sorry I've been out of the loop for a while. I've been busy. You mention in the "Digging Deeper" section on magic for Dominika that you'd have an example of extra END bought for spell usage, but I'm not seeing it. Am I just overlooking it? 

 

It's in her special abilities section (p. 13): +30 END, only to cast Shadow Magic.

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Looking at Dominika, three things come to mind.

 

First, considering that you gave her Shield Bash and ​Two-Weapon Fighting​, you should probably mention that she can also use Two-Weapon Fighting to strike with her shield (although abandoning it in favor of a shortsword might allow her to do more damage). Also, in the equipment section you should include statistics for shields being used as weapons. ​Fantasy Hero Complete​ doesn't present rules for attacking with shields, but ​Fantasy Hero 6th Edition​ does. FH6th suggests that shields be built as two-slot Multipower Reserves. I would present them like FH6th does in this case.

 

Second, you should note that because all her spells require Gestures; that they are interrupted if she is struck while casting (which may only happen if an enemy readies to interrupt her, but it's a fairly common tactic in these kind of games to do so, and bears mentioning), and that casting requires a free hand (she cannot cast while sword & boarding).

 

Third, I love that you gave her limited END for spellcasting. I do much the same for my spellcasters. However, you should present a rule for governing the recovery of Limited END versus normal END. ​Fantasy Hero Complete ​doesn't discuss the subject at all, which may lead to confusion and table variation. The house-rule I use is:

Normal Recovery applies to normal END first, and Limited END second. If a character has multiple forms of Limited END, they must define their priority for recovery when they are purchased. For example, if a character with 4 REC has spent 3 normal END and 6 Limited END, when they take their next Recovery they will recover the 3 normal END first, followed by 1 point of the Limited END.

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. In other words, not something you HAVE to take so you will be at a competitive power level, but something you WANT to take, both to better define your character and to drive the type of challenges that will occur in the game.

That's funny. To me it reads, and always has read, as if the intention were to do everything possible to make it seem that taking the full allotment of Complications was absolutely mandatory, short of actually making it absolutely mandatory.

 

And I have seen new people come on the boards who have had that exact impression.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Is this a mandatory palindromedary tagline?

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The difference between you HAVE to take complications and you WANT to take complications need not be an option to not take the complications.

 

Do you players feel they are FORCED to spend all their character points on characteristics, skills, powers, etc., or do the WANT to do so, and even wish they had more points to spend?

 

That, to me, was the desired result of the change to Complications - you WANT your full allotment, and you may even wish you had some more to further define the game's challenges as they will relate to your character.

 

Not that all players don't get the same, say, 150 points to spend and 50 points to fill with complications, but that it is no more a burden defining those complications than it is spending the character points.

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The difference between you HAVE to take complications and you WANT to take complications need not be an option to not take the complications.

There is no difference between "HAVE to take complications" and "there is no option to not take the complications."

 

Lucius Alexander

 

There is a difference between a palindromedary and a backandforthtrian

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I never felt as if I was compelled to take anything, in any edition of Champions or Hero system.  They were always presented as "you get this many points and if you want more you can take disadvantages."  Now it looks like "you get these points and if you want to you can take complications but you still get the points either way."

 

So I don't see where much has been gained.  The big help was reducing the number of suggested complication points for campaigns, so less experienced or thoughtful GMs don't require you to take so many you're just making up crap to get the points.

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I never felt as if I was compelled to take anything, in any edition of Champions or Hero system.  They were always presented as "you get this many points and if you want more you can take disadvantages."  Now it looks like "you get these points and if you want to you can take complications but you still get the points either way."

Except the rule didn't actually change.

 

Frankly I could live with it if it DID, I've come around to the idea that most if not all Complications could be tied not to the character point/experience point currency but to a separate Fate Point/Heroic Action Point system that rewards the player when the Complication actually comes into play, but the way the 6th edition rules are written the actual rules about Complications haven't changed but they're a lot easier to misunderstand.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary ate my Fortune Point House Rules

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There is no difference between "HAVE to take complications" and "there is no option to not take the complications."

There is a significant psychological difference, IMO, between feeling forced to grudgingly add complications to your character and actually wanting to take those complications as part of building your character. Do you feel forced to take the full character points for your character, or do you want to use as many character points as you can obtain to flesh out your character? Do you chafe on being saddled with xp as the game progresses, or does xp feel like a reward, and you pursue more? To me, the goal of 6e in this regard (whether it succeeded or failed) was to present complications as an integral part of your character that you wanted to include to make your character more cool, not a punishment you had to endure in order to get some extra character points so you could add cool stuff.

 

Except the rule didn't actually change.

Nope. Lots of gamers were OK with the old presentation, and found disadvantages an excellent character design tool, rather than a burden they chafed under. Presenting Complications more in the latter light than the former, not mechanical change, was the objective.

 

Frankly I could live with it if it DID, I've come around to the idea that most if not all Complications could be tied not to the character point/experience point currency but to a separate Fate Point/Heroic Action Point system that rewards the player when the Complication actually comes into play, but the way the 6th edition rules are written the actual rules about Complications haven't changed but they're a lot easier to misunderstand.

I don't actually find them any easier to misunderstand, but different presentations appeal to different people. Practically, I find them presented in a manner that makes it easier to under stand they are not a stick you must endure to obtain the carrot of more CP than they were in past editions, but a valuable means of fleshing out all aspects of your character, and driving some of the challenges in the game.

 

Using them as a driver of HAP was also discussed, but that would have been a major revamp. Now, you need to set a maximum on the points. There are also a lot of differences between complications that need to be resolved at that point. Do you get 1 HAP for a minor effect, 2 for a major impact and 3 for a crippling impact? If the pricing model stays the same, there must be a reason complications that have a more severe impact also carry a greater "cost". It's easy to see how their frequency makes them more costly - the more they come up, the more HAP I get.

 

Should some now be integrated into the sellback system? Does a Vulnerability to handguns in a Supers game merit an HAP every time a thug has a handgun? Do I get an HAP for my Code vs Killing every time I say "we will take them alive to face justice"? One for Overconfidence every phase I keep fighting instead of fleeing? The current system already had decades, and five editions, of playtesting. That would all be tossed out to start fresh under a HAP model.

 

I believe Steve was gunshy, with good reason, of such a radical change at a time when Hero did not have the resources to really playtest a new model. That is one of the advantages of real "new editions" - change can be made incrementally. The drawback is that radical change is much more difficult and unlikely.

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The combat example in the current PDF is up to five pages.  I think I'll stop narratively detailing everything and simply take another half-page or so just outright stating what else could happen.  There's no need to take the combat to the very end; I just want illustrate the key elements of combat rather than tell a story, and I don't want to bore the reader.

 

By this point I have:

 

Initiative

Actions in general: half, full, attack, half-moves, weapon draws

Holding actions

STR Mins and STR adding to damage

Armour use

Regular vs. killing damage

Resistant defences

CSL usage

Recoveries

 

Anything else?

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All right, I've concluded the Combat section with a page on normal damage, END use, and getting stunned.  Then there's an Appendix: that has a quickie guide to building magic systems and how to modify the game to capture various combat tones.  To ground people trying to find some basis for comparison, I've also placed the Characteristic Comparison chart there along with two monsters taken from the Hero Bestiary (I didn't want to use more because of copyright concerns; I think this is enough to get across the general idea of what a monster looks like without straying over the bounds of fair use).  I end with a bunch of links to product.

 

I think I'll call it a day here, unless anyone makes a good case for how something important is missing.  Some things discussed earlier -- even ones I thought might be good and was thinking of adding -- I decided to drop as the idea for the project evolved.  I want this to be a sort of general guide to how Fantasy Hero broadly works and what it can do, not a guide to how to specifically read or use Fantasy Hero Complete, even if it can't help but be that a bit since it draws on that book's material.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/357573/Fantasy%20Hero%20Primer.pdf

 

I'm also contacting the artists to see if they'll let me use their pieces for free distribution; I want to have that before I upload this to the Hero Games site proper.

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Well my approach would be to put the powers in the appendix; not part of base character creation but in the back as optional, if someone really wants to make their own new spells.  That way the player is presented with "here's how to make ur d00d" in easy form at first, then can go into the back for more advanced stuff.

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The great Martin McKenna (http://www.martinmckenna.net), of Fighting Fantasy, M:tG and other awesome art fame, just confirmed that I have permission to use his images in the pdf.  So that secures most of the art used in it right now.

 

Well my approach would be to put the powers in the appendix; not part of base character creation but in the back as optional, if someone really wants to make their own new spells.  That way the player is presented with "here's how to make ur d00d" in easy form at first, then can go into the back for more advanced stuff.

 

Sorry, I'm not clear on exactly what you're referring to.  What pages or material should go where?  What do you mean by "the powers"?

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just musing on the "Player's Handbook" I want to put out for my fantasy campaign setting, possibly next year.  The "Powers" section would be part of a full rewrite of the rules stripped down and simplified for players to use to make characters with.  But the powers/mods/frameworks section would go in an appendix for players to use for spellmaking if they wanted, not part of the main body of the rules.

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The great Martin McKenna (http://www.martinmckenna.net), of Fighting Fantasy, M:tG and other awesome art fame, just confirmed that I have permission to use his images in the pdf.  So that secures most of the art used in it right now.

 

 

Sorry, I'm not clear on exactly what you're referring to.  What pages or material should go where?  What do you mean by "the powers"?

I think he means the full builds, versus the narrative description of the power. The full builds(the crazy Hero accouning) in the appendix, while the main sections have the text description of what it does.

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All right, I've concluded the Combat section with a page on normal damage, END use, and getting stunned.  Then there's an Appendix: that has a quickie guide to building magic systems and how to modify the game to capture various combat tones.  To ground people trying to find some basis for comparison, I've also placed the Characteristic Comparison chart there along with two monsters taken from the Hero Bestiary (I didn't want to use more because of copyright concerns; I think this is enough to get across the general idea of what a monster looks like without straying over the bounds of fair use).  I end with a bunch of links to product.

 

I think I'll call it a day here, unless anyone makes a good case for how something important is missing.  Some things discussed earlier -- even ones I thought might be good and was thinking of adding -- I decided to drop as the idea for the project evolved.  I want this to be a sort of general guide to how Fantasy Hero broadly works and what it can do, not a guide to how to specifically read or use Fantasy Hero Complete, even if it can't help but be that a bit since it draws on that book's material.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/357573/Fantasy%20Hero%20Primer.pdf

 

I'm also contacting the artists to see if they'll let me use their pieces for free distribution; I want to have that before I upload this to the Hero Games site proper.

And, in case I haven't mentioned it, damn fine job!

 

Sorry to use such strong language...

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All right, I've concluded the Combat section with a page on normal damage, END use, and getting stunned.  Then there's an Appendix: that has a quickie guide to building magic systems and how to modify the game to capture various combat tones.  To ground people trying to find some basis for comparison, I've also placed the Characteristic Comparison chart there along with two monsters taken from the Hero Bestiary (I didn't want to use more because of copyright concerns; I think this is enough to get across the general idea of what a monster looks like without straying over the bounds of fair use).  I end with a bunch of links to product.

 

I think I'll call it a day here, unless anyone makes a good case for how something important is missing.  Some things discussed earlier -- even ones I thought might be good and was thinking of adding -- I decided to drop as the idea for the project evolved.  I want this to be a sort of general guide to how Fantasy Hero broadly works and what it can do, not a guide to how to specifically read or use Fantasy Hero Complete, even if it can't help but be that a bit since it draws on that book's material.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/357573/Fantasy%20Hero%20Primer.pdf

 

I'm also contacting the artists to see if they'll let me use their pieces for free distribution; I want to have that before I upload this to the Hero Games site proper.

 

This is pretty awesome! It's not exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread, but it's an awesome example of what could be done! More people should be doing this kind of work. I hope it gets used and helps new people get acquainted with the game!

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Thank you very much for the kind words.  If you have any ideas as to how it could be specifically improved to meet what you had in mind, I'd be happy to hear it.

 

Also, if anyone is planning on downloading this, the links all expire on 15 Mar, since Dropbox is shutting down its public link service at that time.  I last updated it today (minor typo fixes).

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just musing on the "Player's Handbook" I want to put out for my fantasy campaign setting, possibly next year.  The "Powers" section would be part of a full rewrite of the rules stripped down and simplified for players to use to make characters with.  But the powers/mods/frameworks section would go in an appendix for players to use for spellmaking if they wanted, not part of the main body of the rules.

 

This is exactly how I want to make some "introductory" products. Fantastic idea. The powers/spells are listed with a point cost, how they work, and END cost. Then you put the full builds in an appendix. Races, "Classes", Cultures could all be handled the same way. A little obfuscation of the full toolkit would go a long ways to lessening any fears about playing it. After all, the full system seems better to be sold to "builders" anyways. Once people get used to playing, they will want to dig in and create custom spells and powers at some point, and we have the toolkit that supports it. Best of both worlds IMHO.

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This is pretty awesome! It's not exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread, but it's an awesome example of what could be done! More people should be doing this kind of work. I hope it gets used and helps new people get acquainted with the game!

 

 

And, in case I haven't mentioned it, damn fine job!

 

Sorry to use such strong language...

 

Agreed! This is wonderful. I prefer to use the "subtract roll to determine DCV hit" method, but this is a very accessible summary.

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Thank you very much for the kind words.  If you have any ideas as to how it could be specifically improved to meet what you had in mind, I'd be happy to hear it.

 

Also, if anyone is planning on downloading this, the links all expire on 15 Mar, since Dropbox is shutting down its public link service at that time.  I last updated it today (minor typo fixes).

 

Don't get me wrong, what you've done is awesome. I had the original idea of doing a section by section summary, with character building from templates, so it would be a little more generic and stripped down. Your examples are great, and I LOVE the depth you give, and the text boxes going into further depth. Some of the information you give seems to be a little bit catered to some of us who are already experienced with the system.

 

Let me give an example: you give great, colorful names to the talents and spells, etc., and they fit in great with character conceptions. But they could be misleading for someone wondering where to find those talents in the rules. "Where do I find 'Blindfigher'?" You explain where they come from and how they are built, but my buddy (the stereotypical beginner that I started this thread for) would be baffled by this because he's be looking for the wrong name in the rules. I've already been through something like this, which comes up earlier in the thread. 

 

This is jut a nitpick, I realize. What you've done is immensely useful. I still may try to do my thing as well, and I know Christopher Taylor is also working on something as well for his campaign. As far as I'm concerned, the more the better!

 

If you've seen the GURPS Lite link that I've included a couple of times, this is more like what I'm envisioning. I literally learned GURPS enough to create a character and play in an hour. But there are different learning styles, so as I said, the more approaches the better. 

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By the way, please don't let me be a wet blanket for what you've done! I don't want this to be the thing that suddenly makes everyone dog pile with critiques, or to make you doubt what you'e done. Don't try to change anything for me. Your vision is your own, and it's a dang good one! I hope everyone is inspired by this!

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