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Things not covered/addressed in Hero

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What skills, perks, powers, advantages, etc... do you believe have not been covered or fully addressed in any of the Hero books?

 

I know the money perk should have access to a non-combat resource pool for cars, houses, contacts, etc... for the wealthy PC.

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Between the full 6E rules, and the two Advanced Players Guide(s), it's hard to find a subject that isn't addressed by the rules in some way. By this stage Hero System has been refined to within an inch of its life. Many players may prefer that certain specific situations were handled differently, which they would consider "better"; but the definition of what would be better varies considerably depending on the individual player. ;)

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7 minutes ago, Grailknight said:

Fixing Growth and to a lesser extent the other Size powers. Currently,  Growth is just  a kludge of templates. It works in theory but no one takes it as a power IME.

To be fair, besides book characters, has anyone in your group used it before?

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I guess it depends on what is meant by being "covered" by the rulebooks. A toolbox system like Hero gets away with not addressing setting-specific things by providing general mechanics and frameworks that you can use to come up with your own solutions. A good example might be the lack of (official) Sanity rules, ala Call of Cthulhu. Every group who walks down that genre path ends up either coming up with their own set of rules for Sanity, or asking the community for theirs. But since the Hero System provides a formal means of doing just that, can't one claim that Sanity is, by extension, covered by the rulebooks? I guess maybe it comes down to matter of semantics?

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Just on that specific subject, I've seen different takes on "Lovecraftian" Sanity-loss mechanics in various Hero publications over the years. Allen Varney's "Horror World" from Champions in 3-D used a Transform mechanic. Horror Hero extended the Presence Attack rules to produce more profound and long-term effects. The 5E Hero System Genre By Genre free PDF briefly discussed a new Figured Characteristic for Sanity. I don't know whether anything published so far for 6E addresses the issue.

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I always disagreed with the Sanity mechanic in CoC.  Lovecraft's stories didn't work that way.  You became "insane" because you realized that the world you were seeing was an illusion.  Other people thought you were nuts, but really it's just that they didn't know how the world really worked.  All that stuff should have been handled by roleplaying, not a game mechanic.

 

[/end rant]

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Within the context of a "Lovecraftian" game setting, insanity is best defined as losing one's grip on the mundane reality you thought formed the fabric of existence your whole life. A character who can no longer distinguish the line that separates the reality they used to know from the "mind-gnawing" one they've learned about is going insane (or has gone insane). The Lovecraftian "insane mind" is one that is trying to "correlate all its contents" (after the addition of new, cosmically horrifying contents), and becoming emotionally and behaviorally unstable as a result.

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18 hours ago, specks said:

What skills, perks, powers, advantages, etc... do you believe have not been covered or fully addressed in any of the Hero books?

 

I know the money perk should have access to a non-combat resource pool for cars, houses, contacts, etc... for the wealthy PC.

 

Gotcha covered. Just build a Variable Power Pool with the appropriate Limitations.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says Lucius Alexander built it and posted it so it's already out there somewhere.

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Metamorph [Growth]

 

Male Char Female

20 STR 15

18 DEX 20

20 CON 18

12 BODY 11

18 INT 18

11 EGO 14

15 PRE 15

18 COM 18

6 PD 5

4 ED 5

4 SPD 4

10 REC 8

50 END 50

32 STUN 28

Total Characteristics Cost: 100 Points

 

Cost Skills

8 CSL: Combat +1

2 Navigation [Ground] 13-

15 Occupational Skill Set

Total Skills Cost: 25 Points

 

Cost Powers

15 Armor +5 rPD +5 rED

20 Armor +10 rPD +10 rED

15 EC [Metamorph]-15 Points

35 1) EB 10d6

22 2) Growth: Height 4", Mass 6400kg, DCV -4, PER +4, Reach +2", STR +30, KB -6", Cost END Only To Activate (+1/4)

15 3) Running +5", 8x NCM, No END (+1/2)

3 ES: Telescopic Sight +2

Total Powers Cost: 125 Points

 

Total Cost: 250 Points

 

150+ Disadvantages

10 DNPC: Love Interest (Normal) 8-

10 Hunted: Arch Enemy (As Powerful) 8-

10 Hunted: Evil Organization (As Powerful) 8-

20 Normal Characteristics Maxima

20 PsyL: Code Of The Hero (Very Common/Strong)

20 PsyL: Protective Of Innocents (Very Common/Strong)

10 SocL: Secret Identity (Occasionally/Major)

Total Disadvantages Cost: 250 Points

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These are written up for fifth edition; I should update them

 

35 I Buy What I Need: Summon 32 200-point Hirelings, Vehicles, Bases , Expanded Class of Beings Anything or anyone that can be bought, hired, or rented (+1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Variable Advantage (+1 Advantages; Limited Group of Advantages; +1 3/4) (244 Active Points); Extra Time (Hours to Days to Weeks depending on what's being sought, -4), Arrives Under Own Power (or maybe you have to go to it, homes don't usually move for instance) (-1/2), Summoned Being Must Inhabit Locale (-1/2), Activation Roll 14- (Sometimes, what you want just isn't available; -1/2), Limited Power Real Money. The more often the power is used, the more likely it is to fail as the money runs low. (-1/2)

 

 

53 I Buy what I Need: Variable Power Pool, 50 base + 3 control cost, (75 Active Points); Extra Time (Hours to Days to Weeks depending on what's being sought, -4), Limited Special Effect Common SFX (Only what can be bought; -1/2), Activation Roll 14- (Sometimes what you want isn't available; -1/2), Limited Power Real Money: the more often the power is used, the more likely it is to fail (-1/2), Limited Power Complications: illegal purchases may get you arrested, valuable things may draw thieves, weird stuff gets reported in the media, etc (-1/4); all slots IIF Minimum (-1/4)

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

This classic palindromedary tagline needs no updating

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I think another thing that needs to be addresses or clarified is precognition.

I've seen a couple of threads where some believe that when they buy the 40-point power there PC's can foresee every thing that

will happen globally (or greater) and with pinpoint accuracy to prevent something or aid them in the adventure. 🤤

Why even show up to the game at all if your players are going to abuse precognition that way

I know that's not what the power says but that's the perception  some players come away with.

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Precog doesn't need to be addressed, it already is. Players who have poor reading comprehension and skewed expectations is not really something the rules can address... that's the GMs job.

 

RE the Money Perk, it's addressed well enough. What isn't addressed is in any given Setting Book there's little or no space dedicated to translating that Perk into a meaningful number for the game at hand.

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8 hours ago, massey said:

I always disagreed with the Sanity mechanic in CoC.  Lovecraft's stories didn't work that way.  You became "insane" because you realized that the world you were seeing was an illusion.  Other people thought you were nuts, but really it's just that they didn't know how the world really worked.  All that stuff should have been handled by roleplaying, not a game mechanic.

 

[/end rant]

 

I have similar reservations.  Also, there's the fact of inevitable character obsolescence that turned me off to it.

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If I were to implement a Sanity Mechanic it'd work more like a renewable resource like Stun or Endurance.

 

As you're introduced to new, horrifying, facts about reality it depletes - too many new things at once and something horrible happens, but if you're given enough time to recover, internalize, and normalize the information your Sanity restores itself and you can move on. It would work much better for campaign longevity.

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2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Yes but according to source materiel, sanity doesn’t happen that way. You lose it permanently  That Call of Cthulhu for you.

 

Screw the source material, I'm trying to create something interactive, interesting, and with longevity.

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2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Yes but according to source materiel, sanity doesn’t happen that way. You lose it permanently  That Call of Cthulhu for you.

 

Actually, I think the whole "Investigators inevitably lose their minds" schtick is more from the Call of Cthulhu game than from Lovecraft's actual writings. Not that the notion was absent in Lovecraft, but I think it got a lot more emphasized in the game than it was in the stories. And I've read quite a few of the stories.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

And the palindromedary ate some too

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18 hours ago, massey said:

I always disagreed with the Sanity mechanic in CoC.  Lovecraft's stories didn't work that way.  You became "insane" because you realized that the world you were seeing was an illusion.  Other people thought you were nuts, but really it's just that they didn't know how the world really worked.  All that stuff should have been handled by roleplaying, not a game mechanic.

 

[/end rant]

 

You mean like fear and horror - something the players can just handwave with "my PC is made of sterner stuff"?  If it is to be a part of the game, I think a game mechanic makes sense.  In Hero (and most more modern games) that means players make choices about where to focus their characters' abilities, so "sterner stuff" has a cost - maybe it means less combat skills.

 

17 hours ago, zslane said:

Within the context of a "Lovecraftian" game setting, insanity is best defined as losing one's grip on the mundane reality you thought formed the fabric of existence your whole life. A character who can no longer distinguish the line that separates the reality they used to know from the "mind-gnawing" one they've learned about is going insane (or has gone insane). The Lovecraftian "insane mind" is one that is trying to "correlate all its contents" (after the addition of new, cosmically horrifying contents), and becoming emotionally and behaviorally unstable as a result.

 

10 hours ago, Watchman Mk. IV said:

 

I have similar reservations.  Also, there's the fact of inevitable character obsolescence that turned me off to it.

 

That is a dislike for the genre convention more than a failure of the mechanic to capture the genre convention.  I like character longevity, so I prefer less lethal game systems, but that means I don't like splatter horror games, not that frequent character death should not occur in such games.  Similarly, Call of Cthulhu is the only game I can ever recall which once defined an experienced group of characters meaning no more than half are brand-new, acknowledging how short a character's existence would typically be.

 

9 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

If I were to implement a Sanity Mechanic it'd work more like a renewable resource like Stun or Endurance.

 

As you're introduced to new, horrifying, facts about reality it depletes - too many new things at once and something horrible happens, but if you're given enough time to recover, internalize, and normalize the information your Sanity restores itself and you can move on. It would work much better for campaign longevity.

 

4 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Yes but according to source materiel, sanity doesn’t happen that way. You lose it permanently  That Call of Cthulhu for you.

 

1 hour ago, ghost-angel said:

 

Screw the source material, I'm trying to create something interactive, interesting, and with longevity.

 

Call of Cthulhu prized the source material.   Making something different was not the goal (FWIW I am referring to the old Chaosium CoC in the 80's/early '90's).

 

Sanity was, in that game, a renewable resource.  It could be restored through success, or through therapy.  But it was reduced permanently by understanding of the true nature of the universe - the Cthulhu Mythos skill.

 

1 hour ago, Lucius said:

 

Actually, I think the whole "Investigators inevitably lose their minds" schtick is more from the Call of Cthulhu game than from Lovecraft's actual writings. Not that the notion was absent in Lovecraft, but I think it got a lot more emphasized in the game than it was in the stories. And I've read quite a few of the stories.

 

I don't recall any recurring characters in the stories, but I do recall a lot losing their minds after what would be a single RPG storyline, if not a single game session.  The game had a lot more combat than the writings did, though, a trope of gaming in general.  I don't recall too much combat in the source material (running through Cthulhu's head with a steamship notwithstanding), nor do I recall many characters carrying, much less wielding, firearms.

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28 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

You mean like fear and horror - something the players can just handwave with "my PC is made of sterner stuff"?  If it is to be a part of the game, I think a game mechanic makes sense.  In Hero (and most more modern games) that means players make choices about where to focus their characters' abilities, so "sterner stuff" has a cost - maybe it means less combat skills.

 

 

If a player doesn't want to enjoy the horror aspects of the game, no amount of game rules will force them to roleplay it.  But if they are willing to get into character, a sanity mechanic artificially shortens the game.

 

I ran a CoC-esque game in another game system a few years ago.  I changed the descriptions of the world based on how much nasty stuff the characters had seen.  I wouldn't say: "You are walking down the street.  It's a beautiful summer evening.  The park is on your right.  To the left, there is a line of old 19th century brownstones.  You hear lively latin music coming from the second story of one of the buildings, and the street bustles with activity."

 

Instead I would say "You hurry down the avenue, constantly looking over your shoulder.  The street is crammed with people, you feel as though someone is following you.  To your right is a park.  There are children playing there.  Make a perception roll.  You notice that instead of playing, the children on the merry-go-round are all staring at you.  Decrepit buildings are on your left.  The sound of strange, foreign instruments and singing in an odd language drifts down to you from one of the dark windows above."

 

Basically it's the same description, just more sinister, and filtered through the lens of paranoia.  I've found that trigger happy players are far more susceptible to scenarios like this.  It's perfectly logical to play CoC like a murder hobo, except for the problem that nobody else in that world realizes they're in a horror story.

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3 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

 

Screw the source material, I'm trying to create something interactive, interesting, and with longevity.

 

Here's the description of the Sanity characteristic from p. 43 The Hero System Genre By Genre that I alluded to earlier.


"To represent the long-term problems caused by stress and sustained fear, many Horror Hero GMs come up with a new Figured Characteristic to represent a character’s capacity to withstand the effects of horror. For example, you might create a Sanity (SAN) Figured Characteristic, derived from EGO + (PRE/2) + (CON/2). Characters lose Sanity like they lose STUN, but only from effects that are particularly terrifying, gruesome, or disturbing — the GM assigns a “Sanity Damage” rating (in d6) to each such phenomena. If a character drops to 0 SAN, he snaps and becomes completely insane (and an NPC under the GM’s control) until he recovers his wits. Characters may regain lost SAN with REC, just like STUN, but do not get Post-Segment 12 Recoveries and can only make SAN Recoveries when they are in calming, non-stressful, non-frightening situations (i.e., rarely in the middle of a scenario, but only between adventures)."

 

Someone who contributed to the old Red October BBS created a "worksheet" summarizing the Shock and Stress optional rules from Horror Hero. I'll Attach that text below.

STRESS.TXT

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