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Daisuke

Tips and Tricks on How To Be A Game Master for Heroes

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Hey, I was wondering if I can get some tips and tricks on how to be a GM for heroes. They aren't any games being run where I am, and I've never actually played the game before, but since there's isn't any games around me I wanted to run a game myself. I have some hero's books and I have a general idea on how to make characters, still figuring some things out. 

 

My Idea for a campaign would be like My Hero Academia the anime, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

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There's tips and tricks for being a GM that apply to any game system, though here are some more specific for Hero Games.

 

1.  Don't get hung up on rolling every to-hit and damage for every single low-level mook NPC.  It will slow combat to a crawl.  If a hero is fighting a gang of relative normals, I like to group them together using some home-brewed Mass Combat rules.  So instead of eight gang members, each with 28 STUN and 6d6 HtH clubs, I turn them into one mass-opponent with 58 total STUN (+10 for each doubling of the number of individuals) and a single 9d6 HtH attack (+1d6 per doubling, representing multiple 6d6 attacks hitting the hero), then get creative with describing the combat.  As the STUN total drops, so do the number of remaining gang members and their mass-attack dice until the hero is facing down the last guy with his 6d6 club. 

 

2.  Non-Player Characters are (at least IMO) key to making a great game world.  That includes friends / family / coworkers / neighbors of the player characters.  To help populate my game world (and get more buy-in from the players) at the start of a campaign, I give the players 5 extra points if they supply me with 5 NPCs (names and simple descriptions of who they are), with the understanding that I won't use those NPCs as DNPC-like targets.  They can still play a role in adventure plots, just not as kidnap victims / hostages / etc. that the hero has to rescue.  So the PC's mom might have been at a bank that was robbed by the bad guy, but the hero hears about it afterward and she's completely fine (if a bit shaken up).  I find they're great for introducing various plot elements to the PCs, as they hear about, say, a new supervillain in town from a school classmate instead of the generic "nightly news."

 

3.  Since you're just starting out, drawing up some sample characters yourself and having the new players run through a simple combat might be a good way to get yourself and your players comfortable with the game.  Then the players can create their own characters to run for-real.  You can even have the sample characters put in an appearance later as NPC heroes (from another town, maybe).  If you're feeling really creative, you could make those sample characters be bad guys, and the heroes can later run into them.  Having run those characters once, the players might even have more fun than usual cleaning their clocks.

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Here are some question I have for you:

  • Have you been a GM with any other game system?
  • Do you have a group of people who are ready to game with you and are willing to try out Hero?
  • What Hero products do you own?
  • Are you going to run this as Heroic or Superhero level campaign?  I am providing some generalizations about how each of these approaches could 'flavor' a campaign.
    • Heroic campaign - characters don't have to use character points to get things like guns or cars or any other normal item that someone with $s could buy.  Also characters tend to be very fit human beings but they don't have any super powers.  Adventures tend to build more around skills, role-playing, narrative, and plot and less on violent encounters.  In a fantasy game someone like Conan (see books or the 1st Arnold Schwarzenegger movie) would be an example of a character in a Heroic campaign that has essentially 'peaked' physically.  A character like Batman could exist in a Heroic campaign.  After all Batman doesn't have any super powers, he is just rich and smart and determined.
    • Superhero level campaign - characters have to use character points to get everything - cellphones, cars, guns, etc.  Characters tend to have powers (see superhero movies) and tend to be able to do things normal people can't do at all.  Adventures tend to involve using powers and combat does take a bigger stage in these kinds of games.  If you  spend 50% of your points in powers you want to use them and most of those powers tend to be combat oriented.  And Batman can clearly exist in a Superhero campaign as well.  Most likely he would have a monster sized gadget pool and really large #of points put into Perks (especially wealth, contacts and favors).

Some specifics:

  • Build some characters from the My Hero Academia the anime and then post them here for us to look at and don't worry about the point totals just try and make the character match the show.  So for instance if one of the characters is really strong and is shown lifting up a bus and throwing it a city block, you can calculate the strength needed to lift up a bus (see the Hero books there are tables for that) and then figure out how much extra strength the character would need to throw the bus that far.  Also how easy is it for the character to be hurt will help decide on things like physical and
  • Try building characters from the source material at say 200 (5e) or 300 (6e) points, since these are suppose to be children and are growing into their powers

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You have some good advice there.  

 

If I was to add anything it would be to find ways for heroic actions to succeed.  If the players try to do something heroic and the dice don’t quite make it work then find a way to say that the action worked BUT...  and then come up with a downside.

 

For example, the hero wants to use his power to distract the villains long enough for a hostage to break clear.  The dice don’t work out, so instead of just saying it doesn’t work, you say it does work but the hero has not just distracted the villains, he has drawn their attention to him, along with several others.  He has saved the hostage but left himself in a perilous position...

 

Doc

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I would suggest you plan at least one full session where you and the group get together and hammer out your characters.  Its best to have the new players together so you can answer questions so that everyone can hear.  Kind of like a study group or class room.  To be honest, 90% of what people call HERO as being complex is simply the character creation process and it really looks more complicated than it is.

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It's complicated if you want to make it complicated. :)  So my suggestion is to start easy.  Starting in a "heroes in training" motif can help keep expectations down.  Keep the power straightforward.  Set some guidelines, like maximum attack and defense levels.  If you're going with the high school equivalence...the nice thing is you can darn near skip skills.  Everyone mostly has just Everyman skills.  You can actually give some extra points only for skills as you go along.

 

 

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Yah, figured someone had done this:

 

 

Looks like they're Hero Designer files, but if you're willing to spring for it, HD is a big help in tracking costs.  There may be PDF versions too.  Browse the whole Downloads area.  Lots of useful stuff.

 

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11 hours ago, bluesguy said:

Here are some question I have for you:

  • Have you been a GM with any other game system?
  • Do you have a group of people who are ready to game with you and are willing to try out Hero?
  • What Hero products do you own?
  • Are you going to run this as Heroic or Superhero level campaign?  I am providing some generalizations about how each of these approaches could 'flavor' a campaign.

1. No, not really

2. I have 3-5 people willing to play Hero

3. I have...

  1. HERO System Sixth Edition Volume 1: Character Creation

  2. HERO System Sixth Edition Volume 2: Combat & Adventuring

  3. HERO System Martial Arts

  4. Gun Fu

  5. Hero System Equipment Guide

  6. The Ultimate Base

  7. The HERO System Bestiary

  8. Hero System Skills

  9. The HERO System Grimoire

  10. HERO System Advanced Player's Guide

  11. HERO System Advanced Player's Guide II

4. I was gonna run it as a Heroic Campaign 275CP

 

I'll try to build some of the characters "I'm going to change the campaign to be more like "A Certain Magical Index" instead, but it's still kinda like My Hero Academia

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You've got a lot of books already, but don't feel like you have to have them mastered. That's a LOT of alternate rules 'n' stuff to keep track of.  You may want to have copies of HERO Basic on hand for quick reference for the players, or get Champions Complete for a very concise explanation of most of the rules. 

 

And don't shy shy away from looking at all the material from earlier editions. 5e has a ton of resources to borrow from, and the conversion to 6e isn't all that hard. 

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Like Brian said , that’s a lot of resources!  I would start with very learning the basic rules of the game because you will use, discard and if needed modify the rules to fit your vision of the game. But that’s hard to do when you come in cold into the system. Since your thinking Heroic level, grab stats from Competent Normal and throw in perhaps another 25-50 pts and then go on a hunt. You have the Bestiary. Use different game mechanics and see how they work. If feeling adventurous, grab any sample magic in vol 1&2 and just you it as is again just to see how the different modifiers work in play. Now as a side note, you can write down what you think works for your game and what doesn’t. Don’t be beholden to thinking that the game Must be Heroic if a majority of rules make it easier to use Superheroic rules instead. Btw you can do these sample runs by yourself.  The thing is that, at least for me, you can read the rules all day and read some of the best written examples but it doesn’t click as like seeing it in action. Also don’t try to learn every rule right off the bat. If you aren’t using mental powers for awhile, leave them in the back burner. Also you don’t need to use every option in the book especially starting out. I’m helping my brother with a fantasy game and we started with the bare bones like I told him, down the road when he gets more comfortable and an option is more appealing, then we’ll add it in.  I promise you it does get easier.

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9 hours ago, Daisuke said:

"I'm going to change the campaign to be more like "A Certain Magical Index" instead, but it's still kinda like My Hero Academia

 

It will be helpful if you make sure that your players understand the kind of adventures you want to create. If they have read or viewed the same sources you have and clearly indicate that they want to be play in that kind of world, you're off to a good start. On the other hand if they know nothing about "A Certain Magical Index" you might find yourself disappointed as you put the characters in this or that situation and they respond in ways that break the genre or setting.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

For example, if you have determined palindromedaries are a common element of the setting and one player's response to meeting a palindromedary is to say the character just doesn't believe it exists and tries to treat it as a hallucination, you might have an issue. So might the palindromedary.

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Most of the suggestions I'd have are going to be general to GMing any game.

  • Remember everyone is there to have fun and its a game, not a competition between the GM and the players.
  • Remember the rule of cool: if its fun, cool, and entertaining, its probably right, even if not technically according to the rules.
  • Never give exact, specific details until people have completely investigated something or need a hard nudge.  Use ambiguous terms like "seems" and "appears"
  • Never roll the dice in front of the players, that way if you have to you can fudge them and hide results they can't know yet (did that perception roll work?)
  • Go overboard on descriptions and NPC interactions.  Ham it up, don't be afraid of looking stupid.  Be entertaining and broad, like you're on stage.
  • Remember what the players guess, their paranoid fears and predictions are often more creative and better than what you had planned.
  • Take note of NPCs (especially mooks like a Viper agent or a goblin) who stand out and are memorable.  Give them a name and have them return.
  • Use the simple system of combat for non-important mooks: assign them a number of hits, no matter how solid, and have them go down when they reach that number.  1-3 is enough.
  • When non-'Boss' enemies are knocked out or downed, they stay down for the duration, they don't recover and get back up again.
  • Use a combat program such as the very old GSPC or the new and more compatible Hero Combat Manager
  • If you aren't sure on a rule, guess based on common sense and experience with the system, and look it up later
  • Allow players to adjust characters slightly after the first session, a build not be what they had intended or have a hole they didn't plan on.
  • Treat the rules as a guideline to handle specific situations rather than controlling you.  Break or bend them if it makes for a better game.
  • Mix up your scenarios: funny, scary, serious, dramatic, romantic, surprising twist ending, etc.  If you've just run a long series of comedic adventures, do something different, like a mystery.
  • Try to give each player a chance to shine each scenario (if not their character) so they feel they've been a useful part of the game
  • Look at and identify each player's "style" (murder hobo, romantic, puzzle solving, etc) and try to find ways to give them what they are looking for
  • Try to end each session with some tangible goal met and something important accomplished, so it doesn't feel aimless or like they aren't getting anywhere.
  • Try to challenge the player characters as much as you can, without being frustrating or humiliating to the players.

Overall: read and study Strike Force for how to run a good long term campaign.

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1) Try to get the players to envision what they want their characters to become in the future before you get started. There's several reasons for this but not all players might be looking for the same thing out of the gaming experience. If one person wants every play session to prove himself to be the best hand to hand combatant on the planet, one wants to become a starship captain, one wants to build romantic relationships with NPC's, and two (separately) reveal they want to discover that they are long lost princesses, you might have to put some effort into figuring out how to build a satisfying play experience for each of them. Or talk to them about how they might better manage their expectations of their play experience.

 

Heck, I started off one game where three players, whose characters very obviously could not be related at all to each other, each told me they wanted to discover that they were a long-lost princesses. 😕

 

2) Try to keep the character's progression in spending the character points they earn at least somewhere close to the character concept. For example, there's a tendency of some players to buy a defense against whatever they faced last week: if they got hit with a Flash attack then, they want to buy Flash defense now. If they get hit with a Power Drain this week, next week they want to buy Power Defense. That might be okay for some character concepts but not everyone should become immune to everything just because they have some points to spend. If nothing else, it makes it difficult to create a good story: sometimes the bad guys are going to do something that is going to be effective against the characters. The players trying to prevent that by using good tactics is great. The players trying to prevent that by becoming immune to everything is not great.

 

3) Sometimes when giving out character points, you might want to spend it for the character. For example, if they're in a kingdom where they don't know the language for a few months, you might award them a point of familiarity with the language rather than a point for them to spend at random. Or if they're guards for a merchant's caravan and are highly successful, they might get the merchant as a contact. If they've lived in the desert for months, the might become familiar with that environment and how to operate effectively in it. If they spend months in one city or kingdom, they might get an area knowledge for it. By the way, don't present it to the characters as "I was going to give you this point to spend by I decided to spend it for you instead". That might be what happened but present it to them as "as a bonus, you earned fill-in-the-blank". You'll have fewer bad feelings if they feel like they're getting something "in addition" rather than "instead of".

 

4) Players can change their minds about where they envision their characters progression. Be open to the change as long as it's not something stupid like the self-described dumbest swordsman in the world suddenly becoming the most learned scholar in the world without spending any time or effort making the transition.

 

5) Sometimes the dice say the character died. But remember that you are in charge of the game, not the dice. If you want them to survive, they can survive.

 

But if you want them to die, don't waste their deaths by having them happen at random times for no meaning. You can secretly "bank" their death scene and save it for a more dramatically appropriate moment. Dying getting bitten by a giant rat on the roadside vs using his last dying effort getting the party past a giant who is guarding the mountain pass by knocking the giant off into the gorge...which of those is more satisfying and memorable to the player? If you play the kind of game that has players die, have the death count for something. If the player enjoys roleplaying, you could even tell him about his impending death before the next session so he can cooperate to make it a memorable experience.

 

 

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9 hours ago, archer said:

But if you want them to die, don't waste their deaths by having them happen at random times for no meaning. You can secretly "bank" their death scene and save it for a more dramatically appropriate moment. Dying getting bitten by a giant rat on the roadside vs using his last dying effort getting the party past a giant who is guarding the mountain pass by knocking the giant off into the gorge...which of those is more satisfying and memorable to the player?

 

This is gold for long campaigns.  If the players are reliable then you can, at the time of the pointless death, have the player make a roll.  It is meaningless but it allows you the opportunity to pass a note. Tell the player that they are, by the dice, dead.  They can decide to die right here, ignominiously, and roll up/design another character, or they can use that roll to spot a magical mushroom that heals them, on the agreement that there will be a dramatic moment in this or the next session where they will achieve something huge but die in the achievement.  That moment will be down to the GM but the player can, if they spot an opportunity, suggest a heroic action to the GM, knowing that this will be their last moment in the campaign.

 

Eventually your players will know this is something you do and there will be no need for subterfuge, but this allows a few WOW moments before it becomes a feature of the campaign.

 

Doc

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21 hours ago, unclevlad said:

275 is very high end for Heroic, altho if there's going to be prevalent magic, even if it's not high-powered, that might be a reasonable number.  Street level Supers is 250.

 

The OP is playing 6th Edition, where Street Level Supers are 300 points.

 

It looks like he wants to play something that falls in between Superheroic and Heroic. 275 seems plausible.

 

The obvious risk with the Hero System is getting lost in the maze of options. The massive pile of books the OP has makes that an even greater risk!

 

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4 hours ago, assault said:

 

The OP is playing 6th Edition, where Street Level Supers are 300 points.

 

It looks like he wants to play something that falls in between Superheroic and Heroic. 275 seems plausible.

 

The obvious risk with the Hero System is getting lost in the maze of options. The massive pile of books the OP has makes that an even greater risk!

 

That’s why I suggested that he start with some basics to get the feel of the game mechanics before he tries to build his world. And especially cause he is so new I wouldn’t try to assume what type of campaign he is planning based on point totals.

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If the players are not following genre tropes you want them to follow, this is often because you are penalizing, rather than rewarding, them.  Design the game around how you want it to play out.

 

Examples: 

 

"My players always try to kill the villains". When they don't, the villains escape and make their lives miserable.

 

"My players distrust everything to the point of paranoia."  Everyone they trusted has betrayed them.

 

"My players never show restraint."  If they do, the villains take the opportunity to crush them into the dirt.

 

Ensuring you and the players are on the same page about the game is important in any game, but even more in Hero where the game can be varied so markedly.

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Right, its not certain but much of the time if your players are doing awful stuff that you don't like, its out of a reaction to what you did to them.

 

For example, I was in a game where the GM kept trying to beat the players, where every enemy we fought was worse and tougher and meaner and harder to survive as if we were moving through a side scrolling video game.  So it became a competition between the players and the GM to see who could power up the most.  Its not always the GM's fault but many bad player habits and behaviors are a response to bad GMing, even if well-intended.

 

For example, if you keep having seemingly good people betray the party, the players will stop trusting or liking anyone.  No matter how much it satisfies your idea of dramatic impact, you're just training players to never treat anyone as anything but an enemy.

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I appreciate all the tips and tricks you all have given me, I really do, but I'm not gonna lie all of this is kinda overwhelming. I've been reading your advices over and over again so I can have a better grasp of the game, I also have been reading the Hero's book seen last thanksgiving so it makes things a bit easier to understand. And I don't know if this is also a problem but I found out that it takes me more than couple days to even make a character or make a character sheet for an existing fictional character, Multipower & VVP has also been hard to understand. I'm afraid that once I start the game I'd slow the game down because I still lack understanding of the basic core rules.

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One tip that I haven't seen so far is to keep the CV spread fairly small - no more than 3 or 4. (If the lowest character has a CV of 5, the highest should be an 8.) Don't forget to include Skill Levels and maneuver bonuses in this. This is because the standard deviation of 3d6 is about 3, so that 3 CV spread keeps character's to-hit rolls towards the middle of the bell curve.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Right, its not certain but much of the time if your players are doing awful stuff that you don't like, its out of a reaction to what you did to them.

 

 

Or of what SOMEONE did to them. If your players are experienced, their behavior will be to some extent conditioned by the other games they have played in.

 

If someone sinks all their points into attacks and defenses, they may have been in games where they had to be "combat optimized" to survive. If someone insists on getting Danger Sense and buying up Perception rolls, they may have had to face a lot of ambushes and traps. Etc.

 

 

24 minutes ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

One tip that I haven't seen so far is to keep the CV spread fairly small - no more than 3 or 4. (If the lowest character has a CV of 5, the highest should be an 8.) Don't forget to include Skill Levels and maneuver bonuses in this. This is because the standard deviation of 3d6 is about 3, so that 3 CV spread keeps character's to-hit rolls towards the middle of the bell curve.

 

 

 

Also look at how defenses and attacks stack up between characters, and how the average attack compares to the average defense.

 

If one character has a 3d6+1 Killing Attack and 12 Resistant PD and 25 total PD, and another has 1d6+1 Killing Attack and 3 Resistant PD and 12 total PD, a monster that's a challenge for the first guy will slaughter the second.

 

Look at CON too. If your average monster attack is doing about 10 pts of STUN through defenses, the difference between a character who spent points on CON and on who didn't, can be stunning. Literally.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

You can also look at this palindromedary. It may not help you run a game, but I find that sometimes I just want to look at a palindromedary.

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18 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

If the players are not following genre tropes you want them to follow, this is often because you are penalizing, rather than rewarding, them.  Design the game around how you want it to play out.

 

Examples: 

 

"My players always try to kill the villains". When they don't, the villains escape and make their lives miserable.

 

"My players distrust everything to the point of paranoia."  Everyone they trusted has betrayed them.

 

"My players never show restraint."  If they do, the villains take the opportunity to crush them into the dirt.

 

Ensuring you and the players are on the same page about the game is important in any game, but even more in Hero where the game can be varied so markedly.

 

While I agree to this to a large extent, there are times, especially if this is the first superHERO game they have played that the players pull bad habits from other games.

 

Example that happened in one of my first superhero campaign attempts:

 

First game of a superhero game.  The players knock out the thugs guarding an advanced alien ship.  In this game, I am keeping the defenses of the thugs secret but I do tell them that they aren't superhuman.  Just everyday but tough people (~5 pd) who bought into the supervillains words (the supervillain believed that the government and their allies would do anything to acquire the destructive technologies and told that to the agents).  The agents only knew to stand guard until the supervillain came back.  So the superheroes start to interrogate the thugs after disarming them.  The thugs don't say anything, so the "heroes" begin beating up a thug.  Each hit is doing 1 Body AFTER defenses on average.  After a few hits,  and I tell them the thugs doesn't look good and is coughing up blood, the players ask, is he dying?  A paramedics check tells them he low on body but no he isn't dying (note none of them have interrogation).  They keep on pummeling him until he's a couple of body away from bleeding to death.  The other agents look on as the hero beats the tar out of the agent and the agent tells the hero "I don't know nothing!" and spits at the hero with his bloody spit.  I tell him the agent can barely keep his eyes open through the swelling and blood and he doesn't look good.  So the hero pops him one more time, just to knock him out.  Is he pulling his punch?  No.  He rolls up and half the dice come up 6s, no 1s.  I tell him he hears a crunch and a snap and the agent isn't breathing.  They try to paramedics him but roll an 18 and fumbles.  At this point, most players would be horrified, but the players turn to me and ask if the government or the press would find out?  I said no since there is no one there to report it though someone might believe the agents when they get interrogated by the police.  They pick up the next agent and start the same rigmarole again saying they should get a better reaction with the other dead agent.  Unfortunately, the agents believe strongly in the word of the supervillain after that scene and either aren't talking or saying they don't know anything.  Luckily, they don't beat them to death.  They just leave them in the ship as it crashes lands and explain to the authorities that they would rather die than give up the ship.  I ended the campaign after that.  The players asked what was wrong, I told them this was a superhero game.  That the players should be of good alignment in D&D terms.  They told me that they were being good as their DM let the good players kill the minions of the big bad unless they surrendered without violating their good alignment (murder hobos).  This might have fooled me if they didn't ask if the government or the press would find out.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Daisuke said:

I appreciate all the tips and tricks you all have given me, I really do, but I'm not gonna lie all of this is kinda overwhelming. I've been reading your advices over and over again so I can have a better grasp of the game, I also have been reading the Hero's book seen last thanksgiving so it makes things a bit easier to understand. And I don't know if this is also a problem but I found out that it takes me more than couple days to even make a character or make a character sheet for an existing fictional character, Multipower & VVP has also been hard to understand. I'm afraid that once I start the game I'd slow the game down because I still lack understanding of the basic core rules.

 

Starting out, I'd avoid things like Mulipower, VPP, Unified Powers, etc. until you're more comfortable with character creation.  KISS -- Keep is simple, son.

 

One suggestion in this regard for a brand new Hero GM and brand new Hero players -- create and run the characters for a handful of sessions, and then allow everybody to rewrite them based on what you all have learned.  Heck, you could even make an adventure around it -- a villain sets off a Muta-Bomb that subtly rewrites the DNA of everyone in the burst radius. 

 

The #1 piece of advice - in Hero or any game - is the first half of Christopher Taylor's first one:  Remember everyone is there to have fun and its a game.  That can mean many things.  Like CT said, it's not a GM vs. Players competition.  Also, it can mean don't get too bogged down in the rules.  Also, it can mean don't feel bound by the dice rolls.  Etc. so on.

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3 hours ago, Daisuke said:

And I don't know if this is also a problem but I found out that it takes me more than couple days to even make a character or make a character sheet for an existing fictional character, Multipower & VVP has also been hard to understand. I'm afraid that once I start the game I'd slow the game down because I still lack understanding of the basic core rules.

 

Hero Designer helps quite a bit.  It'll do all the math, and tracks the various interconnections.

 

Fictional characters are actually *often* a pain because writers don't play by rules, they're just doing whatever they want to fit the story.  Rules, schmules.  Writers don't need stinkin' rules.  And they don't think of points.  A good way to start is with core tropes:

 

--the Brick:  massive Str, punches things.  Massive defenses, doesn't care what tries to hurt him.  Ben Grimm,  Colossus.  

--the martial artist or acrobat:  doesn't have the raw Str or defenses.  Relies on skills and/or dexterity. 

--artillery type:  ranged attacks.  Sometimes simple, like Human Torch;  sometimes complex like most comic book archer types, who use lots of special effects arrows.  

 

I'm biased towards flying energy projectors, always have been, always will be.  Of course it's wish fulfillment. :)  After that, martial artists with good movement and fairly good defenses.

 

A character notion I built for grins was based on the D&D 3rd Ed prestige class, the shadowdancer.  Mostly a martial artist, with "shadow dimension" powers...shadow step is a teleport.  Shadow staff is either a plain HA (no focus) or an AVAD attack vs. Power Def or Mental Def.  AoE Darkness.  Depending on point level...spatial awareness, but if not, night vision.  Spatial means you're immune to your own darkness.  I believe the defenses included more Damage Negation (essentially a damping field) than normal damage resistance...altho some of both, cuz damage negation is fairly expensive.  It's a nice, clean concept that works out well.

 

Multipower is a way to add flexibility.  It's usually "I can pick ONE OF the following"...like a gun versus a sword.  A variable pool is flexibility.  What kind of power do I want here...a Flash, an Entangle, a Blast?  10 grunts, I want to AoE Flash.  Speedster...never gonna hit him, AoE or explosion so I just have to hit the hex.  It's leaving yourself a pool of points that you can define in the moment rather than in advance...but it's *expensive*.  To be honest, you'll do fine to just say no, no VPPs to start with.

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