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

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Yeah I recommend not giving enemies very high DCV unless that's their particular schtick.  That is: don't make them really hard to hit unless that is their special, memorable ability.  It sucks to miss, but people will tolerate doing minimal damage.  Focus on defenses and damage reducers instead of DCV when possible.

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15 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.


Yes this is overwhelming, especially if you have never GM before.  Hero game system is like someone handing you all the tools and materials to build any kind of dwelling you want.  As they say "The sky is the limit!"  That is the power of the system.  This is very different from d20 games where you are handed a house and all you have to do is move in and adjust the furniture to your liking (i.e. Curse of Strahd).


Here are some things that I think will help you along.

  1. You need some character builds of existing characters from the background material
  2. You need to build some example characters at the point and power level that the players will be playing at
  3. You need to decide on some campaign flavor

Existing Characters from Background Material

Give us a brief example of two or three existing fictional characters from the anime you want to use as the basis for your game.  Here is what I would want to know:

  • Name
  • Basic description of the character's abilities.  Is this character someone who projects energy, can fly, is super strong/tough, a martial artist, a tinker, etc
  • Basic description of the character's personality
  • Could the character using their best attack - break a oak board, brick, concrete brick, cut thru a steel I-Beam, etc?  This will help judge how much damage they can do with their best attack
  • If the character was hit by the above attack would they be dead, bleeding/broken and going to the hospital, unconscious and going to the hospital, unconscious but will shake it off in a moment, stunned (think a boxer who got hit in the head but is still standing and in a daze), or does the Luke Skywalker brush off the shoulder move 🙂


Maybe one of the many folks here who love to create characters could create said characters for you with and without Power Frameworks so you can see what the options are.  Since the characters in question are modeled after existing characters, I would not worry about point totals. 


Example Player Characters

Then you can look at those characters and make some decisions about what you want the beginning characters in your campaign to be like.  How tough are the player characters compared to the Existing Characters from the Background Material.


For example, everyone who has played in any of my Champions (superhero) games has been familiar with comic book superheros.  My wife said to me "I want my character to have powers like Wonder Woman."  That is great except a complete Wonder Woman character is probably a 400 point base character with 300 to 500 points of experience.  So I helped her build a character at 400 points and the character has worked out very well.  Now if the players went up against say the Avengers, the Avengers would clean their clocks.  Do you want the same to happen with the PCs if they encounter a named character from the anime?


Campaign Flavor

  • How serious is the campaign?  Are you running something like the Dark Knight series or is it more campy like the old Batman TV show or someplace in between
  • How 'real' is the campaign?  Do the characters have to deal with real world situations (missing the bus, car accident, getting sick, job, etc)?  Or is that all just hand waved over?
  • Society and the law concerning 'powered individuals'
  • Killing vs. not killing
  • Goals
  • Enforcement of the genre/flavor of the campaign.  When I run a Superhero game I tell the players it is a Silver Age game and Superheros don't kill.  Even most villains won't kill.  One player almost killed a villain, even after he had her down.  His character was charged with attempted murder and sent to super-prison.


Hope this helps





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Definitely focus on the excellent general GMing tips that people are posting. Being a good GM is secondary to system specific stuff.


That said, here's some system specific stuff. :)

  • Have an "intro to the system" session with just a combat. Use stock characters from one of the books so you don't lose time making characters. This will give everyone a sense of the system and help when it's time to make characters.
  • Be prepared to rewrite and rebalance characters once the game starts. It's very common to have someone come out too powerful or too weak. Players should understand that the goal is to have fun, and unbalanced characters are not fun.
  • Using a DEX chart (all PCs and NPCs listed in DEX order, with a column for each SPD segment) helps a tremendous amount of combat. You can prepare one ahead of time or just write it out as needed.
  • And one last sorta system-specific item: if there's a rules question, sometimes it's better to make a quick ruling during the game and then revisit it afterward. A wrong answer that keeps the game flowing can be better than 30 minutes of hunting for the right rule.

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