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RPMiller

Hero Does It Better

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5 hours ago, Vanguard said:

there's still, for me, that "superhero roots" feel to the game

 

Yes, absolutely. There is an inherent cinematicism in the Hero System that you just can't get out in the wash completely, no matter how hard you try. But honestly, I'm glad of that. It's what separates it from GURPS, in my mind.

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And why would anyone want to play an RPG that wasn't cinematic at some level? You don't see people scrambling to play Cubicles and Bosses for a good reason. RPGs are to escape reality even for a short while and to be like those heroes of legend.

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On 1/6/2019 at 10:19 AM, zslane said:

 

Yes, absolutely. There is an inherent cinematicism in the Hero System that you just can't get out in the wash completely, no matter how hard you try. But honestly, I'm glad of that. It's what separates it from GURPS, in my mind.

 

It's not the cinematicism.  As RPMiller says, I wouldn't want to remove that, even if I could.  It's the "super-heroness" that I'd tone down if I could.  I mean, it's possible to dilute it but it's still there, lurking in the corner.  Normally it's not that big of a deal but occasionally it can surface and be a bit jarring.

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The other thing that Hero does better is defining and balancing game effects.  If you want to create a new spell in Hero you choose the appropriate power and advantages/limitations, and it comes out balanced (more or less).  If you want to create a spell in D&D, uh, write something.  If you want to create a new monster in Hero you build it more or less like a character, and the CP total in the end will give some idea of how dangerous it is.  If you want to create a monster in D&D, well, write something.

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Hero does have a bias towards the defender, but there are a lot of ways to adjust the system to any desired level of danger. I've mentioned it before on these forums, but I wrote up some coverage of what I called "Lethality Options" a long time ago and they are still relevant.

 

http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/shrikeLethalityOptions.aspx

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:05 AM, Killer Shrike said:

Hero does have a bias towards the defender, but there are a lot of ways to adjust the system to any desired level of danger. I've mentioned it before on these forums, but I wrote up some coverage of what I called "Lethality Options" a long time ago and they are still relevant.

 

http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/HighFantasyHERO/shrikeLethalityOptions.aspx

Very well written and thought out, KS. Thanks!

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On 1/2/2019 at 12:29 AM, Killer Shrike said:

If time and players were abundant, I would likely still be using the Hero System for everything. But as they aren't, often times I'm looking for the game system I can wring the most amount of fun out of with the least amount of effort. Sad but true. :(

 

 

This. This right here. I love Hero. I love the way it flows once you start actually using it. I just don't have the time, energy and motivation to create an entire setting from scratch. It's just easier to pick another product off of the shelf and run with whatever system it was built for.

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Yeah, I hear you guys. In a lot of ways I'm in the same boat. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any published settings that inspire me to run a campaign (I'm looking for science fiction in particular). Consequently, I don't play anything right now.

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3 hours ago, zslane said:

Yeah, I hear you guys. In a lot of ways I'm in the same boat. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any published settings that inspire me to run a campaign (I'm looking for science fiction in particular). Consequently, I don't play anything right now.

 

(Drifting off topic, but...). 

 

Have you,looked at Stars Without Number?  It’s a pretty open (easily extensible) setting built around a lot of net ideas and a fairly simple set of mechanics (based on a D&D retro-clone).  I thought it was a lot of fun.

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5 hours ago, zslane said:

Yeah, I hear you guys. In a lot of ways I'm in the same boat. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any published settings that inspire me to run a campaign (I'm looking for science fiction in particular). Consequently, I don't play anything right now.

 

A few years ago, Pelgrane Press put out Gaean Reach, based on Jack Vance's SF.

 

I wouldn't use the system, but the concept is neat.

 

Basically, the PCs are seeking revenge.  Exactly for what is up to them. It varies for each PC. The game just gives a name: Quandos Vorn.

 

Here's a post on the designer's blog: Five Reasons to Hate Quandos Vorn.

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34 minutes ago, assault said:

 

Here's a post on the designer's blog: Five Reasons to Hate Quandos Vorn.

 

 

Oh man, that was _painful_....  Not just the five reasons; that wasn't too terribly bad.  It was all the "how we use this on-the-fly stuff to build your unique driving force, etc, etc, etc--

 

Gad!  I was having flashbacks to Motobushido.  Oooh, Man; that was awful, too, and for the same sort of pompous meta chess master reasons.

 

So I thank you, Assault.  Going only from the first link, I might have considered reading that one day.   :lol:

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Desmarais said:

 

(Drifting off topic, but...). 

 

Have you,looked at Stars Without Number?  It’s a pretty open (easily extensible) setting built around a lot of net ideas and a fairly simple set of mechanics (based on a D&D retro-clone).  I thought it was a lot of fun.

 

When I first learned about them both Stars Without Number and White Star held some appeal due to their OSR nature, but the settings for them are awfully generic. I'm looking for something that takes the epic scope and rubber science of Star Wars, adds in a pinch of W40K-ish grimdark, features lots of powered armor and 'mechs, and a good deal of non-humanoid alien species. I'm pretty sure this is a setting I'd have to build myself, and I simply don't have the time or motivation right now.

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

 

Oh man, that was _painful_....  Not just the five reasons; that wasn't too terribly bad.  It was all the "how we use this on-the-fly stuff to build your unique driving force, etc, etc, etc--

 

Gad!  I was having flashbacks to Motobushido.  Oooh, Man; that was awful, too, and for the same sort of pompous meta chess master reasons.

 

So I thank you, Assault.  Going only from the first link, I might have considered reading that one day.   :lol:

 

 

To be honest, I can't see what's particularly objectionable about the post.

 

In HERO terms, the PCs' origins/backgrounds help define the setting/campaign, and, specifically, the campaign's Big Bad. This is perfectly conventional campaign design.

 

What I wouldn't do with Gaean Reach is try to play its system.

 

Stealing its premise is something completely different.

 

Speaking of which, I've got (the film) Barbarella recorded. I think a decent game could be (loosely) based on it... Obviously a lot of stuff would need to be made up. Unfortunately the original comic isn't easy to get hold of.

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14 hours ago, zslane said:

 

When I first learned about them both Stars Without Number and White Star held some appeal due to their OSR nature, but the settings for them are awfully generic. I'm looking for something that takes the epic scope and rubber science of Star Wars, adds in a pinch of W40K-ish grimdark, features lots of powered armor and 'mechs, and a good deal of non-humanoid alien species. I'm pretty sure this is a setting I'd have to build myself, and I simply don't have the time or motivation right now.

 

Sounds like mechwarrior to me.

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On 1/2/2019 at 12:29 AM, Killer Shrike said:

If time and players were abundant, I would likely still be using the Hero System for everything. But as they aren't, often times I'm looking for the game system I can wring the most amount of fun out of with the least amount of effort. Sad but true. :(

 

I am curious, as to why  GMing takes so much time? Sure there is prep work, but I tend to feel that being a GM< is like being a CG animator (My former occupation), in that a lot of time in the prep and set up (Building and painting the model, and then rigging it), but the actual  running, (animation) doesn't take a lot of extra time? in thed Game sense, it would be prep time in making or collecting maps, writing the background, and some package deals, and some briefly written "enemies". Now I might have some advantages in that I can draw, so most NPCS got a head shot portrait (In pencil or Pen, depending on the time frame), and many of these would fit into already pre arrainged templates (That prep work again).  So the set up can be intimidating, I think once you have players interacting with the world, that the work actually becomes easier between games as you just make some notes, and jot down a few things during your lunch break. It;s the way I ran FH for years. 

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Just now, Scott Ruggels said:

 

I am curious, as to why  GMing takes so much time? Sure there is prep work, but I tend to feel that being a GM< is like being a CG animator (My former occupation), in that a lot of time in the prep and set up (Building and painting the model, and then rigging it), but the actual  running, (animation) doesn't take a lot of extra time? in thed Game sense, it would be prep time in making or collecting maps, writing the background, and some package deals, and some briefly written "enemies". Now I might have some advantages in that I can draw, so most NPCS got a head shot portrait (In pencil or Pen, depending on the time frame), and many of these would fit into already pre arrainged templates (That prep work again).  So the set up can be intimidating, I think once you have players interacting with the world, that the work actually becomes easier between games as you just make some notes, and jot down a few things during your lunch break. It;s the way I ran FH for years. 

 

If you already have a group invested / committed to an ongoing campaign, maintenance time to keep the campaign going may very well be minimal. It also depends on the time available and the life situations of the players. Though I'm currently taking a break between gigs, I'm normally extremely busy, working 60+ hour weeks routinely, and I have a wife and two kids. Any prep time I might have for a game is to be had in the early AM at the cost of the already unhealthy amount of sleep I might get in a given week. My players tend to be in similar situations, busy with life and families. I could elaborate, but the underlying result is that everyone's most precious commodity at this point in our lives is time. Additionally, when we manage to bring the stars into alignment so that we can actually get together for 4 or so mostly uninterrupted hours to play something, a lighter system that moves fast is preferable to a chunkier system with lots of grit. 

 

My life situation may change in the future, as my kids get older and my career slows down, and the same is true of players actual and potential. But currently, more nimble games are the order of the day for us.

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I run a Champions campaign, and spend (probably) far too much time creating or updating the NPC villains, as well as writing news items and typing up my notes for the upcoming adventure.  Oh, and there's also the map -- I like to throw lots of details into the maps.  (My one of the VIPER base, with various reproductions of movie and TV robots, was especially cool.)  Most of that's not Hero's fault, it's mine, except maybe for the time spent creating a new character. 

 

I will say that a well-crafted Hero system character, with thought-out Complications, can add some fun to adventure creation that I don't think readily comes into play in other game system.  I've had several times where the heroes' and/or villains' Complications made an expected adventure take a left turn.  For example, a simple tech theft that the heroes were supposed to stop became a whole lot more complicated when I rolled a critical success for a supervillain's Hunted by Mechanon.  (I decided to let the heroes' investigations uncover why that character was hunted by Mechanon, so the killer 'bot's appearance didn't just come out of the blue.)

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1 hour ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Sounds like mechwarrior to me.

 

The BattleTech/MechWarrior universe is pretty much just humans, right? And it doesn't really feature psionics or massive space fleets or planet killers, does it? Besides, the last time I played MechWarrior (in the late 80s) the system was so bland it hurt.

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IIRC Mechwarrior has mechs but is short on grimdarks and nonhumans.

 

I'm kind of in the same boat as you are--I was going to respond to the favorite-SF-setting thread and I realized that there isn't one that has everything that I like.  (In my case, that would be mechs, cyber, psi, and capital ship combat.  And kung fu.)

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1 hour ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

My life situation may change in the future, as my kids get older and my career slows down, and the same is true of players actual and potential. But currently, more nimble games are the order of the day for us.

I’ve always said,  “Never marry outside of the hobby!” 😁  In my case my time has been freed up due to me being forcibly medically retired, (why Innever posted from May to September) so I can GM again. As for players, I am just recruiting the Long Term group that will soon wrap up the Pathfinder campaign. Same day, same players, but giving the GM of that one a well deserved rest. 

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On 1/2/2019 at 3:38 PM, zslane said:

 

...But if the Hero System is going to be used for grittier genres, like fantasy or sci-fi, then all the safety features of the system should be turned off so that the campaign doesn't just feel like low-level superheroes merely reskinned in a medieval or far future setting.

Whole hearted agreement!  One of the reasons I eschew “High Narrative “ System’s is exactly this. That uncertainty of outcome, starting at the PC decision, down to combat, is what , to me, give a campaign a feeling of a time and place,  rather than just a shared story. Actions have consequences, and no one should have script immunity IMO. 

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