Jump to content
smoelf

Speed in Fantasy HERO

Recommended Posts

I've never been much into superhero stuff, but from my time here on the boards, I've gleaned a thing or two about the genre - particularly the 'speedster' as a character trope. The character with superhuman speed makes a lot of sense (in as much as anything does) in the superhero genre, but I was wondering how people are dealing with variable speed in fantasy.

 

Skimming through the board I occasionally see the advice to either ditch the speed chart entirely or keep everyone at the same speed (2 or 3), perhaps because this is what is expected from the systems that other players are coming from as it reduces book keeping and superspeed isn't as much a trope in fantasy as in superheroes. A quick glance through the bestiary also shows that most humanoids have speed 3, which gives me the impression that this is the stock standard for fantasy hero characters (although the hero gallery in FH does have speeds of both 3 and 4).

 

So how do you use speed and the speed chart in your fantasy campaign? Do you have variable speed among the PC's and how is this difference understood in in-game terms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just enforce the Normal Characteristic Maxima rules, making Speed above 4 cost double. No one who understands what they're doing will come to the table with a Speed of 2, and on a Standard Heroic point budget, paying 20 points to go from 4 to 5 is too expensive. Thus, you naturally get characters at 3 and 4 Speed. That works fine for me, because my take on the interpretations of the numbers is that Speed 3 is typical for people with combat experience/training, and Speed 4 represents those people who are either highly trained/experienced, or just naturally very fast. My interpretation of Speed values is something like this:

 

1: Below normal; this character is either non-human or has a medical problem

2: Normal but untrained human; someone who isn't used to combat and tends to hesitate or freeze up

3: Trained and competent but unexceptional soldier/warrior/police/etc.

4: Beyond basic competence; a special forces soldier, or someone else who stands out among competent professionals

5: Faster than "normal people" achieve but not superhuman; Jackie Chan in his prime

6: Almost unbelievably fast; the characters that Jackie Chan played on screen

7+: Literally superhuman; NO unmodified human being is this fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would give higher speeds to monsters sometimes, but not often. Speed 3-and 4 (some races), was common. Speed 2 was for peasants.  (Though a speed below one was truly frightening. Goes on Phase 12, The the next turn doesn't move at all, but gets a Post Segment 12 Recovery, then goes on Phase 1,   Next turn Phase 2, Ect. ect.  it's sort of relentless like the Mummy from the Old Johnny Quest cartoons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

So how do you use speed and the speed chart in your fantasy campaign? Do you have variable speed among the PC's and how is this difference understood in in-game terms?

 

I always use the speed chart, even if people don't have much variety between them.  The usual range is 2-5 in Fantasy Hero, with almost everything 3 and 4.  That's not a wide range of possibilities, but it still matters because that 4 speed character has an edge.  And with monsters and NPCs it can really set them apart.  That 5 speed elf is really frightening and capable compared to the 3 speed warrior.

 

Plus, the speed chart give you dynamics like recoveries, held phases, etc.

 

Zeropoint's analysis of speed is good (although I'd say Yung Bieu rather than Jackie Chan but he's more obscure) and it helps understand why its valuable even if not a wide spread of stats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Zeropoint said:

1: Below normal; this character is either non-human or has a medical problem

2: Normal but untrained human; someone who isn't used to combat and tends to hesitate or freeze up

3: Trained and competent but unexceptional soldier/warrior/police/etc.

4: Beyond basic competence; a special forces soldier, or someone else who stands out among competent professionals

5: Faster than "normal people" achieve but not superhuman; Jackie Chan in his prime

6: Almost unbelievably fast; the characters that Jackie Chan played on screen

7+: Literally superhuman; NO unmodified human being is this fast.

 

That's a really useful description. I'm gonna save that for later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1- Below Normal (medical problem)

2- Normal (Standart)

3- Trained 

4- elvish (here for human eyes, something look strange)

5- Magical intervention 

6- Vampire (Very powerful, demi god etc etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My current group of roughly equivalent to D&D level 13 characters are an even mix of speed 3 and speed 4.

 

I introduced the idea of a schtick (I believe I got that off of Scott Ruggels) and am now contemplating whether nor not to allow the party rogue to hit speed 5.

 

It's 20 character points though so I'll probably allow it if he has the points to pay for it.

 

So far the majority of encounters between enemies has been with speed 3 opponents and only some of the faster and more powerful creatures hit speed 4.  Speed 5+ is rare indeed in the bestiary.

 

Probably will save that for vampire lords, demons and creatures of unparalleled physical prowess.

 

I consider speed 5 to be on the cusp of superhuman.  Speed 6+ is not possible for humans - full stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're a PC, playing an unicorn-like equine type creature, with SPD 6, and are being ridden by another PC who is SPD 5, and is an expert swordsman, when everyone else is SPD 4... you and the fellow PC can be ridiculously effective together. 

 

Just throwing that out there...  :whistle:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

I introduced the idea of a schtick (I believe I got that off of Scott Ruggels) and am now contemplating whether nor not to allow the party rogue to hit speed 5.

 

It's 20 character points though so I'll probably allow it if he has the points to pay for it.

 

Sure, there's no reason to use characteristic maxima if you just ban anyone taking advantage of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

If you're a PC, playing an unicorn-like equine type creature, with SPD 6, and are being ridden by another PC who is SPD 5, and is an expert swordsman, when everyone else is SPD 4... you and the fellow PC can be ridiculously effective together. 

 

Just throwing that out there...  :whistle:

Correct me if the rules are different in 6e or Fantasy HERO, but I remember mounted combat being a great way to screw your CV up.  Isn't it rider at -2 OCV always, 1/2 DCV if not spending actions to control mount, and has to make a Riding check for both to attack on the same segment? 

What did you do to make it so effective? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, smoelf said:

So how do you use speed and the speed chart in your fantasy campaign? Do you have variable speed among the PC's and how is this difference understood in in-game terms?

 

I use the speed chart. I don't try to explain it other than pointing out that some people are faster at acting than others. In boxing terms, I'm not going to work the speed bag as quickly and efficiently as Mike Tyson does since I never learned to hit things rapidly.

 

I allow variable speed among the PC's. I might not allow it to at the beginning of a campaign if I ever again start with a group of people new to roleplaying. Last time I tried allowing different speeds, one of the characters bought high DEX, 4 SPD, and skill at disarm while everyone else was at 3 SPD. The 4 SPD character would consistently have the most dangerous opponent left in the melee disarmed before other people could act. That'd leave the other players the option of cutting down a disarmed opponent who might pick up his weapon and become dangerous again or always fighting the less dangerous opponents.

 

That didn't go over well with the other inexperienced players because they felt that they'd unknowingly screwed themselves over by not spending points on having a higher SPD.

 

Otherwise, I like the speed chart and how it gives players the option to behave tactically (abort, holding actions, etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Correct me if the rules are different in 6e or Fantasy HERO, but I remember mounted combat being a great way to screw your CV up.  Isn't it rider at -2 OCV always, 1/2 DCV if not spending actions to control mount, and has to make a Riding check for both to attack on the same segment? 

What did you do to make it so effective? 

 

He isn't riding a "mount". He's riding another PC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me the only difference between Supers and Fantasy are tropes and clothes.

 

Leveled characters in D&D are the supers of their worlds.

 

Any "magic items" I treat just like a Supers focuses.  They cost points if they want to keep them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a standing rule for non-supers games that no playable race can exceed SPD 5, and the nastiest thing in our universe was SPD 8.  There was only one of them, though. Most beasties are between 3 and 6 with outliers on both ends. 

 

To explain:

 

We started doing non-supers stuff in 2e; there were no other HERO games out there from which to draw guidelines, so we took a guess.  It's worked out remarkably well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting idea.

 

I am much more liberal than that. The PCs are supposed to be the "heroes". They ARE supposed to be remarkable, extraordinary, astounding to behold and sometimes frightening to face in battle. They are competent and trained, and can dominate the battle field.

 

This is so wonderfully exemplified when they can act twice as fast as a normal untrained character (speed 4 vs speed 2), and will give a trained character a run for their money (4 vs 3). I tend to celebrate reckless behavior and risk taking when it turns into wonderful results.

 

I use the normal characteristic maxima rules, but if the PCs have earned the points for them, they are entirely within their right to buy up their stats even if it costs twice as much. They are, after all, the heroes of the story, the protagonists of amazing stories, capable of things that few other people are able to do. They are the "super heroes" of their times.

 

I ran a game once with a character who played a barbarian, a nordic blonde-braid haired, heavy leather hide clad, axe-wielding adonis of a man (COM 20, back in 4th edition). His name was Rudgar the Barbarian. He was fast enough (speed 3), but he was very strong (21 STR to start) and very tough (CON 23, PD 8, ED 8). He had bought his running to some ungodly value, I don't remember what it was, but he could move.

 

Once, a herd of buffaloes was threatening a small village, and he decided to face them head on. He ran along one of them (he had the speed and running movement for it), and he punched the buffalo in the head. It wasn't enough to really hurt it, but it CON-stunned it, and the buffalo fell very hard, knocking itself out ever further in the process. We talked about it for years how Rudgar punched the buffalo out with one hit. He was building a legend for himself. It became part of his reputation.

 

Another time, the party was in a desert town, where the buildings were build from very flimsy mud bricks. The walls were thick, but not very strong (3 DEF 2 BOD). They were looking for vampire thralls, and found them! The vampires were agile and jumpy, able to move over the rooftops with ease, outmaneuvering the party who had to weave around the densely packed buildings. Rudgar was strong enough at that point (STR 23, IIRC), that on a standard effect move-through maneuver, he could plow through the walls with casual STR without harm to himself. So, in the end, the vampires tried to use the environment to their advantage, but Rudgar just broke through building after building, like a bulldozer, surprising them over and over again by slamming into them as he crashed through the walls like a Kool Aid man on steroids, a blond quisenart of axe fury. In the end, we proclaimed Rudgar a nordic demigod, and his legend grew even more. 

 

None of that would have been possible if I had chosen to limit the PCs to normal stats.

 

So, in conclusion, I encourage PCs to be extraordinary. But your mileage may vary.

 

Don't worry. They are still quite mortal. Between spells and heavy weapons, even the demigods fall.

 

PS: On one occasion, Rudgar had been mind-controlled. You can imagine the fear in the rest of the party as their heaviest bruiser suddenly turned against them. The master sword wielder used a wooden sword to hit Rudgar in the vitals (location 13) so hard (we called it a well place shot to the groin with a martial offensive strike) that he keeled over in one blow. After waking up, Rudgar remembered all that happened, and replaced his 3 PD leather loin guard with a 8 PD metal cup he carried everywhere, even in his sleep. He would never again be hit that hard in the manly bits. We still laugh about it. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Correct me if the rules are different in 6e or Fantasy HERO, but I remember mounted combat being a great way to screw your CV up.  Isn't it rider at -2 OCV always, 1/2 DCV if not spending actions to control mount, and has to make a Riding check for both to attack on the same segment? 

What did you do to make it so effective? 

 the mount in this case is not a dumb animal, and they might have a level or two in Teamwork/ Coordination? I dunno, it's Fantasy Hero after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

 the mount in this case is not a dumb animal

Au contraire, it's a PC. 

 

Cheap shots aside, I really would love to know how they got shared movement working.  It seems to be one of the things that HERO refuses to let you do without stiff penalties, so any method of having jolly old teamwork not hurt CV is something I've been trying to figure for a while. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Au contraire, it's a PC. 

 

Cheap shots aside, I really would love to know how they got shared movement working.  It seems to be one of the things that HERO refuses to let you do without stiff penalties, so any method of having jolly old teamwork not hurt CV is something I've been trying to figure for a while. 

 I broadened out  that  Levels with "coordinated attack" from 3rd Ed. would work for teamwork. I avoid 6e, as it is too codified, and allow folks if theybouth the levels, it's defined that they practiced at it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a game using Package Deals so all the players are Speed 3. Mook monsters are Speed 2 and special monsters (Boss monsters) are Speed 4. It works out well enough. I have players that have a hard enough time so as it is so anything more complex can get frustrating as a GM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A comparison to later editions of D&D might be useful. Their combat round is 6 seconds, so Hero's 12-second turn is 2 D&D rounds. This lets us draw some direct comparisons:

 

SPD 2 = 1 attack/round

SPD 3 = 3 attacks/2 rounds

SPD 4 = 4 attacks/2 rounds

 

So, novice (low-level) characters would be SPD 2, with their SPD increasing as they gain experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boringly I'm basically like everybody else. Maybe even slightly more stingy.

 

Most PCs should be at 2, except for fightin' types, who can be at 3. I'd let somebody buy theirs up to 4 with XP but not higher (unless somebody wanted to make a Haste type spell).

NPC schmucks are 2s and elite badass NPC schmucks are at 3 and the occasional, "he's, like, really agile, you guys", types are a 4. Only one of those has shown up so far.

 

I'm wanting to keep the range pretty tight just for simplicity. If somebody was all hot to play a Monk\other archetype that's known for being fast I probs be fine with it.

Depending on the rest of the stats and all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/28/2019 at 5:34 PM, smoelf said:

I've never been much into superhero stuff, but from my time here on the boards, I've gleaned a thing or two about the genre - particularly the 'speedster' as a character trope. The character with superhuman speed makes a lot of sense (in as much as anything does) in the superhero genre, but I was wondering how people are dealing with variable speed in fantasy.

Do not allow Diverging Speeds for Heroes. I would fix it to 3 or 4, depending on powerlevel.

The problem is that in the lower Points of Heroic, every single point of difference is huge. Hero lacks Granularity in those low vlaues. And adding variation to those values only makes it harder.

5, 6 and 7 are pretty close together action economy wise. 5 has 1/6th less then 6. And 7 1/6th more then 6. +/-17%

But with 3, 4, 5 we talk about +/-25% compared to 4.

And 2, 3, 4 or 1, 2, 3 are even worse.

 

For monsters and adversaries of course, you got a full amount of SPD values availible.

SPD more then most other values can be used to simualte the Power Level differences. Look at Shadowrun where combat Characters can get up to 4 actions per turn for a granular example. And Hero is propably more combat focussed then Shadowrun.

A random Guard with 2 SPD is no match for most Heroes with 4. The Hero can abort to both attacks and still act 2 times. Never mind if the hero has the first strike, forcing the enemy to abort. The Hero can get 3 strikes in while the enemy does nothing but defend.

A "Boss"* has to have more SPD to allow it to challenge a whole group.

While someone in another Thread mentioned a Superheroic foe that had only 1 SPD, but a really OP attack and defense for a interesting challenge.
 

 

*Single, strong adversary in any form or shape

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

Do not allow Diverging Speeds for Heroes. I would fix it to 3 or 4, depending on powerlevel.

The problem is that in the lower Points of Heroic, every single point of difference is huge. Hero lacks Granularity in those low vlaues. And adding variation to those values only makes it harder.

5, 6 and 7 are pretty close together action economy wise. 5 has 1/6th less then 6. And 7 1/6th more then 6. +/-17%

But with 3, 4, 5 we talk about +/-25% compared to 4.

And 2, 3, 4 or 1, 2, 3 are even worse.

 

 

Based upon my experience of playing Hero since 1982, I disagree with everything you said here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/29/2019 at 7:44 PM, Christopher said:

Do not allow Diverging Speeds for Heroes. I would fix it to 3 or 4, depending on powerlevel.

The problem is that in the lower Points of Heroic, every single point of difference is huge. Hero lacks Granularity in those low vlaues. And adding variation to those values only makes it harder.

5, 6 and 7 are pretty close together action economy wise. 5 has 1/6th less then 6. And 7 1/6th more then 6. +/-17%

But with 3, 4, 5 we talk about +/-25% compared to 4.

And 2, 3, 4 or 1, 2, 3 are even worse.

 

Absolutely.  At heroic levels SPD isn't worth the complexity.  The difference between SPD 3 and 4 is vast, and not fun.  If there were some game balance consideration to even it out, then things would be different, but now SPD isn't even loosely connected to DEX so it's just as likely the high-SPD character will be an invulnerable tank and not a rogue or light fighter type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...