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Tywyll

What happened to HERO?

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9 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I've never had any problems with players being distracted by rotary dial landlines during play. 

 

I've had problems with players goofing around with landlines.

We were playing in the battalion Comm Shop at Camp Fuji and some of the guys kept shocking each other with TA1 handsets. 

 

The generators in the handsets spin so I guess they were rotating. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 3:36 PM, Solitude said:

But maybe with the players Champions gets today we need a version with training wheels. 

 

I am (slowly) writing, as a fan project, Champions Lite. It is intended to be a free, simplified version of Champions. It will, naturally, be incomplete, with abridged lists of skills, powers, power modifiers, and complications. However, the core will be Hero, and every Champions Lite character will be usable, unmodified, with the full version.

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On 12/31/2019 at 2:48 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

I've been playing Champions in 6th edition, and at the table in play it's just as FUas I remember Champions ever being.

 

This!  Most of the changes between editions have been in design or clarification, not actual game play.  With a few exceptions, such as "is END 1/5 or 1/10 Active Points?", "is range -1/x" or -2 per distance doubling?", "is it 2xEGO or EGO +10?".

 

And we do like to debate design (I know *I* do!), but actual play hasn't changed that much.

 

When I ran Pulp Hero at cons, I had the weapons play specifications on the character sheets that I handed out.  I had the builds  on my side of the GM screen, just in case it mattered, but it wasn't generally relevant to the players.  Also it was easy to describe in words what they did to someone not familiar with Hero System.  "This is a big-game rifle.  You get two shots, then need to take time to reload.  Whatever it hits tends to go down and stay down.  You may want to make sure the two chances you get before reloading hit the target."  Someone with Hero System experience can read 3d6 RKA, +1 STUN, +2 RMod, 2 Charges, Extra Time (1 Phase) to reload.  It worked well.

 

And of course I have my own preferences, but at the end of the day I'll play whatever Hero edition game is out there, with whatever house rules.  If I'm running, then I'll run my own preferences.  But IMHO the edition holy wars are a BAD thing for Hero Games, especially given the relative scarcity of players.

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For "What happened to HERO?", here is one person's observation based on personal experience starting with Champions 3rd Edition, followed by 4th through 6th along with New Millennium and some Champions II books read along the way with a lot of discussion with fellow players at game stores and the conventions over the span of several years:

 

At a minimum, there is a disconnect between the game design writers and the fans that purchase and play the games. Most of the fans I spoke to at conventions stopped playing Champions sometime around 4th edition because they were turned off by how rules heavy 5th Edition was even though there was Hero Sidekick. The publication of 6th Edition products and the excess amount of rules seems to reinforce that dissonance between game designers and customers, even though there was Hero Basic. To echo a sentiment already mentioned in this forum, "Hero System stopped reading a like a game to play and was more like a reference to read but not necessarily use." The textbook styled formatting of the published 6th Edition rules didn't help market the product either at brick and mortar game stores compared to other published superhero games.

 

Graphic design of products appear to be getting lower and lower in quality.  The cover art to Champions Complete conveys the superhero genre, but the interior art quality varied. Compared to the impressive art of the Champions 5th Edition source book, there is a significant downgrade. The cover art to Fantasy Hero Complete was just terrible overall, especially when compared to the cover on the Fantasy Hero 6th Edition source book. Similarly, the cover art of Champions Now offered as a preview is disappointing. While definitely a step-up from something like Fantasy Hero Complete, does the character featured as the centerpiece portray the superhero genre? Maybe, along the lines of Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange, but does it have the impact in clearly conveying the message that, "this is a superhero game" like the covers of 4th, 5th, and 6th Edition game books? Not really. The recent announcement that Champions Now is using raw, unfinished art and its justification can be interpreted as a cop-out in failing to deliver a quality product. Again, there's a disconnect between the game designers and fans.

 

Champions Now. This is still confusing. It was presented as a Kickstarter project intended to generate new interest from new players in Champions and perhaps reconnect with players who enjoyed previous editions, but a perception that emerged is that Champions Now is an exercise in self-indulgent nostalgia by an independent game designer that the fans paid for via Kickstarter. The lack of promotion for Champions Now, it being over six months late in publication, and now use of raw, unfinished art seems to reinforce that negative perception. Given that the focus is promoting Hall of Champions and supporting it with quality products, am puzzled by the mixed messages concerning Champions Now.

 

Granted, I am conveying a lot of what has already been said in various forums, but just wanted to add another fan's observations gathered over the years to this recurring question.

 

 

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21 hours ago, fdw3773 said:

The recent announcement that Champions Now is using raw, unfinished art and its justification can be interpreted as a cop-out in failing to deliver a quality product. Again, there's a disconnect between the game designers and fans.

 

Slightly off-topic, but this is unfortunate news. 

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I hadn't realized how hairy power construction could get until I started converting some Pillars of Eternity spells and had to use compound powers and custom powers here and there.

 

On the character sheet the combat summary (on Tasha's Ultimate) is so brief the players can't use it, but the full power description is so heavy that nobody can read it.  These are guys that play Anima, Pathfinder 2.0, D&D 5e and other games.  Veteran gamers looking at me like, "Bro, I can't read this shit.  What do you want me to do?".  This is our 3rd FH campaign...

 

So I'm in HERO Designer (an amazing product) and I'm going through the characters to simplify all of the charges, incantations, gestures, and other limitations into VERY simple things like Lim: Spell -2, Cast Time: 3.0s and it's taking HOURS.

 

Then later I was in the restroom and pulled up my Advanced Player's Guide 2 book and on the back of the book in giant yellow letters - "EVEN MORE RULES!".

 

Which made me want to read an adventure, only they basically don't exist.

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1 hour ago, ScottishFox said:

I hadn't realized how hairy power construction could get until I started converting some Pillars of Eternity spells and had to use compound powers and custom powers here and there.

 

On the character sheet the combat summary (on Tasha's Ultimate) is so brief the players can't use it, but the full power description is so heavy that nobody can read it.  These are guys that play Anima, Pathfinder 2.0, D&D 5e and other games.  Veteran gamers looking at me like, "Bro, I can't read this shit.  What do you want me to do?".  This is our 3rd FH campaign...

 

So I'm in HERO Designer (an amazing product) and I'm going through the characters to simplify all of the charges, incantations, gestures, and other limitations into VERY simple things like Lim: Spell -2, Cast Time: 3.0s and it's taking HOURS.

 

Then later I was in the restroom and pulled up my Advanced Player's Guide 2 book and on the back of the book in giant yellow letters - "EVEN MORE RULES!".

 

Which made me want to read an adventure, only they basically don't exist.

 

If you haven't done it yet there is an option in HD to not print Advantages/Limitations on MPs and lists items.  It will still print on the root element, just not the children.

 

Very helpful at times.

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I have a tendency to forget power modifiers if they're not on the sheet I'm looking at.  But then I'm also fine with playing the game with characters made in the ultra-minimalist notebook paper template format.  :)

 

I submitted an updated version of the first edition Fantasy Hero spell creation sheet, usable with any game in 4th edition plus.  (Here.)  I wonder if that could be adapted to a Hero Designer export template?  

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Spells can/should be listed on the character sheet by name only. That's what you'd do in D&D. That's what you'd do in just about any game. When the detailed description of a spell is needed, you'd consult a separate document. Eventually, after using a spell enough times in play, nobody will have to consult the detailed write-up anymore. This is just like any other fantasy RPG. There's no reason for Fantasy Hero to be any different in this respect.

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29 minutes ago, zslane said:

Spells can/should be listed on the character sheet by name only. That's what you'd do in D&D. That's what you'd do in just about any game. When the detailed description of a spell is needed, you'd consult a separate document. Eventually, after using a spell enough times in play, nobody will have to consult the detailed write-up anymore. This is just like any other fantasy RPG. There's no reason for Fantasy Hero to be any different in this respect.

The same is true for all aspects of an rpg. It's almost like there is a compulsion to try and impress onlookers by cramming as much arcane annotations as possible. 

 

LOOKIE I R SMART!!

 

Rather than just presenting the minimum data and actually playing.

 

I am working on a simplified PC play sheet and a player info card.

The info card will be laminated and have blanks for char specific numbers.  OVC and such.

 

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1 hour ago, zslane said:

Spells can/should be listed on the character sheet by name only. 

 

I know I repped it above, but just one more time, I want to say "_THANK YOU_" for that.   I agree:   it doesn't look, feel, or sound like "magic' when you see it broken down and analyzed into component mechanics.  Of course, it doesn't really feel like super powers, either, but it's just so much more detracting when it's called" magic. "

 

22 minutes ago, Spence said:

The same is true for all aspects of an rpg. It's almost like there is a compulsion to try and impress onlookers by cramming as much arcane annotations as possible.

 

I've never made a secret that I don't like the micro-specificity that the entire system has trended towards.  I have also never made it a secret that I don't buy NPC books as a general rule.  I have never fully-disclosed that I own all of them from 4e back.  It's the new ones that are useless to me:  a power with several _lines_ of modifiers?  I can't tell what it's supposed to do because I haven't got the time to parse the damned thing;  I am quite serious about needing to parse them.  I can't even _read_ some of them.  Now a published work is one thing; you want to know precisely what the character can and cannot do.  But that stuff has no place clogging up a character sheet: name the power, list the costs, effect (mind control: xD6), and the END.  _you_ know what it can do; the GM (should, or some thing's very wrong) knows what it can do.  If there are questions, consult your worksheet or detail sheet, which you should have handy anyway (the 

GM, I mean: he needs that detail to plan his adventures around). 

 

 

22 minutes ago, Spence said:

I am working on a simplified PC play sheet and a player info card.

 

 

We use a lightly-modified 2e sheet as the character / play sheet, with a completely separate "detail sheet" for those early occasions when there is a question or two.  It keeps play and "let me see that" moments much cleaner and easier. 

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 Growth in 1e was really wonky, and, for the record, was ridiculously popular as the freebies were insane.  The only thing l liked better about 1e Growth was that the character "got big" at lower bonus levels than in later editions.  In 1e, just take the fifty points you thought about spending on STR and spend them on Growth.  You didn't get 50 STR out of it, but it was still with it. ;)

 

From 1e;

 

Growth: This power allows a character to increase in size, thus increasing his STR and other characteristics. Growth increases a character's STR, BODY, PRE, PD, ED, ground movement, and climbing speed. Growth decreases a character's DCV and knockback. The character has the following changes for every 10 pts. in Growth:

Character is 1 meter (3 feet) taller

+5 STR

+2 BODY

+5 PRE

+l PD +

l ED

+2" of ground movement

+1" climbing movement

+1 OCV in hand-to-hand combat

-1 DCV

-1" when knocked back

2x normal mass

 

The characteristics gained from Growth do not count towards the figured characteristics.

 

Minimum Cost = 10 pts

 

 

As you can see, it was quite the bargain.  ;)

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Oh:   and Escape From Stronghold was a 1e product; the character write-ups alone are give-aways, but for my catalogue (see link in sig lines) , I would love to know your publication date, if it's not too much trouble. As far as I know, this product was never really revisited until 4 or 5e (whereas the island of doctor destroyer got a 3e re-release, Sam's nifty cover-that-soubled-as-a-map). 

 

And as you have no doubt noticed, it's not really an adventure, is it?  Some source material, and a few plot seeds. 

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

To a degree.

"To a degree." = One or more characters of your choice?

 

I mean, sure...completely blank/empty will revert to the default writeup, but that's hardly limiting.

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15 hours ago, Simon said:

"To a degree." = One or more characters of your choice?

 

I mean, sure...completely blank/empty will revert to the default writeup, but that's hardly limiting.

 

Is this another thing done through the export format or something you can do in the program? All I'm aware of is deleting the text from the power modifiers, if there is another way to limit the verbage I'd be happy to learn about it. 

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The text of any ability can be edited (in full) through the remarkably tricky mechanism of clicking on it (the text) and editing it. Any ability with text edited in this manner will be displayed (within HD) in blue to indicate that the display may not match the ability construction.

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:09 PM, Duke Bushido said:

 Growth in 1e was really wonky, and, for the record, was ridiculously popular as the freebies were insane.  The only thing l liked better about 1e Growth was that the character "got big" at lower bonus levels than in later editions.  In 1e, just take the fifty points you thought about spending on STR and spend them on Growth.  You didn't get 50 STR out of it, but it was still with it. ;)

 

From 1e;

 

Growth: This power allows a character to increase in size, thus increasing his STR and other characteristics. Growth increases a character's STR, BODY, PRE, PD, ED, ground movement, and climbing speed. Growth decreases a character's DCV and knockback. The character has the following changes for every 10 pts. in Growth:

Character is 1 meter (3 feet) taller

+5 STR

+2 BODY

+5 PRE

+l PD +

l ED

+2" of ground movement

+1" climbing movement

+1 OCV in hand-to-hand combat

-1 DCV

-1" when knocked back

2x normal mass

 

The characteristics gained from Growth do not count towards the figured characteristics.

 

Minimum Cost = 10 pts

 

 

As you can see, it was quite the bargain.  ;)

 

There was that 1 endurance cost for every 5 active points factor. 

My first (somewhat tongue in cheek) character passed out from endurance costs before managing to land a hit on anyone. 

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