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Tywyll

What happened to HERO?

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:02 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

Not playing a first level thief in an OSR game. I tried to pick the lock. Not with a 25% chance. I’m not a burglar but a bumbler!


P.s. I also use the suggestion whereas the DM (my son) rolls for Detect Traps and Disarm Traps and Hide. And he narrates what happens. The idea is that if you were looking for traps (and failed the roll) your character would think that there is no hidden traps.

LOL...this is very true!

 

I always found using the Hear Noise column for all thief abilities made things a bet more forgiving for the poor thieves!

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On 12/1/2019 at 10:06 PM, Duke Bushido said:

If I'm not terribly mistaken, Steven Jackson Games has done crowd funding on a few things: weird dice and other oddities.

 

Seeing as how I can still find Green Ronin stuff and SJG stuff in the shops, I'm going to consider them at least _serious_ players, if not wildly successful.

The TFT materials have all been Kickstarters.

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6 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Amorcka, are you planning to write a large wall of text, or are you basing that on experience reading Duke's and my postings about the pre-4th edition period?  :D 

 

3 hours ago, Rails said:

If I was a betting man, my money would be on the latter!

 

 

What worries me most is he's laughing and still typing!!! 🤣

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10 hours ago, Amorkca said:

 

WARNING WARNING!!!

 

Large wall of text incoming!!!

 

WARNING WARNING!!

 

 

:rofl:    :rofl:

 

Sorry to disappoint, but I don't think I have that kind of time tonight!  :rofl:

 

 

 

 

13 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Having never played before 3rd edition, do you mind me asking what it was about 2nd that was better than 4th and beyond?

 

 

Not at all; go right ahead.   ;)

 

Okay, assuming that you did:

 

First off: 4e isn't too terribly different from three and pre-three: it's essentially all the supplemental and additional rules from all the related non-Champions games published by HERO games up to that point.  It's a neat idea, but in the end, required a lot of shaving and cobbling to push it all together.  It worked, at least as a game system, but in rendering them all "part of a single universal system," it took a lot of the genre or setting-specific "feel" away from these rules, as well as crowding them into places that we had never really needed them before.  It's a bit long-winded, and--  well, let's move on for a bit.

 

First and apparently most-importantly, at least in terms of brevity, is that they weren't written by lawyers.

 

Yeah....   that's going to get some hate, so let me add more (in my opinion, totally unnecessary save for the touchiness of people these days) to that sentiment:

 

I have _never_ met any of the Holy Legions of Champions authors.  (and to be fair, the one I regret not meeting the most is probably Aaron Alston; his writings and the mythos around him suggest to me that I would have _loved_ hanging out and discussing things with him, rolling dice, etc).  Never.  Not once.  Why?  Well, there was no Champions when I was growing up in Alaska, and when there _was_ Champions, I lived in Georgia.  Not a lot of those folks from this area. Until Steve, none of them lived within two days of me, and the only Con around here is Dragon Con, which I think we have _all_ boycotted since "The Revelation."  (Proudly, I might add)

 

I have not met people who have met these people.

 

However, I _have_ spoken repeatedly with people who have met a lot of these folks, and I have had my suspicions confirmed:  these are great guys.  These are (as I always suspected) _real human beings_ who do real things, one of which is "enjoy playing (or at least playing with) games."  So when I condemn the "written by lawyers," it is not the people who are lawyers I am condemning.  It is the writing of lawyers I am condemning.

 

Look up the Constitution of the United States and _read_ it.  I _dare_ you!  Not that part we all had to memorize in grade school; the hand-written stuff is _easy_!  Get to the stuff added in later years.  Keep going.  I'll come back in a couple of years and check on you.

 

Which part was easy?  Which part was unnecessarily over-verbose, ponderously painful to read, required breaking down and diagraming sentences to make sure you followed and understood what was what and which was where and about who?  Oddly, all of this deeply-detailed over-specificity is done in the name of clarity.

 

Fine.  So Power descriptions go from one or two paragraphs to a full column, to one or two pages for each subsequent edition.  Does that add anything?

 

Nope.

 

Each new edition gets better and better indexing, sections, sub-sub-subtitles, etc.  Does that add anything?

 

Nope.

 

 

How can I say these horrible things?!

 

For one, it's been my experience that people who enjoy role-playing games tend to be readers, and it's been my experience that readers aren't really stupid.  We can be curmudgeons, disagreeable, opinionated, and bastardly, but not generally stupid.  When given an outline, we can fill in enough details to make it all work.  Best part of that?  We tend to bias those filled in blanks with things that we like.  When something _seems_ to conflict, we will either read and reread until we get what we missed, or we will re-interpret it in such a way that it doesn't conflict anymore.  

 

So let's publish new, more intricate, more complex rules:  We will fill in the blanks for you.  Now each power seems to have a long list of how every other power _must_ interact with this power, and how each advantage works with every power-- literally broken down by power!

 

There are a lot of reasons I disagree with that, the two foremost being this goes against the grain of advantages being fixed mechanics and pushes more toward the "typical" RPG model of telling you precisely how your power works, period.  We are moving away from "Blast" and toward "Ice Blast," "Laser Vision," "Heat Ray, Normal," and "Heat Ray, Gun."  Yes, a bit hyperbolic, but still:  this level of specificity _denies_ "the generic, do-anything system!" mantra we use to support it.

 

The additional verbiage doesn't help:  Define each Advantage-- go into great detail there, if you want-- even list out powers that you shouldn't apply it to if you're obsessed about making sure everyone is playing it your way,  but leave it to the groups or the GMs to determine how they affect the Powers.  Personally, I've always felt that if an Advantage can't be applied to every Power, then it should be an adder for the powers to which they can be applied, but you don't see me trying to force that on people, do you?

 

Where does all this stuff fit?  Where is it written?  Okay, I wish to alter my Skill Levels mid-combat: a situation that I missed but was told to me yesterday: can skill levels be altered when you abort?  Well, let's check under Combat.  Nope.  Aborting?  Nope.  Here it is, under Skill Levels!  

 

Why?!

 

Sure, it's a good thing we have an index, but an eighty-page rulebook was even better: check this three-page section.  Nope.  Check this half-column.  Nope.  Check this column on Skill levels.  

 

But why?  Why would you put the combat particulars for a skill under the skill description when all other skills simply have "what this does and how it works," and all other "here's your combat options" are under "combat?"   Why put this one thing in an entirely _separate book_?  We have an index now, so I suppose searching through 800 pages must now be easier than searching through 80 (or fifty-six).

 

Reading non-lawyer text is easier.  I totally grant that whoever wrote 4e (the name escapes me; Bell, wasn't it?) was unusually "not dry" for a lawyer, and even Steve tends to be less dry with the setting books and genre books (more "not dry" with the settings than the genre), but rules?  Straight to the lawyer speak (with jarringly "not dry" examples, because I assume he gets tired of lawyer speak, too).

 

 

Each new addition adds new Powers / Skills / Whozi-Whatsits!

 

Does it?

 

I have no idea how many, but I know that there are members still active on this board (besides me) who have been playing since 1e, or 2e or 3e (which seemed to have the largest number of "my first Champions," presumably because it was more successful and wide-spread by then)-- well, let's just say who have been playing since the early to mid eighties.  4e pulled stuff from all the 3e sources, and it added "Multi-Form" and EDM and T-form (though I swear, I _think_ T-form was a fall-out from Fantasy Hero.  My daughter has my FH books right now, so I can't check).  It also added "Talents" and changed some pricing for this or that.   Oh, and Desolid officially lost its granularity, resulting in it ending up being used pretty regularly as "immune to damage."

 

Or, as I have always been privately amused to notice:  it added the things we argued about the most!    That's not better, in my own opinion, but your mileage etc.  Math fanatics seem to have been the happiest by the costing changes; I was disappointed by the loss of 1/4 END cost the loss of the extreme cost of 0 END on high-dollar powers.  Damn balancing the friggin' _math_; I'm trying to balance characters against each other in actual _play_.

 

Put another way: it became less expensive to become way more "effective" if you were mathy enough, and not all my players are that mathy.  Further, I do math all damned day for money; I don't want to come home and do it again for "fun!"  It's not my bag, but suddenly I'm having to do all sorts of it for my less math-inclinded players who are desperately trying to keep up with the point-shaving pros.  Yeah, that's not a new thing, but with eight-dozen new options, it became much more prominent.  Today, it is the most _famously renowned part of the system" to outsiders, totally killing any other attraction the game may have to the majority of people who just want to pick up and play something.

 

But I questioned if the new stuff added anything; I should address that.

 

(Hey!  You were right, Amorcka!  Seems there _is_ a wall of text coming!)

 

1) There were no Hulk Clones before 4e.

 

2) There were no Doctor Strange Clones before 4e.

 

3) There were no Shape Shifters before 5e.

 

4) There are new things like "MegaScale"

 

5) All of the above are bull snuckles.

 

 

Why Multiform when we already had "Only in Hero ID?"  It was pretty easy to extrapolate that into "only in Hulk ID."  And we did.  I mean, it made a lot of sense for "Accidental Change."  Certainly that limitation couldn't apply only to people who had bought "Instant Change?" If that was the case, Instant Change could be more-than-free if you were willing to take a chance on the dice; effectively free if you stuck with 8 or less.

 

I am willing to bet most inter dimensional travel was handled by tweaking Teleport.  Most of the groups (man, I miss the 80s with their "game stores and game groups _everywhere_" golden good times!  Yeah, I'm not Australian enough to be able to fully commit to that joke) I encountered were doing it as a -0 Limitation: only for interdimensional travel, but again: mileage varied, and people tended to do _what they liked_.

 

Shape Shifters?  Hell, I _still_ ignore the disaster that 5e gave us: the biggest reason you shape shift is to gain some sort of advantage:  certain powers, disguise, whatever--  the fact that you changed shapes is just a special effect.  You don't even need multiform for this; do it the original way:  A list of powers with "only in appropriate ID / form."  Decide with your players which forms are appropriate and cost it accordingly.  Certain forms won't have +15 STR; certain forms won't have 3 levels of Shrinking, either.  

 

Was one better than the other?

 

Well, go through the history of the board.  Use the Wayback Machine to find as much of the old Red October as you can.  Which one generated the most disagreement?  Spurred the most complaints, confusion, and discussion?

 

 

Mega Scale, while never really written up as an advantage, has floated around many game groups-- those who were interested enough of had a strong enough need to build it-- since the very first edition, when the maps presented in The Island of Doctor Destoyer were spelled out as being displayed in Tactical Hexes, and the movement of the helicopters was given in Tactical Hexes.  No; no stats for that, but it's not hard to take the inspiration and extrapolate, or come up with it on your own, if you have a need.  (We called ours "UpScale," because in the eighties, "Tactical" was pretty much a buzzword used to sell absolute garbage on TV.  Come to think of it, that came around again in the mid oughts, with the new LED "Tactical Flashlights" and-- well, utter crap painted black.  Even today, calling something "tactical" makes me feel all Skeevy McFastbuck).

 


 Which one --

 

well, let's skip that.  The shorter approach to the discussion-- rather than rattling off example after example of differences-- is that the newer editions focus on minutiae; minutiae that wasn't really a problem for most people.  Yes: if you didn't have a group already, you didn't have anyone to bounce ideas off of to get an idea how something might or might not work, and I agree: that kind of sucked.  Still, it wasn't insurmountable.  You could still get an interpretation that worked for you, and if you finally found a group, that's how you played.  Once upon a time, we accepted with _any_ game that some people were going to play it differently, and you let it ride.  As a result of the steady push of "must play the same," when we offer up "house rules" or rules variants, there is endless discussion about the pros and cons (which I enjoy), and invariably there is at least one person taking major issue on the grounds that it is _not_ "The Rules as Written"  (there is more complaint here about drifting away from the letter of the rules than there is in church, for Pete's sake), and is therefore wrong.  Yeah; it's easy enough to ignore that, but still- what's the driving force?  Tighter and tighter bindings of the "must do this way" phrasings of the rules.

 

Today, the big control-freak push to make sure that everyone is playing the _exact_ _same_ _way_ is even more ridiculous: rather than make a call or an interpretation that works for everyone in your group, we can send a letter to the author (which, I do not deny, is _extremely_ gracious of him, and re-enforces all I've heard about him being a wonderful human being) to make sure we are playing a game correctly.

 

While there is a small resurgence for certain old classics, this isn't one of them.  As others have noticed, HERO is pretty much dead, at least for now and for the foreseeable future.  It was dead before 5e stopped pumping out books; it was dead before 6e came to exist.  Google it up, and you find us few diehards, and lots and lots of nostalgia about "this game that used to exist."  With the fan base at an all-time low and dwindling, sweet merciful Jesus on a stick, why does it matter that we are all playing the exact same way?!  The only single partially-justifiable reason for making calls that may counter your group's enjoyment of the game is the laughable idea of importing a character from one table to another.  Yes; I said it: laughable.  Allow me to recant that and rephrase as "Damned laughable."

 

Where does it happen?  Let's see...   Now I'm not playing favorites, here, but in my time on this board, I have had interest in playing with _many_ of the forum members, as I enjoy their takes on certain things.  In no particular order, if I were to select five at random, let's make a quick run-down:

 

Chris Goodwin:  lives, based on his posts, somewhere near Seattle.  Maybe some hours from it, but a damned sight closer to Seattle than Vidalia, Georgia.

 

Lord Liaden.  Trapped in the frozen wastes of Cannuckistan.  Same for Hugh-- though he's never stated it as such, he gives off a powerful vibe of having also been born and raised in the mystic lands of Canadia.

 

Doc Democracy:  Again, I'm not entirely certain, but I think Scotland or thereabouts.  If that's the case, I couldn't play there anyway, because while Scottish reads and writes enough like English to allow easy communication, it certainly doesn't translate as easily for spoken conversation.

 

Sean (Shawn?) who's last name fell from my mind even as I went to type it....   From England.  I think he's only popped up one time since I came back, though he used to be extremely active in rules and variants discussions.  Not only is it no less time and money-i-don't-actually-have consuming to visit--- WATERS!  Sean Waters!  -- him than it would be to game with Doc Democracy, but by Sean's own admissions, he doesn't actually _play_ the game.  Still, lots of neat ideas about tweaking rules.

 

Christopher Taylor:  he is extremely invested in his personal fantasy setting, which makes me believe that as a GM, he could really sell it, and even though it's Fantasy, I would probably have a great time.  I think he's in the US, but _where_?  And even if it were only a two-day drive, well-- that's a hell of a trip.

 

We are diverse and spread out enough (certainly there are lots and lots of players who aren't on this forum.  Or I'd like to believe so.  It's been my own experience that there are lots and lots of _former_ players who aren't on this forum because they're pretty sure HERO and Iron Crown both died some time in the 90s) that the odds of actually being able to _present_ a character to another group is in itself laughable.

 

Then there's the absolute fact that the GM has guidelines for his campaigns (well, most of them do.  Mine are pretty damned lax, and I'm not changing that, which just reinforces where I'm going), particularly non-supers games where "no; my magic works _this_ way,"  or "no; I'm not willing to let your 35 STR adventurer in this game because that's above the level of realism I'm going for" or "no; you have to take 'real weapon' because that's how I want all equipment built' and on and on and on and on and on and on and on----

 

There is a _perceived_ need, at least among some people, that making sure we are playing lock-step with identical rules is a good thing.  Personally, I think it stifles creativity and results in characters-- and sometimes adventures-- that all have a certain sameness.  I don't view that as a good thing.  You know what?  Let's just stop.  Let's stop with the examples and the discussions and the complaints and even all the stuff I've just said.  It's stupid.

 

The point is, as many well-practiced individuals point out above, that the editions all play the same.  Granted, that's because you can pick and chose the rules you want to use from _any_ edition, and I expect that most of us are going to select only the "new stuff" that we like and are using only the rules that let us more or less play the way that we always have.  Granted, this is another point on the side of "why all the verbiage, then?", but remember that different people are going to like different new stuff, so there's that.  But still----

 

 

 

I can sum _all_ the differences between "old" and "new" with one word (and probably should have, about four thousand words ago ;)  ):

 

"No."

 

There is a Hell of lot more "NO" in the newer editions than there were in the old ones.  The old ones are short, easy to read, learn, and teach, and extremely open to creativity and novel suggestions.  The new ones tell you precisely how you must use individual Advantages and Limitation and how that varies from Power to Power to Power to Power....

 

Each time you expressly say "this is how it's done," you are also saying "it cannot be done any other way," and I find that unconscionable next to the idea of "build anything you imagine."

 

So there you have it:  

 

The differences between the new editions and the old editions?  They are all personal problems. 

 

 

 

Enjoy.   :rofl:

 

 

Duke

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Amorkca said:

 

What worries me most is he's laughing and still typing!!! 🤣

 

 

:rofl:   :rofl:

 

 

No; sorry.  I wasn't still typing.  I was reading, then I had to get up and take my daughter to the municipal park-- she's in the chorus and was part of the tree-lighting celebration.  I had left the window up all that time.  Just as I was walking in the door, my wife (night nurse) called me saying that she had left her lunch in the fridge.  After examining it, I decided that this was unsuitable fare for the weather tonight, heated up some of the sausage and veggie soup I froze over the weekend, and carried here that.  Most of what looked like "typing time" was actually just an open keyboard.

 

Turns out I had time for  a wall of text, though!   :lol:

 

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1 minute ago, Duke Bushido said:

:lol:

 

It's the thought that counts.  :D

 

 

What / where 's the dice chat?

 

 

It's all about the Hexmen, baby.

 

And 7th ed needs to have a nice set of Hexmen dice also.

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4 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

:lol:

 

It's the thought that counts.  :D

 

 

Thank you very much for the concise breakdown of the differences! That was extremely educational! Makes me think I'll pull my 3rd edition off the shelf and give it a closer read. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the baked in assumptions of 3rd edition FH magic (I much prefer the later versions), but I can certainly see the advantage for a supers game. 

 

Though, as someone living in Scotland, I have to say I don't understand your remark about speaking to Scottish people! I mean, okay, sure, you go to the wilds of Glasgow or even some parts of Edinburgh and yeah, it's like listening to someone gargling marbles, but it's mostly english in there... ;) 

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I agree, each new edition of HERO System is more persnickety than the last. Each edition is increasingly focused on pleasing those HERO System fans who want very precise tools to work with in character creation. But that focus left a lot of fans behind over the years. Some at 5e, some (like me) at 4e, some at 3e, and then Duke back there at 2e 😁.

 

It makes me wonder what could have been if it'd been handled more like BRP, where each line continued on its own despite various releases of Basic RolePlaying as a separate, generic RPG. Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, and King Arthur Pendragon are all BRP-based games, but even now, decades later, they are all distinct properties with very different focuses and subsets of the overall BRP rules universe. And they're all successful.

 

I wonder what would have happened if HERO had been handled the same. Champions may well be the dominant supers RPG even now, in the way that Call of Cthulhu is still the dominant horror RPG. And Fantasy HERO and perhaps one or two others may also be successful properties in the way that Runequest and Pendragon have had some modicum of success over the years.

 

We'll never know, of course. But I wonder.

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I do have one question for Duke, though. Why 2e? I started with 2e, I love 2e and have several copies of it. It's my nostalgia version, for sure.

 

But wasn't 3e just 2e with better graphic design, an adventure, and a few rule tweaks?  I'm trying to remember what was different, and I can't. 😞

 

Are there substantive rules changes from 2e to 3e that keep you on 2e? Or do you simply prefer the presentation of 2e?

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There were a few minor rules changes, which I think were even called out in 3e.  Growth, Shrinking, and Density Increase were tweaked some.  Elemental Controls changed as well, and I had to double check that one.  Nothing really substantive though, and I don't think anyone in my circles used ECs enough that that difference was particularly bothersome.  

 

And Duke, you're not going to believe this, but I actually did double check for this one as well.  :)  2e shows the sample bank robbery scenario in a "let's play" format, while 3e includes a similar but not identical bank robbery scenario in a "programmed adventure" format.  The 3e corebook I have includes the Viper's Nest scenario as part of it, but I'm given to understand that the 3e boxed set included them as separate books?  That's a slight gap in my otherwise encyclopedic "differences between editions" knowledge.  :D 

 

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The differences were minor, really.  If you had 2e, Champs II, and Champs II, you had 3e.

 

Thats why I never traded up. 

 

That, and at the time 3e came about, I was at a point where I was without a lot of loose money to throw at another book.  I have picked and chosen from the newe stuff I liked, (for example, I use the 3/4 e rules on adjustment powers, sort of; things get reversed a bit to be more 2e-ish); not because I liked it being cheaper or working against AP instead of CP, but because it was easier on the players. 

 

And it works; it works great! 

 

You know why?  Because all editions are not only compatible, but pretty much the same save for the increasing levels of detail, "no," and "must." 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

There were a few minor rules changes, which I think were even called out in 3e.  Growth, Shrinking, and Density Increase were tweaked some.  Elemental Controls changed as well, and I had to double check that one.  Nothing really substantive though, and I don't think anyone in my circles used ECs enough that that difference was particularly bothersome.  

 

And Duke, you're not going to believe this, but I actually did double check for this one as well.  :)  2e shows the sample bank robbery scenario in a "let's play" format,

 

Just because I am now going to read the book cover to cover just to see it for myself does not mean that I don't believe you. 

 

I mean, I know there's a bank robbery in it (let's face it: as we have discussed before, a bank robbery is pretty standard schlep for basic heroing, super or not), but I don't think it did anything more than "Crusader and Starburst take out Ogre.". It was even featured as a partial comic in the book and on the back of the box. 

8 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

The 3e corebook I have includes the Viper's Nest scenario as part of it, but I'm given to understand that the 3e boxed set included them as separate books?  

 

Correct on both counts.  I have both editions, but bafflingly don't have the actual box for 3e boxed.  I keep the map in a manilla folder (Rose's again, if you were wondering).  I picked it up used (with the box; no idea where it went!) so no tiny dice.  :(

 

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9 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

Just because I am now going to read the book cover to cover just to see it for myself does not mean that I don't believe you. 

 

I mean, I know there's a bank robbery in it (let's face it: as we have discussed before, a bank robbery is pretty standard schlep for basic heroing, super or not), but I don't think it did anything more than "Crusader and Starburst take out Ogre.". It was even featured as a partial comic in the book and on the back of the box. 

 

The very one!  It's written up as if it were a GM and two players at the table, in the format that we all know and love.  "GM:  There are bank robbers here and here, and Ogre is right here.  Where are you guys at?  Player 1:  I'm over here, while..." et cetera.  3e doesn't include that bit; the programmed bank robbery scenario has Pulsar and VIPER as the antagonists rather than Ogre.  

 

 

9 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Correct on both counts.  I have both editions, but bafflingly don't have the actual box for 3e boxed.  I keep the map in a manilla folder (Rose's again, if you were wondering).  I picked it up used (with the box; no idea where it went!) so no tiny dice.  :(

 

 

Ah!  The 3e perfect bound non-boxed book also didn't include the Rose's map.  In fact, I've seen physical paper copies of it but have no idea where it first appeared.

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I know it was in 2e (I've got enough of those kicking around!  :lol: ).  I _suspect, but am not certain that it was in 1e, as my original GM was using 1e and he had the map.  Granted, that doesn't really prove how he happened to come by the map.  

 

It was in 3e boxed, and re-appeared in the 5e GM screen (sort of;  I think that map may have been drawn by memory, as there were some minor differences nces in details, least of which was the change from Rose's to Rose's-- or was it Rosie's?  At any rate, there was an apostrophe that had never existed before, some minor changes to the street lights, and it was printed on white paper of slightly thinner (but smoother, higger-quality) stock. 

 

Here's a funny thing:

 

There are people on eBay trying to sell that GM screen w/ maps, etc (oh- it also comes with the slickest 'how to play HERO' booklet yet written.  Wierd that jewel never saw thr light of day again) for twenty bucks and up.  I watched a "still sealed!" one go for over forty. 

 

It's still like five or six bucks in the store right now. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

There were a few minor rules changes, which I think were even called out in 3e.  Growth, Shrinking, and Density Increase were tweaked some.  Elemental Controls changed as well, and I had to double check that one.

 

 

Oh, the size powers! That sounds right, now. They seemed to always be fiddling around.

 

Prompted by your comment, I looked up the EC entry in 2e and 3e. At first glance, it looks like they changed the cost calculation. In 2e, you buy the first Power in the EC at full cost, and then all the rest are at half cost but none can have less active points than the first slot.  3e is when they changed it to paying X points for your EC, then putting in slots with at least 2*X in active points and subtracting X from the cost.

 

Nope, that didn't get any more fiddly. 😜

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