Jump to content
Tywyll

What happened to HERO?

Recommended Posts

This is probably one of the most underrated docs in the download section right now...

If someone were to take the same approach for Champions I would think it would go a long way to teaching people how to build and think in HERO.

Share this post


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

Rather than have an adventure with pre-gens, what about having an adventure that helps design a character? Sure, there would still be some pre-gen nature to it, as you'd have to have some pre-built structures. This adventure could also teach the mechanics on how to roll damage, attacks, skills, etc. And could also teach a GM how to handle Complications, mass combat, etc. Just a thought.

 

Still missing my point.  Even with a "guide", with the HERO system the new player would still be making decisions about something that they really have no concept of how it works in the game. 

 

I have watched and participated in games where the GM spent HOURS working and explaining and advising brand new players on building their characters. 

Only to have the end product be meh or the new player actually leaving "because Hero is TOO HARD" and joining the D&D game. 

But the times we gave them a character to try, they were able to quickly grasp the concepts and make their PC's after the session.  In the supers games I played/ran all the players maintained multiple PC's. If you character was out for a while (captured, in the hospital, etc.) then you played one of your other characters.  For new players, we would ask what kind of Hero they wanted to make and then one of us loaned the new player one of our PC's that was near.  

 

Perhaps a combination.

A small short intro adventure with pregens, Brawl in the City. 

They get walked though a short scenario and have the short super-battle with the guide making explanations such as you suggested.

Then a walk through on how the pregens had been designed with the hows and whys.

Followed by a "let's design your new character" guide with suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Hard to do that looking out thing, though: this game isn't on stores or on pu kic tables, and is barely in conventions unless one of the guys on this board is running it.  :(

Not only is there not much to sample from (as far as which parts of they system are actually being used and how), so we get the bet-hedging nine-book behemoth we have now. :(

 

By looking out, I mean looking outside of Hero. What works in other games? What doesn't? How can this be applied to Hero?

 

8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Man, this is _gold_! 

 

Right before the Hall of Heroes thing, we were hazing out a free intro adventure to see if Jason might be willing to let it be available here in the store.   (it's stalled because after three requests, I still haven't seen any write ups to work with), and that was one of the things we agreed on: a step-by-step walk through of why each powerbor ability or character was built the way it was.  Honestly, I may just finish it out with 2e write-ups just to get it done. 

 

Thanks! I think 2e is the wrong direction, to be honest. Much as I like the history of Hero, jumping back doesn't give the game support it needs right now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Spence said:

 

Still missing my point.  Even with a "guide", with the HERO system the new player would still be making decisions about something that they really have no concept of how it works in the game. 

 

I have watched and participated in games where the GM spent HOURS working and explaining and advising brand new players on building their characters. 

Only to have the end product be meh or the new player actually leaving "because Hero is TOO HARD" and joining the D&D game. 

But the times we gave them a character to try, they were able to quickly grasp the concepts and make their PC's after the session.  In the supers games I played/ran all the players maintained multiple PC's. If you character was out for a while (captured, in the hospital, etc.) then you played one of your other characters.  For new players, we would ask what kind of Hero they wanted to make and then one of us loaned the new player one of our PC's that was near.  

 

I think I have the point quite well, Spence. I just think we have a different opinion on what an intro would look like. I rarely got the "Hero is TOO HARD" complaint from my table up until mid-2000. I spent time explaining the system, teaching it to new players, and teaming some of my veterans to mentor newer members. I've built characters for others, loaned characters out to new players, and have spent hours trying to help my players through the years. Did they learn how to play Hero better? Mixed results, to be honest. And I'm sure it'd be the same way with a guided adventure/creation. But a guided adventure could help others understand how it works in a game by explaining what they're creating. This could easily be a Solo Adventure that's given to a new player to play through, or something that's ran with a group to not only give them a rules crash course, but also help create the team they might be playing. Heck, it could also be a great Convention Game if written right.

 

5 hours ago, Spence said:

Perhaps a combination.

A small short intro adventure with pregens, Brawl in the City. 

They get walked though a short scenario and have the short super-battle with the guide making explanations such as you suggested.

Then a walk through on how the pregens had been designed with the hows and whys.

Followed by a "let's design your new character" guide with suggestions.

 

Maybe. I think having an "And/Or" situation might work better. "If you want to design your own Hero, check out Chapter X. Or, if you want to jump into the action, skip to Chapter X and choose an archetype. In Chapter X you'll play Sample Game Name, where your heroes will take on villains and you'll learn how to play Champions."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/15/2019 at 6:13 PM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

D&D 5e:

Roll to-hit, adding your bonus to a d20.  Tell the GM your result.  (1 operation)

Roll and sum your 2d6 damage dice, add your bonus.  Tell the GM your result.  (2 operations, 3 total)

GM tells you the enemy's attack resul.  It hits your AC, ow!  (Technically another operation here, but people can do comparison so fast I'm ignoring it.  We're not computers, we don't have to do subtraction to tell which number's bigger.)

GM tells you a damage number.  Subtract it from your HP.  (1 operation, 4 total)

 

HERO:

Roll to-hit, subtracting the sum of 3d6 from your precomputed 11+OCV.  (3 operations, +1 if that handy precomputation wasn't done)

Roll your 3d6, sum it to get BODY.  Roll STUN multiplier and multiply by BODY to get STUN.  Tell the GM these numbers.  (3 operations, 6 total)

Subtract the END cost of your attack from your END.  (1 operation, 7 total)

GM tells you the enemy's attack result.  It hits your DCV, ow! 

GM tells you two damage numbers.  Subtract your rDEF from the BODY damage, then subtract the result from your BODY.  Subtract your DEF from the STUN damage, then subtract the result from your STUN.  (4 operations, 11 total)

 

I currently DM for both systems and I feel like you're being excessively kind to D&D 5e here.

 

D&D 5e:

Roll to-hit adding you (STR Bonus or DEX bonus) plus your proficiency bonus plus your weapon enchantment bonus (if any) plus your maneuver bonus (such as precision strike - if any).  If you have advantage roll 2x 20s and take the better number.  If you have disadvantage then 2x 20s and take the worse result.  If you have both advantage and disadvantage then go back to rolling a single d20.

Roll and sum your 2d6 damage dice + your STR/DEX bonus + your weapon enchantment bonus + 2 if you have the Duelist fighting style + any spell effect damage from allied buffs + maneuver damage potentially if you're a battle master.

 

I agree with the perception that HERO math is nastier than D&D math and yet I play at tables that have been running 3+ years and players are still stumbling over their stack of various things to add & subtract and the particulars of their various class features, feats, spells and items to determine what they're doing.  Sorry Monk - you can't bonus action disengage because you took a bonus action unarmed attack during your attack sequence.  Sorry sorceror you can't cast fireball because you used your bonus action to cast shield of faith and the action rules say if you cast a bonus action spell you're restricted to cantrips for your action and on and on and on.

 

HERO feels more front-loaded (more to learn to get rolling), but you can apply the general approach while D&D is an exercise in memorization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Spence I just happened to read Champions 3ed and low and behold the advice given in the book if you never played Champions or role-playing games was to use the sample characters and scenario in the book and get playing right away and look up rules as needed.

That may be where I first heard of it.  I'm not bringing up anything new here 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like I need to echo ScottishFox's last post... D&D starts innocuously enough but quickly degenerates into a soup of modifier addition, rules, exceptions to the rules you just learned, spell interpretations, and don't forget GM house rules.  The more levels you get get the worse it becomes and the more laborious actually playing it becomes.  Sure at first level it seems pretty damn easy but it spirals out of control quickly once you get a few levels under your belt.

 

My GM literally has a flowchart that we use to tell if our rogue can use his backstab.  And it's not a trivial flowchart...

 

I don't think a canned adventure with pre-gens is a magic bullet but I think it's one giant leap forward from where we are.  Actually breaking down the characters and showing you how to build would be another huge step forward for new players.  It's giving a man a fish and teaching them to fish... best of both worlds.  Put it in the HoC and make it "Pay What You Want" to get the best effect.

 

Someone needs to step up and do it... maybe a collaboration between people on this board needs to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sketchpad said:

I think I have the point quite well, Spence. I just think we have a different opinion on what an intro would look like.

 

Fair enough, and probably true.

 

4 hours ago, Sketchpad said:

I rarely got the "Hero is TOO HARD" complaint from my table up until mid-2000.

 

My experience is based on FLGS sessions.  Up until 04 I was active and then for the next 8 my job was on the road so that colors my take on gaming.  At the FLGS Hero has been "too hard" or "takes too long" since the early 90s.  Especially for the 90% of gamers I knew that also spent a lot of time on the road.

 

That is why I would like to see something that assumes zero access to anyone who has even heard of Hero. 

 

Fantasy or Spy/Espionage may be easier to introduce. Even with the Marvel movies, most people have no idea what a superHERO is.  When I ask someone who their favorite superhero is, I still get Deadpool, Venom and Loki as answers.  Not supervillain, but superhero.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well IMO 5th and 6th set increasingly higher levels of complexity.  Yes, secret ID can be replaced by a social complication.  But really, what was achieved besides added hoops to jump through.  5th and especially 6th was riddled with low or no value changes that catered to rule accountants rather than rpg fun. 

Also all just my opinion. 

 

But "cool! I'll buy Instant Change" is way more funner than "so I want to Instantly change into my costume, that is cosmetic what?"  Not intuitive at all.

Still just my opinion.....

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no reason at all, regardless of what edition you're playing, that a GM can't import a particular rule or power from a different edition.  Instant Change for later editions or Change Environment for earlier ones are pretty obvious choices to me, for example.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, GM Joe said:

Yeah, I understand why HERO System was developed as it was, but I'm afraid it just made HERO less appealing to the general role-playing public.

 

We can only work around the edges to help it out at this point.

 

True, but for me this is straying from the topic of new to Hero gamers. A new "I just bought my first book" gamer wants a complete, understandable set of rules.  You, GM Joe and most of the people here on this forum are easily able to adjust, mix and match at will. 

But we are already here, we need to entice new players that have zero access to anyone that already knows about Hero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GM Joe said:

Yeah, I understand why HERO System was developed as it was, but I'm afraid it just made HERO less appealing to the general role-playing public.

 

I've never had a problem with that. The Hero System could still grow considerably without having to appeal to today's general (i.e., casual) roleplaying public. I feel that making the Hero System palatable to every possible roleplayer is about as good an idea as making John Wick a G Rated movie property just to make it suitable for every possible movie-goer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, zslane said:

I've never had a problem with that. The Hero System could still grow considerably without having to appeal to today's general (i.e., casual) roleplaying public. I feel that making the Hero System palatable to every possible roleplayer is about as good an idea as making John Wick a G Rated movie property just to make it suitable for every possible movie-goer.

 

I'm not sure we'd need to appeal to everyone. But adapting in the opposite direction of the market doesn't seem to have helped.

 

Same thing happened with Traveller 5. It's the type of giant systems-oriented book that the hardcore fans wanted. And that's about all that was interested in it -- except many of us actually run older editions, so it doesn't seem to be much more than a shelf hog for most. Heck, even the author has stated publicly on more than one occasion that he runs Traveller in a very loose, off-the-cuff way.

 

Thank goodness the game was also licensed to Mongoose, who put out a new edition of the most popular version of Traveller, slightly updated for modern tastes, and did much better.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

I've never had a problem with that. The Hero System could still grow considerably without having to appeal to today's general (i.e., casual) roleplaying public. I feel that making the Hero System palatable to every possible roleplayer is about as good an idea as making John Wick a G Rated movie property just to make it suitable for every possible movie-goer.

 

I don't think lowering the barrier to entry is the same as making it palatable to every possible roleplayer.  

 

It's intimidating.  The college textbook-sized tomes especially, but even the Complete books are somewhat difficult to parse, and for all they're "complete" they might just not quite be.  

 

We can have easier to tackle "starter sets" without losing the heart of the HERO System.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Spence said:

True, but for me this is straying from the topic of new to Hero gamers. A new "I just bought my first book" gamer wants a complete, understandable set of rules.  You, GM Joe and most of the people here on this forum are easily able to adjust, mix and match at will. 

But we are already here, we need to entice new players that have zero access to anyone that already knows about Hero.

 

Did you mean to quote Chris instead of me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Spence said:

True, but for me this is straying from the topic of new to Hero gamers. A new "I just bought my first book" gamer wants a complete, understandable set of rules.  You, GM Joe and most of the people here on this forum are easily able to adjust, mix and match at will. 

But we are already here, we need to entice new players that have zero access to anyone that already knows about Hero.

 

Something I have thought since they started popping up:

 

The habit of rebuilding old powers with new powers needs to _stop_ if you want me folks to catch on.   Instant change is a great example. 

 

If you want to re-price it the same as such a thing, fine; go for it.  But don't throw AL that technobable goopedy-gyuk at a new player.  Treat it like any other power: this power does X.  For more points, it can also do y. 

 

It leads to some consuion for a new player as to what is a power and what isn't and what has to be built as some other power, and on and on and on.

 

If you want to host a separate discussion about it elsewhere in the book, great.  But don't do it right there in the same secrion the powers are in: everything in that section should be presented as simply and concisely as possible.  Give details about use and effects, if you want, but don't start tearing it apart into terms of some other thing the new player doesn't understand. 

 

If you want me to learn Latin, defining all the words into Greek is _not_ going to help. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, GM Joe said:

But adapting in the opposite direction of the market doesn't seem to have helped.

 

If you're talking about 5e and 6e, then I guess I am forced to agree with you. But I don't think either edition changed the fundamental system very much, neither making it substantially simpler nor more complicated. What they did do, however, was establish an inscrutable presentation style. The Complete books went a long way towards fixing that aspect of the product, but I think there is still potential for improvement there. However, I do think it is important not to take an approach that hides most of the game's mechanics from newcomers in the name of "streamlining" the presentation.

 

8 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

It's intimidating.  The college textbook-sized tomes especially, but even the Complete books are somewhat difficult to parse, and for all they're "complete" they might just not quite be. 

 

Again, if you're talking about FRED and 6E1+6E2, then I agree. However, if you split the 4e BBB into its two constituent parts, the HSR is about as long as a Complete book, and the Champions sourcebook is not much larger. The 4e HSR has large text and a very clean layout, which I feel still serves as a fine example of how the system mechanics could be presented without overwhelming new players. But even there I think there are perhaps ways to package up the system to make it even easier to digest, without changing how new players experience the mechanics (which is to say they should never be shielded from any of them). The goal should not be to change what is presented, only how it is presented. I am not at all a fan of anything resembling a scheme whereby you have a "Basic Hero System" and an "Advanced Hero System". There should just be the Hero System.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, zslane said:

If you're talking about 5e and 6e, then I guess I am forced to agree with you. But I don't think either edition changed the fundamental system very much, neither making it substantially simpler nor more complicated. What they did do, however, was establish an inscrutable presentation style. The Complete books went a long way towards fixing that aspect of the product, but I think there is still potential for improvement there. However, I do think it is important not to take an approach that hides most of the game's mechanics from newcomers in the name of "streamlining" the presentation.

 

I was being unspecific about what could have saved HERO because we've been down that road many, many times before. As much as I enjoy the exercise, I wanted to spend more time talking about what we could actually do.

 

But, yeah, for me personally, I'd go back to 4e, give it a good edit, apply the errata, and add a few things that most of us seem to agree on (like megascale, stun multiplier of 1-3, etc), offer it for POD, then call it a day. That'd be my perfect edition.

 

But the perfect edition that attracts folks at a better rate than Champions Complete? That's probably not it.

 

I don't think my game design skills are up to it, but my #1 thing to fix system-wise in order to make it more newbie friendly would be to make 11 + OCV - DCV (or OCV + 11 - 3D6 = hittable DCV -- same thing only different) a thing of the past without losing the way that formula elegantly handles (for mathophiles, anyway) the question of how to make something harder to hit. So many games just ignore the issue, and I appreciate very much that HERO addresses it without requiring a defensive "avoid being hit" roll for every attack, like some games do.

 

If I could fix that and make it a unified mechanic that works for skill throws, too, I'd be very happy.

 

But, again, it's probably not something we can make happen in the core game even if we could come up with the perfect solution.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, GM Joe said:

I don't think my game design skills are up to it, but my #1 thing to fix system-wise in order to make it more newbie friendly would be to make 11 + OCV - DCV (or OCV + 11 - 3D6 = hittable DCV -- same thing only different) a thing of the past without losing the way that formula elegantly handles (for mathophiles, anyway) the question of how to make something harder to hit. So many games just ignore the issue, and I appreciate very much that HERO addresses it without requiring a defensive "avoid being hit" roll for every attack, like some games do.

 

If I could fix that and make it a unified mechanic that works for skill throws, too, I'd be very happy.

 

To me, the split between how we do combat and how we do skills is one of the fundamental things that makes it Hero and not some other system.  I mean, we have a bunch of dichotomies in the system: physical vs. psionic combat (CV vs. ECV/MCV), physical vs. energy defense, normal vs. resistant defense, normal vs. killing damage (and mechanics)... 

 

You could take away one or more of those -- maybe even most of them, and to me it would still "be the HERO System" ... but if you change that one thing, that's the heart and soul, to me.  Fuzion, GURPS, M&M, d20/D&D... all of those systems settled on their own singular, unified systems for combat and skill rolls.  And while I've played and enjoyed most of those systems, it always feels like something's missing.  

 

It took me a long time to figure it out.  Within the past year, in fact.  Wayne Shaw (he of "Thanks, Wayne"), who invented a number of things we use in the HERO System, wrote on RPG.net that if he could have done one thing differently it would have been that.  That was when it hit me, and I responded to him that I was happy that he did it this way.  

 

Why that, and not something else?  I have no idea.  I don't even know if that particular bit grabs anyone else the way it does me.  

Share this post


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

To me, the split between how we do combat and how we do skills is one of the fundamental things that makes it Hero and not some other system.  I mean, we have a bunch of dichotomies in the system: physical vs. psionic combat (CV vs. ECV/MCV), physical vs. energy defense, normal vs. resistant defense, normal vs. killing damage (and mechanics)... 

 

You could take away one or more of those -- maybe even most of them, and to me it would still "be the HERO System" ... but if you change that one thing, that's the heart and soul, to me.  Fuzion, GURPS, M&M, d20/D&D... all of those systems settled on their own singular, unified systems for combat and skill rolls.  And while I've played and enjoyed most of those systems, it always feels like something's missing.  

 

It took me a long time to figure it out.  Within the past year, in fact.  Wayne Shaw (he of "Thanks, Wayne"), who invented a number of things we use in the HERO System, wrote on RPG.net that if he could have done one thing differently it would have been that.  That was when it hit me, and I responded to him that I was happy that he did it this way.  

 

Why that, and not something else?  I have no idea.  I don't even know if that particular bit grabs anyone else the way it does me.  

 

I can totally respect that.

 

And, to be honest, it was only that mention of the issue by Wayne that got me thinking about how it may be a stumbling block for folks new to the system. I respect his judgement a lot.

 

Even so, I can't recall a player having an issue with skill throws, since the target is on the sheet and it's still 3d6 roll under.

 

It may be more of an aesthetic issue than a stumbling block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking out loud here after I had a talk with a fellow gamer in the office.  Is making comparatively dumbed down pre-gens really a good strategy for attracting new players?  I'm not saying they need to be overly complicated but what about making characters with some depth as well.  Have a mix of pregens, some comparatively simple and some with a little more crunch.

 

Show how you would make a mutant vs a person in powered armor.  Don't be afraid to add some interesting Limitations into the mix so people can see the depth and range possible in a HERO character.  What about someone who has OIAID on their powers?

 

I once made some pre-gens for a game and they were all fairly straightforward but I made sure they all had one power that was more complex then just a simple Blast.  I was trying to showcase on each character that you could do some really cool things with the system.

 

I guess my train of thought here is leading me to think that having a range of complexity in characters for pre-gens is a good thing.  Stopping well before you reach Hyperman's John Wick level of write-up for complexity of course.  Sure, some simple characters are good but you want to leave an impression on a perspective player that the system has depth, lots of it.  Don't overwhelm them but tease them.  It's a feature after all and one that I suspect we all love on some level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is important to show where the system gets its strength, but couldn't we do it in moderation?

 

We could limit it to, say, two power modifiers per power, and restrict multipower slots to ultras. Something like that.

 

We know what looks complicated, and we know what's complicated in use. It seems like we could avoid that stuff for a newbie-friendly product without leaving them in the dark about the way the system works.

 

We could give them something clean, that's easy to learn from and use, but that's still true to the system.

 

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...