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So a few friends and myself decided that we wanted to start a superhero rpg and I am to be the GM. I came across Champions Complete and felt that this would be a good game to play, and then I started reading. I'm having a lot of trouble understanding and grasping the game, I don't know where to begin with the questions. 
 

  1. Character Creation - I understand that a person is given an x amount of CP,  and everything is bought using them, but beyond that I'm lost.
  2. Building Attacks - There is no limitation to the kinds of attacks you can make, but the vastness of it confuses me. For example, if I was creating a character like The Flash how would I make a "Lightning Toss" attack?
  3. Combat - So based on the character's speed (Base is 2), that's how often they go in a turn and a turn consists of 12 segments. Is there a limit to what you can do during your phase? For example, in DnD you can make 1 move action and 1 attack action along with a bonus action and a free action, but not two moves along with an attack action and a bonus and free action. Is it similar here?

 

Any and all help is much appreciated. I'm sure my questions have been asked before and they'll be asked again so apologies! If having a reference for a hero helps, a player wants to be a speedster similar to The Flash. In you explanation if you could use a speedster that would be extremely helpful (the starting CP for my characters is 300 and 60 for complications).

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Since this is a general request for help and not a specific rules question, I've moved it to the Discussion board. That way anyone can reply (on the Questions board, only I can), and you'll get a lot of useful advice and perspectives from other gamers who've encountered the same problems you are.

 

 Oh -- and welcome to the HERO System! We hope you and your group have a great time gaming with it. :hex:

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1. Character Creation - I understand that a person is given an x amount of CP,  and everything is bought using them, but beyond that I'm lost.

2. Building Attacks - There is no limitation to the kinds of attacks you can make, but the vastness of it confuses me. For example, if I was creating a character like The Flash how would I make a "Lightning Toss" attack?

3. Combat - So based on the character's speed (Base is 2), that's how often they go in a turn and a turn consists of 12 segments. Is there a limit to what you can do during your phase? For example, in DnD you can make 1 move action and 1 attack action along with a bonus action and a free action, but not two moves along with an attack action and a bonus and free action. Is it similar here?

 

 

OK lets take these one at a time, they're all pretty simple questions.

 

1) Each person can buy whatever they want (within campaign limits) with their points and complications.  The best way to get used to this is to build a few characters yourself, so you can get used to how it feels.  The process is very simple math and is straight forward enough, and then you can get more complicated and tricky the more you're comfortable with the build.  Once you get used to how it works, I recommend getting the Hero Designer program which helps do all the math and keep things straight.

 

2. Yeah the amount of options can be a bit overwhelming.  I recommend making super simple characters at first: strong, tough, a blast, can fly, that kind of thing.  For example, being strong just takes Strength (STR).  Being able to fly just takes Flight.  Having a lightning blast is just Blast.  As you get comfortable with how this stuff fits together, you can start working on more complicated builds such as multipowers, using drain attacks, and so on.  Think of it like a tutorial: Hero is like a video game you never played before.  Start out with the very basics and add stuff as you go, once you know how that bit works.

 

3. The "time" charts (page 138 in Champions Complete) help with timing and what you can do but basically yeah, its somewhat like how D&D works.  You can only take one attack action per phase and your phase ends when you attack.  You can do multiple attacks in your attack action, with penalties to accuracy, and pay endurance for each, but at first, just focus on stripped down Hero: you can move and attack.  You can do certain things whenever you want, like D&D but it takes learning what those things are.  Its pretty logical what you can and can't do. 

 

The best way to envision Hero Combat is a comic book: each person's phase is their panel on the comic page.  All the stuff you can accomplish in one panel of a comic, you can do in a phase (move up, hit someone, activate a power, dodge, etc).

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Personally, I would be inclined to suggest everyone plays the game first.  Character creation is THE most complex part of the game ( though ultimately the most rewarding).  The system is pretty straightforward.

 

I suggest using the pregenerated characters in a very simple scenario (bank heist in your home town).  Get a handle on how things work.  Especially as a new GM with new players.

 

Once you are comfortable with how things work in-game,. THEN think about designing heroes etc.  Bring questions to the boards, you will get a variety of answers and you can begin to decide how you want to play the game.

 

Doc

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I realise I did not answer either of your second two questions.  Question 2 was power building and, if you stick with the system you might burn a lot of time doing just that kind of power building.

 

The key principle is to build from effect.  You need to look behind the SFX to understand what is happening.  If I remember correctly "lightning toss" is something Flash does by running hard, gathering up the Speed Force and the stopping suddenly to offload all the gathered power at an opponent.  All that is SFX.

 

This is, at its heart a ranged attack against energy defence.  That is often represented by Blast.  You can the switch it up be adding advantages and limitations.  I would give it, no range but a line of area effect, so there is a line of damage emanating from Flash and affecting everyone in that area.  I would also say that it only works the phase after a full move.

 

Doc

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I agree that having people use some pre-generated characters for their first couple games is a good start.  Probably be useful to build up some and put them in a library on here, come to think of it, for simplicity and starting up.  Basic characters without fiddly and fancy abilities.  When people get used to the idea of playing superheroes and how the game works, when they are familiar with what the various concepts are, then they can make their own.  Then, as I said, when you're comfortable with the ideas and how to do it you can look into getting Hero Designer to make things faster and easier.

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Something I did for a game day event at a local gaming store was to create a hero 'team' (they meet as part of the game) that fit our location (Minnesota).  We had a Paul Bunyan avatar (his truck was nicknamed Blue). A union guy who fell into a vat of iron ore dust, which happened to be full of an 'experimental chemical' that turned him into living steel.  A DJ who is a mutant that can mind control and ego blast people thru sound, and she only plays Prince music and all her powers are named after Prince's songs.  And a highly skilled bio-mechanical engineer who created a power suit and can shrink down to the size of a mosquito.  I made the powers as simple as I could.  I didn't worry about the points balancing.

 

I had the player characters in Northern MN near a casino at night when an alien space ship crash lands near by.  One of the small surviving ships from attack on NYC at the end of the Avengers 1 movie.

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On 11/6/2019 at 10:41 PM, Skyriter1 said:

So a few friends and myself decided that we wanted to start a superhero rpg and I am to be the GM. I came across Champions Complete and felt that this would be a good game to play, and then I started reading. I'm having a lot of trouble understanding and grasping the game, I don't know where to begin with the questions. 
 

  1. Character Creation - I understand that a person is given an x amount of CP,  and everything is bought using them, but beyond that I'm lost.
  2. Building Attacks - There is no limitation to the kinds of attacks you can make, but the vastness of it confuses me. For example, if I was creating a character like The Flash how would I make a "Lightning Toss" attack?
  3. Combat - So based on the character's speed (Base is 2), that's how often they go in a turn and a turn consists of 12 segments. Is there a limit to what you can do during your phase? For example, in DnD you can make 1 move action and 1 attack action along with a bonus action and a free action, but not two moves along with an attack action and a bonus and free action. Is it similar here?

 

Any and all help is much appreciated. I'm sure my questions have been asked before and they'll be asked again so apologies! If having a reference for a hero helps, a player wants to be a speedster similar to The Flash. In you explanation if you could use a speedster that would be extremely helpful (the starting CP for my characters is 300 and 60 for complications).

 

Hero is a vast system that dares you to learn it. :)  Luckily for you, it can be learned in small chunks and, if you can avoid some of the frustration traps, can be a very rewarding system. Let's see if we can help you.

 

  1. The GM, when planning his campaign decides a total number of points for the characters. This total number of points is usually based on whether it is a Champions (superhero) game, some version of fantasy or sci-fi, or whatever. Each character is given that many CP to start building their characters. Now in most, if not all, games, some of those points are contingent on taking Complications. So you might see something the looks like 275/75. In this example, the characters would all get 200 points straight out. To get the other 75, they need to buy Complications equal to 75 points. It is also common practice for the GM to assign point ranges for powers in an attempt to balance out the characters, but that is another topic.
  2. Hero is designed around a reasoning for affect principle. You look at the narrative aspect of the power and build from there. The Lightning Toss attack is actually an easy power to create. You start with something that deals damage. That's either going to be Blast or Ranged Killing Attack. For our purposes, I am going to choose Blast. It takes a second or so for the power to build up, so I am going to add Extra-Time: Full Phase and Flash has to be moving at full speed for the ability to work (at least from the TV show). I don't have my books with me but I am going to say that is a -1/2 Limitation. So the power would look a little like Lightning Toss: 12d6 Blast (60 Active Points) Extra-Time: Full Phase (-1/2), Must follow a Full Move (-1/2). Total Cost: 30 Points. The reason Full Move gets a cost break is that there are penalties for making an attack on the run. If that is just special effect, then he wouldn't get points. That is also part of the core rules philosophy; if an ability gives you a substantial advantage, you pay points for it. If you are mechanically disadvantaged by taking something, you get a cost break. Things that are purely narrative are usually things that you don't have to pay for. That's a whole conversation into itself.
  3. A Turn (12 seconds) is divided into 12 1-second Phases. Your character's Speed characteristic dictates which of those Phases your character goes on. There is a chart in the book (don't have it handy but I will edit in page references later). If more than one character goes on the same Phase, the highest Dexterity goes first and so on. Each action is either a 0, 1/2 or Full Phase action. Most actions are 1/2 Phase by default. Any attack action ends that Phase for the character. So it is possible to move half of your Movement (1/2 Phase) and Attack (1/2 Phase). Again, I will edit in some handy references later.

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