Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tywyll

What do long term FH Characters look like

Recommended Posts

So you start your 75+75 FH characters in a campaign that goes for awhile. How do things change 50, 75, 100 cp down the road? How do they look when they start getting magic items?

 

I'm curious because I'm trying to parse out in my mind the progression curve of a FH "Epic Fantasy" campaign (ala DNDish, with lots of monster killing and treasure finding). How do NPCs challenge PCs without constantly adding to their found treasure pile (a problem in most games that have magic items and NPCs statted the same as PCs). Like, the abstration in D&D allows for a character to at high levels surivive a battle with a big monster. But HERO feels more like no matter how tough you get, failing to dodge a 4-5d6 KA will kill your PC. So how do high level PCs go up against end game dragons and demons et al? Or do they just not? Is the power curve flatter?

Share this post


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

So you start your 75+75 FH characters in a campaign that goes for awhile. How do things change 50, 75, 100 cp down the road? How do they look when they start getting magic items?

 

I'm curious because I'm trying to parse out in my mind the progression curve of a FH "Epic Fantasy" campaign (ala DNDish, with lots of monster killing and treasure finding). How do NPCs challenge PCs without constantly adding to their found treasure pile (a problem in most games that have magic items and NPCs statted the same as PCs). Like, the abstration in D&D allows for a character to at high levels surivive a battle with a big monster. But HERO feels more like no matter how tough you get, failing to dodge a 4-5d6 KA will kill your PC. So how do high level PCs go up against end game dragons and demons et al? Or do they just not? Is the power curve flatter?

 

I recently wrapped up War for the Crown with my Fantasy HERO group.

 

They started off as 150 pt characters and wrapped up as 350 pt characters with a LOT of magic items.  They were easily on par with 450-500 point Champions characters by the end - at least in terms of offense / defense.

In the beginning they were all around 5 OCV/DCV and doing about 2d6K or 6d6N at SPD 3.  Most characters ended at SPD 4, but a couple ended at SPD 5.

My wife's Fire Witch was hitting 14-15 OCV and doing 4d6 RKA AP or 3d6 RKA AoE AP with her most common attacks.

The Witcher based character was around 15 OCV when maxed out (levels, martial arts, magic weapon bonuses) and doing 4d6 HKA while simultaneously only 5 DCV due to armor penalties (end-game magic plate 15 rPD/rED - hardened).

The Dwarven Sapper had an array of explosives and ammo-consuming gauntlets that allowed him to boomstick punch enemies for more than 10d6N.

 

When I compared them to my last Champions campaign they overall had puny defenses (7-15 rPD armor plus 5-7 PD) but much higher CVs (14-15 OCV/DCV depending on level allocation).

 

Your concern is well justified.  A character in 8 rPD/rED field plate cannot soak repeated hits of 5d6 KA from an ancient dragon.  They're mangled after 2 hits and dead or dying after the 3rd.

The way my group dealt with dragons and major demons and other end-game threats was to avoid damage as much as possible by way of blocking, dodging and diving for cover.  Action economy is how a Fantasy HERO group typically defeats a big bad.

 

Also, end game threats are great for thematic side quests to build anticipation.  "No living creature can survive the dragon fire.  You must bring me 3 fire orchids to brew you potions that will let you live long enough to fell this beast.".

Completing a couple such quests and then facing attacks that would have been certain death without the additional preparation work will make the characters feel like their extra work is paying off and that their opponent is truly deadly.

 

I'm at work, but when I get home I'll see if I can upload my combat calculator sheet for the end of that campaign.  I basically set a starting value and then intermittently bumped it 5 points to simulate D&D tiers.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

I recently wrapped up War for the Crown with my Fantasy HERO group.

 

[snip]

 

I'm at work, but when I get home I'll see if I can upload my combat calculator sheet for the end of that campaign.  I basically set a starting value and then intermittently bumped it 5 points to simulate D&D tiers.

 

 

 

Thanks for that. Good to know I wasn't wrong. I was looking at the FH book with all the villains in it (Nobles, Necromancers and something I think?) and thinking, each of these characters have 2-4 magic items. If my players defeated a team of them, that's 10-12 items to split. It seems like a wild jump in power and of course has the problem of making a lot of opposition just pointless. Unlike OSR games, I don't feel like I can throw a lot of wandering encounters at the group because fights take so long to play out, I really only want to run the meaningful ones. but that's a tricky balance...you also want the players to feel awesome occasionally by steamrolling a group of goons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my current campaign the PCs combat skills improved a bit.  I have imposed specific maximums and I don't let the PC go past those.  Typically they would:

  • Melee types would improve their characteristics to reach a max campaign level
  • Ranged attackers would buy penalty skill levels vs. range mod.
  • Everyone would buy +3 PSL vs hit locations for they most favored attack/weapon of choice (speeds up combat because they always aim at the chest 😉)
  • Spell casters would improve INT, EGO, REC, and END
  • Either get martial arts or add additional maneuvers to existing martial arts
  • If appropriate turn specific combat skill levels into more general ones (i.e. +2 with swords to +2 with hand to hand)

The other area PCs change is skills.  They tend to get more of them.  Maybe get skill levels with groups/classes of skills.  Possibly buy contacts or a follower.

 

Magic items in my world tend to lean away from special weapons and armor.  A more common type of 'magic weapon' is a finely crafted steel sword that has +1 or +2 DC increase and maybe adds an addition +1 or +2 to OCV.  Also on rare occasions armor piercing or penetrating as modifiers are added.  Armor is kind of the same thing - an additional +1 to +3 PD/ED over normal armor.  Might have hardening.  Definitely lower mass.  More likely they will find potions, magic items that help with shelter, food, and light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 But HERO feels more like no matter how tough you get, failing to dodge a 4-5d6 KA will kill your PC. So how do high level PCs go up against end game dragons and demons et al?

 

For me this is a feature: no matter how skilled and experienced you get, you're still just people and a dragon's bite is still very dangerous.  But better spells, better armor, etc all can help make the difference between "bitten in half" and "able to still fight"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What?  I'm still out of rep? 

 

Enjoy this I-meant-to-say-thank-you moment, Sir. 

 

We have to remember that unlike a lot of other old-timers in the RPG world, HERO has done a good job of hanging onto the war game roots of RPGs.  Part of that is that there is no invincible.  There is always a chance you can get hit, and there is always a bigger cannon.   Tactics and skill will always apply, no matter how powerful you get(unless you're playing the dragon, of course.) 

 

Like Christopher, I tend to have a deep appreciation for that, on spite of the fact that my tactics are....   Not great.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a binder full of old Hero characters, the a Majority of them FH characters. I am busy tomorrow, Friday I will scan and upload a couple of characters as examples. What I would do is to keep everything of that character in the same sheet protector, so that progress can be compared, and I had a lower point total version of the character for convention games. Character sketches as well. ( one side was the character sheet and the other was character art. ) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right.  Very good question and a worthy topic of discussion.  I don't have a whole lot to add, but in my games, I prefer to keep defenses low, and the characters wear minimal armor, because it's just not practical or realistic for adventurers to explore the countryside in plate armor, despite what a certain other well-known RPG would have you believe.  These are adventurers, not soldiers.  If you know in advance that you're marching into battle today, you put on the best armor you can acquire and stand side-by-side with your army and face the enemy army.  If you're traveling over land from one village to the next, or following the ancient map to the site of the hidden ruins, you aren't going to be wearing your armor the whole time, even when a band of brigands or a raiding party of orcs ambush you en route.  And they're not going to politely announce themselves and then wait for you to put on your armor before engaging.

 

So yeah, you might get injured, maybe even seriously.  That's what Healing is for.  As your party's experience increases, those with healing spells (or skills) get better and better at this.  Maybe the big tough shirtless barbarian of the group buys himself some Damage Reduction to reflect his epic toughness - he can still be hurt, and still might need healing, but he is more likely to survive a fight than when he started out as a 75+75.

 

But if you've got some magic armor 10 PD/10 ED, you can take a casual walk through the ranks of the orcs armed with regular swords and not take a single BODY.  That doesn't make sense to me, and it doesn't match the source material (at least that I'm familiar with).  Likewise with the wizard who can cast a 10 PD/10 ED armor spell on himself.

 

And it works both ways.  I expect players to have low defenses, and I don't throw enemies at them with defenses they can't get through.  (Except once, which was an error on my part.  I sent a "rock demon" at them, that was supposed to be a fairly weak monster, but its rock-like hide was so thick that it was very difficult for them to damage it at all.  That one combat took way longer than I had intended.  I learned my lesson.)

 

But getting back to the topic of how "epic" characters grow from starting ones, I like to visualize the epic version of a character while I'm making the starting character.  It's nice to have a plan for what that character will eventually become (one hopes).  And yes, the plan can change.  Thanks to this being HERO and not something else, a starting 75+75 character can have a pretty good array of abilities.  Think about what you'd buy for the character if he was 100+75, or 125+75, or 150+75, etc.  Buy all those little convenient things you wish you could have afforded when he started.

 

The main example that comes to mind for me is a wizard-type character of mine.  He started with a good array of useful spells, but as a much more experienced wizard, he no longer has "Detect Magic", but instead has "Sense Magic" - if you bring a magic item into his presence, or a person under some magic spell approaches him, or pretty much anything like that, he knows instantly.  Your invisibility spell will not hide you from him.  If you've been mind controlled, or cursed, or transformed, he knows, and might be able to help.  All the spells that were difficult to cast when he was younger, are much easier now - buy off the Concentration, Increased END, Extra Time, etc.  It doesn't have to be increased DCs and increased defenses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IME high-experience FH characters are comparable to Champions martial artists (for non spellslingers) or gadgeteers (for spellslingers).  Normal characteristic maxima prevents them from developing into exact analogues for Champions, but players make up for that by dumping points into PSLs and multipower slots.  We're talking 15- called shots against x2 BODY hit locations, and literally dozens of multipower slots that approach the flexibility of a VPP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been doing a conversion of PFRPG classes to Hero.  One thing I can tell you is that skills will take up a lot of points.  I went level 1 to 5 to 9.  Level one was very inexpensive, minimal skills.  By five there are enough skills and raises (exp stealth at 13- and you buy 4 pts to get it to 15- costs 3 + 4 = 7 pts).  Also look at talents like Deadly Blow.  One level of Combat Luck.  These add up fast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 So what does an experienced Fantasy Hero character look like. here's my example. The following Character is Lord Morvath Broadwing. I was a member of L, Douglas Garrett's Fantasy Hero Play test, that ran for years at his house in Sunnyvale  CA at the time. In the first cycle I played Shiro the Samurai, for about a year. When the rules were finally released, there was a time jump of about 15-20 years campaign time.  As it was, the world was, by necessity a "Kitchen Sink" world. However, being an L. D. G. campaign the geopolitics, and power dynamics were intricate.  The game at the time was anywhere between 12, to 22 Players, usually around 18, and consisted of several of the Hero Games  employees at the time.

 

Because of the efforts of one of the players in the first cycle of the game, his God, Keoshin,  had become a large popular movement, and had wiped out a couple of the monarchies  in the northern reaches, one specifically Davria, which had been an early thorn in the side in the early parts of phase one of the campaign. So in the early part of the Second phase, the Party  headed east into the desert lands of Caliphistan. I had recently lost a character in a fight, but came up with an idea of playing a notorious Daviran noble expat, living in far distant Caliphistan, and working as a gunsmith. But he had more than a few secrets. I discussed with Doug one of those secrets, shape shifter. Doug thought it was interesting, but said that I could not buy the full amount, and would have to use XP to finish building it out. This is the original sheet:

 

https://i.imgur.com/e8cU7CW.png

 

 This is the basic character, and the Multiform was at 67 of it's required 79 points.  The sheet shows 18 XP,  At this point, Morvath was brought into the party as a line fighter, and a gunsmith.

 

Later he was able to purchase his Multiform , and the party realized "Oh.... he was that dragon..."(See his disads, and had a rep of massive destruction against Davria's enemies).  But since he was still useful to the party's goals he continued with them, as they moved Eastward.  The Dragon got a lot of work out as the party's goals expanded into the politics of the region.  here's the Dragon:

 

https://i.imgur.com/TGOJuj2.png

 

 So after a few years the character bought off some disads, bought a lot of skills and levels, validating the observation that High Level Fantasy Hero characters tend to progress like Champions Martial Artists. This is the latest sheet of the character. 

 

https://i.imgur.com/myln8zy.png

 

I had way too much fun with this character, and I have used him as an NPC in my FH campaigns. Hopefully this character has been a useful example.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

 So what does an experienced Fantasy Hero character look like. here's my example. The following Character is Lord Morvath Broadwing. I was a member of L, Douglas Garrett's Fantasy Hero Play test, that ran for years at his house in Sunnyvale  CA at the time. In the first cycle I played Shiro the Samurai, for about a year. When the rules were finally released, there was a time jump of about 15-20 years campaign time.  As it was, the world was, by necessity a "Kitchen Sink" world. However, being an L. D. G. campaign the geopolitics, and power dynamics were intricate.  The game at the time was anywhere between 12, to 22 Players, usually around 18, and consisted of several of the Hero Games  employees at the time.

 

Because of the efforts of one of the players in the first cycle of the game, his God, Keoshin,  had become a large popular movement, and had wiped out a couple of the monarchies  in the northern reaches, one specifically Davria, which had been an early thorn in the side in the early parts of phase one of the campaign. So in the early part of the Second phase, the Party  headed east into the desert lands of Caliphistan. I had recently lost a character in a fight, but came up with an idea of playing a notorious Daviran noble expat, living in far distant Caliphistan, and working as a gunsmith. But he had more than a few secrets. I discussed with Doug one of those secrets, shape shifter. Doug thought it was interesting, but said that I could not buy the full amount, and would have to use XP to finish building it out. This is the original sheet:

 

https://i.imgur.com/e8cU7CW.png

 

 This is the basic character, and the Multiform was at 67 of it's required 79 points.  The sheet shows 18 XP,  At this point, Morvath was brought into the party as a line fighter, and a gunsmith.

 

Later he was able to purchase his Multiform , and the party realized "Oh.... he was that dragon..."(See his disads, and had a rep of massive destruction against Davria's enemies).  But since he was still useful to the party's goals he continued with them, as they moved Eastward.  The Dragon got a lot of work out as the party's goals expanded into the politics of the region.  here's the Dragon:

 

https://i.imgur.com/TGOJuj2.png

 

 So after a few years the character bought off some disads, bought a lot of skills and levels, validating the observation that High Level Fantasy Hero characters tend to progress like Champions Martial Artists. This is the latest sheet of the character. 

 

https://i.imgur.com/myln8zy.png

 

I had way too much fun with this character, and I have used him as an NPC in my FH campaigns. Hopefully this character has been a useful example.

 

 

 

 

 

Please fix the image links, I am dying to see the character sheets.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

 So what does an experienced Fantasy Hero character look like. here's my example. The following Character is Lord Morvath Broadwing. I was a member of L, Douglas Garrett's Fantasy Hero Play test, that ran for years at his house in Sunnyvale  CA at the time. In the first cycle I played Shiro the Samurai, for about a year. When the rules were finally released, there was a time jump of about 15-20 years campaign time.  As it was, the world was, by necessity a "Kitchen Sink" world. However, being an L. D. G. campaign the geopolitics, and power dynamics were intricate.  The game at the time was anywhere between 12, to 22 Players, usually around 18, and consisted of several of the Hero Games  employees at the time.

 

Because of the efforts of one of the players in the first cycle of the game, his God, Keoshin,  had become a large popular movement, and had wiped out a couple of the monarchies  in the northern reaches, one specifically Davria, which had been an early thorn in the side in the early parts of phase one of the campaign. So in the early part of the Second phase, the Party  headed east into the desert lands of Caliphistan. I had recently lost a character in a fight, but came up with an idea of playing a notorious Daviran noble expat, living in far distant Caliphistan, and working as a gunsmith. But he had more than a few secrets. I discussed with Doug one of those secrets, shape shifter. Doug thought it was interesting, but said that I could not buy the full amount, and would have to use XP to finish building it out. This is the original sheet:

 

https://i.imgur.com/e8cU7CW.png

 

 This is the basic character, and the Multiform was at 67 of it's required 79 points.  The sheet shows 18 XP,  At this point, Morvath was brought into the party as a line fighter, and a gunsmith.

 

Later he was able to purchase his Multiform , and the party realized "Oh.... he was that dragon..."(See his disads, and had a rep of massive destruction against Davria's enemies).  But since he was still useful to the party's goals he continued with them, as they moved Eastward.  The Dragon got a lot of work out as the party's goals expanded into the politics of the region.  here's the Dragon:

 

https://i.imgur.com/TGOJuj2.png

 

 So after a few years the character bought off some disads, bought a lot of skills and levels, validating the observation that High Level Fantasy Hero characters tend to progress like Champions Martial Artists. This is the latest sheet of the character. 

 

https://i.imgur.com/myln8zy.png

 

I had way too much fun with this character, and I have used him as an NPC in my FH campaigns. Hopefully this character has been a useful example.

 

 

 

 

Wow! Thanks for this!

 

I wish the campaign had had more magic items, but still, it's really awesome!

 

What was that software you were using for the last two sheets?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Wow! Thanks for this!

 

I wish the campaign had had more magic items, but still, it's really awesome!

 

What was that software you were using for the last two sheets?

 

 

There was a few magic items, but not a lot. Most magic users were innate, with a magic rolls required. 
 

The software used was the original Heromakr.exe that released nearly simultaneously with the 4th edition BBB, but was the character generator for then never released Champions PC Game. It was so much easier than HDC is now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My answer is entirely theoretical, since our group hasn't had a Fantasy Hero campaign that lasted longer than about two sessions.  Our players tend to prefer Pathfinder/D&D for fantasy, and if we're going to play Hero we'll just play Champions.

 

In my opinion, there's nothing particularly wrong with having a Champions-style fantasy game.  If you want to ride around in the medieval world like Big Damn Heroes, slaughtering hordes of enemies with your sword and doing your best He-Man impression, well that's just fine.  "Fantasy" is a very broad category, and it's okay for your 20th level Barbarian warlord to have a 20 PD, 70 Stun, and 5 levels of combat luck.  Remember that the numbers on the page are just abstractions used to measure relative power.  We all know that Conan is not going to get killed by Random Guard #6.  If the story calls for him to fight an extremely low powered opponent, you might as well just narrate it rather than pretend it's worth your time to roll the dice ("He hits you for 3 Body and 6 Stun, Conan.  Did you take any damage?").  Instead you can combine characters together.  Conan doesn't fight one person, he fights "Group of 8 Guys".  There's no reason that Group of 8 Guys can't be represented by one character sheet.  Together they function with a 30 Str and a 5 Speed, and have a 3D6+1 HKA "bunch of people trying to stab you with spears at once" attack.  Throw in a skilled lieutenant or two and maybe a big monster, and that's the kind of encounter that Conan faces.  One dude is not a threat to him.

 

On the other hand, maybe you want your world to cap out at a lower power level.  That's fine too.  I'd suggest talking to your players and figuring out where you want to put the max combat values.  Maybe the best swordsman in the world has a 12 OCV, so everybody else needs to scale to that.  Maybe Deadly Blow (or whatever it's called) isn't available for anything other than a thief's backstab.  Perhaps 8/8 full plate armor is the best defense you can get in the world and combat luck doesn't stack or isn't around at all.  That works as well, everybody just needs to be on the same page.  In those situations, PCs will get up to the max you allow, and then they'll buy extra Body, extra End, Recovery, etc.  They'll branch out as much as you let them (fighters learning magic, wizards hitting the gym, etc).  When you stop them from diversifying their combat skills, they'll go to noncombat stuff.  Did the King owe you a favor?  Well he does now.  Eventually the focus won't be so much on the personal abilities of the PCs, and instead will be about the armies they command.  Perks become very important and powerful when the GM says you can't buy any more damage classes or better magic armor.

 

Nothing wrong with either direction, or striking some balance between them.  Just don't expect a 300 point character to be challenged by the same things that threaten a 150 point character.  If you go the Conan route, each character will chainsaw their way through normal battles (so you have to go bigger and bigger).  If you go the opposite direction (the "Saruman" route), people will sit in their invulnerable castles moving their armies like chess pieces.  Really powerful characters require adventures tailored to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nice thing about Hero is that it seamlessly handles heroic campaigns from 25 points up to at least 450 (that I've actually experienced) and probably higher.  Other game systems break at either end of the scale.

Share this post


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

 

Props for using the 1st ed. FH character sheet!  Really takes me back.

I even have playtest sheet fro FH characters , but those were ugly, and most people just used Photocopy edited Champions sheets. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5d6 HKA is still only an average of 17 BODY. If your knight in shining armor has full plate, plus a ring that adds 2 rPD/2 rED, and BODY 15, he might be able to take two direct hits if the dragon doesn't get lucky. If you have teammates healing your character, the dragon might actually be in considerable trouble. As for its fiery breath, I think about how old school characters handled it; a combination of tactics and likely magical fire resistance of some kind. If you allow Dive for Cover, a big dramatic fight against a dragon is the perfect time to go diving out of the way of monstrous claws and deadly dragonfire. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/11/2020 at 2:20 AM, pawsplay said:

5d6 HKA is still only an average of 17 BODY. If your knight in shining armor has full plate, plus a ring that adds 2 rPD/2 rED, and BODY 15, he might be able to take two direct hits if the dragon doesn't get lucky. If you have teammates healing your character, the dragon might actually be in considerable trouble. As for its fiery breath, I think about how old school characters handled it; a combination of tactics and likely magical fire resistance of some kind. If you allow Dive for Cover, a big dramatic fight against a dragon is the perfect time to go diving out of the way of monstrous claws and deadly dragonfire. 

 

The BODY damage is immediately deadly at that level.  Even with the magic ring and full plate armor the knight is taking 7-8 BOD per hit.  That is an Impairing Wound on the first hit and Disabling on the second.

 

Additionally, that is  - on average - 51 STUN minus (8rPD + 2rPD <ring> + 6-8PD) = 35+ STUN per hit.  That is an instant KO for most characters.  On the second hit they will be deeply unconscious.

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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...