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I'm sure this thread has been posted many times with many permutations and combinations.

 

But, would it be weird to rewind Champions to 5e, offer the ruleset for free, send some volunteers to every gamecon (assuming they ever reopen) to spread the word?

 

I say rewind because it feels like 5e is more in use. It's what I use in my online campaign, for example. Then the money could come from people posting supplements etc. here and Hero could get a huge cut of every sale.

 

I understand why 6th edition was made, and I understand the reasoning of Champions Now. But this is along the same lines.

 

It just feels like the company is still thinking inside the box. And I know that's not the case, because there are some really smart people pulling the strings.

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Welcome to the community, pbemguy! I hope you find your visits here enjoyable -- generally we're a pretty friendly and helpful bunch. :)

 

You're correct, the subject of how to "save" Hero has come up often on these forums, and been discussed at great length. Arguments for and against the sorts of things you suggest have been raised, among many other strategies. I'm sure you're about to read some of them here again. ;)

 

Personally I'm too tired of that topic to contribute; but that's no slight against you for raising it -- I appreciate that you have the best interest of the company and the fandom at heart. :thumbup:

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Hero Games' community content program, Hall of Champions, is open to product for any edition and version of the rules.  As well, the owner of Hero Games, @Jason S.Walters, is a reasonable guy and easy to talk to, so if you wanted to publish something for an earlier edition I'm sure he'd be willing to discuss it with you.  

 

I'm also not going to post my own Surefire Formula For Saving Hero, because like Lord Liaden above, I too am tired of the topic. 

 

Welcome!

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I have two ideas:

 

1. What about repackaging the 5e rules with a new cover, like they did with George Perez? And get Perez to do the update. We could crowdfund that. (And lots of new interior art, and some new villains inside.)

 

2. More of a question: What can we do as a community to raise the profile of Champions/Hero? Like, it's not a charity, but it is a cause. But why is it so important to some of us? I think it's because Champions is just so good at making EXACTLY what you want, in such a balanced way. And the combat system is so satisfying. That's why I want to make it more popular. Because just building characters and doing the crunchy work is satisfying.

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I think it would be simpler to reprint and repackage the Champions 2e (gray cover) box set as a 40th anniversary Edition next year for the 40th anniversary. 50 pages of rules, Easy to learn, then maybe springboard to 5th edition, but that's just my 2 cents.

 

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The penny just dropped. Ron Edwards. I am a huge fan. 

 

Okay, so Ron Edwards is the ideal choice for Champions Now.

 

So my only suggestions at this point are:

1. Relabel CHAMPIONS NOW as CHAMPIONS BASIC

2. Hire George Perez to do the cover

3. Get Ron to be simultaneously working on CHAMPIONS ADVANCED (something like an amalgam of 4e,5e,6e but that does not contradict BASIC)

4. Get a separate team working on Viper, Foxbat, Dr. Destroyer, the Enemies book

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23 minutes ago, pbemguy said:

The penny just dropped. Ron Edwards. I am a huge fan. 

 

Okay, so Ron Edwards is the ideal choice for Champions Now.

 

So my only suggestions at this point are:

1. Relabel CHAMPIONS NOW as CHAMPIONS BASIC

 

He released the original PDF a short time ago-- not the finished work, but overall the same general game.  Read that, and you will see why that won't work.

 

Don't get me wrong, the HERO DNA is clear in the product and it's a well-designed game.

 

But it's not the Champions you are trying to save.  Much like New Millennium way back:  it was a good, solid game, and I liked it, but it wasn't the Champions I knew and loved.

 

 

23 minutes ago, pbemguy said:

2. Hire George Perez to do the cover

 

Eh.  I will not deny that his artwork is _amazing_.  But he's not the only amazing artist.  That, and he's retired from comics and art (I believe developing sight issues were cited during an interview).  The upshot is that I don't think his name alone will be the draw to the young guys that us old guys think it will be.   Again-- he _is_ amazing, and I'm not going to say anything contrary to that.  His style, however--- well, it's not even the predominant style of look of comics these days.

 

That, and while I am a bit disappointed with Champions Now (not enough that I won't play it or that I won't pick up a couple of paper copies when it lands in the store), I have to say that the cover art far exceeds anything anything except the Perez cover of 4e---

 

woah-- that's it!  That's one of the reasons I don't get excited about a Perez cover, I think:  he did the 4e cover, and I wasn't excited by it.  Not his fault; the quality was amazing.  The direction though-- the whole cover was full of in-jokes that weren't going to draw _new_ people, and from an outsider's perspective-- as we all were before reading 4e and related goodies-- it was some nameless Dr. Doom / Brother Blood hybrid smashing one of those over-done "modern ninja honkeys" that were finally starting to die off at about the time the book came out.  In short-- it was an incredible depiction of a pretty bland scene.

 

Anyway-- Champions Now...  that cover is on the high-side of HERO covers from the very first published book, and just _kills_ any two-tone "Hey look!  It's HexMan!" covers from the rules books the last couple of editions.  (Dude, that was a horrible mistake that was repeated over and over and over and over and over)

 

Sure: exciting cover art would be great, but I don't know that it has to be from a particular guy.  Find the guy who did the cover for 5e's Hidden Lands.  I _love_ his style on that cover, and I am betting he could make something look just as astounding as Perez.  But enough about that.  I've already said more than I was going to.

 

23 minutes ago, pbemguy said:

3. Get Ron to be simultaneously working on CHAMPIONS ADVANCED (something like an amalgam of 4e,5e,6e but that does not contradict BASIC)

 

No.  No.  no-no-no-no-no.

 

Not because I don't think he couldn't do it, but because I don't think he _would_ do it.  I think the reason he did CN is because he wanted to do Champions _his_ way.  Seriously: read it.  It's well done, and very playable, and promises to be lots of fun, but it's not the game you fell in love with.

 

Not for any of those reasons---

 

but because it's just not necessary.  Seriously.  There have been only two major changes throughout the history of Champions / HERO System.  No; I'm not kidding: there have been only _two_ major changes:  The first was complexity, and that started with the very first revision: 2e. Even Escape From Stronghold added to the rules by determining that objects should have both DEF and BODY; Espionage added Hit Locations.  Complexity  was further increased with Champs II, Champs III, and then 3e Champions-- each book added a little to this and that.  3e opened the doors wide open, as it seemed that almost every book published then added a bit of something else to the rules.

 

4e added complexity by increasing the role of adders and by attempting to put _everything_ from all the various 3e books into one place.  For a lot of us, this was all new material, as if you didn't have every single 3e book, then you didn't have all the 3e rules. ;)    It also shoe-horned in stuff from the stand-alone HERO games and had to twist and bend and beat on some of it to make it all work together-- only it didn't really all work together, so rather than either continue working on it or tossing it completely, it was "graded" with little traffic signs.  Unfortunately, each new book for 4e tended to add more rules, even if they were just "genre-recreating ideas that will work really well for this kind of campaign."

 

5e was essentially rinse and repeat of 4e, only compiling 4e stuff instead of 3e.  Complexity ramped way, way up as we started seeing lots of "must be this way" and "can only work thusly" in spite of all the options that demonstrated otherwise.

 

The only other major change is doing away with figured characteristics.

 

That's it.  Increased complexity and no more figured characteristics.

 

Those are the only two changes.  We don't need an amalgam of all the editions for the simple reason that each edition _is_ an amalgam of all that has come before it.  I would like to see a lot less "no" "must" and "never," but I am also resigned to the fact that I am quite alone in that.

 

I would also like to see a peeling back of the complexity, but at the same time, I understand how it came to be-- look at the Shape Shift discussions that come up from time to time:  there are those who feel it has always been possible from the very first edition using the available rules, and there are those who really never could figure it out under those rules.  Solution?  Let's try adding this new set of rules.  Now more people could figure out how to do it-- I don't know why: possibly because the new rules were more obvious; possibly because the new rules required you define attributes to specific forms and specific forms to specific attributes, and that was more in keeping with how other people interpreted shape shift as working.  At this point, there were now _three_ ways to do it: the original,  Transformation, and Multiform, but since using T-form made M-form redundant, a rule saying "no" was added to T-form (and largely ignored, I think)  But there were _still_ people who couldn't "make shape shift work," so new edition, new rules for Shape Shift.  The other rules didn't go away, and that is because each edition is an amalgam of what went before.

 

At this point, you _can't_ do a 7e, at least not in keeping with HERO tradition, because there just aren't any new rules popping up in copious amount of support materials for 6e-- mostly because there are no support materials for 6e, and because the current author just keeps taking notes until he has enough new rules to publish another Player's Guide.

 

So no-- no amalgams of everything that's gone before because that's what 6e actually _is_, and the only people interested in that are the people who have been die-hard fans for _years_, and honestly-- there's a large chunk of us "day one" die-hard fans who aren't interested in it either.  (Don't get me wrong: I _own_ it.  I will continue to support the company in the hopes that it can retain it's former glory, but am not interested in using what's gone so far).  The only thing we'd need at this point to make it a full-on amalgam is a chapter in Advanced Player's Guide 3 detailing how to put Figured Characteristics back in the game, how to replace Endurance Reserves with Endurance Batteries (and just why in the Hell you might want to do that.  Damn that was broken!), and how to use "Unified Power" to simulate "Elemental Control"  and you would have a _complete_ amalgam of every tiny thing that's gone before.

 

In short, combing all the previous editions and the current edition results in the current edition and three footnotes.  For if you want to try the old-school Resistant Defenses options.

 

23 minutes ago, pbemguy said:

4. Get a separate team working on Viper, Foxbat, Dr. Destroyer, the Enemies book

 

Like.... as a _team_...?  Because I would be totally down to see _that_!  :D   Other than that, though, just rip them from the most recent book and republish them.  The single biggest upshot to every edition being an amalgamation of all that's gone before is that everything from every previous edition works with everything that comes after it, too.  Except Endurance Batteries.  Those didn't work in their original editions.    :lol:

 

 

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I love your ideas, and you just made this thread 10x better.

 

I'm going to read it more carefully and comment again. But yeah, the team thing is key. I care about the money 99% of the time, but this time I'm more about just increasing the popularity of this thing we call Champions.

 

Ron is excellent at what he does. But maybe we need to work on this alternate idea. It's like all the incarnations of Batman: there's movie Batman, there's Lego Batman, etc.--Ron's thing and this thing aren't against each other; they're popularizing the same thing.

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54 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Eh.  I will not deny that his artwork is _amazing_.  But he's not the only amazing artist.  That, and he's retired from comics and art (I believe developing sight issues were cited during an interview).  The upshot is that I don't think his name alone will be the draw to the young guys that us old guys think it will be.   Again-- he _is_ amazing, and I'm not going to say anything contrary to that.  His style, however--- well, it's not even the predominant style of look of comics these days.

 

He is retired from everything except a few chosen con appearances.

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27 minutes ago, Greywind said:

 

He is retired from everything except a few chosen con appearances.

 

I'm not married to the Perez idea. I just figured he'd be game because he probably got a lot of positive attention wayback when he did the first one, and he might find it cool to revisit.

 

But I am married to the concept: an A-list artist that would probably charge $800-$1500 for the finished product.

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I agree with Duke that the difference between 4e and 5e was pretty slight. Even the 3e book that came out in 1988 was pretty good, but if I had to draw a line I would say 4e is the furthest back I could go.

 

Anyway, if Hero did a rewind to 4e, that would do it.

 

But the rules would need a polish, and a re-typsetting etc.

It needs to look modern and reflect the style of the other books on the market.

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Hi pbemguy! Welcome. 

 

12 hours ago, pbemguy said:

Okay, so Ron Edwards is the ideal choice for Champions Now.

 

So my only suggestions at this point are:

1. Relabel CHAMPIONS NOW as CHAMPIONS BASIC

2. Hire George Perez to do the cover

3. Get Ron to be simultaneously working on CHAMPIONS ADVANCED (something like an amalgam of 4e,5e,6e but that does not contradict BASIC)

4. Get a separate team working on Viper, Foxbat, Dr. Destroyer, the Enemies book

 

I'll put a pitch in for a discussion I started recently about "Complete" games. Lots of history and things packed in there, and it'll take you a while to grind through it, but I think you'll get a good feel for many of the issues that we all feel passionately about. 

 

Whatever you do, though, don't start a "which edition is better" war! Please, for the love of God! You'll just have to do your own research on those debates. People have pretty firm ideas on their favorite editions (2e through 6e), and people aren't likely to change their opinions. But I can guarantee, without feeling too patronizing about it, that DOJ will never, ever, rewind the ruleset to anything pre-6th, and there probably won't be a 7e either. They are fully invested in 6th now, and the new "Complete" books are derived from 6th. There is just as much support for 5th as there is for 6th at this point (in other words, very little except for lively forums). Nobody really judges about which edition you prefer. Just go with what makes you happy. Just don't expect DOJ to reboot anything at this point. 

 

Ron Edwards's Champions Now project is his own return to 2e/3e days, but he's rewritten the rules so much that it's not the same game anymore. It's now Ron's own spin on Champions. And it is not the DOJ version of the game. It's his own project. He wasn't selected to do it as a resuscitation of the game; he approached DOJ about doing his own thing, and they let him run with it. Don't get me wrong, I talked with him for a good while about the project, and even did a video with him. But it just can't be a replacement for the "Complete" books. It shouldn't be considered a new standard. It's just a thought experiment more than anything, perhaps a fun one. I like his ideas about character creation and setting development. But he's created his own game. I'm not even really sure why DOJ is promoting it, since it's pretty unlike their own version of Champions, and seems to be at cross purposes to their own success. And it certainly is not "Champions Basic" except in the most vague way. It's not an introduction to Champions because it is its own game. He's changed the names of too many things, changed the rules, and changed too many assumptions about things to even be considered related to the current Champions. And we definitely don't want him in charge of an "Advanced" project, because he doesn't believe enough in the existing rules, and much of the existing DOJ intellectual property, to do it justice. We don't need an Advanced version of Champions. It already exists! As for "Basic" projects, there are already plenty of threads for you to read about that as well. Here's another one I started a long time ago, which actually led to someone doing a Fantasy HERO Primer document you can get in the downloads section. There are many others as well. Anyway, short story long, Ron's not the guy to lead a reboot of HERO System.

 

Everyone agrees with you about the artwork. That's one of the biggest problems with the books being produced. That's another one of those recurring themes that you'll find in the forums, so I won't rehash it. Yup: we need better artwork for a comics-based game system!

 

So, to get to your original proposition: how do we save HERO System? We don't. We can't save an organization that's not very interested in saving itself. It's probably best described as being in a holding pattern, at best, right now. The economy has rebounded, so that's not an excuse anymore. But what has happened is that the RPG industry has totally changed around DOJ while they've been in a holding pattern. 

 

Anyway, don't let me kill your desire to explore this issue. That's just my 2¢ for now. You have decades of experience and knowledge to draw from here. Enjoy!

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Instead of writing a whole bunch of new material, how about using the material that is already available (either 5e or 6e).  Also in this time of COVID-19 when people are going to only be able to game in a virtual environment, I would highly recommend using Tabletop Simulator with the Hero System Mod (Beta).  By doing this it will be possible to get new players up and playing faster.

 

Here is my ambitious plan.  A friend of mine is a coach for a high school robotics team.  They want a GM to run them in a game, they have been teaching themselves D&D.  My plan is to run them in my campaign world and if I can convince their parents to invest in TTS ($20 each) we will use that or we will use a different VTT which I have been using for a while now.  Either way I am going to teach them Hero 6e.  There are 7 teenagers that I will be doing this with.  If I can get 3 or 4 of them to be hooked on Hero I will be classify that as a success.  If one or two wants to learn how to GM a Hero 6e game then it will be a smokin' success.

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2 hours ago, bluesguy said:

Instead of writing a whole bunch of new material, how about using the material that is already available (either 5e or 6e).  Also in this time of COVID-19 when people are going to only be able to game in a virtual environment, I would highly recommend using Tabletop Simulator with the Hero System Mod (Beta).  By doing this it will be possible to get new players up and playing faster.

 

Here is my ambitious plan.  A friend of mine is a coach for a high school robotics team.  They want a GM to run them in a game, they have been teaching themselves D&D.  My plan is to run them in my campaign world and if I can convince their parents to invest in TTS ($20 each) we will use that or we will use a different VTT which I have been using for a while now.  Either way I am going to teach them Hero 6e.  There are 7 teenagers that I will be doing this with.  If I can get 3 or 4 of them to be hooked on Hero I will be classify that as a success.  If one or two wants to learn how to GM a Hero 6e game then it will be a smokin' success.

 

This is a good plan! I agree, if you can get 3 or 4 of them using the system, it is a success. :)

 

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6 hours ago, bluesguy said:

Instead of writing a whole bunch of new material, how about using the material that is already available (either 5e or 6e).  Also in this time of COVID-19 when people are going to only be able to game in a virtual environment, I would highly recommend using Tabletop Simulator with the Hero System Mod (Beta).  By doing this it will be possible to get new players up and playing faster.

 

Here is my ambitious plan.  A friend of mine is a coach for a high school robotics team.  They want a GM to run them in a game, they have been teaching themselves D&D.  My plan is to run them in my campaign world and if I can convince their parents to invest in TTS ($20 each) we will use that or we will use a different VTT which I have been using for a while now.  Either way I am going to teach them Hero 6e.  There are 7 teenagers that I will be doing this with.  If I can get 3 or 4 of them to be hooked on Hero I will be classify that as a success.  If one or two wants to learn how to GM a Hero 6e game then it will be a smokin' success.

 

I totally agree. This is *not* a rewrite of the rules, but mostly a reformatting of the the rules. (I originally suggested 5e but honestly most of my play hours are in 4e.)

 

QUESTION: Is 4e the most popular version? Is that when Hero reached its apex is what I'm asking.

 

What I would do, and others, is basically copy-and-paste 4e and then change a few examples, add new art, and make it look like the Savage Worlds books and/or the D&D 5e ones.

 

I would highly recommend that the PDF is free but the book is available to buy here on the forums and elsewhere.

 

The key to the whole thing is repackaging 4e in a modern style. Period.

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Unscientific polling has shown a lot of 4th and 6th edition players, with a big dip in 5th edition holdouts.  Meaning most players who didn't like 4th edition switched to 5th, and when 6th came out a lot of them switched, and a number of new people came along.  

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19 minutes ago, pbemguy said:

 

I totally agree. This is *not* a rewrite of the rules, but mostly a reformatting of the the rules. (I originally suggested 5e but honestly most of my play hours are in 4e.)

 

QUESTION: Is 4e the most popular version? Is that when Hero reached its apex is what I'm asking.

 

What I would do, and others, is basically copy-and-paste 4e and then change a few examples, add new art, and make it look like the Savage Worlds books and/or the D&D 5e ones.

 

I would highly recommend that the PDF is free but the book is available to buy here on the forums and elsewhere.

 

The key to the whole thing is repackaging 4e in a modern style. Period.

 

Not interested in this at all.  Here are some questions:

  • 4e:  Who owns the rights?
  • Tooling? 
    • Hero Designer - I suspect that it will not be changed to support any versions other than 5e & 6e. 
    • Hero Combat Manager - Not happening unless there is a huge demand
    • TTS Hero System Mod (Beta) - No idea

Again my recommendation has always been teach people the current version.  If you want to invest time/effort into something then create adventures/'adventure paths' that can live inside one of the many campaign worlds that are available.

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17 minutes ago, bluesguy said:

 

Not interested in this at all.  Here are some questions:

  • 4e:  Who owns the rights?
  • Tooling? 
    • Hero Designer - I suspect that it will not be changed to support any versions other than 5e & 6e. 
    • Hero Combat Manager - Not happening unless there is a huge demand
    • TTS Hero System Mod (Beta) - No idea

Again my recommendation has always been teach people the current version.  If you want to invest time/effort into something then create adventures/'adventure paths' that can live inside one of the many campaign worlds that are available.

 

I have to admit my bias: I really prefer 4e/5e to 6e. I have played 6e and it's great, but the battle I'm choosing is 4e (originally I chose 5e, but my interactions here make me think 4e is the smarter choice).

 

Who does own the rights to 4e? I assumed it would be the current owner of Hero, but you're absolutely right that it may be more complicated than that.

 

Anyone know?

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13 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

4e is unavailable. Would have to be 5th or 6th, for new publishing. 

 

If we're discussing something that could be sold under the umbrella of Hall of Champions, that's not strictly true. This is from Jason Walters' announcement of the project: "You’ll be allowed to publish using any version of the Hero System you like from 1st to 6th, including Champions Now. You will also be allowed to use both intellectual property that belongs to Hero Games, as well as the Champions Universe, which belongs to Cryptic Studios. The program will supply artwork and templates to work from to make the entire process as easy as possible."

 

Now the question would be, whether that allowance would include a repackaging of any edition of the rules, beyond just referring to those rules in your product. Hero Games already sells PDF versions of the rules for every edition of Champions, as well as for all the individual  genres from before they were consolidated under 4E. Pbemguy would need to take that issue up with Jason.

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