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Everything posted by Spence

  1. I think he nailed it
  2. For me the problem is that those kinds of large sweeping setting are useless to me. Except to weigh down a shelf and collect dust. Adventures do no happen at that scale. A smaller setting book that actually has smaller focused information is far far more useful. The Sword Coast is what? The map is around 1200 miles north/south and maybe 600 miles east/west not including the ocean. The islands are in an area around 300 miles N/S and 100-150 miles E/W? And even then the SC is an immense area where most of it will never be actually used. And yet so many settings seems to think mapping out and entire world in even broader wide strokes is "better"?? While not perfect, Sword Coast is the best modern setting of it's type. A broad high level overview of area. And then individual supplements that combine setting and adventure information for specific locations. But even then the setting info is suitably imprecise allowing the individual GM to tinker or ignore easily. Speaking of Hero products, and this is my personal opinion, they suffer from the "Far Far Far Too Much" syndrome. Too much detail. Too much density. Far too intertwined. Too much in on book to effectively use. If you decide that "blah blah" is not right for you campaign and decide to remove it, the removal is far more effort than you can expend for a weekend game because instances and influences of "blah blah" are throughout the product and you begin to drown in removal and replacement "fixes". And even if you decide to run it as is, the details and density of text mandates the expenditure of more effort than was required for your most daunting real world professional requirement. I was able to read/skim the Sword Coast plus an adventure in a single afternoon and ran session zero the next day. I spent an entire weekend with Narosia, which I had to READ, and after getting through the 2nd culture, took a look and realized there were a bazillion to go. So it went on the shelf and I was all "D&D it is". In the games that you actually play, Medieval Stasis isn't really relevant. If you are slogging down the muddy track between villages on the frontier of the Kingdom Blah Blah, the fact that there is a ruin from the Ancient Ones really doesn't matter. Even if the GM has turned the ruin into a dungeon. But to the PC's and the current regular NPC's the exact history is irrelevant. Oh the GM could easily make up myths and legends for entertainment. But unless it is to set up a quest, none of the players will care about the "history". Heck they will not care about any of the surrounding kingdoms/nations/tribes unless their PC's actually need to do something there or counter something here. The only purpose for extensive timelines or deep histories satisfy the author and provided casual reading for the GM's. Since reading the complete setting/adventure book by the players should never be done since it would spoil the game, just what value to the weekly session is knowing that 45,000 years before your adventure that the High King Blah Blah rules the Kingdom of Who Cares? As an intellectual exercise Medieval Stasis exists. But what practical or impractical value does that 1000 pages of minutia have for tomorrows afternoon game session. Especially when the participants of that afternoon games session are only able to scrape up four hours every two weeks to game and the GM will only be able to dedicate maybe an hour to prep. That is the market. One hour prep for a four hour session every two weeks. People will spend a couple weeks to read through a RPG's rules. Not sit down and study them, but to read a few pages here and there over a period of a couple weeks. Once they believe they know enough they will see if they can get their friends to make PC's. And if the session zero takes more time than their normal session or the PC's do not intrigue the players enough during that session zero they will not play it. IF the GM manages to lead the players successfully out the other side of session zero, then he must be able to run the four hour session with one hour of prep for the campaign. That is why D&D 5th is dominating. The average GM can prep for today's session with an hour of prep. Each Adventure book may have six to ten individual encounters, but the DM only needs to read the one they are playing today. For League night it was common for each tables DM to arrive about an hour early and prep right at the table before the players get there. Does D&D's world have a long and detailed history? Yes, after all the game has been around since the 70's and carries all the baggage and detail that comes with it. Did WotC immediately inject all of the history into their 5th product? No. The selected a tiny slice of part of it, boiled it down to just what a DM and players might need and published that. Medieval Stasis? I don't know because the info I am using today doesn't really talk about enough that it would come up.
  3. I don't think I was meaning that line of thought, though I was probably unclear. The PC's are not unlearned or incompetent, but they also do not have google and an full awareness of what the world holds. With over developed setting the players will know the worlds details. While a good roleplayer can try to ensure that their PC's only act on what the PC would know, there is a vast difference between a player knowing details and playing like they don't and the player actually not knowing and being genuinely surprised. Players portraying a competent party that gets to discover the truth behind the legend is a lot more fun than players who know what is going on pretending that their PC's do not know. It is less "dumbstruck villagers looking at the ruins of aqueducts, and thinking it’s the products of giants" and more of "the villagers avoiding the dark forest because of the legendary Beast and the tendency of anyone disappearing and the Heroic PC's venturing into the unknown to end the threat". A setting book should tell me there is a Legendary Beast and give suggestions on what the beast could possibly be, but leave it to the GM to actually decide what the Beast is. Making every iteration of the campaigns in the setting different. This is different from an Adventure Module taking place in in the setting about the Legendary Best in the Dark Forest, and adventure should be completely fleshed out and contain needed everything except the core rules. By definition Adventurers are exceptional and far more competent than the mundane "normal folks". But that doesn't mean Adventurers have access to a magic google and Wikipedia
  4. I just realized that I may have come off as disparaging to the authors that wrote the setting books like Narosia and Midgard. Not my intention at all. I wish I had the chops to put out something even close to what they have achieved. My criticism is not of the setting, but just like I can assess a mechanics work on my car I can assess the end use of an RPG product as I see it. Narosia is a fantastic setting that was delivered as a final Deluxe Edition and skipped a release via 4 or 5 book plus supplements. Broken up into smaller regional books would be far more digestible. Midgard is the same.
  5. One of the issues I have with many of the setting out there is they have far too much detail. Far far far far far too much. Right up to the 1900's, arguably up to the 1950's the vast proportion of people on earth were born, lived their lives and died within 20 miles. The industrial age and the major wars (WW1 & WW2) were really the only thing that lead to massive numbers moving any great distance. And they basically stopped after returning home until the modern era 1980's+. Even now we have the largest number of population traveling world wide and still to this day the majority stay withing a 100 miles of home. 100 Miles because modern transportation allows travel of 100+ in a single day, but even with that I still meet people all the time in the US that have never flown or left their state. I am pretty sure that with a small variance other countries are relatively similar. I may have personally traveled all over the world, but that was because I spent my entire adult life in or around the Navy. The extent of most of my high school class's travels have been from my home town to a larger city and then either back or putting down roots at that city or another small town and then staying within 100 from there. Why do I say this? Because the issue I find with fantasy setting is that they are written from a global view with billions of high tech satellites recording everything for the last 50 trillion years or so instead of what they should. Cover a single area that can be covered by a horseman in a few weeks surrounded by an empty map labeled "here be dragons". Did the ancient/old world have large urban cities? Yes. But they were the exception rather than the rule. There were far more smaller cities and towns than metropolises. Even New York City, London and other modern cities were far smaller than they are now in 1800's. The were certainly amazing the people of the times in comparison to what was the norm at that time. But still much smaller. My point is that the need by game companies to write massive entire world guides is why they don't get played. One of the few things I thought WotC did right with D&D5th when they launched was reduce the "official" world to the Sword Coast. And then slowly add bits in completely stand alone guides that could be used or ignored with the majority expanding on the Realms. The non-Realm settings are covered in single digestible 250ish page books. In other words they are accessible to new players and DM's. Accessible in a time frame of hours. Not months. The initial book for a setting should be targeted at a single area and narrow the PC options down to at most a dozen occupations for a handful as in 4 or 5 "races" in a single culture. If options are in the book the players will NOT PLAY until they have read all the options and then calculated the best PC build. Narosia and Runequest are examples of game that actively bar and discourage new players. There are so many races cultures and options that after owning both for years, decades for Runequest, I have not run either recently. I played Runequest in the 80's but simply do not have the time to absorb what it has become. For Narosia I still have not had the time to complete a good read, and I have not been able to get any players to even try. If the options exist, players will not play unless they can understand enough to understand those options. If the players cannot have a general understanding with the first evenings read, they move on. The same for a setting. If the setting is too wide with too much info it will see less use. Take a step back and really look. D&D 5th has all kinds of settings if you include third party, but the only ones people are really playing are the thin books like sword coast. The tomes like Midgard are not. The thin books are limited in the area, player options and timeline they can cover. The tomes are huge and simply have too much information for initial games. Start small in a single geographical area that the PC's can adventure in and that the GM can digest in a few days. Then add supplements to expand if people get excited. Fantasy Medieval society. Most are illiterate. Most books and scrolls that contain lore are in carefully horded "libraries" with most being simply the writings of someone of which most are only copies. And at most they have only been read by a fractional minority of the population. Bree was just a days journey from Hobbiton and yet the two considered each other odd and weird, places to take care if you visit. Anywhere more than a few days was thought of almost as fables and tall tales. Narrow the focus, anything known from lands 50 miles away would be highly embellished. Further out would be legends and tales. History would be from tales told by the grandmother and grandfathers sitting around the hearth in the evenings that they learned from their grands. Tales that have probably become unrecognizable after 20 years. I have no Medieval Stasis issues because the topic really never comes up to the players or most games beyond "it's an ancient artifact from the blah blahs." Who were the blah blahs? No one really knows, they vanished from world countless years ago and now are only remembered in tales and legends. If I buy a setting book with too much info I usually do not actually use it. I move on the things that allow me to actually run a game.
  6. So the Con is still a go and I have scheduled three horror games in keeping with the Halloween theme. Two are across midnight. The Island, a horror scenario using Pelgranes's Fear Itself running across the witching hour Friday evening (10pm-2am) Demons of Eldritch Shadow, a Star Trek horror scenario using Modiphious' Star Trek Adventures 2d20 Saturday 3pm-7pm Darkness at outpost Delta Six, a modern horror scenario using Pelgranes' Nights Black Agents across Saturday evenings witching hour Saturday evening (10pm-2am) The Island and Darkness at outpost Delta Six still have openings but Demons of Eldritch Shadow is full. If there is enough interest I will add another occurrence of Demons of Eldritch Shadow. I am still working on a couple ideas for a Hero game but mind is all over the place, bouncing between a super-Fantasy Hero game and a standard Champions game. 5thR because I am most familiar and comfortable with pre-sixth. Nothing wrong with 6th, but I just don't feel it The hardest thing for me is making pre-gens. They never seem to feel "right" to me. Will be finalizing the handouts for the games I have registered by the 18th/19th and then go full on with getting a Hero game ready. I have until Oct 25th to register it, but I want to get any additional session finalized by Oct 16th. I hope to see some of the Herodom there, even if it is just to talk and have a beer
  7. Here it is in paperback https://smile.amazon.com/Hero-System-6th-Character-Creation/dp/1583661204/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1UMA8MNOQ16AI&dchild=1&keywords=hero+system+6th+edition&qid=1630954415&sprefix=hero+system%2Caps%2C262&sr=8-1 I have purchased the 5th Ed Revised https://smile.amazon.com/Hero-System-revised-Steven-Long/dp/1583660437/ref=sr_1_2?crid=DFI7FIVBXA3T&dchild=1&keywords=hero+system+5th+edition+revised&qid=1630954582&sprefix=hero+system+5th+edition%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-2 And it is a pretty good book. Maybe not hardback, but a well made book and it has held together well.
  8. Pretty much the norm for modern times. Regardless of what you do or say there will be someone that will take offense and send hate mail or hate whatevers. The worst ones are the contortionists who find offense about nothing on someones else's behalf. Anonymity has opened the flood gates and I don't know why anyone is surprised.
  9. I was able to watch the Gold Cup semi-final (USA vs QTR) and the final (USA vs MEX). The US won in extra time. Great game and a pleasant surprise when you consider the USMNT's past performance.
  10. Reign won. Sounders were kind of there and then made sure they lost.
  11. Completely understand. I use maps too. Just not mondo biggies for miniatures. For example in my Star Trek RPG games I use deckplans printed with one deck to a 11"x17" sheet. That is large enough that you can see deck details but far too small to place figure. Everyone has a good idea of where things are and can describe where their characters are and what they plan to do. I use the Ultra Pro 11"x17" top loaders. You can write on them with markers and erase. I love to use maps and layouts in the game, deckplans, floorplans and other maps. But I hate figures on the maps because it worse that a drogue chute or retro-rockets for a game. Give a layout of an area on a small map and the players will describe what they want to do. Give them a figure to hold and place and you will have time to whittle a life sized copy of the Statue of Liberty before they can make up their minds to hold their action. You can die from old age if they actually try to do something. I even tried egg timers and half of the players were stuck in the "I ran out of time so I am holding" trap. Amazingly this is not an issue using smaller map scales. Players are suddenly able to say "I use available cover and watch the door". Shocking I know. I haven't found a functional virtual anything yet. I tried Roll20, Fantasy Grounds and so on. All of them have expended all their resources for the completely unneeded and irrelevant Character Sheets and such but completely failed to deliver easy to use maps that can be seen by everyone. Unless it is D&D or a D&D clone. But that is a bird of another feather.
  12. I generally don't use large maps (suitable for using figures) until they are needed. I prefer maps large enough to read but too small to ever put a figure on. If the game gets to a point that required a "battlemat" and it is Hero I will use the 1 hex is 2 meters from the rules (I play 5th edition and earlier). Especially for superheroic games or ones where the combat action is detailed and unique powers. For other genres I may never use a "battlemat" at all, a shoot out can be easily completed narrative style.
  13. Really cool looking pic. No idea what the reference is, but the look is definitely great for a Pulp or Pulp Western.
  14. 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. I really loved the great espionage games and especially running them. I guess that is why I run so many games using GUMSHOE (Trail of Cthulhu, Fear Itself, Nights Black Agents, Fall of Delta Green) and Call of Cthulhu 7th (+Delta Green upped to 7th. Yes they are Horror, but I use many of the same techniques to build the mystery that I used to build espionage. NBA's is literally Espionage Horror. I don't run much in the here and now modern. Besides fantasy, I run games from 1870's thru the 1970's with the occasional 1980's game and then skip to the future. I was really disappointed when Shadowrun shifted from their game friendly and actually RPG playable technology and matrix to the a more "realistic" system that actually destroyed the game playability. It sucked the "action adventure" right out of the setting. Kind of like the real world. Man your cubicles.
  15. It is why the comic industry has cratered. As in past tense. They were losing audience for years just because they weren't doing anything that exciting anyone. But then they decided to jump on the agenda bandwagon and ended it. Manga is all "thanks guys" and talent is moving on to greener pastures. I am sure I'll get a lot of gasps of horror and the heart stopping "down arrow" for mentioning the elephant in the room, but when you are a tiny niche industry that actively vilifies their core customer demographic to cater to a much smaller niche demographic that doesn't actually buy anything, well there you are.
  16. My parents had an old "Atlas" from the 40's and what we consider an Atlas and what they once were are definitely not the same. I really wish I had gotten it. I stared at this for a bit before I suddenly realized YT was YouTube Sometimes the old just creeps up on you.........
  17. Version 1.0.0


    Under 6th Edition Documents Guest posted a sheet called Fantasy Hero Character Sheet form beta2.pdf. I have modified it to be even simpler and for 5thEdR. I wanted to locate and get Guest's OK first, but well. Guest. If you are Guest please message me, especially if you desire me to take it down. I can do a decent job modifying things, but have always had major issue getting started from scratch. So, thank you for the starting point.
  18. OK, I am going to post it to the resource page. It isn't ground breaking, but is useful.
  19. Blood Red Sky - another take on "not Evil" vamps. So so. Gunpowder Milkshake - this was a hoot! I really enjoyed it Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway - I really liked this Gundam show, too bad it wasn't a series. Rurouni Kenshin: The Final - good ending to the series.
  20. You say that as if it was a future possibility. The Marvel ship has already hit the iceberg and each recent new release shows it settling lower in the water. It is possible that they could rescue themselves. But to do so they would need to recognize where they had gone wrong and that will never happen.
  21. The problem with the He-Man debacle has absolutely nothing to do with it being a boy show or a girl show. That is only obscuring spin by the sad segment of our population that has to make everything about identity politics. I am not a He-Man follower but this was too amusing not to follow. In a nutshell 1) They announce another He-Man show. 2) They call it Masters of the Universe: Revelations. So far nothing here. 3) the begin a long term promotion led by Kevin Smith, in them you see He-Man, Skeletor and Man-At-Arms on everything from cups to cereal boxes beside K Smith smiling face. This lasts for MONTHS 4) as things get close K Smith continues to talk up the project when Clownfish puts out a RUMOR they got via some of their former colleagues the new show would not actually be about He-Man. With some even saying it was actually about Teela. Still no controversy. 5) Kevin Smith adamantly denies this, calling the rumor false and that the show was definitely He-Man and not Teela. I watched multiple interviews where he actually initiated the discussion to say that Clownfish was wrong and that it was definitely not about Teela. 6) Show releases. It opens with Imposter He-Man that gets killed followed by Prince Adam (?) biting the big one also. Teela (the supposed veteran one of the central Heroes of the He-Man saga) and discovers that there were actually Royal secrets that she was not privy to (imagine that) and ignoring the fact that so many were dead including the He-Man/Prince Adam. She pulls a 12 year old tantrum and leaves. The rest of the series is completely about Teela. A nasty uncivil spoiled version of Teela. But Teela. 7) After calling so many people liars and misinformed the fandom finds out that they were actually right and that K Smith had been blowing smoke the entire time. 8 ) Done The thing is if they had just named it Masters of the Universe: Teela's Saga or something similar or just refused to comment for instance "Well interesting question, but we want to surprise people with the show so I am not going to answer that one". Or even if they said "Oops, you got us, yep we are making a show focusing on the supporting cast". Would there have been grumbling? 270 million people in the US and a world population of Billions. Yep, you can't please everyone. But in this case Kevin Smith actually went out of his way to make what we know are patently false statements and even "attacked" entertainment blogs/Podcasts in the process. In the end people do not like being blatantly lied to. I was disappointed in the version of Teela because it wasn't Teela. Teela was a tough powerful Hero that had a distinctive look and personalty. The new Teela is now a stereotypical clone of all the overly buff characters complete with obligatory shaving of one side of the head. Unique and powerful to sarcastic clone in one fell swoop. All the boys/girls/whatever is just a irrelevant smokescreen.
  22. Posted this is Online Resources forum because it was in the Hero Download section. But I thought I might get a better response here. I found a character sheet in the resource section that was pretty close to what I was looking for as a Play sheet for CONs and Intro Games. Essentially sheet that leaves out all points and give general text boxes for entering info. The one I found that was Fantasy Hero Character Sheet form beta2.pdf Beta2 in the HERO System 6th Edition Documents section. I’d like to upload my 5th Ed version to HERO System 5th Edition Documents and wanted to touch base with the original poster and get their OK to do so. I went back to grab the name of the original uploader, and noticed it was uploaded by “By Guest” with no additional links to contact them I thought I’d post a general post to see if anyone knows who was the original uploader was before adding it to the 5th Ed documents.
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