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Pegasus40218's Achievements

  1. While I agree with idea that a lot of people are striving to achieve a "Lord of the Rings" feel for the level of magic, having wizards as PCs in a game is VERY different from having them as a main supporting character in a book. In TLoR, Gandalf generally avoided using his magic except when absolutely necessary, and he rarely simply cast "fireball" or "lightning bolt" at an enemy...And, in a book, the author can make the wizard character do what he wants. A GM doesn't have the same luxury with a player character wizard. If that wizard can cast fireball or lightning bolt, you can guarantee that you're going to see it used A LOT. Also, taking the wizard character out of play for extended periods (a la Gandalf's penchant for disappearing only to show up just in time to save the day) probably isn't going to be a satisfactory way of dealing with a player character wizard either -- they want to be in there mixing it up with the rest of their buddies, not off doing the gods know what just so the other players can have their moment in the sun. And that's the point, in my opinion, of trying to run a low magic campaign: to keep the spell casters from simply dominating all of the action. In that spirit, I agree with many of the suggestions made earlier in the thread. Spells should be required to have a variety of limitations. In my opinion, pretty much all spells should Require a Roll (there may be a few exceptions). One limitation that may not have been suggested (I don't recall seeing it mentioned), particularly for spells that are intended to be used in combat, is the Extra Time limitation. The nice thing about this limitation is that if the player NEEDS to get a spell off quickly, they can still do so -- but with a penalty to the casting roll based upon how much they're moving things up the time chart. So, while they can "rush" the spell, they increase their risk of failure. To prevent "spell abuse" you can make this penalty relatively substantial (exactly what "substantial" means will vary from campaign to campaign). It's also worth noting that as the spell casters become more powerful, these penalties become less and less of an impediment. In effect, you can use the time scale to somewhat simulate the "level" of a spell from other game systems, if that's what you're after.
  2. I would probably look at what the spell is really intended to accomplish. Something to consider is that, in 5e (and D&D in general), all of the characters and monsters basically have the same SPD. In HERO, that's not going to be the case. In a typical Fantasy HERO campaign, you'll probably have characters and/or monsters with SPD values ranging from 2 or 3 to 5 or 6 (and possibly higher for certain monsters [quickling, anyone?]). If the objective of the spell is to have anyone in the AOE have the number of actions they can take in a TURN reduced, you could build it has a SPD drain. This could be somewhat expensive, but could be built such that it would easily halve the actions of most PCs, NPCs, and monsters (though it would be less effective against extremely speedy monsters, or completely debilitating against particularly slow ones). It also seems to work with the SFX you're after: "Your speed is reduced by X (probably 2 dependent upon the construction of the spell) as you find your eyes burning and watering and you're gasping and choking on the stench trying not to retch..."
  3. I tend to think of it more as an "organic" progression. I've been toying with the idea of limiting the number of "low-level" (think 2-pt and 3-pt) CSLs to something like 2 at a time. Once you have 2, you can't buy a 3rd, but you can "upgrade" an existing one to a 5-point CSL, as you broaden your knowledge first with a small group of weapons, expanding into a larger group of weapons, then into melee / ranged combat in general, and finally into all overall combat. What I haven't figured out is whether I want / need to set limits at each tier (such as 2 per tier, i.e. max of 2x 2-pt, 2x 3-pt, 2x 5-pt, and 2x 8-pt CSLs, no limit on the number of 10-pt CSLs), or a limit on the total number of CSLs "in progress" (below the 10-pt) level. I'd be curious to know if anyone has already tried such an approach and how it worked out for them and their group...?
  4. Not HERO, but Dungeons & Dragons used to have a definition of an honor system for a Japanese-esque setting: Kara-Tur. It's old (think it was 2nd edition), but if you can find it, it might be something you could convert / adapt to HERO.
  5. Well, you started by saying this: OK...but, do you also find flexibility in character development to not be valuable? For me, this is one of the big things I LOVE about the HERO System. In what I'll call "templated advancement" systems (like D&D) you have classes, and those classes get a fixed set of benefits as they advance each level. For example, When your fighter gains a level, he's going to get X number of hit points, maybe a proficiency bonus increase, and maybe he'll get to choose a new feat (dependent up which level he's gaining). You have relatively few choices...But, let's say your party has been adventuring in a foreign land, and it would be useful for your fighter to learn at least a little of the language in that land...Well, are you going to spend one of your precious feats to get that language? Most players won't -- feats are "too precious" to "waste" on something like languages...besides, you only want to pick up the one language, NOT 3 like the feat will give you. My point is, you have little flexibility to develop your character based upon the events and needs of the story (campaign). Take another example...Let's say the adventure you're party is embarking upon pits you up against a species of creatures that are highly magic resistant, so much so, in fact that your wizard's spells are largely ineffective against them. Well, you're wizard is likely to want (need) to work on his weapon skills if he's going to contribute much in combat. D&D doesn't really provide a method for that to happen. HERO does. In HERO, you don't have to dual-class into fighter in order to gain / improve your weapon skills. You simply allocate a few experience points to the endeavor (while practicing sword play with the party's fighter during down-time) and suddenly your wizard is halfway to being Gandalf and is at least somewhat capable of wielding Glamdring when he finds it.
  6. I suspect that this has less to do with trying to encourage people to use HD than it does with the fact that, dependent upon the game being run and the desire of the GM those starting values could deviate from the standard. For example, if someone is wanting to run a low-powered fantasy game, they may decide to use starting values of 8 instead of 10 for most stats. Someone running a high-powered supers game may decide that most characters should start with base values of 15 instead of 10. I kind of like to start with the Average Person template from the back of 6e1 (pg. 438) for my Fantasy Hero games so the players can clearly see how exceptional their characters are...but then, I generally prefer a relatively low-powered game (at least to start) with plenty of room for character growth.
  7. I'm far from a rules expert, but I would say that CSLs with the sword can't be used unless you're actually using your sword.
  8. For those who don't play D&D or haven't played it in a while, it's important to know what effects those conditions have (assuming 5e D&D here): Blinded • A blinded creature can’t see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight. • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage. ("disadvantage" in 5e D&D = roll twice, take the worse result) Incapacitated • An incapacitated creature can’t take actions or reactions. Paralyzed • A paralyzed creature is incapacitated (see the condition) and can’t move or speak. • The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws. • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage. ("advantage" = roll twice, take the better result) • Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Poisoned • A poisoned creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks. The Diseased condition isn't statically defined; it basically varies by the disease.
  9. 1) What is the best genre for learning the 6e rules? My first instinct is to say: "Whatever genre you and your players enjoy playing the most"; but, that's really kind of a non-answer and has nothing to do with the rules themselves. For experimenting with the toolkit, I'd probably go with Champions. Other genres generally have more mechanical limitations (normal characteristic maxima, effectiveness caps, etc.) and you, as GM have to worry more about character balance issues. With Champions, there are fewer (if any) limitations and character balance is generally less of an issue (though you still have to watch out for "unplayable" characters). 2) Is it best to start with pre-gen characters? With a group that's new to HERO, absolutely. I'd also recommend having 2 copies of each character: one for the player and one for yourself. If you're going to teach them the system, you'll need to know the characters as well or better than the players do at first. For example, if a situation arises where a particular skill would be useful, rather than expecting a player to be aware that their character has the skill needed, you can point it out to them and tell them where to find it on the character sheet. I would also recommend building twice as many pre-gen characters as you have players with a brief (1 or 2 paragraph) write-up describing each and let the players choose which character to play. 3) Which parts of the rules are most important to teach first? With pre-gen characters, teaching them the core game play mechanics -- how to make attack rolls, normal and resistant defenses and how/when to apply them, how to roll damage for normal and killing attacks, how to make skill rolls, combat skill levels, penalty skill levels, what presence attacks are and how to use them, how to read/understand a power/ability, tracking END, how to read and use everything on a character sheet. I wouldn't worry too much about powers at first, beyond explaining the powers/abilities that their characters have. As the game progresses, you'll have the opportunity to teach them how to build new powers/abilities for their characters. 4) What's the best way to start playing? If you're using pre-gen characters (that you're building), I'd recommend building a scenario/adventure based around those characters. Be sure to include at least one situation / encounter that's really aimed at letting each character get at least one turn in the spotlight. Since many games involve a lot of combat, you could simply run a couple of mock combats; again choosing adversaries aimed at showing that each character is more or less effective dependent upon the opponent (or can be). 5) What's the best way to introduce combat? If you've covered the core game play mechanics, and maybe run a few mock combats or an actual adventure scenario that includes combat, this should be covered. If you're using pre-gens, the characters should all be reasonably effective. If you choose to run mock combats, you can do a post-mortem after each combat and tweak anything the players weren't happy with when it comes to the effectiveness of their characters...but you'll have to watch for the tendency most players have to min-max. For example, in my experience, if you have an archer in a Fantasy Hero game (using weapons instead of powers), don't be surprised if the player isn't happy if his archer/ranger character only has the STR to use a medium longbow (1d6+1 dmg) instead of a heavy longbow (2d6). You'll have to decide whether or not you want players starting out with the biggest, baddest weapons and armor in the game. 6) What sort of handouts? The HERO in 2 pages is a decent primer. Other than that, the character sheet should have everything they need. If you want to spend some extra time providing a more detailed description of some of the skills and maneuvers, I'd try to create a handout specific to each character. Don't try to include everything to start -- that's going to overwhelm new players -- just include what their characters have. 7) Have you ever tried teaching 6e using the 3e games? No, can't say that I have. But, many of the core mechanics haven't changed, so if you have material from an older edition that you found useful when you were learning the system, by all means use it. ? What else am I missing? For the game to be enjoyable long term, one of the things I've found that gets lost on many new players -- particularly those coming from other more rigid gaming systems -- is the importance of special effects (SFX). For example, in my experience, too many players coming from D&D will simply build a Blast power and not even bother to specify the SFX, with the expectation that it will be equally effective on everything. But you'll need to make sure they specify: is it a fire blast? (Fire-based creatures may be at least partially immune.), etc. Particularly as your game advances, when the players start adding new powers and abilities to their characters, it can be helpful to have them describe what they imagine it looks like when their character uses the new power/ability.
  10. Funny you should take this approach. I had the same idea (though I wasn't planning on dropping the 2-point CSLs) -- not allowing a player to have more than 2 CSLs of a given type (other than 10 point All Combat CSLs); I just hadn't decided whether or not this would actually prevent or at least slow down the "arms race". I'm really hoping it encourages a little more diversification / exploration of the options available in the system while keeping things relatively well-balanced. Did implementing this scheme have that impact in your games?
  11. Not necessarily. I've found that often, particularly with players coming to HERO from other game systems, that the players are often more than happy to consign themselves to the roles / archetypes from the game systems that they're used to playing. It takes some time to get them to start thinking more creatively and step "outside the box". This can be helpful to a point, making what the players spend experience points on reasonably predictable; but it can also be detrimental and frustrating at the same time, since they'll rarely spend points on anything that doesn't increase their combat values (OCV, DCV, skill levels, martial arts, etc.) or even get creative with them (build a special "sword tricks" maneuver rather than just getting yet another +1 OCV 2-point CSL). Without guidance and encouragement to get creative, a lot of the interesting stuff you can do with HERO is simply lost/missed.
  12. A lot is going to depend upon the style of game you intend to run. If combat is going to be the centerpiece, then OCV, DCV, PD (and rPD), ED (and rED), CSLs, PSLs, martial arts/maneuvers, Combat Luck, STR, DEX, END, STUN, and BOD are all going to be major elements for you to pay attention to. If mental powers are going to be common, you can add MOCV, MDCV, and Mental Defense to the list. SPD is always something to pay attention to. If your game is going to be more role-playing centric with heavy intrigue and espionage, then various skills (mostly based upon PRE and INT) will start coming into play. As someone who has tried a couple of times (unsuccessfully) to run some homebrew campaigns, the key things to figure out is IF and at what level you want to limit each of these elements singly and in combination. For example, is have +10 OCV from 2-point CLS going to be acceptable in your campaign, or should there be a more than 1:216 (3 on 3d6) chance of a character missing on any given attack? Figuring out what things combine and in what ways is going to be important to maintaining a game that is fun for the players and doesn't create a ton of work for the GM to come up with ANYTHING that will challenge the PCs. From my experience, pay attention to OCV, DCV, CSLs (for both OCV and DCV), as well as any martial maneuvers a character has. I've found that the combination of OCV and/or DCV with CSLs for a character were fine, but when martial maneuvers were thrown in, it became significantly harder to challenge that character (player).
  13. I'm of a similar mind, though I probably favor even a lower level of magic than you do. I'm trying to build a game similar to an old computer game from Microprose called "Darklands". In the Darklands setting (medieval Germany), various cities have reputations for having craftsmen who are skilled at producing particular types of goods. One city is known for it's armorers, another for swordsmiths, another for gunsmiths, etc. So, if you want really good armor, you have to go to City A. For a particularly fine sword, you go to the craftsmen in city B; and so on. You can decide and build whatever properties you want the armor to have. Maybe the armor is more durable, lighter than normal, or provides and extra point or two of PD and/or ED (maybe it weighs more than normal, maybe not). In my mind, none of these things *requires* that the item be considered magical -- they're simply high quality. Any skilled / knowledgeable of the item could recognize that quality (perhaps receiving a bonus to some sort of evaluate skill roll). For me, the appeal of a (relatively) low-magic setting is that the players have more reasons to acquire skills and knowledge rather than simply expecting the wizard to cast a spell to solve every problem.
  14. I've had similar experiences with my weekly group. My group fluctuates between 4 and 6 players and for the past several years, we've generally been playing D&D or Pathfinder with the occasional foray into Call of Cthulu, Pendragon, Alternity, and my rare attempts to run HERO (I've tried running Fantasy HERO and Champions). Generally speaking, the forays into HERO have not gone well. Only one of the players in my group seems to want to expend any effort on character backgrounds. Since most of our games with other systems (which I don't run) have been "canned" adventures, they don't think about backgrounds and complications as ways to craft story. With canned adventures, your characters goals and motivations don't matter much. The story is X, and regardless of anything you do, the story WILL BE X. So, from their perspective, complications don't *really* matter, they're just a way to get some extra points. In the Champions game I ran, one player built a rock-monster brick (similar to the Thing from the Fantastic 4) named Rocky. I kept asking for background material, and from this player about all I got to work with was the following: 1. Character has amnesia following his "creation" event. (player chose to sell back intelligence points at creation so was starting off with an INT around 6) 2. Character remembers he used to be a cop. In fact, his parents were both cops (though he didn't remember their names). 3. He was running in the park when a chemical truck over-turned and he was caught in the spill and sucked into the ground. A few hours later he emerged as what he was. That's it...so, I told my group if they didn't come up with backgrounds, I'd create backgrounds for them. Over the course of play, this character gradually had some of his memories return. He remembers he used to have a partner...That partner never let him drive the car. Sometimes, the partner was a real jerk and made him ride in the back seat...on and on...Ultimately, the big reveal: he had been the dog in a K-9 unit. That part, at least, was fun for the group. If you got a player with a sense of humor, I highly recommend having some fun with any amnesiac characters they create if they're willing to play along. Unraveling that little mystery was fun for me, and the players. And YES, they do tend to want to build combat monsters. I didn't have the 18 DCV character in my game -- mine was a DCV 14 character who got there through a combination of CSLs and combat maneuvers. As a relatively green GM (and I still consider myself green), I didn't spot the problem until I encountered it in play (when implementing "effectiveness caps" I didn't know everything that I should include in that calculation...an area that's still a little muddy for me). I tried to talk to the player about toning it down a bit (campaign average was supposed to be about 5 for OCV and DCV with a max of 7 IIRC), and he staunchly refused to modify the character. (Rough quote: "I'm not going to make it easy for you to hit my character!"...didn't want it to be easy, just wanted it to be possible without having to resort to AoE attacks or building opponents specifically to deal with his character -- which would pretty much mow down everyone else in the group.) I think the key is figuring out the effectiveness caps you want and making sure you know everything that goes into them and where you're willing to make trade-offs. For example, are you willing to have a character exceed the DCV cap by one or two in exchange for reduced OCV or damage on the same character? The risk here, is that you KNOW the players are going to buy up whatever they traded off as soon as they get some XPs.
  15. I have to agree with this approach (though I never bothered to use it on traps). Come up with a vaguely worded "prophecy" that could be interpreted a multitude of ways and let the PCs try to figure it out. When they come up with a solution, IF you like it run with it. If it's not to your liking, let the PCs pursue it anyway only to find out they were wrong. But, if you decide that their interpretation is wrong (or only partially right -- which, in my experience is the better option), you'd better have an idea about what the "right" interpretation is. Also, don't make them "get it wrong" more than twice (at most) or they'll lose interest in pursuing the prophecy at all and you'll find your campaign turned into a railroad.
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