Here now my reply, in order of post, by author.
@ Tjack : Well I will get to looking those posts up, later.
@ Panpiper : You have hit upon the point, I am going to be starting a game with six, three newbies to HERO, three veterans. I am not looking to deprive anyone of the building process. It does start and end with the player. The narrative created by the player is Step 1, then begin how well I understand it, then with my questions, we explore, expand the narrative. Then the drafting, showing the work to the player, then the iterations, questions, and agreement. I do not see how this collaborative process deprives any player o anything, except the pride of exploit or mastery of mechanics knowledge.
Both of these will be born out in the process, while also integrating world lore. Any choice that happens where, as we know, HERO can build things many ways, where player build and GM build differ, that can be talked about and hammered out, as opposed to player build being submitted and thought of inviolate and unimpeachable.
Yes, it is interesting, this idea of narrative as expressed by 175 starting pts. If the narrative is thin, then points are left over, gigantic amounts of narrative can consume all of the starting character pts. As example, D'Artagnan, I am a simple farm boy raised by a Master swordsman, My skill with rapier is matched only by the finest swordsmen in the King's Guard. Simple, good for a two hour movie, not enough for a campaign. However, I agree, where possible, if possible, points should be left to assigned by the player.
How you think that this entire process is not personalized to that player, enabling his vision of the character, as expressed solely by them is a mystery. You must be arguing some other, as yet unexpressed, point.
You pointy out that I am not wrong, yet.., you spent a good bit telling me that my error is " they can feel some personalization," by implication saying, they will have none, or next to none. If you are trying to convince of , "You can please some of the people, some of the time, not all the people, all the time." I do agree with that, yet with decades of GM'ing I feel I have run into this very concept many times, and solved it for ... let just say, most of te people. These games will be me dealing with unknown players, literally the only thing I will know is whether they are new to HERO or not.
The idea is worthy, it will be used.
What ever the percentage comes out to be, every character has to be Danger-worthy.
@ Doc Democracy : Safe to say, we disagree. Players build everything, they build it in narrative and then if misunderstanding is with one or both, it gets hashed out, and then, transparently, the mechanics are shown, and polishing can begin. Some players will chafe at the process, I am not inflexible, where I can make accommodation, I will.
I counter the idea of, "Never let them build, they will never learn to build, " with , they will see the translation of narrative, a word problem, into mechanics, ask questions, receive answers, compare result with narrative and see the whole process. It is not a black box, it is transparent and where clarification has to be made, it will be on one or both sides. If you want to defend the hill where if the character appears to be the same, GM build and Player build, so why not let the Player build it, in my experience there is no problem and maybe a little shared respect.
Also, a lot more to the game than the initial character build
@ theinfn8 : Yes, I get it, you are not trying to impune my motives, just take the worst motives and ascribe them to the process, as a cautionary point. I am looking for the players to take the ink and draw what they see, put it into a character narrative and have it join to the existing campaign. Not all concepts are equal or valid. Demi-God, out. Extra-dimensional traveler, out. Dragon, out. Monstrous creature, out.
Now I agree that all this is for a series of min series runs, the restraints, if you see them as that, loosen as I see players develop through the run(s).
If that is your experience with grand epic stories, it has not been so with me.
I define a Session 0 differently, it is a solo run, sans other players, or it could have one or two, call those Session 0.5, where we get the character in motion and setting direction, becoming familiar with expectations.
@ Hugh Neilson : Hugh, you're preaching to the choir. Were it ever so. Some players, you can pull out the chair, yet... they never sit at the table. If that happens, it happens not through my inaction as a GM.
As for your example, I council that the ask for a beginning character is too high. Best in your village, best in the county, best in the Duchy, but unless you have been everywhere, challenging every Archer, you can not know whether you are the best in the Kingdom. That form of fiat does not exist for beginning characters, though they be mighty and a clear step above the ordinary or trained. We agree of course, fulfilling the expectation of th e player is the point, a reasonable point.
I can see that a thread is running through the replies, yes, with the GM as unknown, caution and reason are indicated.
@ bluesguy : Right. I do not have the luxury of knowing the players online, and the work I see in the link, well done.
You get that I am trying to avoid: Player makes entire character, submits entire Elf build to GM, GM says, no Elves in my game, players goes and makes entire Demi God build, GM says No Demi gods in my game... etc.
Though this is mostly avoided since I am using a published campaign setting, Turakian Age. Mostly.
@ MordeanGrey : 100% spot on. Mechanics can show me what the character does, not who the character is.
At one time I was part of a group that gelled for many many years. All things must and do.. change.
Your point is a good one, I credit most for understanding the mechanics. My concern is balance and seeing the character concept fulfilled.
@ pawsplay : Maybe we envision too different amounts of time being consumed. Given that the player has to make the character and ask questions and learn or incorporate, how could you not invest the time . To be sure, for character generation, I make the time.
Though I am unsure exactly what you mean by trade-offs, it is a process, so decisions, ie trade-offs, will be made. Also i think the narrative creation smooths out the decision process, if the player puts exactly what he wants down and communicates it clearly. Some players just need feedback and options.
@ LoneWolf : I am going to take " interrupt " as interpret. To your first point, I say, Let not the Perfect be the enemy of Good."
To be clear I do not agree the Rashomon effect applies to defeat character creation, unless you all talking about going out past 5 decimal places.
Since this has been answered above to others, I will reiterate, player narratives always change, add, effect the world to enable the character to exist, barring destruction of whole Empires, even the, it is a discussion. To do otherwise leads to madness.
In the spirit of warding off the worst possible conjuration of motive and aberration, my only motivation is seeing the player vision completed, within reason. The risk is reversed, if the GM does not build to the narrative provided by the player, the player bounces, as the kids say. It is a conceit, I have enough faith in my ability in HERO and to communicate that the risk, from a reasonable process, of failure, is low to extremely low.
While I like a good rant and rail, as objective warning to the worst possible outcome, you make assumptions about the process that are unwarranted, however, it does serve as an example of what an idea could be unchallenged.
@ pawsplay : Since the player supplied narrative covers all of the character, spells, and psychs are completely within their domain, to be modified as the player sees fit, given they understand the mechanics, or learn the mechanics and adjust one way or the other.
Complications may be the point where players have to be aware of mechanics to best see the concept realized.
@ Ninja-Bear : My point is not that players will break the game. The point is that balance is required, certain points, that players would see as wasteful are required for balance and fulfilling narrative. These omissions, or trade-offs, are made by players in an attempt to maximize survivability, or just plain paranoia.
The larger picture will be seen by the GM concerning all the characters, and thus balance.