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Legendsmiths

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    Legendsmiths, Inc. is a publisher of adventure games, forging new worlds.
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  1. I'm sorry I missed this conversation (having written the Narosia book). My original pitch to DOJ for Narosia was to be an all-in-one intro to fantasy hero with all of the systematic decisions already made (magic works like THIS, equipment works like THIS, etc.). We succeeded on that point. However, I think it ended up being too much. The tenets of my design philosophy were: The world needed to make sense. It is a deconstruction of dungeon crawling. Why dungeons? Why tougher monsters the deeper you go? Why don't the monsters overwhelm the surface world? Hand players a ready to play game powered by the Hero System. The GM needed to be able to easily keep the history of the world in their head. Not the details, but the framework. What could have been better was the accessibility of it all. It's absolutely a fair criticism that maybe it's too much. That is the consequence of trying to make it complete (which it isn't, actually). I developed the Quickstart character building system (and have a generic Fantasy Hero version of it) to facilitate rapid character development. At cons I would run a Narosia Quickstart: build a character in 45 min and then play for 1:15 (2 hour slot) or 3:15 (4 hour slot). I was always successful. Absent such a system, which is fairly comprehensive in its character options, you end up with classic decision paralysis unless you know how to play Hero. Still, there is a lot there. I built 2 (arguably 4) magic systems for the game. The feel of each system was exactly what I wanted, and conceptually a Skill based magic system where you pay only 1 point for a spell proficiency seems simple enough. Looking at it now, there is a lot of detail (which provided 100s of hours of fun for us), but that detail can still be overwhelming. In many ways I traded one set of complexity (building Hero powers) with a different one. The magic systems are still complex, but in a different way from core Hero. Is that a positive or negative? Entirely subjective. I still run Narosia, and learned a lot from writing it. I have worked on Narosia 2.0 because I see how it can be better, simpler, and more unique and inclusive. There are constructs in the book (like race) that don't need to be. The cosmology can be simpler and cleaner. Now, even with greater simplicity, does that serve the Fantasy Hero Quickstart objective? No, not really. I wanted it to be that, but no 500 page rulebook can be that. Ideally, something with an edited Hero System Basic ruleset + fantasy character building + basic magic + adventure is what I'd like to see. My Fantasy Hero Quick Start is 38 pages with very little padding (that covers characters, magic, and equipment). Add that to 138 pages of basic + 32 page adventure and that's a 200 page book. Here's the question I would pose: why make such a product? I dreamed once of winning the hearts and minds of gamers over to Hero to have the type of gaming experiences I've been lucky to have. I don't think that's realistic. Hero does what it does in its way and those that engage with it will like it or not. At the end of the day if the 4-6 players at the table don't engage with it, the point is kind of moot. I think we can always win over 1-2 players at any table, but winning them all is really difficult, and everyone has to WANT to play the game that operates the way Hero does or the campaign fails. Especially when player expectations of online tools, online content, and accessibility is such that the legacy of Hero I don't believe can match. Nor should it. I've got 3 active projects right now: 1. Narosia 2.0 2. NOVA6 3. Atomic Sky Narosia 2.0 and Atomic Sky drove the development of NOVA6. I'm super happy with that game and I run it weekly. It's just about ready to launch (and you can find it on the website in its most recent version). It isn't Hero, but it is a descendant of Hero. It addresses the accessibility aspect, with rapid time to play that I feel doesn't lose much from a fantasy hero experience (at least). We finished the Narosia grand campaign in NOVA6 (meaning the original playtesters going through Village of Gillkas, to the Library of Baradahm, and finally Act 3, all in NOVA6) and it works. I will say, however, that it is a different experience than the Hero version of Narosia, all good, but not necessarily "better" (depending on what you want out of the game). NOVA6, especially in its more detailed version (which we call NOVA6 Expanded and aren't moving forward with), was tailored for Narosia and Atomic Sky. However, I didn't like how it played for Atomic Sky (dieselpunk atomic apocalypse). So... Atomic Sky drifted into other directions, other systems. At one point it was going to be its own system (*shudder*, like I need to make ANOTHER system). It was in D&D 5E (and working, and would, I think, be attractive to a wide audience there). But I didn't like it. I only ever really liked it in Hero. Years ago I did a full conversion (well, full-ish) of Fallout and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., both of which I ran on the con circuit for years and had a ton of fun (and are still on my website). So, I've come back around to Atomic Sky being in Hero and, thinking through it, having it be essentially PA Hero 6E. However, I'm not going to replicate all that material since I think it is largely unnecessary. What I will do is use that material to make a complete setting book (no integrated rules), make the campaign decisions about how powers and such work, and then build out scavenging and campaign guidelines for what Atomic Sky is about. I want power-armor character, scrappy snipers, monstrous mutants, synths, high tech, and low life, scrabbling for survival with hope for a higher purpose. Hero GMs can build on that material (or not). I've learned a lot on this journey, and I'm happy to be focusing on Hero again. This time my objective is different: I want to make something I, as a Hero fan, enjoy playing and hope to bring some of you along with me. I'm not trying to win over non-hero players (like I was with Narosia). And this experience will likely result in a Narosia 2.0 that is also more of a service to this community rather than tilting at the windmills of winning over D&D players to Hero. They'll join us if they want, because they see us smiling, shouting, and having fun at that "table over there" rather than challenging them that they are engaging in wrongfun and that we know better.
  2. Nothing special to recharging. Charges recover at dawn, with the rising of Lensae. Penetrating when added to a weapon, isn't too bad. Penetrating can be used to create effects that are possibly overpowered at the heroic level (e.g. 1 pip, continuous, penetrating damage). Other than that, no issue with it.
  3. 1. p361. I don't recommend penetrating, but it would follow the same lines. 2. +1 Energy 3. Scrolls are consumable and do not require attunement. Rods, Staffs, and Wands do require attunement as they recharge.
  4. It's more an issue that I didn't explain it very well. The CPs spent on signture items are a special form of attunement points. Once you invest CPs in signature items you never get them back, but if you unattune or lose the item those CPs become just part of your attunement pool. You can also use points you have used to attune to other items to unattune to them and create/attune to a signature item. The net net of this is: a) I don't like the Independent modifier; b) normal magic items are a part of fantasy, but paying full cost is unbalancing in heroic level Hero. Signature Items are something that comes out during play. So, if I have a 150 point character and have an opportunity to create signature item (like a dragon slaying sword), if I paid standard Hero costs for an 8 DC sword with +3 DC vs dragons (a very basic effect) with maybe Damage Reduction vs. Fire (50% rED) the cost of that would be (with only OAF basically): 20 for 8DC, 5 vs dragons (-1), 12 for DR (-1/2 for only vs fire) = 37character points. How is a normal adventuring hero supposed to come up with that many points? If we did Independent, the costs end up being: 10, 3, 7 = still 20 points and we now have the baggage of Independent. My reasoning was, you can only create a Siganture Item if you have an Enaros or Celestial Favor card (rare) + you have to have an item that you can use in a scene and play the card on it. That's a pretty big prereq, and rather than muddle the calculations up with some other limitation, I basically treat all magic items (conceptually) as a flexible multipower with a reserve that the universe pays for. You just buy the slots. So now when I build that sword (with the -1/4 unified power lim) I get 18, 5, 11 = 34 / 5 = 7 points. That's 2-3 sessions of XP and that is far more manageable, but it's still expensive. That's 7 spells or +1 OCV or whatever. It's signficant yet manageable, and something like a signature item should be. I hope that logic helps. It's the culmination how I solved my frustrations of fantasy RPG tropes in Hero at the heroic level (the other answer is just play fantasy Champions). For printing the cards, just print them at home. No need to put them on fancy paper or print the backs. The PDFs are formatted to print out (and should print on A4 okay (maybe). Otherwise, yes if you are using a different set of gods then I'd suggest the token system I came up with and to justify a signature item you have to have a blue token (or whatever signifies the rare tokens) and then explain how the magic of the world interacts with your action to create this new signature item (e.g., the sword, now drenched in the dragons blood fuses with the blade itself as my fury uses the essence around me to forge a new legacy).
  5. Yes. Encumbrance is handled differently than in H6E to be a little more realistic, but without adding complexity. My standard Hero heroic export is here (and has lift/enc) Narosia is here:
  6. Sorry for the intrusion @Tywyll but if you are trying to use HD for Narosia be sure to use the Narosia templates, rules, prefabs, and export formats. The Narosia export formats have the essence stat as well as handle encumbrance. for non-Narosia, I made an export format that follows standard Hero encumbrance as well. They’re both posted on the HD export formats site.
  7. Signature items are not independent. You get the points back into your attunement pool, even if the item is lost or destroyed. as for the time it takes to play cards, well that varies. Usually it’s a failed roll followed by a pause as the player looks at their cards, thinks, and then shares a sentence or two to justify the card play. 1-2 minutes. But that’s also not just during combat. Ideally it’s not some extraneous anecdote as well. Playing a card should be tied to the current storyline/adventure. I’ve run a lot of Narosia, including for people who’ve never played Hero before. The Ruins of Baradahm adventure in the book is a good example. There are 3 fights in there (possibly 4, but I always skip that one in convention play) and I can intro the world, the characters, the cards, and complete that adventure in 4 hours. I’ve run that adventure in DCC, Fate, and 3.5 D&D and it still takes 4 hours. While Hero combat is detailed I don’t consider it slow. Enhancing the combat with divine intrusion is fun and makes better stories. If your Hero combats are taking long, make sure they are interesting. Players don’t care as much if the combat is exciting and filled with fun choices. Card play is a storytelling mechanic that does enhance the story. If you eliminated the storytelling element and just made it a mechanical choice, it loses its purpose. Fate mechanics that have no usage requirements become just another mechanic in the game for players to tweak or min/max. By giving the fate points a narrative requirement players won’t always be able to spend a fate point. If you wanted to play without the narrative, I would suggest that you just ply with tokens and allow people to spend more than one if they want (still using the Divine Effects Table).
  8. You can unattune to Signature Items and then those points go back into your attunement pool. p363 the cp cost for sig items is just to differentiate them from regular magic items. The text on the cards is meant to inspire how to use a particular aspect of that god. You should not use the text directly in your narrative of why the Enaros wants to help you. The villains do not benefit directly. I have played sessions where the GM gets cards (1 per player works) for the adventure. It changes the dynamic—it does reinforce the Enaros as not always being on the players’ side, but it can create conflict between players and GM as well as diminish the value of their cards. It certainly works and I considered including that guidance in the game but the approach and mechanic was already a lot for many players that hadn’t played with a fate mechanic, let alone one where they had to role play a god to justify the fate intrusion.
  9. 1 per 3. As for other powers, of course it's buried in a sidebar "HERODESIGNER Building a Spell or Orison in HERODesigner requires a Cost Multiplier of 0.2 to calculate the ESS or MAG correctly. The only exception is the Power Dispel; it has a Cost Multiplier of 0.33 since Narosia uses the BODY value on the dice instead of the total value." So, that 30 real cost would result in an "energy" of 6. With an energy of 6, the cost of attunement would then be 2. The reason the energy cost is needed is if you were to try and dispel that object, then you would need to generate 6 BODY when you rolled your Dispel dice. I spent a lot of time trying to build the system to assume the common abuses that can be made around character enhancements, especially with respect to Characteristic or Skill bumps. Be very mindful of that. The stock Hero rules end up making that way too cheap for the impact in a heroic game. For example, +4 SPD is only 40 active points and even with no limitations would be 8 energy (or EFF or MAG as a spell or orison). But, built with Aid, and Enchantment +2, that would cost 126 active points, and have a ESS of (using .2 mult) of 25 which is way beyond what wizards are capable of. Further, as an item (Boots of Speed let's say), this would also go beyond the maximum energy since 26 character points tops off the chart at 13 energy (meaning you could have boots that give +2 Speed, and that would be powerful--at the heroic level it certainly is). To say it another way, break the rules with care. For most of the common effects there is a spell or orison that replicates it or it's an Item Enhancement. Attunement Points Points allocated to one item can be used to attune to a different item later, but once points are committed to item Attunement they cannot be used for any other purpose. (p. 359) Of course, it's your game. We just found during our campaigns that this made sense and made players think about whether they wanted to attune to an item in the first place. Granting Skills p. 266. You assume a characteristic of 0, so 3 points gets you a 9- roll. Build it up from there. When building items, it's an Item Enhancement, so getting Riding 12- for a magical saddle is 3 points for base skill of 9-, 6 points for +3 = 12- at a total of 9 character points. On the Item Enhancement table that's 5 energy. Do I Need The Cards (Duke Bushido) Of course you do The good news is you can print, cut, and put them in sleeves for pretty cheap. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/140179/Narosia-Divine-Intervention-Cards Seriously though, no you don't. The intent of the cards is to get the gods involved in your game. The gods are a big deal in Narosia and that's one of the things that sets the setting apart from other settings is HOW we get the gods involved in play. You could do it just using tokens. If you spend a token, you get a 1 pip effect. If you tell a story of why a god is helping you in this situation and which of their aspects comes into play, you get 2 pips. Have a bag of about 50 tokens and use an additional 12 different colored tokens to represent Divine Favor. When someone draws that token treat it as a 3 pip token. Track Celestial Favor as a stat and when someone pulls a Divine Favor have them roll 1d6 plus 1d6 for each 3 full points of Celestial Favor: if any of these come up as 6s, they actually have a 4-pip Celestial Favor instead of a 3 pip. That should get about the same involvement (but you lose out on the card aspect of Enaros growing tired of watching one character and changing their focus). You can also just play it straight old school, with no fate mechanic. It's your game
  10. Answering above questions: 1. yes, the cost of prerequisites to be a Hierophant are the justification for reduced cost (relative to normal Hero rules). 2. Regular magic items have an attunement cost of 1-4 CP based o. The energy of the item (p 359) 3. You can unattune to a signature item. 4. Skill bonus: basically a +1 to skill is 1 Energy (see blade of the acrobat p 362). I tried to make common effects like that line up smartly with the way Energy is calculated (and EFF and MAG). Skill bonus is facilitated by Aid with the Enchantment +2 advantage. Which basically works out to 1 energy per +1 skill
  11. With respect to Heroic Abilities, sidebar at the start of that section (p. 134): So they are built properly, we just apply a cost divisor to give it a sensible cost for heroic level games. You have to be a Hierophant to get these abilities in the first place, which is already a significant cost. This cost multiplier optional rule (which is a Hero invention, not mine) is used extensively where appropriate to keep things at a manageable point level for heroic level characters. Magic items, signature items, and more. The only major errata I'm aware of is the Starting Wealth table on p.193 and you'd only run into it if you started as a Guild Member. There is a column missing. It should be: LEVEL MONEY SOCIAL GUILD 1 +75s +100s +50s 2 +150s +200s +100s 3 +300s +300s +150s 4 +600s +400s +200s 5 +1,250s +500s +250s 6 +2,500s +1,000s +500s 7 +5,000s +2,000s -- 8 +7,500s +3,000s -- 9 +10,000s +4,000s -- 10 +12,500s +5,000s -- You can pick up the HeroDesigner files here in the Hero Store. Every power, equipment, spell, orison and so on is included.
  12. Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. They reach those costs by design but not by fiat. You can see all the glorious details in the HeroDesigner files. As for errata, I’ve got a couple of notes but other than the guild status perk table I don’t recall reports of anything significant. One of my objectives with Narosia was to simplify the presentation of Fantasy Hero by reducing a lot of repetitive power modifiers and such. I had to balance that with clarity with respect to how Hero is communicated. That’s why it might appear different than other Hero books but hopefully it’s not too off-putting or confusing, especially since that’s the opposite of my intent.
  13. Thank you very much. One of the things I am very happy with is the equipment section, and that is very portable. I spent a lot of time (and spreadsheets) on balancing weapons and armor in a way that would be familiar to Hero gamers but tired to ensure that every weapon was unique and had purpose. That armor worked piecemeal for unique combinations. The equipment stuff is very portable to any setting, as are things like our approach to the cost of magic items, a different way to cost spells, critical hits, and stuff like that. It is still very much a toolkit so I'm glad you were able to find uses for the content for your own work.
  14. I think something on the level of Living Arcanis might be feasible (for Champions). They are large enough to be at regional cons (they are at U-Con in Ann Arbor every year), and they are always busy, but not at the PFS or AL level. I think that is a reasonable expectation for size of an organized play system, something that I think would be key to the success of the efforts described above. However, what surprises me is that we haven't seen something like this for Mutants and Masterminds, a supers game that objectively gets played more than Champions. None the less, if the numbers from Living Arcanis come in at say 4 authors, 6 regional managers, 2 web support staff, and then the need to draw about 50 players per regional con, plus an expectation of at least monthly games in 50 cities nationwide we might be able to get something going.
  15. @Christopher R Taylor I couldn’t agree more. That does require us to agree on a setting and I think that’s been the biggest challenge. We all have different ideas on what magic should be like, monsters, metaplot, etc that I don’t know if it’s possible to do that from a fantasy perspective or even a Champions perspective. There is a critical mass required to make that happen and I don’t know as achieving that mass is realistic.
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