Fast HERO

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes,rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20 System
has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:

I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I greatly
appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
playability, then I'd have something special, I think.

The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "9 Tips to Speed Up
Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of the tips
require further game design to implement fully.

I ran a Champions campaign a long time ago, and I felt the same kind of
pain that Keith expresses above. Since that time, I've played D20 System
games extensively, and some of its recent innovations only widen the
playability gap. I intend to write a series of articles aimed at
narrowing that gap, mostly by fleshing out the HERO rulebook's tips.

I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd like
their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,
but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play. I'd
eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group will
likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics significantly.

I'll post each proposal in separate threads on rgfsh, with a [Fast HERO]
subject tag. Interested rgfd readers should follow the discussion there.
(I've also set followups to rgfsh for this thread, in case there's any
further discussion.)
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
28 answers Last reply
More about fast hero
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
    > game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
    > reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20
    System
    > has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
    > Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:
    >
    > I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I
    greatly
    > appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
    > playability, then I'd have something special, I think.
    >
    > The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "9 Tips to Speed Up
    > Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of the
    tips
    > require further game design to implement fully.
    >
    > I ran a Champions campaign a long time ago, and I felt the same kind
    of
    > pain that Keith expresses above. Since that time, I've played D20
    System
    > games extensively, and some of its recent innovations only widen the
    > playability gap. I intend to write a series of articles aimed at
    > narrowing that gap, mostly by fleshing out the HERO rulebook's tips.
    >

    The biggest problem I've got with hero is actually my biggest problem
    as a DM for 3rd edition. It's significantly more time consuming to
    make villains because of all the various options (feats, skills,
    ability increases, spending on magic etc.) than earlier editions.
    Playing hero (combat) is somewhat slower, but may actually be faster
    now that 3e as you (or more specifically the less mathamatically
    inclined players) don't have to figure out what spells stack with what
    every other combat...it's really slowing down my game at 15+. I still
    didn't like playing hero because of the extreme ammount of time it
    takes to create & update your character every session or so, and in
    that respect it's still leagues behind a simpler system such as d20.

    There's one other problem with hero, which any point based system
    causes in balance. Superherocruncherguy makes something on par with
    Superman, and Joeaverage makes a hero on par with Robin on the same
    points.

    > I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd
    like
    > their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify
    HERO,
    > but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play.
    I'd
    > eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group
    will
    > likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics
    significantly.

    I don't really see a problem with the play mechanics speed, as long as
    everyone actually writes down thier DCV, OCV, etc. on thier sheets.
    It's the prep speed & variables that has me.

    - Justisaur
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    My only problem with HERO is running combats. But I think this is mostly due
    to the players not being as familiar witht he system as I am.

    As for the Superman vs. Robin character problem. If someone is getting
    Superman's powerlevels on Robin's points then someone else is not looking at
    all the Limitations he's put on that character and hasn't started taking
    advantage of those.

    Captain Geek
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Detryxtyr wrote:
    > My only problem with HERO is running combats. But I think this is
    > mostly due to the players not being as familiar witht he system as I
    > am.

    I found that some aspects of combat were slow (compared to other RPGs)
    even once we got some proficiency with the system. Also, it takes
    significant skill to use the phase system well. Those are the parts of
    the system I'm trying to address.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Justisaur wrote:
    > The biggest problem I've got with hero is actually my biggest problem
    > as a DM for 3rd edition. It's significantly more time consuming to
    > make villains because of all the various options (feats, skills,
    > ability increases, spending on magic etc.) than earlier editions.

    Yeah, high-level D&D characters are pretty slow to build too. HERO may
    actually have an advantage here; once you set up some characteristic
    limits, it's easy to fudge up a villain just by buying a few attacks and
    defenses according to those limits. I personally find that it's easier
    to "not worry about the points" in HERO than it is in D&D, especially in
    Champions where you don't need to worry about looting (and therefore
    don't need to worry about precise stats for gear).

    In any case, I haven't found /any/ game that offers the level of rules
    detail I like without also bogging down prep time at high power levels,
    so I'm not worried about "fixing" that part of the game.

    > Playing hero (combat) is somewhat slower, but may actually be faster
    > now that 3e as you (or more specifically the less mathamatically
    > inclined players) don't have to figure out what spells stack with what
    > every other combat...it's really slowing down my game at 15+.

    Huh, weird. I haven't had that problem with D&D.

    I'm mostly concerned about slowdowns and extra complexity relative to
    D&D, like the bigger damage rolls, the turn system, and the attack roll
    mechanic. Those are all cases where D&D has fewer steps or simpler math.

    > I still didn't like playing hero because of the extreme ammount of
    > time it takes to create & update your character every session or so,
    > and in that respect it's still leagues behind a simpler system such as
    > d20.

    Weirdness again -- I found that character advancement was simpler in
    HERO, if only because it has the slow advancement rate typical of
    point-based games. While they do give rewards more often than D&D, the
    individual changes are much smaller.

    > There's one other problem with hero, which any point based system
    > causes in balance. Superherocruncherguy makes something on par with
    > Superman, and Joeaverage makes a hero on par with Robin on the same
    > points.

    Characteristic limits handle that well enough in my experience. The
    skilled player may have /more/ powers, and therefore more flexibility,
    but he'll have the same DCs, active points, etc.

    > I don't really see a problem with the play mechanics speed, as long as
    > everyone actually writes down thier DCV, OCV, etc. on thier sheets.

    I find that everything in HERO is a little slower -- calling out
    segments and Dex scores versus calling out character names, comparing a
    roll to 11+OCV-DCV versus adding d20 to an attack bonus, rolling 12d6
    damage instead of 2d6+15. None of those things, on its own, is awful,
    but added up they make for a big overall slowdown.

    With enough practice, it might even be competitive with D20 mechanics,
    but D20 is easy even for newbies. I suspect that my group would be put
    off by the complexity and slowness enough that they'd never develop
    proficiency -- they'd want to go back to playing D&D. Heck, that's how I
    felt the last time I played Champions.

    I think there are many opportunities to tighten up HERO rules so that
    they're competitive with D&D even for new players. There are many places
    where you can skip or combine steps, or where you can convert dice to
    bonuses. Some solutions are trickier than others, but I think I have a
    decent handle on it.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On 24 Nov 2004 16:36:06 -0800, "Justisaur" <justisaur@netscape.net>
    wrote:

    >There's one other problem with hero, which any point based system
    >causes in balance. Superherocruncherguy makes something on par with
    >Superman, and Joeaverage makes a hero on par with Robin on the same
    >points.

    Don't you mean Joecertifiablemoron?
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote:
    > The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
    > game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
    > reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20 System
    > has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
    > Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:
    >
    > I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I greatly
    > appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
    > playability, then I'd have something special, I think.
    >
    > The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "9 Tips to Speed Up
    > Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of the tips
    > require further game design to implement fully.

    Where was this, then? I must've missed it when I was reading it. 'course,
    I tend to focus more on the bits I use (character creation, mostly) since I
    don't actually play HERO.

    > I intend to write a series of articles aimed at narrowing that gap,
    > mostly by fleshing out the HERO rulebook's tips.

    I'm interested in this.

    > I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd like
    > their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,
    > but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play. I'd
    > eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group will
    > likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics significantly.

    I'm pursuing the 'D&Dization of HERO' route right now (replacing HERO
    characteristics with D&D ability scores, etc., and using d20 challenge
    resolution).

    > I'll post each proposal in separate threads on rgfsh, with a [Fast HERO]
    > subject tag. Interested rgfd readers should follow the discussion there.
    > (I've also set followups to rgfsh for this thread, in case there's any
    > further discussion.)

    Bugger, *another* newsgroup to follow. Okay, time to look.


    Keith
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd wrote:
    >> The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "[Nine Ways] to Speed
    >> Up Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of
    >> the tips require further game design to implement fully.

    Keith Davies wrote:
    > Where was this, then? I must've missed it when I was reading it.

    It's a sidebar running from pps 252-254 of the big black book.
    Paraphrased:

    1. Set a low cap on SPD.
    2. Use a simpler turn order.
    3. Prep (sorted) notes on SPD, DEX, CVs, etc. on cards or a whiteboard.
    4. Let players make their rolls (unsupervised) between turns.
    5. Require prep for VPPs and similar powers.
    6. Use average damage.
    7. Ignore STUN for killing attacks.
    8. Ignore NPC recoveries.
    9. Use "mook" rules.

    > I'm pursuing the 'D&Dization of HERO' route right now (replacing HERO
    > characteristics with D&D ability scores, etc., and using d20 challenge
    > resolution).

    Heh. I'm not looking for full-out D&Dization, but I think it has some
    good "playability tech" that hasn't yet filtered into other RPGs. Here
    are some examples.

    Cyclical turn order: Switching players, changing order, and calling out
    turn numbers (e.g., "Who goes on 13?") all have major slowdown potential
    IME. A simple turn order eliminates much of the slowness. HERO avoids
    round-by-round initiative rolls, but it still has the switching and
    number problems. Tip #2 above recognizes this but doesn't offer a
    complete solution.

    Easy math, consistent dice usage: HERO modifiers vary a lot, and they
    often require subtraction or varying numbers of dice. Four hours into a
    game session, it's tough to quickly and accurately pick out and add 11
    dice, or to calculate a margin of success via two-digit subtraction. Not
    /very/ tough, but the slowdown and risk of error accumulates. I'd prefer
    smaller numbers, less variation, and less subtraction.

    Unified mechanics: HERO's pretty good about this, especially with the
    standard damage mechanic you use for most powers. However, it still has
    a bunch of exceptions: killing damage, mind control, presence attacks,
    knockback, etc.

    Simple facing and zone of control rules: HERO has mostly eliminated
    facing, but it still lacks a zone of control system. It's hard to
    protect another character (as UMA notes), and it's even harder to defend
    territory. This isn't usually a problem for supers, but I'd want
    something better for a more tactical genre like high fantasy.

    Take 10/20: These rules eliminate most non-combat dice rolls, while
    preserving differentiation between characters. HERO has something
    similar (assume that a skilled character succeeds if he isn't hurried),
    but it glosses over differences in skill.

    Individually, these things aren't a big deal, but they all add up to
    general irritation with the play mechanics.

    > Bugger, *another* newsgroup to follow. Okay, time to look.

    Looks like RGFSH is pretty low-traffic these days, so it's not too bad.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Our group has actualy run away from D&D 3/3.5E in favour of Champions.

    The players are brand new to the system and I expected problems. The
    reverse has been true.

    Combat is slower in real time, but much more fun, with the GM(me)
    calling out phases like an auctioneer. The result is that people have to
    keep on their toes to have their actions.

    Is it a perfect system? No way, but so far it has meant people walking
    away from a session laughing and commenting on "event x" or bad guy "y"
    also the xp system has them all planning far more than with their 3/3.5E
    characters because the effect of the feats in D&D wasn't helping them to
    create something with much individuality.

    Their main point of applause has been the disadvantages as it truly can
    create something on paper that is as individual as they wish to play the
    character, so role playing and roll playing combine for them.

    It's early days, but so far it looks good, so much so that several have
    said they are looking forward to GMing the system...

    Hopefully there is something amongst that review someone can use ;)

    --
    Trent
    Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
    Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
    http://Fantasyscifi.com/main


    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
    > game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
    > reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20 System
    > has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
    > Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:
    >
    > I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I greatly
    > appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
    > playability, then I'd have something special, I think.
    >
    > The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "9 Tips to Speed Up
    > Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of the tips
    > require further game design to implement fully.
    >
    > I ran a Champions campaign a long time ago, and I felt the same kind of
    > pain that Keith expresses above. Since that time, I've played D20 System
    > games extensively, and some of its recent innovations only widen the
    > playability gap. I intend to write a series of articles aimed at
    > narrowing that gap, mostly by fleshing out the HERO rulebook's tips.
    >
    > I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd like
    > their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,
    > but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play. I'd
    > eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group will
    > likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics significantly.
    >
    > I'll post each proposal in separate threads on rgfsh, with a [Fast HERO]
    > subject tag. Interested rgfd readers should follow the discussion there.
    > (I've also set followups to rgfsh for this thread, in case there's any
    > further discussion.)
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Thanks for that list :)
    I'm running 4th ed atm, so I'm not sure if it is referenced in 5th
    ed...what is a "mook"?
    thanks
    --
    Trent
    Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
    Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
    http://Fantasyscifi.com/main

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > Bradd wrote:
    >
    >>>The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "[Nine Ways] to Speed
    >>>Up Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of
    >>>the tips require further game design to implement fully.
    >
    >
    > Keith Davies wrote:
    >
    >>Where was this, then? I must've missed it when I was reading it.
    >
    >
    > It's a sidebar running from pps 252-254 of the big black book.
    > Paraphrased:
    >
    > 1. Set a low cap on SPD.
    > 2. Use a simpler turn order.
    > 3. Prep (sorted) notes on SPD, DEX, CVs, etc. on cards or a whiteboard.
    > 4. Let players make their rolls (unsupervised) between turns.
    > 5. Require prep for VPPs and similar powers.
    > 6. Use average damage.
    > 7. Ignore STUN for killing attacks.
    > 8. Ignore NPC recoveries.
    > 9. Use "mook" rules.
    >
    >
    >>I'm pursuing the 'D&Dization of HERO' route right now (replacing HERO
    >>characteristics with D&D ability scores, etc., and using d20 challenge
    >>resolution).
    >
    >
    > Heh. I'm not looking for full-out D&Dization, but I think it has some
    > good "playability tech" that hasn't yet filtered into other RPGs. Here
    > are some examples.
    >
    > Cyclical turn order: Switching players, changing order, and calling out
    > turn numbers (e.g., "Who goes on 13?") all have major slowdown potential
    > IME. A simple turn order eliminates much of the slowness. HERO avoids
    > round-by-round initiative rolls, but it still has the switching and
    > number problems. Tip #2 above recognizes this but doesn't offer a
    > complete solution.
    >
    > Easy math, consistent dice usage: HERO modifiers vary a lot, and they
    > often require subtraction or varying numbers of dice. Four hours into a
    > game session, it's tough to quickly and accurately pick out and add 11
    > dice, or to calculate a margin of success via two-digit subtraction. Not
    > /very/ tough, but the slowdown and risk of error accumulates. I'd prefer
    > smaller numbers, less variation, and less subtraction.
    >
    > Unified mechanics: HERO's pretty good about this, especially with the
    > standard damage mechanic you use for most powers. However, it still has
    > a bunch of exceptions: killing damage, mind control, presence attacks,
    > knockback, etc.
    >
    > Simple facing and zone of control rules: HERO has mostly eliminated
    > facing, but it still lacks a zone of control system. It's hard to
    > protect another character (as UMA notes), and it's even harder to defend
    > territory. This isn't usually a problem for supers, but I'd want
    > something better for a more tactical genre like high fantasy.
    >
    > Take 10/20: These rules eliminate most non-combat dice rolls, while
    > preserving differentiation between characters. HERO has something
    > similar (assume that a skilled character succeeds if he isn't hurried),
    > but it glosses over differences in skill.
    >
    > Individually, these things aren't a big deal, but they all add up to
    > general irritation with the play mechanics.
    >
    >
    >>Bugger, *another* newsgroup to follow. Okay, time to look.
    >
    >
    > Looks like RGFSH is pretty low-traffic these days, so it's not too bad.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    fantasyscifi wrote:
    > Combat is slower in real time, but much more fun, with the GM(me)
    > calling out phases like an auctioneer. The result is that people have
    > to keep on their toes to have their actions.

    This is exactly what I want to avoid, though. In my groups, it doesn't
    keep people on their toes; we just end up with slowdowns and missed
    turns, which makes people unhappy.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    fantasyscifi wrote:
    > I'm running 4th ed atm, so I'm not sure if it is referenced in 5th
    > ed...what is a "mook"?

    A "mook" is an unimportant person, often used in RPG circles to refer to
    minor foes. "Mook rules," made famous by the Feng Shui RPG, treat minor
    NPCs differently (e.g., by making them easy to knock out).
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    thanks Bradd :)
    --
    Trent
    Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
    Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
    http://Fantasyscifi.com/main

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > fantasyscifi wrote:
    >
    >>I'm running 4th ed atm, so I'm not sure if it is referenced in 5th
    >>ed...what is a "mook"?
    >
    >
    > A "mook" is an unimportant person, often used in RPG circles to refer to
    > minor foes. "Mook rules," made famous by the Feng Shui RPG, treat minor
    > NPCs differently (e.g., by making them easy to knock out).
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    > fantasyscifi wrote:
    >
    >>Combat is slower in real time, but much more fun, with the GM(me)
    >>calling out phases like an auctioneer. The result is that people have
    >>to keep on their toes to have their actions.
    >
    >
    > This is exactly what I want to avoid, though. In my groups, it doesn't
    > keep people on their toes; we just end up with slowdowns and missed
    > turns, which makes people unhappy.

    And there you have the perfect reason why no single set of rules caters
    for everyone. Personalities of the players will logically dictate what
    works.

    My players love it : yours hate it
    I doubt either of us are alone on either side of that coin

    I will be interested in whatever you come up with, as like anyone th
    players may change their minds :)

    --
    Trent
    Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
    Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
    http://Fantasyscifi.com/main
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 23:22:18 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
    <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote:

    >I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd like
    >their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,
    >but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play. I'd
    >eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group will
    >likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics significantly.

    Have the player who is most familiar with the system handle the speed
    chart.

    I have an XLS spreadsheet with the Phases across the top, and Dex
    vertically. I start at the top of Phase 12, and read down. It goes
    pretty fast, and since it's on the laptop I can add the NPCs in ~10
    seconds to the chart.

    Second tip: When it's someone's turn, I also notify whoever is next
    that they're on deck, just to make sure they're going to be prepared
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    I think the most significant way to speed up HERO is to ignore END.
    Force characters to buy all their powers to 0 END (including STR) and
    dispense with the END characteristic altogether. If players want a power
    that can't be used all the time, they can buy Charges or a limitation:
    "Costs STUN to Use".

    Regarding damage, I don't find it hard to total lots of dice of HERO
    damage: just group dice in bunches that add up to 10. We do that in our
    group when we play HERO, and even 24-die haymakers become quick to add.
    Counting BODY in the attack is just seeing how many 1s and 6s there are
    and adjust the average accordingly.

    However, if you want to roll fewer dice, you could roll 1d10 instead of
    5d6. BODY = roll, STUN = roll+12. This gives the same average STUN (17½)
    and slightly more BODY (5½ rather than 5). The STUN will be somewhat
    less varied, but BODY will be far more varied, and you may not want that.

    - Klaus
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    I find this thread very peculiar. I like D&D, and have played it
    regularly. D&D chargen is no less complex than Hero, and Hero is far
    simpler in play. As the power level of the characters grows, the gap
    between D&D and Hero playability grows, as well -- and not in D&D's favor.

    bblackmoor
    2004-12-03
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Brandon Blackmoor wrote:
    > I find this thread very peculiar. I like D&D, and have played it
    > regularly. D&D chargen is no less complex than Hero, and Hero is far
    > simpler in play.

    Simpler perhaps, but also much slower in my experience, largely because
    of seemingly minor details (like rolling more dice, switching turns more
    often, subtracting instead of adding, &c).

    > As the power level of the characters grows, the gap between D&D and
    > Hero playability grows, as well -- and not in D&D's favor.

    For some characters, D&D is slow too, often because of decisionmaking
    overload (especially for spellcasters).
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Played Whitewolfs World of Darkness and related systems?

    Mike


    "Bradd W. Szonye" wrote:
    >
    > The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
    > game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
    > reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20 System
    > has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
    > Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:
    >
    > I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I greatly
    > appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
    > playability, then I'd have something special, I think.
    >
    > The HERO rulebook hints at a solution with its "9 Tips to Speed Up
    > Combat." Unfortunately, the advice is very general, and most of the tips
    > require further game design to implement fully.
    >
    > I ran a Champions campaign a long time ago, and I felt the same kind of
    > pain that Keith expresses above. Since that time, I've played D20 System
    > games extensively, and some of its recent innovations only widen the
    > playability gap. I intend to write a series of articles aimed at
    > narrowing that gap, mostly by fleshing out the HERO rulebook's tips.
    >
    > I also welcome any other tips HERO veterans have to offer, and I'd like
    > their advice on my proposed mechanics. I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,
    > but rather to make HERO more competitive in speed and ease of play. I'd
    > eventually like to run Champions again, but my current game group will
    > likely rebel unless I can streamline the play mechanics significantly.
    >
    > I'll post each proposal in separate threads on rgfsh, with a [Fast HERO]
    > subject tag. Interested rgfd readers should follow the discussion there.
    > (I've also set followups to rgfsh for this thread, in case there's any
    > further discussion.)
    > --
    > Bradd W. Szonye
    > http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 23:22:18 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
    <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote:
    <snip>

    with the certainty of a new campaign starting with the New Year, I'm
    in full swing of campaign prep work. I've got about 2 experienced
    players, and 3 newbies, and one semi-newbie.

    So, here's my write up of some "Fast Hero" house rules--I think they
    embrace my main speed worries, and utilize various aspects of the
    discussion that has went on here. Feel free to copy, mutilate, deride,
    alter for your own needs.

    Fast Hero House Rules

    Combat-to Hit rolls use the following formula.
    Start with 11; add your complete OCV (Base levels, skills, situational
    modifiers). Get Offensive Value
    Roll 3d6. Subtract 3d6 total from Offensive Value: announce this
    number as the DCV you have hit. GM will tell you rest.

    Damage rolls.
    Any normal attacks (counts full dice total as result, and body per
    normal damage) may call 'average damage). You get 1 Body per dice, and
    3.5 stun (round up). Players may use the same rules for entangles,
    flashes and other special rolls. Full dice rolls may be done for
    special situation attacks, pushed attacks, or killing attacks. Big
    Hint: on your sheets, write down the average damage for your attacks
    at normal strength. The question "what's the average damage from an X
    dice attack" should come up once, and never again.

    Knockback rolls.
    Knockback (except for attacks with improved knockback advantage, or
    when player announces he wants to roll for full knockback) shall be
    done in the following way. For every full dice of knockback modifier,
    simply count this as -3.5 inches (round up) subtracted from body of
    attack. The GM may permit normal knockback dice rolls at player
    request.

    Combined Dice rolls.
    When rolling attacks, players should combine dice rolls whenever
    possible. For example, if the attack is a killing attack, the player
    should roll the to hit dice damage dice, and stun multiplier at the
    same time. Entangle attacks should be rolled with the to hit roll.
    If knockback dice are being rolled, roll those dice as well.

    Preparation Work:
    Players should have all preparation work ready before their turn.
    Power pools should already be written out, etc. If this isn't ready,
    your action may be delayed until you are ready. Any paperwork after
    the action can be done once your turn is done. (IOW, record your
    endurance, charges, lost end, stun, body, etc after your action is
    complete).

    Mook Rules:
    When fighting non important NPC's, the following rules will be used;
    attacks that get Body through the targets defenses that do Body equal
    to the targets original Body value kill the target instantly. Non
    important NPC's do not get recoveries. NPC's already unconscious by-10
    or greater will not have knockback damage rolled. The GM may even
    invoke "quick KO" rules where NPC's that are stunned are simply
    considered knocked out. (Swarms of agents/minions)

    Combat Focus:
    Pay attention during actual combat, and combat will go much quicker.
    Limit discussions with others to a volume that doesn't interrupt the
    GM when it isn't your turn. Pay attention to the phase and Dex order;
    if you don't respond when your turn and Dex order is called, your
    action is delayed.

    Your Combat Card:
    Your combat card (laminated) tracks your status during Battle: this
    card will be updated prior to start of the session, filling in
    essential combat statistics, stun, endurance, body, endurance
    reserves. The card will have your phases, dexterity, and other
    important quick reference information. The GM will give you your
    combat card at the start of the session, you will return it at the
    end. This saves wear and tear on character sheets. There is a note
    section on the combat card: if a GM asks for your Combat card, makes a
    notation, and returns it, refer to the note section, and follow
    instructions accordingly. If the note says 'status quo', this means
    your information was needed, but no change has happened (or at least
    noticed) by your character. You may not tell other players that the
    note said 'status quo', or share any information unless the note
    specifies so. This helps the GM fight the metagame factor of
    suspecting and attacking whoever gets a note from the GM. I might just
    give you a status quo notation just to keep others from using the
    combat card as some form of warning system. Please honor the spirit of
    this rule. There are mentalist villains with mind control and
    illusion in the campaign; do not take notice of a privileged
    communication between the GM and player and let it affect your
    characters actions. Abuse of this will result in the loss of
    experience, or the GM getting grumpy.


    incrdbil
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Abrigon Gusiq wrote:
    > Played Whitewolfs World of Darkness and related systems?

    Yes; why do you ask?
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    > "Bradd W. Szonye" wrote:
    > >
    > > The regulars of rec.games.frp.dnd often express admiration for other
    > > game systems, especially HERO and Alternity. However, they also have
    > > reservations about actually playing other games, because the D20 System
    > > has some great playability features that the other games lack. Keith
    > > Davies expressed this sentiment succinctly:
    > >
    > > I find playing HERO a pain in the ass, [but] as a designer I greatly
    > > appreciate it. If I could get HERO design capabilities with D&D
    > > playability, then I'd have something special, I think.

    For me, the in-game playability isn't the only problem. There's also
    the "library" that's available to me. I have yet to come across the
    sheer lists of standard creatures, spells, equipment, etc. that I can
    easily pick for d20.

    Maybe I just haven't come across a "net book of HERO spells" or
    something, but I'm just not aware of such a library. Hero isn't just a
    pain in the ass in terms of running the game, but in terms of building
    the world in which to run the game. But it would be nice to have the
    ability to take a few lists of things and pick and choose the general
    things easily, and then only reach into the deeper things for tweaks.

    Though, it would also be nice to have the actual running of the game be
    more streamlined as well.


    > > I'm not looking to D&Dify HERO,

    Though, if you were, I have a friend who created something called
    "Dungeon Hero" which was sort of a conversion of 1st Ed AD&D to Hero
    Packages. I didn't like how he did some of it, but it was apparently
    pretty popular for awhile. I think you can still find it somewhere off
    of www.planetx.org
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    John Rudd <jrudd@ucsc.edu> wrote in news:41BDF87E.AB4CC940@ucsc.edu:

    > Maybe I just haven't come across a "net book of HERO spells" or
    > something, but I'm just not aware of such a library.

    Er, http://www.herogames.com/Products/FHG.htm ?

    --
    Terry Austin
    www.hyperbooks.com
    Campaign Cartographer now available
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    No 33 Secretary wrote:
    >
    > John Rudd <jrudd@ucsc.edu> wrote in news:41BDF87E.AB4CC940@ucsc.edu:
    >
    > > Maybe I just haven't come across a "net book of HERO spells" or
    > > something, but I'm just not aware of such a library.
    >
    > Er, http://www.herogames.com/Products/FHG.htm ?
    >

    That covers spells, but what about the other things I mentioned?

    (I actually don't run many fantasy games, and the games I have coming
    up, which I'm planning to run under d20, are post-apocalyptic and
    space/horror)
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    No 33 Secretary wrote:
    >
    > John Rudd <jrudd@ucsc.edu> wrote in news:41BDF87E.AB4CC940@ucsc.edu:
    >
    > > Maybe I just haven't come across a "net book of HERO spells" or
    > > something, but I'm just not aware of such a library.
    >
    > Er, http://www.herogames.com/Products/FHG.htm ?
    >

    Actually, looking over their site, I'm seeing a lot better coverage than
    the last time I looked at Hero resources (which was, admittedly, a while
    ago). Maybe it's not as bad as I remember it being, any more.
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    John Rudd wrote:
    > For me, the in-game playability isn't the only problem. There's also
    > the "library" that's available to me. I have yet to come across the
    > sheer lists of standard creatures, spells, equipment, etc. that I can
    > easily pick for d20.

    4th-edition HERO was pretty spotty there: lots of supervillain books,
    but otherwise very little pre-built stuff. The new edition is a lot
    better about this: There's a generic monsters & animals book (HERO
    Bestiary), a fantasy monster book (Monsters, Minions, & Marauders), a
    superpowers book (UNTIL Superpowers Database), two fantasy spell books
    (Fantasy Hero Grimoire I & II), a vehicles book (The Ultimate Vehicle),
    a huge list of martial arts styles (The Ultimate Martial Artist), and of
    course some supervillain books.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 13:15:29 +0100,
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22Klaus_=C6=2E_Mogensen=22?=
    <klaudiusNOSPAM@get2net.dk> wrote:

    >I think the most significant way to speed up HERO is to ignore END.
    >Force characters to buy all their powers to 0 END (including STR) and
    >dispense with the END characteristic altogether. If players want a power
    >that can't be used all the time, they can buy Charges or a limitation:
    >"Costs STUN to Use".

    Player character stun expenditure doesn't take a significant amount of
    time unless the GM is foolish enough to try to keep track of it
    himself. Obviously it is a bad idea in a mob scene for the GM to try
    to keep track of all of his NPC's END expenditures. Most of them will
    be unconscious by the time the subject of running out of END arises
    anyway.
  27. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    John Rudd <jrudd@ucsc.edu> wrote in news:41BE40D7.A27205E1@ucsc.edu:

    > No 33 Secretary wrote:
    >>
    >> John Rudd <jrudd@ucsc.edu> wrote in news:41BDF87E.AB4CC940@ucsc.edu:
    >>
    >> > Maybe I just haven't come across a "net book of HERO spells" or
    >> > something, but I'm just not aware of such a library.
    >>
    >> Er, http://www.herogames.com/Products/FHG.htm ?
    >>
    >
    > That covers spells, but what about the other things I mentioned?
    >
    > (I actually don't run many fantasy games, and the games I have coming
    > up, which I'm planning to run under d20, are post-apocalyptic and
    > space/horror)
    >
    Look through Hero's catalog on their web site. There's a beastiary, and a
    fantasy beastiary, and various other supplements. They're not nearly as
    extensive as for D&D, of course, but there's at least some material, and
    they are steadily cranking out more.

    --
    Terry Austin
    www.hyperbooks.com
    Campaign Cartographer now available
  28. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    There's also a second UNTIL Superpowers Database coming early next year, and
    Asian bestiary in the works, and more books in the Ultimates series. What I
    like about the Ultimates series is the fact that they cover the idea in
    multiple genres. The Ultimate Brick actually had characters in it for the
    fantasy and scifi genres. The Ultimate Mystic has supposedly shipped this
    week. I'm planning on spending Xmas money on it.

    Captain Geek
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