Grade the Hero System

How do you feel about The Hero System (any variant)?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 17 17.9%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 18 18.9%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 23 24.2%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 27 28.4%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 3 3.2%

Thomas Shey

Legend
Oh, as an aside, it isn't a given that in a Heroic game all the powers you purchase are pre-canned; if you're not using a published set, that can be considerable work (I know, I did it at one time) and often its just easier to say "These are the available magic types, they have to have these Limitations (and possibly work under things other than core purchase rules since basic Hero costs for powers-as-spells can get awfully steep for the points available in a Heroic game), go build your spells and let me see what you come up with."

On the other hand, some heroic games have little or now power usage at all. An SF game might have some psionic abilities, but that's liable to be it in many cases, and modern monster hunter game could well be operating without any use of powers in PC hands at all.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Reynard

Legend
Hero character creation takes some work if you don't want to just buy a few package deals with your build budget. That is true across all power levels and genres. Hero has never cut out players that don't have a desire or capability to crunch the chargen numbers. There have always been package deals.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
I invented it (more or less), and I think in the end of the day its probably a better choice to have gotten rid of it. All it really did was hide some costs while privileging certain types of characters over others.

'Nuff said.


re. packages

Obviously packages and pre-created powers are a great option for people new to the system (or those who just don't want or have time to create a whole campaign's worth.)

But I do find that too many HERO products fail to present packages in a way that is accessible to new players. So much jargon and the inclusion of the hero stats just makes them... intimidating maybe? Real hard to read for sure. Presentation is HERO's greatest failing.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
How do you feel about the removal of elemental controls from 6th ed?

I gotta say I think it's for the best. ECs are very open to disagreements about what qualifies as "unified." And that's before you get people just plain taking the piss. For example, I've seen "EC Super Powers" on one guy's character sheet.
I think it's for the best. Elemental Controls were fiddly at best, and the new limitation (unified power if I remember correctly) has a game effect for powers that drain or neutralize other powers. I think the old EC rules made some sense to enforce a solid character concept, but in practice, they were a mess. I don't miss them.
 

I had many hours of fun with the Hero system (Champions almost entirely) back in the day, but I don't think I would ever play it again. It's a combination of it being really fiddly, it making (in my view) some seriously bad design decisions, and having what I regard as better options now.

That said, nothing will destroy the many golden memories.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
The way I explained it to my D&D friends:

Hero System is front-loaded. We're going to take a whole session and work out your character, some background details, and whatnot. But it'll be fine, once you've built your character, it's usually pretty easy to "level up" by adding a few points to this power here, or adding a Skill, or learning a single Martial Maneuver, or whatever. Sometimes something game changing might happen in the campaign, and you might have to do a major rework, but it's not usually required in gameplay. All the rules you established early on for your character still work exactly the same way.

D&D is back-loaded. Creating your character at the beginning is easy. But every time you level up, it's going to take a bit of time to figure it out. Every few levels you'll gain a power that will completely change your tactics. If you choose a feat or learn a special spell, that changes the rules we've already established for your character. And in some flavors its even worse -- I remember high-level 4E taking a loooong time to level up, because the system forced you to relearn your tactics every three or four levels, even more frequently than other flavors of D&D.

They're both fun games (especially the way I run them) but they have different focuses. I generally like the Hero System approach, because characters created in a vacuum are less fun than characters created during a "Session 0" -- it's how one of my former characters ended up being the brother of another player's character, and a different guy ended up being a chef. Those were decisions made in reaction to decisions made by other players during the joint character creation session.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
'Nuff said.


re. packages

Obviously packages and pre-created powers are a great option for people new to the system (or those who just don't want or have time to create a whole campaign's worth.)

But I do find that too many HERO products fail to present packages in a way that is accessible to new players. So much jargon and the inclusion of the hero stats just makes them... intimidating maybe? Real hard to read for sure. Presentation is HERO's greatest failing.

Packages can also be good to make sure you have the sort of minimum-requirement to be a particular character type or have a particular background; that's something even experienced players in build systems can sometimes misstep on.

But I kind of agree with your last paragraph here.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I think it's for the best. Elemental Controls were fiddly at best, and the new limitation (unified power if I remember correctly) has a game effect for powers that drain or neutralize other powers. I think the old EC rules made some sense to enforce a solid character concept, but in practice, they were a mess. I don't miss them.

Well, the kicker is that they were a generalization of a more specific mechanic that wasn't really intended to be end-user manipulated in that way. I can understand why they did it, but its one of the few things I consider was a misstep in early Hero.
 

Reynard

Legend
It occurs to me that I have not looked at a Hero system product since 5E, only because once I had a full library of 5E material i really did not feel the need to "upgrade" to 6E. Can someone speak to recent Hero releases?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
The way I explained it to my D&D friends:

Hero System is front-loaded. We're going to take a whole session and work out your character, some background details, and whatnot. But it'll be fine, once you've built your character, it's usually pretty easy to "level up" by adding a few points to this power here, or adding a Skill, or learning a single Martial Maneuver, or whatever. Sometimes something game changing might happen in the campaign, and you might have to do a major rework, but it's not usually required in gameplay. All the rules you established early on for your character still work exactly the same way.

Well, part of it is simply that Hero is far, far less zero-to-hero in basic assumptions (partly because of the kind of characters it was initially used for) than is typical for D&D and its derivatives. An advanced Hero character usually looks far more like how they started than an advanced D&D character.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top