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
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?

I'm afraid I'm no help; though I came (after initially being kind of soggy about it) to appreciate most of the design changes in 6e, the last time I used Hero for anything other than a couple one-offs was back in the 5e day myself.
 

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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?
You can check out the releases on wikipedia. There seem to be less than a dozen in the past decade. Last one anyone I know picked up Fantasy Hero Complete. It's a good one-book version of the game (has what you need to run a fantasy version of the game without picking up the base rules, and then a fantasy supplement), but nothing that would wow someone who already has the hero books.

I was hyped for a v.6 version of Traveller Hero, but one of they key persons in that effort died suddenly right when it was getting off the ground.

Honestly, part of me thinks that the game is perhaps complete -- it already does all the things people generally try to do with it* very well, so there isn't a whole lot that needs to come out for it. *except adapting other IPs, which seem unlikely to be profitable enough to license, so perhaps is best left to homebrew
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
And, honestly, suffers from the fact a lot of the "campaign type" setup books from prior editions work with it, since often those weren't mechanics-heavy. (Though I've noted even with the ones there are for 6e some laziness crept in; the attributes for villains in the three villain books look like you're still needing a high Dex for your combat capability for example; there's no reason for most characters to have that that high anymore, just for Dex skills and initiative).
 

Kannik

Hero
@SteveC (and anyone else who's got an opinion) How do you feel about the removal of elemental controls from 6th ed?
I haven't read the 6e rules yet, but even back in the 4e/5e days I noticed (and definitively used/exploited) the point saving nature of an EC. And since I never saw a character built without a coherent concept (even when inviting new players to imagine a character from scratch w/o them knowing the rules) it seemed that it was just an automatic and perhaps even expected point saving mechanism.

If it wasn't expected, then removing it makes sense. If it was expected, then removing it still makes sense and simply provide more character build points to 'replace' the expected savings of an EC. Either way, it didn't seem to be serving its intended function. :)
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I haven't read the 6e rules yet, but even back in the 4e/5e days I noticed (and definitively used/exploited) the point saving nature of an EC. And since I never saw a character built without a coherent concept (even when inviting new players to imagine a character from scratch w/o them knowing the rules) it seemed that it was just an automatic and perhaps even expected point saving mechanism.

If it wasn't expected, then removing it makes sense. If it was expected, then removing it still makes sense and simply provide more character build points to 'replace' the expected savings of an EC. Either way, it didn't seem to be serving its intended function. :)

A lot of it turned on how generous you were with ECs, but that could, to be charitable, vary considerably.

The problem was that about 98% of all comic characters look like they can be built with (in 4e terms) an EC, Strength (which was an EC in disguise) or some other big cost saver like a lot of Foci. But the 2% left were just screwed. People would point at Multipowers, but all Multipowers saved was a lot of quasi-redundant abilities (racks of varied attacks or movement powers), it didn't do much for steady state abilities which the others did.

In the end, just give people enough damn points to buy those and move on. Yeah, coherence is a great aim, but its not like Nightcrawler and the Martial Manhunter are terrible characters, but getting people to approve them on coherence grounds would be a big reach, and maybe its not the GM's job to be doing that in a general-purpose superhero game.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
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?
Some background: Hero Games was bought by DOJ (headed by Darren Watts, with partners) and released 5th edition with some success. Among other things they did, Steve Long and other authors spent a lot of time and effort delineating the "Champions Universe." That turned out to be a great thing, because when the City of Heroes guys lost their license to do a Marvel Superheroes MMO, they were able to buy the Champions Universe outright and lease it back to Hero Games for $1. This sudden influx of MMO-type monies meant that they were able to fast-track 6th edition, and make it a gorgeous full-color book; this is not something they would have been able to afford previously. Shortly after 6th edition came out, the partners forced Darren Watts and Steve Long out of the operation, and moved almost entirely to a Kickstarter model for new releases, and drastically slowed down the pace of releases. Most official 6E materials come out few and far between, while third-party 6E materials come out in something like a "DriveThruRPG/DMsGuild" model.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
I'm in a similar boat to @Reynard - I'd bought a tonne of 5e stuff (and was finally using it in a regular regular campaign!) when 6e was announced. I've not really moved over to 6e, although I bought a few of the Champions setting books like Champions Beyond and the three Books of... (The Empress, Destroyer, and Machine.) Oh and Fantasy Hero Complete.

And my home brew rules have borrowed the main changes from 6e anyway. The more I think about it, the more I realise the main reason I haven't moved over to 6e completely is the thought of having to re-do all the .hdc files I've done up for characters and powers.
 

aramis erak

Legend
@SteveC (and anyone else who's got an opinion) 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.
Yet one more reason not to switch to 6e. If I find a group that can handle it, Ill break out 5R, and go from there. Hero 4th was my wife's first RPG... and I wasn't the GM! It was before I met her.

As for order of operations, @kigmatzomat ... D&D, Traveller, even Palladium all have some formulae that require obey the order of operations. Most RPGs do. Hell, Traveller even has some real rocket science involved, including D=AT²/2, and T=√(2D/A).

What Hero requires is doing division by fractions... b × (1+Σa)/(1+Σl) where a and l are likely a fraction themselves.
As noted, 4E onwards had a handy table for the math averse... but the math averse need to really avoid Hero, Rolemaster and even D&D... and especially Tunnels & Trolls...
T&T is the only game I've needed to roll more than 100d6 in... peak I've rolled for hero was about 20.
 

Reynard

Legend
Yet one more reason not to switch to 6e. If I find a group that can handle it, Ill break out 5R, and go from there. Hero 4th was my wife's first RPG... and I wasn't the GM! It was before I met her.

As for order of operations, @kigmatzomat ... D&D, Traveller, even Palladium all have some formulae that require obey the order of operations. Most RPGs do. Hell, Traveller even has some real rocket science involved, including D=AT²/2, and T=√(2D/A).

What Hero requires is doing division by fractions... b × (1+Σa)/(1+Σl) where a and l are likely a fraction themselves.
As noted, 4E onwards had a handy table for the math averse... but the math averse need to really avoid Hero, Rolemaster and even D&D... and especially Tunnels & Trolls...
T&T is the only game I've needed to roll more than 100d6 in... peak I've rolled for hero was about 20.
I think we often overstate the difficulty of Hero, even if we like the game. People will figure it out. It isn't a deal breaker.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
How do you feel about the removal of elemental controls from 6th ed?
I was disappointed. Every table I played HERO in- on either side of the screen- the GM had the final say on whether or not something qualified for being in an EC. Eliminating it kinda cut off an avenue of creativity that I thought really added to the game.
 

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