Hero System 5th Ed. (or: Watch this thread sink like a rock.)

I know this is a longshot, but have any of you RPG gamers out there bought the 5th Edition Hero rules yet?

I flipped through it in the store, and I enjoy playing Champions, but I couldn’t tell if there were enough changes in this new system to justify the $40 cost (especially since I just dropped $30 for Call of Cthulhu d20). It seems to be better laid out than the last rulebook, though they apparently dropped the sample characters (which is a HUGE mistake given the complexity of the Hero system - not only do they need sample characters, they need a step-by step guide to creating them.)

I also heard that they’re trying to emphasize the generic nature of the Hero system, which I also think is a mistake - Hero is great for Champions, but I’ve never met anyone who successfully used it for anything else. Everyone I know who’s tried eventually went to GURPS instead.

I haven’t been able to find any reviews of it online. I went to the Hero Games message board, but it’s a bunch of drooling fans just saying how awesome the book is without giving it a fair assessment.

Oooh… it’s out? Hot damn, I’m goin’ to the comic book shop at lunch!

I’m in a current Champions game, and while I don’t know about the rest of the group, I’ve been really looking forward to 5E.

Let’s see… Champions 5E, Dungeon Siege… Good thing I just got paid.

Well… we’re still using the Marvel Superheroes original rules. I hadn’t even known about this. sob I’m so out of the loop.

I know a few people who gamed Fantasy Hero–I’ve been tempted myself to run a high-powered Fantasy Hero campaign.

The new rules clarify a lot of things. HA is no longer so beastly overpowered, Haymakers are now +4 DC attacks instead x1 1/2 Strength, you can do celestial teleports (between planets for example) now without having to spend 5,000 points and so on. Most of the changes really make sense.

Oh, the new official nickname for it is FRED. It is no longer the BBB. :slight_smile:


They finally got it out? When did that happen? All the Hero fans I know had basically assumed that ‘we’re working on fifth edition, it’ll be out REAL SOON’ was basically a nice way of saying ‘we’re out of business,’ considering how long they’ve been saying it.

Does it still come with the attached ‘Supers’ section, or is that going to be a secondary ‘campaign’ book? I hope not, as if history is any guide, we can look forward to one supplement every year and a half or so . . .

Hmm. The Ultimate books, the last of the non-Fusion supplements, never had sample characters either. Why IS that . . .

40 bucks? There goes my budget. And I was almost up to that VOTOMS collection, too . . .

Well, you have now. :slight_smile: I’ve run a low-powered fantasy campaign with it, been in a high-powered fantasy campaign in it, and know personally of at least one X-Files like ‘agents’ game. One of the super-hero games I was in turned into a Space Opera halfway through, as well, with no problems. (My character actually survived a hit by a turbo-laser. I’ve never seen a lower roll on a 12d6 in my life. A Killing Attack, of course) Online, I’ve talked to people running feudal samurai games and post-apoc. settings, as well.

And for the record, Hero (At least the pre-fifth editions, as I haven’t looked at that yet) is FAR more ‘generic’ than GURPS. GURPS had the edge in esoteric campaign types mostly because it had twelve billion ‘setting’ books. Hero never had more than four or five, and the vast majority of those have been impossible to find almost since first printing. (I’ve never even SEEN a copy of Space Hero or Western Hero)

“With this, I, too, can become a superhero!”

Ura-Maru wrote:

Sadly, no.

Hero Games (who owns them nowadays? DOJ, I think it is?) has made it abundantly clear that HERO System 5th Edition is only going to contain the generic rules.

The super-hero-specific genre stuff is all going to be in a new edition of Champions, due out in August. Aaron Allston’s writing it.

slortar wrote:

Well, let’s see. In the 4th Edition rules, an HA cost 3 Points per +1D6.

In the 5th Edition rules, an HA is treated as STR with a -1/2 Limitation, which works out to … about 3 Points per +1D6.

“Beastly overpowered”?!

I’ve got it, and it’s GOOD.

They cleaned it up and improved readability. A lot of powers, limitations, and disads have been reworked to make more sense and/or be more balanced. Each power has a more in-depth discussion of particular advanted and limitations that affect it in ways that need to be clarified. Some powers - such as regeneration, life support, and enhanced senses - have been completely restructured. There’s a new “megascale” advantage that can be used to buy attack or movement powers with ludicrously long ranges.

The really nice thing is that the margins of the pages are full of rules and power examples, showing how to do all sorts of oddball things in the rules. A lot of quirky limitations and advantages that people used a lot but weren’t listed in the original rules (like “Surfaces only” for flight) are now.

The book seems to be a lot more mechanically sound than the fall-apart BBB. Allegedly the creators took one of the first batch and put it in a drier for half an hor without loosing any pages.

There is no source material in FREd however - just the rules.

I just picked it up. (Got a free ‘Spycraft’ teaser kit, too) I have to get some @#$!ing sleep before work tonight, but I should have a full revew once I get back from Boston on sunday or monday.

HA was ‘beastly overpowered’ because of the way limitations/disadavantages/power frameworks work in hero. If you had a 50 point multipower, you could toss a 16 1/2d6 HA into it, assuming the GM wasn’t paying attention. Doing it the ‘strength only to do damage’ way fixes that, allowing only normal 10d6.
Almost every GM I know had already ‘fixed’ it by doing the strength almost only to do damage thing already, or just almost never allowing it’s use, but it’s nice to have it official. (And no arguments about putting characteristics into a framework.)

If Allston’s writing it, Champions will probably be worth waiting for. His stuff is always good.

Apparently it’s selling VERY well, contrary to almost everyone’s expectations, considering thier last real suppliment was something like six years ago. It might even be possible to find a champs game now . . .

It appears to be more of a reference book than a textbook, though, and that’s tough on new players. On the other hand, it’s questionable how many new players are actually picking it up . . .

Strength should STILL be at least 1.5 points a point, though. It appears the greatest of my house rules will live on . . .

I’m AMAZED they didn’t turn Comliness into a perk. Though that’s mainly a anal geek complaint, it was still a valid one . . .

“Can it be that I hold in my mortal hand; A nugget of purest green?”

Ura-Maru wrote:

I beg to differ! The way Multipowers were written up in 4th Edition, it never explicitly said that you can’t have more Active Points in a Multipower slot than you have Points in the multipower pool. It only limited the number of POINTS in each slot to the number of Points in a multipower pool. One slot in a 50 point Multipower could be a 10D6 Energy Blast, or a 16 1/2D6 Energy Blast that only works at night, or a 30D6 Energy Blast that only works in an intense magnetic field.

Similarly, one slot in this same 50 Point Multipower could be +50 STR, or it could be +75 STR with a -1/2 “only to do damage” limitation – which would give you +15D6 of Normal damage, +22 1/2D6 if you did a Haymaker.

The geek mating call…

Hey, don’t look at me that way! I opened this thread and understood exactly what everyone was talking about, after all. I’m just lamenting that the friends I’d play with have scattered across the globe.

I just realized I goofed! Everyone knows that “only works at night” is a -1/2 Limitation, so a 50-Point EB that only works at night would have 75 Active Points, which is 15D6, not 16 1/2D6.

I’m so ashamed!

While it never printed the words out, no, the way the examples in the multipower section clearly (well, reasonably clearly. I made the same mistake when I first started out . . .) demonstrated how limitations and advantages were supposed to work with multipowers. And part of that is that they use the ACTIVE COST, not the real cost. Like pretty much everything else in the entire system. So while an old style 16.5d6 HA had a 50 point active cost, 75 points of strength with a -1/2 disadvantage has an active cost of 75 points, and a 30d6 energy blast with a -2 limitation has an active cost of 150 points.

If the ENTIRE MULTIPOWER has the same disad, you can save points on the pool cost, like Armadillo’s armor’s OIF. Otherwise, limitations on an individual power only affect the SLOT COST. And as that’s divided by five or ten anyway, it’s not really that helpful.

Still haven’t had much time to look through the book though. More later.

Of course, in an all-vampire campaign, ‘only works at night’ is a -1/4th disadvantage . . .

Yeah, but aren’t multipowers ridiculously overpowered anyway? My favorite thing was designing 100pt characters. And just about every character would end up with a multipower (or elemental control), no matter what their character conception. If any character has a large attack power, it is dirt dirt dirt cheap to pile on a secondary attack, a large defense, always useful to have a large movement power, another secondary attack, heck, add in an area effect attack, hmmm, how about a NND attack, ANOTHER defense power, heck throw in shape-change, and invisibility is ALWAYS useful, why not a RKA, always gotta have a flash attack, drains always are useful since they bypass most defenses so let’s have an INT drain, and a darkness would be useful, what radius will 60 points get me…

See the idea? With a 60 point multipower there is no incentive to stop adding just oooooone more power. Just one more, it’s WAFER thin…

Well, there’s no question the potential for abuse is there. That’s why there’s the little magnifying glass next to the description of the frameworks, after all. If it’s really bothering you, you could double the slot cost or just disallow them, but I’ve never had that problem as long as I pay attention to the character conception. It’s easy to look through the power list and ask ‘what can I get,’ like an AD&D mage picking spells, but it’s usually not a good idea. Not every character should be a swiss army knife. On the other hand, even the most basic energy projector, like Cyclops, can do more than just one kind of blast.

I’ve actually heard better reasonings for ditching Elemental Control than Multipower. ‘An EC is basically a reward for having a tight character concept . . . which you should have, anyway.’

‘10" Running, 10" Flight . . . why do you have 20" Swimming and 20" Superleap?’

Apparently, HERO System 5th Edition isn’t available anywhere on the West Coast of the Continental U.S… :frowning: I’ll have to wait for the 2nd printing run.

Well I bought it this weekend. Looks nice, but I haven’t had the chance to really get into it. I like the many examples of different ways to use the same powers.

Unfortunately, two of the three other people I game with are moving in August, so my chances of actually using this book any time soon are pretty slim.

God, you’ve got that right. I’ve out-and-out banned them from my games. It almost always seems to devolve into buying an EC with the special effect of “Powers That My Character Has.” Of course, that didn’t stop me from abusing them myself to keep up with everyone else. :slight_smile:

I still maintain that HA was originally terribly abusive. Even most munchkins I’ve known would balk at dropping more than a few points in, because they couldn’t quite stomach the possibility of inflicting 20 dice of damage with a 250 pt character (40 Str, say, plus another 36 points…hmmm…76 points total…plus 2d6, haymaker, shake and bake…?).