Hero System

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The Hero System (or HERO System) is a generic role-playing game system that developed from the superhero RPG Champions. It is used as the underlying mechanics of other Hero Games role-playing games such as Dark Champions, Fantasy Hero, Star Hero, and Pulp Hero. It is characterized by point-based character creation and the rigor with which it measures character abilities. It uses only six-sided dice.

Contents

System features

The HERO System character creation system is entirely points-based with no random elements. Players are given a pool of points, the size of which varies depending on the campaign type, with which to buy Characteristics, Skills, Talents and Powers. They can gain additional points by taking Disadvantages that hamper their character in play.

Abilities in the HERO System, particularly Powers (a broad category that includes superpowers, magic, psionics and high technology), are modeled based on their effects. The player chooses an effect the power models (such as Energy Blast) and chooses a set of modifiers to fine-tune the power's function. Each modifier makes the Power more or less expensive. HERO System products and players are notorious for the ingenuity and complexity of their power constructions.

Tasks are resolved using three six-sided dice and Power effects (especially damage) are resolved by rolling a number of dice based on the power's level.

Unlike the d20 System and many other game systems, experience awards are in the form of character points, which have the same value as those used in character creation and can be applied directly to the character's abilities upon receipt.

Character creation

The HERO System's biggest innovation was its use of a point-based system for character creation with a tool-kit approach to creating abilities. The rules only define the ability's effects in combat—the player defines what the ability looks like when used. For example, the ability to project a jet of fire could be bought as "Energy Blast," or any of a number of other abilities. The player then defines it as a "jet of fire," with all that implies: it has the possibility of starting secondary fires; it looks, smells and sounds like a jet of fire; etc. This Energy Blast could be modified by any number of modifiers such as "Explosion," "Area of Effect" or "No Range." These affect how the power works as well as its final cost.

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