The HERO System

Last night’s post about the PS238 RPG made me realize I should probably disclose something, in the interests of editorial transparency.

Full Disclosure: I LOVE the HERO System. The HERO System is my favorite role playing system, and I am reluctant, borderline loath, to run any other system. I will gladly sit down at another DM’s table and play anything. Even Whitewolf or worse, if I have to. But I will really only enjoy running HERO.

HERO is not for everyone. It’s not a perfect system. HERO can do anything, literally anything, but it can rarely do things simply. It can be a very complicated under some circumstances, but it makes up for it in being able to handle any circumstances.

For those of you unfamiliar with the HERO System, think of it as a superior and cheaper version of GURPS. Like GURPS, the HERO System can be applied to any genre – scifi, fantasy, superheroes, horror, whatever. It’s a little more complicated than GURPS, so that might be a drawback. But unlike GURPS, you only have to buy one book. One book for the player, one for the DM. One book for the monsters, one book for the spells, one book for the superpowers, one book for the spaceships, one book for the prestige classes, one book for the cybergear… you get the idea. Not one book for each. One book, period.

As a DM, and as a player, I love HERO. It’s an incredible system, and while it’s not for everybody, it is for me. It requires a mature group, since it can occasionally be prone to munchkining. And it requires experienced players, who are comfortable with RPG rules. But with the right group, there’s nothing better.

And now is a fantastic time to be playing HERO. It’s been around for over twenty-five years, either as HERO or as Champions, and we’re in a Golden Age. While the tabletop RPG market may be struggling, HERO seems to be in a good position. DOJ Games, the current owners of the franchise, led by Steve Long, are incredible stewards. They’re Fifth Edition did wonders to the game. I’m a little nervous about the upcoming Sixth Edition, but we’ll see. The books they’re churning out are awesome. The forums are unlike any I’ve seen – Steve Long chips in every day. I mean, constantly, as do many other members of the team. Feedback is constantly being received and assessed. And to top it all off, the Champions setting, the granddaddy of superhero role playing, is being turned into a new MMO by the makers of City of Heroes. Champions Online could be huge.

This is kind of turning into a review and a plug, as much as it is a disclosure of my tastes.

I intend to make this blog as friendly as possible to all system.s But I thought I’d let you know that my heart is not measured in love, but in Active Points.


3 responses to “The HERO System

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