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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    California, USA

    Regency and Heroism.

    Howdy, folks.

    Recently I've been toying around with the idea of using Hero Points in
    my campaign. I started using them in my non-BR campaign about six
    months ago, after coming across a description of them in an issue of
    Dragon, and they have worked out pretty well so far. Hero points are a
    points granted to PCs when the accomplish some sort of daring deed or
    "impossible" feat. It is rare that I grant them in the extreme. Maybe
    one gets awarded to a single character every other gaming session.

    Players use Hero Points sparingly because they only have so many.
    Basically, they can do whatever they like with them, but they act kind
    of like wishes, except they have no influence on ability scores and must
    have a gaming effect. For instance, a while back a player wagered his
    soul in a riddle contest with a demi-lich. If he won he would receive
    the magic item which was the goal of the adventure and if he lost his PC
    would be forever dead, his soul sucked away to suffer the torments of
    the damned for all eternity. Accepting this challenge was a pretty
    gutsy move on the part of the PC, so when the adventure was over and he
    won the riddle contest I granted him (actually the PC was a she) a Hero
    Point. A couple of weeks later that player spent that point in order to
    overturn a saving throw which may not have killed the PC, but would have
    turned her into a catfish and made death pretty inevitable because they
    were in the middle of a desert.

    So that's basically how they work. I've been thinking recently,
    however, of using Hero Points in my BR campaign. The thing is... we
    already have RP. RP, of course, can't be spent on non-domain actions,
    but they are a vaguely similar concept, and I was thinking:

    A. I might run into some conflict between these two concepts.
    B. Why not combine them somehow? I mean, HP are based symbolically upon
    the heroic actions of the PC. RP are the magical energy collected by
    the land that is the culmination of the belief, desire, natural power,
    etc. of the earth itself. Maybe there is some room for interaction?

    This is kind of an off the wall subject, but I'm curious to see if
    anyone out there has anything they would suggest on the combination of
    HP and RP.


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  2. #2
    Kenneth Gauck

    Regency and Heroism.

    Hero Points (sometimes called Courage) are most useful in game settings
    where players regularly attempt the impossible. The more regularly the
    impossible is attempted (and the DM can style a campaign so this is a
    routine feature) the more hero points a campaign needs.

    I think part of this comes down to game system. In D&D where a player can
    have fantastic ability scores, so far above the norm, the heroism is built
    in. A player with an 18 intelligence gets just these kinds of benifits when
    ever they are called upon to make intelligence based tests. D&D is on the
    far end of most game systems in that it allows for such spectacular base
    abilities, and until the advent of proficencies, largely ignored skills (or
    assigned them to level and class advancement). With the advent of
    proficencies, its possible to give skills much more of the center stage.
    Further the proficency system revised for Players Option reduces abilities
    further in favor of skills.

    New game systems are being produced which are all skills based. More than
    any, they need Hero Points, because players cannot rely on fantastic
    attributes to get them out of jams. Jessica Fletcher (of Murder She Wrote)
    can think her way out of trouble. Mental challenges are all fine and good.
    But I don't see any Murder She Wrote RPG's. Gamers want to lift one ton
    stone blocks to get out of some traps. They want their superior willpower
    to resist even the most powerful charms. They want constitution bonuses
    that allow them to shrug off poisons.

    In D&D as its written, the hero point is redundant, since its worked into
    the exceptional abilities and the progressive, level-based accumulation of
    heroic powers. In most games, a veteran character has accumulated a good
    chunk of Hero Points. In D&D, by contrast, characters have accumulated more
    HP's, lower save's, and other protections. So the heroic aspect of high
    level characters is built in, and hero points just over-rewards high level
    characters, who have more then enough going for them any way.

    Of course these comments refer to the published D&D system, and since we all
    tinker with the game for our own campaigns, your milage may vary.

    Kenneth Gauck

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