What makes a hero?
A hero is one of those people who always (well nearly always) manage to overcome the odds stacked against them to defeat the evil warlords. How do they manage this, who or what is looking over them? Well who or what we may not always know, what we do know is that they are more skilled than the proles, they (generally) manage to get in that vital killing blow or dive behind a table for cover from the ball of fire.
The problem is how to model this in a game. We need some way that is simple to implement yet comprehensive enough to allow the heroes to become proficient in their skills beyond the norm, to escape perilous situations by the luck of the gods and produce exceptional feats of prowess when needed. This is modelled by Hero Points (HP), these can be used for increasing skills, avoiding dangerous situations and to increase the chance of performing those exceptionally heroic feats.
Hero Points are one shot affairs that may be used during combat to pull off that spectacular dodge, to close their mind to the powerful sleep spell or concentrate their mind to allow more power to flow into their own magics.
Gaining Hero Points
At the end of each adventure session 1 hero point is awarded unless nothing heroic happened e.g. you just sat around town waiting for a barbarian to heal). HP are refilled at the end of an edventure.
As an incentive any act which is deemed to be especially exciting, brave or just looks good, has a chance of gaining an extra point immediately. Thus spending hero points is liable to gain you more points, if you never use them you don't perform those heroic acts and thus do not learn what you are capable of.
For a fighter this could be a leap from balcony to chandelier whereas for a wizard it would be the exceptional timing of a spell to cause the opponents to think again. Each action may only gain a HP once for any given character, after the first chandelier leap subsequent attempts are not as spectacular.
Characters have a maximum of 5 HPs.
In general you may use multiple Hero Points with the notable exception being for skill attempts. In reality only damage reduction and increasing defence can benefit from this.
There are three conditions to the use of HP:
- Hero points can normally only affect the character who used them.
- Only one may be used per skill attempt.
- They may not be used if the base skill attempt was bodged.
If a HP is used on a skill attempt and the roll still fails the HP is not used (it's not heroic if you fail to do something)
Saving throws are skill attempts so the same notes apply.
Hero points cannot be used to affect a bodge roll (double 1) after the roll, regardless of whether it is a complete or partial bodge (3), however if using a HP and all ones are rolled the result is still a bodge but the HP is not used (it's not heroic to fumble).
If an HP is used for/against an ongoing effect then the HP only count's towards the roll for the round in which it was used.
Reduce damage by half with a minimum of -5. This reduces both stamina and wound point damage. This applies to a whole attack set from a single creature, thus a claw, claw, bite routine would have all damage halved. When rounding the damage down the total damage taken should be half the grand total. If this requires rounding up one strike the last strike is rounded up. Armour absorbtion is after the reduction.
For 1 round add 2 to your defence.
This gives the character an effective iniative of zero for that round so they always get iniative.
Gain a temporary power point.
Hero points may be used to alter the course of the plot. Think of an idea and ask how many hero points it would take.
A hero point may be used to perform 2 actions in a round performing both at full skill level, not suffering the normal -3 penalty.
Drama cards are one shot effects (nicked from a fan improvement to 5E) that are awarded for performing actions that play to your negative traits and will cause problems to your
Cards are divided into copper, silver, gold and platinum levels.
Each negaitve play will be rewarded with a random copper card.
Cards may be upgraded by trading two in for the next level. Of course you know the effects of the ones you have but teh next level one will be random.
Not that not all the cards shown are appropriate to this campaign.
Death - Well maybe not
Death comes to heros, just not very often. If a character fails a save and will certainly die (or something similar) they may use as many hero points as they wish but only after the event, thus all the HPs each act as an additional d4 to the roll.