Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fantasy Hero -- a different philosophy from OSR

In comparison with the more abstract combat of classic D&D, Fantasy Hero (based on its rules lineage of Champions and the Hero System) is much more tactically complex. But it also does give more tactical options in combat, options that would be eerily familiar to D&D 3E aficionados.

What I do like about the current (Hero 6th Edition) version is that there's a clear dedication to giving a taste of not only the tropes and elements of the genre -- there are quotes from the many varied novels and short stories and other source material that serve to illuminate each of them.

Like prior versions, though, it provides options for running fantasy games: racial templates, class templates, varied magical systems, equipment lists, martial arts (weapons and barehanded), genre and subgenre definitions, and so on.

In short, a gold mine of tools to put together your own campaign -- whatever your chosen ruleset.

Of course, the Hero System is one of my favorite systems, because it taught me (someone who didn't quite understand the concept of game balance/imbalance early on in my gaming career) how to evaluate what trade-offs are done between advantages, disadvantages, abilities, penalties and so on.

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