Friday, May 4, 2018

All Under Hero: HEROic D&D

Mystara has been a setting that fascinates me, due to the long-lingering influence of the Gazetteers on my fantasy gaming life. One of the reasons I attempted, years ago, to do a "HEROic" conversion of D&D (see the following old links), was partially due to the setting.

HEROic D&D - Part 1
HEROic D&D - Part 2
HEROic D&D - Part 3
HEROic D&D - Part 4
HEROic D&D - Part 5

Someone asked my why I would attempt such a thing, given how well HERO does fantasy, and the fact that I was obviously a HERO fan, and knew Fantasy Hero. I answered the following:

"to convert various NPCs, PCs and monsters into HERO characters and then play straight using HERO rules. 
It's not REALLY a system re-creation, but two things:
(1) primarily a way to rationalize in my head how these conversions would be done;
(2) very secondarily, a way to explore how HERO deviated from the original ruleset -- as I think I've hinted at here by how I handled stats."

Looking back, I would have to say that it was probably more of a combination of the first sentence, and #2 of the last paragraph.

To be honest, it seems to me that #2 of the last paragraph was a major part of it -- I wanted to explore why the ruleset of HERO resonated so strongly with my own mental model of how the world works, as opposed to my occasional hesitations when remembering the abstraction choices made in D&D rules (like the abstract Armor Class approach, which combines difficulty in hitting someone with the ability to penetrate armor / do damage).

At the same time, I also felt that Mystara had hidden depths that I could best express in HERO system (which I think echoes in my own explorations of magic systems elsewhere on this blog). I wanted to have a depth and breadth of fighting builds for characters, and a way to express how different magical / mystical systems could be realized in the world -- and why those differences matter when recognized by players.

That being the case, I'm returning to this project with a different perspective, perhaps to ground my explorations more. I'm going to begin building components for the Mystara / Enigmundia world in HERO to see where they bring me in terms of the ideas for the setting.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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