Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fantasy Hero Complete is released

Fantasy Hero Complete by Hero Game has been released. The HERO system is a generic RPG that powers several RPGs like Fantasy Heroes, Star Hero, and of course Champions one of the earliest and best super hero RPGs out there. Ever since 5th edition it was packaged as a Hero System corebook and a series of genre books. Similar to how  GURPS is packaged.

However several years ago Steven Long realized that this model was no long viable for promoting and selling of the various HERO System games. He decided to listen to his fans and release Champions Complete. Champions Complete is the same game as the Hero 6th edition Core books plus the old Champions genre book however it is packaged as a complete ready to run RPGs. Now Fantasy Hero's has gotten the same treatment.

Fantasy Hero was the first RPG after ADnD 1st edition that became my primary fantasy RPG. 1st edition Fantasy Hero didn't work out because it was too much of Champion in it but this was fixed in subsequent editions. However by that time I moved onto GURPS. I still use Hero System anytime I run a superhero campaign.

Before Steven Long and Hero Games decided to release Champions Complete (and now Fantasy Hero Complete) I advocated that Steve Jackson Games should do a complete ready to run RPG based on popular genres like Fantasy, Science -Fiction, and Horror. Then my example of an alternative was how Chaosium handled Basic Roleplaying. Now I have the Hero Games Complete series to point too.

The RPG market it too small for a RPG product line to be solely packaged as a toolkit. Forcing players and referees to design not only the campaign but the very game itself drastically limits the audience for a system. The answer isn't either or. Both Chaosium and later Evil Hat cleaned up and exposed their core mechanics. Releasing
a tool kit core book alongside their standalone offerings. Of the major Generic Systems GURPS stands alone in not offering one book that a gamer can buy and just start playing a genre to experience the system.

1 comment:

Matt Celis said...

And it's still got too much work up front for me to ever bother with it. I used to enjoy Champions but never could stand all that front loaded work before a game can even start. Not saying it's a bad system. Just requires a certain willingness to spend time and effort before any gaming can start and I don't have the time anymore.