Hero Points and Improvement Rolls

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PhilHibbs
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Hero Points and Improvement Rolls

Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:10 pm

It is a bit odd that there are these two forms of currency for character advancement. There's also the problem that players who spend their Hero Points doing heroic things are hurting their chances of buying heroic abilities.

So, should Heroic Abilities be purchased with Hero Points? What should the exchange rate be?

Maybe the second problem could be addressed by having a "spent" pool of HPs that are used to buy Heroic Abilities. This would encourage players to spend them. In order not to speed up the acquisition of Heroic Abilities, maybe only Hero Points that are spent unsuccessfully should go into the pool, as a kind of consolation prize.
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Postby Halbard » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:53 pm

Haven't got to the piont that my players have bought any heroic abillities.

I am trying to keep to the spirit of old StarWars rpg (dice 6 game way back), where if you used a force point (or in MRQ hero point) at a non heroic moment, that point would be lost, if on the other hand it was used in a truely heroic manner you would get it back later, and if it was used in THE heroic moment (the turning point of a adventure that saves the day/week/season), you would get it back with a bonus.

So if they are only useing their HP to save their sorry hides after some foolishness, they would lose it, but to use it to save somebody else or for other unselfish actions would be sure to get int back.
It will at least increase their willingness to use the HP for heroic actions, and their willingness to perform said heroic actions (yeah, duho as if they reaaly needed more stimulation to that effect).

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Postby Vortigern » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:31 pm

What about not-so-nice or 'evil' characters?

I always found that to be something a flaw to the old WEG Star Wars conception of Force Points and awarding them for 'Heroism'. You build-in moral slant to the game. Which, I suppose, some people can enjoy and approve of... yet for me that was always a detracting element from a game I otherwise enjoyed.

In reviewing the guidelines for Hero Points I think I would simply call 'Fate Points' or some such in my games to move people's thinking away from the 'Hero-centric' thinking. Instead I would put the emphasis on the "or which significantly adds to the atmosphere or progression of the story" bit about when to award points. At the conclusion of a scenario and/or for good roleplaying and contribution to story and atmosphere.

I don't think Hero Points should be tied in other ways, like Heroic Abilities, to character advancement. If a thing can be studied and learned, it can be studied and learned with Improvement Rolls like any other 'skill' IMO. I'd rather see such abilities have IR costs, and Hero Points be solely kept around for 'saving the bacon' as it were, and pushing story/plot modification. As long as they are something that you can 'buy' things with as long as you don't spend them, people will hold on to them to save them up and buy things.
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Postby Redcrow » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:15 am

In Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 2e there are Fate/Fortune Points which are essentially the same pool of points. You can 'spend' a Fortune Point to gain minor in-game effects or permanently 'burn' a Fate Point in order to gain a more substantial in-game effect. Points 'spent' are replenished typically at the beginning of the next session or adventure (or GM whim) and points 'burned' are gone permanently.

Fate/Fortune Points are generally only earned if the party is able to avert some catastrophe from happening had it not been for their intervention.

This is easily adapted to MRQ2/Legends Hero Points. If a player wants a minor effect, they can 'spend' a Hero Point to reroll a failed test and the point spent will replenish at the beginning of the next adventure. If a player wants a major effect, they can 'burn' a Hero Point to alter a single die roll one step (i.e. from failure to success, from success to critical success, etc.) but then the point is gone permanently.

This way players can still spend them on minor effects and save them up to purchase Heroic Abilities later and also burn them in dire circumstances if need be.
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Postby DamonJynx » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:01 am

Personally, I don't have a problem with the RAW. The exception being that I think you should only be able to "spend" 1HP per combat to save your behind. This isn't explicitly stated in the rules but I don't think it's unreasonable.
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Postby kurgan84 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:47 am

Redcrow wrote:In Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 2e there are Fate/Fortune Points which are essentially the same pool of points. You can 'spend' a Fortune Point to gain minor in-game effects or permanently 'burn' a Fate Point in order to gain a more substantial in-game effect. Points 'spent' are replenished typically at the beginning of the next session or adventure (or GM whim) and points 'burned' are gone permanently.

Fate/Fortune Points are generally only earned if the party is able to avert some catastrophe from happening had it not been for their intervention.

This is easily adapted to MRQ2/Legends Hero Points. If a player wants a minor effect, they can 'spend' a Hero Point to reroll a failed test and the point spent will replenish at the beginning of the next adventure. If a player wants a major effect, they can 'burn' a Hero Point to alter a single die roll one step (i.e. from failure to success, from success to critical success, etc.) but then the point is gone permanently.

This way players can still spend them on minor effects and save them up to purchase Heroic Abilities later and also burn them in dire circumstances if need be.
It's exactly how i play Hero Points !
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:20 am

Vortigern wrote:If a thing can be studied and learned, it can be studied and learned with Improvement Rolls like any other 'skill' IMO.
I think the intention is that Heroic Abilities can't just be learned like other skills. You can improve your skills by doing a regular job or by studying dusty scrolls in an ivory tower, but to gain a Heroic Ability you have to actually do heroic things. If my players just travel around doing moderately interesting things, they get IRs but they don't get Hero Points. When they killed a dragon, then they all got one each. When they rescued captives from the slaver king in Mondoro, they gained Hero Points.
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Postby soltakss » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:23 pm

We use Hero Points instead of Improvement Points, in the same way as HeroQuest does, which works well. I don't give them out every session, normally every 3 or 4 sessions, but I give 1D6+6 on a typical session. However, at the start of each session, everyone gets a single Hero Point, just for being there.

I've got no problem with butying Legendary Abilities with Hero Points, it just means that the players must manage their resources well. I don't like the idea of simply getting an ability just becuase you qualify for it, though, they must be earned or quested for.
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Postby DamonJynx » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:48 pm

soltakss wrote:I don't like the idea of simply getting an ability just becuase you qualify for it, though, they must be earned or quested for.
Couldn't agree more. One of the guys in my group qualified early to rise in rank in his cult, but I said no, you have to finish your mission first. It's the same principle with Heroic Abilities; you not only have to earn them, but find a Legend (maybe in the "new game" they can be called Legendary Abilities?) to teach it to you and it should probably take about 1 week per HP cost. Otherwise they're just like feats in D&D 3.x.
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Postby Mixster » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:07 pm

DamonJynx wrote:
soltakss wrote:I don't like the idea of simply getting an ability just becuase you qualify for it, though, they must be earned or quested for.
Couldn't agree more. One of the guys in my group qualified early to rise in rank in his cult, but I said no, you have to finish your mission first. It's the same principle with Heroic Abilities; you not only have to earn them, but find a Legend (maybe in the "new game" they can be called Legendary Abilities?) to teach it to you and it should probably take about 1 week per HP cost. Otherwise they're just like feats in D&D 3.x.
But doesn't this bog down the game when one player has to spend 10 weeks in a town and everybody else would rather go adventuring in that time?

I really don't like the notion of the two currencies either. I would much prefer if you could just purchase heroic abilities for twice their HP cost in IRs.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:43 pm

Mixster wrote:But doesn't this bog down the game when one player has to spend 10 weeks in a town and everybody else would rather go adventuring in that time?
It's not like it takes 10 game sessions to cover those 10 weeks. If the other players insist that their characters want to do something in that time, then you just need a simple downtime system - I think there's some information on how much you can earn doing a job, or they could do a bit of training if they have the resources (cash, contacts, favours) to do that. Otherwise, just say "OK, 10 weeks later, John's character has his Heroic Ability, and the rest of you have <pick a number, e.g. 3> IRs to spend".
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Postby Vortigern » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:53 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:
Vortigern wrote:If a thing can be studied and learned, it can be studied and learned with Improvement Rolls like any other 'skill' IMO.
I think the intention is that Heroic Abilities can't just be learned like other skills. You can improve your skills by doing a regular job or by studying dusty scrolls in an ivory tower, but to gain a Heroic Ability you have to actually do heroic things. If my players just travel around doing moderately interesting things, they get IRs but they don't get Hero Points. When they killed a dragon, then they all got one each. When they rescued captives from the slaver king in Mondoro, they gained Hero Points.
I suppose that I just don't like the idea of such things. Unless you are talking about doing a quest for a diety or some such to be 'granted' an ability... then, in my view you are 'learning' something. And that doesn't take a 'hero' to do it.

In fact you can be despicable, and be of 'heroic' caliber. You don't have to be a 'heroic' in order to advance as a character IMO. Or... you shouldn't.
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Postby Mixster » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:09 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:
Mixster wrote:But doesn't this bog down the game when one player has to spend 10 weeks in a town and everybody else would rather go adventuring in that time?
It's not like it takes 10 game sessions to cover those 10 weeks. If the other players insist that their characters want to do something in that time, then you just need a simple downtime system - I think there's some information on how much you can earn doing a job, or they could do a bit of training if they have the resources (cash, contacts, favours) to do that. Otherwise, just say "OK, 10 weeks later, John's character has his Heroic Ability, and the rest of you have <pick a number, e.g. 3> IRs to spend".
But then, isn't that time cost just a bit silly and arbitrary? It has no real effect on the game, except everybody else gets something. If the GM just says, ok we fast forward 10 weeks so John can get his heroic ability. Doesn't that make it a non-cost since nobody loses anything from John getting his heroic ability? Then why require the time commitment at all?
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:16 pm

Mixster wrote:But then, isn't that time cost just a bit silly and arbitrary? It has no real effect on the game, except everybody else gets something.
The time to learn was just one of the requirements that DamonJynx suggested.
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Postby DamonJynx » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:36 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:
Mixster wrote:But then, isn't that time cost just a bit silly and arbitrary? It has no real effect on the game, except everybody else gets something.
The time to learn was just one of the requirements that DamonJynx suggested.
Absolutely correct, it was a suggestion.

However, forced downtime for X weeks accomplishes a couple of things if you don't hand wave it away:
  • PC's are tied to a locale
    They become much easier to locate (for their enemies - and I'm sure the PC's will have some!
    It gives them time to "shop"
    They get to form relationships with people
    Reduces the amount of cash they have - paying for upkeep
    Adventures have a way of finding those with great destinies, regardless of locale.
    As Phil mentioned, they can also train or learn new skills
    And so on. I could probably think of more stuff had I the time.
Vortigen wrote:And that doesn't take a 'hero' to do it.

In fact you can be despicable, and be of 'heroic' caliber. You don't have to be a 'heroic' in order to advance as a character IMO. Or... you shouldn't.
Mate, I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're getting caught up in the semantics. Hero Points and Heroic Abilities are labels, change them to suit yourself. Call them Villain Points if you want, or in keeping with my PP, Legend Points - whatever. Whenever someone does something that progress' the story in a meaningful way or roleplays really well or does whatever the hell you want to earn an X Point, give'em one.

These abilities can be learned, but finding teachers is very difficult which is why a lot are offered as part of cult membership. You can find mentors without cult aid, but it is difficult and most PC's wouldn't know about these abilities otherwise. Unless they witnessed someone performing them.
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Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:44 pm

DamonJynx wrote:
Vortigen wrote:In fact you can be despicable, and be of 'heroic' caliber. You don't have to be a 'heroic' in order to advance as a character IMO. Or... you shouldn't.
...I think you're getting caught up in the semantics.
Yes, "Heroic" doesn't necessarily mean "good guy".
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Postby Redcrow » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:33 pm

I like the term "Legendary Ability" and hope they make that change with the rebranding.
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Postby DamonJynx » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:38 am

Redcrow wrote:I like the term "Legendary Ability" and hope they make that change with the rebranding.
It does fit, doesn't it? Especially if Legend is the status to which PC's aspire. That's one of the ways I'd be integrating the name into the core system.
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Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:03 am

DamonJynx wrote:
Redcrow wrote:I like the term "Legendary Ability" and hope they make that change with the rebranding.
It does fit, doesn't it? Especially if Legend is the status to which PC's aspire. That's one of the ways I'd be integrating the name into the core system.
Yup. And maybe change "Hero points" to "Fate points".
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Postby Vagni » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:07 am

Very interesting thread with some great ideas. :D

I may ponder some of these a little...
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