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Author Topic: The Hero Scale....?  (Read 5994 times)
Ian O'Rourke
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Posts: 273


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« on: April 23, 2002, 10:23:12 AM »

Okay, so Hero Wars allows you to create characters at various power 'levels' (for want of a better word), but in order to get a better grip on it what sort of master levels and the like would the following characters have:

Legolas/Aragorn
Conan

And so on - are they the hero level, or one step above it. I suppose I'm having trouble mapping such heroic figures to the system because I find it hard to imagine the odds, presentation of those stats in actual play.
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Ian O'Rourke
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2002, 12:20:53 PM »

I wouldn't smash Leogolas and Aragorn together, as I see them as very different.

Legolas is a ME elf. Therefore he gets a free level of mastery in just about anything he wants*. So I'd say he's 3M in bow. One for heroic, one for main character, and one for elf.

Aragorn is only 2M then in sword, and whatnot. But he's the king. Which means he has 2 and 3M relationships (surrounding his destiny) for boosting things. Which is why he kicks @$$ and it's more fun. Narsil gives another M or so boost when broken, 2 when reforged.

Isuldur looked similar but has about double all these stats.

Boromir is similar in power to Aragorn, just with different relationships. Might have the third M as the senior butt-kicker of a kingdom. Everybody gets a big boost from the horn.

Conan, OTOH, just gets 3M (maybe 4) for pure, unadulterated smacking things around. He also gets a 2M for his intercultural abilities. While no diplomat, he knows more languages and customs than anybody else, and he uses this knowledge to great effect. What everyone forgets about Conan is that his prowess comes not only from great athleticism and skill, but from being a brilliant observationalist. BTW, given the gritty setting, only sorcerers have more Masteries than Conan, and not by much if at all (see Thoth-Amon).

Other Middle Earth Character Notes

*He's a yungun, less than 200?, otherwise he'd get more Masteries.

Like Elrond who probably has like six in healing magic, and his best buddy Glorfindel (missing from the film version) who has about 9 M in slaying anything evil when fully jacked up.

And Galadriel who'd have about eight in general magic, and an extra six for the Girtle of Melian when protecting Lothlorien, and probably four more for her ring if she chose to use it.

Of course this compares favorably to Sauron's twelve M of sorcery, but not if he had gotten the extra twelve M from getting the One Ring back. In combat he boosts with sorcery, and Grond (the mace, not the battering ram named for it) gives him an extra, oh, 3M. Yes, fully ready to kick hiney at he end of the second age, he's around 30M. Don't try this at home. Or rather have some real heroes by your side, and expect some to not return home.

The wraiths range in power from 3M to 8M (!) for the witch king going full tilt on a bad day. Oh, and the WK cannot be killed by a man, period.

Gandalf the Grey 7M sorcery. Spoiler alert! He's a demigod, not human (as is Sauron). He doesn't dare at this level to use his extra 4 masteries for his ring.

Sauruman the White, 8M sorcery. Lots of boost from Sauron after he gets corrupt (hence the reason for his corruption).

Gandalf the White, 10 M sorcery. Still no match for Sauron, toe to toe.

Tom Bombadil, 12 M to control his reality but fading, and only in his woods.

Anyhow, notice how any of the big socerers with the one ring and it's eight extra Masteries (12 for Sauron only) seems to be able to kick Sauron's behind? Problem is that it also confers this huge relationship with Sauron that he can use against you. Only Galadriel can beat it, but then only by becoming what she hates.

Gimli is like any other dwarf, with his 2M in fightin, and 3M in being tough. But them dwarves get really big boosts from things they hate. Like goblins and trolls defiling a sacred burial chamber. The bigger the seeth, the bigger the boost. The Big Whack (Durin's Axe) adds seven, count em, seven, Masteries if you can find it.

Average goblin, 18 for being tough bastards. No masteries, usualy, tho as they don't last long enough. The ones that do can go wayyyy up, however. Remember, they're still immortal elves, and the tough ones live a loooong time. The King of GoblinGate, ferinstance probably gets about 5M or so in crushing stuff. For real.

Uruk-Hai, Sauron's special breed of Half-Orcs just have less weaknesses.

Trolls are tough bastids. They range from your average forest trolls with 2M or so, to cave trolls with 3 to possibly 4M in hurting things. And these are just averages. All get a couple of Masteries to shunt damage. Trained, they can go way up. Olog-Hai, fer instance are going to get you 5M each or more. Yikes! And they would be much worse but that they are dumb. Wed one with a human, and you get an abomination. Gothmog, Sauron's battle captain comes in at a whalloping 7M or so for slaying. More when he's really mad. Only first age elves, or batllions of men, stand a chance against this sort of firepower.  

That's how I get the statistical breakdown. Not at all meant to be accurate, you could probably scale things down a bit. And probably too Simmy. But just meant to give relative levels of power.

Mike
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Ian O'Rourke
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2002, 02:06:52 PM »

That was very interesting - though you lost me with some of the ME stuff later on :)

The differences between the central fellowship were very interesting, specifically the concept that a character may lower ratings in certain actual abilities - but compensated for by ratings in relationships, destinies and the like. Interesting indeed. I realise this is the point of Hero Wars, but I sometimes don't see it through far enough.

And if I'm not pushing the issue, then the players, who are less familiar (though I think they will transfer with minimum fuss) are not going to instantly grasp it.

Very interesting indeed.

A few questions do arise though - how do you begin even to get a feel for how you've guessed at those values? I realise a lot of it comes from actual play, but initially some of it must be imparted by the rulebook and I don't overly see it? The use of 3M, where does that come from?

Also, since I'd be using Hero Wars sans Glorantha, I was wondering what effects a less magic soaked setting would have on the system - as the system assumes a certain amount of augmentation due to magical feats and the like? What if these cannot be assumed for the most part and the only augmentations come from relationships, etc?

Also, character creation without set templates of culture, profession and religion - I want to use the description method, which should be possible, but I'd not have the three items above to instantly get keyword lists from. They'd all have to be made up from the description or on the spot decisions on what the character should have?

I realised I've just changed the thread :)

As an aside I'm reading the Conan stories now, the originals, though they are in chronigical order (of Conan's life) rather than publication order. Good stuff.
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Ian O'Rourke
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Jonas
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2002, 03:02:52 AM »

Ian,

in a less magical environment, I'd say scrap the rule about "only one mundane augment". In fact, I'd scrap it in any case. :-)

Chargen without keywords: one way is to include very 'broad' skills in the narrative. Something like "Hunting" can subsume a lot of the narrower abilities listed under the Hunter keyword. Of course, this creates a problem of balance between narrow and broad abilities, something discussed ad infinitum on the hw-rules mailing list. But it's only a problem if you give two hoots about 'balance'...
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2002, 08:37:00 AM »

First, what Jonas said. Where have you been all our lives. That was perfect.
Quote from: Ian O'Rourke
That was very interesting - though you lost me with some of the ME stuff later on :)

The differences between the central fellowship were very interesting, specifically the concept that a character may lower ratings in certain actual abilities - but compensated for by ratings in relationships, destinies and the like. Interesting indeed. I realise this is the point of Hero Wars, but I sometimes don't see it through far enough.

And if I'm not pushing the issue, then the players, who are less familiar (though I think they will transfer with minimum fuss) are not going to instantly grasp it.

So push the issue. Have them write up their descriptions, and then help them select the appropriate keywords from it. And use stuff like Jonas pointed out. If they don't include stuff like that in the description, tell em to do it again.

Quote

A few questions do arise though - how do you begin even to get a feel for how you've guessed at those values? I realise a lot of it comes from actual play, but initially some of it must be imparted by the rulebook and I don't overly see it? The use of 3M, where does that come from?

I've never played HW. Oops, who said that? OK, I'm coming clean. Never actually played. Which is why my ratings are all off, above. In point of fact, instead of masteries, items usually give you edges, and other bonuses, etc. My point was not to be accurate, but to show relative ratings, and how to build one concept versus another. In your game, what will matter is not so much what level players are at, but where they are relative to other characters.

That said, keep the inflation way down. I am always impressed with ME characters, but they could be rated way lower and still work just fine. As I rated them, there would never be any competition as I have everyone a quantum leap more powerful thanthe last guy. The 4M notation meant 4 masteries. Not having the convenient "W" looking rune for masteries, I just use an "M" instead. For a good guide to accurate character creation, I believe that there is a table that speaks to level of heroism in the rulebook. Work from that.

Quote

Also, since I'd be using Hero Wars sans Glorantha, I was wondering what effects a less magic soaked setting would have on the system - as the system assumes a certain amount of augmentation due to magical feats and the like? What if these cannot be assumed for the most part and the only augmentations come from relationships, etc?

It'll work. See Jonas' post. If the charactes don't have em, then their opponents won't either. All balances. Just so long as all the PCs have about the same opportunities during Chargen.

Mike
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Ian Cooper
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2002, 08:45:04 AM »

Quote from: Ian O'Rourke
I suppose I'm having trouble mapping such heroic figures to the system because I find it hard to imagine the odds, presentation of those stats in actual play.


Hopefully you won't be upset if I don't guess the masteries for the characters but AFAIK the proposed mastery scale is something like:

W - journeyman/professional
W2 - among the best in the clan/town/master crafstmen
W3 - among the best in the tribe/city/region
W4 - among the best in the country/reknowned
W5 - among the best in the world/household name

As a general rule of thumb I find that a mastery advantage means you ought  to win, +10 means you might. Because players have hero points to bump with, I find that it can take a mastery advantage opponent to make them sweat a bit.

Hope that helps,

Ian Cooper
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2002, 11:10:33 AM »

Yeah, that's the scale I was talking about, thanks Ian C. It seems to me that this scale is for the magical realm of Glorantha, however. In a less magical world (even Middle Earth counts) I'd scale back some. There's plenty of fine grain in there. Which is why I put Conan at a 4W. He's definitely the best, but he lives in a very gritty human world where 4W should do the trick.

To make my Middle Earth predicitons match that scale, I'd have to bump up the smaller ratings a bit, and lower the higher ones a lot (replacing a lot of Masteries with edges and the like). Which sounds about right.

Using such a scale should keep everything in perspective. Try starting your players out with some higher stats than HW suggests, an occasional W2 or more W. If you want to get straight into epic stuff.

Mike
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