I promised I’d get back to heroes eventually, and here I am. As I mentioned in some of the comments, I’ve had a rethink and come up with an improvement on my original idea for the hero rules. It’s still nice and simple, but now integrates the different elements I wanted to include much better and gives the player an interesting headache to think about to boot.
I’m afraid you’ll have to supply your own aspirin.
As with many of the rules I like, the actual rule itself is so simple that it doesn’t look like much on a page. The real fun comes in trying it out in a game.
So what’s the rule? Well it’s a variation of something you may have seen before.
Each hero can do all the things that a soldier can do in their turn. In addition, each hero has two more stats that allow them to do other things too.
Firstly, they have a number of Hero Points. I may think of a better term, but for the moment that’ll do. This ranges from about 2-5 depending on the hero.
Secondly, they have Smarts. Basically this is the special thing that hero does: their signature trick, if you will. For some it might be hotwiring Martian tech, for others it could be inspiring nearby soldiers to action, the ability to use stealth, oratory, disguise or whatever.
During a turn a hero can spend their Hero Points on none, some or all of 3 different things:
- They can do a limited additional action (move 1 square or take a shot).
- They can use their Smarts.
- They can ignore the results of one attack (a get out of death free card). This usually happens in the opposing player’s turn.
Each use of each choice costs one Hero Points.
However, this pool of Hero Points is finite. If it tops up at all it only does so very slowly. In essence, you have to decide between doing funky stuff or saving the points to protect yourself and the balance you choose will make a big difference to your tactics and the outcome of the game. This gives you the effect of heroes being able to do cool stuff, dodge bullets and generally outlive the ordinary soldier, but at the same time this luck cannot last indefinitely. The fact that it doesn’t last also adds a time-running-out element, and time pressure is often exciting in a game.
It’s a bit like Fate, Luck or similar ideas that have been used in many games before. Few (no?) rules are ever entirely new and it’s just the twist and the combination that makes different games different. I’ve not seen this family of rules with quite this combination of uses before, but it’s generally a solid and very workable rule so I’m sure it’ll work fine. I especially like the fact that it rolls the increased survivability of a hero in with their powers, thus limiting both. I also like the fact that it gives a very simple framework within which to define any number of heroes with almost any type of ability. By the time you’ve read this far you should be able to read the stat line of every hero that ever turns up in the game.
Now I’ve checked with the Mantic guys that I can change the few bits I needed to to make this work, I’m playtesting this for the next few days and will then put up some individual hero stats for you to try as well. Sounds like we’ll need a new scenario too. Shame 😉