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Hero Points, or Hero Soul, the new Heroquesting mechanic


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36 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Does Prince Philip have a Hero Soul? (there's a tribe in Vanuatu where he's worshipped).

Does Trump have a Hero Soul? (There was(?) a guy in India who worshipped him...)

 

And what do they get in return?

I think you have to establish your own presence on the other side first. Worship just strengthens what you already have, it doesn't make it in the first place.

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In the latest episode of The White Bull Campaign (released last Saturday, so there might be a new one now) is all about the rewards from Heroquesting. The gist is that you spend POW and gain Hero

Another one worth noting is player uncertainty about if the fetch's POW adds to adventurer POW for just magic defense, or both defense and attack. That error's relevant because of how the Hero Soul wa

And while these spell-like abilities may be similar/same as cult Rune spells, they are outside of any specific cult - they are related to your heroquest.  The challenge is finding a place where folk c

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Worship without a hitherto real entity may still establish a tangible power in the Otherworld. Avanapdur in the East is one such example, Jogrampur in Umathela another.

The concept of living people embodying a deity may be strange for people raised in the western, Christian tradition, but that's just a minority of our planet's population.

Such a divinity needn't be benevolent, btw.

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Credit where credit is due.  The Jonstown Compendium "Secrets of HeroQuesting" does have the Hero Soul in it (p. 65) along with some nice (but loose) mechanics for it. 

Since my crew are gearing up for their first heroquest (the Eleven Lights!) I'm busy reviewing published options and weighing how I want to handle the situation.  It will be my first GM'd heroquest in decades, and since there is a new edition, and totally new players this is an important precedent.  (None of them will even be aware that there aren't official rules for this. They think from my stack of books that RQ has rules and lore for every possible situation). 

Right now I am strongly leaning towards the awakened Hero Soul mechanic from the Secrets of HeroQuesting, with a bonus for each player based on their role, and if they can survive the experience.  This would be in addition to the point of the Heroquest in the first place.   My general philosophy is that you can't do these sorts of things and remain unchanged.  You are either strengthened.....or lessened.

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I just watched the episode, and one thing I found confusing (in the context of what I thought it would actually be) is that Jeff seemed to be offering up abilities for individual POW sacrifice - unlike with Rune Points, where you sacrifice your POW to be able to use on any spell you have selected.

Eg, Garan spent 6 POW on his Hero Soul, and it was basically said that he would have 3 uses of a certain spell (at 2 HPs each)... rather than giving up 6 POW to have - Spell A, Spell B, etc...

Kulbrick did something similar - spent 4HP to get only 1 spell...

Very much like earlier RQ, and I hope this changes...

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

is that Jeff seemed to be offering up abilities for individual POW sacrifice - unlike with Rune Points, where you sacrifice your POW to be able to use on any spell you have selected.

I did not think that was the case, though possible I misheard.  My thought was that each of the characters only ended up choosing one spell even though they could have chosen a couple.  But again, might have missed something.

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2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

I just watched the episode, and one thing I found confusing (in the context of what I thought it would actually be) is that Jeff seemed to be offering up abilities for individual POW sacrifice - unlike with Rune Points, where you sacrifice your POW to be able to use on any spell you have selected.

Eg, Garan spent 6 POW on his Hero Soul, and it was basically said that he would have 3 uses of a certain spell (at 2 HPs each)... rather than giving up 6 POW to have - Spell A, Spell B, etc...

Kulbrick did something similar - spent 4HP to get only 1 spell...

Very much like earlier RQ, and I hope this changes...

There was some inconsistency that I noticed, yes. When he was talking to one of the players - Claudia, I think - who wanted to spend a few points, he said that she could therefore take both spells. That is consistent with the "for each RP you gain, you can learn a new spell" in RQG. However he didn't tell Richard that Garan could take both spells, even though he had spent 6 points. Maybe Garan wasn't interested in learning the "summon specific spirit" spell, so his 6 points did indeed just give him three uses of the 2-point spell. I put that down to just loose language in the session, and it not occurring to Jeff to point that out to everyone individually. They do make a fair few very minor mistakes, like 1D6-1 for skill experience instead of 1D6, shamans getting +20 on POW gain rolls, strike ranks are often out, etc. I usually point these out, not to be an arse (well, partly to be an arse, see my profile pic) but so that people watching get to know the real rule and that these drifts don't spread unnecessarily. And also, I think it's good to see that even the house campaign plays it loose with the rules, it really doesn't matter if you're a few points out here or there, that's not the point of the game. Despite my occasional penchant for munchkinnery...

Personally I would say that you can only get one power from a heroquest. I came up with my own system for MRQ2, you build up a store of points by doing heroic stuff on a hero quest, and you spend those points on powers at the end. If you spend it on one power or item, you get more bang for your buck than if you split it among more than one. It just made sense to me, and was consistent with KoDP, that you bring back one thing. You might be asked at the end of a KoDP quest "Which item do you look at first", and that one ends up being magical, and the others are junk.

Also, in KoDP, you can heroquest to make a community stronger, you can give the quest reward to the community rather than taking it for yourself. I wonder if that will make it into the system.

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23 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Personally I would say that you can only get one power from a heroquest.

I've varied this in my HQG game based on length of the quest and what abilities they invoked/really succeeded on, and would do similar in RQG heroquests.  But most likely I'd give them a choice of one power between a couple options (much as what Jeff did) as I think that keeps it from ramping up too much power too quickly and makes the players think about what was most important to their characters.  Kulbrast had the greatest choice (pick from any Trickster rune spell), and I liked that he chose Group Laughter.

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Just now, jajagappa said:

... and I liked that he chose Group Laughter.

Did you see my comment on the video?

Quote

Can Kulbrast use regular RP to stack Extension with his Group Laughter? Because you know what’s funnier than everyone laughing uncontrollably? Everyone laughing uncontrollably for an entire year. Of course that ties up all the RP for all that time, but it’s worth it. Always worth it. They will get someone to dismiss it anyway...

 

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Another thought that occurs to me, there is no relationship between what the adventurers achieved, and the magnitude of the reward. Other than the selection of spells, "You did this, and that, so you can choose this spell, and that spell", the magnitude of the reward seems to be "How much POW do you want to spend".

Also the mechanism that we have seen doesn't cover coming back with a magical item or creature. "I brought back The Purple Cow, whose milk tastes of Parma Violets!" How do you express that in Hero Soul POW?

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10 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

I just watched the episode, and one thing I found confusing (in the context of what I thought it would actually be) is that Jeff seemed to be offering up abilities for individual POW sacrifice - unlike with Rune Points, where you sacrifice your POW to be able to use on any spell you have selected.

Not quite.... when you sacrifice a point of POW to Orlanth, you get to get 1 new Rune Point and 1 new Rune spell. Then you can spend the Rune Point on any spell you obtained from Orlanth. That is, any spell you acquired with your previous POW sacrifices to Orlanth. If you have sacrificed POW to Issaries, you have a separate Rune Point pool to spend on whatever spells you got there. These are magic points you can spend to do stuff Orlanth or Issaries did.

I imagine the Hero Soul has just another magic point pool dedicated to what you did in the God Plane. When you sacrifice POW to get Hero Soul points, they go in a pool dedicated to you, the same as a Rune Point would go to a pool dedicated to Orlanth or Issaries or whoever. And then you can spend these points only to cast spells from that deity ("you" being another deity in that sense).

Because the players are doing their first sacrifice, they don't have any pre-existing pool of magic points, and they don't have any pre-existing list of spells. They get their first Hero Soul pool point and spell. That's why, in that case, the points you get are only for the one spell you get. It would be the same with Rune Magic if there wasn't a list of "common spells". If the players do another heroquest, I imagine they'll be able to grow their Hero magic pool, and then they can use whatever points they have to cast any of the spells in that pool.

Of course this is all conjecture on my part but if this ends up working like this, then I really like it because we get new mechanics that build upon existing mechanics. If the Hero Soul works like that, there is virtually no new rule actually introduced. Well, except maybe some table or something to figure out how you regain your Hero Soul points through being worshipped. But anyway, I'm all for reusable mechanics.

 

4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Another thought that occurs to me, there is no relationship between what the adventurers achieved, and the magnitude of the reward. Other than the selection of spells, "You did this, and that, so you can choose this spell, and that spell", the magnitude of the reward seems to be "How much POW do you want to spend".

Yeah I kind of agree -- your only reward is the "opportunity" to spend POW. And if you did something awesome, you may get the "opportunity" to get a more expensive spell or ability, which means potentially having to sacrifice more POW (at least until your pool gets big enough). Maybe a better way to handle it would be that the cost is fixed (everybody sacrifices 1 POW) but depending on your exploits, that maps to 1 or 2 or 3 ability points or something.

Edited by lordabdul
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13 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

There was some inconsistency that I noticed, yes. When he was talking to one of the players - Claudia, I think - who wanted to spend a few points, he said that she could therefore take both spells. That is consistent with the "for each RP you gain, you can learn a new spell" in RQG. However he didn't tell Richard that Garan could take both spells, even though he had spent 6 points

mmm I don't see the inconsistency there .

You can sacrifice power to get RP without learning spell (for example you can continue to raise your rune pool when you know all the available spells, that doesn't mean there is no spell elsewhere).

there is no reason to sacrifice RP without learning secret (aka rune spell) when there is available (but after all, if someone wants, why not ).  So yes for each RP you gain, you can learn a new spell. But you don't have to.

Quote

For each point of POW sacrificed, the adventurer acquires the right to cast an additional cult special Rune magic spell (p314)

 you must sacrifice at least 1 POW to learn something new. But a right is not an obligation

 

9 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Also the mechanism that we have seen doesn't cover coming back with a magical item or creature. "I brought back The Purple Cow, whose milk tastes of Parma Violets!" How do you express that in Hero Soul POW?

they brought back Jar-eel , didn't they ? 😛 (I include all participants, like Kallyr and friends)

But it is a good point, what could be the power of an item/creature you get from your quest. Should it based on pow sacrifice too ? does it depends on the community support ? (same situation not in boldhome but apple lane, it is not Jar-eel, but Low-eel) Success of the quest ? (Kallyr success and it is not Jar-eel, but Ridiculous-eel)

(I have no issue about your other point for hero soul magnitude, after all there is no limit for fetch sacrifice, rune pool sacrifice, enchantment sacrifice, seems to me the same mechanism)

 

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10 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Another thought that occurs to me, there is no relationship between what the adventurers achieved, and the magnitude of the reward. Other than the selection of spells, "You did this, and that, so you can choose this spell, and that spell", the magnitude of the reward seems to be "How much POW do you want to spend".

I prefer a narrative approach to this kind of thing.

Also, the rules might have more guidelines about this kind of thing that are not reflected in gameplay.

10 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Also the mechanism that we have seen doesn't cover coming back with a magical item or creature. "I brought back The Purple Cow, whose milk tastes of Parma Violets!" How do you express that in Hero Soul POW?

Maybe you spend Hero Soul to bring it back but it gives you Hero Soul back as it is worshipped or at least honored by a clan.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Maybe you spend Hero Soul to bring it back but it gives you Hero Soul back as it is worshipped or at least honored by a clan.

Or perhaps it'll work more like One-Use spells - you'd lose the HPs, as you'd lose the RPs for the 1-use??

Anyway... conjecture!

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9 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I imagine the Hero Soul has just another magic point pool dedicated to what you did in the God Plane. When you sacrifice POW to get Hero Soul points, they go in a pool dedicated to you, the same as a Rune Point would go to a pool dedicated to Orlanth or Issaries or whoever. And then you can spend these points only to cast spells from that deity ("you" being another deity in that sense).

Do we have any examples of Hero Cults across different deities to make any sort of comparison? (Other than Arkat?? (who's a very special case))

 

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Anyway... conjecture!

Exactly, I'd much rather wait for the official rules that build something based on conversations in a gaming session.

When I GM, I don't always explain things exactly as they are presented in the rules, I often tailor them to fit the session or the events.

So, it may well be that the way that Hero Soul and Hero Points described are different to how they appear in the rules.

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Do we have any examples of Hero Cults across different deities to make any sort of comparison? (Other than Arkat?? (who's a very special case))

Kuschile is a Hero Cult for many of the Solar cults, so is available to Yelmalio and Yelorna.

 

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

Exactly, I'd much rather wait for the official rules that build something based on conversations in a gaming session.

Yes, that is a risk, that we end up down a rabbit hole that is not there in the rules. I think we understand that risk and are prepared to take it! I'm putting on my fake floppy ears now...

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8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Exactly, I'd much rather wait for the official rules that build something based on conversations in a gaming session.

That ship sailed in the 80's.  My campaign is right now, and I would like to make the first Heroquest as memorable as possible.

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6 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think we understand that risk and are prepared to take it! I'm putting on my fake floppy ears now...

I feel there's enough with that bit to run with, too, and lines up sufficiently with how I've run heroquests in HQG that I'm happy to use it.

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Here's a question*... Can you only add more HPs while on the Hero (or other) Plane? Or at any time and place? (Yes, I'm fully aware any answer would be guessing/wishful thinking)

I'm in 2 minds. Firstly, if it's part of *your* soul, you should be able to put points in any time. Given that Jeff offered these choices *after* the HQ, that would fit.

However, the point** is to empower your presence on the Hero Plane, so mythically logically, you should have to be there to do that... 

Also, it would have been good for Jeff to have introduced other non-spell-like benefits (other than the Exp checks, which I presume were HQ specific, not just rest of season... Especially the POW gain rolls.

 

(*You can tell me the grammar and punctuation.

** I'll take that pun!))

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On 2/11/2021 at 3:03 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Also the mechanism that we have seen doesn't cover coming back with a magical item or creature. "I brought back The Purple Cow, whose milk tastes of Parma Violets!" How do you express that in Hero Soul POW?

I speculate that we're seeing a portion of the heroquesting mechanics, not the whole gamut. The adventurers didn't lead the Short Lightbringers Quest, they participated in it. If they were the ones leading—organizing the quest, taking the role Kallyr did, etc. etc.—I imagine the success/failure rules and consequent rewards or penalties are part of the main quester's portion.

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On 2/11/2021 at 10:23 AM, PhilHibbs said:

They do make a fair few very minor mistakes, like 1D6-1 for skill experience instead of 1D6, shamans getting +20 on POW gain rolls, strike ranks are often out, etc.

Another one worth noting is player uncertainty about if the fetch's POW adds to adventurer POW for just magic defense, or both defense and attack. That error's relevant because of how the Hero Soul was being compared to the fetch, in that in addition to its other abilities it adds to the adventurer's effective POW.

IMO that constant bonus to POW for attack and defense is probably the most powerful ability of Hero Soul, because it doesn't cost resources to activate.

Also worth remembering that some rules for Hero Soul were published in TSR:

image.png.bd7e28d9dfb6c4834f7ffb98201d0635.png(page 187)

Which seems to match up more or less with Jeff's explanations in the house campaign, and the further speculation on this thread.

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6 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Here's a question*... Can you only add more HPs while on the Hero (or other) Plane? Or at any time and place? (Yes, I'm fully aware any answer would be guessing/wishful thinking)

I'm in 2 minds. Firstly, if it's part of *your* soul, you should be able to put points in any time. Given that Jeff offered these choices *after* the HQ, that would fit.

However, the point** is to empower your presence on the Hero Plane, so mythically logically, you should have to be there to do that... 

 

For me, the character "puts points" during the heroquest.

But, for narrative pleasure, the GM may not stop the story (heroquest is climax in a campaign after all) to say "hey, player, how much points do you sacrifice there ?"

So the player "puts points" after the session irl.

That s the same way than experience roll : player rolls xp after the scenario, when the character acquires experience during the story.

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