Hero System 6EHERO System 6E Bundle has the core rulebook and essential supplements. Its companion offer, Champions 6E, has the superheroic line of campaign supplements and sourcebooks, including the standalone Champions Complete rulebook.
Across five editions from 1980 to 2009, Champions and the HERO System maintained remarkable consistency. A character built way back in First Edition, though underpowered by the standards of Fifth Revised Edition, can nonetheless wade into a FRED battle basically unchanged. But Hero Games line developer Steven S. Long, the prolific mainstay of the line, saw opportunities to fix a few minor issues that had bothered him and others. On the Hero forums in 2008 he solicited discussion and feedback in a topic that eventually accumulated several thousand posts. Steve read them all, discussed them a lot, and eventually synthesized a truly gigantic two-volume, 788-page rules set that did, indeed, fix those minor issues.
Sixth is the first version that makes breaking changes to backward compatibility, though these revisions make barely a ripple compared to, say, D&D 3.x > 4E > 5E. Most heroes designed for previous editions still work fine in 6E, though if you care about accurate point totals, a conversion requires significant tuning. [Jargon alert: For those familiar with HERO, Sixth Edition drops the venerable cost breaks for Figured Characteristics, and compensates by upping a character's starting character points. Some skill prices have changed, a few powers (especially Adjustments) are reworked and repriced, and Elemental Controls have given way to "Unified Power." The most significant design revision is a slight nerfing of Killing Attacks: The Stun Multiple is reduced, and non-resistant defenses work against KAs by default. On the other hand, Armor Piercing is now a +1/4 advantage -- cheap!]
For a few years after its debut, 6E amplified in the HERO community the previously negligible annoyance of edition wars. Much of this tension arose because 6E requires a technical shift in thinking about character conceptions and point costs. Now players tend to view its changes as logical and sensible, if sometimes over-detailed. (When a HERO fan calls rules "over-detailed," you may justly raise an eyebrow.) Sixth Edition, like every HERO edition, has its particular adherents -- but 6E has earned wider respect as one more evolution of a landmark system that, across 40 years, still draws devoted fans.
In both page count and discount off retail price, these two offers represent some of the best values we've ever presented. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase of these two HERO offers (after gateway fees) goes to their pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is an impressive US$258. Customers who pay just US$24.95 get all seven titles in this offer's Player Collection (retail value $135) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including three complete 6E core rulebooks -- the 138-page HERO System Basic Rulebook (retail price $15) and the complete two-volume corebook, V1 Character Creation (retail $20) and V2 Combat and Adventuring (retail $20) -- as well as the rules expansions Advancd Player's Guide (retail $19) and Advanced Players' Guide II (retail $18); and the 6E Equipment Guide (retail $17.50) and Skills (retail $20, both previously in our November 2013 Hero Bundle).
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $39.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Game Master Collection with six more titles worth an additional $128, including Star Hero 6E (retail $33) and Fantasy Hero 6E (retail $20, both also in the November 2013 offer); the Grimoire (retail $20), Bestiary (retail $20), and Martial Arts (retail $15); and The Ultimate Base (retail $20).
Champions 6EHERO System from Hero Games. The first offer, HERO System 6E Bundle, has the universal rulebooks and generic supplements and sourcebooks that let you create any kind of character and campaign. This companion offer, Champions 6E, adds the superhero-specific rules, campaign books, and sourcebooks.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two HERO 6E offers' pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer is a very rich US$198.50. Customers who pay just US$24.95 get all six titles in this offer's Campaign Collection (retail value $105) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks: the Champions Complete rulebook (retail price $20 -- previously in our November 2013 Hero Bundle); the Champions Sixth Edition campaign sourcebook (retail $20), one of the last game supplements with work by the late Aaron Allston; Powers (retail $20); the 6E version of Champions Universe (retail $20); the Galaxy-spanning Champions Beyond (retail $20); and the recent collection of pregenerated superhero characters, Book of Templates (retail $5).
Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $39.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Villain Collection with four more titles worth an additional $93.50: all three volumes of the massive Villains series -- V1 Master Villains (retail $20), V2 Villain Teams (retail $20), V3 Solo Villains (retail $28.50) -- and Book of the Empress (retail $25) plus its Booklet of the Empress, a 45-page bonus collection of characters provided to backers of the December 2011 Kickstarter campaign
The down side to all this is that the Hero System has never been the simplest of games - the rules can get complicated and reward optimaxing. Some activities, most notably combat, play fairly slowly. In short, there are alternatives that may be more suitable for a newcomer or someone who prefers a faster style of play.
I'll be honest, I'm not enough of an enthusiast to want to dive in and learn it all over again, since I don't think I've actually played any of these games any time this century! If you're already using another multi-genre system you might do better to look at its superhero rules first, but if you're already using the Hero System this could be a very good buy.
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