Campaign Specific Rules

Back to Main Page.
The magic system has been outlined on that page. However, there are some campaign specific rules that will be used.

  • Starting characters are young, just beginning their adventuring career. To reflect this, all characters start with a base 25 pts to build their characters, and up to 25 pts of additional disadvantages to allow a total build of 50 pts.

A typical 10 pt disadvantage is:
Social Limitation: Adventurer (frequently, minor) 10pts
As an adventurer and person of no fixed abode, representatives of the law will tend to be suspicious of you, and it can be difficult to get credit. Innkeepers will want payment up front, for example, and substantial bonds will have to be posted to hire livestock. Persons of “good” society will tend to snub you (politely usually, depending on how dangerous you look), and those weaker than yourself will normally react with caution and even fear until they get to know you.

  • For the purposes of starting characters, racial packages do not count as points spent. Disadvantages in the racial packages do not count against the 25 pt disadvantage total. For this reason, human characters are allowed an additional 5 pts of optional disadvantages to use for extra starting points.
  • The standard penalty for taking multiple disadvantages applies with the following modifiers: Only one of any single type (Psych lim, Dependent, etc.) may be taken at full value. Additional disadvantages of the same type may be taken, but they may only get 1/2 value, then 1 pt, then no additional pts. Note that the 1/2 value may technically be a ‘full’ value if it is a limitation worth less pts. (Example: Code vs. killing is a 15 pt disadvantage. Celibate is only a 5 pt disadvantage, but because it is worth 1/2 or less than the first psych lim, the full 5 pts are granted as a disadvantage.)
  • Perception: Since perception is an INT based ability, and not all creatures or characters will have a high INT, bonuses to perception may be purchased at 1 pt/+1 for each sense (sight, hearing, or smell), or 2pt for +1 PER (all senses). Other sense may be purchased if approved by the GM.
  • Starting money
    All characters start with 10D6 gold crowns for starting currency. This can be modified by taking an advantage or disadvantage as listed here. These (dis)advantages may only be taken as a starting character.
  • The optional shield rules (in the list of references) will be used.
    Sun, 02/03/2013 – 22:22 | djkester

The basic Hero System 6e Shield rules use a simple model of increasing DCV against frontal attacks. For some campaigns this is a great rule. It basically simplifies what may other wise be a more complex solution.

This article covers the house rules I use in my Fantasy Hero Campaign. The goal of these rules is to make shield use more active, increase the dramatic sense a shield can have in a game, and make the use of a shield more active during a combat experience.

House Rules
A shield is a hefted object used as an active form of defense. Unlike Armor, shields require the user to actively wield the device to interfere with attacks. A shield strapped to your back or otherwise not being actively employed does not offer a combat advantage.

A shield allows the user to more effectively block an attack than a wielded weapon. Also the shield interferes with damage taken against covered body parts when a successful attack hits one of the “covered locations.”

Active Blocking using the Block Maneuver

For a player making an active block maneuver using a shield the OCV bonus of the shield is applied along with the OCV of the character performing the block. The OCV Modifier is directly in proportion to the size of the shield. +1 for small shields, +2 for medium sized, +3 for large shields. The GM should determine the exact modifier for a players’ given shield as it fits into his game world.

Successful Block
When a shield is used to block an attack it takes damage equal to the damage the attack would have done if the block hadn’t been successful. However, the defenses of the shield are doubled against this damage. Any damage that is gets past the doubled defense is applied to the body of the shield. The GM should determine the defense and body for the shield using the standards for material defenses and body as they see fit.

Passive Blocking with a shield
The following is for attacks the character is unaware of.

If an attacker hits the character on a location covered by the shield some of the damage is applied to the shield and some to the user.
The determination of the “covered area” is set forth by the GM. Here are a few recommendations to consider:
Small Shields (Bucklers) cover (6), Medium Shields cover (6-8), Large Shields cover (6-9), Tower Shields cover 6 – 9, 14

If an attack hits one of the “covered locations” it may still not be “in the way.” The following additional rules apply for final determination:

If the attack is from the front roll 1d6 on a 1-3 the shield side is hit.
If the attack is from the side away from the shield the shield is not hit.
If the attack is from the side towards the shield the shield is hit.
Attacks from the rear do not hit the shield.

For a player using a shield and aware of the attack. The blocker makes a roll using the Shield’s Passive Block Value (PBV). If successful the shield gets in the way of the attack. The PBV is a roll based on the characters’ skill with the shield. There are two ways to handle this.
1. Make this a simple check based on the size of the shield. Large Shields being 11-, Medium 10-, Small 9-
2. Make the use a shields a skill and make it a skill roll. (In my campaign I did not opt for this. Instead trying to keep it simply a roll based on shield size.

Effects of a passive block
If the shield is hit in the attack the damage is managed in the following way.
The defense of the shield is added to the defense of the character against the attack for determination of damage to the player.

Area Attacks
Shields cannot be used to block area attacks or attacks that can’t hit a hit location.

  • Hit locations will be used. (Players should roll to hit and declare the DCV they hit. If a hit is scored, roll damage and appropriate dice for location simultaneously). Alternately, the players will roll damage, and the GM will roll location.
  • All characters start with the following 8- Familiarities for free. Most of them may be bought as normal skills for the normal points. Those that cannot be improved are marked NI.

This skill is used for balancing on things, swinging on ropes and so forth in an heroic and swashbuckling fashion.
This is what you use to bluff, lie, and otherwise deceive others. Not that you’d ever do that. It would be wrong. Also, you can use it in combat as a Half-Phase action to feint.
Area Knowledge: The World NI
General knowledge about the geography and sociology of the world. This is a very broad subject, and therefore it’s unlikely that you’d have much detailed knowledge about any single subject, but at least it’s something. Additional levels of knowledge must be specific to kingdom level or smaller.
This skill can allow you to reduce the amount of damage you take from falling, or to get up after being knocked down without wasting a half-Phase (roll is at -1 per 1" fallen or 1" of knockback).
You’ll be needing this skill to safely climb anything more difficult than a ladder. A failed roll usually just means you make no progress, but a badly failed roll can be a tad more tragic — then you might need to try out your Breakfall skill.
This is the skill you use for hiding things, and also for hiding yourself. It’s not the same as Stealth (see below).
You can use this skill to get information out of people without letting them know that they’re being pumped. Naturally, if they’re suspicious it makes the job harder.
Deduction NI
If all else fails, and you just can’t figure out the situation from the GM’s masterful sprinkling of clues, you can try this skill to find an answer.
You get full fluency (but not literacy) in your native tongue for free. Note that the Common Tongue isn’t actually anybody’s native tongue; it’s more closely analogous to Latin or Greek in medieval European society. (i.e. Most everyone speaks at least a smattering of it, but very few are really fluent.)
This is just first aid, not proper doctoring. A really great roll might return a point of BODY, but normally a success will just stabilize the patient and stop them bleeding to death. The roll is at -1 per point of BODY below zero.
If you need to talk somebody into doing something, not doing something or letting you do something (and so forth), this is the skill you need.
Professional Skill (player’s choice)
This is whatever profession you had before you took up the high-stakes glamour career of the Adventurer.
This skill allows you to follow someone (or some thing) without being seen yourself. It’s not the same as Tracking.
Sleight of Hand
You use Sleight of Hand for palming small objects, shoplifting, picking pockets, or even just feeding your broccoli to the dog without your hostess noticing.
If you need to be sneaky on the move, use Stealth. If you’re static, then Concealment is almost always more appropriate.
This is the skill you need to get by without paying three times what anything is worth, or to get a good price for your ill-gotten loot.

Also, depending on the character’s background, one of the following:

This skill is most appropriate for a townsman, and aids in dealing with any kind of bureaucracy, such as law officers, government officials and the like. It will allow you to pinpoint just who you should be dealing with to get results, and to avoid those whose function is to fob you off.
High Society
This is the skill for upper-class types, allowing you to move through polite society without making too many awful social gaffes. You will know who’s who in society, and be more-or-less up to date with the gossip.
This is the skill you’ll need for survival among the urban poor, and it will allow you to avoid enraging street gangs, to fence any “sensitive” loot, and (hopefully) stay below the notice of the authorities.
Survival (one environment)
If your character comes from a rural background, you can take this skill for the appropriate environment. A successful Survival roll will allow you to find food and shelter to survive for a day; for each point you make the roll by, you can support one more person.

Missile Deflection
Only the 5 and 10 point ability may be bought, and a character must have at least that many points in a martial arts package already (and approved by the GM, of course) to purchase MD.

Weapon Groups

The following weapon groups are available in this campaign:
Common Melee Weapons (3pts)
Unarmed Combat (1pt)
Clubs (1pt)
Axes, Maces, and Picks (1pt)
Pole Arms (1pt)
Swords (1pt)
Two-handed Weapons (1pt)
Uncommon Melee Weapons (Group not available)
Flails (1pt)
Lances (1pt)
Quarterstaff (1pt)
Whip (1pt)
Common Missile Weapons (Group not available)
Bows (2pt)
Crossbows (1pt)
Javelins (1pt)
Thrown knives/axes (1pt)
Uncommon Missile Weapons (Group not available)
Staff Sling (1pt)

The Weapon List provided has specific weapons for races:
- Dwarves
- Lizardmen → Saurian
- Elencal → Elves

Transport Familiarity

Riding Animals
Horses, Donkeys, Mules, etc. (1pt per, 3 pts group)
Camels (1pt)
Huge Beasts (Elephants, etc.) (1 pt each, group skill possible at GM discretion)

Flying Beasts (2 pt each, group skill possible at GM discretion)

Water Vehicles
Boats: any vehicles which go on top of water (1pt each, 3 pts for tight group (small/med/large), 5 pts for all)

Transport Vehicles (3 pt group)

Two or four wheeled, single draft animal (includes chariots and small wagons) (1 pt)
Four wheeled, multiple animal (1 pt)

Other types of TF may be available (skiing, snowshoeing, etc) at GM’s discretion.

The Scientist Skill enhancer is not available. Scholar would be the appropriate catch all for this.

Followers and bases:
Generally, followers and bases are not available until PCs have gained significant fame/experience. This is up to the GM. Followers can never be more than 1/2 the total pts of the PC.

Back to Main Page.

Campaign Specific Rules

Julan Campaign Wylann