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Hero System 4th Edition

Hero System 4th Edition

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By 
George MacDonaldSteve Petersonand Rob Bell
Fourth Edition Editing 
Rob BellElectronic Edition
4th Edition Game Design:
George MacDonald,Steve Peterson, and Rob Bell
Editor:
Rob Bell
Original Game Design:
George MacDonald andSteve Peterson
Cover Art:
George Pérez, John Stracuzzi
Interior Art:
Rob Davis, Glen Johnson, Denis Loubet,Sean Sharp, Jason Waltrip, Mark Williams,Barry Winston, Mike Witherby, Pat Zircher
Project Specific Contributions:
 
Series Editor: 
Rob Bell;
Pagemaking: 
Coleman Charlton, Jennifer Kleine,Suzanne Young, Leo LaDell, Kevin Williams;
Layout: 
Cheryl Kief, Eileen Smith, Suzanne Young, LarryBrook, Helen Storey, Paula Peters, AndrewChristensen, Edward Dinwiddie
 
Cover Graphics: 
I. Haines Sprunt.
ICE MANAGEMENT —
Art Director/Production Manager: 
Terry K. Amthor;
Sales; Manager: 
Deane Begiebing;
Editing & Development Manager: 
Coleman Charlton;
President: 
Peter Fenlon;
CEO: 
Bruce Neidlinger;
Controller: 
Kurt Rasmussen.
ICE STAFF —
Marketing 
 
Consultant: 
John Morgan;
Print Buyer: 
BillDowns;
Production Supervisor: 
Suzanne Young;
Editing & Develop- ment Staff: 
Kevin Barrett, Rob Bell, Pete Fenlon, Jessica Ney, JohnRuemmler; Terry Amthor ;
Graphics & Production Staff: 
Andrew Chris-tensen, Edward Dinwiddie, William Hyde, Jennifer Kleine, I. HainesSprunt, Kevin Williams;
Sales & Customer Service Staff: 
JohnBrunkhart;
Finance Staff: 
Heidi Heffner;
Shipping Staff: 
John Brecken-ridge, Kurt Fischer, David Johnson.For our convenience, we have employed the male gender throughoutthis product. This does not imply any chauvanism on our part (quite thecontrary), but it is hard to say him/her/it, or he/she (or “s/he”) every timethe situation crops up. So, please accept our apologies for this shortcut.
Champions 
 ® and
Champions, The Super Roleplaying Game 
™ are Hero Games trademarks for its superhero roleplaying game using the Hero System.
Hero System 
™ is Hero Games’ trademark for its roleplaying system.
Champions 
Copyright © 1981, 1984, 1989 by Hero Games. All rights reserved.
Hero System 
Copyright © 1984, 1989, 1990 by Hero Games. All rights reserved.
Hero System Rulesbook 
copyright © 1990 by Hero Games. All rightsreserved.No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying (except CharacterSheets for personal use only), recording, or computerization, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from thePublisher: Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 1605, Charlottesville, VA 22902.Printed in U.S.A., First Printing 1990.Produced & Distributed by Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc., the exclusive manufacturer of Hero Games.
@ 2001 Hero Games, Inc.
HERO SYSTEMRULESBOOK
 
Game Design by
:George MacDonald, Steve Peterson, and Rob Bell
Editor:
Rob Bell
Original Design by:
George MacDonald and Steve Peterson
Editorial Contribution:
Aaron Allston, George MacDonald, Steve Peterson
Copy Editors:
Graeme Bayless, Sam Bowne, John Brunkhart, Robert W. Calfee, Mike Nystul, BobSimpson, Suite 307, Allen Varney, and Paula Woods
Contributors and Playtesters:
Jason Abbot, Aaron Allston and the Austin gang, Brian Altmiller,Steve Barnes, Graeme Bayless, Stephen Beeman, Scott Bennie, David Berge, Dan Bernstein,Timothy Binford, David Boris, Paul Boris, Sam Bowne, Chad Brinkley, John Brunkhart, EricBurnham, Paul Butler, Robert W. Calfee, Caltech Gaming Society, Mike Capron, Eric Christian,Earl S. Cooley, David Covin, Edward Costello, James Craig, Lee Davis, Joe Di Lellio, Jim Dorethy,Dragonslayers Unlimited, Andrew Durston, Dean F. Edgell, John Ewoldt, Jeff George, JimGettman, Steve Gilham, Bruce Glassco, Daryl Gleason, Steve Goodman, Brian Grau, Sue Gray,Ray Greer, Bruce Harlick, Cyrus Harris, Sean Hartigan, Stephen Heinberger, Scott Heine, JerryHipdon, David Hoover, Robert Isenberg, Ed Kalen, Steve Kramer, James Kuyperx, David Lady-man, Roger Lewis, Denis Loubet, Dean Kenady, Dennis Mallonee, Sean R. Malloy, StephenMarsh, Steve Maurer, Phil Masters, Richard MacAteer, John Martin, Colin McKinney, Miq Millman,Paul Muray, R. David Murray, Andy Nelson, Mike Nystul, G.Gorham Palmer, Andrew Pearlman,Steve Perrin, Steve Peterson, Greg Porter, Bob and Nonie Quinlan, Andy Robinson, William D.Robinson, David Rogers, Michael J. Rogers, Rowdy Scarlett, Elena Schott, Dave Seagraves andthe Challengers, Karl Sevin, Greg Sharp, Pat Shea, Dave Shelley, Bob Simpson, Russ Smith, BradSolberg, Arthur Snyder, Doug Tabb, John Taber, Glenn Thain, Craig Thomas, Tom Tumey, KeithVaglienti, Allen Varney, Matt Wagner, Paul Wayner, Stan West, Barry Wilson, Roger M. Wilcox,Shawn V. Wilson, the Winston-Salem Gaming Group, Paula Woods, Jeffrey Zorn.
HERO SYSTEMRULESBOOK
 
Introduction to theHero System
How To Use This Game.........
3
IF YOU’VE NEVER PLAYEDBEFORE..............................
4
What is Roleplaying?...........
4
How to Play theHero System......................
4Characteristics....................................4Skills....................................................4Combat................................................5Getting Started....................................5
IF YOU HAVE PLAYEDHERO GAMES BEFORE.....
6
Why the Revision....................
6Consistency........................................6Quality.................................................6
What’s New............................
7
How to Use This Book............
7
Character Creation
Heroic Vs. Superheroic...........
9
CHARACTER CONCEPTION
10
Types of Characters...........
10
Checklist For CharacterCreation..............................
12
CHARACTERISTICS............
13Primary Characteristics.....................13Figured Characteristics.....................13Characteristic Formulas....................13Movement.........................................13
Round-offs.............................
13
Explanation ofCharacteristics................14
Primary Characteristics..........
14Strength(STR)...................................14Dexterity(DEX)..................................14Constitution(CON).............................14Body(BODY).....................................14Intelligence(INT)................................14Ego(EGO).........................................14Presence(PRE).................................14Comeliness(COM)............................14
Figured Characteristics..........
14Physical Defense(PD).......................14Energy Defense(ED).........................15Speed(SPD)......................................15Recovery(REC).................................15Endurance(END)...............................15Stun(STUN).......................................15
Movement..............................
15
Maximum Characteristics......
15
Lowering Characteristics.......
15
SKILLS..................................
16
Skill Versus Skill....................
17
Complementary Skills............
17
Skill Modifiers........................
17
Everyman Skills.....................
19
Extraordinary Skills................
19
Skills As Powers....................
19
The Skill List.......................
19
Skill Types.............................
20Background Skills.............................20Combat Skills....................................20General Skills....................................20Int-Based Skills.................................20Dex-Based Skills...............................20Pre-Based Skills................................20
Skill Descriptions................
21Acrobatics.........................................21Acting................................................21Animal Handler.................................21Breakfall............................................21Bribery...............................................21Bugging.............................................21Bureaucratics....................................22Climbing............................................22Combat Skill Levels..........................22Combat Driving.................................23Combat Piloting.................................23Computer Programming....................23Concealment.....................................24Contortionist......................................24Conversation.....................................24Criminology.......................................25Cryptography....................................25Deduction..........................................25Demolitions.......................................25Disguise............................................25Electronics........................................25Familiarity..........................................26Forensic Medicine.............................26Forgery..............................................26Gambling...........................................26High Society......................................26Interrogation......................................27Inventor.............................................27Knowledge........................................27Languages........................................28Lip Reading.......................................29Lockpicking.......................................29Martial Arts........................................29Mechanics.........................................34Mimicry..............................................34Navigation.........................................34Oratory..............................................34Paramedic.........................................35Persuasion........................................35Professional Skills.............................35Range Skill Levels............................36Riding................................................36Science Skills....................................37Security Systems..............................37Seduction..........................................37Shadowing........................................38Skill Levels........................................38Sleight of Hand.................................38Stealth...............................................38Streetwise.........................................38Survival.............................................38Systems Operation...........................39Tactics...............................................39Tracking............................................39Trading..............................................39Transport Familiarity.........................40Ventriloquist......................................40Weapon Familiarity...........................40Weaponsmith....................................40
Skill Enhancers...................
41
PERQUISITES (PERKS)......
42
The Perk List......................
42
Perk Descriptions...............
43Contact..............................................43Favors...............................................43Followers...........................................43Fringe Benefits..................................44Money...............................................44Vehicles and Bases..........................45
TALENTS..............................
46Unbalanced Talents..........................46
The Talent List....................
46
Talent Descriptions.............
47Absolute Time Sense........................47Ambidexterity....................................47Bump of Direction.............................47Combat Sense..................................47Cramming.........................................47Danger Sense...................................47Defense Maneuver............................48Double Jointed..................................48Eidetic Memory.................................48Fast Draw..........................................48Find Weakness.................................48Immunity...........................................49Lightning Calculator..........................49Lightsleep..........................................49Luck..................................................49Perfect Pitch......................................50Resistance........................................50Simulate Death.................................50Speed Reading.................................50Universal Translator..........................50
POWERS..............................
51
Who Can Buy Powers............
51
Buying Powers.......................
51
Balancing Powers..................
51
General Rules.....................
52
Instant, Constant, andPersistent............................
52
Special Effects.......................
52
Creative Use of Powers.........
53
Categories of Powers.........
53
Adjustment Powers................
53
Mental Powers.......................
54
Movement Powers.................
55
Size Powers...........................
56
Special Powers......................
56
Standard Powers...................
56
The Power List....................
56
Power Descriptions.............
58Absorption.........................................58Aid.....................................................58Armor................................................59Change Environment........................59Characteristics..................................60Clairsentience...................................60Clinging.............................................61Damage Reduction...........................61Damage Resistance..........................61Darkness...........................................62Density Increase...............................62Desolidification..................................62Dispel................................................63Drain..................................................64Duplication........................................64Ego Attack.........................................65End Reserve.....................................65Energy Blast......................................65Enhanced Senses.............................66Entangle............................................67Extra-Dimensional Movement...........68Extra Limbs.......................................69Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Travel.........69Flash.................................................70Flash Defense...................................70Flight.................................................70Force Field........................................71Force Wall.........................................71Gliding...............................................72Growth...............................................72Hand-To-Hand Attack (HA)...............73Images..............................................73Instant Change..................................74Invisibility...........................................74Killing Attack—Hand-To-Hand (HKA)....................74Killing Attack — Ranged (RKA).........75Knockback Resistance......................75Lack of Weakness.............................75Life Support.......................................75Mental Defense.................................76Mental Illusions.................................76Mind Control......................................78Mind Link...........................................79Mind Scan.........................................80Missile Deflection and Reflection......81Multiform...........................................82Power Defense..................................82Regeneration.....................................82Running.............................................83Shape Shift........................................83Shrinking...........................................83Skills..................................................84Stretching..........................................84Summon............................................84Superleap..........................................85Suppress...........................................85Swimming..........................................85Swinging............................................86Telekinesis (TK)................................86Telepathy..........................................86Teleportation.....................................87Transfer.............................................87Transform..........................................88Tunneling..........................................89
POWER MODIFIERS............
89
POWER ADVANTAGES.......
90
Using Power Advantages...
90
Power AdvantageDescriptions.....................
90Affects Desolidified...........................90Area Effect........................................90Armor Piercing..................................92Attack Versus LimitedDefense (AVLD)............................92Autofire..............................................92Based on Ego Combat Value............93Charges............................................93Continuous........................................93Damage Shield.................................93Delayed Effect...................................94Difficult To Dispel..............................94Does Knockback...............................94Double Knockback............................94Explosion..........................................94Hardened..........................................95Hole in the Middle.............................95Increased Maximum Range..............95Increased Stun Multiplier...................95Indirect..............................................95Invisible Power Effects......................96No Normal Defense (NND) Attack....96No Range Penalty.............................96Penetrating........................................96Personal Immunity............................96Ranged.............................................96Reduced Endurance.........................97Sticky................................................97Time Delay........................................97Transdimensional..............................97Trigger...............................................98Usable Against Others......................98Usable By Others..............................98Uncontrolled......................................98Variable Advantage...........................99Variable Special Effects....................99
POWER LIMITATIONS.......
100
Partially Limited Power........
101
Power LimitationDescriptions...................
101Ablative...........................................101Activation........................................101Always On.......................................102Charges..........................................102Concentrate....................................104Extra Time.......................................104Focus..............................................104Gestures.........................................107Incantation......................................107Increased Endurance Cost..............107Independent....................................108Limited Power.................................108Linked.............................................109Mental Powers Based on Con.........109No Knockback.................................109No Conscious Control.....................110Only in Hero ID...............................110Reduced By Range.........................110Reduced Penetration......................110Requires A Skill Roll.......................110Side Effects.....................................111Variable Limitations.........................111Visible.............................................111
POWER FRAMEWORKS...
112
Elemental Control................
112Elemental Control Example.............113
Multipower...........................
114Slot Costs........................................114Reduced Endurance CostsFor Slots......................................114Fixed Slots......................................115Extra Powers For a Slot..................115Distributing Multipower Points.........115
Variable Power Pools..........
116Examples of Power Pools...............116
CHARACTERDISADVANTAGES...........
117
Changing or Buying OffDisadvantages..................
118Accidental Change..........................118Age..................................................118Berserk............................................119Dependence....................................120Dependent NPC (DNPC)................120Distinctive Features........................121Hunted and Watched......................122Normal Characteristic Maxima........122Physical Limitation..........................123Psychological Limitation..................123Public Identity..................................124Reputation.......................................125Rivalry.............................................125Secret Identity.................................125Susceptibility...................................126Unluck.............................................127Vulnerability....................................127
RULESBOOKCONTENTS
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