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FH Campaign Outline

Abbreviations

HSG: Hero System Grimoire
HSEG: Hero System Equipment Guide
FH: Fantasy Hero
6E1: Hero System 6th Edition Volume 1
6E2: Hero System 6th Edition Volume 2
APG: Advanced Players Guide
The goal of these campaign guidelines is to create a default standard campaign that aligns with published material such that those materials can be used without modification. 

Additionally, any guidelines should be enforceable within Hero Designer.


Character Design Guidelines (6E1 34-35)

Starting Points: 175
Matching Complications: 50
Maximum Complications Points Per Complication: 25
Maximum Active Points per Attack: 40
Maximum Active Points per Defense: 12
Characteristic Maxima: No

Starting Limits

STR, CON: 25*
DEX, INT, EGO, PRE: 20*
SPD: 4****
OCV, DCV: 8**
OMCV, DMCV: 5**
Common Defenses (Physical, Energy, Mental): 12***
Uncommon Defenses (Resistant Defense, Power Defense): 6**
Damage Classes (DC): 8**
Skill Level: 13-**

Rate of Increase

* +1 per 10 CP of Experience
** +1 per 25 CP of Experience
*** +2 per 25 CP of Experience
**** +1 per 50 CP of Experience

Resource Points (APG 191)

The purpose of Resource Points is to help the GM manage his campaign better while maintaining the players’ freedom to create and play their characters in ways that simulate the campaign’s genre better. Resource Points, while an advanced option, are an ideal way to balance the equipment rich environment of a fantasy campaign.

Using Resource Points, characters pay points for equipment and other resources, including spells, but these points come from the Resource Points pool and not their base character points. 

Only resources with definable game effect need be purchase. Standard equipment can be acquired using coin or trade as outlined on FH 172. However, the point values of weapons are defined on FH 190-195. Armor is on FH 217 and Shields are on FH 226. The point values of other gear can be found in the Hero System Equipment Guide.

Starting Points

  • Equipment Points: 50
    • Includes: Weapons, Armor, Tools, Spells
  • Vehicle/Base Points: 25
    • Includes vehicles, mounts, castles, apartments, estates, safe houses, ships, etc.
  • Follower/Contact Points: 5
    • Includes animal companions, assistants, etc.
Resource Kit
These starting points define the character’s ‘Kit’ - the amount of resources available to him during an adventure. Regardless of how many resources he has available to him through his Armory, he can only use his defined kit until the adventure concludes or the GM agrees that a sufficient dramatic pause has occurred in the campaign.
Resource Armory
In the scope of a resource intensive fantasy campaign that includes wealth acquisition as a core part of play, the character’s ‘Armory’ begins equal in size to his Kit x1.5. However, after the first session a character’s Armory can grow to whatever size the campaign provides for.

Rate of Increase

Standard rules suggest a GM award additional resource points throughout the campaign. However, it is also possible that equipment focused characters desire a larger Kit.
  • Equipment: 1 CP for 5 Equipment Points plus 1 Equipment Point for every 1 experience.
  • Vehicle/Base: 1 CP for 2 Vehicle/Base Points plus 1 Vehicle/Base Point for every 5 experience.
  • Follower/Contact: 1 CP for 2 Follower/Contact Points plus 1 Follower/Contact Point for every 5 experience.
A character may spend up to 4 CP per area to increase their totals, but no more. If he wants more resources than that he must buy it outright.

This means that a character that has earned 50 Character Points of experience has a kit of 100 Equipment Points (50 starting, +50), 35 Vehicle/Base Points (25 starting, +10), and 15 Follower/Contact Points (5 starting, +10).

What if I don’t want to use Resource Points?

Everything that follows will still work if you decide to proceed with a pure money for resources approach. If that is the case however, you should use the Resource Point mechanic, specifically Equipment Points, but just for spells.

Using HeroDesigner

HeroDesigner is a great tool for building and tracking all of this information. However, Resource Pools and Magic Systems where spells aren’t paid for with points are often difficult to juggle within HD. The most precise way is to create a separate character file for a wizard’s grimoire, as well as a separate file for equipment. If vehicles and followers are built that means those are additional files as well. This will allow you to fully keep clear totals of all of your resources. There are also creative ways to store information in HD without assigning points or even using power builds - use the notes tabs in the file. These are nice, simple, text only spaces where you can document as much as you want. If you are using standard built gear from FH or HSEG you could simply record that you have a Broadsword and that is 7 points of your Equipment Pool.

Players need not build the spells in HeroDesigner. Simply noting the spell's name and page reference is sufficent. Players should have a listing of their spells handy during play to keep the game moving.

Races

The FH6E HeroDesigner Character Pack does include all of the racial packages. However, if you are looking for Pathfinder Races, I also have those.

Spellcasting

Pathfinder Flavor Option

In Pathfinder, spellcasters need not make a roll to cast their spells except under stress. While the Azgandian Magic system is applied here, as an option you can allow players to avoid a spellcasting roll if they meet the following criteria:
  1. The MR for the spell does not exceed the limits of their Arcane Sight or Channel Energy abilitiesThey have their Focus.
  2. The spell's INT Min is met
  3. They are not Grabbed or Entangled
  4. All Limitations are Met
  5. They carry no more than 20% of their maximum Lift
  6. They are not within reach of an adversary
  7. They assume one additional minor limitation (Concentration 1/2 DCV, Loud Incantations, Extra Time, +50% END or some other appropriate -1/4 limitation)
Spellcasting can be one of the more challenging things to define in Hero because of the sheer volume of options. There is no one right way to cast spells, build spells, or design a magic system. I chose one of the defined systems from Fantasy Hero as the basis for all spellcasting, arcane and divine. This is meant to be a good solid system and a starting point. There are 16 magic systems defined in Fantasy Hero, and many more on the internet created by fans. Your campaign can be as unique as you want it to be. The goal with the system I chose was to be able to open the Hero System Grimoire to any page and simply cast a spell without modification. I think I have achieved this goal while maintaining some difference in feel and flavor for wizardry and channeling.

Wizardry

The magic system used here is the Azgandian Magic system (FH 293) with some small tweaks that we will call, quite generically, Wizardry.
  1. Intelligence Minimum (FH 270) is calculated as 8 + Active Points/5. Another way to look at it is double the Magic Roll Penalty (MR) modifier as a positive number and add it to 8. For example, Fireball (HSG 135) has a -5 Magic Roll Penalty so the INT Min of the spell would be 18.
    1. If the character fails to meet the INT Min of the spell he suffers the following penalties for every 5 points (or fraction) the character is below the minimum INT:
      1. -1 OCV (if applicable)
      2. -2 to casting rolls
      3. -5 active points worth of effect
    2. For every full 5 points a character’s INT exceeds the INT Min of the spell, he receives the following bonus:
      1. +2 to casting rolls
      2. +5 active points worth of effect
    3. This rule is effectively a -¼ limitation. What that means in the context of the Hero System Grimoire is detailed below.
  2. The cost of arcana and which arcana are used is altered slightly.
    1. The Major Arcana of Wizardry match the 28 Spell Categories as presented on HSG 5.
    2. The Minor Arcana of Wizardry refer to the general subcategories of Offensive, Defensive, Movement, and Miscellaneous, as well as any category-specific subcategory such as the Spells of Metal subcategory of Elemental Magic: Earth.
  3. With the GM’s permission, spells can be learned at almost any power level, but once learned at a specific level they may not be adjusted until another copy of the spell is found (or with appropriate skill rolls/story to justify the power increase). May of the spells in HSG have weaker and stronger version that are at correspondingly lower or higher Magic Roll Penalties. Simply note cost and effect of the adjusted spell and use that every time you cast.

Using Hero System Grimoire

The Grimoire makes some assumptions about how spells are built. Using the book as written therefore requires that we work with those specific spell builds and identify any variances as consistently as possible. Luckily, the spells in the Grimoire work very well with the Azgandian Magic system as defined with the following exceptions:
  1. OAF Expendable (Difficult to Obtain; -1 ¼) is included in nearly every spell in the HSG. To enable use of that book as is, without any alteration, assume this is simply OAF (-1) and that the ¼ limitation difference is accounted for by Intelligence Minimum above. Now the limitation simply means the caster must use an arcane focus.
  2. Arcane Focus - each character must define an obvious, accessible focus that is required to cast spells, typically a wand, staff, or a rod. This is the default focus he will use during spell casting unless he has bought off that limitation as described as an option in the Azgandian Magic System (FH 293).
  3. Many of the spells in the Divine Magic category are already built assuming the above options. As such, assume that Gestures is not an active limitation for these spells as it has been displaced by PRE Min as defined above.

Arcane Sight

Arcane Sight is the ability of a wizard to perceive magic in the world around him. This sense is linked to his vision and thus a part of the Sight Group. As an additional restriction on spell casting, a wizard must be able to perceive magic to command it and the more powerful the effect the more clarity he must have in order to harness that power. Thus, the level of Arcane Sight defines the maximum Magic Roll Penalty at which a wizard may cast a spell.

Adept (5 points): Detect. Since it is part of the Sight Group it has built in Sense, Range, and Targeting, but is affected by anything that can affect the wizard’s normal sight (such as blidness, flash, etc.). Magical objects can be perceived in normal darkness (with standard vision penalties), but cannot be perceived through the Darkness power. MR Limitation: -3 or less.

Mage (10 points): Discriminatory. The mage can now read the subtleties of the magic associated with an object, spell, or person.MR Limitation: -5 or less.

Archmage (15 points): Analyze. MR Limitation: -7 or less.

Magus (20 points): Partially Penetrative (through darkness and dead material construction,not through living rock or lead). MR Limitation: -9 or less.

Archmagus (25 points): Fully Penetrative (not through living rock or lead.MR Limitation: -11 or less.

Arcanist (30 points): Tracking. The arcanist can follow the trail left by any magical creature or effect.MR Limitation: none.

Wizardry Required Skills

Power: Magic - this skill is used for all magic casting rolls. The skill is based on EGO, not INT, to reflect the mental fortitude required to command and control the forces of magic. Failing a casting roll by 1-3 still allows the spell to be cast at a cost of 2 END per point of failure. Failing by 4 means the spell is not cast. There is no critical failure or success.

Spell Familiarity - 4 points per Major Arcana (i.e. Spell Category HSG 5), 2 points per Minor Arcana (i.e. subcategory), and 1 point for a single spell. Familiarity allows the caster to cast a spell but does not actually mean that he knows it. The spell must be acquired and added to his Kit (see Resource Points) in order to be able to cast it. These costs are a bit higher than standard Azgandian Magic.

Wizardry Complimentary Skills

Analyze Magic - this skill is used to understand what is perceived with Arcane Sight, as well as to identify any magical item or effect at -1 per 10 active points of effect as a half-phase action (extra time is allowed); only one attempt per day. Adepts are at a -6 to identify magic items, while Mages are at at -3 due to the level of enhanced sense they posses. KS: Arcana can compliment this roll.
Combat Skill Levels can be purchased for spells:
  • OCV w/ Single Spell (2 pts)
  • Major Arcana (3 pts)
  • All Magic (5 pts)
  • 8-point All Ranged or All HTH, 10-point All Atacks, and 12-point Overall skill levels can apply where appropriate.
  • CSLs can be allocated to the casting roll if the spell is a combat spell
  • CSLs can increase DCV against spell attacks
Custom Skill: Improve Spell - a wizard may buy off up to of of the Gestures, Incantations, or Focus limitations of a single spell for 1 point each. He can never buy off all three.

Inventor (Spellcraft) - the ability to create and define new magics. Can also compliment Analyze Magic when trying to understand anomylous (i.e. not covered by KS: Arcana) effects.

KS: Arcana - knowledge of all things concerning magic, magical theory, and magical effects.
KS: Planes - knowledge of extra planar creatures such as demons, devils, elementals, and extra planar effects (e.g. teleportation, desolidification, etc.).
KS: Wizarding World - knowledge of who’s who, current events, and wizarding society.

Channeling

Channeling is very similar to Wizardry in how it is implemented. The magic system used here is the Azgandian Magic system (FH 293) with some small tweaks that we will call, quite generically, Channeling.
  1. Presence Minimum (FH 270) is calculated as 8 + Active Points/5. Another way to look at it is double the Magic Roll Penalty (MR) modifier as a positive number and add it to 8. For example, Fireball (HSG 135) has a -5 Magic Roll Penalty so the PRE Min of the spell would be 18.
    1. If the character fails to meet the PRE Min of the spell he suffers the following penalties for every 5 points (or fraction) the character is below the minimum PRE:
      1. -1 OCV (if applicable)
      2. -2 to casting rolls
      3. -5 active points worth of effect
    2. For every full 5 points a character’s PRE exceeds the PRE Min of the spell, he receives the following bonus:
      1. +2 to casting rolls
      2. +5 active points worth of effect
    3. This rule is effectively a -¼ limitation. What that means in the context of the Hero System Grimoire is detailed below.
  2. The cost of arcana and which arcana are used is altered slightly and they are referred to as spheres in the context of Channeling.
    1. The Major Spheres of Channeling match the 28 Spell Categories as presented on HSG 5.
    2. The Minor Spheres of Channeling refer to the general subcategories of Offensive, Defensive, Movement, and Miscellaneous, as well as any category-specific subcategory such as the Spells of Metal subcategory of Elemental Magic: Earth.
  3. Spells may be deemed clearly at odds with a deity’s tenets and as such those spells are not allowed. The GM needs to define which spells are sanctioned by which gods but in general there are no systematic restrictions on spell selection for clerics.
  4. With the GM’s permission, spells can be learned at almost any power level, but once learned at a specific level they may not be adjusted until another copy of the spell is found (or with appropriate skill rolls/story to justify the power increase). May of the spells in HSG have weaker and stronger version that are at correspondingly lower or higher Magic Roll Penalties. Simply note cost and effect of the adjusted spell and use that every time you cast.

Using Hero System Grimoire

The Grimoire makes some assumptions about how spells are built. Using the book as written therefore requires that we work with those specific spell builds and identify any variances as consistently as possible. Luckily, the spells in the Grimoire work very well with the Azgandian Magic system as defined with the following exceptions:
  1. OAF Expendable (Difficult to Obtain; -1 ¼) is included in nearly every spell in the HSG. To enable use of that book as is, without any alteration, assume this is simply OAF (-1) and that the ¼ limitation difference is accounted for by Presence Minimum above. Now the limitation simply means the caster must use a divine focus.
  2. Divine Focus - each character must define an obvious, accessible focus that is required to cast spells, and something clearly attributable to the cleric’s deity and is often referred to as the character’s Holy Symbol. This is the default focus he will use during spell casting unless he has bought off that limitation as described as an option in the Azgandian Magic System (FH 293).
  3. Gestures and Incantations limitations are replaced by Only When Serving The God’s Purposes (-½). If a spell is encountered that uses limitations that are clearly counter to clerical magic, look to replace those with Gestures and Incantations.

Channel Energy

Channel Energy is the ability of the cleric to directly channel the power of his god.
As an additional restriction on spell casting, a cleric must be able channel raw energy in order to command it and the more powerful the effect the more control he must have in order to harness that power. Thus, the level of Channel Energy defines the maximum Magic Roll Penalty at which a cleric may cast a spell.

The base ability is built as a multipower with two slots: one for Healing Energy and the other for Positive Energy. Clerics aligned with darker powers would choose Killing Energy and Negative Energy instead.

Channel Energy:  Multipower, all slots OAF (Holy Symbol; -1), Increased Endurance Cost (x2 END; -1/2), Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Only When Serving The God's Purposes (-1/2)

    • Healing Energy:  Aid  STUN 2d6, Area Of Effect (8m Radius; +½); 4 END
    • Positive Energy: HKA* 1 point, Area Of Effect (8m Radius; +½ ), Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Power Defense; +1), Does BODY (+1); Undead Only (-1); 4 END
    • Negative Energy:  Aid  BODY 2d6, Area Of Effect (8m Radius; +½), Undead Only (-1);4 END
    • Killing Energy: HKA* 1 point, Area Of Effect (8m Radius; +½ ), Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Power Defense; +1), Does BODY (+1); Living Creatures Only (-½); 4 END
    • * HKA:  If the cleric has a PRE of 17 or higher, add +1 DC to the damage. If he has 34 PRE add +2 DC.

Initiate (7 points): Aid 2d6 and HKA 1 point; 4 END each. MR Limitation: -3 or less.

Acolyte (12 points): Aid 4d6 and HKA ½d6; 8 END each. MR Limitation: -5 or less.

Priest (18 points): Aid 6d6 and HKA 1d6; 10 END each. MR Limitation: -7 or less.

Curate (24 points): Aid 8d6 and HKA 1d6+1; 14 END each. MR Limitation: -9 or less.

Elder (30 points): Aid 10d6 and HKA 1 ½d6; 18 END each. MR Limitation: -11 or less.

Heirophant (36 points): Aid 12d6 and HKA 2d6; 22 END and 20 END. MR Limitation: none.

Channeling Required Skills

Power: Faith - this skill is used for all magic casting rolls. The skill is based on EGO, not PRE, to reflect the mental fortitude required to command and control the forces of magic. Failing a casting roll by 1-3 still allows the spell to be cast at a cost of 2 END per point of failure. Failing by 4 means the spell is not cast. There is no critical failure or success.

Spell Familiarity - 4 points per Major Spheres (i.e. Spell Category HSG 5), 2 points per Minor Spheres (i.e. subcategory), and 1 point for a single spell. Familiarity allows the caster to cast a spell but does not actually mean that he knows it. The spell must be acquired and added to his Kit (see Resource Points) in order to be able to cast it. These costs are a bit higher than standard Azgandian Magic.

Channeling Complimentary Skills

Analyze Magic - if the cleric knows a spell that allows him to perceive magic, this skill is still required in order to identify the effect or item.
Combat Skill Levels can be purchased for spells:
  • OCV w/ Single Spell (2 pts)
  • Major Sphere (3 pts)
  • All Channeling (5 pts)
  • 8-point All Ranged or All HTH, 10-point All Atacks, and 12-point Overall skill levels can apply where appropriate.
  • CSLs can be allocated to the casting roll if the spell is a combat spell
  • CSLs can increase DCV against spell attacks
KS: Arcana - knowledge of all things concerning magic, magical theory, and magical effects.
KS: Clerical World - knowledge of who’s who, current events, and wizarding society.
KS: History - knowledge of all things in the past.
KS: Nobility - knowledge of noble society and matters of state.
KS: Planes - knowledge of extra planar creatures such as demons, devils, elementals, and extra planar effects (e.g. teleportation, desolidification, etc.).
KS: Religion - knowledge of all things associated with religion in general. 

Additionally, Oratory, Persuasion, Charm, Bureaucratics, and High Society can all be useful to a cleric.
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