The HERO System Philosophy discusses the principles and guiding philosophies that affect the design and play of the game, to provide you with an idea about how to approach the rules in general.
If those seem like more than you are interested in, attached to this page is the HERO System in 2 Pages. This is a handy sheet to share with new players as you kick-off your HERO adventuring.
Before you proceed to the meat of Narosia rules, you should familiarize yourself with some of the basic concepts of the game. The text below also includes a short summary of the rules that you can refer to during the game.
six-sided dice (d6) to resolve combat, the use of Skills, and similar situations. The number before the “d6” notation indicates how many dice to roll; for example, 12d6 means 12 dice; 2d6+1 means roll two dice and add one point to the total.
Most dice-rolling in Narosia requires you to roll 3d6 and get a result equal to or less than some number. This is written in the text by a minus sign (-) following the number. Thus, a Skill which your character can perform successfully on an 11 or less roll is written 11-.
Whenever you attempt any 3d6 roll —
whether an Attack Roll, Skill Roll, Characteristic Roll, Perception Roll, or
other roll — a result of 3 (three ones) always hits or succeeds; a result of 18
(three sixes) always misses or fails.
In Narosia, you use Character Points to purchase all of your character’s abilities and powers. Sometimes this requires calculations involving division
or multiplication. When calculating the cost of something using multiplication
or division, always round off to the next whole number in favor of the Player
Character. Numbers from .1 to .4 round down; numbers from .6 to .9 round up;
and .5 rounds up or down depending upon what’s best for the character. If a
calculation involves two or more separate parts, round at each separate step of
the calculation. Regardless of the rounding rules, the minimum cost of anything
is 1 point.
Movement in Narosia, and other things involving distance, are measured in meters, abbreviated “m.” For example, a flying character might buy Flight 20m, meaning he can fly up to 20 meters as a Full Move.
The heart of Narosia is its rules for character creation. Using them, you can create any type of character, power, gadget, or ability you want, subject to the GM’s campaign restrictions.
You build Narosia characters with Character Points. A character purchases everything he can do, from his ability to lift heavy objects to his ability to use magic or superpowers, with Character Points.
Your GM will tell you how many points you have to build your character with — the more points she gives you, the more powerful your character is. You can spend most of your Character Points without any requirements, but you only get to spend some of them if you take a matching value of Complications for your character. Complications are disadvantages, hindrances, and difficulties that affect a character and thus help you to define who he is and properly simulate the concept you have in mind for him. For example, your character might be Hunted by an old enemy, or adhere to a Code Of Honor, or be missing one eye.
Beyond the number of Character Points available to you, Narosia doesn’t impose any explicit restrictions on how you spend them. There’s no rule that says you have to spend a certain percentage of a character’s points on Skills, or that you can only spend 10 points on a particular Characteristic. In Narosia, you have the freedom to design your character the way you want it — and the responsibility to create a fair, fun, and reasonable character that accompanies that freedom.
There are five things a character can
buy with Character Points:
Characteristics, Skills, Perks, Talents, and Powers.
All Narosia characters have nineteen Characteristics (such as Strength, Intelligence, and Speed), which represent basic physical, mental, and combat capabilities common to most characters. An average human has Characteristics between 5 and 10.
Several Characteristics have
Characteristic Rolls equal to 9 + (Characteristic/5)
or less. For example, a character with a DEX of 20 has a DEX Roll of 13- (9 +
(20/5) = 13). When the GM asks you to make a Characteristic Roll (such as a DEX
Roll to walk along a narrow beam), you roll 3d6 like normal. The more you make
(or fail) the roll by, the greater your degree of success (or failure). The GM
imposes negative modifiers on the Characteristic Roll when you attempt
particularly difficult feats, making it harder to succeed.
A character’s Skills represent specialized knowledge or training he possesses. This includes such things as knowing how to sail a boat, or shoot with a bow, or the character’s in-depth knowledge about any subject you can think of.
A character can try to get information,
perform a task, or gain other benefits from knowing a Skill by making a Skill
Roll. Each Skill has a Skill Roll, typically between 8- and 18- (the higher,
the better). Most Skills are based on a Characteristic, just like Characteristic Rolls, and you roll all of them the same way: roll 3d6; if the total on the dice is less than or equal to your Skill Roll, your character succeeds; if it is higher than the Skill Roll, he fails.
Perks are special resources a character has access to — money, contacts, guild membership, social rank, and the like.
You can create any ability you can think of — flying, becoming invisible or intangible, changing shape, firing energy bolts or mental blasts — using Powers. They can simulate the natural abilities of a particular race, a shaper’s spells, or an adventurer’s super-skills, just to name a few. You also use Powers to construct equipment and weapons.
Two of a character’s Characteristics — Dexterity (DEX) and Speed (SPD) — determine when he acts in combat, and how often. The rules divide combat time into 12-second Turns; each of those seconds is a Segment. The character’s SPD indicates which Segments he can take an Action in; these Segments are his Phases. Thus, a character with 5 SPD has 5 Phases — five times each Turn when he can act. The Speed Chart indicates the Phases for each SPD.
In each Segment, several characters may have a Phase — for example, characters with SPD 3 and SPD 6 both act in Segment 4. All characters who can act in a Phase do so in order of DEX, from highest to lowest. Thus, a character with DEX 20 acts before one with DEX 18; however, a character may Hold his Action and act later in the Phase if he wants.
Attacks are a special type of Action. An Attack Action may be a Half Phase Action or a Full Phase Action, depending on the maneuver chosen or specifics of the Power used, and always ends the character’s Phase.
Some Actions take so little time to perform that they are Zero Phase Actions. Characters can perform Zero Phase Actions at the beginning of a Phase or after making a Half Phase Action, but not after making an attack. Zero Phase Actions include turning a Power on or off.
Some Actions take no time at all, and can be performed whenever a character wishes, even if he doesn’t have a Phase or has already acted in a Phase. No time Actions include making a Presence Attack, speaking, or making a roll when the GM asks you to.
Combat Value is two of a character’s Characteristics: Offensive Combat Value (OCV) and Defensive Combat Value (DCV). Various Combat Maneuvers, Combat Skill Levels, and other factors may modify a character’s OCV or DCV.
To attack, roll 3d6. Add 11 to your OCV and subtract the number rolled from the total. That indicates what DCV you can hit. If the target’s DCV is equal to or less than that, you hit him; if it’s higher than that, you missed him. For example, if a character has OCV 10 and rolls an 8, he can hit (10 + 11 - 8 =) DCV 13 or less.
Mental Attacks are slightly different. They use Mental Combat Value (MCV), which is defined by two Characteristics, Offensive Mental Combat Value (OMCV) and Defensive Mental Combat Value (DMCV). Otherwise, making a Mental Attack is basically the same as making any other kind of attack.
Normal Damage Attacks: This type of damage tends to knock an opponent out (by causing STUN damage) rather than kill him (by causing BODY damage). The total on the dice is the amount of STUN damage the attack does. To determine how much BODY damage it does, look at the numbers rolled on the dice: a 1 is 0 BODY; a 2-5 is 1 BODY, and a 6 is 2 BODY. Thus, a 6d6 Normal Damage attack which rolls 6, 5, 4, 4, 2, and 1 does 22 STUN and 6 BODY. The number of BODY done is usually close to the number of dice rolled.
Killing Damage Attacks: This type of damage is more likely than Normal Damage to kill an opponent. The total on the dice is the amount of BODY the attack does. To determine the STUN done, roll Hit Location (p. XX) to determine the STUN Multiplier and multiply the result by the amount of BODY done. For example, suppose an RKA 3d6 rolls 3 + 4 + 5 = 12. That’s 12 BODY damage. Then you roll 3d6 for Hit Location to determine the STUN Multiplier (as well as other effect). If the multiplier is 3 (e.g. Chest), the attack does 36 STUN (3 x 12).
Normal Defenses offer no protection against the BODY of Killing Damage. For that, characters need Resistant Defenses, such as Resistant Protection or a worn suit of armor.
If a character loses all of his STUN from one or more attacks, he’s Knocked Out (unconscious) and completely unable to act. However, he wakes up when he regains STUN. Characters regain lost STUN by taking Recoveries. For each Recovery taken, the character gets back his Recovery Characteristic (REC) worth of STUN and END.
If a character loses BODY, he’s injured — he suffers burns, cuts, bleeding wounds, broken bones, and so forth. If he loses all of his BODY (down to 0 BODY), he begins to bleed to death. When he reaches his negative BODY (for example, -10 BODY for someone who normally has 10 BODY), he dies. Characters heal BODY damage at the rate of REC in BODY per month.
Skill Rolls, Characteristic Rolls, and Perception Rolls: You want to roll low on 3d6; the lower the roll, the more likely you are to succeed. These target numbers are written as a number followed by a hyphen (e.g. 13-). When read aloud, 13- would be pronounced, “Thirteen or less.”
Attack Rolls: You want to roll low on 3d6 to hit; the lower you roll, the more likely you are to hit your target. This applies to physical combat, magical combat, and any other type of combat.
Damage/Effect Rolls: When you’re rolling the dice of damage or effect for your attack, you want to roll high. The higher you roll, the more damage you do to the target, or the greater the effect your attack has.