High Fantasy Hero

What is it?

What it boils down to is playing D&D, but using the 5th Edition of the Hero System to do it. OK, maybe not exactly D&D, but sort of D&D. D&D-ish. No character classes or any of that sort of bollocks, but lots of monsters and magic, and PCs doing really, really strange things in an everyday fashion. Plus dungeons, of course — got to have lots of dungeons.

Character Creation

Big and Little

Larger or smaller than adult human-sized characters are built with Growth or Shrinking, with the following modifiers:

Each level of Growth, in addition to its standard features, automatically gives the character +1" Running — longer legs gives you a longer stride. Big critters that can't walk fast get to sell some Running back.

Each level of Shrinking, in addition to its standard features, automatically reduces Running by -1.5", STR by -3 and BODY by -1. If you want to build a character who is both tiny and fast, tough and strong, you will have to buy those characteristics up again. On the plus side, each basic level of Shrinking now costs only 5 points instead of 10.

New Characteristic: MANA

I've created a new Characteristic, MANA, to deal with the problems involved in END use for magic.

It's base value is 10 and costs a ½ point per point to increase up to the Normal Char. Max. of 30, and 1pt per pt thereafter. The NCM goes up as you get older — to 45 in middle age, and 60 in old age.

You draw Mana for spells always in this order:

  1. First, any available Mana Reserve that has been properly attuned to your character (i.e. that you've paid Character Points for) and that you are using correctly. Most will require skin contact at least.
  2. Second, from your Mana characteristic.
  3. Third, from Long Term END that recovers at REC per 6 hours if resting, or REC per day if not.
  4. Fourth, from STUN at the rate of 1d6 STUN per END required (there is no defence against this). Like END, the STUN loss from last-ditch magic use is recovered at the Long Term rates.
  5. Last, from BODY and STUN at the rate of 1 BODY and 1d6 STUN per 1 Mana required. Note that since a character normally loses consciousness when Stun drops below zero, this would require that he or she use one of the various magical means of remaining awake with a negative Stun total.

Recovering Mana

Mana Recovery Time
Mana LevelRestingNot Resting
0 or moreNormal (REC per hour)REC per 6 hours
-1 to -10REC per 6 hoursREC per day
-11 to -20REC per dayREC per week
-21 to -30REC per weekREC per month
-31 or moreGM's option (a long time)

Mana recovery is at the rate of the character's REC per hour if resting, or REC per 6 hours if not. For the purposes of Mana Recovery, "resting" means "not expending Mana" (or STUN/BODY in place of Mana). The rate of restoration may be adjusted upwards or downwards by the ambient Mana level of the area you're lurking about in; some areas are more magically potent than others, while others are barely magical at all.

Using STUN or BODY in place of Mana cannot lower the character's Mana below zero; only a Mana Drain will do that.

A character with a negative Mana total becomes magically inert, and cannot use or control magic in any way — there is no other effect, so the only relevance of a negative mana total less than zero is to determine how long it will take before it is restored.