About this project
The Book: Hero Games is proud to announce a new core Fantasy Hero roleplaying game book! Like our previously published core book Champions Complete, Fantasy Hero Complete will be a 240 page softcover with color cover, black and white interior, table of contents and index. It will be a stand-alone product containing all of the rules necessary to play Fantasy Hero with no other book required, but compatible with all Hero System 6th edition books. Fantasy Hero Complete will include spells, monsters, magic items, and a sample adventure in addition to all of the Skills, Powers, and Complications useful for the fantasy genre. Experienced players will find it to be a handy, easy-to-use addition to their Fantasy Hero library, while new players will be able to sit down with a copy, create characters, and start having fun!
Fantasy Hero Complete will be written by veteran Hero System author Michael Surbrook, with an original cover by Sam Flegal, interior layout by Ruben Smith-Zempel, and cartography by Keith Curtis. With thirty years of play behind it, our goal is to include everything Fantasy Hero gamers need (except pencil, paper, and a handful of six-sided dice), and nothing they don't. New players will love the unmatched freedom of the Hero System, which allows them to create and play exactly the hero they imagine. Longtime fans will appreciate a tight, concise new approach, presenting the full game system at a fraction of its former length.
The PDF included in all $10+ levels has the complete contents of the book in convenient electronic format. No DRM, watermarks, or other nuisances.
The Character Pack included in the $20 and $40+ levels is a data file with all of the characters and monsters from the book in the format Hero Designer uses, so you can customize them easily. Hero Designer is sold separately and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The Purpose: By supporting this project you aren't merely purchasing a book. The ultimate goal of the Fantasy Hero Complete project is to get this greatly loved staple of fantasy gaming back into print at a price that will encourage new gamers to try Fantasy Hero – and old ones who haven't played in many years to come home to the system they once loved. At $10 for the PDF and $30 for the print book, we intend to distribute Fantasy Hero Complete to game stores around the world, broadening the fanbase of people who love the game. (And making it easier for more people to play Fantasy Hero with you!) All copies of the print book sold through game stores that are part of Bits and Mortar will include the PDF.
The Pledge: We encourage you to support this project at whatever level is comfortable for you. You can also pledge more than the tier requires if you're extra-excited and would like to help out more. All reward levels include our thanks in the credits of the book. And if money's tight, spreading news of the Kickstarter is also a way to help, and much appreciated.
New To The Hero System?
Fantasy Hero Complete uses the Hero System, which encourages GMs to create the campaign setting they imagine instead of playing in someone else's sandbox, and to let players create just the character they want to play, just they way they want it.
Fantasy Hero's character creation system is points-driven with no random elements. Players are given a pool of points they use to buy Abilities such as Characteristics, Skills, and Powers, and can gain more points by taking Complications that make life harder (and more interesting) for their character. Non-player characters and Monsters can be designed the same way. Examples are included, and are easy to customize if the GM decides she wants dragons to be different. Spells are done as Powers with various Limitations. The rules include examples for people who want to kill dragons now and customize magic later.
Once characters are created, there's no math more complicated than addition and subtraction. To hit something you roll 3d6 and compare your attack value (OCV) to your target's defense value (DCV), and then roll some more d6's and add them up to determine damage, subtracting armor. At epic levels you can roll big fistfuls of dice. You like dice, right?
Abilities are based on effects. The player chooses an effect the power simulates (such as Energy Blast), and optionally chooses modifiers to adjust the power to taste, allowing a great deal of customization. Do you want your Wizard to specialize in ice magic, or illusions, or vastly powerful spells that take a long time and elaborate ritual? All easily done.
Experience is awarded in the form of character points which have the same value as those used in character creation and can be applied directly to the character's Abilities, allowing your character to develop according to your imagination, not just as predetermined class.
Some people think of Hero System as complicated, but character creation just uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (and not even that if you have a copy of Hero Designer to do all the work, then it's all just point and click). In actual play all you need is adding and subtracting small numbers, and thinking of fun things to say and do. If you can roll 3 six-sided dice and add them up, the Hero System is firmly within your grasp.
We've had a lot of inquiries about our not including an option for shipping physical copies of Fantasy Hero Complete internationally as part of this Kickstarter project, and feel that our foreign customers deserved an explanation. The reasons for us making this choice are strictly economic. It costs us somewhere between three and five times as much to ship intentionally as domestically. The $15,000 we are asking to complete this project is the bare minimum it will cost to create and ship the book to domestic backers with no “wiggle room” for extra expenses. Until we reach that point, any added money for international shipping doesn't actually make the book happen. It just goes to shipping. So if we accept international shipping before reaching our goal, we could wind up reaching the goal but not getting enough funds to actually make Fantasy Hero Complete.
And nobody wants that.
(Additionally, books that are shipped overseas get lost more frequently than those shipped domestically, so we need a good cushion of funding to cover cases where we wind up having to ship a replacement book.)
However, it was never our desire to exclude our foreign customers, but rather to serve them by making electronic files available during the project and physical copies available via direct sales and international distribution afterward. So if we reach our $15,000 goal by May 16th (the halfway point), we'll add a $60 “Legionnaire” Level which will be the same as our Myrmidon Level, only with international shipping included. That's Canada and Mexico at cost - and we'll subsidize all other international shipping.
If you're an international customer, please remember that you can pledge at the Journeyman Level ($20) now, then change your pledge with the blue "Manage Pledge" button to the Legionnaire Level should we get to add that. Or, if you're feeling particularly supportive, you can choose the $20 reward but pledge $60 now to get us to $15,000 faster, and then drop back to $20 if we don't make that goal by May 16th.
Extended International Shipping Deadline
Due to requests from fans of Hero abroad, we are extending our international deadline by five more days! Now if we reach our $15,000 goal by May 22nd, we'll add the $60 “Legionnaire” Level with international shipping included. And at $11,393 – roughly 75% of our needed funding – we're really not that far from the finish line today!
And remember: if you're an international customer, you can pledge at the Journeyman Level ($20) now, then change your pledge with the blue "Manage Pledge" button to the Legionnaire Level should we get to add that. Or, if you're feeling particularly supportive, you can choose the $20 reward but pledge $60 now to get us to $15,000 faster, and then drop back to $20 if we don't make that goal by May 22nd.
Stretch Goals Announced!
Now that we've reached $10,000, we'd like to announce some stretch goals. We'll unlock them as we achieve them, and make them available to you the backer!
$17,000 Fantasy Hero Bonus Pack. This will include 12 ready-to-play sample characters, an additional sample adventure, and an expanded setting derived from the adventure in Fantasy Hero Complete. All characters created in the Bonus Pack will be included in the Hero Designer Character Pack, and all backers at the Journeyman ($20) level up will receive it.
$27,000 Fantasy Grimoire. We will print and make available a 240-page book of spells and magic items with an original cover.
$37,000 Fantasy Bestieary. We will print and make available a 240-page book of monsters and enemies with an original cover.
Opening Legionnaire Level
We've looked at our numbers, and concluded that we can afford international shipping if we reduce the size of our print run. That means FHC will go out of print sooner and be less profitable in the long run, but that we're not leaving our international fans out in the cold. (The print run will still be big enough to have copies for distribution to game stores and to sell on the Herogames.com website after the kickstarter for a while.) So we've added the LEGIONNAIRE level at $60 for a signed book, PDF, and Character Pack, shipped anywhere in the world. You can add additional books to that level for $30 each, just like the backers in the USA.
Risks and challenges
Hero Games has successfully published more than one hundred RPG books. We have our author, artist, cartographer, editor, and layout person already signed up, all professionals we've worked well with before. We have a budget drawn up, a printer (in the USA) selected, and expert shipping and fulfillment services ready to see that everything gets sent out quickly once it's finished. We've included extra time in the schedule to accommodate holidays, convention season, in case someone gets sick, or the unforeseen pops up, and extra extra time in case the extra time wasn't enough.
USPS Media Mail rates will likely go up in January, and we've built in a cushion expecting that. We're not offering international shipping (sorry, fans outside the US) so the many headaches and budget-busting effects of that aren't a factor. (We'll be printing plenty of extra copies to provide via distribution to game stores and our webstore afterwards.) Our budget also takes taxes into account.
We're planning to have Fantasy Hero Complete available for DunDraCon in February, which means all the backers need to get their copies in January because nobody gets a copy until the backers get their copies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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