Hero system

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Hero system
Author (s) Steven S. Long (5th & 6th Edition)
Original publisher Hero Games
Original publication 1989, 6th edition 2009
original language English
World and system
genre Various
Game world Various
cube 3D6

The Hero System is a universal role play system . In addition to the basic rules, there are genre books that adapt to different game worlds .

The Hero System is not available in bookshops ; the main distribution channels for the associated publications are direct mailing and downloading of print templates in the form of files in Portable Document Format (PDF).


The Hero System originally emerged from the superhero role-playing game Champions , the first edition published in 1981 by George MacDonald and Steve Peterson . MacDonald had previously developed the first drafts of the rule system during his college days in the late 1970s, drawing on suggestions from Wayne Shaw for the mechanism of superpowers. While MacDonald tested the draft rules in practice, Peterson worked on the texts to be published for the first edition of Champions . Jim Landes, Ray Greer, Glenn Thain and Tom Tumey also participated in its appearance.

The fourth and final edition of the Champions Rules appeared in 1989. During their creation, the owners of Hero Games , MacDonald, Peterson and Ray Greer , in collaboration with Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE), developed the universal Hero System from the Champions Rules. As early as 1987, the developers had been working on a reorganization that would standardize the control systems and put them on their own feet. ICE hired Rob Bell to organize the standardization. The successful fourth edition from 1989 lasted around ten years and numerous supplementary volumes were published on its basis.

Hero Games separated from ICE in 1995, and soon after entered a cooperation with R. Talsorian Games . In this phase, licenses were also given to other publishers who wanted to publish supplements, especially Gold Rush Games. The simplified control system variant Fuzion also emerged from the cooperation between Hero Games and R. Talsorian Games. Hero Games was planning a new rule edition from 1997 onwards. Steve S. Long, who had already published for the Hero system and now wanted to work full-time as a role-play designer, was hired for this. By May 1999 the manuscript of the fifth edition had been completed and discussed with Peterson, but at this point in time Hero Games broke away from cooperation partner R. Talsorian Games, as the latter had de facto no longer been active since 1998. As a result, Hero Games did not have the funds to pay employees and pre-finance a new edition, and had to put these plans on hold for the time being. In 2000, the Cybergames publishing house bought Hero Games along with the rights to the Hero System and invested in the project, so that permanent employees were working on the Hero System for the first time. But financial and logistical problems continued to prevent the fifth edition from appearing.

In 2001 the corporation DOJ Inc. acquired the brands Hero Games and Hero System together with the materials already available for the fifth edition of the Hero System and brought them out in spring 2002. Good sales and reviews led to the publication of over two dozen volumes within two years. A revised version of the fifth edition was then published in 2004. The new product manager and main developer has been Steven S. Long since 2001 , co-owner of DOJ Inc. and a champions player himself since 1982. Long was also responsible for developing the sixth rule edition from 2007 until it was published in autumn 2009. Together with the president from Hero Games, Darren Watts, also co-owner of DOJ Inc., Long, who has co-developed numerous role-playing games since 1997, is primarily responsible for the development of the Hero System.

Rules overview

Characters can acquire attributes, skills, advantages, disadvantages and special powers when creating characters with points and improve them in the course of the game with the help of experience points gained.

During the game three six-sided dice , called D6 (English: d6), are usually used. With these, a result below a threshold, which is composed of a character value and a difficulty, must be achieved.


6th edition

The genre-specific volumes and the supplementary rules volumes of the 5th edition should be slightly compatible with the basic rules of the 6th edition, since the fundamental rule changes are limited. Numerous additions to the 6th standard edition have been published as PDF downloads. When printed volumes were published:

  • The Day After Ragnarok . 2009.
  • Steven S. Long, Darren Watts: Champions Universe . 2010.
  • Steven S. Long: Champions Powers . 2010.
  • Steven S. Long: Fantasy Hero . 2010.

5th edition

By January 2008, over 70 books were published for the fifth regular edition of the Hero System.

  • Steven S. Long: Hero System Fifth Edition Revised. The Ultimate Gamer's Toolkit . 2004. ISBN 1-58366-043-7 (the 5th regular edition first appeared in 2001).

Like the Hero rulebook, the Ultimate series could also be used across genres. Discussions and additions to special concepts were published in it, including:

  • The Ultimate Brick
  • The Ultimate Energy Projector
  • The Ultimate Martial Artist
  • The Ultimate Mentalist
  • The Ultimate Metamorph
  • The Ultimate Mystic
  • The ultimate skill
  • The Ultimate Speedster
  • The Ultimate Vehicle

The following genre-specific books were published:

Older editions

  • Rob Bell, George MacDonald, Mark Williams: Hero System Rulesbook . Iron Crown Enterprises, 1990. ISBN 1558060944 .

The following genre-specific books were published by 1989, each as a self-contained role-playing game system based on the Hero System, which had not yet been published independently:

  • George MacDonald, Steve Peterson: Champions . 1981 (1st edition), 1982 (2nd edition), 1984 (3rd edition), 1989 (4th edition, with Rob Bell) ( superheroes ).
  • Espionage . 1983 ( secret agents ).
  • Justice Inc. 1984 ( Pulp in the 1920s and 1930s).
  • Danger International . 1985 (revision of the secret agent settings).
  • Fantasy Hero . 1985 (universal fantasy setting without description of the game world).
  • Robot warriors . 1986 ( Mecha ).
  • Star Hero . 1989 (universal science fiction setting with little exemplary game world description).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Origins of the Hero System . In: Steven S. Long: Hero System Sixth Edition . Volume 2: Combat and Adventuring . 2009. ISBN 978-1-58366-121-5 , pp. 306-308.
  2. a b c d About HERO Games ( Memento from May 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Herogames.com , accessed August 15, 2010.
  3. Hero Games Employees and Freelancers ( Memento from February 26, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). In: Herogames.com , accessed August 15, 2010.
  4. HERO SYSTEM Basics ( Memento from March 25, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Herogames.com , accessed August 15, 2010.