Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

2024 Character Creation Challenge Day 19: Fantasy Hero

Day 19 of the 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge and I am using the Fantasy Hero 6th Edition system. I had a past character sheet for Fantasy Hero found in my Book of Characters, but I don’t recall ever playing the game (or any Hero game).

Now I have to tell the story about how I came across this book. Last year I visited one of the local gaming stores that I only get a chance to visit a couple times a year (not too distant, but just enough out of the way that I’m not a regular). I liked visiting this place because they would have a good used selection of RPG books. I was able to pick up a copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics at a very reasonable price from this store. On one visit I found a copy of Fantasy Hero in really good shape and for a very low price. As a bargain hunter I was thinking that it was a steal and something that I could use for a future challenge. Well I got home and started looking through the book and started getting scared and upset. This didn’t seem like an actual core rulebook, it seemed to be just a settings book for the Hero System 6th Edition. But it didn’t tell you this on the front or back cover nor did it tell you in the first few pages of the game (that I was able to find). No wonder it was so cheap. I’m wondering if someone else purchased it and discovered the same thing and then sold the book to this store for credit?

Luckily at the time I had purchased the book, the Bundle of Holding website was running a charity sale with the Hero 6th Edition core books (at the basic level) and some expansions covering different genres (at the higher level). It was quite literally the last day of the sale and I picked up just the basic so that I could have the core rules. So I’ll be using the physical Fantasy Hero book and the Character Creation Book (volume 1) PDF in an attempt to make this character.

They physical book has 480 pages and was written by Steven S. Long. The ISBN number is 978-1-58366-129-1 and had an original cover price of $44.99. There is a character creation chapter that starts on page 52, but it just states pick a theme and a motivation and then goes into some racial templates. The PDF for Volume 1 of Hero System 6th edition Character Creation is 466 pages long. The PDF was bookmarked. The character sheet is two pages long. The original basis for this game was the superhero genre, which may explain why I never looked at this game to begin with. Oh wait, as I started reading some of the introductions it stated that there is a Basic Rulebook, did I get that in my set? Yes, let’s see if that has a basic character creation guide? Hey here is one on page six and it even explains the game basics. OK, change of plans, I’m going to use the 138 page Basic Rulebook instead because it sounds like it might be a little bit more straightforward without the extra fluff (and there is a LOT of fluff in here).

If you have to complete a type of task such as combat, skill use, etc you roll 3d6 and apparently you want a low number. Makes sense and I’m glad that they started it off with that. The characters are built using Character Points as determined by the GM (Heroic characters are 175 points which I’m electing to use). There are seventeen characteristics (what????) with the average human ranging from 5-10. There are also skills (specialized knowledge), Perks (special resources like having lots of money), Talents (unusual knowledge), Powers (probably for the superhero side of this game), Advantages and Limitations (self explanatory), and Multipowers (why am I suddenly hearing: “But wait, there’s more!!!!”)

Page 9 of the basic rules explains the character sheet. Good job. Oh, wait. It doesn’t match the character sheet that I printed out. OK, so I’m going to print out this sheet, but it’s going to look different than the one seen in the photo above. It is still two pages and the second page was the same. There were some minor differences on the first page and since I’m going with the basic rules, I wanted them to match.

Finally, the Characteristics (aka Attributes). There is Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Intelligence (INT), Ego (EGO) mental strength and strength of will, Presence (PRE) charisma and bravery and leadership capabilities, Offensive Combat Value (OCV) which is the accuracy in combat, Defensive Combat Value (DCV) how hard it is to hit your character, Offensive Mental Combat Value (OMCV) accuracy in mental combat, Defensive Mental Combat Value (DMCV) yea you guessed it, Speed (SPD) how many times your character acts in each combat turn, Physical Defense (PD) protection from physical attacks (that I guess actually made it through your DCV), Energy Defense (ED) protection from energy attacks, Recovery (REC) how fast your character heals, Endurance (END) personal energy that feeds some abilities and powers, Body (BODY) it sounds like hit points and Stun (STUN) hit points for being knocked out. Wow. There is a characteristics table on page 18 that shows the starting value for the character (as a normal human) and the cost for raising that value (some are 1 to 1 while others are much higher). It appears that I don’t have to pay for the starting values.

Now I flipped back to the Character Creation book because the Fantasy Hero book talked about Templates (that is how I knew there were no steps for character creation in the fantasy book). I am going to use the templates with the basic rules (I hope they fit). There is a cost for each template that I’m going to use with the 175 character points. So finally I get to choose something from the fantasy book. On the race, I was thinking about making a Centaur character since I don’t see that option often, but I elected to go with Dwarf so I could see how it stacks up to other fantasy RPGs. I added the dwarf template to the sheet and subtracted the points.

I think I’m just winging it at this time since I’ve been jumping back and forth between three books. Next in the Fantasy Book is the Professional Templates. Yea we are trying to keep this as simple as possible. This dwarf is going to be a warrior. Of the different types of warriors, he will be a Heavy Fighter.

And I’m going to call it here. I’ve been at this for hours going through three books and I’m not even half-way done with Drokkin the Dwarf. I’m calling this a failure. I’ve got some understanding of the game mechanics, but this is way too complicated for a roleplaying game. I just want to get a character done in 30 minutes (60 minutes at the most) and then start playing and I’ve got plenty of choices to meet that goal.


I liked how a lot of quotes from various books were used in the Fantasy Hero book. I thought it did add some flavor. And since I had to look at the index quickly to see if I had missed a page that had character creation steps (still couldn’t find one) I did notice that the first entry in the index and the last entry in the index was noted at the top of each page next to the page numbers. I thought it was a good idea. But to give you an idea of how big the index is, it is seven pages long, each with four columns with very small font.

When I found the basic rulebook, the ball started rolling a little bit easier instead of sloshing through the extra fluff. I was very grateful that this was available. I liked that they gave examples of a character that was weak vs legendary or superhuman. But even then the process was way too convoluted and drawn out. While looking through the character creation book they even suggested going to the publishers website and looking up the character creation software (which I couldn’t find). I’m sorry, but if you have to provide software to make a character.

This game has been around for a long time, so it must be an acquired taste like GURPS. I just don’t have that taste (or patience) to create a character for this game. If I saw this game available at a gaming con where a pre-made character was provided for use, I might consider signing up just to try the system out, but I’m not playing this nor am I interested in homebrewing for it. Too much crunch and fluff when I could be playing instead. I regret buying this book even at the low price it was.

Additional Notes:

We are two weeks away from the end of January. Yes you can start now, or catch up or keep going. I’ve been seeing a lot of wonderful builds out there from different systems. I’ve even checked out a few new ones. Even when I fail to make the character, I’ve learned something and I hope you have as well.

Coming Up Next:

Shadowrun Anarchy

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