Andy's FAQ questions

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_...>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 11:50:19 -0700

>Here is my big list of Hero Wars Player's Book questions and FAQ/errata
>suggestions that haven't been answered yet. Please feel free to answer them
>separately or together. I'm just trying to figure out the game.

>There were 17 questions and suggestions in this list, though I have deleted
>one and now there are 16.

Characters chapter:

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 13/19, New Abilities, first paragraph: In this paragraph, it is stated that new abilities may be gained at the end or the beginning of any episode. I think that the intent is that character development (not just new abilities) occurs at the end or beginning of any episode, yet this is not stated. I think that this sentence should be moved to the first paragraph of the Improving Abilities section above it and it should be made applicable to all Character Development Costs table usage. Otherwise, the hero could spend 1 hero point four times during a session to improve an ability by +4 total for the session (a savings of 6 HP). I know that this is nit-picky, but if you don't correct this in the first printing, I suggest putting this in the errata/FAQ right away.

  1. From Hero Points:

"Using Hero Points
Hero Points have these uses in the game: 1. During game play they may be used to Bump any action roll by your hero (see Chapter 4).
2. Add, cement, or increase character abilities between game sessions. 3. Other improvements as noted below.

Note #2. Note specifically "between game sessions".

The part about "end or beginning" basically means that it is at the player's convenience when the physical changes to the character sheet are made. The intent is that you only spend HP for development *once* in each between-episode interval.

Character Keywords chapter:

Q. Suggestion: Bevara Keyword: It seems odd to me that the Bevara keyword doesn't include First Aid in the Physical Skills. This is especially weird if you consider that Splint and Bandage is a subset of First Aid. Is this an oversight?

  1. The "Healer" occupation has "First Aid" as a physical skill. "Splint & Bandage" more specifically means treating battle injuries.
  2. Suggestion: Chalana Arroy keyword: It seems even odder that the Chalana Arroy (greatest healing goddess in Glorantha) keyword doesn't include First Aid, Splint and Bandage, and any other mundane healing skill. Is this an oversight?
  3. The "Healer" occupation has "First Aid". CA's healing is much more in the Magical realm than the physical/mundane
  4. Possible typo: Black Horse Country, Ridderan (Warrior) Caste Occupation Keywords section, second paragraph, last sentence: ...; squads are usually led by newly promoted Knights ... I think that you mean "companies" instead of "squads" in this sentence. In the previous statement, it seems that senior steeds lead squads and in the rest of the last sentence, senior Knights lead squadrons. This leaves companies for the newly promoted Knights. As another consideration, squadrons and squads are the same thing. It would be better to have three distinct words for the three levels of military organization. Do newly promoted knights lead companies or squads?
  5. A Typo.

BHT Organization, from lowest to highest:

Squad (5-15 riders & steeds) under a Senior Steed Company (100 men) under a new Knight
Squadron (1000 men) under a senior Knight

Playing Hero Wars chapter:

Q. Game Rules Suggestion: page 8/31, Ability Test: The example explains that you need to roll against an ability to see who wakes up first. In cases like this, it is easier and less complicated just to compare ability levels and let the highest level ability allow the hero to wake first. A lot of gamers will likely do this sort of thing anyway, since this situation seems to be a clear case of extraneous die rolling. Is something like this likely to be adopted into Hero Wars?

  1. Waking up is used as an example of a test with no real resistance. It is not intended to be binding that waking up *must* be rolled for.
  2. Possible Typo: page 12/31, Extended Contest Chart: The Success-Success box has a description that seems to be identical to Mastery Special as described below the chart. Either put Master Special in the box or eliminate it from the table. The Failure-Failure box includes two different results. Is this the way it is supposed to be? Has this been addressed? Please explain the situation to me if I am wrong.

Failure-Failure: Yes, it is supposed to have two results. Mastery Special is only used when both opponents have the same number of masteries (and that number is not 0). Basically, if all masteries are cancelled then a Fail-Fail result becomes a Success-Success.

>From the Mastery section:

"Special Case
When both characters have the same number of masteries, the masteries are canceled. Both characters roll as if they had no masteries, with the following exception: When both fail, treat this the same as if they had both succeeded. The lower roll is considered to be the winner."

This is the "Mastery Special" indicated on the result chart.

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 13/31, Order of Action, first paragraph: The order of action in group extended contests is based on current AP totals. Is this true for all extended contests? If it is, this should be stated under the Extended Contest section. If not, there should still be some explanation of who goes first in a normal Extended Contest. This has already been hashed out on the list. Should this be a FAQ?

  1. Order of Action based on AP is only for Group Extended Contests. Normal Extended Contests are "I go-You go" based.

Normally one person will clearly initiate action in a normal Extended Contest. He becomes the "Actor" first, and bids in the first exchange. If the narrator and players feel the need to use AP to resolve a simultaneous initiation of hostilities, they may.

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 16/31, Switching Abilities, first example: Kallai switches from Sword and Shield to Fight Undead Thing, but no explanation (or even suggestion) is given for why he might want to do this. There is no clue in the Zombie description that indicates that Sword and Shield would have a negative Improvisational Modifier against a zombie, so Kallai is not losing a Handicap. There is no note in the Zombie description that abilities like Fight Undead Thing negates the Zombie's ability to last until -40 AP. It seems that Kallai would actually want to use his Fight Undead Thing feat to augment his Sword and Shield ability. Even if this is a correct example, it is not explained clearly enough to be useful. The second example is much more useful and understandable. This has also been hashed out on the list. I submit that it should be in the errata/FAQ list.

  1. First response: It is an example of switching Abilities in the middle of a fight, not an example of a Zombie's special powers. It is meant to show that even though he switches abilities his AP do not change. All else is Fluff.

Second response: Fight Undead thing is a feat. Feats are not explained (as has been pointed out in numerous questions). The player may have a special use in mind for the feat.

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 17/31, Unrelated Actions, first paragraph, last sentence: There is a mention of a "significant action". This is confusing because there is no explanation of what the term "significant action" means in Hero Wars.

  1. "Significant Action" is not a HW term. It means an action that takes time, helps the character in some way, etc. Significance of the action is up to the Narrator and players.
  2. Game Explanation Problem: page 18/31, Defending Against Multiple Attackers: There is a statement that 6 is the general number that may attack a single character in combat. I suggest that this thought be more clearly expressed as "Six attackers can reasonable attack the same defender if they can surround him. If they can only attack from one side, such as when the defender has his back to a wall, then only three attackers can reasonably attack him. If the defender is backed into a corner, then only one to two attackers can reasonably attack him. If more than the reasonable number of attackers tries to gang up on a defender, then they interfere with each other. Each attacker over the reasonable number causes all attackers to suffer a -3 modifier to their attacking skill." An explanation like this seems to more clearly illustrate the tactical reasons for the other arbitrary number of six attackers per defender and it gives attackers a reason not to abuse this situation. Is this a reasonable idea that may be incorporated into the Hero Wars rules?
  3. There is no way to foresee all eventualities in HW contests. This is meant as a rule of thumb - "Narrators should use common sense in determining how many individuals can attack a single target. The number 6 is a handy reference..." If the player or narrator wants to change the number, or add more rules (as you suggest above), the game won't stop them.
  4. Possible Typo and Definite Example Confusion: page 20/31, long extended contest example: Why do the Trollkin have 12 AP when they are attacking with Club 6?

Answered in the FAQ - they augmented before combat. Examples do not give all the background to a situation, especially if the situation is not what is being examined.

Theism chapter:

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 8/9, Subcult Secrets: Does being a true devotee of a hero preclude being a devotee of a god or can a devotee of a god also be a devotee of a hero? This is not clearly explained in this section.

  1. A hero may only be a Devotee of one being due to time and resource constraints. He *may* be devoted to one being and initiated to another.

Animist Magic chapter:

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 4/13, Fetch, first paragraph, second to last sentence: This whole sentence "It may be able to aid him in the mundane plane as well, depending on what, exactly, it is." is unclear. I don't understand what you are trying to say and neither will some of the other readers. I suggest an example to illustrate what the author is trying to say.

  1. A fetch may take the form of a useful spirit, such as a wind or water spirit, it may be tied to the Shaman's body, or disembodied. Each form of Fetch has its own benefits and problems.
  2. Game Explanation Problem: page 11/13, Hsunchen Tribesman example, second paragraph, last sentence: Once again, there is no example improvisational modifier number. Do I assume that the default number is -3?
  3. Standard Improvisational Modifier as stated in "Playing Hero Wars" or modified by the troupe.

Mysticism chapter:

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 6/8, Strikes, second paragraph: "The mystic must bid all his AP in one all-out strike." Is this current or starting AP? This should be stated clearly: "The mystic must bid all his starting AP in one all-out strike." Also there should be a reference in the keywords that include abilities like mystic strikes to this section or a reference in this section to those keywords. I didn't realize that this mystic strike section explained how to use the Humakti secret at first.

  1. Current AP.

Humakt's Secret clearly states that it acts as a Mystic Strike.

Q. Game Explanation Problem: page 7/8, Benefits, second paragraph: It is implied that the student may only leave the dojo after achieving a power. This means that starting Mystics who travel outside the dojo must have two masteries in each discipline. Is this the intent of this section? If not, what is the explanation for lesser skilled mystics who travel outside of their dojos?

  1. Lesser-skilled mystics are not ready for, and should not be exposed to, the temptation of the Outside world. A lesser-skilled mystic, if traveling the Outside World, should have a good explanation - he is accompanying a Master, his dojo was burned down and he is searching for a teacher, etc. Specific dojos may have specific variances to this rule at the narrator's option.

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