Returning to D&D

Hi all…

I’ve been a roleplaying gamer for the better part of my life — ever since Hodgkins Junior High… And I’ve played D&D and a large number of other systems, even helped write one.

But since I moved back to Colorado, I’ve been playing with a group that’s used the Hero System. For those of you who know RPGs, Hero started out primarily as a superhero-based system and has stretched far beyond that since its inception.

Our game is primarily low-magic fantasy, with thieves, wizards, and priestly magic.

Well, we’re shifting to D&D 3.5e in the next couple of months. Hero has proven difficult to manage as a system for our gamemaster and players simply because it’s so open and flexible. You can really massage it in a myriad of ways, which just makes things difficult to balance and keep things running smoothly.

My beef has been that it takes 2 hours to run a combat that in-game would amount to maybe 2 minutes. There’s something wrong with that ratio in my mind, where the system should serve to support the story, not slow it down or get in its way.

So we’ll be trying out D&D 3.5e. I haven’t played D&D for a very long time, so it will be an interesting transition for me and my thief.

We’ll keep you posted.



  1. Hero’s perk is its disadvantage. It’s flexible. If you can spend the time up front, it would be a passible system. But I wouldn’t recommend it for a person brand-new to the system as the system to pick up to run a game in without the prep time and a good understanding of what (and where) the balance points are needed.

    I’ve played more broken systems than Hero, but hero is only one of 2 that I have seen that it was a system that I wanted to like, but couldn’t for a variety of reasons.

    I’m sure if we went out to the hero forum, you could see a lot of people in love with the system. My guess is they get around the combat pains by using a progam to sort it all out.

    Seems like a poor paper system if you have to rely on a computer to make it happen. Oops. There I go being critical…. my apologies.

  2. Critical is ok. Your comments make sense. Hero isn’t a bad system. But it’s an everything plus the sink system, which means you either have to take away to make it workable or rework parts to define them to a point where they make sense. I think you’ve done an admirable job in 2 years of handling both sides of that and it’s just a tiring task. D&D will present its own challenges, I’m sure.

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