Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special

Introduction To Hero TV

Ladies and Gentlemen...

It’s the final stages of the King of Heroes 2017 auditions and the judges have selected this season’s participants. Since the entire selection process was held behind closed doors, the Opening Ceremony is the first chance that the public will be able to feast their eyes on this year’s contestants. With past King of Heroes making guest appearances, this year’s event is expected to be the most spectacular show yet to grace the global media outlets.

How will this year’s crop do when they’re sent on their first real response calls throughout the globe?

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All players need to follow one of these two possible options listed below in comments for their Character Generation. A separate page of the two character creation options are on this page!

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PRIMARY GUIDE

Costs for things are largely based on how much system utility a given power or SFX seems to have: that is, if the power die or SFX could conceivably be used more often in dice pools, it’s priced more expensively. Even with the points, you’ll want to have a pretty in-depth discussion between GM and player about each hero and make sure elements are added because they’re thematic to the hero the player wants, not because the player has spare points and wants to pick up something useful. GMs are specifically encouraged to assess additional point cost to “unrelated collection of useful powers” characters and may even provide a few bonus points to characters that take situationally-useful but highly in-theme powers.

All that said, the points below do get within spitting distance of the existing datafiles that I priced. For reference:

Local: Armor
Regional: Colossus, Cyclops
Regional +XP: Human Torch, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Shadowcat, Thing
Global: Beast, Black Widow, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic
Global +XP: Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Spider-Woman
Cosmic: Emma Frost, Spider-Man, Storm, Wolverine
Power Level
Starting characters in this system are rated by power level. This is basically the frame of the game that the characters can play from the starting session. If you let experience persist across Events, characters will likely upgrade levels every few Events.

Local characters are either just starting out or have profoundly limited powersets. They will most frequently deal with small-time criminals (“Street Heroes”) or be in training for higher-powered teams (e.g., X-Men trainees). Local characters start with 20 points to spend on Power Sets and 4 points to spend on Specialties.
Regional characters are entry-level with a pretty good power range, have extensive pre-game training, or are experienced heroes with a limited power range. They will either handle problems all over a major city or may pursue specifically relevant stories all over the world (common for mutants). Regional characters start with 30 points to spend on Power Sets and 6 points to spend on Specialties.
Global characters have had pretty extensive experiences before the start of play and commonly have a broad selection of powers to match. They deal with crises all over the world and may periodically go to other worlds or planes. Global characters start with 40 points to spend on Power Sets and 10 points to spend on Specialties.
Cosmic characters have reams of backstory, extensive powers, and tons of training. They frequently have to spend substantial amounts of time off-planet to find threats significant enough for them and/or are solo heroes that often deal with threats that would stump whole teams of less experienced characters. Cosmic characters start with 50 points to spend on Power Sets and 16 points to spend on Specialties.
Affiliations and Distinctions
Characters of any power level arrange Affiliations and Distinctions normally (i.e., match d10, d8, and d6 to Solo, Buddy, and Team and then pick three Distinctions). At the group’s discretion, Local and Regional characters may start with fewer Distinctions and the intention of gaining more related to character development in play.

Power Sets
Characters start with one Power Set for free. If the character has a second Power Set, it costs 2 points extra per Power Trait in that set (e.g., a secondary power set with three Power Traits costs +6 points beyond the costs of its traits and SFX).

Each Power Trait has a cost that is multiplied by the die step (d6=2, d8=3, d10=4, and d12=5) to find the cost of adding that Trait. For example, a cost 2 Trait at d8 costs 6 points and a cost 3 trait at d12 costs 15 points.

Special Effects (SFX) have a flat cost to add to the Power Set.

Each Power Set must have at least one Limit. Additional Limits do not generally provide any kind of bonus (other than that the character now has an additional way to recover Plot Points or drain the Doom Pool). If both player and GM agree that a Limit is unusually restrictive or powerful (like Sentry’s “The Void”), the GM may choose to award a small number of bonus points. However, be wary of awarding one player bonus points for a limit that will provide problems for the whole team.

Power Traits
A Local character can only have one Trait at d8, and the rest must be d6. A Regional character can have one Trait at d10, the rest must be d8 or less. A Global character can have one Trait at d12, the rest must be d10 or less. A Cosmic character can have any number of traits at d12. At GM’s discretion, particularly compelling rationales may bypass this restriction.

Attack Powers: 1, 2 for a particularly unresisted energy type
Durability: 2, 3 with no major weakness
Elemental Control: 3, 4 for powerful elements (e.g., Cosmic) at GM’s discretion
Intangibility: 1
Invisibility: 2
Mimic: 2
Movement: 1, 2 for flight
Psychic Powers: 1 for animal and plant control, 2 for mind control and telepathy
Reflexes: 2
Resistance: 1
Senses: 2
Shapeshifting: 2
Size-Changing: 1
Sorcery: 3
Stamina: 2
Strength: 1
Stretching: 1
Teleport: 2
Transmutation: 2
Special Effects
Absorption: 2, 3 for extremely broad (GM’s discretion)
Afflict: 2
Area Attack: 3
Berserk: 1
Boost: 1
Burst: 2
Constructs: 2
Counterattack: 2
Dangerous: 2
Focus: 1
Healing: 1
Immunity: 1-3 depending on broadness (GM’s discretion)
Invulnerable: 2, 3 if weakness is rare
Multipower: 2
Second Chance: 1
Second Wind: 3
Unleashed: 2
Versatile: 2
Specialties
Any remainder of points for Powers can be halved and applied as additional points for Specialties. Any remainder of points for Specialties can be spent on Powers directly (but are not multiplied).

A d6 Specialty costs 1 point, a d8 costs 2, and a d10 costs 4. Characters above Local level aren’t encouraged to have d6 Specialties.

A character cannot have more d10 Specialties than d8 Specialties (e.g., if a character wants two d10 Specialties, he must have at least two d8 Specialties as well).

Milestones
GM and player should work together to come up with relevant milestones. In general, all PCs should have milestones that are likely to happen with the same level of frequency (e.g., one character should not have a 1 XP milestone that can easily happen over and over while another has a 1 XP milestone that can happen only once).

Introduction To Hero TV
 

SECONDARY ALTERNATIVE GUIDELINE

Nodes
The following node types are used in this system when making the relationship map:

Protagonist (Square): This is used for PCs. All PCs are placed in the center of the page and are automatically connected to one another.
Secondary Character (Circle): This is used for NPCs. Unlike Smallville, there isn’t a mechanical distinction between features and extras, but you might wish to double-circle NPCs that wind up with a lot of lines drawn to and from them, as they’ll likely be very important to the plot. These NPCs should typically be neither antagonistic nor completely helpful: they are not the players’ enemies (that’s antagonists, below) but they will often have their own goals and serve as foils.
Theme (Triangle): This is a one or two word theme, typically a very broad noun like “Ostracism,” “Fear,” “Sacrifice,” “Forgiveness,” and so on. The intent is to provide a core concept for Distinctions to build off of, and to give the GM ideas as to what concepts are central to the game when planning scenarios.
Macguffin (Pentagon/Shield): This is an important item or element that will drive the plot by frequent attempts to obtain or use it. It can be something powerful but specific (Mjolnir, Cap’s Shield) or something broadly important (the Odinforce, the Super Soldier Formula). It should not be something easily destroyed. It might also sometimes be an important location; in this case, draw the symbol as a diamond per standard Smallville notation.
Antagonist (Hexagon): This is a character or group with goals the create conflict with the PCs. They might not be villains as such, but they will always have an agenda that causes them to be at odds with the protagonists.
Like standard Smallville notation, connections between nodes are one-way arrows: one node might have a relationship with another with a different reciprocal relationship (or none whatsoever). There are a few limitations to this:

Themes cannot have outgoing arrows, only incoming arrows. The label for this arrow is the name of the Distinction so created.
Other players and the GM might draw arrows from other nodes to any protagonist, but only the player of that character can draw outgoing arrows (i.e., only the player can define how his PC feels about other nodes). With the above rule, this means that only the player can connect his own PC to themes.
Each node can only have a single outgoing connection to any other node (i.e., it can’t have two different relationships with the same element).
Unlike Smallville, when a player draws an arrow from his protagonist, he does not get to draw and define a reciprocal relationship for free: if he wants to control both sides of the relationship, he’ll need to spend another connection before another player or the GM decide to spend one to define it first.
Remember that placing something means giving it a node type and an interesting name, but the other players can and will define it by creating connections, and the GM will ultimately stat it and use it based on those connections. Don’t get your heart set on a thorough definition for an item as soon as you place it: something cool sounding but vague will likely be enhanced by other player input.
Pathways
Begin the setup by placing and naming all the PC squares and connecting them (the arrows can be labeled at any point for free or left blank). Come up with a basic concept for your character. You can define your Solo, Buddy, and Team dice (from d10, d8, and d6) at any point in the process. Rotate around the table between every addition to the map (e.g., everyone adds a node before connecting to nodes) and alternate which player starts the process each time. Stop at the step that best defines the type of game you want to play (e.g., complete step 4 but don’t complete step 5 if you want to play regional-level heroes).

1. Background
Think about your character background and what your primary Power Set will be.

Add a Theme (Triangle).
Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Theme. Define the connection as your first Distinction.
Pick one of the following:

Early Power: Add a Power Trait at d6.
Early Training: Add an Expert Specialty (d8).
2. Catalyst
Think about the situation that granted your character powers.

Add a Secondary Character (Circle).
Add a Macguffin (Pentagon).
Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Circle or Pentagon.
Draw an arrow from any Circle or Pentagon to any protagonist.
Draw an arrow from any Circle or Pentagon to any Circle, Pentagon, or Triangle.
(Define all connections as you make them.)

After all players are done with this phase, the GM adds one Antagonist (Hexagon) or Macguffin (Pentagon) and makes two connections (between any valid elements).

Pick one of the following:

Indoctrination: You received your powers from training or deliberate experiment.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8).
Add two Power Traits at d6.
Add an SFX or step up one Power Trait to d8.
Define an appropriate Limit.
Mutation: You are a mutant and likely received your powers at puberty.
Add a Power Trait at d8.
Add two SFX.
Add another Power Trait at d6 or an Expert Specialty (d8).
Take the Mutant Limit.
Accident: You received your powers from some kind of scientific or mystical accident.
Add a Power Trait at d8.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or two SFX.
Add another Power Trait at d6 or two SFX.
Define an appropriate Limit.
At this phase, no specialties can be higher than Expert and no powers can be larger than d8.

3. Mission (Local-level heroes)
Think about your character’s personal ethics/code and desires. Add one of the following:

A Theme (Triangle) if your character is defined by an Ethos
A Secondary Character (Circle) if your character is motivated by Love
A Macguffin (Pentagon) if your character is in pursuit of an Item
Then:

Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Theme. Define the connection as your second Distinction.
Draw an arrow from any valid node to any protagonist.
Draw an arrow from any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon to any Circle, Pentagon, Hexagon, or Triangle.
After all players are done with this phase, the GM adds one Antagonist (Hexagon) or Macguffin (Pentagon) and makes two connections (between any valid elements).

Pick one of the following:

Addition: You gained a useful piece of gear or a secondary suite of powers.
Add a secondary Power Set and choose a Limit for that set.
Add one Power Trait to the new set at d6.
Step up any two Power Traits or add two SFX (or one of each).
Empowered: You went through some training or enhancement process to increase your powers.
Add two new Power Traits at d6 or step up four Power Traits (or one Trait and two steps).
Add one SFX.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8).
Trained: You went through an education process that mostly focused on mundane abilities.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8).
Step up an Expert Specialty to Master (d10) or add an Expert Specialty (d8).
Add a new Power Trait at d6 or add two SFX.
Step up a Power Trait or add one SFX.
At this phase, a maximum of one specialty can be Master and only one power can be larger than d8 (any number can be d6 or d8).

4. Agenda (Regional-level heroes)
Think about your character’s plans for the future and why he or she continues to fight. Add one of the following:

A Theme (Triangle) if your character pursues an Ideal
A Secondary Character (Circle) if your character is supporting a Group
A Macguffin (Pentagon) if your character is in pursuit of Knowledge
Then:

Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Theme. Define the connection as your third Distinction.
Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon.
Draw an arrow from any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon to any Circle, Pentagon, Hexagon, or Triangle.
After all players are done with this phase, the GM adds one Antagonist (Hexagon) or Macguffin (Pentagon) and makes two connections (between any valid elements).

Do all of the following:

Add a new Power Trait at d6 or step up two Power Traits.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or step up an Expert Specialty to Master (d10).
Add a new Power Trait at d6 or add two SFX.
Step up a Power Trait or add an SFX.
At this phase, there are no limits on specialties at Master except you cannot have more Master specialties than Expert specialties. Only one power can be d12 (any number can be d10 or less).

5. Legend (Global-level heroes)
Think about the legacy your character plans to leave the world and what he or she has already done to attain it. Add one of the following:

A Secondary Character (Circle) if your character will be remembered for Virtue
A Macguffin (Pentagon) if your character will be remembered for Power
A Theme (Triangle) if your character will be remembered for Awareness
Then:

Draw an arrow from any valid node to any protagonist.
Draw an arrow from any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon to any Circle, Pentagon, Hexagon, or Triangle.
After all players are done with this phase, the GM adds one Antagonist (Hexagon) or Macguffin (Pentagon) and makes three connections (between any valid elements).

Do all of the following:

Add a new Power Trait at d6 or step up two Power Traits.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or step up an Expert Specialty to Master (d10).
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or a new Power Trait at d6.
Add a new Power Trait at d6 or add two SFX.
Step up a Power Trait or add an SFX.
At this phase, there are no limits on specialties at Master except you cannot have more Master specialties than Expert specialties. There are no limits on Power Traits.

6. Transcendence (Cosmic-level heroes)
Think about what your character means to the cosmos and what they will call you across the stars and dimensions. Add one of the following:

A Secondary Character (Circle) if your character is a powerful being’s Agent
An Antagonist (Hexagon) if your character will be known for a powerful Nemesis
A Theme (Triangle) if your character is considered a God in his or her own right
Then:

Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Theme. Define the connection as a replacement for any previous Distinction.
Draw an arrow from your protagonist to any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon.
Draw an arrow from any Circle, Pentagon, or Hexagon to any Circle, Pentagon, Hexagon, or Triangle.
After all players are done with this phase, the GM makes four connections (between any valid elements).

Do all of the following:

Step up two Power Traits or add a new Power Trait at d6.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or step up two Power Traits.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or a new Power Trait at d6.
Add an Expert Specialty (d8) or step up an Expert Specialty to Master (d10).
Step up an Expert Specialty to Master (d10) or add two SFX.
Step up a Power Trait or add an SFX.
At this phase, there are no limits on specialties at Master except you cannot have more Master specialties than Expert specialties. There are no limits on Power Traits.

Work with the GM to come up with Milestones for your completed character.

Introduction To Hero TV
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