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Fantasy Hero 4E/5E x2

Fantasy Hero 4E/5E x2

by Tuesday 28 May 2019
In May 2019 we presented two new offers featuring the Fantasy Hero lines for HERO System Fourth and Fifth Edition from Hero Games, 1990-2009.  Fantasy Hero Classic Essentials had the core 4E and 5E rulebooks and key supplements. Its companion offer, Fantasy Hero Settings, added campaign books that work with any edition of Fantasy Hero.

The HERO System underpins Champions, The Super Roleplaying Game. These endlessly flexible rules let you create any magical spell, item, or character you can imagine. Fantasy Hero works well for all kinds of fantasy: high, low, pulp, urban, Celtic, Arthurian, swashbuckling, horror, and mixtures thereof, plus crossovers from any other genre. As the blogger Blacksteel phrased it on Tower of Zenopus, “If you want a world where the hawkmen from Flash Gordon, Warforged from Eberron, frost giants, the talking animals from Narnia, and the horta from Star Trek are all playable races, then Fantasy Hero is the perfect game.” And don’t feel obliged to be eclectic; the game also supports straight-ahead Tolkienesque and Howardian adventure.

For years Jason Walters of Hero Games has worked hard to gather and scan the primordial Hero Games hardcopy lines. Thanks to Jason, we got to present a big April 2017 double offer of 67 Champions 4E books, and then two new offers of early Champions and HERO System games last November. For this offer Jason scanned a couple more Fantasy Hero titles that made their debut in .PDF in our Essentials collection (Monsters, Minions, and Marauders and Grimoire II: Lost Magic). At this point he’s just about done — we think.

1. Fantasy Hero Classic Essentials

This well-rounded Essentials collection gave you everything you need to create your own campaign.

Three of these books appeared in the 1990s, when Iron Crown Enterprises published the Hero line. From that halcyon era came the Big Blue Book, Champions Fourth Edition (1987), and the Hero System Rulesbook extracted from it. In 1990 ICE published a Fantasy Hero campaign book based on the 4E rules, an evolution of the standalone Fantasy Hero RPG originally published in 1985. (We offered the original version in last November’s Early Hero System Bundle.) Is the 1990 Fantasy Hero “Second Edition” or “Fourth Edition”? Shrug. In this offer we considered it, and its two Companion supplements, 4E — but they work fine with the 5E rules. The remaining books in both offers date from 2003-2009, when Hero produced a flood of new books for HERO System Fifth Edition under its prolific line editor, Stephen S. Long.

There were five titles in this offer’s Core Collection (retail value $44) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Fantasy Hero core rulebook for HERO System Fifth Edition, plus the Fantasy Hero Grimoire and Grimoire II: Lost Magic and the bestiary Monsters, Minions, and Marauders. And in case you mislaid your 5E rulebook, we included the stripped-down HERO System Sidekick rules (previously offered in the September 2014 Champions Bundle).

Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got this offer’s entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $53, including the three FH titles for HERO System Fourth Edition (the “Big Blue Book”) — the Fantasy Hero corebook (1990), Fantasy Hero Companion, and Fantasy Hero Companion II — plus the Fifth Edition supplements Asian Bestiary I and Asian Bestiary II, as well as Fantasy Hero Battlegrounds and its associated Map Archive I – Martial Arts and Fantasy, which has floor plans for all the locations in Battlegrounds. (We previously presented the Archive in our original November 2013 HERO System Bundle.)  

2. Fantasy Hero Settings

This companion Settings collection presented a wide-ranging assortment of location supplements that adapt the all-encompassing Fantasy Hero rules to high, low, urban, Celtic, and sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Though published for Fifth Edition, these sourcebooks work with any edition of the HERO System.

There were four HERO Fifth Edition supplements in this offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $44), including Urban Fantasy Hero; a book of NPC adversaries, Nobles, Knights, and Necromancers; The Book of Dragons; and Enchanted Items.

This offer’s Bonus Collection added four more campaign sourcebooks worth an additional $40, including The Turakian Age (for Tolkien-type epics), The Valdorian Age (sword and sorcery), The Atlantean Age (really high-magic fantasy), and Tuala Morn (Celtic).  

Ten percent of each payment (after payment gateway fees) for these two Fantasy Hero offers was evenly split between the two charities designated by Jason Walters of Hero Games, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Down Home Ranch.