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Create Your Hero!

General Considerations for Character Creation
All rules are Hero system, 5th Edition revised

Build a Standard Hero of 150 character points, 75 base points and 75 from Disads (no more than 25 from any single category). The optional idea is to play a less experienced character, someone with a sheltered life, or quite young, or a sidekick, etc, or several of the above, built on up to 75 points total; 50 base points and 25 from Disads, the original Justice, Inc. budget. However, DOUBLE XPs for the life of the character are awarded. All players must submit a complete character, including a picture and background, one week before joining the game, or play a pregen. All characters must be GM approved.

Compare notes to avoid stepping on another PC’s shtick as you design your character(s), so each of you shine. As such, do not build a Swiss army knife type of character who can do everything.

Another design consideration is motivation. Why does your character seek adventure? I’m not the sole playwright- it’s your character, you determine the why and wherefore. Typically in our campaign someone asks your character to help, and in heroic tradition, you leap to their aid. Unusual motivations often make better stories- just remember, behavior trumps motivation. We’re all on the same team.

Your characters are subjected to real danger- keep this in mind as you design and play them. That said, you won’t be ambushed at every turn. Having one or more extra characters on hand is an asset- wounds and fatalities will continue, and not just for your foes.

Western Hero as a genre uses hit locations, sectional defenses, Knockdown and Knockback rules, impairing and disabling wounds, bleeding, etc. Endurance is 1 point per 5 STR used, and 1 point per 10 Active Points in a power. Long Term Endurance (LTE) will apply under appropriate circumstances. All optional rules are only used when they will enhance the game play, and not when they will only subject all the players to excessive record keeping and make combat last for geologic eras.

For example, END use only needs to be tracked if you are doing lots of physical i.e. END-using activity; firing a gun does not use appreciable END.

Hit Locations are optional – if you want to make a placed shot, we’ll use the rules and roll the damage that way. Most low-level mooks are not worth the effort, since they are meant to go down rather easily. On the other hand, tougher opponents might go down easier if you hit them in the vitals or the head…or they might do the same to you!

Multiple power attacks are allowed, per 5th edition rules.

Character Ability Guidelines

Type Points / Levels
CHAR Primary Characteristics 10-20
SPD Speed 2-4
CV Combat Value 3-8
DC Damage Class 3-9
AP Active Points 15-40
SKILL Skill Points 30-120
ROLL Skill Rolls 8- to 13-
DEF/rDEF Defense/Resistant Def. 10/3

Normal Human Maxima is in effect at zero points.


STR maximum is 20. No STR above 17 allowed without special GM permission and write-up. STR 18 is world class. There is a “400” club in pro football, for the elite who can bench press that many pounds. Most real life martial artists can’t deadlift 660 pounds. With that in mind, the rulebook defines STR as the ability “to barely lift of the ground and stagger a few steps, and then drop” a certain weight associated with the STR.

INT maximum is 20. INT does not equal knowledge — only the ability to take in and process information. If you want to know things, buy knowledge skills. There are many genius level intelligent tribesman around the world who, in effect, know nothing beyond their tribal world due to lack of learning, not lack of ability.

SPD maximum is 4. SPD 5 is allowed for double point cost and write-up. No higher SPD allowed. If you are SPD 4 with 6” of running, you can move up to 24” in 12 seconds (one game turn). Since 1” is equivalent to roughly 6 feet, this represents moving roughly 144’ in 12 seconds, or about 9 miles per hour. Olympic runners who run a four minute mile are going 15 miles per hour, and train extensively to be able to do so. SPD 5 is Olympic caliber.


Your character needs to have sufficient skills and knowledge to function believably per your Background.

No Transport Familiarity has Everyman Skill status in this game.

Computer Programming is not available. Abacus and looms are typically as close as it gets.

Asian Martial Arts may only be purchased by Asians. No more than one or two Combat Skill Levels and/or Damage Classes may be purchased, even with experience points.

Consider purchasing Weapon Familiarity, unless you like penalties for using unfamiliar weapons.

Languages and other cultural skills come into play. Not everyone you encounter speaks English, for example. On the other hand, if English is not your first language, purchasing it is recommended. You need to buy Literacy if your character plans on being able to read and write.

Basic Every Man Skills (No Cost):

Acting 8-
AK: (local area) 8-
Climbing 8-
Concealment 8-
CuK: Native Culture 11-
Deduction 8-
KS: (choice) 8-
KS: (choice) 8-
KS: General Knowledge 11-
Language (native)
Paramedics 8-
Persuasion 8-
PS: (choice) 8-
PS: Perform Basic Chores And Menial Tasks 11-
Shadowing 8-
Stealth 8-

Literacy in any language (including native) is +1 point.


Powers, like flight, energy blast, and so on, are only simulated by some form of technology. Western Heroes do not fly unaided, since they are not superheroes, like Superman, but extraordinary humans, like the Lone Ranger. I may permit one spellcaster / faith healer PC.


Talents may usually only be purchased during character creation, not
with experience points.

Heroic Talents, aka Super Skills

Heroic Talents may usually only be purchased during character
creation, not with experience points (although they might be improved later with XP). Consider the No Conscious Control or Vague and Unclear or other such Limitations for Psychic Powers, especially various forms of Clairsentience. It’s not a mystery otherwise! And hey, you might as well get a discount on it given that the players will have to work at solving certain things. Do not show me builds that are more effective and simultaneously cheaper than a correlating Skill.

Weird Science

Who is to say what is weird, and what is just unusual? In the game world, Captain Nemo and the Nautilus really exist, for example.

Think vacuum tube, not transistor, abacus, not computer, rocket, not jet, even for technology improved by your Player Character. Weird Science and other difficult-to-obtain items generally must be paid for with points. Some others can be purchased with money. Some may be found. Using anything in the game during play does not cost points – just keeping it for later use does!


Write down on your character sheet modest gear for your character to
carry, and show it to the GM before the game session. Pending GM
approval, such equipment costs no points. Additional equipment can
often be purchased with your character’s money. Your character may also have less portable items (a collection of books, chemistry equipment, gun cartridge making equipment, etc.) at their residence.

Generally, if you don’t have it written on your character sheet and previously cleared by the GM, you don’t have it. If you have something on your person that your character doesn’t have on said sheet, I usually allow it, or an equivalent.

For example, let’s say that as you sit at our game table, you have in
your pockets a cell phone and a Swiss army knife. For our pulp age
game, that translates as a stationary kit and a penknife – Swiss army knives were not invented until 1897.


Please provide a picture for your character immediately. You don’t have to be an artist- you can commission a piece, clip a magazine photo, download a picture from the internet, etc. Providing illustrations for other characters and period color is also appreciated.

Experience Points

Awarded per the chart on page 346 of the Hero System 5th Edition book:

You showed up ~on time and participated +1
Long, involved adventure +2
Adventure lasted more than one game session +1/session
Adventure was difficult +1
You were heavily outnumbered/outgunned +1

Bonus XP for:

Dude, that was creative thinking! +1
Whoa, clever — didn’t see than one coming! +1
Adventure was resounding success +1
Great adventure recap on LXA mail +1
Character roleplayed poorly/OOC monster -1
Your team sucked eggs -1

XP can be used to build up your character per the guidelines above. Any great changes should be roleplayed, or if not possible, write a story about how you made the change / bought down the Disad.

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