PROFESSION PACKAGE SUBMISSION
Any GM's or Players that have developed
their own Profession Packages can send them
in for inclusion on the website. Submissions
selected will be posted and credited to
the submitter. Send your Profession Packages
to the above e-Mail address.
Most Fantasy role-playing games have a concept
related to defining various professions,
grouping together various abilities that
would be useful to a person of that profession.
Joining such a profession is often the primary
means by which Characters gain abilities
and progress in those games. Some games
call these professions Classes, others call
them Careers, or Occupations, or Archetypes,
or something else entirely. Nevertheless
the basic idea is consistent; a Character's
skills and abilities reflect their vocation.
However the HERO System has no such concept;
it is a freeform classless system. The HERO
System doesn't dictate what your Characters
can and can't do, you tell it what you
want to do and it says "OK".
However, this can be jarring to gamers that
are used to more structured games. Some
are left sitting in front of a huge black
book with a pencil in one hand, some dice
in the other, and a confused look on their
face that seems to say "I just want
to play a Dwarf Fighter".
Fortunately the HERO System helpfully provides
a tool to assist in this situation -- the
PACKAGE DEALS EXPLAINED
Package Deals (or simply Packages as some
prefer) are handy organizational aides in
the HERO System; they exist to allow various
things which should be associated with one
another to be grouped into a tidy collection.
Packages normally have no mechanical impact
and don't effect the cost of Characters.
Package Deals can be used to define anything
from a Race, a Profession, a Culture, a
common Power set, a Template, or any other
sort of grouping of abilities you can think
of. Just slap together some abilities, perhaps
some Disadvantages, a description, then
give it a name and you're done.
Good Package design is more of an art than
a science, and individual GM's may vary
widely in their approach to this and of
course are free to change Packages taken
from other sources such as this web site
or Fantasy HERO, or create new Packages
to fit their own needs.
PROFESSION PACKAGE DEALS
To facilitate GM's and players this web
site provides a broad array of Profession
Package Deals describing various common
Fantasy concepts. The intention of the Profession
Package Deals is to provide consistent collections
of abilities that capture the archetypical
attributes of common Fantasy Professions
within an affordable point range.
Of course other GM's may vary widely in
their approach to this and are free to change
or create new Packages to fit their own
needs. Players should always check with
their GM prior to selecting a Profession
MODULAR "MIX AND MATCH" APPROACH
A modular approach has been taken in the
design of these Packages so that they can
be mixed and matched for a truly staggering
array of different options. It is generally
possible to combine any Package presented
on this site with any other Package (with
the exception of mixing two Race Packages
on the same Character).
|Basic Packages are broad
and archetypical. They define certain core concepts which reappear in whole
or part in other more sophisticated or specialized concepts. They are
designed to provide an easily extended starting point or baseline for a
character. A character could take one of the Basic Packages as is, or
combine a Basic Package with custom abilities and/or Extension Packages to
create something all their own.
|Extension Packages are
not meant to be used on their own (though they may be); they are intended as
additions to Basic Packages and Composite Packages which extend those
Packages in a particular direction. They are intended to be on the small
side, possessing a tight group of closely related and specific abilities.
|Many characters receive specialized training as necessitated by
circumstance. Following are a collection of Packages
summarizing such specialized skill groups.
Composite Packages are typically expensive combinations
of Basic Packages and Extension Packages, usually with some custom abilities
worked in as well. Many are too expensive to start out with in full at
character creation unless the campaign is starting at a higher point total,
in which case they can be used to represent a career progression; when a
character has taken all of the relevant abilities, they can be considered
fully qualified in their profession. Similarly, characters may decide to
aspire to a Composite Package after character creation, in which case it
represents their eventual goal.
|Composite Packages are
usually constructed by taking a Basic
Package Deal and then extending it as befits the character concept,
but occasionally are built by assembling Extention Packages, or even 100%
Both Players and GM's can benefit from using
the Profession Packages provided herein.
Players might find them handy when making
their PC's; whether their Character is built
completely out of stacked Package Deals,
or a nearly complete and individualize Character
takes a single Package Deal to fill in some
gap in their abilities, or anything in between.
GM's might find them handy for churning
out NPC's fast. By taking a Race Package
Deal, adding one or more Profession Packages,
and spreading some points around to fill
in gaps a GM can yield solid NPC's in a
Characters can be quickly built by taking
one or more Basic Packages, extending them
with Extension Packages and custom abilities
or existing Skills and Talents, by simply
taking a pre-built Composite Package, or
any combination of mixing and matching.
However, Profession Package Deals can be
completely ignored; a Character does not
have to be built using any of the Profession
Package Deals at all. Profession Package
Deals are merely a convenience, a means
to an end.
The primary use for Profession Packages
is to easily slap together a workable Character
where a lot of the thinking and math has
already been done, saving time. For consistencies
sake there are three types of Profession
Packages provided; Basic, Extension, and
Composite Packages. A subtype of Composite
Packages with campaign specific detail is
also discussed, but very few are provided.
PROFESSION PACKAGE DEAL CATEGORIES
- Basic Packages
- Extension Packages
- Composite Packages.
Basic Packages are generally representative
of an "Entry Level" skill set.
They are intended to be good starting points
for a given focus, but not be completely
specialized. Basic Packages can be used
on their own, combined with one or more
Extension Packages, be bundled with more
abilities into a more specialized Composite
Package, or even combined with other Basic
Packages to make effective Characters.
CONTINUING CHARACTER GROWTH
In addition to being handy at Character
design time, Basic Packages can also be
useful or inspirational to existing Characters
as they gain Experience Points if their
player wants to move the Character into
another Profession. A Basic Package of that
Profession serves as a handy blueprint for
the sort of abilities they should be buying
for their Character.
COMMON DESIGN ELEMENTS
All of the Basic Packages provided herein
are priced at exactly 55 Total Character
Points with no Disadvantages in the Package.
They lack Disadvantages because the goal
is to keep the Basic Packages generic; specific
Disadvantages built in to the Packages make
assumptions about what they are used for
which narrow their usability.
They are priced at exactly 55 points for
two reasons; the first is so that they are
completely interchangeable in Composite
Package Deals that contain one or more Base
Package Deals. Since they all cost the same
number of points, the math stays consistent.
Of course any point value could be used
to accomplish that; this leads into the
An assumption is made that most Race Packages
will cost 15 points or less using the "Total
Cost" method described in detail in
Race Package Deal document. This
allows a 125 point Character with a Race
Package that has a Total Cost of 15 points
or less to be easily built by adding two
Basic Packages to their Race Package; a
concept which can be thought of as a "Character
In this fashion it is extremely fast and
easy to make generics like "Dwarven
Fighter" and "Elven Mage"
and "Human Rogue".
The idea behind Character Templates is to
make generic Packages wrapping up several
smaller Packages into a ready to use starting
point. Character Templates can also be made
with Composite Packages or Extension Packages
of course, but the fastest way to
create a Character Template is to take a
Race Package and a couple of Base Packages
and spend any excess points, which should
be few, to fill the Package out to 125 Total
Character Templates are mostly a GM's tool,
allowing the rapid creation of stock NPC's;
however the concept is useful to players
as well if they don't want to make a lot
of decisions about their Character's abilities.
For instance, a Human Mercenary could be
built by taking the Human Package Deal and
some abilities that would be useful for
a Mercenary, like some fighting skills,
and some ability to live and prosper on
the low down. Looking over the Packages
Medium Foot +
Rapscallion = Human Mercenary.
Now that's not to say that all Mercenaries
have this skill set or that you must take
this skill set to be a Mercenary; it's just
a convenient generic Character Template
that can be used in a pinch.
Rapscallion (exclude WF: Short Blades)
Deadly Blow: +1d6 Killing, any circumstance,
any weapon (+1d6 HKA; OIF: Weapon
of Opportunity (-1/2))
Hale: +2 STR
Fit: +1 CON
Hardy: +1 BODY
Total Cost of Template
As the name implies, Extension Packages
are intended to extend a Character in various
ways. Extension Packages are generally very
topical and though they vary in their cost
they should all be 35 points at maximum,
and preferably less. Most Extension Packages
do not have Disadvantages, but some do where
Extension Packages frequently span Professions.
For example the Linguist Extension Package
is intended for Characters that have been
trained or otherwise learned many languages.
Though more common among scholarly sorts
such as Spellcasters, it is not inconceivable
that other types of Characters have learned
how to speak many languages; such as a caravan
guard that has traveled through many nations.
The Linguist Extension Package is equally
usable for any Character that has that type
GOOD FOR MODELING BACKGROUND ELEMENTS
Extension Packages are useful during Character
creation for depicting background elements
of Characters, which can also help differentiate
them from other Characters with similar
Professions. For instance if designing a
Character that comes from a Mountainous
region, taking the
Mountain Fighting Package covers
that base pretty well for example, and helps
to differentiate the Character from other
Characters that are otherwise similar.
CONTINUING CHARACTER GROWTH
Extension Packages are useful after Character
creation as well, because their topical
nature makes them friendly to Characters
learning the skills in them during play.
If a Character gains the opportunity in
game to receive training on how to fight
from horseback, the player might start purchasing
abilities in the
Mounted Fighting Package for instance,
until they eventually acquire all the abilities
and effectively have the Package.
Composite Packages are more expensive combinations
of Basic, Extension, and/or custom abilities
and are intended to represent well rounded
Professionals. A Character that takes a
Composite Package is specialized in their
field and quite competent.
Composite Packages are useful during Character
creation because they represent more defined
concepts than Basic and Extension Packages.
If designing a Character that's supposed
to be a good bowman, one could approach
it by taking one or more Basic Packages,
maybe an Extension Package or two, and then
tacking on extra abilities until the idea
of a good bowman was defined, or one could
simply take the
Archer Package. Both methods are
valid, but one is faster.
EXPENSIVE BUT COMPETENT
Composite Packages can be very expensive,
but where possible they cost less than 125
points so that they are usable by starting
Characters. Like Extension Packages, some
of the Composite Packages presented
have Disadvantages, but most of the generic
ones do not by default; Disadvantages tend
to reduce the generic-ness of a Package
and make it more difficult to use in a broad
There is nothing stopping a Character from
taking as much of a Composite Package as
they can afford at Character creation and
buying the rest of the abilities later as
they progress during play.
CONTINUING CHARACTER GROWTH
Composite Packages are very useful after
Character creation because they can be used
to represent a goal that a Character is
progressing towards. This is particularly
true if Composite Packages are used to represent
specific organizations or formalized groups
within a setting.
For instance, if a GM has determined that
Cavalier Composite Package plus
one or two other specific abilities is representative
of the Iron Knights of the Black Hart,
then a Character that wants to join the
Iron Knights can use the Composite Package's
write up as a laundry list of skills to
acquire in pursuit of that goal.
The Basic, Extension, and Composite Packages
are all designed to be generic, or abstract
if you prefer. They represent abstracted
ideas and are intended to be reusable by
as many GM's for as many different of settings
as possible. Thus the
Ranger Package can be used to model
a wide variety of specific concepts across
multiple settings or within the same setting.
However as part of building a setting GM's
will usually define distinct organizations
and groups, and some of them might correlate
into Package Deals. Which is to say that
to be a member of a particular group, a
Character must have a particular Package.
These Packages could be completely new and
made from scratch to model the abilities
the GM thinks appropriate, or they could
be made by taking an existing Package and
modifying it to make it more specific and
tailored to the campaign.
Since this site is intended as a general
resource, not many detailed Packages are
presented, but an example of this in action
would be the
Hao Master Package, which represents
a specific group of Monks and the abilities
they teach as opposed to a generic sort
of Monk that can be molded at need.
TOTAL COST OF PROFESSION PACKAGES
Profession Packages do not benefit from
any discounting per se (their only benefit
is serving as organizational aides), as
all of the abilities must be paid for, and
any Disadvantages taken as part of a Profession
Package count against a Character's total
Disadvantage Points. Disadvantages taken
as part of a Profession Package can usually
be bought off in the normal fashion, but
not necessarily. Players wishing to buy
off such a Disadvantage should consult their
EXAMPLE: A starting Character, Lorgal
Stonecrown, takes the
Geomancer Composite Package which
has 95 points worth of abilities, a 5 point
Disadvantage (School Ineptitude: Aeromancy),
and a listed Total Cost of 90 points. Lorgal
has spent 95 of his maximum 125 starting
points (all 50 Base Points and 45 Points
which must be accounted for with Disadvantages),
and the School Ineptitude Disadvantage is
added to his personal Disadvantages. Lorgal
has to take up to 40 more Points in Disadvantages
to pay for the Geomancer Package.
Some of the Packages, primarily Basic Packages,
have a list of options associated with them.
These lists are just intended as suggestions
and time savers; they can be used or ignored
as desired. They can also be used as suggestions
of abilities for Characters to acquire after
play starts as they gain Experience.
Some of the Options are incremental and
must be taken in order, but otherwise the
Options may be taken in any order (or not
at all); there are no "class level"
restrictions or anything similar to that
in place or assumed (or recommended), unless
the GM decides to enforce them.
PROFESSION PACKAGES & CHARACTERISTIC
Some Profession Packages give Characteristic
bonuses. These bonuses count against Characteristic
When adding Characteristics from a Package
Deal if the amount granted by the Package
would push the Character over Characteristics
Maxima then instead take the number of Character
Points allocated to the Characteristic in
the Package Deal, and buy that many points
worth of Characteristic at the increased
EXAMPLE: Joe is making a Character
and takes a Package that grants +5 STR,
however Joe's Character already has 19 STR
from other Packages. The Package has allocated
5 points to buy the +5 STR, so Joe gets
5 Character Points worth of STR for his
Character. To get to 20 costs 1 Character
Point, and the 4 Character Points remaining
buy another 2 points of STR at the over
NCM rate for a total of 22 STR.
WHAT DO CHARACTERISTICS IN PACKAGES REPRESENT
Bonus Characteristics in Profession Packages
represent an expected minimum
ability. If a Package has +3 STR listed,
what it is indicating is that a Character
that has that Package should have at least
3 STR more than a normal person, which is
to say a 13 STR.
If a Character is taking the Package during
Character creation then it is the same net
effect as just buying +3 STR, but if a Character
is moving into a Package after play starts,
if they already have at least 13 STR then
they are good to go. They don't need to
buy +3 STR to get in to the Package if they
don't want to.
As a general point, during Character creation
a player should buy all of their Package
Deals first before buying up their Characteristics.
This generally works much better than buying
Characteristics and then tacking on Package