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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Campaign Guidelines>Campaign Paradigms>Super Fantasy
Super Fantasy
This paradigm represents a generic Super Fantasy implementation, which is to say Superheroes in capes and plate. In this type of Fantasy character are effectively superhumans with outrageous abilities. Even non-magic users tend to have awesome abilities that defy any semblance of reality. This can be a very fun paradigm to play in, though it tends to be a lot lighter than most Fantasy games.
Super Fantasy is more often seen on TV or in video games than in literary sources. Some examples include He-Man, the Thundercats, Final Fantasy, and fighting games like Mace: The Dark Ages and Soul Caliber.
Super Fantasy adopts many of the tropes of superheroic fiction to a Fantasy millieu, particularly when it comes to character design.
As is also true of superheroic fiction, when all of the significant characters in the setting are hyper-competent there is a strong risk that "super" just becomes the new "normal" and no one seems particularly special. To combat this trend towards homogeneity, characters should generally have a strong theme, gimmick, or shtick which is their "thing" and which differentiates them from the other hyper-competent characters they share the stage with. This applies to both player characters and NPC's.
Within a player character group, almost all of the characters should have a speciality which effectively becomes their role. One PC might be a generalist, a jack of all trades master of none type character but two or more PC's of this type in the same group will step on each others shticks and struggle to differentiate themselves.
In Super Fantasy, virtually any character can have one or more magical abilities, items, origins, etc...magic isn't reserved specifically to "mystical" or "wizardly" type characters as is found in many lower powered settings where magic is rare and / or requires dedicated study.
Characters may also have abilities that seem so extraordinary that magic would be the most likely explanation, but which aren't explicitly called out as being a magical ability within the narrative. Where the line between "incredible but not magical" and "definitely magical" is can vary from setting to setting and even from character to character within the same setting. GM discretion applies here.
Just as anti-Super Power effects are rare in most Superheroic games, metamagic (which is to say the idea of using magic to manipulate other forms of magic) is rare in Super Fantasy.
Dispels, Suppresses, Aids, Drains, and similar Powers are still used, but not as frequently as one might think given the prevalence of magic in the paradigm. Rather, most interactions between magic tend to be magnitude based; my attack magic is more powerful than your defense magic kind of clashes.
When metamagic type effects are used, they tend to be significant, memorable, and often absolute. Often, such abilities tend to be more of a narrative tool introduced by the GM, and less of a tactical option used by various characters as part of their repetoires. If a character goes against trope and focuses on this sort of ability it should generally be their main theme and primary focus.
Super Fantasy isn't about blood and guts, it's about over the top effects. Characters very rarely die, including bad guys. Super Fantasy characters almost always live to fight another day. Thus, Killing Attacks are rare. Even when characters use things that logically would be Killing Attacks, they usually are built as Hand Attacks or Energy Blasts.
Similarly Super Fantasy isn't about fighting faceless hordes or categorical monsters. The opposition are arranged much more like what is found in a Superheroic campaign, with powerful bosses, "lieutenants" that are in the same general power range as the heroes, and some Agent level threats that can be dangerous in groups but no match for the main characters mano y mano (usually called "minions" in Fantasy parlance). Significant named characters are recognizable and will often be encountered many times over the course of a campaign.
The following options are assumed to be in effect for this paradigm.
Option Selected Option
No Formal Race Package or NCM X   Formal Race Package with NCM
END Cost = Active Points / 10 X   END Cost = Active Points / 5
Knockback X   Knockdown
Generalized Damage X   Hit Location Damage
No Long Term Damage X   Injury & Impairment Damage
Literacy Standard X   Literacy Not Standard
Super Skills Available X   No Super Skills Available
Combat Luck Allowed X   No Combat Luck Allowed
No Deadly Blow Allowed X   Deadly Blow Allowed
No Armor Proficiency X   Armor Proficiency
No Skill Maxima X   Skill Maxima
No STR Minima X   STR Minima
Equipment Costs Points X   Equipment Doesn't Cost Points
Bases & Vehicles Cost Points X   Bases & Vehicles Don't Cost Points
Followers Cost Points X   Follower Don't Cost Points
Superheroic CSL Conversion X   Heroic CSL Conversion
No Encumbrance X   Encumbrance
No Long Term Endurance X   Long Term Endurance
Normal Damage Default X   Killing Damage Default
Super Fantasy characters are usually pretty tough to begin with, but even when they do get hurt they don't stay that way long. Not only is Healing Magic very prevalent, but often characters have means to heal themselves either via Magic Items or a personal ability. 
It is assumed that new characters in this paradigm start with 250 Base Points and up to 100 points from Disadvantages. This value can be altered by the GM at will.
This paradigm is expected to be high powered, and effectively superheroic. A GM can easily kick start the campaign to a higher level of play by granting large chunks of Experience to characters to represent their status as veteran adventurers when the campaign starts. Similarly the GM could downscale the characters to represent that they are somewhat green when the campaign starts
The following chart vaguely indicates relative status levels by adjusted character points. The status titles are not intended to have any literal meaning; they are just intended to give an idea of the status of a character with that many character points.
Relative Status Base Max Disadvantage Points Starting Experience Max Starting Total Points
Sheltered Neophyte 200 75 0 275
Neophyte 200 100 0 300
*Youngblood 250 100 0 350
Seasoned Youngblood 250 100 25 375
Veteran 250 100 50 400
Seasoned Veteran 250 100 100 450
Hero 250 100 150 500
Champion 250 100 175 575
Famous 250 100 275 650
Legend 250 100 375+ 750+
* Assumed Default
Super Fantasy does not use formalized Race Packages. Instead players build their characters as they see fit, subject to GM veto, just as if they were superheroic characters.
However, individual GM's may prefer to define allowed Races with standardized Race Package Deals. Further, individual GM's may or may not decide to implement altered NCM's by Race. Check with your GM to determine their implementation.
Magic Systems in Super Fantasy tend to be ill-defined and generic; character's need very little justification for outrageous abilities in this subgenre. Each character may design their own Magic System simply by buying standard HERO System Powers, with or without Power Frameworks. They are in effect made as if they were "Supermages" in a superheroic campaign.
Individual characters tend to have unique or distinctive abilities rather than being part of an identifiable "Profession". Instead, modified versions of the Superheroic Archetypes are prevalent in varying degrees from what is found in superheroic campaigns, with individual characters mixing elements of one or more of them.
For example, Martial Artists and Weaponmasters merge a bit in a Fantasy implementation but examples of both are very prevalent, and between the two of them they represent the majority of characters usually.
Superheroic Bricks are less common in Super Fantasy than they are in superheroic campaigns, while Fantasy flavored "Power Armor" characters, kitted out in Magical Armor or other Magic Items that accomplish the same effect, are more common.
Mystics and Blasters tend to merge together in the form of offensively creditable Supermages, while Gadgeteers tend to favor skills and useful Magic Items over techie gadgets.
"Patriots" tend to take the form of representatives of "deities" and other high-concept causes. Metamorphs and Speedsters are pretty rare or toned down, but can still be found in some unusual character concepts.