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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Campaign Guidelines>Profession Package Design
Package DealsPackage DealsComposite Packages
Profession Package Deals
Using Profession Package Deals Package Categories Package Options Affect on Characteristics Maxima
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 Deal.
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 Deal Links
Master List All Packages
Warrior Packages Pugilist Packages
Rogue Packages Psion Packages
Magic Using Professions
Wizard Packages Magni Packages
Sorcerer Packages Artificer Packages
Stregari Packages Bard Packages
Sortiligist Packages Elementalist Packages
Dominine Packages Animine Packages
Metier Packages Runecrafter Packages
Adept Packages Volomancer Packages
Thanomancer Packages Urzali Packages
Aeldenari Packages Spellweaver Packages
Magician Packages Derwydd Packages
Metruvian Packages Esowyc Packages
Totemic Packages Piedragemas Packages
Troubadour Packages  
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 Package Deal.
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
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
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
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% custom abilities.
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 hurry.
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.
  1. Basic Packages
  2. Extension Packages
  3. Composite Packages.
    • Detailed 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.
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.
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 second reason.
An assumption is made that most Race Packages will cost 15 points or less using the "Total Cost" method described in detail in the 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 Template".
In this fashion it is extremely fast and easy to make generics like "Dwarven Fighter" and "Elven Mage" and "Human Rogue".
A number of Character Templates can be found here.
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 Points.
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 available, Human + 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.
Human Mercenary
Cost Ability
0 Human
55 Medium Foot
54 Rapscallion (exclude WF: Short Blades)
10 Deadly Blow: +1d6 Killing, any circumstance, any weapon  (+1d6 HKA; OIF: Weapon of Opportunity (-1/2))
2 Hale: +2 STR
2 Fit: +1 CON
2 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 appropriate.
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 of experience.
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.
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.
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 fashion.
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.
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 the generic 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.
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 GM first.
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.
Some Profession Packages give Characteristic bonuses. These bonuses count against Characteristic Maxima.
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 price.
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.
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 Deals.