I’ve talked at length about the flexibility of the Hero System. Steven S. Long even described Hero’s flexibility as one of the system’s major strengths. He described how you can use the system to literally design your own magic system for your campaign.
We’ve also talked on the podcast about how you can design nearly any character concept you like.
But there is a price to pay for this kind of flexibility. A GM who begins designing a campaign is faced with a daunting amount of work. Whether it’s designing villain NPCs, creating a framework for a magic system, designing weapons or creating monsters, the GM is look at many many hours of work. After all, the Hero 6th core books are a framework, not a setting. The onus for setting design lies with the GM.
Luckily, Hero Games has produced several products where they’ve done the work for you.
Hero System Bestiary — The bestiary provides demons, dinosaurs, dragons, bears, robots and just about anything else you can think of — all stat-ed out and ready to run. When I started designing “Big Blue Monkeys from Outer Space!” I was flummoxed trying to figure out just how strong an average gorilla is. I picked up the bestiary, and now I have hundreds of beast to populate nearly any genre of game.
Hero System Equipment Guide — The equipment guide provides hundreds of weapons (from clubs to automatic rifles). It also includes some excellent examples of superheroic items, with stats and point costs.
Hero System Grimoire — The grimoire provides hundreds of spells, each with which powers they use and point costs for easy integration into your PC’s magic power pools.
It looks like Hero Games is making a concerted effort to alleviate the workload a GM takes on to run a Hero System game. I first noticed this trend when they released the three Super Villains books, giving the GM more villains (with complete stats and backstories) than most campaigns will ever need.