It’s a little late for heroics, don’t you think?
Well, this is embarrassing. Again, when I’ve used the phrase “See you folks Monday”, I’ve forgotten to actually post on that Monday. Well, this time it’s just going to be a little late.
The main source of my distraction was a gaming session that went rather late into the night Sunday. It was a gathering to play in my new favorite role-playing game: Iron Heroes. It’s similar to Dungeons & Dragons in many regards, except that it’s a more advanced system. D&D has been simplified over the years, ending in the current edition, which my gaming group and I enjoy but find rather over-simplistic. D&D is meant to be very accessible and easy to pick up, thus the rules are relatively simple, with less room for character customization. This is certainly not a flaw, but it makes it so that, after after playing D&D every other weekend for 4 or 5 years, it gets a little old.
So when I heard about Iron Heroes, I brought it to the group’s attention, and they agreed that it would be fun to play in. That was about six months ago, and ever since, although our gaming sessions have been becoming fewer and farther between because of growing responsibilities, we’ve been playing Iron Heroes.
In its introduction, Iron Heroes states that it is not for beginners, because of the complexity. I think this may be something of an overstatement, but I could see how the system could be daunting to a complete newbie. At any rate, to us, it’s very interesting and fascinating. For example, instead of having a wide plethora of feats that are generally separate feats, with a few being organized into hierarchical trees, Iron Heroes feats are almost all multi-leveled. The shortest feat trees are about three feats long, but almost all of them have ten levels.
This is because of a commitment to the ideal that Iron Heroes is based on: the sword that the hero swings doesn’t give him its power, it’s just a tool to get his work done. This is in direct contradiction to the standard D&D way of doing things where, as your character gets better and gains more abilities, so can you also afford to buy better weapons and armor. The end product of this is that, at higher levels, characters are so decorated with magical items that they become reliant on them to be able to defeat evenly-matched foes.
But in the words of the Iron Heroes rulebook, “You are not your magic weapon and armor. You are not your spell buffs. You are not how much gold you have, or how many times you’ve been raised from the dead. When a Big Bad Demon snaps your sword in two, you do not cry because that was your holy avenger. You leap onto its back, climb up to its head, and punch it in the eye, then get a new sword off of the next humanoid you headbutt to death.”
Anybody who’d be interested in this sort of thing has already had their interest piqued, I’m sure, so I’ll let them explore the other online resources about it, if they are. And for those who’ve had their eyes glaze over at the last few paragraphs, well, I’ll let you go. Have a good day.