Anyone Else Use Hero Points?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I've noticed whenever I ask a question about or propose a build that has anything to do with the optional hero point system, I get almost no response.

Is that because almost no one else uses them, no one understands them, or no one likes them? Or is there some other reason I'm not thinking of?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My group uses them, but we don't build our characters around them -- more like we use them as a last ditch save to avoid instant death. So far the only character in our campaign to take a feat or other ability related to hero points was a cohort of a player character who decided that she needs hero points of her own.


I use a slightly altered form of Action Points from Unearthed Arcana/Eberron. I want the players to have more points to spend, but with somewhat weaker effects.


I use them running two 1st level gestalt characters(I throw stuff at them appropriate for four regular characters).

They don't like using their hero points, though... little do they know they will lose them, once they become mythic :D (it's not mean, it just becomes redundant.)


David knott 242 wrote:
My group uses them, but we don't build our characters around them -- more like we use them as a last ditch save to avoid instant death. So far the only character in our campaign to take a feat or other ability related to hero points was a cohort of a player character who decided that she needs hero points of her own.

It's not just builds. When I ask questions about uses, the feats, the trait, the spells, the magic items, or really anything involving them I get little to no response. That just astonishes me. Usually the people on these boards are eager to give their opinion on virtually anything no matter how trivial.

I have never built a character around them before either.

However many moons ago, I built a 3.5 fighter around Ebberon's action points. But I never go a chance to play him before the campaign imploded.

So for our next campaign, I intend to resurrect the idea with either a fighter (lots of feats so spending some on the hero point feats shouldn't hurt that much) or a witch (so I can get 3 of the 5 hero point spells).

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Grigor Umlich wrote:
I use a slightly altered form of Action Points from Unearthed Arcana/Eberron. I want the players to have more points to spend, but with somewhat weaker effects.

Legit concern our players tend to save them for the "use 2 to avoid death" affect. Though if they have 3 they might use one to save vs a really nasty spell.

That is one of the reasons I want to build a PC around them. With all the feats, traits, and spells; I will have more, they will last longer, and they will recover faster.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

DonDuckie wrote:

I use them running two 1st level gestalt characters(I throw stuff at them appropriate for four regular characters).

They don't like using their hero points, though... little do they know they will lose them, once they become mythic :D (it's not mean, it just becomes redundant.)

I can see that. Our group is actually almost too large. We don't use gestalt or mythic characters.


I do, but I don't allow auto stabilize. If they go down its either the roll of the dice or their party members that save them.


Our group doesn't.


I allowed them in my game, and my players have used them twice. Prevented at least one character death both times.

The first was in a fight against a sorceress who flung a fireball, and they were low on hitpoints. They opted for a reroll on the save, as I recall, and finished the fight.

The second was in a fight against a trio of ettins. The front line was getting chewed up pretty good, and the inquisitor used a Bonus Action to cast another Hold Person. Two coup de graces later and a well placed arrow later, they were the only ones standing.

I think they are a good incentive for heroic action and good roleplay, and they help preserve against an untimely or pointless death.

The key to the system, however, is to make sure your players understand that if they use them, so can you.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

It's not just builds. When I ask questions about uses, the feats, the trait, the spells, the magic items, or really anything involving them I get little to no response. That just astonishes me. Usually the people on these boards are eager to give their opinion on virtually anything no matter how trivial.

--snip--
That is one of the reasons I want to build a PC around them. With all the feats, traits, and spells; I will have more, they will last longer, and they will recover faster.
--snip--

Only players have hero points by design(unless the GM gives hero's fortune broadly to NPCs), so spells that attack, steal or negate hero points would be PvP, which is not for me. Or they are mostly GM devices.

If you do make a character focused on this, it should probably be an item crafter spellcaster, since you would probably want both themed spells and magical items, and with others not focusing you may want to be mostly self reliant.

And it is in many ways a pure meta mechanic, which is a reason for me not to focus on it too much. It's more player related, less character related(sort of) - the same could be said for many other game mechanics... but those we're used to :)


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I use them all the time. The characters in my FTF game use them frequently, whereas the players in my PBP games always forget they exist.

I built a warrior character around hero points, but sadly, the campaign only ran one session.


Tarondor wrote:

I use them all the time. The characters in my FTF game use them frequently, whereas the players in my PBP games always forget they exist.

I built a warrior character around hero points, but sadly, the campaign only ran one session.

FTF = Face to Face??


I'm using them for the RotR game I'm running, but I've only run one session so far and no one used their starting point in that session. (I have 6 players and 2 of them opted to eschew Hero Points completely in favor of the bonus feat.)


DonDuckie wrote:

... Only players have hero points by design(unless the GM gives hero's fortune broadly to NPCs), so spells that attack, steal or negate hero points would be PvP, which is not for me. Or they are mostly GM devices.

If you do make a character focused on this, it should probably be an item crafter spellcaster, since you would probably want both themed spells and magical items, and with others not focusing you may want to be mostly self reliant.

And it is in many ways a pure meta mechanic, which is a reason for me not to focus on it too much. It's more player related, less character related(sort of) - the same could be said for many other game mechanics... but those we're used to :)

It is at least middlin common in our group to give Hero's Fortune to the BBEG or even to a major lieutenant. Plus I figure the campaign culminating super-BBEG should have Hero Points just like the PC's. (Anti-Hero Points if you will.)

If I do the witch, I will take at least 1 maybe 2 craft feats.

To me, it is a mechanic to use for luck. You know the saying, "It's better to be lucky than good." Well, I would be giving up a lot (racial trait, 3 feats, possibly some cash to magic items, and possibly some prepared spell slots) to be a lucky guy.


I use them and hand them out as "rewards" for things like good role play and as story awards. The players tend to save them up until they really get into a jam or to prevent a death. The most common uses are on critical dice rolls like saves and to buy another action to take down particularly vicious monsters (kill it before it kills us). It is a really nice way to handle those "Oh crap" moments where luck went one way, the encounter was too hard, or the players were epicly stupid and still stay in game space.

However, I don't allow the spells, feats, and items associated with them as I want Hero Points to remain a benefit and not a dependable game mechanic. It wouldn't surprise me if many people using Hero Points feel the similarly which might explain the lack of response.


My group uses them all the time, most often to make crucial saving throws. Just last session, my life oracle (who was out of spells) used one to add to the fighter's likely-failed Fort save against a poison that would've effectively taken her out of a nasty fight. DM even made it +4 instead of +2 since my oracle had Life Link up with the fighter.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
To me, it is a mechanic to use for luck. You know the saying, "It's better to be lucky than good." Well, I would be giving up a lot (racial trait, 3 feats, possibly some cash to magic items, and possibly some prepared spell slots) to be a lucky guy.

Luck runs out, talent doesn't... so hero points fit that scheme quite well :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

never have, never will.


I offer them as an option in my homebrew. Two out of 7 players refuse to use them.

Silver Crusade

I use the quite in every game that I play with me and my boys at home. We also utilize Gestalt rules as it is only the three of us (DM and two players) at any given time. The combination of the two makes running such a small party, for us anyway, very fun and managable. We are able to take the gloves off, so to speak, even with only having two players.

My Rise of the Rune Lords game, in which I am a player, ues Hero Points as well. This is a full group of me and my friends and though we have Hero Points none of us have used them on any sort of regular basis... I have only used them to reroll a crucial SR check for example.

I also just started running Wrath of the Righteous and in that campaign we are not utilizing Hero Points. As someone mentioned up thread it seems somewhat redundant with Mythic.

I would actually be curious to hear Paizo's opinion on using both in a game...


Ok, so it sounds like a few people use them. But not all that many. Those that do don't use any of the other optional feats, spells, or items to go with them.

So I will be pretty much striking out on my own there.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I use something like them, but not hero points themselves, and thats part of the problem too, lots of people use house rules around stuff like that. So I dont have much to add about the game rules as presented in the APG. I dont have any experience with what you would get if you used them as written. Since its common that people who wanted something like hero points were using it before the apg as a house rule, it makes it hard for people to talk to eachother about them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Using them in our RotRL game that I GM. My players usually bust them out for the reroll (generally saves). They get one per level, and I hand out the very occasional one for something awesome - a great speech, an awesome tactic... Most of us at our table are gamblers at heart, so taking a punt on the reroll adds a bit of fun. We virtually never bother with Hero Point-related feats.

The players love them, and I find they have little impact on the game.

Also, I really, really like them because:

I'm a good strategist as a GM, but a poor tactician, if that makes sense - I make great plans for the bad guys to smash up the party, but often I forget details of statblocks in the heat of combat ("Oh yeah, that sorceress had a ring of freedom of movement... Oops!"). However, occasionally I accidentally get it right tactically, and come very close to TPKing my group. And then... "Wait! I still have my Hero Point!" I love it when I conspire against the players, the universe conspires against the players, and the dice do too, but, because they're heroes, they can still take control and turn things in their favour with a well-timed reroll or +8.

That's what heroes do, man.


I was a big D20 modern player, so when I started my current game (in which I use Modern Path, a Pathfinder compatible D20 Modern) I imported their Action Point system (which was quite the rework from the original). They do much the same thing as Hero Points, though less powerful and more often. They also fuel several talents, which are Modern/Modern Path type Class abilities.

As far as Hero Points themselves, I've used them ONCE when running a solo character. Saved the character's life in more than one instance; they're great for when you have one or two PCs with no help to fall back on.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I use Hero Points in a game I am running, but I don't use the feats/spells that boost them. Reasons for this include

- In this particular group, almost all my players are new to Pathfinder and some of them have mentioned feeling overwhelmed even by just the core rules, so adding more options for building a character may be seen as adding more work and more stuff to learn.

- Along with the first, I don't want the abilities that boost hero points to distract the players from taking what are often probably better choices. Especially since we are doing a slow leveling process so they're not seeing a lot of new options arise for them every session or something.

- Many of the feats/spells feel too... meta. I am fine with some meta-stuff to help speed the game along but there are things I draw the line at. I feel like PCs should be able to say what they're capable of in narrative terms: "I excel at fighting with two weapons. I can cast a spell that throws a ball of fire at things. I'm good at firing into a confusing melee and still hit the target I'm aiming at. I can put my hands on you and heal you." But how do you explain the hero point boost abilities? "I'm casting this spell that makes you more... heroey." "So is it like heroism, where I feel so confident my fighting technique improves?" "No, it... well yes, it does that, but in another way..." "Does it make me stronger? Does it make me faster?" "Look it gives you a hero point, alright?" Meh.

- I want people to earn hero points from playing well and doing awesome things, not from optimizing a build.

I really love the hero points themselves. I think it adds some nice flexibility -- and my current group seems to have some hideous luck especially when it comes to to-hit rolls, so when they're really wanting that attack or effort to mean something, they have a second chance, which I like.


littlehewy wrote:
... occasionally I accidentally get it right tactically, and come very close to TPKing my group. And then... "Wait! I still have my Hero Point!" ...

Yeah, I've also done that a few times.

---------------------------------------------------------------

DeathQuaker wrote:
... I feel like PCs should be able to say what they're capable of in narrative terms: "I excel at fighting with two weapons. I can cast a spell that throws a ball of fire at things. I'm good at firing into a confusing melee and still hit the target I'm aiming at. I can put my hands on you and heal you." But how do you explain the hero point boost abilities? "I'm casting this spell that makes you more... heroey." "So is it like heroism, where I feel so confident my fighting technique improves?" "No, it... well yes, it does that, but in another way..." "Does it make me stronger? Does it make me faster?" "Look it gives you a hero point, alright?" Meh...

I refer to it as luck. A lot of times the hero is just the one that got lucky. Survived the bomb blast that killed everyone else. Randomly hit the spot wear the dragon lost a scale. Noticed the trap even though he's not particularly good at that in the rest of the novel. Etc...


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DonDuckie wrote:
Tarondor wrote:

I use them all the time. The characters in my FTF game use them frequently, whereas the players in my PBP games always forget they exist.

I built a warrior character around hero points, but sadly, the campaign only ran one session.

FTF = Face to Face??

Yes. And PBP = Play by Post.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Ok, so it sounds like a few people use them. But not all that many. Those that do don't use any of the other optional feats, spells, or items to go with them.

So I will be pretty much striking out on my own there.

No, I use them and the feats involving them (though I do outlaw the spells).


Tarondor wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Ok, so it sounds like a few people use them. But not all that many. Those that do don't use any of the other optional feats, spells, or items to go with them.

So I will be pretty much striking out on my own there.

No, I use them and the feats involving them (though I do outlaw the spells).

Excellent! Have you or your players found they are worth the opportunity cost of the other feats you didn't take?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Our group has always used them. I don't think anyone has ever used the feats/spells associated, but we do use them, and they provide a great amount of dramatic tension as a character re-rolls a fortitude save that would have left him disintegrated.

Scarab Sages

I ran with hero points, offering them as incentive to post blog posts from their character's perspective on Obsidian Portal. It worked very well for a while, until it became noticeable that with 9 players having hero points, it was pretty difficult for anyone to die without making an extremely lethal campaign. The lack of danger was detrimental to the game, so I nixed the hero point idea. I gave all my players a special green dice for Christmas and if they bring it to the game, they can use it for one re-roll of any D20 roll per game. This is pretty much the only thing they ever used hero points for anyway, and it meant less bookkeeping.

I would definitely use hero points again in a 4-5 player game though.


Wow, 9 players? Justice League syndrome.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hero points is a bit of a misnomer for my group. They are more like keep you from dying points. We like them because it gives us a chance to save our PC but allows the GM to take off the gloves. Bank em, cause at my table you are going to need them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I am using them for both the Tabletop and Skype Pathfinder groups. I did, however, make one change: I only require one Hero Point to prevent death. If you need two, then you don't use them unless you have three.

Thus in the last game, I actually had one player use two Hero Points in an effort to boost a couple of her rolls. And then rolled poorly so the +8 didn't do much! ;)

I suspect now that I've had one player use them, I'll see them used more often.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I like things that promote PCs taking big risks for big rewards and memorable sessions. I am glad to use them as both a player and GM.

Dark Archive

I go back and forth on using them in the games I run. I've found that most PC's tend to bank them to avoid death, as has been mentioned by several people above.

I like that they offer you a way out when the dice hate you but I dislike the reluctance of most of my players to use them to do something, well, heroic...


Grigor Umlich wrote:
I use a slightly altered form of Action Points from Unearthed Arcana/Eberron. I want the players to have more points to spend, but with somewhat weaker effects.

I agree. I especially like the fact that (a) you can use them after you roll, which makes them much more useful, and (b) they don't roll over from one level to another, so that encourages you to actually use them and not just hoard them in case of emergency.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I use hero points in some of my games and not in others. It depends on the players and the style of game I want to run.

If I or the group wants a more difficult game (higher chance of death) then I do not include them.
If I want "you almost died but your hero point saved you" then I do include them.

It also depends upon the experience level of the players.

- Gauss


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I use them in my games and the groups I play do too, but we found the bookkeeping between sessions gets real murky (one player in particular seemed to spend one hero point at every session) so we just decided everybody has 1 hero point per game session.

We haven't used any of the feats or spells, though. They seemed real cheesy and at this point we outright ban them (even though I feel they are weaker since we use 1 Hero Point/session).


Rune wrote:
... We haven't used any of the feats or spells, though. They seemed real cheesy and at this point we outright ban them ...

Wow. I would never have considered them cheesy (at least if you mean over powered which is how most people use the term on these boards). I was worried that they seem so low powered that if I take all 3 it might weaken my character so much that he can't keep up with the other PC who take the normal build/optimizing feats and spells.


Considering the change our group made from 1 Hero Point per level to 1 Hero Point per session, the feats just weren't appropriate.

Blood of Heroes would either become useless or too powerful (if it offered 2 Hero Points per sessions. Hero's Fortune too. Luck of Heroes is generally thought so underwhelming no one cared about (even if it meant you had a shot at using 2 Hero Points per session).

The spells, though, are another beast entirely. Heroic Fortune is too expensive on low levels and too powerful on high ones (specially if you use blood money along with it just prior to combat). The idea of giving a full caster an extra standard action at a high level for a really small cost is somewhat scary (specially if he has a cohort or similar to cast that spell unto him).

The others are so situational that nobody really thought of learning them.


My group has felt the need to use a Heroic spell just *once*. It was for a quest where the cleric needed to purify an area by casting a spell from a scroll that was way above her. So we used a spell to give her a hero point and have a better chance of using the scroll.

- Gauss


We tried using them but kept forgetting we had them.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

See also this thread


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I have not used them yet, but when I run I plan to use them. I plan to use them more like Hero Points from Mutants and Masterminds and Bennies from Savage Worlds.

Your character's disadvantage came into play and caused you actual hindrance? Here is a Hero Point.

You did something heroic and/or cool? Here is a Hero Point.

They pretty much are the same thing already, but I just want to emphasize that players will get them for role-playing, doing cool things, and having their disadvantages, drawbacks, or whatever grant Hero Points.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Oh, it is worth mentioning that I use poker chips for these. Players see them in front of them so they are not forgotten as much.

I plan to use a similar method to track Mythic points (with plastic red rock things).


Good idea SeeleyOne! I have some chips, Ill have to use them.

- Gauss


My groups have used them in almost every campaign I've played. Current one they have been used for re-rolls and extra actions in dire situations.
One of the other PC has used the 2 points to nix death. He had a particularly egregious attack of the stupid.
Charged through a cloud of fog with 5 pike-men militia on the other side who had all ready actions against a charge before the sorcerer put the cloud between them and the party. (party was trying to retreat but for whatever reason the cleric felt the need to deal with the militia first.)
Two of the pike-men crited and the total damage was two points over his full HP + negative con score. We were level 3 or 4..

The most common use I've seen is rerolling things and either extra actions or spells. I've used them a few times to get encounter saving spells off for the party, (distraction illusions or invisibility) so we could flee. The most successful one was major image involving a gold wyrm coming to the party's rescue and a well placed fireball to make it more 'realistic'.


SeeleyOne wrote:

Oh, it is worth mentioning that I use poker chips for these. Players see them in front of them so they are not forgotten as much.

I plan to use a similar method to track Mythic points (with plastic red rock things).

I kinda like that idea. I will have to try and remember it for next campaign I GM.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We use them at a one point per level or special reward. Our cleric was split in two by an ogres axe, critical hit to double negative con. I caught him as he fell, and as a paladin of Iomedae, i burned 2 Hero points to save him (via left for dead), versus myself, and the GM rp'ed it that a bolt of light hit us both, raising the dead guy as if touched by the Goddess. He got an instant conversion to Iomedae and we both got our hair shocked white. Some days, it's good to be Good.

Mostly they are used for saves and left for deads.


Heimdall666, in a similar situation my group often uses the Act Out of Turn option. One hero point is usually enough to counter whatever effect there was.

In one case very similar to your own an NPC criticalled the Paladin dropping her. However, by burning a Hero point and the Act Out of Turn option she healed herself as the damage was coming in. Kept herself alive.

We have found that Act Out of Turn has been instrumental in foiling many such incidents.

In another situation a weakened party member (who wouldnt stand up to a single hit from an arrow) was about to be fired on by the BBEG archer. Another player spent a Hero point to Act Out of Turn, took a 5' step, and disarmed the archer before he fired a shot.

- Gauss

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Anyone Else Use Hero Points? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.