Hero Games made their mark in 1982 with Champions - still the most popular super-hero RPG. The Hero System derived from Champions was one of the first generic game systems, and was adapted to fantasy, wild west, horror, and sci-fi game environments. Supplements included Danger International, Fantasy Hero and Cyber Hero.

Hero Games faced the challenge that they couldn't use any popular superheroes, due to Marvel and DC Comics licensing. Once the success of the game became apparent, TSR partnered with Marvel and Mayfair with DC to produce games which were largely disappointing to those who had seen the caliber of Champions, which would go on to become the model for GURPS, produced by Steve Jackson Games.

In 1996, Hero Games was purchased by R. Talsorian Games.

Hero Games has risen from the dead!

R. Talsorian sold off Hero Games to cybergames.com a while back. It seemed that Hero was going to die. But a group of former HERO writers and fans created a corporation called DOJ soley for the purpose of reviving Hero Games, the Hero System, and Champions.

DOJ ("Defenders of Justice") is a very small company. It is owned almost completely by two people, Darren Watts and Steven S. Long. Darren is the company president and Steve is the "Line Developer". They only have two other employees, Andy Mathews (Art Director) and Ben Seeman (Webmaster). Needless to say, they are no Wizards of the Coast.

They just recently released the 5th Edition of the Hero System rules, and let me tell you it is a great product. Hero System is a universal roleplaying game that puts every other "Universal" RPG to shame with its completeness. The Hero System is thought by many people to be the best role-playing game ever designed, and this 5th edition is even better. The 5th edition (which is referred to as "Fred" by the people on the Hero message board) was written almost entirely by Steven S. Long. The game itself is a tremendous improvement over the previous versions, while keeping almost full compatibility with them.

Their second product just hit the shelves, "The Ultimate Martial Artist", which is a definitive guide to martial arts of all types. This was also written by Mr. Long. I haven't gotten ahold of this myself yet, but it has gotten good reviews from people I have spoken to.

The one book everyone is waiting for is the Champions genre book. Previous versions of Champions had the Hero System rules built into them already. But this new 5th edition is simply a genre book that adds on to the base Hero System rulebook. They did it that way because that allowed them to concentrate completely on the setting, without reprinting the 400 page Hero rulebook. This genre book will be written by none other than Aaron Allston, a long time RPG developer and novelist with a list of books as long as your arm.

Other Hero products in the works include Fantasy Hero, Star Hero, Cyber Hero, Pulp Hero, and many others. Unfortunately, Hero Games have a fairly conservative release schedule, and it is going to be quite a while before some of these titles are printed (mainly because Steve Long is writing half of them himself). Luckily the Hero System 5th edition rules are all you really even need, and 4th edition products are very compatible. Hero sells a few of the older products on its webpage (they actually still have Champions 2nd Edition in stock from 1982!), and has another ten available in PDF format. Please note that Hero Games no longer own the rights to the Fuzion system, and will not be releasing any more material for it.

The online Hero System community is really gathering steam again since the release of the 5th edition rules. The Hero System messageboards are packed full of new gamers and old ones alike. The best part of the online Hero community is that Steven Long (the author of the game) is a very frequent poster on the Hero messageboards and will actually answer your questions about the game himself.

You can visit Hero Games (and the previously mentioned message boards) at

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