Campaigns set in the Defenders Universe use the HERO System rules and are played using the HERO System Fifth Edition Revised, Bestiary, Champions, and all books in the Ultimate Series (Ultimate Martial Artist, Ultimate Vehicle, etc.). Most books published for the Champions genre are applicable, and many are also used (varies depending on the campaign). Most questions concerning the standard rules can be answered by checking the Rules FAQ on the Hero Games website. Variations to the standard and optional rules are detailed below (the House Rules). Questions concerning any of the House Rules should be directed to Dust Raven.

Characteristics

Strength (STR) costs END each time it is used during a Phase rather than once per Phase. For example, if you are carrying a heavy weight, shove aside a door then punch someone, you spend END for each of these. Spending END to maintain a Grab is handled differently. The character spends END in the Phase he performs the Grab as usual, but only spends END on the Phases his target attempts to escape to maintain it. If the target does not attempt to escape, the character need only spend END for enough STR to lift him.

Skills, Perks & Talents

A character may use a Half-Phase Action and make an Acrobatics roll to increase his DCV in combat. If the roll is made, he gains a +1 DCV until the start of his next Phase.

Combat Skill Levels may be purchases for Mental Combat at the cost of 5 points each. Such CSLs may apply to OECV, DECV or damage as normal. DECV Levels may be purchases for 3 points each.

This campaign does not use the Optional Language Familiarity Chart for the purposes of determining how much a Language costs. All Languages are to be bought normally. However, characters can use the chart to understand Languages similar to ones they have purchased.

A Teamwork roll is only required to coordinate attacks if the attackers have not extensively trained together. Characters without the Teamwork Skill cannot coordinate attacks.

Characters with a mind sufficiently inhuman may buy Non-Human Mind (a Talent) to represent their inherent protection from mental powers that only work against a different class of minds. The cost is 10 points (Mental Defense 10 points, Not Versus Mental Powers Associated With The [Non-Human] Class Of Minds [-¼], Half Effect Versus Ego Attack [-½] plus +2 DECV, Not Versus Mental Powers Associated With The [Non-Human] Class Of Minds [-½]). A member of the Human class of minds has this Talent for free, but characters of other classes of mind to not get points back for not having it. See below for information about the classes of minds used in the Defenders Universe.

Powers

For Mental Powers, use the following classes of minds:

Human Includes Humans and most human-like creatures.
Animal >Most non-sentient creatures, almost always vertebrates.
Insect Includes most invertebrates.
Machine Any non-living, electrical device. Includes all AIs.
Alien A catch-all for anything not covered above. Includes some AIs.

Mental Powers can target anything, regardless of their associated class(es) of mind, so long as the target possesses an EGO Characteristic. However, targets belonging to a class of mind other than what the Mental Power is associated with receives a special defense bonus in the form of extra Mental Defense and a DECV bonus (see the Non-Human Mind Talent above). Machines, such as Vehicles, Computers (not including AIs), robot Automatons, electronic equipment and similar items may only be targeted with Mental Powers associated with the Machine class of minds.

Mental Powers may be purchased with an Adder called Unobtrusive for +15 points (+7 points for Mental Illusions). Targets of an Unobtrusive Mental Power will not be aware they were affected by it. It functions as if the mentalist has achieved +20 effect on his Effect Roll (+10 for Mental Illusions).

The Based On CON Limitation for Mental Powers has a value of -1 and does not include the need to apply the Power to PD or ED. PD (or ED) Applies (-1) is a separate Limitation.

Clairsentience can be used as a Targeting Sense for establishing LOS for Mental Powers if it is purchased in the following way:

  1. Clairsentience must be defined as belonging to the Mental Sense Group
  2. Clairsentience must be Targeting (+10 points) and affect the Mental Sense Group (+10 points).

As a result, the point of perception can be perceived by anyone with Mental Awareness and the character can be attacked with Mental Powers (and Powers bought BOECV) through the point of perception. Similarly, Clairsentience bought with the Targeting Adder can be used to establish LOS for Teleportation or the setting of Floating Fixed Locations.

Extra BODY or DEF for Entangles are not restricted, and may be in any proportion. The Limitations “No Defense” and “Entangle Has 1 BODY” may not be taken.

Healing is cumulative. The maximum can be increased the same as other Adjustment Powers. An exception is when defining Healing as “Simplified Healing” (5ER p. 187). Simplified Healing uses the standard rules regarding multiple uses of Healing on the same target.

Missile Deflection & Reflection can reflect attacks not directly aimed at the character for an additional +½ Advantage.

A character with Telekinesis may manipulate/hold a number of objects up to the character’s INT/5 simultaneously. The total mass of all objects must not exceed the TK STR. All objects manipulated as a group are done so as a single action. Otherwise different objects must be manipulated individually using separate actions. Lifting/Grabbing an object is an attack and uses an attack action (multiple objects/targets must be Grabbed individually as separate attacks), as does using an object as part of an attack. Other uses of TK use Zero-Phase or Half-Phase Actions.

Characters may buy Fixed Locations (or set Floating Fixed Locations) for objects in addition to locations. For example, a Fixed Location may be a specific playing card, a specific coin or a specific piece of jewelry.

Characters may purchase additional inches of Tunneling for 2 points each.

Power Modifiers & Frameworks

AVLD is +0 if the defense is just as common as the standard defense. For this purpose PD, ED, Resistant PD & Resistant ED are all considered to be equally common; Flash Defense, Mental Defense, Power Defense & the Resistant versions of each are equally common.

BOECV can be targeted using the attacker’s OECV versus the target’s DCV, or the attackers OCV versus the target’s DECV, instead of the OECV versus DECV. BOECV is a +1 Advantage if it applies versus Mental Defense. If the Power is only targeted with OECV or targets DECV, but uses the Power’s usual defenses, it is a +½ Advantage.

Delayed Effect is allowed. The maximum number of Powers a character may have prepared (not active is equal to INT/5. There is no limit to the number of Powers that may be active at the same time, only Powers prepared and ready for use using Delayed Effect. If a Limitation affects the character when the Delayed Effect Power is used (such as Gestures), then the value for that Limitation is doubled.

Elemental Controls must represent a single power with a variety of effects, rather than a number of individual powers with the same SFX.

Combat & Adventuring

An attack roll of a 3, 4 or 5 is considered a critical hit. On a roll of a 5, and the attack hits, all 1′s are counted as 2′s. On a roll of a 4, and the attack hits, all 1′s and 2′s are counted as 3′s. On a roll of a 3, the attack automatically hits and all 1′s, 2′s and 3′s are counted as 4′s. Any Standard Effect portion of an attack is not subject to critical hits.

A character may use the Snap Shot maneuver to activate/reactivate a Power (such as Desolidification or Invisibility) after attacking instead of ducking behind cover. This is an exception to the rule that a Power can only be turned on or off (once) during a Phase.

In extreme or dramatic circumstances, Player Characters (and master villains) may Push a Power for more than 10 Active Points. This is called an EGO Push. To EGO Push a Power the player declares how many Active Points he wishes to push his Power by, up to the Active Points in the Power. The character then makes an EGO roll with a -1 penalty for every 5 points over 10 he wishes to push. If the roll succeeds, the EGO Push is successful. If the roll is failed, the character only pushed by 10 points. In either case, the Active Points of the Power are temporarily reduced by the amount successfully pushed. The character will recover these points at the rate of 5 Active Points per Turn. In addition, until the Power is fully recovered, the character must make an EGO roll with a -1 penalty for every 5 points not yet recovered to use the Power. Just like a normal Push, the END cost is 1 END per point Pushed.