Hero Points

These are a variant to action points, presented in the Pathfinder Advanced Players' Guide, pg. 322. They are slightly altered from the APG, and homebrewed to fit the game.

Hero Points

You can never possess more than three hero points at a time, excess hero points are lost and do not rollover. You can use more than one point per session, but never more than one point per single round of combat. So you could use all your hero points on the same enemy over the course of a combat, all in different rounds, if you wished. Note that certain foes may have their own flavor of hero points, called villain points. Special, important, or otherwise nefarious enemies (BBEG) will likely have at least one villain point.

Here's how you get hero points:

  • Every character begins creation with one hero point. If the character has included a quality written backstory, the GM may grant an additional point (two total).
  • Leveling up always grants one hero point (not restoring negative levels)
  • Completing a story arc (group or personal) grants one hero point
  • Compelling or creative roleplaying can result in the awarding of one hero point, as can acting in a heroic fashion. For example, scaling a hundred foot tall prehistoric warforged titan and ripping out its metallic heart with one hand because the other was severed by razor wire would earn you a hero point.

Here is how you can use them.

  • You may spend one hero point to take the maximum possible roll on your HD when you level up. This decision must be made prior to the roll, so none of that, "I rolled a 1, I'm gonna spend a hero point now," crap.
  • You can spend a hero point to take your turn immediately. Treat this as a readied action, moving your initiative to just before the currently acting creature. You may only take a move or standard action on this turn.
  • If use before a roll is made, a hero point grants you a +8 luck bonus to any one d20 roll. If use after the roll is made, this bonus is reduced to +4. You can use a hero point to grant this bonus to another character, as long as you are in the same location and your character can reasonably affect the outcome of the roll (such as distracting a monster, shouting words of encouragement, or otherwise aiding another with the check). Hero points spent to aid another character grant only half the listed bonus (+4 or +2 respectively).
  • You can spend a hero point on your turn to gain an additional standard or move action this turn
  • If you feel stuck at one point in the adventure, you can spend a hero point and petition the GM for a hint about what to do next. If the GM feels that there is no information to be gained, the hero point is not spent.
  • You can spend a hero point to recall a spell you have already cast or gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities already possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
  • You may spend a hero point to reroll any one d20 roll you have just made. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse.
  • You can petition the GM to allow a hero point to be use to attempt nearly anything that would normally be impossible. Such uses are not guaranteed and should be considered carefully by the GM. Possibilties could include casting a single spell that is one level higher than you could normally cast, making an attack that blinds a foe or bypasses its DR, or attempting to use Diplomacy to convince a raging dragon to give up its attack. Regardless of the desired action, the attempt should be accompanied by a difficult check or penalty on the attack roll. No additional hero points may be spent on such an attempt, either by the character or his allies.
  • A character can spend two hero points to cheat death. How this plays out is up to the GM, but generally the character is left alive, with negative hit points but stable. For example, -9 underneath a pile of rubble, miraculously not bleeding to death or that vorpal blade just missed severing your head, slashing your throat instead. Cheating death is the only way for a character to spend more than one hero point in a turn. The character can spend points in this way to prevent the death of a familiar, animal companion, or special mount, but not another character or NPC.

(hint to players: never complain about dying if you still have hero points left; you're doing it wrong!)