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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Conversions>World of Lone Wolf>Conversion
Conversion Resource
FROM: World of Lone Wolf
TO: HERO System 5th Edition
NOTE: Some rudimentary knowledge of the HERO System rules is necessary to understand this conversion document.
Years ago when I was but a small lad I was lent a book by a newly met friend at school. It was a simple paperback, with a black spine and a colorful cover depicting a young man with a green cloak and glowing sword against a backdrop of dark winged creatures and slavering wolves. Its cover proclaimed it a "Roleplaying Adventure".
Well, I had no idea what a "Roleplaying Adventure" might be at that point in my life, but it sounded intriguing. Opening the book was even more intriguing; rather than the normal linear text starting inside the front cover and ending shortly before the back cover, this book was arranged in seemingly random order in snippets.
Further weirdness, there was some kind of task resolution chart in the back and discussion about something called a character record sheet in the front for which I was prompted to pick from a list of "Kai Abilities" and write down the contents of an imaginary backpack.
All very strange stuff. So following along, I soon had picked out some powers, dutifully written everything down, and was jumping around the pages of the book following the adventure of my surrogate self, choosing as wisely as my prepubescent mind allowed from the options presented at the end of every numbered text blurb and picking resolution numbers mostly honestly from the chart in the back (cheating only occasionally).
It was a blast! Soon thereafter I had acquired the books of the series and worked my way from lonely half-trained Kai stripling to uber nasty Kai Grandmaster, stomping across the world of Aon one numbered text entry at a time.
Those of you not familiar with Lone Wolf and his world are probably shrugging and thinking "just sounds like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, big deal", and you're right, but these were the Cadillacs of Pick-a-Paths. There was a common narrative thread across the books; your character had continuity and improved from book to book, items and people from previous books would appear in later books, decisions made would have later repurcussions. Pretty impressive stuff really; it pushed the boundaries of the format.
Meanwhile, I was also becoming initiated in the ways of more proper "Roleplaying Adventures", now that I had dipped my toes in the shallow end of the pool. Red Box D&D was followed by other golden age TSR boxed sets. Marvel Superheroes, Gamma World, Star Frontiers. Then the hardbacks...1st Edition AD&D, then 2nd Edition. Warhammer FRPG. Off beat, small press games like Talislanta, Ars Magica, stuff from Palladium, Champions, later White Wolf, and many other RPGs as the years rolled by.
So, in a way, Flight From The Dark and the rest of the Lone Wolf series was basically the "gateway drug" of RPG's for me; the mostly harmless taste that got me hooked on a serious RPG addiction.
Now we've come full circle. It occured to me, in response to a thread someone opened on the HERO Games Forums about Lone Wolf, that the basic archetype of the Kai brothers is very playable in the context of a higher fantasy game in the HERO System. So, I sat down and pretty quickly was able to define approximate versions of Kai abilities in HERO System terms, which are presented here for your use.
There are several different uses this material can be put to, including:
  • CONVERT EXISTING CHARACTERS: Someone with similar memories of the books could use this material to assist in a conversion of their Kai character record sheet into HERO System terms for nostalgia or curiosity purposes.
  • FILE OFF THE SERIAL NUMBERS: The basic idea of the Kai could easily be "retasked" and renamed, and incorporated into some other campaign setting either as is or with further alteration. The abilities of the Kai represent an expensive but potent collection of natural and supernatural abilities that make for a very capable semi-mystic warrior kind of character.
  • MAGIC SYSTEM: Taking a step further back, the Kai ability set can be used as the basis of a simple Magic or Psionics System in a lower powered campaign where the cost would serve as a natural speedbump on overall power.
125 Kai Abilities: Choose any five (5) of the basic Kai Abilities
5 Fit: +5 STR
9 Adept: +3 DEX
6 Durable: +3 CON
6 Tough: +3 BODY
2 Kai: Perk: Kai Initiate
2 Kai: Reputation: Powerful Mystic Warriors 14- +1 / +1d6
  • PROJECT AON: A very awesome site with online versions of the Kai adventure books.
  • MONGOOSE PUBLISHING : a well known RPG company that is reprinting Lone Wolf material and (apparantly), new material as well.