As through a glass, and darkly...
Hero points are only awarded to player characters. NPCs, animal companions, familiars, cohorts, and mounts do not receive hero points. Unlike other points in the game, hero points do not renew over time or with rest. Once spent, they are gone forever. Hero points are awarded as a character gains levels or whenever a character accomplishes a truly heroic feat.
Awarding Hero Points
Each character begins play with 2 hero points. In addition, whenever a character gains a level, he earns an additional hero point. The following options are just some of the ways that additional hero points may be awarded.
Character Story: The DM may award a hero point for playing within the character backstory. This reward encourages players to take an active role in the history of the game. In addition, the DM can use this backstory to generate a pivotal moment for your character concerning his past. When this key event is resolved, the DM can reward another hero point.
Completing Plot Arcs: The DM might award a hero point to each of the PCs who were involved in completing a major chapter or arc in the campaign. These hero points are awarded at the conclusion of the arc if the PCs were successful or advanced the story in a meaningful way.
Faith: In a campaign where the gods play an important role in every character’s life, hero points might represent their favour. In such a setting, the DM can award hero points to characters whenever they uphold the tenets of their faith in a grand way, or whenever they take on one of the faith’s major enemies. Such hero points might be temporary, and if not spent on the task at hand, they fade away.
Heroic Acts: Whenever a character performs an exceptionally heroic act, he can be awarded a hero point. This might include anything from slaying an evil dragon when the rest of the group has fled to rescuing townsfolk from a burning building despite being terribly wounded. It does not have to be related to combat. Convincing the reticent king to send troops to help with a bandit problem or successfully jumping a wide chasm might earn a character a hero point, depending on the circumstances. Note that a hero point should only be awarded if the PC involved did not spend a hero point to accomplish the task.
Return from the Dead: When a character dies, he does not lose any hero points he has accumulated. If he died with no hero points remaining, he gains 1 hero point when he is brought back from the dead through powerful magic, such as Life Giving.
Maximum Hero Points - Characters can have no more than 5 hero points at any one time. Excess hero points are lost.
Using Hero Points
Hero points can be spent at any time and do not require an action to use (although the actions they modify consume part of your character’s turn as normal). You cannot spend more than 1 hero point during a single round of combat. Whenever a hero point is spent, it can have any one of the following effects.
Act Out of Turn: You can spend a hero point to take your turn immediately. You may only move or attack on this turn.
Bonus: A hero point grants you a 50% luck modifier (up or down) to any one D100 roll. You can use a hero point to grant this bonus to another character or NPC, 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 (+/-25%).
Extra Action: You can spend a hero point on your turn to gain an additional attack or move this turn.
Inspiration: If you feel stuck at one point in the adventure, you can spend a hero point and petition the DM 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.
Recall: You can spend a hero point to recall a spell you have already cast or to gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
Special: You can petition the gods to allow a hero point to be used to attempt nearly anything that would normally be almost impossible. Such uses are not guaranteed and will be considered carefully by the DM. Possibilities 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 damage reduction entirely, 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 difficulty 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.
Cheat Death: A character can spend 2 hero points to cheat death. How this plays out is up to the DM, but generally the character is left alive, with negative hit points but stable. For example, a character is about to be slain by a critical hit from an arrow. If the character spends 2 hero points, the DM decides that the arrow pierced the character’s holy symbol, reducing the damage enough to prevent him from being killed, and that he stabilized at the end of his turn. Cheating death is the only way for a character to spend more than 1 hero point in a turn. The character can spend hero points in this way to prevent the death of a familiar, animal companion, or special mount, but not another character or NPC.