What is Heroes & Other Worlds?

Heroes & Other Worlds is a game of adventure inspired by Metagaming's classic Melee/Wizard/TFT system combined with inspiration from the Moldvay edited basic game. The rules are easy to learn and use standard six sided dice. The system is simple, sensible and flexible in the spirit of classic role playing games from the early 80's. Become a Hero, Other Worlds await!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


To follow up on the streamlined skill idea of BBM I graphed the expected numerical range differences based on the different levels.

Inexperienced--4 dice/attribute
Trained-3 dice/ attribute
Expert-4 dice/attribute--but only use 3 lowest dice rolled

Marek suggested for Inexperienced using 4 dice but only using 3 highest rolled. 

Looking at the results? I would still prefer 4dice/attribute but let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What I'm working on

Hello and a belated Happy New Year to you!

Well last year was a DUD in terms of new HOW stuff, and as personally disappointing as that was to me I am working to make 2016 much better.  Developing Blades & Black Magic is taking quite awhile as developing a world to play in takes a bit of time.  Then I have to decide what to add or leave out.

For example, I have worked on a "city" generator. It is a series of d6 charts that let you flesh out a city.  Like any random table exercise, things sometimes seem not to "connect" but I have always liked the oddities and variety of such things.  So I am not sure if it goes into BBM or maybe it is a better fit in a Cauldron issue--along with a sample city.

In addition--I am looking at adding "abilities".  Think of them as favors or feats or that sort of thing.  Again--not sure if I add it into BBM as a part of character creation--or save it for Cauldron as a test/optional rule.

Last, as the BBM rules are just a bit different--I am thinking of making the setting/world rules a separate Gazetteer--as well as including it all in BBM.  So if you are playing HOW and just want a setting? You got it.  Want the whole thing? You can have that too.

So what's different in BBM?

Skills have three levels: Inexperienced, Trained and Expert.  No bonuses/pluses.

Inexperienced rolls: 4/attribute-all skills start here
Trained rolls: 3/ attribute
Expert rolls 4/attribute--but only uses the lowest 3 rolled

Why change? I wanted a simplified clean system that would allow someone to jump in quickly. Also there is no EN attirbute in BBM.  Don't like it? No worries, just play straight up HOW rules! All the stats, magic, weapons, damage etc. and are completely compatible and really the same.

Want a basic conversion back and forth?

HOW skill +1 to +3 equals Trained in BBM
HOW skill +4 to +6 equals Expert in BBM

Magic--BBM adds ward magic and circle magic--and all magic in BBM taxes ST--there is no EN in BBM!

I transported my own HOW players into Rodinia and wizards suddenly having spells not work because they require blood/ST to work was quite fun--at least for me!

Last but certainly not least, Art Kid Luigi is working on new illustrations I will use in BBM so the work continues!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eye of Horus

I found a unique Eqyptian themed adventure by Graeme Davis published in Imagine Magazine waaaaay back in 1984--over 30 years ago--holy crap.  Graeme has provided many of his published adventures for free download--and Sethotep is one of those!

Sethotep was published with creature stats for B/X, AD&D, and DragonQuest...and I thought it needed stats for HOW! So I wrote up a cheat sheet for creature stats you can download here! Once you have downloaded the adventure from Graeme's site, you can use the HOW conversion creature sheet to play it.

The treasure can be a bit "generous" as is D&D's want, so I'd say make anything in GP silver instead, and  maybe cut it in half.  Up to you, but I prefer treasure to be not quite as bountiful.  Your mileage may very...

Now fire up some Iron Maiden Powerslave and get to it!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Status update

Hello strangers!

Well the year is coming to a close in my real life job, and what a year it has been. Unfortunately all that work left me with little time to get the HOW things done I wanted to, but never fear! I have time off coming up and intend to (finally) finish Cauldron 2 and get it out before the end of the year!

Then Blades & Black Magic will be the next project to complete--and I am hoping to make major progress during my time off.  I have some spells to finish and culture/people of Rodinia to write up.

In the meantime Warren asked for a list of OGL status translated to HOW--and I am happy to make that happen so click the link and download them for free!

My wife and I want to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season filled with much cheer and plenty of gaming! Lord knows I want to get 2 scoops of cheer and a lot of gaming in myself!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy HOW-lloween!

Well it is all treat and no tricks here at HOW central.  On October 31st, I hput together 3 adventures into a special free Halloween Cauldron PDF download.

This could be slip these into your campaign world quite easily and while one adventure has already been published as a free download before, I include it here as I used it to kick off this series of adventures with my own group.  Note, the final adventure is very hard and very deadly.  My own players fled and did not make it too far--which is fine because as the Referee it creates a thread of doom and story to use and to "threaten" players with long term.

Spooktacular Halloween wishes to you and yours, but like Halloween, it did not last and is now gone...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Sorry the craziest year ever in my work life last year...was trumped by this year's insanity.  I am very happy and grateful to have a great job in the real world, but the office demands and travel are severely cutting into any shot at time to write and create. I know this may come as a surprise, but my lovely wife would like to spend time with me as do other family and friends in those spare hours when I have time to do so. 

So I apologize to you that things are not coming along as quickly as I had hoped and intended. I can only ask your continued patience and hope that the results will be worth the wait.  I am as anxious to get some new stuff out as (I hope) you are to see some new stuff. Thank you!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

This is Ruskya

Don't let the quiet fool you, work on Blades & Black Magic is happening on jets as I travel (a lot) for work...

Below is a first pass at a Rodinia homeland entry for Blades & Black Magic--tell me what more (within reason) you need to make it worthwhile.  Keep in mind (from me) you are not going to get a frustrated novelist rendition of who begat who in the snowy wilderness among the wolf people before the ancients learned to write yada yada yada...

YOU can make that up and it will be more real and more important because YOU know what you like and how YOU want to play it! I want to give you enough to work with to develop that kind of story--without pouring a sticky syrup of words over it all that drowns your own creativity!

One of the features is a SWOT for each homeland.  SWOT is a business analytical brief used to determine: Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.  This can be applied to new markets, current operations, new opportunities, etc. Having to do these in the real world made me think it might provide an interesting hook/framework to be used for each homeland.

So without further blather--here is the initial take on a homeland, let loose your comments for good or ill.

Government structure: Warring clans
Weather: Short spring and summer, long, rainy autumn, cold, snow heavy winter
Typical Food: Wild animals, root vegetables
Typical drink: Mead
Typical house: Animal skin yert or wood cabin
Gods: War, Trickster, Mother, Animal, Weather
Trade goods: Furs, raw metal, raw wood
Typical village: 140 men, 100 women, 210 kids.
Typical livestock: Goats and chickens

Ruskya Strengths
Strong fighters
Forest and mountains make them tough to invade
Many natural resources

Ruskya Weaknesses
Fear Magic
Clans mistrust each other
Harsh weather

Ruskya Opportunities
Develop industry to convert resources
Unite clans to become a power
Develop a trade city to bring in wealth

Ruskya Threats
Invasion by a unified power
Secret cabal of clan sorcerers seeks power over the clans
Clan leaders linking to outside powers to gain internal prestige but at cost of subjugation

This is Ruskya
Ruskya is a snowy, mountainous region of the north. The people are golden or red-haired, blue-eyed and the men are bearded and the women typically have hair in braids or long and left loose. Their land is made up of warring clans, but they are not opposed to working together if there is gold and prestige to be gained.

The Ruskya are traditionally armed in leather armor, furs, and using wooden round shields. They prefer hammers or axes in combat and dislike the use of bows except for hunting.

Typical Ruskya mercenaries are raiders, hunters, trackers and swords for hire.  The rare Ruskya sorcerer is seen as a dangerous oddity, not to be trusted and certainly to be feared.  

Typical names Bragi, Egil, Gorm, Heimdul, Horsa, Njord, Njal, Rann, Sigurd, Wulfhere

A Mercenary starts with basic clothing and boots, a fur cloak, a large shield, a spear, axe or hammer, and a knife. 

A Sorcerer starts with basic clothing, boots, fur robes, a dagger or staff.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pixie as Character

Those who purchased the Tome of Terrors & Treasures (thanks very much!) know that there are "Creature as Character" options for many of the monsters. The idea is to allow you to play that creature as a character in your game (with Referee approval of course.) I had a request to make a character playable Pixie...so per that request, I thought I would share it here:

Pixie as Character

ST (-6) DX +0 IQ+0 No EN

MV (DX/2.5) /12 flight

Small Size

Low-light vision

AR:-1 natural bonus

Standard weapon: Pixie knife (1d3)

Special Attack: Pixie bow (1d3) or sleep/confusion arrow per Pixie description.

Special: Greater invisibility: pixie can suppress or resume invisibility as an action-does not became visible if it attacks. Spell abilities 1x day per creature description.

These spell abilities do not cost ST/EN to use 1x.

Note if a Referee allows using any of these 1x abilities a second time, it causes ST1 damage.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Background work

One of the things I am working on behind the scenes is a book of backgrounds. The idea is you could roll up a back ground or two for your character to get starting skills and a hook idea for your character.  For the Referee it is a pre-made book of NPC's covering major and minor people the characters may run into.

I plan on putting a couple into the next Cauldron (yes it IS still coming) but in the meantime here is a preview of one such entry...the assassin.

Hiring killers is the task of any king, guild, or rebel...but when the job needs to be quickly, quietly and without the usual noise and mass destruction of an army, their the assassin works quietly and alone. In darkness, and with stealth the assassin seeks not glory nor fame and the best ones are not even known to have committed the crime.

ST10 IQ11 DX13(11) EN8 MV6; AR-2 (leather) DM 1d6 (daggers)

Hide/Spot Hidden+1, Stealth +1, Thief +1, Dagger+1, Athletics+1

Quick Draw- Once per turn you are able to produce a weapon or item of dagger size or smaller you possess on your person into your hand without sacrificing an action that turn to do so.

2 daggers, padded vest and worn clothing, dark travel cloak, padded leather boots, small sack, belt pouch. 2D6x10 coins.

Wandering is a part of your life. Those who know of you can always find a way to reach you but you never stay in any one place to long, for those who know how to find you may also be the ones who ultimately betray you. So you venture town to town picking up the odd job or task as necessary to provide a relevant cover and to see if your real skills might provide a bit of ready coin.