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!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Entombed

Chris McGill
And like that, the pocketbook Frostcrawl guide is gone for now.   I may offer a different version sometime in the future but for now, you can still download Frostcrawl as a free PDF! I do intend to include Frostcrawl in the hardback combined version of Blades & Black Magic.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

THIS WEEKEND ONLY



Now is your chance to purchase a printed pocketbook version of the freely available FROSTCRAWL PDF. This is made available at print production cost, I make absolutely NO profit/money from your purchase.  Keeping my word to make FROSTCRAWL free to you as a thanks for your patience and support!

Sorry, this opportunity has expired you can still download the PDF of Frostcrawl for free!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

FROSTCRAWL Updates (again)

UPDATED DOWNLOAD
Thanks to some kind feedback, I have gone through and tried to fix some wonky text issues as well as adding a terrain key.

Hopefully these are minor but important improvements, thanks to Jeff V and to Pastor Beau for the constructive criticism and for providing editing opportunities to improve FROSTCRAWL!


Sunday, May 12, 2019

FROSTCRAWL AVAILABLE NOW

DOWNLOAD FROSTCRAWL
Frostcrawl is a hexcrawl for use with Heroes & Other Worlds or Blades & Black Magic.  The map coves 441 hexes to explore, and I put in an entry of some sort for all 441 hexes.

NEXT WEEKEND: I will make a pocket book version of FROSTCRAWL available to order at cost, it will only be available next weekend so set your reminder!! (Pocketbook size is the same as the BLADES rule book)

Frostcrawl is my small way of saying THANK YOU for supporting this one knucklehead endeavor and sticking with me while life kept throwing curve balls.  My hope is Frostcrawl is a solid base hit, and not a foul tip!

Next up, I'm working to complete the BLACK MAGIC book!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

TOMORROW IS FROSTCRAWL

IT IS DONE!

Tomorrow I will release the free PDF of FROSTCRAWL: A hexcrawl for use with Heroes & Other Worlds and Blades & Black Magic.

The PDF will be standard US page size 8.5x11

The following weekend you will have a chance to purchase at cost a pocketbook  sized (Think BLADES book sized) version of FROSTCRAWL.

I plan to make it only available for purchase (at cost) next weekend. The PDF will always be available.

I may fold FROSTCRAWL into the combined BBM hardback book when that is complete.

I might also do a limited boxed set with 3 pocket books: BLADES+ BLACK MAGIC+FROSTCRAWL--but there si a lot to do between now and the future.

In the meantime, it is done and I will see you tomorrow!

A sense of wonder and survival

Nothing too important here, just a morning philosophical ramble.

Gamers, like people, are as different as leaves on a tree. We may all come from a similar set of "game tree" roots, but the branches go all over and the leaves grow out from there.  In other words, I think we are all sort of similar but through our own experiences, likes and dislikes, we kind of branch out.

From the outset then, whatever I like + do is different from you and how you do it..and frankly that's great. So, in advance, my goal is not to say if you like GAME X and not mine you suck.  That's never me nor do I to get strident about stuff like that. Please like what you like and ignore the stuff you don't.

With that preamble out of the way, let me talk about characters in HOW/BLADES and B/X fits here too.  The rules of these games are a framework and guideline, giving you a basic understanding of how to create a character, play the game and provides the necessary core elements to build a game from.  The basic information needed for both Players and Referee are contained in one book. (Yes the Black Magic (wizard/spells) portion of BBM is still in work.)

Second these rule sets are slim.  I have talked before about my dislike of the college text book "standard" size now of multiple rule books now that seldom excite me.  Why? There is little creative imagination needed or required. Every element is now hyper detailed to create an assortment of rule breaks/ game advantages just for your character. Through all the backgrounds, special abilities, birth order, homelands and clans you have a detailed and developed character with a big back story.

It has turned character creation into its own "pre-adventure" session needing an hour or two to get everyone done. Additionally, after investing that much time into making 1 character, you probably have an expectation that it will be nigh invulnerable! The Referee in these games (in a separate book mind you) is instructed how to make fights and threats even or fair to insure characters survive.  I think of this all as something akin to a Disney ride. You get in and while it may feel dangerous here and there, you are totally safe.

That's not true for HOW/BBM/BECMI. I may have a dwarf fighter and he will have a couple abilities or skills in HOW or BECMI. Probably take about 20 or 30 minutes to create at most. Then its up to me as the player to make that character come to life!  The character sheet provides the basic mechanical framework for what the character can do and how well they can mechanically do it in the game system, nothing more. Only through play and adventures do I as the Player begin to develop the character, create a personality and create an attachment.  Frankly, because these games are lethal, I may not have too long to be attached anyway!

Also, since these characters can fit all relevant information on a notecard or a bookmark, it is kind of understood this character's life may be nasty, brutish and short.  There is no sense, nor expectations, that a fight or experience will be fair in HOW/BBM/BECMI.  Pick a fight with an ogre? Go traipsing down the dark and overgrown steps of the mad kings tomb? Enter an ancient wizards laboratory hidden in Mount Charon? You are likely to get stomped. 

That is how it should be! The reason now one else has gone in to tackle the ogre stealing the town's goats, nor go to loot the mad king's tomb, nor gone to fetch the wizard crown out of Mount Charon is because it IS dangerous, likely to fail and likely to get you STOMPED.  Your character is one of the brave (or foolhardy or greedy or insane) to have a go.

Ladies and gentlemen, going out to loot forbidden vampire tombs, conquering kingdoms and slaying dragons should be dangerous as hell and likely to lead to an early grave. Otherwise EVERYONE would be out doing it!

Now do you need a 400 page player guide covering every potential skill, feat, advantage or disadvantage possible to min/max your character build to take on these threats? Negative ghost rider.  (I mean if you do really NEED that? Cool, there are a dozen games out there to meet your need!) All you really need are the mechanical basics to try things in game and an understanding of how difficult your choices may be. 

For example in HOW, if I a Player's dwarf wants to slam dunk a boulder on dour ogre's head? I allow Players to make a nigh impossible roll (must roll a 3 on 3d6) IF they can explain HOW they intend to do it! No fancy feats or advantages, just explain it and let the dice decide.

What this all boils down to is: the fewer structured rules, the more sense of wonder, freedom and possibility a game can provide to your the Referee and to the Players.

I think often the massive tomes and ranges of feats, advantages and disadvantages--in their wish/drive to try and help you create unique or wondrous characters--they actually end up creating tiny little ivory towers. These make you within the tower "feel special" but actually it walls you off and removes you from the game.  Instead of starting out fairly similar (A fighter is similar except stats/weapons/skills) and then during play creating a unique nature for your character that comes from those near misses, foes conquered and tombs looted. 

Those are the things, the adventures undertaken and battles survived that make a character more than a handful of stats and skills on a page. Random creation charts and multi-page character sheets to be filled out can't do that, the play is the thing.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Ghost on the Throne

JAMES ROMM
So let me talk a bit about what my summer obsession is this year: The Successors.  I think most of you have heard of Alexander the Great. A Macedonian cat who succeeded his father Philip II at the age of 20 (336 BC) and conquers much of the known world and dies at the age of 32 (323 BC).  Its an unbelievable feat and one that is legendary in the annals of human history.

Alexander's success is so epic and unprecedented it is why it lives on today!

Yet it is what happens AFTER his death that is far more thrilling: a messy empire wide chaotic civil war, power grabby men and women, an era of skullduggery that to me is 20x MORE interesting!

You want epic battles? The era of the Successor has got'em by the dozen! Betrayal, double crosses, rebellions, mercenaries, politics, strong women and strong men each claiming and vying to carve out a slice of Alexander's old empire and make it their own!  Let me put it this way, if the struggles between the Houses of Game of Thrones hold any interest to you? Then you need to start diving into the real deal!

James Romm's book Ghost on the Throne is a fantastically readable, short and comprehensive look at this era.  This is where I started my Successor summer reading and if the above sounds interesting to you--do yourself a favor and get it!   Anyone who likes Game of Thrones intrigue should devour this history--it would make a FANTASTIC TV series for HBO or someone else to air as well....maybe someday.

Speaking of someday, I am going through final edits of FROSTCRAWL this weekend and am HOPING (not promising) to make the FREE PDF available for free download Sunday.  Again--HOPING not promising.

Assuming the PDF happens, then I would expect to make a hard copy pocket book version available at cost 1 week later, next weekend and for the weekend only!

At a later time, I think I will add the entire Frostcrawl work as a bonus section into a combined Blades & Black Magic hardcover.

So back to editing and thanks very much for your kind patience and continued support.

I hope to post again with good news and free stuff Sunday!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Is a picture worth 1000 words?

You be the judge!

All 441 hex descriptions are now complete!!

Now a question: To Include a foe list with HOW/BBM stats as an appendix or would it be better to hae stats by each relevant entry in the hexcrawl?

Second I am going to make a limited time PRINT pocket book sized version of Frostcrawl availble for
 purchase at cost.  This will be same size/format as the BLADES book.

The Map will not work in a book that small but you can print it on a normal page, and fold it down to carry with you in the book.

The PDF of Frostcrawl will be released for free as a thank you for your kind patience and continued support of my work.

Once Frostcrawl is done completion of the BLACK MAGIC book is next!

 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Venture into The Middle Lands!


Marc Tabyanan has created a terrific NEW SITE to support Blades & Black Magic: The Middle Lands!!  

Lots of great material already--and knowing Marc's creativity there will be a lot more to come!!