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, December 31, 2012

Cauldron, Issue #0

As promised, I am happy to say you can now download the #0 issue of Cauldron for free!

Inside the #0 issue you will find the following articles
  • Introduction: Coming to a Boil
  • FEATURE: Heroes & Other Worlds Basic Rules
  • Adventurers Assemble! Sample Characters
  • Filthy Lucre: Blood Harvest solo adventure
  • Beliefs & Believers: Veneration of the Ancients
  • Faculties & Staff: Grimoire of Shadows
  • Tooth & Claw: Frost Walker
  • Adventure: Rise of the Wickerman
  • Clone Conversion: Retro-Clone to Heroes & Other Worlds
  • Portals to Other Worlds: List of Links
    I converted my Pocket Full of Peril #10 adventure into a full Heroes & Other Worlds adventure! It features the cartographic wizardry of A.J. Stone of Stonewerks blog fame!

    Part of my gamer OCD issues is the need to have printed copies. So I "arted up" the free download and you can buy it on Lulu.com.  It is at a special into price of $6.99 as future issues will be $10.  If you want or need an "arted up" issue that sits and fits right along with the HOW rules book, it is available to you!

    2012 was a great year for me personally as I completed a dream of mine to publish the fantasy game I always wished I had found.  I am very grateful for the kind words and support from so many people!

    Heroes & Other Worlds is off to a great start and I have many plans for 2013! I hope you will come along for the adventure!

    I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fire burn and Cauldron bubble

I am pretty close to having the #0 issue of Cauldron finished.  As promised it will be available as a free PDF download.  This will be an art free version of the zero issue.  For product line completeness and symmetry a for sale 6x9 printed digest version will be made available on Lulu. This will have art but will be offered at a lower price than the future regular issues.Currently here is the list of articles contained within:
  • Introduction: Coming to a Boil
  • FEATURE: Heroes & Other Worlds Basic Rules
  • Adventurers Assemble! Sample Characters
  • Filthy Lucre: Blood Harvest
  • Beliefs & Believers: Veneration of the Ancients
  • Faculties & Staff: Grimoire of Shadows
  • Tooth & Claw: Frost Walkers
  • Adventure: Rise of the Wickerman
  • Clone Conversion: Retro-Clone to Heroes & Other Worlds
The HOW Basic Rules will serve as a useable intro and combined with the sample characters should be enough to play the enclosed adventures in this issue of Cauldron.

I expect to have it ready for download on New Year's eve and will post a link when it is done.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hear ye, hear ye!

Our house guest for the holidays has flown home today and my duties as host are now complete.  Now back to our regularly scheduled game design!

First I am excited to let you know Brett Slocum just released his Tekumel TFT beta v.3 conversion document!
Tekumel is a fantastic and very orginal fantasy setting! Being designed for TFT it is easily compatible with Heroes & Other Worlds!  Want an original setting to explore? More spells? More creatures? More magical items? Just click over to Brett's site and download the document now!  It is outstanding and will spur all sorts of ideas for your own game!

Second , are you looking to get your own copy of Heroes & Other Worlds?  Lulu.com has a 25% off promo code now through 1/2/13! Use the promo code AMPLIUS at checkout!

Third, Cauldron issue #0 will come out in the next few days!

Fourth, I will be converting Robert S. Conley's BLACKMARSH setting into Heroes & Other Worlds format and releasing it as an "Other World." Expect that in January.

Fifth, I will then be working to convert Lee Reynoldson's  Redwald setting into Heroes & Other Worlds format!

So anyone concerned about, or wanting, a setting for Heroes & Other Worlds will have an embarrassment of riches starting with Tekumel right now!

What's next after that? I have a major spell book in the offing, quarterly issues of the Cauldron and its a coin flip between Grim Venture or Blades & Back Magic! 

To all who have taken time and energy to play, review, support and purchase Heroes & Other Worlds I am very thankful.  I know the O in OSR is too often really a d20 in disguise, so I am thankful that a roguish bunch of fellow gamers is willing to take a chance on something far from the maddening crowd.

I look forward to sharing a fun 2013 and beyond with you! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

25% OFF

Lulu is running a special, 25% any order through january 2nd! Now you can get HOW at a crazy discount!

Use promo code AMPLIUS at check.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Super Heroic

I have made mention a few time in previous posts why HOW, unlike TFT, does not allow for Attributes to increase with experience.  I made mention that I disliked the traditional TFT experience system because it created super-heroic characters that, even for a fantasy game, became absurd.  Apparently I was not alone in these thoughts.

This always rankled me as well. Part of this no doubt stems from the philosophy of "realism" implied and underlying the system as a whole. TFT used a sensible and logical system to provide the mechanical basis for playing an adventure game. My own preference for heroic, over super heroic, game play is a clear design element of Heroes & Other Worlds, and is based on what I saw in the foundations of the original system. 

Somewhere, so it seems to me, the ability to increase skills instead of attributes became an unavailable option in TFT.  As both Melee & Wizard allowed only attribute increases in their rules, and as they served as the foundation stones for the Fantasy Trip, it seems logical that only attribute increases with experience would carry through. I disagreed with this and the result is the experience system in Heroes & Other Worlds.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Review

Anthony, of Battleaxes & Beasties blog fame, has just posted his review of Heroes & Other Worlds.  I appreciate his thoughts and opinions on the game and beyond the review, highly recommend you had his blog to your own daily stops.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Venture Forth

Geordie has created a great mini adventure for HOW.  If you are looking for a quick little adventure this is a good one! In fact I will be converting a lot of my Pocket Full of Peril adventures into full HOW format adventures.  Perfect for a single game session or two if you have methodical players.

As I have gotten older, I find I do not have the endless weekends of gaming that I did pre-college.  In fact now I prefer my adventures to be of the one evening completion variety.  That does not mean there isn't a larger campaign, it simply means you know when you show up and give me 4 to 6 hours of your time, you are going home with an comeplted adventure.  Of course if your character dies, you may be out quicker. :)

Speaking of campaigns, Lee the creator of Redwald has sent me a large amount of material to convert into HOW format.  Once the #0 issue of The Cauldron is done, I will start cracking on the conversion.  I think Redwald is a fantastic setting and for someone looking for a "setting book" to use for HOW, Redwald will provide a tremendously unique and detailed world book..assuming I don't screw it up in converting of course. :)

Image by BAILIN

Friday, December 14, 2012

Other World: Redwald

Redwald is an Anglo-Saxon era RPG in development by Lee Reynoldson. It is delightfully labeled as: A Role-Playing game of Outlaw Scum In an Anglo-Saxon World. Excited? Hell yes you are,and I was too!

Check out his Redwald blog and become inspired by the detail and outstanding writing giving life to his vision of a Dark Ages RPG.

Currently he is writing it for Sword & Wizardry White Box, and if you email him, he might share the work in progress PDF's with you.

I am a big fan of the classic epics/sagas like Beowulf and the recent works of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series of books as well as his take on a Dark Ages/historic King Arthur series The Warlord Chronicles.  Haven't read them? Then you are in for a real treat! Better yet? Redwald nails the genre magnificently and adds nice detailed doses of the fantastic to keep things interesting.

100% honesty here, I absolutely love the Redwald setting and want to adapt to Heroes & Other Worlds as a setting book.  The tactical nature of HOW lends itself easily to Lee's setting and the use of war-bands and other setting specifics could be easily and quickly handled by the HOW system.  Lee has purchased a copy of HOW so we will see if the system appeals to him.  On my own, I am converting Redwald material to HOW format for personal use, but who knows.  Perhaps someday Redwald will become an Other World to explore.

In the same Dark ages sort of setting Geordie over at Bite the Bulette has the starting of a new adventure/dungeon which could be a great kick off for your own adventure. Checkout Geordie's work and see how this idea comes to life. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fresh grist for the mill

Branduan takes on Brandon in his review of Heroes & Other Worlds.  It is a very detailed look at the game and I appreciate the time and trouble that went into this review.  If you are curious about the game or just want a fresh opinion, click over to What Am I Playing At? and read!

Heroes and Other Worlds is, by today's standards a simple and rules light RPG that comes all-in-one in a handy booklet with a sample adventure and a sample dungeon included. I would heartily recommend it for someone wanting to replace their worn copies of Melee/Wizard/TFT or for someone wanting a simple game to try out on their kids that won't cost an arm and a leg yet could be played for years if they get to liking it. Likewise, though it may have some odd things for the current gamer to get used to, it's a good system in a small package for a reasonable price

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Something wicked this way comes

Well okay, so it is not really wicked, but it is coming.

For my next trick, I am working on the #0 issue of the Cauldron.  Any time I spend blog posting is time not spent writing The Cauldron, so I hope you will understand if I am using my limited word-smithing time and abilities on The Cauldron #0.

The Cauldron will come out in late December as a free download, and future issues will be pay to play. Don't worry I will still be checking the blog daily, looking forward to new reviews and your adventure ideas, and in general being available even if the blog posting is light over the next couple weeks.

I hope you enjoy Heroes & Other Worlds, I look forward to seeing what you make of it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Review part #2

Geordie at Bite the Bulette blog has just posted the 2nd part of his review for Heroes & Other Worlds.

I'd hazard to say it has met with his approval, which means a lot as Geordie followed this little project from its conception as Roguish.

It's a fair and honest review like Robert Saint John's, and is all a person can or should hope for.  I very much appreciate Geordie taking time to do the review.

I look forward to Robert Saint John's 2nd half review and to those also saying they will review it, I can only again say thank you very much for your time and efforts to do so, I look forward to your thoughts.

Most importantly though I hope you actually enjoy playing it!

Want to give it a try?
Get 20% off by using promo code DECBOOKS12 on Lulu.com!

New review

Geordie Racer has just posted his first (of two parts) review of Heroes & Other Worlds.  You can link over to his blog Bite the Bulette to see what he thinks! Geordie's look at HOW is from the point of view of someone with no previous knowledge of the TFT system.  If that's you, or if you are interested in seeing the system with fresh eyes, this is a good read.  I look forward to reading Part 2 of both Robert Saint John's review and Geordie's review soon!

I'd also like to point you to the Dark City Games forums as Bret and "ewookie" have a nice thread going looking at Heroes & Other Worlds. For a DCG player, or just someone who'd like more information, this is another good resource.  Plus, if you own HOW and want some adventures to play right now? DCG is the place to get'em!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Get your Filthy Lucre

Now available for download is Filthy Lucre#0: Blood Harvest.

Click the link or just go to the downloads link to the right to get it or a number of other downloads like Hero sheets.

As far as creative stuff for HOW, that's it from me until The Cauldron issue #0 later this month.

I am looking forward to answering any question you have or hearing your thoughts and reviews after taking the system for a spin.  If I spy any coupons for lulu.com I will post them here ASAP! Thanks again for your support, for spreading the word about Heroes & Other Worlds and most of all I  hope you enjoy the game!

Filthy Lucre UPDATE

One of the aspects of adventure gaming that seems to get little action is the pursuit of filthy lucre through bounty hunting.

As part of each issue of The Cauldron, I intend to include a Filthy Lucre scenario. This will include a quick write up/background, possible problems finding or getting to the battle scene, the battle itself, and potential difficulties after it. For a system inspired by Melee/Wizard, it's a natural fit.

The brief example of combat in HOW is based on such a scenario and I may use this idea as the basis for a downloadable game play sample for HOW.

The image is from the Black Library's book Brunner the Bounty Hunter. Based in the Warhammer world, it's a great read and should inspire you if you are interested in this kind of scenario.

UPDATE: I finished writing the Filthy Lucre Scenario # 0 and will post it later tonight.  I am going to include a map and counters in the PDF as well.  Should be posted in a couple hours, I will post again when it's available.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Hero Sheet

One of the many things I like about HOW is the simple index card character sheets you can use to play it.  It is is simple, easily understood, and certainly unimposing to new players. (Side note, my wife snapped a pic comparing the HOW book and dice required to play next to another system's books and dice required to play.  Talk about David and Goliath!)

While I use the bookmark sheets successfully in play-testing HOW, (and I still love that format dearly) I decided to put my horde of index cards to work as well!

Find this new index card size Hero sheet by clicking the HOW downloads link to the right.  Four are laid up on to one 8.5x11 page so it is pretty easy to get an adventuring party put together quickly and efficiently.  I affix mine, using a bit of glue stick, to the back (blank side) of an index card.  This leaves the lined or graph side open for further notes and use by Players.  If you use white index cards and at least one other colored index card, you could designate one color for Adventurers and one color for Wizards! Simple, sensible and good gaming!