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!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bricks are heavy


So  I am wrestling with a quandary.  I have additional character bits that flesh out players from backgrounds with starting skills and potential "career relationships" to faults and favors which allow players to pick advantages (ambidextrous) or disadvantages (Missing hand).  This further makes characters unique, adds options for players and in general adds more fun. I always think of character building like laying bricks, you are making something.  So while I feel HOW gives you some mortar and a basic start, I think these additional sections really add creativity and individuality.

I've been holding these back for Blades & Black Magic, I am considering adding some of these in the first couple issues of the Cauldron, then expanding them, combining them and adding them into B&BM.


Image source


  1. I was going to reply with one word: "GURPS"

    But I'll be a little more thoughtful than that, especially as I know YOU know that, and I totally understand the spirit of B&BM as optional options.

    One of the things I've always loved about TFT, LAW and (now) HOW is that I don't have to spend a huge amount of time (sometimes just the first session) creating a character. I could never get into GURPS (or most versions of D&D after AD&D) because of that time investment. And for all the pluses a well-rounded character brings to the table, I'm convinced that the time investment in a character sheet is one of the main reasons this hobby changed so much. If you put 30-60min into your character sheet, well OF COURSE you're going to whine and stamp your feet when your character is killed. Over time this seem to have evolved into everything from "balance" to player/character driven storytelling and extreme background histories. It also seems to be against the spirit of the "adventure game" that doesn't encourage players to "improve your acting skills as Eswanda the Elf."

    So, would I use them? I might actually. Because I don't necessarily have anything against more of a roleplaying approach. I'm also finding that these options might actually be necessary to bring some more "modern" players into the game.

    For me, it will depend on the execution, and my test will be, "How long did it take to generate a character with some/all of these options?" I'm not sure what the time limit is on that. I guess it takes me 10 minutes tops to do a HOW character on an index card. It seems to take me ages to comb through all the options to do a GURPS character. Maybe an hour, it's been awhile. If a HOW+ character took 15 or 20 minutes for the bonus of these options, and they were fun, then I'd probably use it.

    But that doesn't mean I'm going to go easy as a GM!

    ((BTW, sidenote: I know you're still waiting on that review, sorry. I got an unexpected present for Christmas, laid off after 16 years. Took me a few weeks to bounce back from the shock, and my time right now is consumed with getting a new job... so I can keep buying your games, amongst other concerns!))

    1. Hey RSJ, damn man I am really sorry to hear about the career curve ball. I had my own lengthy bout with it a few years back and my wife is still job hunting. I wish you all the best man, now platitudes, just sincere wishes that things come round quickly for you.

      Okay on to game bits. To be clear, I have NO wish to be gurps, gurps lite or gurps ultra super lite. I do think that simple "feats" if you will are possible and a fun option. Like everything I do I am striving for simplicity and sensibility. I won;t cover every possibility nor permutation as I figure others can chrome it up, to fit their needs. What I do want to show is the possibilities and provide a solid base to add them in.

      I am just trying to make the game I really like and trying to show the flexibility and possibilities without over complicated tomes of rules necessary to do so. I appreciate your checking me RSJ to insure I don't go off the rails!

  2. I think that adding some of this Cauldron is fine with 2 caveats. 1 - the content doesn't swamp the issue and 2 - It somehow enhances or directly pertains to other content in the issue. Say for issue 1 that what's presented doesn't take space away from the swashbuckling stuff or enhances it with options directly useful to someone that might be using the swahbuckling content.

    1. Thanks Sloth for the feedback, I plan on a feature in each issue (Swashbucklers in issue one) but also want to make sure it includes other information, adventures and articles that you can use if you don't dig the feature. There are some fantastic contributions for issue #1 that have nothing to do with Swashbucklers, BUT the swashbuckler feature will be the core part of issue#1, no short cuts or limts on that--for better or worse! :)

  3. I'm usually against duplicating content between products but if its just a taster for an expanded version in B&BM thats okay by me.

    What I would do after each article is provide 4 or 5 examples of Heroes generated using these rules, like you did with Adventurers Assemble! in #0, but these should be tied in to the issue's theme e.g. the princess turned pirate, the blind swordsman/masseur, the farmboy turned mystic warrior etc

  4. I know in the eighties, magazines would have all kinds of variant articles and new rules. I think it helped the design process to get all that stuff out and get feedback on it before incorporating it into "official" supplements.

    The trend of gaming magazines being available both cheaply and forever maybe changes that, though. However... to a large extent the process holds up today. Many of the articles in Pyramid are revisited later with "official" supplements that flesh them out.

    Having samples in the magazine means that people can be better informed about what stuff they order in print.