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, December 31, 2014


It's the end of the year, and I am happy to say the Tome of Terrors and Treasures is also complete. It is now available on Lulu.com.

There is a New Year coupon buy one, get a second item 50% off coupon code: PIC4U

A 15% off promo code: GETIT15

In addition there is a buy 3 books get 1 free coupon which may be a great deal if you wanted to pick up some additional books besides just the Tome of Terrors and Treasures. That promo code is: TRESACE

I cannot confirm if the book will work in all countries, so I apologize in advance if it does not.  In addition, I'd hazard to guess Lulu may have a great coupon tomorrow so why not wait one more day and see if they do!

It was an extremely difficult year, but I hope in the end all the time, effort, late nights and extra efforts will make the new book something you enjoy for years to come.  Next is an issue of Cauldron and for 2015 I also want to release the Blades & Black Magic as well as the Grim Venture solo module.

I wish you and yours the happiest of New Year's and from my wife and I, thank you very much for your continued support.

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So close now!

Happy to say after a series of unfortunate events, the Tome of Terrors and Treasures is 99.99% done.  I plan on combing through it ONE MORE TIME tomorrow before finishing it up and letting it go live on Lulu. Thanks for your support and patience!

I also wanted to point you to a wicked cool little mapper!  This program and website from Amit Patel allows you to generate a random island and view it in multiple ways! In addition you can out put it as a PNG and then doctor it up as you like!

Below is a sample hex map it randomly generated for me. It's the right kind of canvas for creating a cool hexplore campaign.  Indeed I have a submitted map/ island hexplore from Narmer to use in the next Cauldron as well as including some naval rules for HOW. So much to do and once the weight of ToTaT is off my shoulders I really look forward to smaller projects.  Still I feel that getting ToTaT created and completed was a necessary and needed resource for HOW especially, but maybe as a resource for other similar games too.  Not long now...

Monday, December 22, 2014

In the meantime

While you are waiting for Terrors & Treasures, the fine folks at Dark City Games have released a new fantasy adventure: EBON REBIRTH!

This can be played solo or with a party of adventurers and is compatible with HOW rules!  I ordered mine and heartily recommend their adventures! If you are looking for adventure in the style of classic TFT style, check out Dark City Games great selection!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


The end of the year in the real job world was both highly gratifying in terms of finishing the year on a high note, but also quite stressful in trying to achieve some unprecedented goals.  As a result all my "work" energy was taken by the real job and my final editing of ToTaT is still in progress.

When I started to shift and change thing layout the whole work began to unravel.  Not in a sense of being destroyed or anything like that, just in the sense of going from what I thought of as "complete" into "still needs good work"  to be ready to release.

While I am blessed and lucky to have the next two weeks off of work, family is visiting all of next week (starting tomorrow) so my time is going to be dominated with  holiday hosting and playing games--rather than designing and writing them.   I am very excited by it but that means this project hits the pause button again.  I still think 2 good uninterrupted days of work should see it complete--but that won't be possible to start until the 27th. 

Even now I am getting "the evil eye" for being on my computer as there is house work to finish, gifts to be wrapped and things to be done for family arrives tomorrow morning.

Sorry this is taking so much longer than I anticipated originally.  I only hope at the end that all the tweaks and work will have been worth the wait for you--I can only say for me, its going to be something I not only will use and abuse regularly in my own game nights...but if someone breaks into the house, I could thump them pretty hard with this beast of a book. Thanks for your support an patience, I sure hope you will enjoy it when it is done.

I wish you and yours all the best and every happiness this holidays season!
image source

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


First I'd like to thank Buzzclaw for his support and for posting his honest first look and a new second look critique of the HOW core rules and Magi Carta.  Definitely worth your time!

Second a little package arrived today!

So the box arrived and tearing out the two copies I was happy to catch text errors on the back cover immediately, hooray!  :p

This thing is a freaking brick.  Below is a pic showing the ToTaT compared to the HOW rules book + Magi Carta stacked up.

Now the work on editing and cleaning up continues...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Message received loud and clear

Thanks all, hope to have the draft samples tomorrow and I will take pictures so you can see what's to come.

Appreciate all the great feedback and your patience!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pick a path: BOGO

I got an email from Lulu saying on Wednesday (12/10) they are going to run some sort of BOGO promotion.  I do not know anymore details than this:

You loved our last buy one, get one offer so much, that we've decided to share a new one with you.
We will be emailing your BOGO offer on Wednesday and the offer will only be good for the day.

 Great right? EXCEPT I will not get hard copies to proof/review until...you guessed it...this Wednesday.

Which means I won't see them until after work which means too late to really be of any use. Oh the fickle humors of fate...what to do?  While I have spent weeks editing it and getting it ready for retail--no doubt there are new things I will "see" once I have the book in hand--but to miss buy one get one (IF the promo really ends up being buy one/get one)? That would be wicked cruel to think due to delayed shipping we all miss out.

So I will offer this option, YOU vote and choose your fate:

1) RELEASE THE KRAKEN--I know it may have some rough edges, but stop being prissy and make it happen captain!

2) STAY ON TARGET-I hate missing a good promo, but would rather let you have time to comb through it again before putting it up for sale.

Please vote in the poll off to the right hand side, top of the column...you have 24 hours to do so!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

and still waiting

Still waiting, just got confirmation today my sample copies shipped--more than a week after ordering...sigh.  Thanks for waiting and I will post picks when the samples arrive. I expect a day or two of edits after I get them before they go live. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cover girl

Another winner cover from my lovely wife! Switching computers worked so now I am ordering 2 print test copies and fingers crossed I should get them early next week.  While I will miss the 12/2 personal deadline, I know that Lulu runs all sorts of great promotions (discounts) during the holidays so one will come up later.  At over 400 pages and over 300 creature entries, this sucker is a door stop! It's thicker than 2 Magi Carta books stacked together--damn!  I will shoot a picture when the sample arrives!

Note, there is a Lulu code good through 12/25 for 25% off: KTP4.

As the ToTaT requires the Magi Carta (and the HOW core rules book) to get the most out of it, this code be a good chance to get both at a discount (once the monster book is released).  As with all Lulu codes: it is a 1 time use, and may not work in all countries or territories (sorry!)

So with Thanksgiving coming up here in the U.S., I want to say thanks to you for your support for this little game.  THANK YOU!! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tragedy and comedy

This project feels cursed:

Saturday power goes out 2 times I wind up redoing the same damn sections multiple times.

Sunday computer freezes  up spend 2 hours getting it working again.

Monday--finally get lay our complete, but now the file crashes when I get half way through reviewing it every damn time.

Currently It's 431 pages and a 153 MB file. I am trying my best not to freak out and remain patient, but I swear this thing is trying to kill me.

I am going to move the file to another computer and see if that helps me get it done.

Suffice to say at this point, I will not make a 12/2 deadline.  Doing my best despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Son of a goat.  WAY too much travel and real job work stuff last week, so I did not get a chance to do any game stuff.  Good news though, I am going to do the lay out and get a print copy ordered this weekend.  Why motivate so hard? 

1) I want to get this DONE
2) With the holidays coming, my narrow time for game stuff is going to get pinched big time
3) Lulu.com is have an incredible sale: 35% off--but only until 12/2/14!!  Until December 2, you can save 35% off site wide with code SAVE35

So I am motivated to help you get the best deal/discount possible! 

Hammer down and 5th gear until it gets done this weekend.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Where are we now?

Another week, another an update! I spent 25 hours editing the new book this week.  I have 3 more creatures I want to add before calling it quits on that front.

Next tasks for me are (in order)

1) Grouping creatures by type (Undead, humanoid, etc.)
2) Layout and art
3) Index of creatures with p#
4) Table of contents
5) Print test

Tough week at the real job starting Sunday so I won't be able to get to the game work again until next weekend. Thanks for your patience and support!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Closer now...

The Treasure section is complete and the creature section is 99.99% done as well.  Why not done already? Becuase I have added a couple more creatures since the 325 creature notice and will add another couple more like Cthuloids and Scarecrows before calling it done. 

Again I wish (too) I would STOP adding creatures but I really want to give you your money's worth along with giving you what I want personally as a referee.

Now I am in the process of on editing the whole book and adding the TR (treasure rating) to each creature.

I expect the softcover book to be a $29.99 MSRP book and the artless PDF at $22. Expensive? Yes, but I think between the cornucopia of creatures and treasure listings all in one book at over 300 pages it's money well spent if you are a HOW fan or a fan of the old TFT system or want to convert d20 adventures and stuff into the HOW system. It's a good gaming resource and one I hope you will like.

The work continues...

Saturday, October 25, 2014


A simple number but with much meaning to me (and hopefully you) as that is the total number of creatures to be found in the Tome of Terrors & Treasures!

So what will you find inside?

Click here for the alphabetical list and get a sneak peek at what's to come.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Treasure chart

Below is a look at the treasure chart. It works by:

1) find the creatures Treasure Rating
2) go across for each category with a number and roll 3d6
3) If you roll equal or under the number, that type of treasure is found
4) If you roll higher, no such treasure is found

The multiple by the TR rating tells you how many times to roll for each numbered category.  So a 2x means roll twice under coins, etc.

Note for many categories (like Items or Magic Items) there is a sub chart to determine what is found. For example if a Magic Item is found you roll on a chart to see it it is a weapon, potion, artifact, armor, ring, or wand.

Any feed back is appreciated.

Treasure Rating
D6 X 100 COINS
D6 X10,000
1 (1x)
2 (1x)
3 (1x)
4 (1x)
5 (1x)
6 (2x)
7 (2x)
8 (3x)
9 (4x)
10 (5x)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


First, thanks very much for all the feedback on the Tome of Terrors and Treasure.  I appreciate the alternative ideas and everyone's thoughtful opinions.  My decision is: I am going to sort of do both. 

There will be one unified/complete book at launch. That is what I'd want as a player and what I have been working towards. So one book to rule them all fans, take heart. I am still trying to get it done in OCTOBER but it may honestly be November.  Good thing is you don't pay anything until it is done and ready to send to you.  (Assuming you'd even want to purchase a copy of course.)

As to the installment plan and then unify proposal, this does not work for me for two reasons:

1) I can only devote time to one project at a time. So In order to drop creatures into the Cauldron, means I need to do nothing but write new Cauldron issues to drop creatures into. That means at best, bi-monthly Cauldron releases and most likely about 18 months to get it all done and out.  Then a unified copy after that.

2) Even IF everyone said "AW YEAH! I will wait another 18 months to see it all", that also means no other HOW projects get worked on or done: no Blades & Black Magic, no Grim Venture, no revised rulebook--nothing else.  Frankly I am not okay with that as there is some good stuff coming and I'd hate to wait nearly 2 more years to get it rolling.

Now all that being said, I will include some Monster sections in Cauldron issues so those who choose not to buy the unified book will still get access to beasties through Cauldron issues, I just cannot at this point say what the time line for those releases are beyond a Cauldron will come out before the end of this year and will have some critters in it.  So thanks for the feedback and opinions--they do matter!

Okay now lets talk the treasures portion of the ToTaT. There will be a Treasure Rating scale of 1 (low) to 10 (Lair: think Dragon horde)

Across all ranks will be sections for things like items, coins, gems, arcane items, etc.

Under each treasure type is a number. You roll 3d6 and find that item if you roll under it.

So as a rough idea sketch it looks something like this:

TR          Items        Coins        Jewels      Scrolls     Arcane
 1               11              8                5              3             NA

Then within each category (like Items) you will roll to determine what kind of sub item category (such as food, pocket, pouch) you find treasure in. Then roll you will roll d66 on that chart (say pocket) to see what the specific item was found (2 candles). 

My goal is to provide variables and charts whenever possible to try and limit repeat items found and to create a broad range of potential items to find.  Second my hope is for the Referee it can help create some interesting gaming opportunities such as if the players find a pouch of "blue powder." Who knows what kind of interesting stuff the Players may think it is and as the Referee that could be interesting opportunity to expand your game in a new direction on the fly!

So that's a peek at what's happening behind the scenes in my Other World. Thanks for your continued support and patience!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Monsters in bite sized pieces

ewookie brought up the following idea in a response to a post...

" i've thought that it would be easier and perhaps more lucrative if you published like 10-20 critters and their treasures per Cauldron and put out a Cauldron per month until you felt the list was complete. this would drive Cauldron readership, break the task into smaller, manageable chunks, and allow for reader feedback and editing corrections before being collected into one final, polished volume."

Here is your chance to sound off as I grind away on the book, what do you think?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Slaying the Hydra

Holy crap the monster section is complete.  I now have to tackle the treasure portion but it will feel like vacation compared to the hydra like battle to get through all the critters. Then comes editing the whole thing...

I am too blurry eyed to count how many different beasties are in this thing, but between animals, dinosaurs, demons, devils, hydras, hippogriffs, swarms, slimes, serpent men, yeti's and zombies? It's going to be one heck of mega monster-pedia!

These projects always feel like fighting a hydra in that as one task is done, two more crop up. I finished the monsters I had originally wanted in, but then kept on adding new foes.  Why? Because I cannot see myself doing a Tome of Terrors 2 so they need to be in here now. Enough typing, time for a beer and some baseball play-off previews! Game on true believer!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Everyone into the ark!

This is kind of what I feel like as work continues on the Tome of Terrors & Treasures. I really want this to be a pretty complete book with regards to creatures contained in it. While not every possible creature is in here, I think there is a damn fine assortment. For example in Animals I have 60 critters, 8 different creature swarms, 12 Dire creatures, 12 Dinosaurs, 16 vermin, and then there are humanoids, devils, demons, giants, undead and more!

So you can (hopefully) see that this will be quite a complete volume and also why its quite a labor to put together. In the end, I want you to feel like you are getting a great resource and something worth your hard earned money when it releases.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Avast ye scurvy dog!

In celebration of talk like a pirate day, this weekend Lulu is having a 25% off sale on print books  through 22nd of September with promo code MATEY25.

Code may not work in all regions so I apologize if it does not in advance!

In keeping with the pirate theme of this post, if you can find it, watch the 1990 version of TREASURE ISLAND! This version features a young Christian Bale, Pete Postlehwaite, Christopher Lee as Blind Pew, Oliver Reed and Charlton Heston as Long John Silver! Musical score by the Chieftains and enough adventure and heart to make Robert Louis Stevenson proud.

 I watch this at least 2x a year and it released on DVD (finally) about 20 years after it aired on TV.  I nabbed 2 copies because I want to have a bullpen ready when I wear out the first one. Fantastic fun and adventure for the adventurous soul  in us all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chaos to Order

Image Source
Work is still cooking right along on the Terrors and Treasures book, and I wanted to get your input on arranging the creatures and adding some order to my chaos.

Currently I have separated out some creature types:

Insects + Vermin
Dire Animals
Swarms, Flora, fauna and fungi, Oozes & Slimes
Demons & Devils

Then other creatures Abolteth, Minotaurs, Orcs. Lycantheropes, Skeletons etc. are  all i the Terrors section.

Okay why do it this way? because when I design adventures and stuff I just want to find a slime, or some vermin, or a dire animal and I like to be able to see them all at one time and not flip through pages and pages trying to compare them....but that may be my own hang up.

So I can either continue to section out by types (Aquatic, Undead, Humanoids) or scrap the whole damn thing and just alphabetize it all from A to Z regardless of type.

Thoughts and opinions are most welcome!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Moving right along

Quick progress report, I am 2/3 done with the new Terrors and Treasures book.  My goal is to have it done and out in October--no trick, just treat!

I also plan to have Cauldron #2 out by Christmas this year. 

Feels like a long way still to go to the summit of this trail, but its a fine trip.

With the release of the monster book--the "core" books are done (Basic Rule/ Expanded Magic/ Monsters).

Then for 2015 the Blades & Black Magic book of options will come out as well as the "Grim Venture" ode to Death Test module and another Cauldron issue.  Further on I have 2016 as the "Revised Rules" release year, but take heart it is not a ploy to make anything obsolete! The revised core rule book will only clean up, revise and combine some features from all the previous works.  Lots of ideas, but its a bit further off so no rush to decide now.

So that is a "best laid plans of mice and men" look at what's to come from where I see things today. As always, thanks very much for playing and for your support!  Game on!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


And the work continues...

One of the "extras" in the TTT (Tome of Terrors and Treasures) will have some humanoid races listed with a playable character option!  So if you wanted to have Bugbear, Gnoll or Frogling characters you could! Most of these races have no EN, but of course a Referee could always over rule that.  So here is a sneak peak at the Frogling:

Encounter: 1d6                             Behavior: Territorial (12)
ST: 6-9                                         Habitat: Jungle, Marshes
DX: 10                                         AR: -2
IQ: 8                                            DM: 1d6 (Dagger or Javelin)
EN: 0                                           SP: Hold Breath
MV: 4/8 leap/ 6 swim                     TR:Pocket, Pack

Frogling's are 3'-4' tall amphibious humanoids that resemble frogs. Known to be of gentle spirit and even temperament, they are respected by all races. They are fond of gathering knowledge, telling stories and love to sing. The deep croaking voices of the Frogling do take awhile to appreciate when in song.

Frogling's live in small clan habitations of domed huts made of mud, lily pads and grasses. While this may sound dreary they are actually quiet cheery and green with the constant curves and rounded nature of architecture providing a peaceful and happy feeling. A typical village will be found near rivers, ponds, lakes and wetlands. In any clan two or three will be wizards with 1d6 spells each, while the rest will be adventurers.  

Frogling prefer only cloth armor or clothing and will rarely wear leather, and never metal armor. They will use shields as these can be discarded if the need to swim or leap arises.

Froglings are fond of wet climates and locations. They will avoid desert areas or dry areas. In such environments where the frogling may dry out it suffers 1d6 ST damage per hour. Salt water is equally unpleasant to froglings and they suffer 1 pt of damage per minute they are exposed (immersed) in salt water.

Hold Breath: A frogling can swim underwater and hold its breath a number of turns equal to 2xST

Frogling characters possess the following racial traits as a base.
ST -2, DX +2, IQ +0, No EN.
Natural AR-1
Medium size.
Special: Hold Breath
Favored Class: Adventurer.

Currently (w/o the treasure portion) this beast is 300 pages!  HOLY CRAP!  There is still a lot of editing and work to do but I wanted to give you a sense of how big this sucker is going to end up being and you can see why this is taking a lot of time!  More coffee and back to work...  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Snake Bomb

In 190 BC, the Carthaginian general Hannibal won a  surprise victory against King Eumenes II of Pergamon. Although vastly outnumbered, Hannibal had an ingenious strategy. Short on other weapons, Hannibal filled clay pots full of venomous snakes. 

During the proceeding naval battle, Hannibal's forces fired hundreds of clay pots filled with the poisonous snakes against Pergamon's navy. Between the snakes and Hannibal's fighters, his army scored a resounding victory.

Snake Bombs in your game
This seems like the perfect kind of weapon to be used by bandits in a desert/jungle environment. They ambush a caravan by launching snake bombs into the caravan scattering everyone and then picking off distracted guards. Or maybe by weaker (but dexterous) creatures like kobolds and goblins who use them to defend their treasures, forts, or as a disruption tool to scatter and break up a stronger, cohesive opponent.

In general a pot should be considered to contain 1d6+1 poisonous snakes.  It can be thrown 1/4 ST in distance (minimum 1) or if launched through some sort of trebuchet/catapult contraption, it would have a minimum distance of 50' and a maximum of 1500'.  

A goblin or kobold slingshot style launcher (4 creature crew) could launch a pot min 30' maximum 150'.

If dropping a snake bomb from above it will break upon impact and the snakes attack the next turn after being released from the broken pot.

The goal is not a direct hit on a target, but an indirect shot that hits near targets and "explodes" the pot open sending snakes all over. The snakes will scatter within 1 space of the "explosion" space. They will attack any target in or adjacent to their spot the turn AFTER they have "exploded" out of the jar.  

This snake bomb creates a deadly distraction as the foes must shift their attention to the new immediate threat. giving the launchers a chance to run or overwhelm their confused and distracted foes.

How to
To capture a snake and handle it requires a 3/DX roll to catch it w/o being bitten! Failure mean the snake can roll to attack immediately!  A character with animal handling skill can apply that skill to this test.

No more than 7 can be put in the same pot and they will survive for 1d6+1 days in the pot.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Smiling from the undergrond

After a lot of time flying on business the past few days (finished 3 books while flying!) I have taken time off and plan on 3-4 solid days of uninterrupted work on the monster/treasure book this weekend. With my wife out of town for a few days I should have nothing but hardcore focused writing to fill my days. 

She's about 70% done with the cover image and its coming along nicely!  I asked and she is not wanting me to post an image yet as I asked for some revisions. Sorry, but I think it should be worth the wait!

So with a smile from the basement, the pale glow of a monitor illuminating the dark, the calming sounds of various baroque composers in the background and a pot of coffee to keep me rolling, the work continues.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fight or Flight revisited

Image Source
Well at Heroes & Other Worlds HQ (besides working on the monster book) I have worked on the Fight or Flight idea some more.  Thanks to lots of great input and some play-testing encounters I would like to humbly present a new take on Fight or Flight (morale) rules for your consideration:

Summary of FoF idea:
1)      Chance of Fight or Flight is based on the creatures behavior
2)      That number is a 3 die test-roll: under or equal means fight/roll over means flight
3)      A FoF Test occurs whenever:
A)      A member of the creature's side is killed
B)      A creature takes a total of 30+ damage in one turn
C)      The Referee decides to make one.

Making a test
The creature's behavior gives it the FoF #
  • Cowardly (7)
  • Unpredictable (10)
  • Territorial (13)
  • Aggressive (16)
Test is made by rolling 3 dice and comparing to the Behavior Number . (This is noted as 3/B#)
Rolling equal to or under the Behavior Number (B#) means the creature will continue to fight
Rolling over the B# means the creature will flee.

A fleeing creature and will move its full movement each turn away from its foes.  If it is cornered or unable to flee:
  •  A Cowardly creature will surrender
  • For Unpredictable creature roll 1d6: 1-3 it surrenders or 4-6 it fights  
  • Territorial or Aggressive will turn and fight desperately.  It will attack at DX+1 and -1 IQ until it is able to flee or is killed.
I want to make special note of testing option B) A creature taking 30 pts of damage in one turn. 

That means a coordinated party attack against a major high ST foe (Dragon, Frost Giant, etc.)  So rather than figuring ST levels and rolling, I used a massive damage done to influence the creature FoF roll for major creatures.

As an alternative, here is an optional reaction chart. You could roll 2d6 on this chart (rather than test 3/B#) whenever a FoF test is necessary. In this version, when to make a FoF test is the same, but a DRM is applied to the 2d6 roll based on the creature's behavior:
  • Cowardly +3 DRM
  • Unpredictable: +1 DRM
  • Territorial: -1 DRM
  • Aggressive: -3 DRM
2d6 Roll              Reaction
 2- 5           Continues fighting, no reaction
 6-7            Hesitates, will not engage voluntarily this turn, but otherwise fights normally.
 8-9            Hesitates, will not take any attack option this turn.
 10-11       Break and run, will try to disengage and/or run off map away from danger.
 12+           Surrender - opponent drops to knees, drops weapons and tries to surrender.
Let me know what you think. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lulu 25% off until 8/18

Lulu is running a 25% off print copies sale until 8/18!

So here is your chance to save some coin and check out some Heroes & Other Worlds goodness!

Use promo code: TWODAY14

Cannot guarantee it works in all countries or regions, but it is worth a try!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chew on this

Image Source
Thanks to all the great feedback, I thought I would post the revised shark entry so you can see how a multi-range creature might read. Feel free to let me know if things look off or need changing.


Encounter: 1d6                                 Behavior: Aggressive

ST: 14-45                                         Habitat: Water

DX: 10                                             AR: -2

IQ: 5                                                DM: 2d6-4d6 (Bite)

EN: 0                                               SP: Blindsense, Keen Scent

MV: 7-9 swim                                 TR: None

These carnivorous fish are aggressive and liable to make unprovoked attacks against anything that approaches them. Smaller sharks are from 5 to 8 feet long (ST14-20/ 2d6 bite) and not usually dangerous to creatures other than their prey. Large sharks can reach around 15 feet in length and are a serious threat (ST 21-35/3d6 bite). Huge sharks are true monsters, like great whites, that can exceed 20 feet in length (ST36-45/4d6 bite). Sharks circle and observe potential prey, then dart in and bite with their powerful jaws.

Blindsense: A shark can locate creatures underwater within a 30-foot radius. This ability works only when the shark is underwater.

Keen Scent: A shark can notice creatures by scent in a 180-foot radius and detect blood in the water at ranges of up to a mile.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Creature Question

When giving stats for a creature with multiple size like a shark which can be Medium,  Large, or Huge...which is better?

One entry with a broad range such as

Encounter: 1d6                      Behavior: Aggressive
ST:14 -45                              Habitat:Water
DX: 9-10                               AR: -2
IQ: 5-6                                  DM: 2d6 to 4d6(Bite)
EN: 0                                    SP: None
MV: 7-9 Swim                        TR: None

Or individual entries for each size? Note the creature description will state the creature comes in various sizes

Friday, August 8, 2014

Preview: Cloaker

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I had a request--"can you give us a sneak peek of what's to come in the monster book?" Below is a look at the current proposed creature entry format.  If you have comments/concerns or suggestions feel free to let me know! 

No: 1d6                 Behavior: Cowardly
ST: 35-48              Habitat: Underground
DX: 11                 AR: -1
IQ: 6                    DM:1d6+5 (claws), 1d6 (tail)
EN: 0                   SP: Engulf
MV: 2/5 fly            TR: None

When resting or lying in wait, these creatures are almost impossible to distinguish from common black cloaks (the cloaker’s ivory claws look very much like bone clasps). Only when it unfurls does the horrific nature of the creature become apparent. A cloaker has a wingspan of about 8 feet. It weighs about 100 pounds.

Cloakers usually lie still, watching and listening for prey. If facing a single opponent, a Cloaker uses its engulf attack. Against multiple foes, it lashes with its tail, then engulfs a survivor. Multiple Cloakers usually split up, leaving one or two behind to use special abilities while the rest make melee attacks.

SP: Engulf: A Cloaker can try to wrap a Human sized or smaller creature in its body as an action. The Cloaker attempts a grapple.. If it wins the grapple test, it establishes a hold and bites the engulfed victim with a DX+4 bonus on its attack roll. It can still use its whip-like tail to strike at other adjacent targets. Attacks that hit an engulfing Cloaker deal half their damage to the monster and half to the trapped victim. Cloaked victim's AR applies to damage done while engulfed.

Quick note on Fight or Flight options.  I really appreciate all the great feedback! I have not been responding as I have been play testing various options.  So do not take silence as a lack of interest, it just means I am trying to play through it all to see what works!

Thanks all for your support and patience!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Creature Feature

This is cool!

Jim at Hereticwerks has a LONG history of creating some of coolest and most unique content for us gamer types.  He has done fantastic stuff for my SciFi game Rogue Space and his adventure the Not so Empty Crypt of Baljessor was featured in Cauldron #1.

Now he has create a new critter for Heroes & Other Worlds and wicked cool art and counters for you to use the in your game!

 Do yourself a favor and link on over and get them, and tell Jim how much you dig it! 

Maybe he will be generous and make some more great stuff for HOW?!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fight or Flight?

D20 games used a morale by creature type so the DM could check by rolling dice if the creature would fight or run. The higher the morale #, the more elite (less likely to run) the creature is.

TFT systems did not have morale, and when playing D&D, we never rolled against morale anyway, we just used it as a guideline.

I toyed with potentially adding morale to HOW, but it seemed like a needless stat addition.

That being said, in the Silver Dragon adventure from Metagaming, there was a morale system inserted:

"Each time an opponent in an enemy group is downed make a die roll for each remaining opponent. Each opponent will react according to the one die roll made for him. This reaction may be for the combat round to follow the current initiative roll or for another time period designated. Add one to the roll for each opponent previously downed.
"Die Roll    Reaction
 1 - 3      Continues fighting, no reaction
 4          Hesitates, will not engage voluntarily this turn,
              but otherwise fights normally.
 5          Hesitates, will not take any attack option this turn.
 6 - 7      Break and run, will try to disengage and/or run off
              map away from danger.
 8+         Surrender - opponent drops to knees, drops weapons
              and tries to surrender.

"An opponent who rolls a Break and Run will only Hesitate (no attack) for one turn if he is the only one to have the Break and Run reaction. An opponent who is Engaged when he rolls a Break and Run will try to Disengage for two turns, if unsuccessful he will then continue to fight normally. An opponent who isn't engaged will run from the map at every opportunity at top speed, dropping all weapons and trying to avoid the adventuring group. Any opponent or Character who leaves the combat map is considered out of the battle and can't return." 

I think a "fight or flight" check is an interesting option.  I have in mind it would come when an creature (or character?) is at 1/2 ST and again at 1/4 ST with a +1 modifier to the d6 roll at this point.  The roll would be done using a version of the metagaming chart above.  

A modifier would apply to the roll based on how the overall battle was going.  So for the testing creature, if your side outnumbered your foes (-2 to your FoF die roll) same number as foes (0-no modifier) If your side is outnumbered by your foes (+2 to your FoF die roll)

Still pondering some different options (and this would be an optional rule) but I thought I'd share this work in progress all the same.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get 20% off for a limited time!

Courtesy of Chrstopher Bernardi, he shared a special Lulu promo code that takes 20% off for a limited time!

Use the promo code: HAMMOCK14

I do not know if this works in all regions or countries so I apologize in advance if it does not work for you.

 Become a Hero, Other Worlds await!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is resistance futile?

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In d20 games, the magic-users spell is automatically cast and the target(s) usually get a roll to resist some or all of the spell's effects.

In TFT/HOW style rules, casting is dependent on the wizard to the roll dice vs. his IQ to try and successfully cast the spell. If the roll is successful, the results are applied to the target.  There is no resistance roll for the target except in the case of illusions and then it is a disbelieve roll by the target.

In the HOW basic rules (p46) there is a basic method given for spell resistance. While simple and easy to execute, in light of the Magi Carta being published, there is opportunity to improve upon the idea of spell resistance in this system.

As discussed on the Heroes & Other Worlds G+ site, below is a (still) simple but a bit more detailed method of spell resistance for HOW:

The target of a successfully cast Timed (T) or Permanent (P) spell may attempt to resist the spell's effect by passing a test of X+1/IQ.

In this equation "X" represents the number of dice the Wizard used originally to successfully cast the spell and then add +1 die to the test.  

Example: a Wizard casts a 3/IQ Sleep spell, this would take a 4/IQ test (3+1=4/IQ) to be passed by the target to resist the spell's effect.

If the spell is successfully resisted, the target pays the same EN price the original casting Wizard did when the spell was cast.

Example: The Wizard who successfully cast sleep and spent 2 EN doing so.  The target tests 4/IQ and the spell is successfully resisted by the target.  The target then must pay 2 EN in having resisted the spell.

If the spell is unsuccessfully resisted, the target pays no EN, and the successfully cast spell effects are applied to the target immediately.

This option does not give back EN spent by the Wizard that successfully cast a spell, but it causes the target of the spell to spend that same amount of EN if the spell is successfully resisted.

So as a net/net the desired spell effect may not come about, but even if a successfully cast spell is resisted, there is still a blood price paid by the target taking damage with EN loss.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Well I was disappointed that Andreas Davour's great offer to get people to try out HOW and have an adventure did not happen.

I felt Andreas effort should be rewarded, so I cobbled together the notes from an adventure I ran and am sharing it here with you.  Its genesis was a map, adventure and dwarves all created by Andrew Shields: The Necrodwarves.

When I ran it I had the players as dwarves who were prisoners for various reasons. The dwarf king gave them a chance to regain their honor and standing by taking on an assassination mission--or die trying.  There are other party options, but if you are a fan of dwarves (like me) it's pretty cool to run an all dwarf adventure.  

Enter the Abyss, download it for free.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What are you doing Saturday?

Image by Erik Johansson
Are you curious about the Heroes & Other Worlds system?

Just want to give the system a play and see how it works? 

Do you have some time Saturday to give it a go?

If so you are in luck! Andreas Davour is looking to give the system a try as well and is inviting all comers to create a character and give the system in an adventure online via Roll20!

No experience is needed! Bring yourself, bring your kids, bring a spirit of adventure and a willingness to have fun!  so come on: Become a Hero, Other Worlds await!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Adventure Released

This is an edited for Heroes & Other Worlds edition of Chris Gonnerman's Morgansfort, The Western Lands Campaign. It contains 3 different dungeon based adventures and a small campaign setting. It also includes a detailed home base, Morgansfort, for your heroes to begin their adventures in! 

This module includes new Heroes & Other Worlds rules for using holy symbols to repel...or unholy symbols to control the undead! This campaign module is suitable for a new or experienced Referee and Players.

It is available now at Lulu.com in print for $9.99 USD or as a PDF for $5.99 USD.

In addition, the Heroes & Other Worlds character record sheets are also now available! The sheets are double sided to contain all a heroes information! The coil bound booklet includes enough sheets to create 15 adventurers and 7 Wizards. This coil bound booklet makes it easy to tear out a new sheet to use but is handy to transport the unused sheets on the go! These are $7.99 USD.

Use promo code DISCOUNT10 to get 10% off your purchase! I apologize in advance if the code does not work in all countries or territories. Game on my friends!

Friday, July 11, 2014

New "Artkid" illustrations

I am happy to say Luigi "Artkid" Castellani just finished a new range of illustrations for future Heroes & Other Worlds projects. Luigi is extremely talented, professional and a complete pleasure to work with.  Below is a little look at one of the new illustrations, thanks again Luigi for making my little game look like great!

I plan on having the new adventure and character sheets up for sale late tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Good news!

The print tests are in!  I will go through the adventure to do some editing and should be ready to put it up for sale this weekend!

In additional the spiral bound character sheets turned out great, so while not a must have, if you'd like them--they will be available!

Thanks again for your support and patience, I look forward to releasing them both this weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014


Goblins are an interesting creature to feature in your games.  Too often they are seen as cannon fodder (much like kobolds and orcs) and I think some creativity on the part of a good referee can make the most "common" foe uncommon.

In my own Briarmoor game, goblins are dwarves who were twisted and mutated by the magic of the Titans.  The foul spells used to create goblins and the goblins having spawned continually for centuries in weird under mountain tribes, mutating, cross breeding, worshiping dark gods and practicing darker magics have led to an infernal taint that marks goblins as a race.  The standard dark folk from fairy tales are found in the greener lands, but among the mountains and deeper wells of the world no such uniformity is found.  To provide some inspiration for your own tainted goblins, below is a d66 chart. Be inspired, be creative, be anything but expected!

d66 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 green teeth sharpened teeth acid saliva leech mouth beaver/buck toothed tusks
2 orange eyes all white eyes black eyes eye stalks one eye three eyes
3 black claws tentacles three fingers pincers mantis/spike arms four arms
4 sulfur scent rotting scent sweet scent earthy scent flower scent smoke scent
5 gray and slimy black scales fuzzy stone skin thorny skin diseased skin
6 cackles hisses barks growls silent screams