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!

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!


  1. this looks great, man! i was very much hoping you would provide some combat tactics like this for each monster. stuff like: will they grapple? when will the grapple? will they dodge, parry, or shield block? special attacks, etc.

    to me, tactics sort of play into the fight or flight subject. early in that discussion, i suggested that fight or flight doesn't have to be a 'general mechanical rule'. it can be incorporated into these tactic descriptions for a monster when a particular monster certainly has a fight or flight tendency. there, it can be mechanically defined for that particular monster. some monster's would have tactical descriptions that stop just short of saying 'this monster never flees'. for most monsters, i would leave it unaddressed so that the Ref has freedom to play the monsters as he chooses without any rule or creature-description debates erupting. same thing applies for someone trying to write an adventure. it may be a necessary plot-device to have some bugbears flee or some goblins fight to the bitter end. i would not create the expectation that any monster will flee on some kind of die-roll.

    this guy looks extremely deadly, especially in 1d6 numbers. with all the claws, a tail, and the engulfing attack, i'm wondering how many attacks he gets per round (his turn) while grappling and while not grappling?

    1. Thanks for the feedback! It is interesting that you want lots of detail on attacks and creature tactics but want to hand wave the fight or flight? That's the issue with design, it will never be exactly what everyone wants! :)

      Number of attacks, is it necessary? Maybe it is and I just don;t see it? A turn is 5 seconds, and if the Cloaker is grappling or attacking someone, it seems like it is focused on making one attack. If you want the Cloaker to grapple and whip his tail in the same turn? Do it! If not, don't. :) If I am wrong let me know

    2. ouch. your welcome. i don't think i was hand-waving on fight or flight. i saw it as more detailed since it would be specific to a particular monster. some monsters, depending on your concept of them, would have no clearly defined behavior pattern. to me those are even more detailed because their reactions are based on the individual 'monster' and the details of the encounter.

    3. i find it interesting that you want to hand wave the number of attacks! :)

      i'm actually cool with that though. i just wasn't sure what you intended.

    4. I apologize if that came across wrong. My point in total was the detail anyone person may want varies from one to another-and there is no pleasing everyone. So I can go 3e and try to stat up everything, or provide basics and leave some details up to the player/referee. AS is the stat block seems large, but maybe attack is a necessary component? Not sure--but can add if folks feel it is a must have for clarity.

    5. it's ok. i know i can be annoying when i'm excited or enthusiastic about something. it was a friendly rib-poke when i referred to hand-waving number of attacks. i really am fine with that. i wasn't sure if the 'can use it's tail while engulfing' meant that it could attack what it was engulfing and a second target with it's tail during the same round. i just wanted to know your thoughts.

    6. No worries at all thanks for the pointing out something that was unclear. I will re word it, but what I mean is even if it has an opponent engulfed, that tail could still lash out as a possible attack against an adjacent foe.

  2. nevermind my drivel about expectations. 'fight or flight OPTION' should imply to players that anything goes. i over-think sometimes :)

  3. oh man. a villainous wizard could have a cloaker as a familiar and wear it as a cloak! wouldn't that be cool?

    1. That is a great...and really creepy idea! Maybe a royal assassin uses one? lots of possibilities...

  4. So, this is really cool, I'm glad the next major release planned is a core HoW book. Looks great :-)

    That said, going a bit off topic, what's the status of that solo adventure you've been teasing, "Grim Venture"?

    1. Thanks Frank, I am focused on the monster book right now. At this point my 2015 plan is for Blades & Black Magic book and Grim Venture.