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 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.


  1. this is cool. i had read about this in naval battles before. i find myself wondering how long i should wait before boarding the ship or entering the area where i launched the snakes. i'd hate for my snake bomb to come back and bite me on the arse. maybe the snakes disperse after 1d6 rounds?

    1. I do not think I'd have them disperse really, better to be a constant threat! :)

  2. another tactic like this one that we used to use back in the day: throw lantern oil at the enemies and ask 'need a light?' before throwing a burning torch on them or shooting them with a flaming arrow, etc.

    seems like you may have covered that somewhere already, so it might have been a popular thing to do and i just didn't know it. consider this a PSA for those who haven't thought of it.

  3. As I recall, the original TFT had "molotails" which were oil bombs in clay pots that you lit a rag on and tossed at the enemy.... And while we never thought of the poisoned snakes, we did once use a pot full of scorpions to accomplish much the same effect.