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!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


I am a freaky freak about Xenophon's Anabasis.  You may know it as the march of the 10,000.  In a  nutshell, the Perisan Cyrus, younger brother to the King of Persia Artaxerxes II, attempts to overthrow his brother.  To do so, he hires Greek mercenaries (lot of those are available at the end of the Peloponnesian war) to aide him. 

After a long journey into Persia battle is joined, Cyrus is killed in battle and the Greeks, (outnumbered, leaderless and in enemy territory) have to march back to Greece--fighting the whole damn way.  This is one of my "desert island" books and I never tire of it.

I incorporate some of the Greek and Persian troop types into my own games.  It gives opponents a "flavor" and makes for interesting PC choices besides the standard medieval "armored tank" fighter.  I give you...the Peltast!

Peltasts are named after the type of shield they carried, a pelte. The pelte was a crescent-shaped shield made of wicker and covered in hides of goat or sheep. While the shields could sometimes be round, in most depictions of peltasts (both Greek or Persian) the shield is typically of a crescent shape.

The peltasts themselves were a skirmishing troop, primarily hailing from Thrace. They were armed primarily with javelins, though some did carry slings or short bows. In addition peltasts would carry a xiphos (greek sword) or a scia, a curved short sword/long dagger meant to curve behind an opponents shield. The pelte provided the primary protection for the peltast and a long cloak, boots or sandals, and a tunic were the only other clothing. Those peltasts from Thrace were known for their Phrygian Cap often made of fox skin with long ear flaps.

The peltasts kit, being inexpensive and readily available/easy to obtain, made this type of troop more common than the hoplite.

The pelte shield itself was carried with a central strap and a hand grip near the rim or with just a central hand-grip. The shield may have a had a carrying strap so that it could be slung on the back and carried on the march.

The peltast equipment was lighter than their primary opponent—hoplites. As a result their tactics were to throw javelins at short range and then retreat if charged. Second their lighter equipment made them more adept at moving through difficult terrain than the heavily armed hoplites. Against other light troops, the peltast could close in and melee as they had a xiphos or scia making them especially deadly foes close in.

Persian peltasts would carry a hand ax known as a sagaris and were referred to as takabara based on their shields (same shape) known as a taka.

Using the peltast in Heroes & Other Worlds
The Peltast as a foe type would be common in metal resource poor regions or in overall financially poorer regions. In addition certain demi-human types (Elves and goblins) who are fleet of foot, used to difficult terrain and not front line fighters, would field peltast like troops. Bandits or cheaper caravan guards could be peltasts, and in some towns in southern or warmer regions, the peltasts may be the main garrison troop.

Typical Peltast
ST:9 DX:11(10) IQ:8 MV:5 AR:-2 (pelte or taka shield) DM:1d6 (Javelin x4) Scia or sagaris (1d6)

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