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 31, 2012

Experience, Goal-Roll system

Experience is a way to reward a player's character for its efforts and to incentivize certain game play actions. The goal being to increase a character's overall abilities making them better/stronger/faster through surviving a perilous life of adventure.

For HOW, I have already decided treasure of any type is its own reward. I believe the actions and successes a character makes should provide a tangible reward as well as being a reflection of their abilities.

With all of that in mind, I'd like to propose the following simple system for HOW:

For any test roll (attack, defense, spell cast, skill use, etc.) a character makes that succeeds, the numerical difference between your target number and your dice roll is awarded as XP.

Example: Toshiro Redcap attempts to pick the pocket of wealthy merchant. He needs a 10 or less to succeed. Toshiro rolls a 7 succeeding.  10(goal)-7(roll)= 3 XP rewarded.

For each additional die used in a roll for a test (instead of 3 dice you rolled 4 dice or 5 dice) you get +4 XP points added to the success difference. 

That's it, clean and simple.  Now no matter what type of adventure (combat heavy, trading, thieving, etc.) you run, any time a test is successfully made, the character is rewarded.  Also if your are more successful in a test attempt, you automatically get more points!  If you are more skilled, you will start generating more points to reflect that as well. Indeed there will be additional referee optional rewards for game play...but the core XP generating model is that simple formula.

I will have to re-figure the math, but initially, I still believe 100xp x New bonus level works as a method for increasing the ability, or learning, new skills. (+1 bonus=100xp, +2 bonus-200xp, etc.)

Yes I am still NOT letting attributes be increased with XP, only skills.   This gets rid of the Conan the Librarian issues, and places finite limits, of a sort, on each character.  Blame it on my like of characters like Batman, Green Arrow, Captain America and the Falcon if you like.  I prefer the skilled ultimate human hero, over the super human hero.   This should allow unique heroes that need each other to succeed over the high fantasy indestructible type.

Comments or concerns are welcome.


  1. Yeah, that's why Batman is my favorite "super"hero. He's human. A regular, normal human who just happens to be a supremely trained martial artist, inventor and detective. Oh, and a billionaire. But still a human. At least it is something we can strive to be. Unlike that other guy who flies.

    After thinking about your post for awhile, it seems like tallying xp for each roll is a lot of bookkeeping. I prefer minimal bookkeeping. I do like the mechanism for gaining xp for any test, not just the combat-centric ones.

    1. @Narmer
      Experience is a tough topic to tackle: too mechanical and it becomes a burden, too restrictive and the game play becomes narrowly focused, too referee interpretive and the players may feel it is arbitrary or worse, the referee may be accused of playing favorites.

      My system seemed to hit the middle ground of not focusing actions on any specific game play type (like combat), allowing any character to gain XP with any skills they know, and creating a tangible instant reward for success that scales with increased experience and superior success from low dice rolls.

      And I do confess, in play it does causes an extra slow down with each successful die roll. A less granular approach is rewarding +3XP for each test passed, and an additional +3 XP for each additional die above 3 used in the test. A referee can track this easily by having each characters name on an index card and making a hash mark for each success the character has. Add an extra hash mark for each die rolled in the test above 3. At the end of the adventure, total up the hash marks, multiply by 3, and there is your total XP. Clean, simple, easy to track and still follow the same design goal. I will include both this simplified XP and the granular advanced XP as options in HOW.

      Originally in TFT a player gained:
      1 XP for each point of damage you did to a creature
      1 XP for each point of ST spent in casting a spell
      10 XP for making 4 die test
      20 XP for making a 5 die test
      30 XP for making a 6 die test
      5XP for each real hour spent playing the game
      Multiple XP--Referee Discretion

      TFT was originally a bit book keeping heavy and I'd say D&D is as well figuring out XP from each creature and dividing it up among players after combat or after treasure is found. My goal is to use a method that is simple to understand, figure out, adjudicate and broadly applies to all/any character actions rather than narrowing actions towards a predetermined path.

      Let me know if the simplified option seems cleaner to you, and thanks very much for the feedback, it is much appreciated!

    2. I only played Melee/Wizard and the programmed adventures. I didn't own In the Labyrinth. I just used the really basic system of the original. Your tally system makes sense and I thought of it just before I reached your explanation of it. I like it.

    3. Hey great minds think alike! :)

    4. My mind works in strange ways but unfortunately I can't make any claims to greatness. =)