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, November 25, 2012

Two classes? FTW?

...and the question I was awaiting has finally arisen.  Let's discuss the notion of classes and HOW.  As Heroes are constructed by players the way they like, every possible traditional class: Bard, Assassin, Thief, Barbarian, etc. is possible, but you can make it the way you want it!  Want a barbarian spell caster? cool.  Sword wielding wizard? Make it happen! No wonky multi-classing restrictions, nor strange obtuse XP chart rules.  Just simple, sensible, gaming.

Let's define Heroes. Every character is classified broadly as a Hero. The next subclass is to divide Hero into two broad specializations Spells (Wizards)  vs Skills (Adventurers). What type of Wizard or Adventurer you choose to be is up to you to create! Any Hero can use skills or cast spells. Wizards learn spells more easily than skills, and Adventurers learn skills easier than spells. That's really the prime difference.

Some Referees like to have lots of classes in the party and a flexible ( broadly defined 2 class) system like this may cause some concern. What I have found is players still gravitate towards and create characters reflective of traditional classes so every role is filled.  Even better, they have more flexibility to make it a thief or fighter they personally like rather than being pigeon holed or boxed in by class restrictions.

I had thought that adding in "sample classes" might be good, but decided to leave that sort of guideline for inclusion in either an issue of The Cauldron or Blades & Black Magic rules book.

What about feats and other specializations like that? Faults & Favors will provide a system for character advantages and disadvantages.  They will be included in Blades & Black Magic.

This in no way suggests HOW is somehow incomplete.  Instead, much like any good basic rules book, all the tools you need are there already!  Everything else is going to be neat additions/options to expand game play or options.

One project I have not mentioned before, but may get bumped up, is a book of spells with specialized sample wizards like healer, necromancer, elementalist etc. and attendant suggested spell lists.

Thanks very much again for your support and for giving HOW a try.  It's the game I always wished I had found and I am hoping you will like it as much as I do. Last chance to get it at a discount on Lulu.com.

Promo code DELIRITAS gets you 30% off!  NOVBOOKS12 gets you 20% off once the 30% off promo code ends!

Image by Andrew Chen, from his site.


  1. After reading the book (which is excellent) I see the 'classes' as affinities, offering broad direction instead of limitation.

    And while I'm here, are there any limits beyond 18/6 at character creation? Could I, say, create a really limited blademaster with DEX 18 and Swords 5?

    1. Hi Andrew, affinities is a great way of looking at the class dichotomy.

      Mechanically there are no limits to an 18/5 (18/6) character being created. We experimented with such possibilities and as Referee, I insured there were enough varied challenges that the "unbeatable advantage" became a curse and a liability. For the blademaster example having archers, slingers, and Wizards attack. Or with such a low IQ having the character charmed and swayed into taking perilous tasks.

      It is always the Referee's decision to allow or disallow a Hero. I preferred to allow it and then make it clear in game play that a narrow focus leads to unintended, and often deadly consequences. YMMV

    2. I thought that might be the case. Thanks for the clarification.

  2. Quick note, I uploaded the Owl character sheets for download now

  3. Had some time this weekend to read H&OW...I want some designer's notes! I'm just curious why you did what you did in certain places.

    Looking at the weapons chart I noticed a few things altered from Melee. What was your decision process in reducing the strength requirements for so many weapons?

    As a reward for indulging my curiosity I'll post 1 error I found: On page 14 under the Wizard description, lightning is spelled wrong. FAQ here we come! Ha!

    1. GYAH! We had 3 people and spent 2 months editing. I hate when that happens. Thanks TM for the heads up, I truly do appreciate it!

      Okay why the weapon ST changes? A couple reasons in brief:
      1) To get those weapons into more hands (Player and Opponent)
      2) By removing Attribute increases after Hero creation, it was important to not limit overly much the potential weapon selection.

      Which leads to
      3) Why not allow attribute to increase? Because (IMHO) it broke the game system and wrongly (IMHO) shifted the game focus. It is more sensible (IMHO) to have Hero's improving/specializing in skills/spells not attribute dumping and being good at everything/anything associated with that attribute.

      Thanks TM!

  4. Another question -- if a character attempts an action that they do not posess the skill for do they add a difficulty die to the roll?