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, January 26, 2014

Saltbox, not Sandbox

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Geordie Racer came up with a fantastic term for what we are doing here: creating Saltbox settings (instead of Sandbox)...and I think that is really cool! Bravo Geordie!

Second the voting (thus far) is leaning towards just stating out the book for Heroes & Other Worlds...and will most likely make the work available under a creative commons license.

While you have no doubt started considering your Saltbox setting, I wanted to give a brief update on the design process so you can start focusing your efforts.

Title: (This would be the name of your Saltbox Setting)

Theme: (This is a TWO WORD hook describing your setting) Two word?  Yup that is all you need to give a quick flavor to the prospective Referee! Examples Undead Hordes, Pirate Lair, Smuggler Port, Dwarven Ruins, Warring Tribes, Harpies Roost, Pagan Sorcerers, Marooned Cannibals, Volcano Temple, etc.

Saltbox Notes: Here is where you will give a brief outline of the island's history, its environs, weather and what the gist of adventures are in this location.

Random Encounters: (6 potential monsters or encounters that Players may find while exploring the island)

Locations:  (This is where you place specific things hound in a location hex once it is entered and explored.)

I am still working out the master map but at this point I think there will be somewhere around 50 to 70 open hexes you can use to build your Saltbox with.  1 hex = 6 mi

IMPORTANT: If you are interested in participating, please email me directly with the header:  I'M ON BOARD. While others elsewhere have posted saying I am interested...I have only received 3 emails with "I'M ON BOARD!" in the header! 

Don't be left out, I dont want to miss your contribution! If you have not yet, Please send an email with the header I'M ON BOARD to: Fenway5 (AT) frontier(dot)COM

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Preparing to set sail

I am happy to say it looks like there will be enough interest to make the voyage!

I will work on getting the basic set-up stuff put together this week and then email next weekend a little packet of material to each participant to get the voyage started.

You still have time to join up, and if you could get the word out to more people on your blog or G+ I'd appreciate it as the more the merrier!

If you are curious about the project, please read my earlier post on the Savage Shores project.

IMPORTANT: If you are interested in participating, please email me directly with the header:  I'M ON BOARD. Send to: Fenway5 (AT) frontier(dot)COM

This way once I have the template done to send to you, I can email you back with it directly!
One quick question, while I (no shock) prefer HOW stats for the book, I could also see a second version or maybe even a dual stating for d20 (B/X) use as well.  Any thoughts about that?

I am a realist and know that as much as I prefer using my rule set, Heroes & Other Worlds and am really blessed and lucky to have other people supporting and playing it too, I do not want to limit people getting to experience YOUR creation/participation in this project. If there are two versions (Heroes & Otheer Worlds/d20) a participant would get a PDF download of both.  I will set up a poll on the and you can vote for 1 week.

On to the project, there will be a hard time limit to get your info back to me so I can assemble and work on it with the goal is to have it done and out some time in March!

Spread the word to Heroes & Other Worlds players and thanks for signing on!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Savage Shores

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If you will remember back in December I talked about creating a crowd sourced set of sandbox settings.  The actual sandbox area would be small and sized to fit on a 4x6 index card.  This would allow you to create an interesting setting within a manageable little area.  This would not be taxing to fill with entries and a coherent theme. As a result, it becomes an interesting possible setting to explore in the span of a few gaming sessions.
Part of the original issue for some was how to unite the disparate individual parts so they could be used as a whole big map.  While I never considered doing that myself, it became clear many folks did want to and I thought of a few options, but honestly none really worked out for me…until this morning on the way into work listening to the Ocean Blue.  Yup, that was the ticket…ISLANDS.
So everyone can create a sandbox island setting and the only stipulation is all border hexes MUST be water.  So you can configure and unite the mini islands in anyway you like!  Second, if one island is full of dinosaurs, another has alien bugs and another has a lost civilization…it all works together!
So here is what I would like to do:
1)      I’ll come up with a broad Savage Shores setting and hexploration rules for the setting
2)      Anyone who wants to participate can email me to participate and carve out their own Savage Shore to populate
3)      I will email a blank map to use and icons to cut and paste into the island to form your setting. I’ll also provide a Savage Shore Master sheet for you to use so we have a standardized format for all entries
4)      Once you are done send it back to me and I will compile all entries into one booklet!
5)      Please also make sure to include your blog or G+ account info so I can make sure you get credit for your work and a link back in the booklet.
6)      Participants who submit a Savage Shore will get a link to the completed PDF for a one time free download
7)      You do not have to stat out any creatures!  I will do that for Heroes & Other Worlds  and create a compendium list the back of the book of all creatures included in the Savage Shores setting!
8)      By submitting you allow me to publish your entry in the print and PDF versions for profit.
So that’s where I am at…anyone interested?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What's in the Woods? A d66 table

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One of the thing I like most about sandbox games as a Referee are the random charts that can spur ideas or create adventures out of a few words uttered to Players.  I find the Players make much more of these simple things than I do and their excitement and interest helps fire my own imagination.  Thus big things have small beginnings.

Below is a d66 chart for what Players might find while exploring the woods.  They may seem trivial or mundane but you may be surprised at how Players react and that might generate unexpected adventure.

d66 roll 10 20 30
1 Lone grave stone Dead Body, No Boots Cold Campfire Ashes
2 Strange footprints Desiccated body Shallow Grave
3 A Ravaged Hut Circle of Stones Empty Pack
4 Idol made of sticks Fresh Scat, Small Water Damaged Map
5 A Sprung Trap Sacrificed Bird Fresh Scat, Large
6 An Empty Pit A Large Nest Splintered Shield
d66 roll 40 50 60
1 A Small Snare Idol made of Stones Blood and Fur
2 Broken Ax A Medium Snare Blood and Hair
3 Burned Down Hut Bloody Blanket A Freshly Dug Hole
4 Warm Campfire Ashes Broken Manacles Skinned Humanoid
5 Empty Wineskin Shredded Rope Fresh scat, Huge
6 Torn Blanket Large Pile of Bones Idol made of Bones

Of interest? Tiny Epic Kingdoms

Link to Kickstarter
Besides my love of adventure games, I am a big fan of board gaming. I am always on the look out for unique games that run in a short period of time but deliver a good gaming experience.  To that end, I'd like to invite you to look at a new Kickstarter: Tiny Epic Kingdoms.  This Kickstarter should be of interest if you enjoy 4x games and it plays in hour AND it fits in a 4 x 6 box! Too good to be true? Read on.  First a review of the prototype from Father Geek, below is a summary:

Tiny Epic Kingdoms packs everything I love about 4x games into a small package that delivers big game play. Best of all, it takes only minutes to set up and less than an hour to complete. Despite its shorter game play time, none of the 4x game play or depth is lost. You get to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate without rolling dice or leaving outcomes to chance. A player is always in control, but not always in the best position to get ahead. Warmongering and aggressive game play is not the only road to victory, and often times players will fail if they only invest their time focusing on just one aspect of the game.There are many roads to victory, but a player must travel a little on all of them to get the advantage. How they take that journey is up to them.

If you’re a fan of 4X games, than Tiny Epic Kingdoms is for you. If you like microgames that can be played in less than an hour, then Tiny Epic Kingdoms is for you. If you’re looking for a fun game you can play with your friends and family, then Tiny Epic Kingdoms is for you. If you like complexity, depth, strategy, and tactical game play, then Tiny Epic Kingdoms is for you. In fact, the only type of person Tiny Epic Kingdoms is not for are those individuals who don’t like to have fun!

Kickstarter? Yes I know, but having supported one with this company (Gamelyn) before I can attest to the quality of the final product and timely delivery, so you will get what you are paying for....which is fast becoming quite a lot!  The basic game has a price of $16 USD, and free shipping in the U.S., or add $12 USD to ship to Europe.  A deluxe edition adds two unique factions, 2 dice, and runs $24 USD (again free ship US/$12 ship EU).

It may or may not be your cup of tea, but just in case, I thought you may want a look. I have supported it myself and I have no relation to nor interest in Gamelyn beyond that as a purchaser of their games.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Of Anshu and the blades Myrsky and Palo

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When the Titans splintered the surface races, it was Anshu who negotiated with the Dwarf King Gethen to allow elves to join them and take refuge in the hollows of Pohjola and the underground.

As the Titans discovered the Dwarven alliance with Elves, they used their magic to unleash foul creations such as goblins, orcs and other under-horrors to drive out and slay the two races.

It was Anshu who taught Dwarves how to use magic to power the runes in their weapons and it was the great female Dwarven smith, Gormall, who forged the two runic blades Myrsky and Palo for Anshu.  The blades were forged with a strange obsidian metal found deep in the under-halls of Pohjola.  With the thin but unbreakable blades, Anshu ended many foul incursions of the Titan's minions into Pohjola and the blades drank deeply of the green blooded monstrosities that threatened Dwarf and Elf alike in the deep places of the world.

When the Age of Titans ended and the Dwarf King Gethen asked Anshu and his people to return to the surface, Anshu was angered. His people had bleed and died in these cavernous places and established their own city and villages deep in the the veins of the world.   They had defended Dwarf and Elf alike and this was now their home as much as the Dwarves.

The Dwarves felt betrayed, as if a house guest had decided to move in permanently and robbed them of part of their home. What started as conversations, became negotiations.  What failed as negotiations became anger, bitterness and eventually war.  Myrsky and Palo which had slain so many green blooded horrors, turned their sharp edges onto their makers and drank deeply of dwarven blood.

Great bounties were offered by the Dwarf Kings for seizing the blades Myrsky and Palo back from Anshu.  Many a Dwarf, Man and tales say even a Titan tried over the centuries to wrest the blades back. Only tales of death and the demise of the seekers returned.

Anshu eventually disappeared. Some bards sing tales that he was killed by a Fire Titan living within a molten tower deep within the world. The fabled blades are burried with him in an infernal tomb.

Elven runoilija recite poems saying he went back to the surface to seek peace after a life of danger and sorrow, the woodland elves accepted him back at the price of giving up his blades.

Dwarven skalds say his treachery cursed him to become undead. As the Dwarven runes used against their creators became fouled with dwarf blood, the very soul of Anshu was corrupted, twisted and he went mad with pain, anger, and the curse of the undying.

Whichever tale, if any, is true the blades Myrsky and Palo are still sought after by Dwarf, Man and Elf a like.

MYRSKY (the larger runic blade)
DM: 2d6+3
Once a day, when the rune for storm is drawn with the blades tip in the air, a snow and ice storm bursts forth from the blade. Foes with 50' must pass 4/ST or freeze in place for d6+2 turns. Shooting weapons, throwing weapons or casting targeted spells into or through the storm all suffer a +2 dice penalty.

PALO (the smaller blade)
DM: 1d6+3
When Palo slices into a foe doing damage roll 1d6, on a 1 or a 2, the foes under clothing, padded or leather armor, or any flammable gear catches fire.  The fire does an extra 1d6 damage per turn (no AR protection) for 1d6 turns.  An opponent's clothing or equipment can only be "blazed" once per combat.