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, April 17, 2016

Progress

Inspiration can come from many places.  Working away on spreadsheets and reports I had an earbud in while at the office and was listening to a channel on Pandora.  Randomly a song started that led to a whole host of music that I don't typically listen too. It's known as Doom metal, sludge, and stoner metal. Bands like The Sword, Witchcraft, Windhand, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Witch and of course Black Sabbath.

Anyway the sludge guitars and long tracks really inspired me to look at Blades & Black Magic in a bit of a different light as well as inspiring more spells to be created and hopefully a better "game world" to experience.  In fact the heavy feel has led me to sort of thinking of the work as 3 separate parts: Swords of Doom, Spells of Doom and Lords of Doom.

Swords of Doom would be the core rules and Mercenary class--it includes all the character creation, skills, combat rules, and equipment. In addition it will include some quick start Archetypes like Thief, Barbarian, Ranger, etc. These will be full stated, skilled, equipped archetypes so you could copy it onto a sheet and be ready to play. For the Lord of Doom (referee) these could be easy NPC's to use as well.

Spells of Doom would be the Sorcerer class and contain all the magic spells as well as usable Archetypes such as Druid, Witch, Necromancer and Shaman pre-made with stats, skills, spells, equipment so you could copy it down and start playing. Again it provides an instant NPC stash for the Lord of Doom as well to use.

Don't worry the full and normal character creation (choice of attribute and skills/spells) is still included! The Archetypes are meant as a quick hook for those wanting/needing a "class" idea for their character.

Lords of Doom would be the referee book with a look at the world, creatures, random tables for generating ideas and adventures.

I am also working on including hit locations and feats/favors as well.

I am seriously looking at these being in a smaller paperback book size-kind of lock the old paper backs the we all read, re-read, and dog eared back in the 70's and 80's.   Small, portable, and suitably unimposing from a "want to try this game?" perspective.

So the works is clicking along by fits and starts but now it has a different sort of inspiration and tone. It may change again before it is all done, but for now this is where I am headed. Thanks for coming along fellow adventurer, enjoy some traveling music.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Buried (not dead and)

Hello fellow adventurers.

Yes I know it's been very quiet on the gaming front of my life for quite some time--at least publicly.  Frankly my real world job for the last year and half has eaten up all my time and energy. 50+ hours a week every week, lots of travel to and from customers, and its been quite literally like this for 15+ months with no end in sight.  While the real world job and company are doing quite nicely given the difficult economy, my personal time and ability to be creative and have time to write --well that's severely curtailed.

I want to write more, I have more to write and have in fits and starts I have written more.  The basic rules of Blades & Black magic are done.  I still have 60+ spells written (I want to hit 80+) and have 5 different "cultures" synopsis done.

I am looking to still add "favors" (like feats) into B&BM maybe 6 each as part of a "cultural"  background  or I can see a combined list of 36 and you roll d66 to get 1 at thee time of character creation.

I have considered releasing just the basic rules and spells (sans creatures/cultures) as a "players book" and then doing the cultures, creatures and random encounter charts as a later "Referee book" but at this point given my schedule issues (spent all last week on the road for business-more trips coming soon) I am not sure how big a gap would occur between releases.

And then...there is still Cauldron issue 2 which I really want to get done this month. I think I have enough to make it worth while--but certainly don't want to release something crappy just to say at least I did something. I also want to do a city book--maybe just a special Cauldron issue section-where you get tables to help create  a village, town or city and the business inside it. Deal a bit with law and order in the city a well. Then there is the thief pursuits stuff I want to do inspired by  the old Thieves Guild RPG stuff I have.  Long term once B&BM and the revised HOW come out-The Cauldron will be the "bits & bobs" way for me to do small adventures, interesting add-ons, and other stuff that does not require a full specialized book to create.

So, I apologize that it is taking so long to get something new completed and out the door. This is still very much a game I love, continue to support and write, but the real world needs and commitments to family and my real world job are dominating my time currently.  I hope in the end when new releases shake out you will find them worth the wait.  As always I am very  grateful for your continued interest and support.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Numbers

To follow up on the streamlined skill idea of BBM I graphed the expected numerical range differences based on the different levels.

Inexperienced--4 dice/attribute
Trained-3 dice/ attribute
Expert-4 dice/attribute--but only use 3 lowest dice rolled

Marek suggested for Inexperienced using 4 dice but only using 3 highest rolled. 

Looking at the results? I would still prefer 4dice/attribute but let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What I'm working on

Hello and a belated Happy New Year to you!

Well last year was a DUD in terms of new HOW stuff, and as personally disappointing as that was to me I am working to make 2016 much better.  Developing Blades & Black Magic is taking quite awhile as developing a world to play in takes a bit of time.  Then I have to decide what to add or leave out.

For example, I have worked on a "city" generator. It is a series of d6 charts that let you flesh out a city.  Like any random table exercise, things sometimes seem not to "connect" but I have always liked the oddities and variety of such things.  So I am not sure if it goes into BBM or maybe it is a better fit in a Cauldron issue--along with a sample city.

In addition--I am looking at adding "abilities".  Think of them as favors or feats or that sort of thing.  Again--not sure if I add it into BBM as a part of character creation--or save it for Cauldron as a test/optional rule.

Last, as the BBM rules are just a bit different--I am thinking of making the setting/world rules a separate Gazetteer--as well as including it all in BBM.  So if you are playing HOW and just want a setting? You got it.  Want the whole thing? You can have that too.

So what's different in BBM?

Skills have three levels: Inexperienced, Trained and Expert.  No bonuses/pluses.

Inexperienced rolls: 4/attribute-all skills start here
Trained rolls: 3/ attribute
Expert rolls 4/attribute--but only uses the lowest 3 rolled

Why change? I wanted a simplified clean system that would allow someone to jump in quickly. Also there is no EN attirbute in BBM.  Don't like it? No worries, just play straight up HOW rules! All the stats, magic, weapons, damage etc. and are completely compatible and really the same.

Want a basic conversion back and forth?

HOW skill +1 to +3 equals Trained in BBM
HOW skill +4 to +6 equals Expert in BBM

Magic--BBM adds ward magic and circle magic--and all magic in BBM taxes ST--there is no EN in BBM!

I transported my own HOW players into Rodinia and wizards suddenly having spells not work because they require blood/ST to work was quite fun--at least for me!

Last but certainly not least, Art Kid Luigi is working on new illustrations I will use in BBM so the work continues!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eye of Horus

I found a unique Eqyptian themed adventure by Graeme Davis published in Imagine Magazine waaaaay back in 1984--over 30 years ago--holy crap.  Graeme has provided many of his published adventures for free download--and Sethotep is one of those!

Sethotep was published with creature stats for B/X, AD&D, and DragonQuest...and I thought it needed stats for HOW! So I wrote up a cheat sheet for creature stats you can download here! Once you have downloaded the adventure from Graeme's site, you can use the HOW conversion creature sheet to play it.

The treasure can be a bit "generous" as is D&D's want, so I'd say make anything in GP silver instead, and  maybe cut it in half.  Up to you, but I prefer treasure to be not quite as bountiful.  Your mileage may very...

Now fire up some Iron Maiden Powerslave and get to it!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Status update

Hello strangers!

Well the year is coming to a close in my real life job, and what a year it has been. Unfortunately all that work left me with little time to get the HOW things done I wanted to, but never fear! I have time off coming up and intend to (finally) finish Cauldron 2 and get it out before the end of the year!

Then Blades & Black Magic will be the next project to complete--and I am hoping to make major progress during my time off.  I have some spells to finish and culture/people of Rodinia to write up.

In the meantime Warren asked for a list of OGL status translated to HOW--and I am happy to make that happen so click the link and download them for free!

My wife and I want to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season filled with much cheer and plenty of gaming! Lord knows I want to get 2 scoops of cheer and a lot of gaming in myself!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy HOW-lloween!

Well it is all treat and no tricks here at HOW central.  On October 31st, I hput together 3 adventures into a special free Halloween Cauldron PDF download.

This could be slip these into your campaign world quite easily and while one adventure has already been published as a free download before, I include it here as I used it to kick off this series of adventures with my own group.  Note, the final adventure is very hard and very deadly.  My own players fled and did not make it too far--which is fine because as the Referee it creates a thread of doom and story to use and to "threaten" players with long term.

Spooktacular Halloween wishes to you and yours, but like Halloween, it did not last and is now gone...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sorry

Sorry the craziest year ever in my work life last year...was trumped by this year's insanity.  I am very happy and grateful to have a great job in the real world, but the office demands and travel are severely cutting into any shot at time to write and create. I know this may come as a surprise, but my lovely wife would like to spend time with me as do other family and friends in those spare hours when I have time to do so. 

So I apologize to you that things are not coming along as quickly as I had hoped and intended. I can only ask your continued patience and hope that the results will be worth the wait.  I am as anxious to get some new stuff out as (I hope) you are to see some new stuff. Thank you!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

This is Ruskya


Don't let the quiet fool you, work on Blades & Black Magic is happening on jets as I travel (a lot) for work...

Below is a first pass at a Rodinia homeland entry for Blades & Black Magic--tell me what more (within reason) you need to make it worthwhile.  Keep in mind (from me) you are not going to get a frustrated novelist rendition of who begat who in the snowy wilderness among the wolf people before the ancients learned to write yada yada yada...

YOU can make that up and it will be more real and more important because YOU know what you like and how YOU want to play it! I want to give you enough to work with to develop that kind of story--without pouring a sticky syrup of words over it all that drowns your own creativity!

One of the features is a SWOT for each homeland.  SWOT is a business analytical brief used to determine: Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.  This can be applied to new markets, current operations, new opportunities, etc. Having to do these in the real world made me think it might provide an interesting hook/framework to be used for each homeland.

So without further blather--here is the initial take on a homeland, let loose your comments for good or ill.



Ruskya
Government structure: Warring clans
Weather: Short spring and summer, long, rainy autumn, cold, snow heavy winter
Typical Food: Wild animals, root vegetables
Typical drink: Mead
Typical house: Animal skin yert or wood cabin
Gods: War, Trickster, Mother, Animal, Weather
Trade goods: Furs, raw metal, raw wood
Typical village: 140 men, 100 women, 210 kids.
Typical livestock: Goats and chickens

Ruskya Strengths
Strong fighters
Forest and mountains make them tough to invade
Many natural resources

Ruskya Weaknesses
Fear Magic
Clans mistrust each other
Harsh weather

Ruskya Opportunities
Develop industry to convert resources
Unite clans to become a power
Develop a trade city to bring in wealth

Ruskya Threats
Invasion by a unified power
Secret cabal of clan sorcerers seeks power over the clans
Clan leaders linking to outside powers to gain internal prestige but at cost of subjugation

This is Ruskya
Ruskya is a snowy, mountainous region of the north. The people are golden or red-haired, blue-eyed and the men are bearded and the women typically have hair in braids or long and left loose. Their land is made up of warring clans, but they are not opposed to working together if there is gold and prestige to be gained.

The Ruskya are traditionally armed in leather armor, furs, and using wooden round shields. They prefer hammers or axes in combat and dislike the use of bows except for hunting.

Typical Ruskya mercenaries are raiders, hunters, trackers and swords for hire.  The rare Ruskya sorcerer is seen as a dangerous oddity, not to be trusted and certainly to be feared.  

Typical names Bragi, Egil, Gorm, Heimdul, Horsa, Njord, Njal, Rann, Sigurd, Wulfhere

A Mercenary starts with basic clothing and boots, a fur cloak, a large shield, a spear, axe or hammer, and a knife. 

A Sorcerer starts with basic clothing, boots, fur robes, a dagger or staff.