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!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pixie as Character

Those who purchased the Tome of Terrors & Treasures (thanks very much!) know that there are "Creature as Character" options for many of the monsters. The idea is to allow you to play that creature as a character in your game (with Referee approval of course.) I had a request to make a character playable Pixie...so per that request, I thought I would share it here:

Pixie as Character

ST (-6) DX +0 IQ+0 No EN

MV (DX/2.5) /12 flight

Small Size

Low-light vision

AR:-1 natural bonus

Standard weapon: Pixie knife (1d3)

Special Attack: Pixie bow (1d3) or sleep/confusion arrow per Pixie description.

Special: Greater invisibility: pixie can suppress or resume invisibility as an action-does not became visible if it attacks. Spell abilities 1x day per creature description.

These spell abilities do not cost ST/EN to use 1x.

Note if a Referee allows using any of these 1x abilities a second time, it causes ST1 damage.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Background work

One of the things I am working on behind the scenes is a book of backgrounds. The idea is you could roll up a back ground or two for your character to get starting skills and a hook idea for your character.  For the Referee it is a pre-made book of NPC's covering major and minor people the characters may run into.

I plan on putting a couple into the next Cauldron (yes it IS still coming) but in the meantime here is a preview of one such entry...the assassin.

Hiring killers is the task of any king, guild, or rebel...but when the job needs to be quickly, quietly and without the usual noise and mass destruction of an army, their the assassin works quietly and alone. In darkness, and with stealth the assassin seeks not glory nor fame and the best ones are not even known to have committed the crime.

ST10 IQ11 DX13(11) EN8 MV6; AR-2 (leather) DM 1d6 (daggers)

Hide/Spot Hidden+1, Stealth +1, Thief +1, Dagger+1, Athletics+1

Quick Draw- Once per turn you are able to produce a weapon or item of dagger size or smaller you possess on your person into your hand without sacrificing an action that turn to do so.

2 daggers, padded vest and worn clothing, dark travel cloak, padded leather boots, small sack, belt pouch. 2D6x10 coins.

Wandering is a part of your life. Those who know of you can always find a way to reach you but you never stay in any one place to long, for those who know how to find you may also be the ones who ultimately betray you. So you venture town to town picking up the odd job or task as necessary to provide a relevant cover and to see if your real skills might provide a bit of ready coin.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Inspirations for Rodinia

Really?? ANCEINT ALIENS? C'mon man are you serious?

The Ancient Aliens guy (Giorgio A. Tsoukalos) and his crazy theories just crack me up. I LOVE watching it because you can drive an 18 wheeler of logic through the gaps in their "theories" but it's a good mental exercise to keep your B.S. detector sharp!  I'd watch it more often but the show is excruciating for my wife! She can;t stand this uber-tanned psuedo intellectual know it all. I keep telling her he clearly DOES NOT know much (besides where to get a fake tan and lots of hair supplies) but hey, I sit through Project Runway so yeah she gets payback.

Anyway the real reason I watch stuff like Ancient Aliens and America Unearthed is for gaming fodder.  Despite the random "It was aliens" or "built this way...becuase TEMPLARS" there is actual interesting and unusual stuff to be seen and considered in these shows.

To that end a lot of this stuff is going to wind up in Blades & Black Magic especially as fodder in Rodinia. There is a lot of interesting ancient "lost" civilization stuff that makes great setting/inspirations for gaming and I hope to seed a lot of that as living civilizations in Blades & Black Magic.

So if you have not watched this show (or similar ones) you may want to give them a spin. In the meantime here is a link to site with a cursory look at "10 mysteries" that show some advanced civilizations in out past that we do not know too much about.  Hopefully you will find some inspiring stuff in there!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Black Magic sneak peek

Image Source
I thought I would give you a quick peek at how spells are coming together for Blades & Black Magic.  Currently just putting together spells, the normal details, costs, range and definitions will be added later...but here is a teaser of a couple Ward spells.

IQ10 Vermin Cloak (Ward)

Inscribed with a bat wing and spider venom on a cloak or other large worn garment stitched with black widow webbing and using bat teeth as the needle. When activated, the garment erupts into a swarm of bats and spiders which fill a 10’ space around the caster. Unprepared viewers must pass 4/IQ or become stunned and unable to move or act for 1d6 turns unless attacked. Those targeting/attacking the wearer must add +1 die to the test for as long as the spell lasts.

IQ 11 Seeds of Decay (Ward)

Seeds are harvested from rotting pumpkins and inscribed with corpse blood by the beak of a raven. Once the seeds are activated and thrown about by the caster, the ground around the caster for 30' becomes a spongy, slimy mass of stinking filth and decay.  Movement is at a crawl speed in these spaces and all actions or tests suffer a +2 DRM while in a decayed space due to noxious fumes and sludge. The sorcerer is unaffected and can move/act normally.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Into Rodinia

Just a quick update on what's up at HOW HQ!

Writing away for Blades & Black Magic and working on two different bits:

1) New spells created for B&BM
2) Creating the world of Rodinia

Now this won't be some huge tome filled with the minutiae of who begatt who and which pair of slippers the Queen Regent of Belsaur wore on her inauguration.  Totally cool if you want (or like) that kind of stuff...but to me that feels more like a frustrated novelist at work than it does a usable game book. 

Personally I want to know some basic outlines, a bit of details on  notable people or a place to give me something to work with...and then stand back and let me do this Brutus.  No one knows how you want to game better than you so if I can give you some thread, I figure you will stitch together a great game world you like!

So Rodinia, its a super continent that predates (I think) the pangea super continent...so that's the "world" idea. The map above is the basis I will use to construct the actual map using Hexographer.

Next on BBM book format, I am currently working Blades & Black Mag to be...pocket paper book size, just like my shelf full of old ACE Conan books and KANE novels. 

I think I might still do a 6x9 version of it as well!

Anyway, work is cooking right a long!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Skills again...

Yes another post showing how the sauasage gets made...

In revisiting my thoughts on skills for B&BM this is how I (currently) am going to play test them. There are 3 basic skill levels: Untrained, Trained and Expert. In a nutshell:

Untrained-Anyone can try any skill but they start with a base of 4 dice in the attempt.  So Jimmy the Knucklehead tries to throw a knife for the first time ever--4/DX in the attempt.

Trained-this is a skill you have "bought" and become trained in you roll 3 dice when attempting to use this skill. Jimmy the Knucklehead is a trained to pick lock, he rolls 3/DX.

Expert-this is a skill you "bought" twice to gain superior training and to become an expert in it.  The base test is still a 3 dice test like a trained skill but you add a fourth "expert" die to the attempt. For the test only use the 3 lowest dice rolled as a sum, the player dismisses the highest die rolled of the 4 and does not count it in the attempt.

Jimmy the Knucklehead tries to charm the ladies, and everyone knows Jimmy is an expert in sweet talking the ladies! So he roll 3/IQ+1 Expert die getting a result of 3,3,4,5.  The highest die rolled (5) is ignored and Jimmy's total is (3+3+4) a 10! Too bad Jimmy's IQ is 8...what a knucklehead

Note, The referee, based on difficulty, may still add a die or DRM to any attempt made.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Skills in Blades & Black Magic

Below is a slightly edited skill (based on the HOW skills list) set for Blades & Black Magic.  Anything you see as missing or extraneous? In addition I am looking at the Parry maneuver (again) and am liking the play test of Parry at 4/DX--but you get to add your full weapon skill. AS always your thoughts and comments are valued.




Animal Handler 






Detect Hidden/Hide 

Detect or Tell Lies

Escape Artist








Pick Lock/Trap

Pole Arms

Professional Skill 

Recognize Value 














Two Weapon Combat 

Unarmed Combat

Unique Weapon

Monday, July 27, 2015

Swords & Spells

As a baseline reference document for putting together the early Blades & Black Magic stuff, I compiled and edited a rules set combining Melee & Wizard into one unified document.

If you never played Melee/Wizard or are interested in an edited combo of the two you are in luck, welcome to Swords & Spells!

Swords & Spells is available for free download now!

NOTE I uploaded a revised edit v1.3 that cleaned up some formatting issues

You will want to use hex maps and miniatures or counters to play it.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


One of the options I am considering for Blades & Black Magic is changing a bit of how skills work in this setting versus in Heroes & Other Worlds.  Using Melee/Wizard as a guide here is how it could work:

 Max # Skills or spells known = IQ + 3

1) Skills tests based off attributes (no skill bonuses)
2) 3/X tests for skills you know
3) 4/X tests for skill you do not, but attempt
4) you may only cast spells you know
5) 3/X to case spells equal or below IQ
6) 4/X to cast spells above IQ

XP can be spent to learn a new skill or increase attribute.

Adventurers may only increase ST or DX
Sorcerers may only increase IQ

Also Melee/Wizard only includes skills for combat/spell casting--not for adventuring. Should B&BM adhere to this combat centric focus or should a few additional common adventuring skills be included as well like riding, stealth, survival, thieving, tracking that kind of stuff.