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!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Actions as resource

One of the concepts I am experimenting with is the idea of actions as a resource to manage in combat.  In concept the sum of your IQ + DX (adj) versus a table shows how many actions you get to use in a combat turn.  Those actions could be used to Attack, dodge, parry, move etc. as you wish during your turn--but for each action you spend 1 point. No points means no more actions to be taken this turn.  Note some skills if mastered add an extra action--but only to be used with that skill.  For example a Sword Master would get a bonus action--but it could only be used with the sword (additional attack or parry--not additional move or dodge).

Generally characters would have 2 to 3 actions, but master a skill (or high attributes) would add additional actions above the average...which kind of fits with the idea of the super agile, quick witted or highly skilled/ trained character/ opponent being more deadly/ creative/ hard to kill in combat.

The work continues...


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

CROM!

Conan from the Incomparable Cary Nord

 Should I dare hope they get this right

As the Conan comic license is heading back over to Marvel, do yourself a favor and pick up the Dark Horse run now being released in Omnibus form.  The series starts with "Kid Conan" and follows his growth into the barbarian all this kids go crazy for.  It really is fantastic background and character depth never done before. Combine great writing from Kurt Busiek with some of the best art ever in a Conan comic series and its winner winner Cimmerian dinner! 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

For fun

Having collected and read comics for ages, I have always loved the Marvel Comics corner box art. They were such an iconic part of the cover and the comic experience for me I thought it would be fun to knock out a pair of draft images in this style using some counter art from Mark Hill to replicate the Marvel look and feel. How or will they be used? Not sure but I think it could be fun--maybe a compatibility mark? Hmmm....

Anyway, the work on BLADES continues. I have expanded armor and weapon lists, added flail as and am looking at adding a tinker or jerry-rig skill.

I am not adding a charisma stat, feeling that skills cover that sort of interaction need. Game will stay written for d6, but an appendix will be included should someone want to use d20 to resolve tests.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Two things to say

In running through some Blades play testing 2 things have come up as potential changes.

1) Adding a Charisma Attribute-There are skills and situations where using IQ is "okay" but a Charisma attribute might be better for character interaction/reaction tests and for some skills.

2) Brace yourself as this one is much more "heretical" --using d20's to resolve tests. As the Blades and Black Magic uses a 3 tiered skill system (Inexperienced/Trained/ Expert) it works well with the bell curve d6 system as written--but could also work with d20 as follows:
  • Inexeprienced, roll 2d20, use the highest die roll
  • Trained-roll 1d20
  • Expert Roll 2d20, use lowest die roll
 The initial adventure played using d20's for tests/combat was well received--but this was by traditional Pathfinder players.

Yup I understand and do love the d6 bell curve, and have it as the core mechanic currently but its interesting to see what might be possible using the d20 mechanic.

I would not say this is a Richard Dreyfus "this means something"  moment, but I think it is important to look at different possibilities.

As always, appreciate your thoughts

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Adventure Seeds

image by: lingy-0
As I have continued writing and editing I have crunched out some adventure seeds. I think they thematically give you a sense of gaming using Blades & Black Magic. I am thinking, maybe incorrectly, that a few combat scenarios plus about a dozen adventure seeds (like the one below)  may be enough to round out the Blades book. Your opinion is always appreciated.

Whispers of Chaos
The characters enter a village the day before it is holding a witch trial. The party is approached by three factions within the village for aid: The husband of the accused, the local priest who brought the woman up on charges, the local warband guard who work for the mayor who runs the town. The witch is accused of evil manipulation and of controlling of the mayor and corrupting others with demonic pacts.
  • The priest wants help to save the townspeople from darkness and purge the village of evil.
  • The Warband wants help to oust the mayor so their leader Sven can take over.
  • The husband claims his wife is innocent, he wants help to free his wife so they can escape.
Reality is, yes the woman is a witch, her “husband” is her imp in disguise and they are corrupting the town to turn it into a foothold for the Coven of the Blood Circle.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

BLADES progress update

Max Dunbar
So here is where  we I am at with Blades:

1) The rules are done including character creation, skills, combat, adventuring and equipment.

2) Need to add basic combat scenarios--or would an adventure be better to include?

3) Need to add common creature/ animal foe list.

4) Need to do art layout

Decision is made that setting specific, more detailed character creation (background, starting kit by homeland) will be reserved for the Zemya setting book.

After Blades comes out (End of January seems likely) then Cauldron 2 would be the next release followed by the Black Magic book and then the Zemya setting book.  It is an ambitious plan to get all 4 out this year--but I have it on good authority a man's reach should exceed his grasp.

Friday, December 29, 2017

BLADES re-org?

Max Dunbar

I had my wife read through the current draft of BLADES and she pointed out that many of the setting options (like culture) are a bit confusing in terms of their placement in the rules. If it is an alternate way of creating/playing/using the rules--should it be better put in an appendix or she suggested culled from BLADES entirely and put into a separate overall setting/ gazetteer book. I am mulling it over as it important to listen to someone separated from the work. It is true, sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees.

In your opinion are the core combat rules and adventuring guide good as a book? Is a separate gazetteer with setting character creation a good thing?

Let me know your thoughts and opinions, they are valued.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

BLADES update

Max Dunbar
A quick update on the progress of BLADES the first part of Blades & Black Magic.

First, I would say I am about 80% done with the writing. As this is a bit different from-- and learns from-- HOW there are tweaks and edits and additions. Some of those additions include adding in some additional and deeper character creation option (cultures) and spelling out tactical combat means more writing. I also want to add some brief mercenary and skullduggery missions. Rescue a hostage, kidnap a merchant, protect a delivery, fight in a pit, steal a wand, etc. Just small mission/adventure kick starts for a few silver more. 

Sure I could certainly take the easy way out and just zip out core rules with no setting/cultures content, but in play testing folks actually enjoy the use of culture as a character creation hook. Don't worry, it is not mandatory to use cultures, just added chrome/depth/ options--and double don't worry you will not get the frustrated fantasy writer text overkill.

One email I got asked why not include magic and combat all in one book? Good question and 2 reasons:

1) It will take longer to wait to get it all done, and I think you and I have both waited a long time already.

2) I think there is an opportunity for a no/low magic game to be played.

Those who have and play HOW will be able to add magic in easily to BLADES if you like immediately before the Black Magic book comes out--and with the Magi Carta, there are a lot of spell options already available.

So how does BLADES vary from HOW specifically?
1) No EN stat. HOW plays more heroic fantasy and B&BM is meant to be more gritty/ S&S. No EN stat changes the feel appropriately for a low magic setting.
2) Revised weapon table
3) Only Humans as characters
4) Clarified tactical combat/facings
5) Light setting of Zemya
6) Cultures as character creation detail opportunity
7) Skills have a simplified 3 tier rank system: Inexperienced (I) Trained (T) Expert (E)

BLADES will have a quick conversion page for HOW skills/spell casting, etc. so one does not supplant the other and they are compatible with little issue.

The work continues...



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

After many years

AGANTYR
Steve Jackson recently announced he had the rights back to the Metagaming fantasy game that has inspired so many of us: "I have regained the eight TFT releases that I wrote myself: Melee, Wizard, Death Test, Death Test 2, Advanced Melee, Advanced Wizard, In the Labyrinth, and Tollenkar's Lair."

In essence, after 35 years, the copyright was up from Metagaming and the original author could apply to get the rights to his works back--Mr. Jackson did and here we are with this great news!

 What are Mr. Jackson's plans?

• Can you give us details on the TFT release schedule or the format of the new releases? No, because I don't know myself. We’ll probably do at least one Kickstarter – for Melee – in 2018. With miniatures! Lots of miniatures!

• What changes will you make in the new TFT releases? I want a fully modern presentation, but most of the rules are pretty good as they are. I might revisit the cost of spells, and I might make some changes in the character advancement rules. But I might just leave things alone.

• How did you get these rights back? Great patience . . . 17 US Code 203 requires a long wait.

• What does this mean for GURPS? Probably nothing; I have no intention of combining the systems. TFT is a much simpler system than GURPS, optimized for single sessions and dungeon crawls. They can co-exist on the store shelves and in your own collection.

What about the TFT releases that you didn’t write? What about other Metagaming releases? I did not get any of those rights, or any other Metagaming rights, and I can’t tell you anything about their status.

 In a nutshell it would seem like the classic games will be back and that is terrific news! Who knows what may come--but as SJG does a terrific job with PDF materials, and has kicked off unique offerings like the OGREZINE--it would seem like a series of PDF additions possibly collected into POD offerings may grow in support.

Perhaps the boxed edition of In the Labyrinth that Mr. Jackson wanted all those many years ago could be a reality in the future? Maybe boxed edition adventures (with minis!) for the Death Test adventures? OR possibly a true 2nd edition--AGANTYR has a great blog post on that possibility. 

As I write I have at my desk 100% mint, boxed, complete and never played versions of Melee, Wizard, Death Test, Death Test 2 and Grail Quest and I have to smile. I never thought these would be coming back, but am damn happy to see Mr. Jackson's patience pay-off for him. Second I am very happy to know that so many will now get a chance to play the originals as--if OGRE is any guide--Mr. Jackson may release both a deluxe boxed set of Melee--as well as a classic bagged edition as he did with OGRE.

So the nickle question, what does this mean for HOW? I am not sure. I am still working on multiple projects like Blades & Black Magic, the HOW career compendium and another issue of The Cauldron. I do not know where the path leads, but I am still rambling on. Thanks for traveling with me.