The Hotness
Games|People|Company
Tales from the Yawning Portal
Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game
FU: the Free, Universal RPG
Mythic Game Master Emulator
Titan: The Fighting Fantasy World
Apocalypse World
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Dark Dungeons
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box
Fate Core System
Dark Albion Adventures: The Ghost of Jack Cade on London Bridge
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Sherpa
Weird West Roleplaying Game Basic Rulebook
Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks 5: Theme Park Panic
The Quiet Year
DCC #087.5: Grimtooth's Museum of Death
FAITH: A Garden in Hell – Starter set
No Horizon
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game
Don't Rest Your Head
B2: The Keep on the Borderlands
Vampire: The Masquerade (Revised Edition)
Legend of the Five Rings
Ars Magica (5th edition)
Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition)
Hong Kong Action Theatre!
Cthulhu by Gaslight
Man to Man
CGR2: The Complete Gladiator's Handbook
Sweet Agatha
Pavis and Big Rubble Companion Vol 1: Ye Booke of Tentacles (Volume 3)
Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set
Microscope
Statecraft
Epistolary Rules
Dungeon World Roleplaying Game
Horror on the Orient Express (2nd Edition)
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
Disintegration
Player's Handbook (D&D 5e)
Mutant: Year Zero Core Book
Earthdawn Player's Guide (4th Edition)
How to Game Master like a F****** Boss
Teach Me How to Demon
Mouse Guard (2nd Edition)
Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Boxed Set (Second Edition)
Ten Candles
Curse of Strahd
Random Solo Adventure: Jungle Quest
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
2 Posts

Heroes & Other Worlds» Forums » General

Subject: First Impressions of HOW rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robert Saint John
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I wanted to share my initial thoughts about Christopher Brandon's new game Heroes & Other Worlds. This is only based on two read-throughs, one quick and one leisurely, and I'll follow up with an actual review on RPGGeek after I get some play time in on it.

Short version: a worthy successor to The Fantasy Trip, but introduces some smart and unique twists that make it much more than a clone. Much more fleshed out than Legends of the Ancient World and Dragons of Underearth, and somehow captures the spirit of the Moldvay Basic Set. At 120 digest-sized pages, a surprisingly complete game that is well-organized, slickly presented and will appeal to fantasy gamers old and new.

Details: Although I was expecting a retro-clone of my personal favorite FRPG, Metagaming's The Fantasy Trip (1980), Heroes & Other Worlds (HOW) is more like the "missing link" between TFT and GURPS that never existed. It's completely compatible with TFT and its weird offspring Dragons of Underearth, and Dark City Games' more recent Legends of the Ancient World (and, as a result, compatible with all those programmed modules from both Metagaming and DCG). Heroes are either Adventurers or Wizards (with a flexible blurry line between them), and character generation is a breeze with a point-buy system to build the attributes of Strength, Dexterity and IQ. Based off the attributes, players choose spells and skills. XP is gained during adventuring to be spent later. Combat and task resolution is basically 3D6, roll-under attribute.

Where HOW diverges from its predecessors is the introduction of a fourth attribute representing health/fatigue, Endurance. Similar approaches have been adopted by TFT players over the years as a house rule (for various reasons), and Steve Jackson did something similar with Health for GURPS. Only Heroes have Endurance, monsters and NPCs do not. Endurance basically stacks on top of Strength and is depleted through damage or spell-casting. When Endurance is gone, damage starts hitting Strength, but Endurance points are recovered much more quickly than Strength.

Another notable divergence in HOW is that Heroes do not improve attributes over time. XP is applied to improving Skills and Spells, much like in Traveller. Choose those initial attributes wisely! And realize that as the adventures and monsters become more challenging, NPC hirelings (well-detailed in HOW) are going to be essential.

Combat, weapons and armor are much like they were in the other games, but not necessarily so dependent on the use of counters/miniatures and a map.

That's the first half of the book, basically a Players Guide, including 3 pages of Skills, 15 pages of Spells (IQ8-IQ18), and plenty of examples throughout. The rest of the book is Referee Resources, with 20 pages of Terrors (monsters), Treasures and Magic items, a solitaire adventure (Dark City's "Orcs of the High Mountains"), guidelines for building and stocking dungeons (with optional random tables), a 7 page sample refereed dungeon, tables of weapons and equipment, and very compact character sheets (like TFT, a 3x5 index card will do just fine). The entire book (POD or PDF from Lulu) is digest-sized, very nicely laid out, and illustrated profusely with art that ranges from very good to excellent. Fans of the original TFT are in for quite a treat when they see some of these illustrations, and I'll leave it at that.

Verdict: Pricier but comparable in almost every way to the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules. Appears to be a great introduction to adventure gaming, but especially appealing to players like me who thought TFT was a more "logical" approach to fantasy gaming than OD&D, and never quite got over the fact that TFT met a premature demise.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Brandon
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks RSJ for the initial impression review! Looking forward to your thoughts after you play an adventure or two!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.