Spells From Heroes & Other Worlds

Since the 1980s, The Fantasy Trip has been a big influence on fantasy gaming. A number of games out there were either influenced by TFT (or its creator, Steve Jackson) or are modern versions of TFT itself. One of those games is Heroes & Other Worlds, by C. R. Brandon. Here are some spells from HOW.

What Is Heroes & Other Worlds?

Heroes & Other Worlds is an excellent game by C. R. Brandon, and was first published in 2011. It was heavily influenced by The Fantasy Trip, which the creator admits. It is not a one-for-one knock-off, and has some changes that set it apart from TFT.

Still, it has a large number of spells–especially in the supplement called Margi Arcana. A number of these spells are common ones found back in Old School AD&D, but many are new.

How Are They Different Than TFT?

One of the key differences between HOW and TFT is the use of the Endurance, or EN, attribute. This is a common change made in TFT clones, and is a way to give wizards more of a fighting chance in combat. When a wizard casts a spell, the cost comes from EN as fatigue, not as a mix of damage and fatigue from ST.

Another difference is there is no cost to maintain a spell–the wizard effectively just casts it again. This may be to balance the extra energy from the EN attribute, but I prefer the original idea from Wizard where the wizard can extend a spell at a reduced cost.

New Spells

That being said, here are four new spells from HOW that can be useful or just fun in your TFT campaigns:

IQ 8
SUMMON SWARM: (T) [HOW] Summons a 1 megahex sized swarm of flying insects to do the bidding of the wizard. The swarm does not cause any damage, but any actions in the affected are are at one additional die. ST cost: 2 ST. Duration: 12 turns. Time to cast: 1 turn.

IQ 9
CHILL TOUCH: (T) [HOW] Turns the wizard’s hand into a source of negative energy, which disrupts the life force of living creatures. Each touch by the wizard channels negative energy that causes 1d damage for every 2 ST put into the spell, up to 3d. This spell does not cause damage to undead creatures, but they must make a saving roll of 3d vs. IQ to avoid fleeing away from the wizard for 1d turns. Time to cast: 1 turn. Duration: 1 turn.

IQ 10
GUST OF WIND: (T) [HOW] This spell creates a severe blast of air that originates from the wizard in a straight line out to a distance equal to the IQ of the wizard in hexes and 1 MH wide, affecting everything in its path. The effects of the Gust are based on the ST of the creature affected:

ST 1-6: If the creature is on the ground, it is knocked down and rolled 1d MH away from the wizard, taking 1 hit of damage per MH. If flying, the creature is blown back 2 megahexes.
ST 7-12: The victim is knocked down by the force of the wind, or is blown back 1d megahexes.
ST 13-18: Victim is unable to move forward against the force of the gust, or is blown back 1d hexes.
ST 19+: Creature may move normally against the wind.

The Gust of Wind cannot move a creature beyond the range of the spell. Also, any creature, regardless of ST or size, has a +1d penalty on any ranged attack and while listening for any sound while in the area of the wind.

The force of the wind blows out any candles, torches or other unprotected flames. Protected flames, such as lanterns, will be blown out on a roll of 1-3 on 1 die. In addition, the Gust will have the same affect as any strong wind–blowing sand or dust, fanning large flames, overturning light furniture, blowing away gases or vapors, etc.

ST cost: 3 ST. Cost to maintain: 3 ST. Duration: 1 turn. Time to cast: 3 turns.

IQ 11
EXTINGUISH: (T) [HOW] Extinguishes all non-magical flames in an area in size equal to 1 mega-megahex. The spell also can extinguish magical fires–the wizard must make another roll against IQ on 3 dice for each fire. Each fire elemental in the affected area takes 1d of damage as well. ST cost: 3 ST. Time to cast: 1 turn. Duration: 1 turn.

These are just a few of the spells that can be found in HOW. Many are common with TFT, or just variations on the existing ones. Regardless, they add more abilities to the game!

What do you think? Are there any other spells from HOW that you like?

Marko ∞

One comment

  1. Sorry for the long email that came with this article, folks! I did not mean for the Bestiary articles to be included with this one!

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