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Monday, November 18, 2013

New OSR Ruleset - Fantastic Heroes & Witchery - Free "Crippleware" PDF


I was over on the DragonsFoot forums yesterday when I came across the thread for a new OSR ruleset. Sure, I know, what really is "new" when it comes to rulesets in the OSR. Still, this one does seem to add a bunch.

Fantastic Heroes & Witchery adds a boatload of new classes and races. You don't even have to use the rules as written. Lift liberally to the ruleset of your choice. New classes, new races, new spells - there really is a lot to like. No magic items or monsters, so you will be using this with another set of rules in any case.




Did I mention the abundant and for the most part decent or better art? Yep, it's a pretty cool package.

So, why do I refer to it as "crippleware"?

The free PDF version comes in a 2 page spread format with no bookmarking. I can survive the lack of bookmarking (and the intentional removal of the table of contents) but the 2 page spread makes this nearly impossible to read on anything but the largest screens. I have a 27" screen, and I still find it very annoying - damn old age!

I haven't done more than skim it at the moment - like I said, the 2 page spread is pretty annoying, but what I have read looks pretty damn good and rippable for other OSR systems.

The author is fairly active on the thread over at DragonsFoot, so feel free to ask him any questions.

From the author's initial posting:
This is the game we all know, in a version borrowing from all editions, from "classic" to "3e." As such you already know the rules, nothing to relearn. You've got ascending attack bonuses (called BtH) and AC, but using the old descending AC is still possible. You've got all the spells found in 1e with UA, and many more for a total of 666 spells. There is a lot of classes, old and new. There is a fundamental difference with regard to priests though: all spellcasters are considered mages, with those using former cleric spells being wise-men/women, and those using former druid spells being forestals. Then, priests classes don't necessarily get supernatural powers, and when they do (i.e. friar class), they pray for immediate divine help rather than preparing and casting spells. This is the only main difference. Other than that, FH&W is 430 pages of simple rules and many options. The book is a combination of player's manual and GM's manual, but does not include monsters and magic items. However, you may use those from Osric or Castles & Crusades just as easily.
Indexed PDF version (not free) coming in December. Print on Demand may be before that.

15 comments:

  1. Use Adobe to print to pdf, selecting the "tile large pages" option under "page scaling". You will now have a readable version.

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  2. eh, cant find the feature on Adobe reader for oSX

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  3. Those "Weird Tales" classes and races have my interest!

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  4. I really like the presentation and the fact it has loads and loads of artwork also helps. I wish it would be a little clearer on including skills and talents in your game but I that is minor nitpick I guess. I hope the author does a magic items and bestiary book in this style - I would buy that.

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  5. Pretty comprehensive. I like the take on divine classes and spells in the rule book. The "Weird Tales" races and classes are pretty cool too, nice to have them and related equipment in a rulebook with traditional fantasy stuff.

    I really don't think the two page spread is "crippleware" really , it's free.
    Thanks for pointing this RPG out. If the authors work on this and a previous monster book project (unpublished for another game) are any indication a monster and treasure book and or DMs guide should be promising.

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    1. "crippleware" is software that shows enough of it's full functions to interest the user, but restricts those functions enough to be fairly useless in the state it is in - I stand by the current PDF being " crippleware".

      thanks to RC, I have a READABLE PDF. 20 minutes after I started reading the PDF, I ordered the hard cover on Lulu (free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more)

      Delete
  6. Could be good, but I'll never know as I get a headache tryin' to read it on my (not small) laptop. I'd stand by your intial assessment, 'crippleware'.

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  7. Thanks for the heads-up, this looks very interesting. I gave it a quick skim-through and the visual presentation is top-notch (aside from the forced 2-page spread). I'm loving the inclusion of weird tales / science-fantasy / sword and planet stuff. Nice and pulpy!

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  8. Had a good look - pretty nice and some ideas i will steal - i dont rate as crippleware because i didn't pay and i need never buy anything from them or get updates like a operating system - more inclusive than most starter games - less crippleware than recent dnd or most trading card games - more irksome than maliciousness or greedy - art is great - very 80s UK style

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  9. I'd say it was about as "crippleware" as Swords & Wizardry was before the complete version was finally released for free. Sure, there were demo/lesser versions available, but the complete version you had to buy.

    And this hadn't raised tens of thousands of dollars...

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    1. Crippled in the sense that the PDF is nearly impossible for me to read as a 2 page spread without getting a headache. So yeah, as presented, Crippleware.

      After getting it into a normal single page format I ordered a HC on Lulu.

      It's damn good stuff but practically useless in the current PDF format.

      It's the presentation and not the contents that make it "crippleware"

      Delete
    2. So, how DID you convert to single page? I tried following RC's method and I was unable to find the options he was pointing out.

      Delete
  10. Lots of good stuff, new races, neat and tidy integration of sci-fi and (Ahem) steampunk tropes, a wide variety of new spells, well done rules

    I did go blind reading it, but it was well worth it.

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  11. Lots of good stuff, new races, neat and tidy integration of sci-fi and (Ahem) steampunk tropes, a wide variety of new spells, well done rules

    I did go blind reading it, but it was well worth it.

    ReplyDelete