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Great new retro-clone - Fantastic Heroes & Witchery (free PDF)

trancejeremy

First Post
From a regular at Dragonsfoot, the pdf download link is in the thread (or here http://www.dcrouzet.net/temporary/Fantastic-Heroes-Witchery_screen.pdf)

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=63759

Perhaps closest to 1e in the essence of its rules, it borrows ascending armor class and such from 3e. But the most interesting thing is that it has races, classes and gear not just for traditional D&D style fantasy, but also sword & planet and "weird tales" (pulp)

Has a skill system, combat options for fighters, doesn't have traditional clerics (though that's an option for those in back), uses a variation of the wound/vitality point system. All things I quite like.

All in all, very well done. I haven't seen every retro clone, but I've seen a lot, and I'd say this ranks up there with the best.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Wow! That's an astonishing amount of work to be giving away for free! Very nicely put together (layout-wise - I haven't read it yet). And the whole thing OGL, which is always a bonus!
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Whoa. This is impressive. This is EXACTLY what retro-clones should be doing - it's not "just" 1e, but includes notes on tieflings, a whole new set of races and classes (weird planet science fantasy)... Oh crap, there are variant priest and cleric classes hidden further on, including Agent of Law, Agent of Chaos, and Guardian of Neutrality!

I've got just about every retro-clone there is, and this might be the first one I buy as a physical book. Impressive as hell.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Looks good. The only caveat is that the name is rather awkward. I like what it means, but it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
[MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], I know that many in this digital age aren't like me, but seeing a whole PDF--and not just a preview--has never prevented me from buying a hardcopy. The only time I ever buy a digital version of an RPG is when it isn't available as a hardcopy, or is significantly cheaper. But being given a free hardcopy - whether this or, say, Eclipse Phase a couple years ago - doesn't actually prevent me from buying the book if I'm going to buy the book. It does help me decide, though, whereas otherwise if in doubt I just wouldn't but it at all.
 


Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
I used both links, but it just won't open for me. (The Dragonsfoot page did, but not it's link.) Help? This sounds really neat!
 


Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
I used both links, but it just won't open for me. (The Dragonsfoot page did, but not it's link.) Help? This sounds really neat!

Try selecting "Save linked stuff as..." or something like that from the context menu of the link. It took ages to open in the PDF vierwer of the browser although the file had been downloaded completely and correctly.
 


Nellisir

Adventurer
The pdf lacks a full spell index, and the layout isn't optimized for reading onscreen or printing....but it's a 400+ page* free pdf. I'm not complaining, and it's a good way (IMO) for the author to give a full preview and still be able to add value to the purchased version.

*(The pdf has 200 pages, but each pdf page has two print pages.)
 
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dm4hire

Explorer
Anyone order the book yet? $37 for a hardback that size is actually pretty good price. Though don't know how well Lulu does their binding.
 

Turanil

First Post
Hey, I didn't know that someone had started a thread about Fantastic Heroes & Witchery. :eek: I wanted to first put the website online before making any announcement here. The website is not complete, but the download section is in place! (click below)



In any case, thanks for all your kind comments. :cool: Maybe I will eventually submit this RPG for the next Ennies, when I have figured out how it works.
 
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Wow, that's cool. Nice presentation!

Ironically I'm doing something similar -- assembling my own retro-clone variant -- and was considering posting the free .pdf once I get done (an early partial draft is in a thread around here on EN World -- still a lot of work to do providing descriptions and flavor text though most of the essential mechanics are complete). I've done some eBook and POD publishing so I know how much work that is. But with the amount of art in that book, the work put into layout ... I'm blown away, and more than a little intimidated. Artwork and that kind of layout are way beyond my level of skill.
 
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Beastman

First Post
Anyone order the book yet? $37 for a hardback that size is actually pretty good price. Though don't know how well Lulu does their binding.

I have it (version 1.0). And it is well worth the money. Quality of the book seems pretty good, although I haven't done any rough handling as of yet. I currently do my first read-through - arrived at the plane's chapter. But I will possibly skip most of the 666 spells - this is too much for me...quality of the writing is good, too. there are a couple of typos. but i read that the authoor will collect and corrent them for version 1.1 of the book.

so again: nice mix of classes, fantasy/wired/sci-fantasy, some very useful things to steal (or use) but too many spells (but i can live with that ;-) ) uh nearly forgot: good art, too (nearly all of it) and nice overall presentantion.
 

Turanil

First Post
Multi-Classes in Fantastic Heroes & Witchery

I always thought that multi-classed characters (as in 1e/2e) were somewhat broken. Compare for example an 8th level fighter, or a 8th level wizard to a multi-class fighter/wizard. Well, for almost the same number of XP the character will be but one level behind. So you get a 7th level fighter (albeit with less hit-points) who can cast spells as a 7th level wizard. Frankly why hesitate when comparing to the 8th level character? However, when one reaches the higher levels (10th and higher), gaining XP becomes so long, that such characters progress too slowly (even as mutli-class).

As such, I worked on how implement multi-classed characters in Fantastic Heroes & Witchery. In fact they use a specific XP progression, and only use the base NPC classes. As such I think they won't outshine single-class characters. If you want to see the result, go and download the (free) 10 pages document I wrote, that is available on the website. :)
 

Turanil

First Post
FH&W update

I just uploaded version 1.2 after having fixed a few errors and a couple of typos. I also toned down the Agent of Chaos/Law class, and the Psionic Blast ability, as was requested in another thread (i.e. on RPG.net). And I removed a line about winged folks' flying maneuverability, since aerial combat and flying rules are not detailed in FH&W (I thought it wouldn't be useful, and didn't know how treat it well and simple).

-> So, now it's told that Agent of Chaos/Law gets access to a limited spell list as determined by the GM, with a suggestion of 4 divine spheres for Chaos agents, and 4 others for Law agents. Since it's determined by the GM, he could still give all Black Magic spells access to Agents of Chaos if he wishes (e.g. in cases one would play Elric in this game). I will add that since spells are granted by a deity, and this is determined for each character, the GM could augment or reduce the spell repertoire as the PC gains levels, and from a gamist perspective, appears too weak or too powerful. I like the game being flexible. Reason for which Talents are optional, and the 30 proposed being only suggestions (I will say again that if GMs and players miss the lack of additional attacks per round for fighters, they may become a talent of their own. The first one would be: get an additional attack every two rounds; and if taken a second time it becomes 2 attacks per round; etc.).

-> Regarding Psionic Blast, it's now simpler: a Charisma save negates, and there is no special case regarding the save on a natural 1. I looked at all earlier Psionic Blasts (from 1e to 3e), and it was always done different. So FH&W version is still different, but looks like an average compared to those from 1e to 3e.
 

If one were to order a hardcopy fairly soon would it be version 1.2? I don't know what timeframes are like on the update process at lulu and I would like the latest version when I order. Thanks.
 

Turanil

First Post
If one were to order a hardcopy fairly soon would it be version 1.2? I don't know what timeframes are like on the update process at lulu and I would like the latest version when I order. Thanks.

Right now, it is V.1.2 on lulu. Unfortunately, some typos are still appearing from time to time. After having proofread the book by myself twice, I seem unable to find new typos and errors. One eventually becomes blind to his own text. Some readers keep sending me reports of typos when they find them, and I fix them as soon as I get them. So, when I release the book on Amazon (V.1.3), is when I will be comfortable that the book is now clean (though maybe not 100%). I haven't the money to afford a professional proof-reader.

If you prurchase V.1.2 now, it's better than precedent, but you will unfortunately still find a few typos.
 

Turanil

First Post
Temporary withdrawal of the POD (i.e. print on demand) books on Lulu.

I originally did two proof-readings of the text, and then again more corrections of typos and errors. Unfortunately, still more of them are continuously reported to me by some of you who did buy the book. I am really ashamed of this and sorry. So, until Version 1.3 (that hopefully will be finally cleaned up), I suspend the sales of the printed book. I cannot afford 3,000 euros for a professional proof-reading though, so will do it again by myself, adding in the occasional help of those readers who report to me what they found. I plan for V.1.3 to be released in February. Until then, you may still download the free version. Thanks for your understanding.
 

Turanil

First Post
At last it is completed and available: Fantastic Heroes & Witchery Version 2! I hope you will enjoy it!

You can download it it for free here: Heroes-&-Witchery website

You can buy it on LULU.com here: FH&W on Lulu.com

This was mostly about cleaning the text (fixing errors and editing all typos we could find), and seeing that the book was not inadvertently infringing on some copyrights. To this end, I rewrote and renamed 70 spells. In fact, the spells that disappeared (and where replaced by similar, yet different spells) are not considered unusable where gaming is considered, it's just that I prefer not see them anymore, where complying with the OGL is considered...

Thanks again to those who bought the book. Yet, sorry for the typos and errors that I didn't see before releasing version 1.0 to 1.3. Version 2.0 is the final version! I want now dedicate myself to other books (first the bestiary, then the swords & planets campaign setting, then novels...).

(Please: if you like the book, tell it on the Lulu.com page. Thanks! :) )
 

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