A multi-genre RPG focused on worldbuilding and storytelling.

Archive for December, 2011

Free Preview Edition Available!

For those who haven’t picked Other Worlds up yet, but want to know what all the cool kids are talking about, I’ve just released a free preview edition on DriveThru RPG.

Here’s a link

It contains the full introduction chapter, a rules summary, character sheets, and an art preview.

Get it today!

Download: Form-Fillable Character Sheet

Courtesy of DT Butchino, here is a version of the character sheet that you can type on and print out.


Worldbuilding thread

There’s an interesting thread going on at rpg.net right now about potential campaign ideas – a lot of the suggestions so far seem to have a fantasy/historical theme, but that could all change as things progress. Come and join in with your own ideas!

Link here

Print version update

Just got word from RPGNow, Other Worlds has now been fully processed by their artificially intelligent supercomputer deep in the bowels of CERN and proofs of both the softcover and hardcover versions are in the post!

Remember that anyone who buys the PDF now will get a $14.99 discount voucher off the print version when it’s released in maybe a week’s time.

Discussion thread on rpg.net

Hey, this is just to let you know that an Other Worlds discussion thread has started on rpg.net. Please feel free to come along and add your views or ask some questions.

Here’s a link.

Other Worlds Released!

I’m pleased to announce that the Other Worlds PDF is now available from RPGNow, price $14.99. It’s 210 pages of rules-light multi-genre awesomeness, with art by Storn Cook and layout by Fred Hicks. What more could you ask for?

The link is here

The print editions will be available shortly. You’ll be able to buy it in softcover for $29.99 or hardcover for $44.99. Both print versions come with the PDF version as well, free of charge.

When the printed versions become available, I’ll email everyone that bought the PDF a $14.99 discount voucher. So you can upgrade to either of the print versions without spending any more money than you would have otherwise.  Make sure you tick the box on RPGNow that lets publishers email you if you think you might want to do this!


Other Worlds is a roleplaying game of heroic action and adventure for any genre. The game is driven by description: descriptions of characters, details of actions, and dramatic visualisations. Numbers and dice rolls are secondary to the action; in fact, you will find that in Other Worlds the rules serve to emphasise the story and increase the drama rather than getting in their way. This book contains the following material:

  • A comprehensive worldbuilding procedure that the whole group gets to take part in
  • Over 100 ready-to-use character templates, from assassins to xenoarchaeologists and everything else in between
  • Detailed guidelines on creating your own cultural archetypes, professions, trademark powers, supporting characters, and adventure locations
  • A simple, elegant conflict resolution procedure that can handle any situation
  • Turn-based set piece rules to handle the more important conflicts of your story
  • A wealth of practical advice on how to get the most out of play, based on real experience at the games table
  • Quick-start genre packages for fantasy, horror, pirates, science fiction, superheroes, and the wild west
Available now from DriveThruRPG in any of three formats: PDF, softcover, or luxurious hardcover!
Other Worlds is a trademark of Mark Humphreys. Copyright Mark Humphreys 2011. All rights reserved.

Download: Character Sheets

Here are both the character sheets for Other Worlds – one for player characters and one for your supporting cast. The grey-shaded boxes denote the ability slots you get for free – anything else needs to be paid for with spotlight points!

Character Sheet

Supporting Cast Sheet

Preview: Index of Character Templates

I thought people might be interested to see this, just to get an idea of the scope of the game. It’s a complete index of all the example character templates found in the book. If you don’t see anything you like (…), don’t worry, there’s a detailed guide to creating your own templates in there too. Enjoy!

Agent of FEAR 193
Alternate Universe 192
Artist 59
Assassin 59
Astrologer-Mage 177
Bearer of the Essentellian Luckstone 78
Bloodthirsty Pirate 185
Blue-Collar Worker 59
Body of Flame 75
Border Town 176
Bounty Hunter 189
Brass Scorpion Kung Fu 73
Caped Defender 194
Captain of the Iron Marauder 79
Captain of the Wraith 37
Career Criminal 60
Cheerleader 180
City World 188
Clergy 60
Cop 29, 60
Cosmic Justicar Belt 78
Crack Shot 68
Desert World 188
Disciple of the Sun God 64
Doctor 61
Dodge City 196
Dojo of the Sudden Silver Strike 74
Drifter 61
Dutch 184
English 184
Experimental AI Spy Car 78
Forest Nomad 176
Forties Throwback 192
French 184-185
Gadgeteer 69
Gambler 197
Gentleman of Leisure 182
Hacker 189
Ice World 188
Jock 180
Journalist 61
Lawyer 61
Lizardman 77
Masked Avenger 194
Mining Colony 189
Modern-Day Telepath 74
Mutant Separatist 192
Natural Leader 68
Necromancer 73
Nerd 181
New York 196
Northlander 176
Occultist 182
Office Worker 62
Operator of Prototype Mk. 7 Celsius Rifle 79
Outsider 57
People of the High City 28
Pirate Captain 186
Playboy/Playgirl 62
Preacher 197
Preppy 181
Private Investigator 62
Quartermaster 186
Retinue of Followers 69
Road Agent 198
Romantic Pirate 186
Rural Middle Class 57
Rural Working Class 57
Savage Enclave 193
Scholar 62
Science Hero 194
Scientist 63
Scout 178
Secret Society of Arcane Investigators 68
Sheriff 52, 198
Small Farmstead 196
Soldier 63
Spanish 186
Starfighter Pilot 37, 190
Star Patrol 69
Street Urchin 182
Student 63
Stuntman 63
Suburban Middle Class 58
Super Strength 29, 75
Tel-Akbir, City of Thieves 177
Texas 197
Three-Feathered Runespear 79
Tomb Raider 178
Tree Cultist 73
Upper Class 58
Urban Middle Class 58
Urban Working Class 58
Vampire 77
Victorian Scholar 182
Warrior 178
Witch 74
Xenoarchaeologist 190


Key Principles of Other Worlds

Other Worlds is an elegant, dynamic new RPG designed for use in any genre. It has 3 main principles: Anything Can Be an Ability, Anything Can Be a Conflict, and The Group Owns the Setting.

Anything Can Be an Ability
Everything worth noting about a character can be articulated as an ability. Abilities can be absolutely anything – skills, attributes, relationships, goals, personality traits, magic spells, high-tech gadgets, even catchphrases and mannerisms. Further, all abilities are equal under the rules. It doesn’t matter whether your ability is an enchanted sword, prior experience in haggling with shadow elementals, or a natural sense of curiosity – if you can describe how it helps you, and what the consequences of failure might be, you can use it in a conflict.

This is important because it enables you to be as creative as you like in describing your character. There are no restrictions other than what you decide is fun – if it’s interesting enough to write down, it’s interesting enough to make into an ability. Just give it a name and an ability rating and you can start using it straight away! This is a crucial advantage for a multi-genre game because it means you can bring in any new stuff you like without having to translate it into a game mechanic – it’s just a Cyclojet 20, or Spitting Snake Technique 25, or whatever. You can immediately understand how to represent and use every possible genre element.

Anything Can Be a Conflict
The corollary to ‘Anything Can Be an Ability’ is ‘Anything Can Be a Conflict’. Whenever two players identify a potential turning point in the story, they make a simple opposed roll to determine what happens. All types of abilities and conflicts use the same rules structure and are treated equally in every respect. There are no special exceptions, rules, or modifiers other than what you decide is relevant to the scene at hand. What’s more, you get to decide what each conflict is really about, and what your character gets if he succeeds… or what he loses if he fails.

This puts the power to build up and reinforce the right atmosphere for your game in your hands. You’re in control. If you want to show the importance of a particular scene, make it a conflict. If you want to show the effects of a particular detail or ability, put a modifier on the dice roll. If you want to show the after-effects of the conflict on a particular character, give him a new ability. Other Worlds lets you tell your stories how you think they should be told.

The Group Owns the Setting
Characters don’t just come from nowhere. Part of the fun of roleplaying is not just telling stories about the protagonists, but exploring their worlds as well. Hence the name of this book: Other Worlds. That’s not to say that the focus of the game shouldn’t be on the characters, of course – just that the setting gets examined through our opportunity to watch the characters go through that world and see how they are individually affected by it.

However, in Other Worlds, you don’t just explore the setting – you own it. Our setting and character generation systems are designed to harness the creativity of the entire group when building a world to tell stories in. Everyone gets a say in designing the setting and everyone gets to add new details to it during play itself. Even if you’re playing within the constraints of a pre-existing setting or time period, the fact that you’re inventing your own templates, abilities, and characters on top of that means that you’re still making that world your own. What happens in play is therefore not dictated solely by the rules or the vision of one person but by the combined imaginations of everyone sat at the table. The players are the writers of the story, the actors of the story, and the audience of the story, all at the same time. It is our experience that this approach helps make the game more rewarding, more dramatic, more surprising, and ultimately more fun for all concerned.