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by Mark Humphreys

O
T
H
E
R

W
O
R
L
D
S
EXPLORE
OtherWorlds 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 fnd 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 conict resolution procedure
that can handle any situation
Turn-based set piece rules to handle the more
important conicts 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 fction, superheroes, and the
wildwest
Written by MarkHumphreys
Illustrated by StornA.Cook
FAC1QQzo1
www.OtherWorldsRPG.wordpress.com
FREE PREVIEW
A MESSAGE FROM
THE AUTHOR
Tis is the free preview edition of Other
Worlds. It contains the full introduction
chapter, a rules summary, character
sheets, and an art preview. Please feel free
to distribute this PDF to anyone you like,
including prospective players, curious
relatives, and billionaire investors with
poor impulse control.
If you want to know more about Other
Worlds please visit our website at:
www.OtherWorldsRPG.wordpress.com
And if you like what you see and want
to buy a full copy of the game, in PDF or
print format, please visit our storefront at
www.RPGNow.com.
Tanks!
Mark Humphreys
WRITTEN BY
Mark Humphreys
DESIGNED BY
Mark Humphreys
with Mike Holmes
ADDITIONAL TEXT BY
Mike Holmes, Brian Isikof, and Scott Mathis
ILLUSTRATED BY
Storn A. Cook
EDITED BY
Harriet Evans
LAYOUT BY
Fred Hicks
SPECIAL THANKS
to Brian Isikof for sowing the seeds of this whole project in the frst place
PLAYTESTERS
Richard Green, Steve Jones, Paul Newland, Ben Reynolds, Ian Meachin, Eric Zimmer, Steven D.Leary,
Laura Shafer, Brian Dean Jennings, John DAmanda, Angelo Pampalone, Gioacchina Bonfglio,
AlessandroDamiano, Antonino Sansica, Francesco Minutolo, Giorgio Merigo, Dario Contardi,
ArmandaDautaj, Gianfranco Geroldi, Denys Mordred, Holly Campbell, Matthew Campbell,
RobertLionheart, Zack Smith, Jaime T. Matthew, Laurent Castellucci, Maery Morrison, Erica Glaser,
Patrick Masson, Caro Landry, Brennen Reece, Sarah Reece, Will Whatley, Jared Gullage... and valuable
non-playtest feedback from Adam Dray, Steve Young, and Alfredo Sendn Domnguez.
Copyright 2011 Mark Humphreys. All rights reserved.
A Signal 13 production
FAC 13 5201
Go to www.OtherWorldsRPG.wordpress.com for more!
CONTENTS
1
lNTRODUCTlON...3
How to Play Other Worlds . . 4
A Rules Synopsis . . . . 6
Key Principles ofOther Worlds 8
Whats in This Book . . . 10
2
WORLDBUlLDlNG..11
WhatstheSetting? . . . 12
Who Are the Characters? . . 17
What Kind of Game Will It Be? 20
Flesh Out the Characters
and Situation . . . . . 21
3
CHARACTER
GENERATlON... 23
Design the CharacterConcept 24
Invent Personal Details. . . 25
Choose Your Templates . . 28
Describe Your Individuality . . 30
Assign Ratings . . . . 32
Create Story Hooks . . . 34
Example Character:
Sheridan Heist . . . . 36
4
ABlLlTlES.... 41
Ability Types . . . . . 41
General Abilities . . . . 41
Personality Traits . . . . 44
Relationships . . . . . 44
Goals . . . . . . . 45
Flaws. . . . . . . 46
5
CHARACTERTEMPLATES 49
Using Templates . . . . 49
Archetypes . . . . . 51
Anatomy of an Archetype . . 52
Creating Your OwnArchetypes 53
Modern-Day Archetypes . . 57
Trademarks . . . . . 64
Anatomy of a Trademark . . 64
Creating Your OwnTrademarks 66
Trademark Categories . . . 67
6
SUPPORTlNGCAST..81
Creating Supporting Characters 82
Supporting Character Abilities 84
Archetypal Supporting
Characters . . . . . 85
Supporting Characters
and Conficts . . . . . 93
Developing Supporting
Characters . . . . . 95
Other Supporting Elements . 96
Supporting Characters
for the GM . . . . . 99
7
THESTRUCTURE
OF PLAY.....105
Before the Game . . . .105
During the Game . . . .106
After the Game . . . . 107
8
CONFLlCTRESOLUTlON 109
Step-by-Step
Confict Resolution . . . 110
Frame the Confict. . . . 110
Allocate Screen Time . . . 113
Calculate Your Total Rating . 114
Determine the
OppositionRating . . . .120
Determine the Winner . . .120
Count the Consequences . . 125
9
SETPlECES.... 131
When to Use a Set Piece . . 131
Frame the Overall Confict . 133
Set the Turn Structure . . . 133
Escalate or Resolve . . . 133
Perform One or More Sub-
Conficts . . . . . . 134
The Final Confrontation . . 135
10
SPOTLlGHTPOlNTS.. 139
Earning Spotlight Points . . 139
Spotlighting a Confict . . .142
Spotlighting Character
Development . . . . .144
11
PLAYlNG
OTHER WORLDS .. 147
Use Your Character . . .148
Use the Rules . . . . .149
Work Together . . . .150
Tell a Story . . . . . 151
12
THEGAMESMASTER.. 153
Bringing the
IngredientsTogether . . . 153
Story Prep . . . . . 155
Running the Session . . . 159
Confict Management . . . 163
Running Diferent Types of
Conficts . . . . . .164
Handling Special Abilities . . 167
13
ADAPTlNG
OTHER WORLDS .. 169
Establishing Genre
Character Generation . . .169
Reinforcing Genre
Confict Resolution . . . 172
Introduction to the Genre
Snapshots . . . . . 175
Genre Snapshot: Fantasy . . 175
Genre Snapshot: Horror . 180
Genre Snapshot: Pirates . . 183
Genre Snapshot:
Science Fiction . . . . 187
Genre Snapshot: Superheroes 191
Genre Snapshot: Wild West . 195
RULESSUMMARY.. 199
GLOSSARY... 202
lNDEX.... 205
1
Welcome to Other Worlds!
Other Worlds is a roleplaying game of heroic action
and adventure. It provides a framework for telling
stories populated with interesting, exciting charac-
ters set in any worlds, universes, or timelines you
can imagine. Te 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 fnd that
in Other Worlds the rules serve to emphasise the
story and increase the drama rather than getting
in their way. So, if youve ever put down a book,
switched of the TV, or left the cinema wishing you
could step through the fourth wall and explore that
world for yourself, then Other Worlds is the game
for you.
Our system of player-authored traits and descrip-
tors is designed to give you maximum freedom in
creating your own unique characters and settings
if you can imagine it, you can represent it in the
game. Moreover, our open-ended confict resolu-
tion system allows you to use those traits to focus
the drama on the scenes and issues that you want
to explore, letting everything else fade into the
background. You will fnd that characters in Other
Worlds are much more than just numbers on a
page; they are living, breathing people whose deci-
sions and beliefs are the driving force behind the
whole story. Teir fate is in your hands.
INTRODUCTION
Large ying sh (Pesce Dirigibile)
from Angelo's The World
Over the Clouds campaign.
1
AN EXERCISE IN
SHARED CREATIVITY
Communication and co-operation are the
keys to enjoying Other Worlds communi-
cation of your own preferences so that you
can get what you want, and co-operation
with the other players to make sure they can
get what they want, too. This isnt the sort of
game that has winners and losers; in fact, the
only way you can ever lose in Other Worlds
is if you dont have any fun. It doesnt really
matter whether your character becomes a
god, betrays everyone hes ever loved, or gets
squashed by a dragon as long as it makes
for a good story and an exciting game you can
count yourself as a winner.
HOW TO PLAY OTHER WORLDS
Te purpose of playing Other Worlds is to tell a
story. You and your friends will make up an inter-
esting group of characters and use them to explore
a particular story, theme, or world of your own
invention. It is rather like writing a book, or acting
in a play, except that its more immediate, more vis-
ceral, and dare we say it more fun, too!
Note that when we talk about story here, were not
necessarily talking about something with a distinct
beginning, middle, and end. A lot of this game is
really about exploration exploration of setting,
exploration of situation, and exploration of charac-
ter. Tis means that your stories can (and probably
will) wander all over the place, from strange diver-
sions and wild tangents to false starts, extended
middles, and abrupt endings. Tats fne! Dont feel
like your stories have to ft into some kind of rigid
three-act structure to be any fun.
Dont think that creating the story is the particu-
lar province of a single player, either. Tis game is
specifcally designed to give everyone the power to
drive events forward and introduce new elements
to the plot. Te story you will create together is
an organic thing; it cannot be scripted or story-
boarded, edited or controlled. Instead it will evolve
naturally from the characters you create, the set-
tings you build, and the decisions you make during
play itself.
WHAT YOU NEED
Te frst thing youll need in order to play Other
Worlds is some other people to play it with. Between
four and six people is pretty much ideal, but its pos-
sible to play with as few as two people or as many
as eight (if not more!). If you dont already have a
regular roleplaying group, then some good places
to fnd other players are local games shops, role-
playing conventions, university club noticeboards,
and (of course) the internet. Dont forget that you
can convert unsuspecting normal people too!
Everyone has at least one friend or relative whos
really interested in Tolkien or Babylon 5 or some-
thing similar. Maybe its worth asking them if theyd
like to explore these universes for themselves?
Aside from a copy of this book, you dont really
need much else to play Other Worlds. Youll need
some paper and pencils, so you can write out the
details of your characters and make notes of their
adventures. Youll need two ten-sided dice per
player, so you can quickly and easily determine the
results of any conficts that come up. And youll
need somewhere to play, preferably somewhere
comfortable and free from distractions. Turn those
televisions and stereos of right now! If its not con-
venient to play at home for some reason, its always
worth checking out local pubs, community cen-
tres, libraries, and the like most will have some
kind of function room that youll be able to book
in advance. Many games shops also operate a club
night, where youll be able to grab a table for your
own game or even join in on someone elses.
Te fnal thing you need to be able to play Other
Worlds is an active imagination. Youve already got
one of those; if you didnt, you wouldnt be read-
ing this in the frst place. Roleplaying might sound
like something weird and complicated, but it really
isnt. If youve ever made up a story, acted out a role,
or even just played cops and robbers as a child then
you already know the basics. Tis entire book is
ultimately just a way of structuring and channelling
those sorts of activities into something even better.
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A NOTE ON
PRONOUNS
In order to make our rules and play exam-
ples as clear as possible, this book uses the
male pronoun (he, his) to refer to players and
the female pronoun (she, hers) for games-
masters. Obviously, being male, female, or
a Strichnosian Technofend has no bearing
whatsoever on your ability to play or GM this
game. (Although we hear that Strichnosian
Technofends can get extremely violent when
they lose important conficts... just a friendly
warning.)
THE PLAYER
CHARACTERS
Most of the players in a game of Other Worlds will
take on the role of a player character (PC). Te
player characters are the protagonists of the story
you and your friends will tell. Tey are the focus of
the game and your window into the world you have
created. If the game is set in a fantasy world, your
character might be a famous warrior with a great
destiny, a surly dwarf chieftain looking for gold, or
a mystical sorcerer from across the sea. In a science
fction game, your character might be a brash young
starfghter pilot, a cynical bounty hunter from
another timeline, or an alien mind-reader with two
heads. Its entirely up to you to decide what kinds of
people your collective story will be about.
Each player is responsible for creating and describ-
ing his own character. We fnd it works best if
everyone does this as a group, so that you can make
sure all the characters ft in well with each other,
but its not mandatory. Your character should have
a distinct personality of his own, including goals,
strengths, weaknesses, relationships, and probably
a colourful background of some kind too. If your
character isnt interesting then the stories you tell
with him wont be interesting, either. Try to create
someone who will be not only fun for you to play
but also fun for the other players to watch.
During the game, you play the part of your char-
acter. You describe what he does, say what he says,
and at times even try to think like he thinks. It is
your job to push your character into the story
and to decide how he will react when the story
inevitably pushes back. Sometimes you must think
like an actor creating mannerisms, improvising
dialogue, and reacting appropriately to events. At
other times you will think more like an author or
a director driving the story forwards by putting
your character into interesting situations, creating
problems for him, and fnding new ways to high-
light particular aspects of his background or per-
sonality. Some players and some groups will tend to
prefer one style of playing to the other, and do that
part more often thats fne! As long as everyone is
having fun you are doing it right.
You can fnd more detailed notes on how to get the
most out of being a player by reading Chapter 11,
Playing Other Worlds, on page 147.
THE
GAMESMASTER
One of the players in the group must take the role
of the gamesmaster (GM for short). Te GM is a
diferent kind of player because she does not have
a character of her own. Instead, her job is to create
interesting circumstances and opposition for the
other players characters in order to make the over-
all story as exciting as possible. With this purpose
in mind, she will act as part actor, part referee, and
part director often all three at the same time!
While everyone else has a single character, the GM
has several. She will create and play a large vari-
ety of non-player characters (NPCs) essentially,
everyone in the world who isnt one of the player
characters. Tis includes each player characters
friends and family, their contacts and associates,
and even the people they walk past in the street.
It also includes each characters foes professional
rivals, opposing forces, and sworn enemies. Te
GM is responsible for breathing life into these char-
acters and using them to develop the story.
Te GM also acts as a kind of referee, in that her
role is to decide when to apply modifers to some-
ones dice roll, when certain abilities can be used,
and when certain kinds of consequences might
be appropriate. Tats not to say that the GM is
allowed to break the rules; the rules exist to provide
support and creative constraints for everyone, not
just the players, and its not really fair if one person
can just change them at will. Instead, the GM acts
as the interpreter of the rules deciding when to
roll, deciding when and how to modify those rolls,
and deciding what the results of each roll mean for
the story.
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Perhaps the most important function of the GM
is to act as director. Tis means keeping an eye on
the pacing of the game, making sure that things run
fast in the action sequences and run more slowly in
the exploration sequences. It means describing the
action and the scenery in an interesting and colour-
ful way that stimulates the imagination of the rest of
the group. It means protecting and supporting the
creativity of the players encouraging their eforts
to develop and show of their characters, helping
them agree on the goals and stakes of each con-
fict, and making sure that everyone gets an equal
amount of time in the spotlight. It also means act-
ing as the advocate of the story creating obstacles
for the characters to overcome, enemies for them
to defeat, and dilemmas for them to resolve.
Being the GM can be challenging at times but its a
lot of fun too! If you are interested in taking on this
role yourself, make sure to read the comprehensive
set of advice given in Chapter 12, Te Gamesmaster,
on page 153.
THE PLAY
SITUATION
What makes roleplaying games diferent from
other kinds of creative media is that you and your
friends are both the creators of the story and the
audience of the story, all at the same time. You can
use your imagination to set up exciting scenes and
make up all kinds of interesting details, characters,
and plot twists, and yet still be surprised when the
events of the story spin of in a new and unexpected
direction. It is both a creative outlet and a source of
immersive entertainment.
Tis dramatic uncertainty is achieved through the
use of dice. Most of the game is simply talking: the
GM describes the scene or acts out the part of an
NPC, the players act out the part of their own char-
acters and describe what they are trying to do, and
then the GM describes the consequences of those
actions and the cycle of play begins again. When
we get to a fashpoint in the drama, and we want
to inject a bit of suspense into the story, we will
roll dice to determine what happens next. Can our
hero convince the guards to let him into the pal-
ace, or will they raise the alarm? Can our hero jump
over the chasm and rescue the princess, or will he
fall into the middle of the snakepit? Can our hero
defeat the Baron and get his revenge, or will he too
be killed in ignominy by his own fathers murderer?
You can read more about conficts in Chapter 8,
Confict Resolution, on page 109.
GAME LENGTH
An individual game of Other Worlds is called a ses-
sion. Sessions vary in length and frequency some
groups play for a few hours one night a week, others
might play all day but only on every other weekend.
Diferent groups get into diferent play routines
depending on the needs and circumstances of the
players involved. Find a routine that works for you.
A series of one or more sessions following the same
story or incident is called an adventure. Some peo-
ple like to treat each adventure as though it were
a play or a feature flm a discrete story with a
beginning, a middle, and an end. Once they have
fnished an adventure they might never return to
those characters again, preferring instead to create
a whole new story with a whole new cast of charac-
ters. Other groups prefer to think of each adventure
as merely a single chapter in a larger ongoing story
called a campaign. Campaign play tends to resem-
ble a long-running TV series or movie franchise
in tone, following the same group of characters
through a succession of stories and adventures in
pursuit of some ultimate goal that could potentially
take years to fully resolve.
A RULES SYNOPSIS
Before you start reading about how to set up a new
game and create your characters, wed like to give
you a broad overview of how the rules of this game
work.
CHARACTERS
Each character is described in three sets of terms:
templates, abilities, and ratings.
Templates defne what the character is. Tere are
three diferent kinds of templates cultural arche-
types, professional archetypes, and trademarks.
Tese describe where a character comes from, what
he does for a living, and what makes him special,
respectively. Some examples of character templates
in a science fction game might include Citizen
of Galactarr, Deep Space Miner, and Unlicensed
Telepath.
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Abilities defne what the character can do. Tey
might be skills he has learned, personality traits
he has developed, relationships he has forged, or
anything else besides. Some of your characters
abilities will come straight from his templates, but
many others will be made up by you, the player.
You are encouraged to invent your own ability
names entirely from scratch in order to fulfl your
vision and make your character more of an indi-
vidual. Some examples of character abilities in a
modern-day espionage game might include Speak
Japanese, Curious, Loves Roberto, Chase Suspect,
and I Aint Getting in No Plane.
Ratings defne how well the character can do
something. Tey are the numbers attached to each
ability to show how useful they are in an actual con-
fict. A character with a high rating in a particular
ability is very efective at achieving things using
that method. A high ability rating might represent
a natural aptitude, a lot of training and experience,
very deeply-felt convictions, or perhaps some kind
of divine blessing. You write each abilitys rat-
ing next to its name; for example, a character in a
Tolkienesque fantasy game might have Ride Horse
25, Read Ancient Languages 30, Hate Goblins 20,
and Eagle Eye Archer 40.
CONFLICTS
When two or more participants in the game dis-
agree on what should happen next (or plain dont
know), we use a dice roll to determine the outcome.
All conficts follow the same six-step procedure:
1. FRAME THE CONFLICT
Each player describes what this particular confict
means to their character: what they are trying to
do, how they are trying to do it, and what will hap-
pen if they lose. Tis is a vitally important part of
the process because it sets the tone for everything
that happens next.
2. ALLOCATE SCREEN TIME
Once the confict has been framed, the group may
decide that the stakes of failure are not very inter-
esting after all. In such cases they may decide to just
let the action automatically succeed rather than
rolling the dice.
3. CALCULATE YOUR TOTAL RATING
If the confict is still going ahead, the player must
calculate his total rating. Tis represents his char-
acters overall chances of success in the impend-
ing dice roll. Te player uses the base rating of the
ability he is using and then adds further bonuses
for any other abilities he can use as support. For
example, a character in a pirates game might sup-
port his Cutlass Fighting ability with his Reckless
Bravery ability. Te GM might also apply additional
modifers based on circumstances, injuries, or how
appropriate the base ability is to the situation.
4. DETERMINE THE
OPPOSITION RATING
Tere are always two sides to any confict your
character, and the opposition. Sometimes the
opposition is another character in the story, in
which case the GM (or perhaps another player) will
pit that characters abilities directly against yours.
At other times the opposition will be something
inanimate, such as the height of a mountain you
are trying to climb, or the complexity of a bomb
you are trying to defuse. In those cases the GM will
simply make up an appropriate opposition rating
based on how difcult she feels the task should be.
5. DETERMINE THE WINNER
Each side now rolls a one-hundred-sided dice (or
d100, for short) and adds it to their rating. Te side
that gets the highest total wins the confict and gets
what they want. Te GM and players must now
describe what happens and who it happens to.
6. COUNT THE CONSEQUENCES
You must now count the consequences of the
confict. One or more characters may have been
changed by what has just happened the losing
side might receive a negative trait such as an injury
or faw, while the winning side might receive a new
ability as a temporary bonus.
Once the confict has been resolved, play returns
to normal. Te GM describes the scene and the
players describe what their characters are going to
do next. When you reach another potential cross-
roads in the story, you might decide to break out
the dice again and resolve it as another confict.
And so it goes: play consists of alternating periods
of narration, where the group simply describes what
happens, and periods of confict resolution, where
the group rolls dice to randomly determine what
happens.
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KEY PRINCIPLES
OF OTHER WORLDS
Our games design philosophy in Other Worlds can
be summarised in three main principles: Anything
Can Be an Ability, Anything Can Be a Confict, and
Te 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 doesnt 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 confict.
Tis is important because it enables you to be as cre-
ative as you like in describing your character. Tere
are no restrictions other than what you decide is
fun if its interesting enough to write down, its
interesting enough to make into an ability. Just give
it a name and an ability rating and you can start
using it straight away! Tis is a crucial advantage for
a multi-genre game because it means you can bring
in any new stuf you like without having to translate
it into a game mechanic its 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
Te corollary to Anything Can Be an Ability is
Anything Can Be a Confict. Whenever two play-
ers identify a potential turning point in the story,
they make a simple opposed roll to determine what
happens. All types of abilities and conficts use
the same rules structure and are treated equally
in every respect. Tere are no special exceptions,
rules, or modifers other than what you decide is
relevant to the scene at hand. Whats more, you get
to decide what each confict is really about, and
what your character gets if he succeeds... or what
he loses if he fails.
Tis puts the power to build up and reinforce the
right atmosphere for your game in your hands.
Youre in control. If you want to show the impor-
tance of a particular scene, make it a confict. If you
want to show the efects of a particular detail or
ability, put a modifer on the dice roll. If you want to
show the after-efects of the confict 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 dont 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. Tats
not to say that the focus of the game shouldnt 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 afected by it.
However, in Other Worlds, you dont just explore
the setting you own it. Our setting and character
generation systems are designed to harness the cre-
ativity 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 youre playing within the
constraints of a pre-existing setting or time period,
the fact that youre inventing your own templates,
abilities, and characters on top of that means that
youre still making that world your own. What hap-
pens in play is therefore not dictated solely by the
rules or the vision of one person but by the com-
bined imaginations of everyone sat at the table. Te
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.
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EXAMPLE OF PLAY: LEAFBLADE IN THE DARK
To give you an idea of what its like to play Other
Worlds, lets listen in on an excerpt from a fairly
typical game session set in the epic fantasy
world of Kosakia.
GM: In the darkness of the cave you can see a
body.
Mark: [Playing Leaflade, a quickling ranger
from the Jade Forest.] Hmm, OK. Ill move in a
little bit closer, holding my torch as high as I can
to illuminate the scene.
GM: OK. The body you saw is that of a dwarf.
Hes dead. Hes dressed in some kind of livery
and theres all kinds of stuf scattered on the
foor next to him an axe, a shield, a scroll case,
and a whole bunch of papers and provisions.
Mark: Cause of death?
GM: Oh, that ones easy. Hes got a great big hole
where his chest should be. Like something just
burst right out of him.
Mark: Like a rotmeat spyder, you mean? Dammit,
I really hate those guys! OK, as soon as I see that
Im going to immediately do another sweep of
the area with my torch. Im looking for any weird
shadows or signs of movement on the foor and
in the area just behind the body. I know these
things like to leap out at people from ambush.
GM: Seems clear. Apart from the occasional
drip-dripping of water from the cavern roof,
everything is deathly quiet. Whatever was here
must have moved on to somewhere else.
Mark: [Doubtful] Yeah, maybe. You said there
was a shield. I picked up Dwarf-friend as an abil-
ity after that thing we did in Magma Peak. Do I
recognise the heraldry?
GM: Yeah. Hes from King Thorgrims Citadel.
Looks like hes some kind of messenger, prob-
ably quite high up. You notice that the scroll case
has a rune of sealing on it.
Mark: Thorgrims Citadel, eh? [Mark uses his
narrative authority to invent something about
the gameworld.] Arent they those really insu-
lar guys who distrust quicklings and other fae-
linked creatures? [The GM nods his approval of
this development.]
Hmm, I wonder what this guys doing this far
south. Is it just a coincidence that he got killed
by a rotmeat spyder, or is the whole damn
Citadel infected? Maybe he was heading down
to try to get help from the Knights of Blackstone
Mountain or something?
OK, Ill use my Empathic Link to make the rest
of the group feel really curious about this place
and want to come further in. Maybe Stoneman
knows a way to read this guys message without
breaking the seal. Then, Im going to approach
the body and grab the scroll.
GM: As you kneel down you hear something drop
down behind you and unfold.
Mark: What? Oh crap, he was on the roof!
GM: Yeah. You get a split seconds notice before
he lashes out and tries to impale you with his
bony stinging talon.
Mark: Im going to just kick myself to the side
out of pure refexes, turning round and knock-
ing him away with my Ring of Repulsion as I fall.
After that Im going to run for it.
GM: Whats your total rating?
Mark: Im going to use Lightning Refexes as my
main ability, so thats 30. Im going to support
that with my Ring at +15 and, oh, Ive got Scared
of Demonkin too, so thats... 48.
GM: This guys pretty much got the drop on you
here Im going to say that the opposition rat-
ing is 60. So, if I win you get stabbed in the guts
and maybe paralysed, but if you win you knock
him away and scramble towards the exit, right?
[Mark nods.] OK, I roll... 65, thats a total of 125.
Youve got to beat that if you want to get away.
Mark: Oh man, I hope the other guys get here
soon! [Mark rolls the dice.] Right, I got...
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WHATS IN THIS BOOK
Te rest of this book contains the following
material:
CHAPTER 2: WORLDBUILDING
A step-by-step guide to setting up a new game,
from choosing a genre and determining the power
level to describing the setting and brainstorming
future adventures.
CHAPTER 3: CHARACTER
GENERATION
A fully detailed explanation of how to create an
interesting and believable character that will be fun
to play, from character concept and backstory to
individuality and story hooks.
CHAPTER 4: ABILITIES
A closer look at the diferent kinds of abilities and
how you can use them in play.
CHAPTER 5: CHARACTER
TEMPLATES
A full breakdown of the diferent kinds of arche-
types and trademarks available to your char-
acter, including a wide selection of ready-to-use
examples.
CHAPTER 6: SUPPORTING CAST
An examination of the diferent types of NPCs,
from loyal followers and innocent bystanders to
personal rivals and villainous megalomaniacs.
Includes a detailed guide to building up your own
supporting cast and over 20 fully realised example
NPCs.
CHAPTER 7: THE
STRUCTURE OF PLAY
Tis chapter is primarily intended for new players.
It gives a detailed breakdown of all the things that
can happen in a typical game session, from con-
structing in-character dialogue and exploring new
scenes to pacing the drama and identifying poten-
tial conficts.
CHAPTER 8: CONFLICT
RESOLUTION
A step-by-step guide to the process of confict reso-
lution, from describing the action and setting the
stakes to determining the winner and living with
the consequences.
CHAPTER 9: SET PIECES
Tis chapter presents a more detailed method of
confict resolution so you can give the truly impor-
tant moments of your story the extra level of atten-
tion that they undoubtedly deserve!
CHAPTER 10: SPOTLIGHT POINTS
A closer look at the whole concept of spotlight
points, showing how you can use them to direct
the action and highlight the way your character
changes over the course of the game.
CHAPTER 11: PLAYING
OTHER WORLDS
An explanation of how to get the most out of the
game as a player using the rules for best efect,
creating interesting protagonists, and working with
others to drive the story forwards.
CHAPTER 12: THE GAMESMASTER
Covers the whole process of running a game, from
challenging and supporting your players creativity
to using literary and cinematic techniques to make
your stories more dramatic.
CHAPTER 13: ADAPTING
OTHER WORLDS
Tis chapter represents a peek behind the curtain
of Other Worlds. It describes in detail how you can
use the various tools built into the game confict
framing, template creation, and thematic ability
design to build up the right atmosphere for your
own chosen genre or setting. It also includes quick-
start genre packages for fantasy, horror, pirates, sci-
ence fction, superhero and wild west games so that
you can start playing right away!
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The INFECTED
Concept: The Nazis win WW2 by infecting Britain with the zombie plague.
The survivors seal themselves into the London Underground and establish a
network of underground colonies. We begin the action in 2013, when the virus
has nally started to recede and people can once again return to the surface
world. The characters are part of a special forces unit that has been sent
out on a secret mission to rescue Prince Harry from unknown captors.
Potential antagonists: Fast cannibalistic zombies - the Infected, rogue
scavengers, anti-establishment types, infected animals like rats and dogs,
collaborators and spies, Nazi scouting parties, other foreign troops.
Grim and gritty tone. No magic or supernatural elements at all - the virus
is a scientic weapon. Anachronistic tech. Rationing. Wartime propaganda.
Power Level: 20
Archetypes: All the characters will have adapted versions of both the
Englishman and Soldier archetypes.
Trademarks: One each, representing various specialist roles within the unit -
sniper, medic, demolitions, etc
Campaign Idea:
Campaign Idea:
VIKING SAGA
Concept: The characters are viking raiders exploring a mythic,
fantastical Europe.
Dark and gritty in tone - sudden, violent death is always potentially
around the corner.
Explore ancient tombs, sites of mystical power, coastal villages, ruined
castles, shipwrecks, and haunted forests.
Here be dragons - ght against goblinmen, dragons, werewolves,
dopplegangers, faeries, and spirits of the dead.
Visionquests into the nether world.
Power Level: 20
Culture: Tribal variations on a common Viking template
Profession: Roles in the party - scout, warrior, chieftain, etc
1 Trademark: Huscarls, berserkers, animal sidekicks, magic swords,
great destinies, etc
RULES
SUMMARY
WORLDBUILDING
STEP ONE:
WHATS THE SETTING?
Decide on a broad concept and genre.
Set the tone of the game.
Fill in the details of the setting, including:
History
Geography
Technology
Magic
Factions
Conficts
STEP TWO:
WHO ARE THE CHARACTERS?
Discuss broad character concepts.
Decide on an overall power level.
Decide on number of trademarks.
STEP THREE:
WHAT KIND OF GAME WILL IT BE?
Decide on the overall length of the game.
Brainstorm potential supporting characters.
Brainstorm potential future adventures.
STEP FOUR:
FLESH OUT THE CHARACTERS
AND SITUATION
Create the player characters.
Create the supporting cast.
Create the opening scene.
CHARACTER
GENERATION
STEP ONE:
DESIGN THE
CHARACTER CONCEPT
Summarise your overall character concept.
STEP TWO:
INVENT PERSONAL DETAILS
Give your character a name.
Describe your characters appearance.
Describe your characters background.
STEP THREE:
CHOOSE YOUR TEMPLATES
Choose your characters cultural archetype.
Choose your characters professional archetype.
Choose your characters trademarks.
Personalise your characters relationships.
STEP FOUR:
DESCRIBE YOUR INDIVIDUALITY
Choose up to 8 general abilities.
Choose up to 4 personality traits.
Choose up to 4 relationships.
Choose up to 4 goals.
Choose up to 4 faws.
STEP FIVE:
ASSIGN RATINGS
All abilities start with a rating equal to the
agreed power level.
Apply a +5 bonus to 1 ability from each template.
Apply a +10 bonus to 1 individuality trait and a
+5bonus to 2 others.
Apply a -10 penalty to 1 individuality trait and a
-5penalty to 2 others.
STEP SIX:
CREATE STORY HOOKS
Describe a preliminary supporting character.
Choose a temporary prologue ability.
Collect 3 spotlight points.
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CONFLICT RESOLUTION
STEP ONE:
FRAME THE CONFLICT
Player describes his characters actions.
Player describes his goals what happens if
the character wins?
Player and GM agree the stakes what hap-
pens if the character loses?
STEP TWO:
ALLOCATE SCREEN TIME
Decides whether to roll or make it an auto-
matic success.
STEP THREE:
CALCULATE YOUR TOTAL RATING
Choose a base ability and use its full rating.
Choose a supporting ability and add 50% of its
rating.
Choose up to 2 further supporting abilities
and add 10% of their ratings.
Each assisting character may provide 1 addi-
tional supporting ability modifer.
Highest negative trait subtracts 50% of its
rating.
Other negative traits subtract 10% of their
ratings.
GM may apply context or circumstance modi-
fer of up to +/- 20.
STEP FOUR:
DETERMINE THE
OPPOSITION RATING
If the opposition is a fellow player, they calcu-
late their total rating as above.
Otherwise, the GM determines the total rating
of the opposition.
Standard = 1 x the base power level of the
game.
Challenging = 2 x the base power level of
the game.
Very Difcult = 3 x the base power level of
the game.
STEP FIVE:
DETERMINE THE WINNER
Each side rolls d100 and add their total rating
to the score.
If the scores are equal the result is a draw.
If a side wins by 1 to 9 (ones) they gain a par-
tial victory.
If a side wins by 10 to 99 (tens) they gain a
standard victory.
If a side wins by 100 (hundreds), or on a
double, they gain a critical victory.
GM describes the fnal result of the confict.
STEP SIX:
COUNT THE CONSEQUENCES
GM may apply one of the following options:
Either: The losing side gains a faw equal to
the winning sides total rating.
A partial defeat means that the faw is
only temporary.
A critical defeat means that the character
also gains a restriction.
Or: The winning side gains a temporary ability
equal to the losing sides total rating.
Any characters who provided support are also
eligible to receive consequences.
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Make sure to check original text for grayboxes!
SET PIECES
STEP ONE:
FRAME THE OVERALL CONFLICT
Player describes his characters initial actions.
Player describes his overall goal what hap-
pens if the character wins?
Player and GM agree the stakes what hap-
pens if the character loses?
STEP TWO:
SET THE TURN STRUCTURE
GM decides which side goes frst.
STEP THREE:
ESCALATE OR RESOLVE
Side A chooses to either escalate or resolve
the confict.
If he chooses to escalate, run a new sub-con-
fict as per step four below.
If he chooses to resolve, move to the fnale as
per step fve below.
Side B then makes the same choice: escalate
or resolve.
Continue alternating actions until one side
moves to resolution.
STEP FOUR:
PERFORM ONE OR MORE
SUB-CONFLICTS
Player frames the sub-confict describe
actions, goals, and stakes.
Player calculates his total rating abilities,
negative traits, and other modifers.
GM determines the opposition rating.
Both sides roll d100 and add their total ratings
to determine the winner.
GM describes the results.
The winner gets a temporary ability or the
loser gets a faw, as normal.
STEP FIVE:
THE FINAL CONFRONTATION
Resolve the fnal confrontation using the stan-
dard confict rules.
The newly generated temporary abilities and
faws should all play a part.
SPOTLIGHT POINTS
EARNING SPOTLIGHT POINTS
Each player gets 2 feedback tokens to hand
out per session.
You gain 1 spotlight point when you lose a
meaningful confict.
You gain 1 spotlight point if a supporting char-
acter you have a relationship to dies.
SPOTLIGHTING A CONFLICT
Spend 1 spotlight point to use more than
3supporting abilities in a confict.
Spend 1 spotlight point to reverse the polarity
of your dice roll.
Spend 1 spotlight point to raise the stakes of
the confict and reroll.
SPOTLIGHTING
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Spend X spotlight points to buy a new ability
(1 spotlight point per 10 rating points).
Spend 1 spotlight point to improve an existing
ability by +1 (maximum +20).
Spend 1 spotlight point to rename an existing
ability.
Spend 3 spotlight points to introduce a new
supporting character.
Spend 1 spotlight point to reduce a faw by 10
rating points.
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SUPPORTING CAST
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
Name:
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
Goals
Flaws
CULTURAL ARCHETYPE
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
TRADEMARK
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
PROFESSIONAL ARCHETYPE
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
TRADEMARK
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
INDIVIDUALITY
General Abilities
Personality Traits
Relationships
GOALS
FLAWS
TEMPORARY ABILITIES
RESTRICTIONS
Name:
Concept:
Description:
Campaign: Feedback Tokens Given: CHARACTER SHEET
SPOTLIGHT POINTS
by Mark Humphreys
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EXPLORE
OtherWorlds 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 fnd 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 conict resolution procedure
that can handle any situation
Turn-based set piece rules to handle the more
important conicts 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 fction, superheroes, and the
wildwest
Written by MarkHumphreys
Illustrated by StornA.Cook
FAC1QQzo1
www.OtherWorldsRPG.wordpress.com

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