Vampires. Fairies. Dragons. Welcome to the Hidden Worlds.
There is an entire world hidden from the consciousness of humanity. The myths and legends that haunt our histories and traditions are real. In the Hidden Worlds Refined Core, each character has experienced an incursion event in their life. This has opened their eyes to the hidden worlds, and they will have to determine how they respond.
From unique character creation to immersive storytelling, this game encourages the player to delve deep into their character’s history as it shapes their character’s life in this new hidden world before them. The players will explore the dark, hidden world of mythological monsters, dark cults, and other paranormal creatures.
The combat system is quick and deadly, where the players use only a single d20. The gamemaster has fluid control over encounters and challenges, and the target numbers are quickly, and easily generated during the story. With no character classes and no levels, the players have control over their characters, and there are virtually no limits for the players, or characters.
The Refined Core version of the game is the new core standard ruleset. All of the future releases will use the Refined Core as their basic ruleset.
No Classes. No Levels. No Limits.
Get a copy from your FLGS. If they don’t carry it, have them contact Bryan.
Unique Player Characters
Character Creation in Hidden Worlds: Incursion is an in-depth journey into the history and background of your character. The unique Career Path system allows you to define the history of your character, including education, work, current or prior significant other/marriage, current or prior children, relative wealth, and current or prior medical conditions, including wounds and scars. Combining the Career Path and the Hobby Path provide the skills available to the character at the start of the game.
This Unique system allows the creation of ANY character that the player wants. Anyone from a young street urchin to an older career scientist can be played, and can even play in the same party. At the end of Character Creation, you will understand your character, their motivation, and their history.
Yes, you read that right. This game requires a single d20 to play the game. The mechanics of the game offer a vast range of outcomes by using only a d20. Combat, skill resolution, and even NPC generation all only use d20’s. The game master might have to roll a couple d20’s together occasionally, but players will only need a single d20. And yes, this includes damage from weapons, as well.
Speaking of the game mechanics
Hidden Worlds is designed to be relatively mechanics-lite. In fact, the basic idea is simple – D20 + Skill vs. D20 + Skill, or vs. Static Check Target. While there are often modifiers added to (or subtracted from) the roll, the core mechanics stay the same throughtout the game. As befits a game with simple mechanics, there are only a couple simple charts for reference while attempting to accomplish a task.
No levels. No Limits. Character power and advancement are based on individual skills, not levels. Characters are not limited to any particular skillset. Instead, characters can advance any skill for which they have the Story Point Awards in their pool. Skills are grouped into two broad categories, Core Skills and Specializations. There are a specific number of Core Skills, and they apply in the broadest sense. There is a much larger pool of Specializations, and they cover what the Core Skills don’t. To make sure that the advancement is completely open-ended, there is no skill level cap.
What your character does during the game session determines how they advance their skills. Was your character heavy into combat during the session? Or were they negotiating with the fae for survival? What they did will help determine their advancement during the session.
There are two ways to advance in the game: by earning Story Play Awards and through Training. Story Play Awards are issued at the end of each session and may offer new skills, added skill points, or even special knowledge or equipment. The characters can also use travel time, or in-game downtime, to advance certain specific Proficiencies. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. you’ll get the hang of it.
Faith & Magic
In a world full of monsters and fae and myths become reality, there had to be a mechanism like magic. Hidden Worlds offers a Faith system that is based on the character’s belief system. What they believe and how much faith they have help determine the power and scope of their abilities.
About those abilities: The system is a COMPLETELY wide open faith ability system that allows the character to choose any ability that they want to create. The rules allow for a completely unique faith/magic user that is tailored to the character. There is no limit on what the character can do with their faith.
NPCs & Encounters
To make the system easier to run for the GM, there is a quick, easy NPC-generation tool. A few numbers, and a couple rolls of the d20, and ALL of the NPC stats can be generated. It is easy to tailor the NPC power and challenge to ANY party, even without the PC’s having levels. Even a surprise encounter is easy to generate and run for the players.
This game is designed to be as GM friendly as possible, and the NPC generation rules simply enhance that experience.
Modern Urban Fantasy
Vampires, Fairies, & Dragons. Oh My!
Whether it is a vampire nest, a fae attack, a cultist trying to summon a great old one, or even a rampant gerbilthrope attack, you character is living in a modern urban fantasy setting. And the monsters know they are there.
The setting is open enough to allow any particular flair or spin to any urban fantasy story.
Quick & Deadly Combat
We’ve all played the games where a single mid-level combat encounter has lasted for several hours. This is not that game.
The HW20 System is designed for fast-paced, story-based combat. Initiative changes every round, and the field of combat changes with every attack or movement.
The fast and fluid combat is also deadly. The difference between the attack role and defense role determines the amount of damage done in the attack, and even a minor attack can be devastating.
Most of the measurements in the ODG system are abstracted to speed up gameplay, and allow for complete theater of the mind. These measurements are instead abstracted to an exponential Curve.
For instance, when measuring distance, instead of measuring in feet, yards, or meters, a distance of “1” means “close enough to touch.” A distance of “2” means “across the room.” A distance of “3” means “next room over.” A distance of “4” means “across the yard.” And so on…
From the very start, the HW20 system was designed to be very versatile for almost any setting. Want to run a fantasy game? Have at it. How about a Lovecraftian horror game? Absolutely. What about a science fiction game? That’s an upcoming setting that we will be releasing (The Fringe Handbook).
As a GM, feel free to take your players into any setting you want–with very little trouble.