Sing, Muse, of Xlu the Red, of Tyakua the Stonebound, of Elbor the Unjust. Sing of the Heroines of the First Age, of the fire at the beginning of the world.
HFA is a tabletop role-playing game about larger-than-life monsters and the dawn of civilization. HFA is the intersection between monstergirls, RPGs, and myth & legend.
- Status: Released! Available on DriveThruRPG
- Twitter Hashtag: #HFARPG
- Task Tracking: Gitlab
- Character Sheets: Direct Download
- Fun Stuff: Random Monster Generator
- Issues, Bugs, Feedback: Service Desk
- Powered by the Apocalypse
- Playtest Packet Available
- Collaborative World Building
- Variety of Archetypes: Sorceress, Soldier, Shadewalker, Outlander, Socialite, Priest, Companion
- War Moves & Epic Combat
- Equipment, upgrades, and enchantments
- Creature Portfolios and Power Pools threaten the world
Inspirational Media: Nibelinglied, Maoyusha, Wintersun, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Monster Musume, Conan the Barbarian, Beowulf, Kobayashi chi no Maid Dragon, Black God's Kiss, Everyday Life with Monstergirls, The Illiad, 12 Beast, Enuma Elish, Myth, & Legend.
We are the Heroines! Demi-humans, monsterfolk, beastmen, whatever you call us, this is our story. We have many forms, from kistune to arachne, from centaur to harpy. We stand against terrible, vengeful gods and unstoppable cosmic forces.
This is the First Age! It is the dawn of civilization. People are just coming out of the forests and caves to create towns and agriculture. Grand armies are being assembled for the first time in history. The world is fresh, new, and exciting, and there's so much of it that has never been explored before.
Lead Armies! Take command of military units and field them against your enemies, or make a stand against entire armies yourself.
Prepare for your Quest! Heroines of the First Age contains 10 Archetypes, dozens of special powers, and more Moves than even the gods can handle. Choose from more than 20 Tragic Flaws and select a panoply of equipment fit for royalty.
Discover and Build as You Go! Collaborative worldbuilding at its best! Work together to create your very own tale! Heroines of the First Age contains everything you need to craft a unique world with your friends!
HFA is the kind of game where the GM and the players collaboratively construct the specifics of the game setting at the start of play. This is detailed at the very beginning, in the Genesis chapter. Of course, the group can also decide to let the GM handle creating the game, or you can use a pregenerated setting, which we hope to produce in our Stretch Goals.
First, the group decides what the relationship between humans and demi-humans is, what the technology level is, and how magic works.
The group then goes on to describe what Power Pools are in play in their world. Power Pools are the metaphysical phenomenon that dictate the way the world works, what magic looks like, and what powers the gods might wield. But beware, Power Pools are far beyond the control of mortals; they are as treacherous as they are powerful. A number of Power Pools are provided for you to pick from, ranging from The Ink to the Everblood to the Restless Depths and the Screaming Sky.
Then the group has the opportunity to select a few gods or famous persons to populate the world with. Several names and titles are provided for inspiration, but it's up to the group to decide what they mean and where they fit in their world.
Next, the group works out a rough outline of the map, what cultures and regions exist. Regions are given descriptors and environments, and culture are described with dogmas, creation myths, and prophecies.
After the world itself is made, players create their characters. Players use a table of attributes and descriptors to create Features such as Aquatic Body, Long Ceramic Antennae, or Metal Horns. There are also some "established races" which describe the features of certain famous types of monsters. As the players make their characters, the GM asks them questions about how they fit in the world, and uses that to establish further detail in the group's lore.
Heroines of the First Age is Powered by the Apocalypse, which means it draws its mechanics and game design philosophy from the great Apocalypse World by Lumpley Games.
HFA divides the game rules between the players and the GM. The players do all the dice rolling, and the GM elaborates, narrates, and opposes the players' actions. There are no turns in HFA, instead, the entire game progresses as a conversation, where each player's action have consequences. When the player makes a mistake, the GM complicates the situation, then asks what the players do.
Most of the mechanics in HFA revolve around the things that the players can do. These are called Moves, and they're usually self-contained actions that include a condition and three outcomes: Success, Tie, and Failure. Successes give the player what they want, possibly with a bonus. Ties give the player something useful, but not as good as a Success, and Failures sometimes give the player something, but always call for "Fate to Intervene," which means that the GM makes one of their own Moves.
Player moves are separated into several groups. Basic Moves are things that anyone can do. Battle Moves revolve around physical and magical combat on a personal scale. War Moves allow players to control military units or their own characters on the battlefield. Social Moves allow characters special interactions with each other and NPCs.
Archetype Moves belong to one of several Archetypes:
- The Sorceress is a mistress of magic and creation. While their magic can be powerful in combat, often their true calling lies in grappling with the Powers and other esoteric rituals.
- The Soldier is a career warrior, usually from some organized military apparatus. Soldiers are well-coordinated and work well in teams and are also used to the harsh realities of life on the march.
- Shadewalkers are fell stalkers whose work must often be done under cover of night. They mix espionage with subtle magics, and enjoy a certain amount of notoriety for their disreputable abilities.
- The Outlander is a nomad, a ranger, a wanderer. Some Outlanders are barbarians from small tribes, while others are mountainfolk who live far from the bustle of noisy cities. Many Outlanders embrace their monstrous natures.
- Socialites are centers of much intrigue and maneuvering. Whether they are courtiers, kings, rogues, or courtesans, they are key figures in the lives of others. They are often skilled in manipulation and leadership.
- Priests lead the worship of the gods and organize the great religions. Often they take on missions to convert others or perform miracles on behalf of their gods. Priests often see the world in terms of how the gods have forged it, and why.
- The Companion is a loyal, devoted, and clever follower. They are often found in the company of great heroines and heroes, assisting them from behind the curtains or outside the limelight. Companions are often personable and friendly.
- Devourers consume things. Often, it is their hunger that drives them, though most are capable of some amount of self control. Their appetites are so vast as to be supernatural.
- Wyrdlings are curious mentalists whose psychic powers make them extraordinarily flexible. While many would prefer to stay out of the limelight, their diverse abilities make them very valuable allies.
- The Pact Mistress binds promises and vows into powerful weapons. With a keen eye for lies, a strong sense of justice, and a long memory, they are very effective at directing their allies and controlling their enemies.
Special Power Moves represent the natural abilities of a particular monster-character/race. They include things like Biteshake, Poison, Transformation, and Evil Eye.
And then there are Tragic Flaws. Every character has a Tragic Flaw, and these moves allow players to either suppress or succumb to their flaw. Flaws are core to how characters in HFA get experience.
GM moves work differently than player moves. The GM's moves don't require dice rolls. Instead, they give the GM options for complicating the situation, raising the stakes, or intensifying the action.
As the players gain experience, they can use it to pay for upgrading their stats, buying new moves, increasing their wounds or willpower, or changing their Tragic Flaw.
HFA also features 3 separate pre-written campaign settings.
Holdfast: Faction-based apocalyptic high fantasy in a world of shackled spirits, hunted gods, and reincarnated armies. This campaign setting is based on the Prophecy War campaign on Kickstarter! Get it Here!
Heroines of the Last Age: We thought we had conquered everything, until someone invented hyperspace. Get it here!
America, Land of Monsters: Terror and hilarity walk hand in hand in the US. Get it here!
Warning: This game is very pink.