Hands of Ether

Secret Hearth Publication’s flagship game of reality-warping spells, brutal and impactful combat, modular character creation, combo-like action system, and story-focused gameplay of swords, sorcery, and esoteric chaos.

In Hands of Ether's vibrant world, your table takes on the role of adventurers in a surreal land of prismatic forests, sentient clay, eldritch cyclopes, crystal dragons, swords, and sorcery.

Character creation is light and modular - with an abundant amount of lineages, skills, abilities, and spells to choose from. Skills and other abilities do a lot, but are minimal in their wording and design. Class effects, spells, and other such abilities are clearly worded, blunt, but still fluid and open to interpretation. Designed to be malleable in its mechanics, every skill and spell in Hands tells a story of its own. Hands of Ether uses a freakishly fast-paced combat system that allows for the game master and players to provide a back-and-forth dialog of attacking, guarding, countering, and casting spells.

The spells within this tome can be peculiar - like turning yourself into a coat rack, speaking to the spirits of the sea, or planting literal rumors in the form of a gossip seed. Martial combat can be powerful, too - each class has a set of skills that make them equal to each other, but still reliant on their fellow questers. Despite its ease of use, the game is designed to be especially adventurous, with death and injury as a persistent threat. This is an adventure game about true heroes, with challenging encounters and brutal repercussions that only determination and cunning can conquer.

What's Inside?

  • Complete character creation - including ten core classes, simplistic ability scores that drain to realistically capture the concept of characters becoming tired or losing power without being inconvenient.
  • Over 350 weird spells.
  • Over 300 brutal combat skills.
  • Magical mishaps for misusing the Ether - and vile eldritch corruptions which can curse and punish adventurers, warping heroes into monsters.
  • A variety of weaponry which can be used with an action economy that makes sense and feels right! Adventurers use a two-move action economy to actively counter, defend, attack, and cast spells using a series of combo-ed skills and spells!
  • Low numbers for easier play. Rolling two die at once is the rarest of circumstances in Hands of Ether.
  • A multitude of surreal monsters - fight off possessive, shadowy figures made of living oil. Face off against pale cyclopes from beyond the stars. Take on fur hags, bog trolls, wrong-elves, rot runners, and oozing necromancers.
  • Over 20 stellar pieces of surreal, evocative artwork by Madelyn Vagott, depicting Hands of Ether's twisted fairy tale world.

Character sheets are always available on SECRETHEARTH.COM.

Author(s): 
Game Type: 
Roleplaying Game
Crunch: 
3 - Mildly Crunchy
Players: 
3+
GM?: 
Yes
Free?: 
Yes
Excerpt: 

Outside the walls of settlements, a tumultuous landscape of vast and chaotic wilderness reigns.Cavernous crystal corridors connect subterranean ruins to the dens of twisted dragons. Foreboding,muted towers dot the horizon, long forgotten and filled with lurching monsters and peculiar artifacts to be plundered. Creaking, bark-encrusted giants roam the woodlands, mindless and volatile, their branched hair hanging low with intoxicating fruits. Storms of fungal spores sweep over the plains in great waves of neon mist. Vile cults in pale cloaks conspire in city sewers,determined to rectify their dead god.

Have you played it?