Thursday, April 24, 2008

I think I like where this is going.

First Book of the new edition of HackMaster: Basic HackMaster!

"The basic game will only cover a few classes and a few races and only to a limited level. It'll probably be one book with all you need but it doesn't have the variety of monsters, magic, treasure, classes, races, combat moves, crits, skills, talents, proficiencies, Qs & Fs, and so on."

Another cool item:

"Erol [Otus] will definitely do a cover. We like working with him and he us."

XP's are earned "just for killing things and completing quests and that sort of thing."

Here's a useful bit of streamling: "alignment will be more closely tied to honor. infractions won'r be tracked. they'll be deducted from honor."

"in a nutshell:
critical hits & fumbles
a skill system that actually is integrated into the game
balance between races
more balanced classes
better magic system
more combat options
streamlined rules
advice for the 21st century gamer
new monsters & races"

All quotes from David Kenzer in this thread.


  1. I've got the HM DMG and never really payed it much attention. This Basic rulesset might be neat to pick up and idea mine, maybe run a session or two just for kicks. Lots of people say its fun...of course lots of people LOVE drinking Miller Lite as well.

    The challenge will be to find players interested and dedicated enough to sit down and actually read and process the rules. Always amazes me how hard it is to actually get players to read the rules of the game they are going to play in...

  2. We tried running a session or two, and I'd say our feeling was that character creation was way too involved considering how likely the character was to survive the night. OD&D can survive being that lethal because rolling a new character is trivial.

  3. I like the honor track concept. Of course, that's reminiscent of the Humanity system from Vampire and the, well, Honor score from Oriental Adventures.

    Or maybe Karma from Marvel Superheroes, although Karma has the neat trait of being this amalgam experience point system + alignment enforcement system. I never could figure out how Wolverine leveled up in MSH, though, what with the "lose all your Karma points for killing someone" thing.

  4. Well, I'm excited. I think an "easing in" product for HM is a great idea. I hope they keep the tone of the previous HM books--I think that's what I may have liked best about them.

  5. Sounds good, but I think calling it "Basic" is a little misleading, since it sounds more like a kind of "Hackmaster Lite" than (for example) a Hackmasterized equivalent of Basic D&D, which is (to me, at least) what the title suggests.

  6. I always figured that the troublesome character creation in Hackmaster was a result of the forced jokey-ness of the material. The last time I played the game it was more about 1st Edition D&D than KoDT-style humor, though you're gonna get that either way just from the spells alone.

  7. Anonymous4:17 PM

    It seems to me that having a simplified, more accessible HackMaster would go against the very point of the game. Wasn't it supposed to be first edition D&D taken to its illogical extreme?

  8. All I know is that I doubt I'd ever have played AD&D without Moldvay's Basic books and I'm starting to doubt that I'll ever play HackMaster without a similar springboard.

  9. i have played one session so far... it is ridiculously lethal. the quick character generation rules at the beginning of the book are the only thing that make it playable, and are a pretty good idea.