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QueenJadisOfCharn

Hackmaster Fans?

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As usual my rpg ADD has caught up with me, and my kick this week is Hackmaster. A long time owner of 4th edition and many HackSupplements I was quick to grab Hackmaster Basic. Now I have the Hackmaster Players Handbook, essentially an expanded version of Basic, and I am wondering if we have any fans of either edition or of the settings (Tellene and Aldrazar).

I am a big fan of Greyhawk and Aldrazar both (probably my two favorite settings, I <3 old D&D stuff) but I really haven't had the chance to run Hackmaster. Right now our rpg group is on hiatus due to a divorce and some other stuff, so I'm just absorbing RPG materials to kill the time!

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As usual my rpg ADD has caught up with me,

Ya, I sometimes feel like I have AD&D ADD my self. ;)

and my kick this week is Hackmaster. A long time owner of 4th edition and many HackSupplements I was quick to grab Hackmaster Basic. Now I have the Hackmaster Players Handbook, essentially an expanded version of Basic, and I am wondering if we have any fans of either edition or of the settings (Tellene and Aldrazar).

I am a big fan of Greyhawk and Aldrazar both (probably my two favorite settings, I <3 old D&D stuff) but I really haven't had the chance to run Hackmaster. Right now our rpg group is on hiatus due to a divorce and some other stuff, so I'm just absorbing RPG materials to kill the time!

I love Hackmaster. I have quite a bit of 4th edition. I love the various monster books. To be honest, I never played them, pretty much bought them for the fun read.

As for favorite settings, I would have to go with Greyhawk and Mystara.

Rod

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Have you checked out Basic/ '5th edition'? I kind of want to adapt the counting system fo battle to my BRP game.

No, I can't say that I have. I kind of fell out of the current "non-BRP" loop when I started writing. I didn't really have the time anymore. Plus I used to be the manager of the gaming department of a hobby store. This gave me oodles of time to enjoy the new releases. Oh, well.

Rod

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I like the hack master principle that very point of characteristic is important. That led me to cobble together my favourite aftermarket damage modifier chart for BRP. I quite enjoyed the handful of episodes of the comic I read. But the game itself has too many different rules for my liking.

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I don't have the most recent Hackmaster material. The version that cloned AD&D 1-2 (and mockingly copied the art style of those books) struck me as a game that was basically an elaborate in-joke that somehow developed a life of its own. I don't even know that it was actually designed to be at all playable. It was maddeningly complex, probably needlessly so, because the Knights playing a game like that for decades (as opposed to something more sensible) must have seemed hilarious to the authors. The expansive, eight-volume "Hacklopedia of Beasts" was even jokier, with its cannibal faeries and monsters only an eight-year-old could come up with (the in-game backstory was that the author kept inserting hints he got from his child into the game).

At the same time the company was releasing a serious licensed world line for the then-new D&D 3rd Edition. It was a license they had paid good money to acquire. The Open Gaming License was in its infancy, and WOTC still dared to dream they could convince the entire industry to go over to churning out material that supported their game. It would be years before the full consequences of the Open Gaming License would come home to roost and even longer for WOTC to realize the fundamental strategic error they had made with it.

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Yup, that would be the version I have. I can't even remotely imagine playing it. Buts it sure is a great read. And I love that eight-volume "Hacklopedia of Beasts".

Rod

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Yet Hackmaster is still remember with some degree of fondness (by some, at least) while Kingdoms of Kalamar, their attempt to break into D&D for real, is remembered barely at all. In fact, I cannot remember a single distinctive feature of the setting to differentiate it from the many other generic fantasies that were going around at the time.

If there is one positive trend in the art of game design in the fifteen years since the OGL genie was let out of the bottle, it's that there is now a greater emphasis on setting flavor even for the most generic of games.

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I thought "Hackmaster" was just a spoof made up for the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book...!

Anybody know if they still publish the comic? I used to laugh out loud reading it.

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I thought "Hackmaster" was just a spoof made up for the Knights of the Dinner Table comic book...!

That's how it started. Then KOTD creator Jolly Blackburn decided to turn it into a real game. At about the same time WOTC had just acquired TSR and was going to remake D&D almost from the ground up. So Kenzer & Company, Blackburn's publisher, acquired the rights to rebrand and redistribute the rules WOTC was abandoning. The Hackmaster Player's Handbook appeared at the same GenCon as the third edition of D&D.

In 2007 the system license expired. By that time they had the resources to do a ground-up redesign using a system of their own. That revised system is the current version of Hackmaster. It is supposedly much more playable than the "original", although the presentation is still comedic (and features the Knights themselves).

I imagine that a Hackmaster +10 greatsword is still out there somewhere....

Anybody know if they still publish the comic? I used to laugh out loud reading it.

Yes, it is still being published.

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I don't remember which issue it was from, but at least once in every adventure I run when something bad happens, one of my players will shout out in fake terror "I disbelieve, I disbelieve, oh my God I disbelieve". ;D

Rod

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I don't remember which issue it was from, but at least once in every adventure I run when something bad happens, one of my players will shout out in fake terror "I disbelieve, I disbelieve, oh my God I disbelieve". ;D

Rod

Is there a mechanic in BRP for disbelieving an illusion? Or a natural system consequence for attempting to disbelieve something you think is an illusion but is actually real? What happens if you make your Disbelieve roll and find that whatever you were trying to disbelieve is still there?

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Is there a mechanic in BRP for disbelieving an illusion? Or a natural system consequence for attempting to disbelieve something you think is an illusion but is actually real? What happens if you make your Disbelieve roll and find that whatever you were trying to disbelieve is still there?

No, no, no. The true horror would be the ability to make things (or people) go away if you managed to disbelieve in them. Very Lovecraftian. =O

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No, no, no. The true horror would be the ability to make things (or people) go away if you managed to disbelieve in them. Very Lovecraftian. =O

Actually my wife and I do something similar with unfavorable weather reports. If it looks to be bad, we again chant "I disbelieve, I disbelieve, oh my God, I disbelieve". There must be some power to it as at least 50% of the time it works. :P

Rod

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Yes, page 98 of BRP. The last bullet point under Illusion.

Rod

Still, I wonder if the player makes his roll and the thing he's trying to disbelieve is still there... Does the GM have to tell the player what he has to roll? After all, if he knows he failed the roll, he might still think it's an illusion that his character failed to disbelieve. So he'll still be surprised, probably, when the non-illusory "illusion" does something untoward to him....

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Actually my wife and I do something similar with unfavorable weather reports. If it looks to be bad, we again chant "I disbelieve, I disbelieve, oh my God, I disbelieve". There must be some power to it as at least 50% of the time it works. :P

Rod

Its real world magic. Belief does have an affect on reality which is why you don't want to put energy into negative thoughts. The universe sees no difference between "I don't want to be sick" and "I want to be sick" either will make it more likely you become sick.

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Still, I wonder if the player makes his roll and the thing he's trying to disbelieve is still there... Does the GM have to tell the player what he has to roll? After all, if he knows he failed the roll, he might still think it's an illusion that his character failed to disbelieve. So he'll still be surprised, probably, when the non-illusory "illusion" does something untoward to him....

I believe that some rolls should ALWAYS be made by the game master to maintain an air of mystery. This should be one of those rolls. The player shouldn't be told that he failed or succeeded, just whether the object or creature is still there or not.

Rod

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I believe that some rolls should ALWAYS be made by the game master to maintain an air of mystery. This should be one of those rolls. The player shouldn't be told that he failed or succeeded, just whether the object or creature is still there or not.

Rod

I dealt with similar issues in the Fudge-based game I helped design by having the GM keep the target the player needed to beat secret. He would describe the effect of the action, but the PC would never know if he'd really made the roll (so that if, say, he rolled a total of 5 and needed a total of 6, he'd be lulled into a false sense of security by the knowledge that he'd rolled pretty well).

Of course, the GM would still make some rolls (especially for the NPCs) in secret.

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