Thursday, June 11, 2009

HackMaster Basic Preview

Kenzer & Company have released a PDF preview of the new edition of HackMaster on their forums, downloadable here.

Yeah, the PDF is essentially an advertisement, but you know what? This version of HackMaster sounds pretty cool to me.

I used to own most of the HackMaster rulebooks and almost really liked them. The players-versus-DM attitude kind of put me off, and the humor wasn't really my style, but I thought there were some cool ideas in it. Ultimately I thought it would probably work better as an AD&D supplement than as its own game, but I have no gameplay experience to back that snap judgment up.

Anyway, the new game certainly seems to be toning down the blatant (and formerly contractually required) goofiness while still retaining a sense of fun. I like that the mechanics are AD&D-inspired but still willing to go off in different directions - combat, especially, looks like it will be pretty interesting. I get a cool "let's take what AD&D did right, and go from there" vibe from this I haven't felt since I got into Palladium Fantasy when I was a teenager. That's exciting.

Between this and Aces & Eights, Kenzer is definitely starting to intrigue me.

(Yeah, I just preordered it.)


  1. I have a request; review some sword & planet rpgs, please.

  2. I only know of a couple and am honestly not that interested in picking either of them up. You should do it yourself.

    No, seriously!

  3. When my group first got the books all those years ago, a lot of aquaintences snubbed it, and everyone thought it was gonna be a stupid joke game. Things couldn't be further from the truth.

    Its not as easy at first, sure, but its far more complete because of it. When we got it down, 3, 3.5 and mmorp4(and we'd looked forward to that one...) just didn't stand a chance anymore.

    The flawed, barely-more-than-the-average-soldier characters don't start off as heroes. The characters GET their adventuring childhood (as well as rolling a few things of their ACTUAL childhood), and you get that much more attached to them for it.

    In 20 years of gaming, the only time I've seen a grown man cry was in our 67th session of hackmaster campaign. All because we'd found enough of his character's remains to resurect him at a temple.