18 Feb Given that, I expected Kenzer & Company’s HackMaster Basic to draw heavily on D&D Basic for inspiration. Other than its title and its cover. (4th Edition); (Basic); (5th Edition). Genre(s), fantasy. System(s), Custom, derived from AD&D system. Spun off from the Knights of the Dinner Table comic strip. HackMaster is a fantasy role-playing game produced by Kenzer & Company. It began as a. 11 Aug HackMaster Basic (free) – Congratulations! In a world where there.

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James Maliszewski February 18, at 5: Hackamster was just not basic enough for me; I will never play it, and will probably give it away to a grad student.

HackMaster Basic (free) – Kenzer & Company | HackMaster |

Charisma is largely unchanged, but it is still useful for Turning Undead, and is more important in certain styles of games. For old schoolers who prefer their fantasy a hackmasrer more “buff,” though, HackMaster Basic may be just what they’re looking for. Gone are the days of waiting around for your ‘turn’, of battling static opponents or of being anything but totally in charge of your own destiny. Its very much written with an old school mentality but with some newer rule mechanics for example all the stats have real value, even to a tank fighter and Ive always been a huge fan of the honor rules Kenzer has developed.

I guess I don’t regret buying it, for, like James here, I can respect the coherence and flavor of the game. Thieves should be on point but ready to let the fighters take the lead in combat.

I do recommend to you, though, the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting, if only as a very excellent campaign world that learned a great deal from Greyhawk and is, if I’m allowed to gush just a little, a spiritual successor to the style of Gygax’s Greyhawk with a little of Forgotten Realm’s style thrown in.

Michael says August 20, at 6: Love the time keeping battle mechanic. This is an interesting design choice that I think goes part of the way toward addressing the usual whines about old school randomness without reducing HackMaster Basic to yet another bland point-buy system.


Although you start with more HP than in 1e, keep in mind that not only do weapons penetrate explode on max numbers, but generally do double the damage of 1e weapons.


New Account or Log In. Retrieved May 13, It wasn’t originally intended to be included, but the printer did it’s runs in bunches of 16 if I remember correctly pages, and the original count came in under that. Otus copying Otus doesn’t do it for me. HackMaster Basic is not for me either, but it has many good bits and pieces, and even – dare I say it?

The problem arises with, as I keep saying, the conjunction between the cover art and the word “basic,” which naturally conjures up very different expectations in people not already plugged into the HM community and the development of the 5th edition of the game.

In the end, everyone has their own styles and play preferences and I know this isn’t for everyone, but it’s been great for our group.

I state as much when I do my reviews. A quick look at the downloadable character sheet makes the point better than I ever could. HackMaster Basic Plus This inexpensive PDF expands upon the free version with added rules, combat options, spells and advancement to 10th level.

They have generic sounding names because one of the premises of the setting is that all peoples worship the same deities, but know them by different names, and so from the high level like this, they get referred to by titles such as “The Caregiver” and “The Overlord” rather than specific names that have been applied to them. I think if more people actually tried it out preferably with some props like I did they would have different view. Speaking for myself, crunchy character creation isn’t something I look for in an old school fantasy RPG.

Developers for Kenzerco have stated on their forums that the world will not be significantly altered for HM 5th. These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Still, in the midst of an old school renaissance that’s made “rules light” or whatever other phrase we’re using these days to describe do-it-yourself gaming a singular virtue, HackMaster defiantly hoists the flag for the days when calculating the bone density of giants and arguing over terminal velocity in order to get your falling damage article published in Dragon was the cool thing to do.

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Tomb of Unspeakable Horrors S4: Mages should be kept out of melee at all costs. Click the link above to automagically teleport to a page with our bundled offerings.

How can anyone honestly review a game without playing it? Within these pages he catalogues a collection of the most varied and interesting creatures that populate the Kingdoms of Kalamar.

Best, Mark Plemmons Kenzer and Company. HM is a game of hard choices for each character. Bought this — I mean, look at that cover — and while there are some bits here and there that I found cool, I can’t see myself running a HM game without heavy modification of the standard rules. It most definitely is and it’s meant to be played straight.

Other than its title and its cover illustration, that’s not the case. Notify me of new posts by email. If something on reading it sounds awesome or butt, you generally have a good idea if its worthwhile or not. Wouldn’t things like knockbacks and trauma, to cite but two examples, have been better saved for Advanced HackMaster? In all likelihood you cut your teeth on another game system and have either picked this game up as a curiosity or plan to move to HackMaster as a temporary or permanent change of pace.

Instead of cutting some of the actual content, they took the dice chapter from HM4 and added a little to it the day the print run was to start. If I could convince our current DM to run it, I’d play it in a heartbeat. There are, for example, hackmastdr of books, movies, and TV shows that get plaudits for every corner that I simply cannot stand. It’s forward compatible with the complete hsckmaster but structured for people just getting into the game.

As portrayed there, HM was a rules-heavy, complex old school game whose players liked to out-maneuver one another — and their embittered GM — with a combination of rules lawyering and geek machismo.