HackMaster

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Zdanman
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HackMaster

Post by Zdanman »

Any fans of HackMaster on the DCC boards?

I personally have seen the Hacklopedia and it is ONE HELL of a monster book. Great resource and really flavourful. The PHB is also shaping up to be one mighty system. The new edition features new mechanics, non-static defense in combat etc. I check it out but the shipping overseas is really killer! I understand the guys from KenzerCo do not make money on the shipping and I really wish them well but...

Anyways - any fans of old or new HackMaster?
Galadrin
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Galadrin »

I was a huge fan of HackMaster 4th Edition, and even found HackMaster Basic to be a lot of fun. I have the 5th Edition PHB, but it seems to me that the game has gotten a little too dry and complicated for me. It was the great attitude and flavor that drew me to the original HackMaster, and unfortunately it seems KenzerCo has followed the advice of forum goons from across the net and toned down that attitude in the new release. It's a great, crunchy, GURPS-like vanilla fantasy engine for those who have the time to learn and teach it, but I have personally moved on. Now DCC RPG fits all my needs: it is quick and easy, thematically rich (pulp science-fantasy Appendix N oozes from every page), has rules to create awesome in-game moments (like critical hit tables, spell duels etc) and is probably the best and most useful Dungeon Master's book since the AD&D DMG.
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RevTurkey
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Re: HackMaster

Post by RevTurkey »

I tried the recent Hackmaster Basic and for me and my players it was a mixed bag.

I really liked everything about it except...

The initiative system. Looks/sounds good on paper but in play just got us frustrated.
Every time we played the players would come up with something cool they wanted to do but which, as a DM gave me a headache. It works great for ranged attacks (as in the Aces & Eights game) but it was when it came to melee things fell apart. Maybe if we had kept going with the game we might have figured it out better but after three sessions we gave up. I went and bought Castles & Crusades and we had a lot of fun with that.

The Hackmaster 'Frandors Keep' setting that I bought was brilliant. I would love to see Kenzer write for DCC Rpg but I don't expect that will happen.

The new Hacklopedia is quite a work of art, very impressive.

In the end it was sad that we abandoned the system because it had so much quality about it.
Even though the idea of a more realistic initiative system appeals, in practice we weren't keen.
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finarvyn
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Re: HackMaster

Post by finarvyn »

At one point I owned almost everything HackMaster that K&Co had put out, but over time I found I just didn't play it and so I got rid of the lot.

The problem for me was that HM wasn't really a parody but wasn't really a serious game. It was somewhere in the middle, so I never quite knew how to catigorize it.

The HM from the KoDT comics was awesome in concept but once it became translated into an AD&D clone it just seemed to weighty and didn't play the way it felt it would be in the comic. At least, that's my take on it.

I thought overall that the products were pretty decent quality, but I enjoyed the original AD&D stuff more than the HM stuff just like it. :?
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RevTurkey
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Re: HackMaster

Post by RevTurkey »

Hi Finarvyn, I presume you know that the Hackmaster Basic (what I bought) is a new system and not an AD&D clone as it used to be? (although it does have similarities)

Before I came across the DCC RPG I thought Castles & Crusades had my old school itch pretty much covered to be honest. I know you like it too. Great game. I expect I will buy the next edition/printing for sure.

Kenzer produce some very good material. The new system is not a parody game. If you were to get on with the initiative mechanics I believe it is a gem. Just not for me.
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finarvyn
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Re: HackMaster

Post by finarvyn »

RevTurkey wrote:Hi Finarvyn, I presume you know that the Hackmaster Basic (what I bought) is a new system and not an AD&D clone as it used to be? (although it does have similarities)
Yeah, I have a copy of HM Basic. Certainly better than the earlier edition, but it just doesn't jump out at me as much as C&C or DCC. And I only have a certain amount of time to play fantasy games, so I hate to split up that time too much.

Seems like it's got some potential, and Kenzer does put out some quality products, but it just didn't do it for me.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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RevTurkey
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Re: HackMaster

Post by RevTurkey »

Yes I agree. I think we have discovered the best two D&D style games with C&C and DCC for sure. I like both very much. The Siege mechanic is very intuitive and fast to rule with.

If you ever fancy a change... I can highly recommend the Triple Ace Games 'Hellfrost' setting/system for Savage Worlds. The published adventures are really top notch and my group has had a terrific time with it. We've been playing that for nearly a year now and when it winds up in the next few months I think we shall look back fondly on our adventures.

Can't wait to get stuck into DCC RPG next (with the odd game of the upcoming 'Leagues of Adventure...victorian high jinx). Some good games and stuff out at the moment. Exciting times :D
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Zdanman
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Zdanman »

I am still on the fence about Hackmaster. The Hacklopedia is totally AMAZING and I like the stuff I am hearing about the rules in the new PHB but the initiative system and the amount of crunch are putting me off. I wish someone would write a detailed review of the new PHB (some people have the PDF) for me to decide if I want it or not.
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Re: HackMaster

Post by liberator »

I love the Kenzer guys. They make some really awesome stuff. The 3 games I ordered this summer were DCC, Hackmaster and the old 1E reprints from WOTC.

DCC got here first....so...first one in! :)

I like the Hackmaster combat system with the 'count up' initiative system. Very nicely done. Also- Aces and Eights is a SOLID western RPG. Definately worth a look.
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RevTurkey
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Re: HackMaster

Post by RevTurkey »

Hi Liberator,

I am glad you got to grips and are enjoying Hackmaster. It's got a lot going for it and Kenzer produce some excellent stuff. I bought Aces & Eights for somebody to run for me. Awesome book! Look forward to that someday. As a Dm I just couldn't handle the 'count up' it was when it got to melee and people wanted to engage/disengage and do unpredictable things... I just got mixed up. It was a shame because it has so much to offer. Frandor's Keep was very good too. I hope it secures a good strong following as I liked it despite it not being for me.
Playing since about 1980
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liberator
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Re: HackMaster

Post by liberator »

RevTurkey wrote:Hi Liberator,

I am glad you got to grips and are enjoying Hackmaster. It's got a lot going for it and Kenzer produce some excellent stuff. I bought Aces & Eights for somebody to run for me. Awesome book! Look forward to that someday. As a Dm I just couldn't handle the 'count up' it was when it got to melee and people wanted to engage/disengage and do unpredictable things... I just got mixed up. It was a shame because it has so much to offer. Frandor's Keep was very good too. I hope it secures a good strong following as I liked it despite it not being for me.
Yah...the only catch is I can't really find a steady group to run A&8's or HM right now. There are almost too many new games out there (which is weird to say). Plus...I've got all my old previous editions sitting there wondering why I don't play with them anymore....
Playing: Call of Cthulhu- The Yellow Sign, Swords and Wizardry
Running: Dark Sun (2e)-Gladiators of Nibenay!, Icons- Agents of Change
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Ancalagon »

I really enjoyed HM4e several years ago.

I played in some HMb demos at Origins and overall the games were decent for showing the mechanics. I ran a demo for some of the local gamers but it didn't go over well and I did not enjoy the amount of time it took for character creation and actually GMing the game.

I wish the Kenzer folks luck with the Advanced version but I'll be sticking with C&C and DCC as my in-print games of choice.
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Re: HackMaster

Post by svaragog »

I've been playing Hackmaster for the past several years and was in an extended campaign for HMB. Once you get used to the initiative you begin to wonder why don't other games use the count up. It was a little wonky at first but over time it just "clicked" and made a heck of a lot more sense. Every game system (that I know of) uses the standard initiative modle of role dice every round to see who goes first. I liked the system overall.

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beermotor
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Re: HackMaster

Post by beermotor »

svaragog wrote:I've been playing Hackmaster for the past several years and was in an extended campaign for HMB. Once you get used to the initiative you begin to wonder why don't other games use the count up. It was a little wonky at first but over time it just "clicked" and made a heck of a lot more sense. Every game system (that I know of) uses the standard initiative modle of role dice every round to see who goes first. I liked the system overall.

Svaragog
Can you esplain the count-up system in 50 words or less? I'm just curious what it is, I like to tinker with rules.
TheNobleDrake
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Re: HackMaster

Post by TheNobleDrake »

beermotor wrote:
svaragog wrote:I've been playing Hackmaster for the past several years and was in an extended campaign for HMB. Once you get used to the initiative you begin to wonder why don't other games use the count up. It was a little wonky at first but over time it just "clicked" and made a heck of a lot more sense. Every game system (that I know of) uses the standard initiative modle of role dice every round to see who goes first. I liked the system overall.

Svaragog
Can you esplain the count-up system in 50 words or less? I'm just curious what it is, I like to tinker with rules.
Challenge Accepted:

Count up uses speeds of actions measured in counts, and an initiative roll sets your starting count. The GM starts to count at 1 and anyone whose starting count ended up being 1 can start moving and acting. Movement happens in short increments by count and attacks wait to “refresh.”

Looks like 50 words isn't quite that much detail, so here are some examples:

Movement is in 5' to 10' increments by count (so players will be watching their minis and moving as the count increases)
Attacks have speed - like 8 for a Staff (IIRC) to show how many counts to add to the one on which you first attack to determine when you will attack again (swing on 2, 10, 18, etc.)
Monsters with multiple attacks (at least at the point when I was playing) would have speeds like weapons - lets say 12 for a critter with 2 claws and a bite - but wouldn't use all their attacks on the same count. They would stagger so that the monster would claw, wait 4 counts, claw again, wait 4 counts, bite, wait for counts and repeat.
TheNobleDrake
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Re: HackMaster

Post by TheNobleDrake »

svaragog wrote:I've been playing Hackmaster for the past several years and was in an extended campaign for HMB. Once you get used to the initiative you begin to wonder why don't other games use the count up. It was a little wonky at first but over time it just "clicked" and made a heck of a lot more sense. Every game system (that I know of) uses the standard initiative modle of role dice every round to see who goes first. I liked the system overall.

Svaragog
I dig the system too, even though it pushes my tolerance level for complexity at nearly every turn.

I haven't run it since right before Frandor's Keep came out though... I couldn't figure out how to manage all the details of an encounter while everyone is jostling minis all about the table (I'd forget what the count was, or when something happened or was supposed to happen again), and didn't do well without minis either since that packed too much stuff to track on me that the players couldn't handle for me without likewise losing their minds.

Once all 3 of the core books are available, and I fit them into the budget, I plan on buying them up just because I like the quality of the books Kenzer & Co put out and might eventually put them to use.
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Rick
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Rick »

Looks like Hackmaster Basic can now be downloaded for free:

http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.ph ... cts_id=862
We want you to try HackMaster so we're letting you download the basic game for free! What have you got to lose?

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find in this free 231-page PDF:

• A combat system geared for quick, hard-hitting, dynamic action.
• 11 Ready-to-Play characters
• Knock-back rules that eliminate static “conga line of death” battles
• Penetration damage, damage reduction from armor and shields and revamped ranged combat rules, including shield 'cover'
• A combination of slot and spell point system that allows for 'straight up' mage play but at the same time allows your mage to change spells on the fly or increase a spell’s range, duration and other effects
• 70+ spells (including Skipping Betty Fireballs and Heat Seeking Fist of Thunder)
• Classic fantasy races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human) and classes (fighter, thief, mage, and cleric) for your campaign
• Five clerical classes to choose from!
• An all-new thief statistic: Luck Points!
• Quirks and flaws that transform your PC into a real character
• Building Point rules that let you customize a character to your own style (there are no ‘cookie cutter characters' here!)
• Quick-Start rules for even faster character creation
• Skills, Talents and Proficiencies (including all weapons and armor) and specialization open to every character class... for a price
• Honor tightly integrated into play and with more flexible usage
• GameMaster chapters with treasure tables, 75 monsters, magic items, tips and more
• Three adventures included so you can start gaming immediately
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Clangador »

At the end of Gary Con IV, Dave Kenzer was giving away free copies of Hackmaster Basic. I've seen the new PHB, and it strikes me as overly complex and that is not what I want in a RPG.
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Re: HackMaster

Post by VengerSatanis »

Galadrin wrote:I was a huge fan of HackMaster 4th Edition, and even found HackMaster Basic to be a lot of fun. I have the 5th Edition PHB, but it seems to me that the game has gotten a little too dry and complicated for me. It was the great attitude and flavor that drew me to the original HackMaster, and unfortunately it seems KenzerCo has followed the advice of forum goons from across the net and toned down that attitude in the new release. It's a great, crunchy, GURPS-like vanilla fantasy engine for those who have the time to learn and teach it, but I have personally moved on. Now DCC RPG fits all my needs: it is quick and easy, thematically rich (pulp science-fantasy Appendix N oozes from every page), has rules to create awesome in-game moments (like critical hit tables, spell duels etc) and is probably the best and most useful Dungeon Master's book since the AD&D DMG.
This.

VS
Guang
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Re: HackMaster

Post by Guang »

I've been looking through Hackmaster Basic, and there is one claim they make that I'm having trouble understanding how it works: They say that high level PCs can be in danger from low-level monsters. Could someone explain this please?

Thanks
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