It’s being released at the end of this month, it’s $20, and less than 200 pages. It also has a cool Erol Otus cover. They’ve got a “walk through” PDF. The first page (p. 37—it’s an except from Knights of the Dinner Table #152) of which sets the scene pretty well, I think.
Aside: The old HackMaster was AD&D expanded. Since realizing that I prefered “Expert” D&D to “Advanced”, that pretty well dampened by interest in HackMaster...except as a source for looting ideas from. (Ironically, I thought Munchkin d20 was a better game whilst HackMaster was a better joke. In practice, though, I’m not sure anyone ever played Munchkin d20 whilst HackMaster has gotten a lot of play.) The license that allowed Kenzer to build HackMaster upon AD&D, however, is no more; so they’re having to build a new HackMaster.
Under 200 pages and $20 sounds awfully good to me. I’m seeing half that looks close to my current ideas of RPG design and half that seems better than tolerable. Maybe a better halfway point between the old Expert D&D and d20 System D&D than I’ve seen so far?
I definitely expect there to be things to loot for incorporation into other D&Desque games.