16 June 2009

HackMaster Basic

So, a post by Jeff sent me straight to the Kenzer web site to check on the progress of HackMaster Basic.

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.


Matthew James Stanham said...

I dunno; although I have been reading KotDT for about seventy odd issues, I was never enamoured of Hack Master itself. When I read in the preview the restated "I dunno about you but I can hide and sneak and I am not a thief, so too can your Hack Master characters!" I felt an immediate disconnect with the writing. I probably will not buy into Hack Master, though I kind of like that it exists...

Robert Fisher said...

Considering there was I time I might have said the same thing, I can’t really hold that line against HMb.

Matthew James Stanham said...

I think that is rather the point in this case; they are in a position to know better, and yet we see that same old error repeated to an audience that includes folk new and old to the hobby. That is not to say that I hold it that thought against Hack Master itself, but it does feel to me like we are crying against the wind when a publisher like Kenzer & Company choose to take such a stance.

In a word, I find it frustrating.

Robert Fisher said...

Yeah. I see what you mean.