Friday, January 16, 2009

Thoughts on Hackmaster 5e

There's a really interesting forum discussion going on with Dave Kenzer and company right now over at the Kenzer boards regarding Hackmaster 5e. I'm really apprehensive about this product. On one hand, as regular readers know, I consider the Hackmaster Game Master's Guide one of the best RPG resources ever created for my style of gaming. With Kenzer departing a bit from the delightful 1e/2e mix we saw in HM4e, I'm curious to see how the 5th looks. I think HackMaster Basic as an introductory product will definitely be something I'll at least check out, but beyond that, I don't know yet. I do know Aces & Eights was superb, and if I know if I'm going to trust anyone with humorous-yet-playable "tribute" gaming, it has to be Kenzer. But how do you go about keeping the soul and feel of a game when going a pretty different way (apparently) rules-wise?

Anyhow, check out the thread. Highlights include discussions on combat and initiative (combat sounds a little tricky, but we'll see), some interesting d12 usage, and Learn to Hack events at Gen Con (sign me up!).

Anyone out there going to consider picking up Hackmaster 5e when it's released? Why or why not?


jamused said...

We tried to play Hackmaster, most of us being fans of the comic. I think we made it through two sessions, including the one it took to roll up the characters. I think I was hoping for something that was more of a parody in actual play, perhaps with rules for faking Brian-style rules-lawyering. Instead it was just AD&D but even more fiddly.

I might look at Hackmaster Basic, but I'm not sure that I'm in the market for a new "straight" system. Savage Worlds handles pretty much everything I need in a modern-style game, and there's Labyrinth Lord and the like for Old School...

Zachary The First said...

@jamused: It'll definitely be interesting to see what sort of market it pulls from. A lot of the HM fans I know plan on continuing into 5e, but we'll just have to see how much outside pull there is.

Joseph said...

I've got all of the Hackmaster 4 books (including all of the monster books!). I find their chief use is as a supplement for my AD&D game. I don't tend to use any of the rules themselves, so much as the monsters, equipment and weapon tables, etc. I've definitely not tried to play it as-is.

I've heard such wonderful things about Aces and Eights, but the only thing holding me back is the alternate-history background. I might just suck it up and do it with a more historical background. (I'd love to run a game in the style of "Wild, Wild West"-- the tv show, not the dreadful movie.)

Olman Feelyus said...

The alt-history background in Aces & Eights is there so campaigns don't have to be restricted by things that happened in the real historical timeline.

However, that alt-history in no way blocks you from playing in the real history. You can just take it right out. It's not in the rules in any way. It is in some of the random background rolls for chargen, but you could quite easily change some of the items on those tables to fit the real world.

JohnnFour @ said...

I love HM! Never played it though. I scooped up all the HM4 books but when I approached my old group I was greeted with looks of fear and horror. I think it was the 8 point font.

I don't think I'll check out HM5, but you never know. Someday, before I die, I'll DM a wicked HM4 campaign. :)