Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Hackmaster Fan

I'm always on the look out for people who are eloquent at describing their love of Hackmaster, which I am very fond of. I suppose the reason for this is that lots of people ask me why Hackmaster? Why do you like that game? With a sort of unbelieving look of befuddlement on their faces. I try and explain and usually I do an okay job. I think I've done so on this very blog o' mine. But occasionally I run across an excellent quote or two that captures someone elses wisdom about why Hackmaster is so awesome. And their words ring so true to me that it also captures my own fascination with this game on levels I have yet to express.

So today I was crusing around the gaming related net and ran across The Days of Knights Forum and found a post by a fellow Hacker called BattleMage423. The thread was asking why people preferred Hackmaster over D&D. His answer was well done and quite complete really, so without further ado I quote him in full here:

D&D over Hackmaster... a classic question, lemme think. First off, in no way am I putting D&D down; I was raised on that game, it's phenomenal. Hackmaster is awesome in different ways:

-Hackmaster is more real. When you're hit with a Natural 20, more happens than just double or triple damage. Last session I ran, my cousin Ish's character was critted in the chest and was paralyzed from the neck down. Also his lung was punctured, so while he was unable to move on the ground, his throat filled up with blood and he suffocated. That kinda stuff never happens in D&D! Also you have to keep track of spell components, and they're not always easy to find. In Hackmaster, magic is displayed as it should be; an unbelievable power harnessed by individuals with great skill. Spells shouldn't be tossed out like jelly beans in a parade. There's a whole lot more to talk about on realism, but let us move on.

-Comedy. I read an article about D&D the other day saying that comedy does not belong in the realms of high fantasy. Why not!? The game is serious enough with the threat of death looming all over, so why not make that threat something cool and humorous sometimes. My brother Robbie had a -8AC and got killed by a crit to the head from a Flying Monkey because he wasn't wearing a helmet. He learned a valuable lesson from a comedic beast; always wear your helmet.

-GM versus Players. I know when you play D&D everybody is trying to have fun. Well Hackmaster is no different, but the fun comes from survival lots of the time. As GM, it is your duty to provide fair dungeons and encounters for your players, if you're a wuss. What the GM's duty is, is to truly test the mettle of your players. Make them earn every last gold piece and magical item. And make no mistake, the players won't let you budge for an instant. If a GM is ever caught bending the rules for his monsters or NPCs he can be banned from ever GMing again!

-More things include Honor being the single most important thing in the entire TeraVerse of Hackmaster. If you got it you're the man, if you don't, you're spit on, or if you have too much people and monsters are liable to smack you down a few pegs. Alignment is more enforced with a handy-dandy but EXTREMELY complicated Alignment Graph. Try smacking a begger with your Paladin in D&D and you may get away with it, do so in Hackmaster and you might as well rip up your character sheet. But perhaps most of all, Hackmaster is a spin-off of 1st Edition D&D, which was in my opinion the best edition. I'm not actually old enough to have played in it, but I did play lots of 2nd and 3rd and read up on 1st.

I could go on more and more, as I've barely scratched the surface, but I'm kinda at work and I need to do my job. But if anybody has any questions, lemme know, I'll be glad to help inform you on the greatness of Hackmaster.

-Ernie the Fourth-
HMGMA# 10097
Reaper of H.A.C.K

"Knowledge, logic, reason, and common sense serve better than a dozen rule books."

-- E. Gary Gygax

Way to go Ernie. You've captured some of my own thoughts quite admirably. Long Live Hackmaster!


William Dowie said...

Completely agreed.

William Dowie
HMGMA NY-1-02080-05

Brendan said...

Never read Hackmaster (one of these days I'll get around to it). I've also heard it has some of the best hireling and retainer rules around.

Drance said...

OK, as a Hackmaster newb, I need to ask: is there just the basic game at the moment? I need a Hackmaster primer!

Chris said...

Right now there is HM basic, but it really isn't basic. It's a complete game--everything you need to get started from levels 1 to 5. Advanced HM will go far beyond that, but the rules are the same.

In the HM Journals and the KODT issues there is enough to go to level 10 already. And the Hacklopedia of Beasts has been released. The PHB is due out very soon.

However, there is a quick start guide available on site now as well. Have fun!

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