Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Contemplating Hackmaster Basic

On my bookshelf, you will find numerous fantasy roleplaying games. You will find the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, AD&D 1st and 2nd editions, D&D 3.5 and yes, even 4th edition (let nobody say I didn't give it a fair shot.) Next to these, you will find Hackmaster "4th", Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st and 2nd edition, Rolemaster 2nd edition, and The Riddle of Steel. I also have Dungeons & Zombies, a fantasy supplement to the zombie horror game All Flesh Must Be Eaten. I also have two generic system games (Savage Worlds and Fudge) which have fantasy material published for them, and can be used to create a fantasy game in a pinch. Additionally, I have the PDFs for Swords & Wizardry, (Core and White Box versions) Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC 2, Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game, and Microlites d20 and '74. Needless to say, I have more fantasy games than I will ever run, and my collection seems somewhat ridiculous when you realize that most of my collection consists of some version of D&D, in particular the older editions and simulacra/derivatives thereof. (I'll be charitable and consider the new editions to be part of the family, because I'm just one hell of a guy sometimes.)If you want to roll up the various editions of games and discount the simulacra, supplements, and generic system games, that still leaves:
The D&D family, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Rolemaster, and The Riddle of Steel... four fantasy games. This seems less insane(or inane, maybe?) However, why do I need four fantasy games, and why would I need a fifth one?

Well, because...

*I'm a sucker for new game systems
*I'm a sucker for fantasy games
*I'm a sucker for anything designed in the style of "traditional/old school/whatever label you want to put on it when we all know very well what I'm talking about" style fantasy games
*I've been conditioned to buy stuff by the soulless, unsatisfying nature of modern life as I attach emotional value to inanimate objects in the absence of true, meaningful connections to my- I am a book consumer whore and I love it.
*It's twenty bucks (Although just for the basic book... I imagine a future release of Hackmaster Advanced will be at least another twenty, bringing the pricing in line with most modern core books.)
*I usually take away at least a little something, if not a lot of good ideas, from each game I acquaint myself with. I feel like being familiar with more systems makes me a better DM. It's always interesting to see how things are approached. Even if it turns out I don't like the game or I never run it, I feel that a new game book is always a worthwhile read.


  1. I pre-ordered for all the same reasons.

    In addition I don't limit myself to fantasy or "know very well what I'm talking about" style.

  2. I have more than fantasy games on my shelf, it's just that I think fantasy is probably what I have the most of. I have a few sci-fi games, some superhero games, some White Wolf stuff, and miscellaneous odds and ends. (Little Fears, In Nomine, Fireborn, etc.) Fantasy will always be my favorite, though.