Monday, December 14, 2009

Hack Mania

I am so late to the party that the building that the party was in has been tore down, but I am indulging in it none the less. I'm talking about HackMaster or AD&D on steroids. My FNGS has a wall of 50% off gaming books and one shelf has a lot of HackMaster books. I read Knights of the Dinner Table when it first came out, but never followed it much. A few months back Rob gave me a few of the Bundles of Trouble and I loved them. And of course they were playing HackMaster through the series.

For whatever reason I got onto eBay and went searching. I found a HackMaster Lot of 19 new books for only $60 + $12 for the shipping. I didn't hesitate and placed my bid. Then took the list of the books in the lot to my FNGS to fill in some of the gaps. It's fun to browse, but I like shopping when I have a purpose. And with the 50% off I filled in a lot of gaps.

Lately I've been spending my free time reading up on HackMaster and loving its sarcastic tone, the gruesome artwork and the pictures that play off the old classic pictures. This game knows how to have fun. And it's a very good game. I know I've been writing a lot about Castles & Crusades and still plan to continue building adventures for it, but I gotta say Hackmaster has my interest right now.

After the New Year my group intends to play twice a week. Intends is the key word. But if it works out I will be running a HackMaster campaign and Rob will run a Swords & Wizardry campaign in his Majestic Wilderlands. We will be play testing more material for future releases.

So if there are any HackMasters out there reading this do you have any tips or suggestions when playing a campaign? And suggestions on a rule set or changing one? And/or what house rules you use that makes the game better?


  1. Let's quit yakking and get hacking. ;)

  2. I love Hackmaster! It's AD&D drunk on Jagermeister and knocking over trash cans.
    I never got to play it with anyone, but I mine the books for ideas, and atmosphere.

  3. HackMaster has been a fun read through and through. I love its attitude. I am very excited about developing a campaign. But I admit I am still learning how to make a character.

  4. I do own a copy of the Hackmaster PHB as well as one of its adventure modules. I'll say this: Hackmaster has too much inherent parody for my tastes. However, HM is a gold mine of great ideas to cut and paste into an AD&D game. I'm sure you could also ignore or excise the parody aspects, (hell, even my beloved AD&D has some parody and silliness built in) but I knew some guys who ran it "by the book" in college and they loved it.

    If absolutely nothing else, HM is a textbook example of how to take the skeleton of AD&D (or something like it) and really make it your own. One of my favorite things about HM is that the rules remind you of playing in someone's AD&D game that has twenty years of house rules and homebrew stacked onto it.

  5. thanks for this post and provoking these comments, i have to admit that i'm more attracted to the inspirations that HM provides than the actual game rules but it has always held a strange fascination.