One of the ideas I am kicking around for Basic Hack 2nd Edition is a “teachable/user-friendy” character sheet. AKA – it’s game night, and you have some young’uns or new gamers to get into the game. You hand them a character sheet which both has rules to create your character but tells you how to play right from the start. Roll under this. This stat is what you use for these actions. Here are your hit points or armor or whatever.
I’ve got some draft ideas going, but it is tricky to do it without being incomprehensible.
Zachary M sent a nice note of support for the Basic Hack with a modified, printer-friendly cover in case you decide to print out the PDF. I agree that this is definitely useful, since all that red may not be super cool on the ink/toner.
Grab it here:
I’ve got a couple of fixes to the Basic Hack document that I am going to work. And I’ll be blunt – I have always been unhappy with the Bandit Wizard adventure I plugged in at the back. It was written a long time ago, so I modified it a bit for the Basic Hack but it really doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of the rules. I do have a print version in the works too, initially at LuLu. Stay tuned!
I’ve sort of been living under a hole or something, because the Black Hack and White Hack (and other variants) have basically been unknown to me. These are sort of old school versions of D&D, harkening back to some of the original fantasy games. Nostalgia is a powerful force, but some of the simplicity and wonkiness of those classic games are fun.
These new versions often add changes to keep the simplicity and streamline the game. I dig it. It means you have tons of resources that you can easily modify to work from all the variations of D&D, but you can also get playing quick and easy.
Black Hack is the chief among these.
It’s my kind of D&D-clone, using a familiar core and then going nuts in a bid for simplicity and speed. I love it. In fact, last night, I started a fantasy campaign with my kids using an even more stripped down version which I call the Basic Hack.
Here’s how it works:
- Use your six core attributes and roll under to succeed. (I like the Black Hack’s attribute generation technique to keep things balanced.)
- Pick a class. Fighters are good at fighting. Clerics can heal and turn undead. Wizards are good at casting spells. Rogues are good at sneaking and stealing.
- Pick a race. Elves can see in the dark. Dwarves can find secret doors. Humans get a +1 to an attribute of choice. (You can easily switch this up or add more complexity.)
- Hit points are standard. I gave the fighter 10 and the wizard 4. (Might want to give them more in the future.)
- For class or race features, I give them advantage on the roll per 5th Edition. Fighters always get to roll two D20s when attacking for instance.
- I’d give wizards and clerics two starting spells they can cast once per day. In a bid for simplicity, don’t worry about levels. Our wizard got sleep and magic arrow (aka magic missile). I’d give a cleric heal wounds and remove curse. The key is to pick spells that will have an impact in the story right away to make all the characters feel useful.
- Weapon damage can be standard. I like armor as written in the Black Hack to keep things simple. (Plus, teaching your kids math is a bonus.)
- No experience points, no levels. As the characters advance, give them magical items, extra hit points, new spells, or a new ability. Or let them raise another attribute.
I’ll be writing this up in a couple of pages to post on RPGNow this weekend sometime.