Monthly Archives: September 2012

HackMaster and the D6 System are now FREE

Yep. You read that right. Free.

As I’ve mentioned before, KenzerCo has finally released the Player’s Handbook for HackMaster 5e. The only problem is that it frequently refers to rules in the as yet unreleased Gamemaster’s Guide. Fortunately, many of those rules are in HackMaster Basic. To help people out, K&C has released a free version of HMB that even includes a bunch of pre-generated characters, but lacks character creation rules – they wisely make you pay for those.

Up until now you could try out the new edition of the only class-based game I actually like for a mere $20 (and you probably still can at your FLGS, who may also be able to refer to others who have purchased the book so you find people to play with). Now you can try it out for free! If you like it, then you can drop your $20 to have a Player’s HandbookGamemaster’s Guide, and Hacklopedia of Beasts all rolled up in one rather portable book.

Or, if you can’t find a copy or just don’t like dead trees, you can pick up their other new version of HMB, aptly named HackMaster Basic Plus, for $10.

Back when HMB first came out they even released a free starter module, White Palette, Ivory Horns, to get new players started. Seriously, how could possibly pass, $20, $10, or even $0 for one of the most unique and engaging roleplaying games I’ve ever seen? Why are you still reading this? Go get the free version.

Oh yeah, I did mention another freebie didn’t I. 8o)

While the D6 system has never appealed to me personally, I know quite a lot of other people love it. It has a reputation for being easy to play and run, but I’ve just never been fond of using numbers of dice as attributes or of GM-determined target numbers, so it’s simply not my thing. However there was, and may still be, a Star Wars D6 weekly game running at one of our FLGSes, so obviously someone around here likes it.

I don’t know whether this a limited time promotion or the going rate since the release of OpenD6, but for now at least D6 AdventureD6 Fantasy, and D6 Space are all absolutely free in pdf form from RPG Now.

UPDATE: Thanks to Clay Gardner (creator of the roleplaying game Open Versatile Anime) on twitter, I now know that my second guess was correct: it has been free since the release of OpenD6. That begs the question, why did Roleplaying Tips suddenly make an announcement about it, thus making me think it was a new development?

Free Random Dungeon Generator

A little while ago I saw Dizzy Dragon’s free random dungeon creator mentioned on Kenzer&Co’s forums and just had to check it out. My current HackMaster 5e campaign started out as a random dungeon I built using HM4e’s random dungeon tables, so I’ve got a bit of sweet spot for such things.

With one click of the “Quick Dungeon!” button I got a fully fleshed out dungeon, complete with monsters and treasure. Then all I have to do is either stat out the monsters for GURPS or grab HackMaster Basic or the Hacklopedia of Beasts and add the critters to a new sheet in my encounter builder. So for GURPS I can be ready to go in 5 or 10 minutes, and no more than an hour or two for HackMaster 5e. An excellent time saver in either case.

Since my HackMaster campaign is an experiment in cooperative world design and has so far only used random dungeons, this is indeed a welcome addition to my toolbox.

As referenced above, it’s pretty system agnostic overall, but if you want monsters you have to specify Pathfinder, Moldvay Basic, or “Moldvay/Cook B/X  Dungeon”, whatever that means. It also prompts you for party level but that means totally different things depending on the edition of D&D you’re using – especially since some are less “zero to hero” than others.