After waiting a couple of couple of years to finally see the HackMaster Player’s Handbook (formerly “Advanced HackMaster”) published, some may have just given up and moved on to other old-school-style games. Kenzer and Company, though, is giving roleplayers a chance to see what they’re missing, making a available a free download of HackMaster Basic. Like other free introductory RPG products, HackMaster Basic lacks full character creation rules. However, within its 232 pages are numerous pregenerated characters, customization options, skill and spell lists, detailed combat rules, sample adventures, monsters, and treasures.
I had an opportunity to play their streamlined combat in a demo at their booth. It was essentially a Gladiator-esque demo and I must say that it was enough for me to want to pick up the, ironically, monster’s manual. I liked the streamlined combat a lot and hope to employ it in normal skirmish games with friends.