The Black Hack

Recent Activity RPG Discussion The Black Hack

This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Provinto 2 days, 12 hours ago.

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  • #1174
    Provinto
    Provinto
    Posts: 34
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    I’ve discovered not long ago The Black Hack. I went ahead and bought its second edition. It’s a pretty great price considering what you’re getting. It’s OSR, so at least @ProbieTim will like it. It’s got some nice spins on things which I really like. Although it’s tamer than the GLOG, it’s possible that I may like it more (don’t tell anyone).

    The attributes are nicely handled. 3d6 in order. If you roll a 14+ in one stat, the next one is automatically a 7 (so roll high on your charisma).

    All tests (including attacking and defending) are made by rolling under your attributes.

    In order to level up, you have to share your experiences and tell a little story about your character’s background. You don’t count XP from every little thing you kill. One of the things you can earn XP for is failing spectacularly (with the blessing of the table).

    Although it has HD and hit points, they handle Armor Class very well. There isn’t an armor class. players roll vs their Strength or Dexterity to defend against melee or ranged attacks. If they miss, the damage is rolled. They either decide to sacrifice armor or take the damage. Armor is potentially broken permanently by evading damage in this way, especially if it is stronger armor.

    I imagine that a lot of what’s in here might have been done in earlier D&D games (except for having the players roll nearly all the dice (you get to roll damage, Tim) and the armor system). The layout and the art is also really awesome. I’d suggest that if you were looking for another OSR heartbreaker, you should try this one. Once you take a look at it, you see it’s slick and intuitive. Not sure whether it’d be great for a stupendous epic campaign of 20 sessions. Maybe it would be, but I imagine it’s ideal for shorter campaigns.

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  • #1191
    whodo
    whodo
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    I’ve got the first edition of the game and definitely like the look of it, I suspect that I will (finally) give it a try for a one shot next year. I like the simplicity of the system but agree that it might not be ideal for a long campaign. One of the biggest things that I liked was the idea of the resource die, its something that I will probably port over to other systems in the future. There’s also the Indie Hack, which has meshed the system with Fate style descriptive narratives, and the big spin off of The Cthulhu Hack which I really like (again just from reading) and can’t wait to run.

    Any idea what the major differences between the first and second edition are?

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    • #1195
      Provinto
      Provinto
      Posts: 34
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      Actually no. I just got into Black Hack recently. I think the Armor system is something from additional stuff that’s been made the default armor system. Also, the Usage Die might be new. Or it’s a new name for the resource die. Every Turn/Minute you roll the Usage Die. If you roll a 1-2, the die type is slimmed (e.g. d8 > d6). A 1-2 on a d4 means the item is expended. That’s something I’m probably going to (also) use in my other games.

      The second edition has been expanded. The first 30 pages are the rules, and then there are another ~90 pages of extra stuff including monsters, some spare rules, how to handle NPC casters, equipment & economy, and a really awesome rule about light and panic (in the dark and in tight spaces).

      The Cthulhu Hack sounds interesting.

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  • #1199

    OFTHEHILLPEOPLE
    Posts: 23
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    I love the new 2e.  The whole back third of the book is one big bucket of tables for inspiration.

    The magic system is also one I appreciate.  In 2e it’s so much easier to do magic.

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  • #1201

    AndreasDavour
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    I’m a bit surprised it has become such a favourite, as I found it to be quite underwhelming.

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    • #1202

      OFTHEHILLPEOPLE
      Posts: 23
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      Did you run or play it?

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    • #1672

      AndreasDavour
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      Only read, and coming to think of it, some games really doesn’t click until you play them. Savage Worlds is one such game, so I should probably give it another chance.

      Thanks!

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  • #1207
    EricfromNJ
    EricfromNJ
    Posts: 91
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    What’s the resource die?  Is it like how a player used to roll for resources to buy something in FASERIP Marvel?

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    • #1218
      Provinto
      Provinto
      Posts: 34
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      it’s sort of an abstract way to track limited resources. Instead of saying, a torch lasts so many minutes, its Ud6. So at the beginning of every “Turn” or “Minute” (the more abstract, non-combat measurement of time) the GM rolls a d6 while it is lit. Once a 1 or a 2 is rolled, that torch now lasts Ud4, and at the beginning of every turn you roll 1d4 instead. Once a 1 or 2 is rolled on that, the torch goes out.

      The Usage die is used for Ammunition, NPC wizards’ spells, in some spells like Detect or Read Magic, and near anything that expires after either a number of uses or some amount of time.

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    • #1221

      OFTHEHILLPEOPLE
      Posts: 23
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      Right, so you could conceivably not run out of torch or food or arrows if you roll well enough.  It’s like a timer dice but for resource based problems.

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  • #1638

    askewdragon
    Posts: 7
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    Interesting. I’ve been poking around OSR materials a little bit and will have to take a look at this. I’ve got some ideas for an OSR type game inspired by the Art Tumblr Pools of Chrome, the aesthetics of Hyperlight Drifter, and idea of Numinera (not a huge fan of the system personally). I’ll have to take a look at Black Hack and see how it meshes with the vague idea I have in my head.

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  • #1681
    Kairaku
    Kairaku
    Posts: 67
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    Wouldn’t this make resource management even more intensive to administer?  You now have to remember every minute and the die type, instead of say 10 minutes

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    • #1682

      OFTHEHILLPEOPLE
      Posts: 23
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      In regards to what?  Are you talking about how Black Hack does resources?

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    • #1687
      Kairaku
      Kairaku
      Posts: 67
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      I thought that I had clarified that I was talking about how Black Hack does resources by using the words resource management?

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    • #1756
      Provinto
      Provinto
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      Time is a bit ambiguous. Moments are rounds in combat (a Round in general OSR parlance) and Minutes are rounds out of combat (an OSR Turn). So at the beginning of every Minute, the GM rolls the Usage Dice to see if a resource has run dry and whether the mage can still detect magic or whether the torch has suddenly gone out so everybody starts panicking.

      I guess whether it becomes more work depends on how one handles it.

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