Hackmaster

Fantasy RPG (exploding D20) by Kenzer and Company

Hackmaster is a gritty fantasy RPG that is quite special. It uses a system in which you count ‘up’ seconds in the round and each second players (and ‘other stuff’) can decide what to do. No one is ever waiting around for his/her turn, as each second the situation evolves and you can react to it. Also, both attacker and defender roll a D20 so it’s very dynamic (and a low attack roll isn’t bad when you opponent also rolls low). And it uses ‘exploding dice’, meaning that when you roll the maximum on a die, you re-roll the die and add the result (minus one). This is just about everywhere, including damage. The only exception is that when you roll 20 on 1D20, the die you roll is a D6 (but it’s also exploding).

All this makes for a very dynamic (and deadly) combat system. But, Hackmaster is a hard learning curve, and there are a lot of rules and a lot of tables. It’s one of the “grittier” systems out there. Don’t get surrounded, because you’re as good as dead in Hackmaster, even if you’re the big fighter! It’s quite litterally, the hardest system to learn that I’ve had.

Here are some things I made for Hackmaster.

HM logo