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HackMaster Association Charter

version 4.75


I. Membership

Types of Memberships Available

Members register in either the HackMaster Player’s Association (HMPA) or the HackMaster GameMaster’s Association (HMGMA), depending on their preference and qualifications. There is a minimum age requirement of 14 to become a sanctioned GameMaster (GM), but there is no age restriction for players.

Different versions of the HMGMA and HMPA offer varying membership benefits. Refer to the HMA website for details.

Character Registration

A member may have up to three HMA-sanctioned characters in each group of which that player is a member. A member may register new characters at any time by registering on the HMA web site. Newly sanctioned characters must begin at 1st level, with a standard amount of starting equipment and money as defined in the HackMaster Player’s Handbook.

For the purpose of playing characters, GMs are treated as registered players except in regards to games they are currently running. GMs may not participate as a player in any sanctioned tournament adventure they previously read or ran.

UPS Points

UPS (Universal Point Scale) points are awarded for active participation in the HMA. UPS points are universal, meaning that there are no specific GM UPS points or player UPS points. GMs may earn UPS points for performing tasks on the player chart when they are acting in the role of a player. More information on UPS points is defined below.

II. HMA Organization


HMA Headquarters

The headquarters of the HMA is an undisclosed, secret underground lair far beneath the earth. The HMA Headquarters tracks the activities of members of the HMPA and HMGMA, including new memberships, tournament sanctioning, sanctioned characters, chapter formation, group formation and even home games. The HMA can be reached at:


Kenzer and Company
511 W. Greenwood Ave
Waukegan, IL 60087


phone: 1-847-662-6600
fax: 1-847-680-8950


e-mail for general inquiries: hma(at)kenzerco.com
e-mail for tournament submissions and requests: hmatournaments (at) kenzerco.com (see Section 400, Tournament Submissions, of the HMA Tournament Policy)

Chapters

Chapters are responsible for organizing HMA activities for their local gaming groups. By electing officers and maintaining a treasury (the HMA recommends a high tech, electronically guarded vault with cybernetic attack dogs and laser weapons to guard all chapter funds), chapters have the means to sponsor activities. These activities include coordinating Local tournaments, hosting annual Chapter tournaments, working with neighboring chapters to host Regional tournaments, and possibly even earning the privilege of hosting the coveted National tournament!

The HMA reserves the undisputed right to alter the coverage area of existing chapters in order to respond to newly formed chapters.


In order to form a chapter, you must meet the following requirements:

1. The proposed chapter must have at least three officers. Officers must be HMA (HMGMA or HMPA) members in good standing. Officers can be pro tempore (officers “for a time”) no longer than 90 days. All new chapters must have regular officers installed within 90 days of formation. All chapter officers must be willing to provide their first and last name, and at least one e-mail address, for public information.

2. The proposed chapter must have a minimum of three HMGMA members, plus nine other HMA members, all in good standing.


To remain in good standing with the HMA, each chapter must:

1. Maintain an accurate database of all its members.

2. Submit a full list of current HMA members (along with their HMA numbers) between December 1st and December 31st of each year. Current chapter officers must be named and listed with their full titles and HMA numbers.

3. Run at least four tournaments each year. HMA HQ can waive this rule on a case-by-case basis for extenuating circumstances.

4. Run a championship Chapter tournament each year.

5. Promote and recruit for the HMA.

6. Maintain a membership of at least three HMGMA members, and nine other HMA members, all in good standing.

7. All officers must be members in good standing of the HMGMA or HMPA, or be replaced within 30 days after losing good standing status. Chapter presidents must maintain full membership in the HMA.

Local Groups

Local groups lie at the very heart of the HMA. They are the backbone of HackMaster gaming and it is from their exploits that sagas are written! Such legendary groups as the Knights of the Dinner Table, the Black Hands Gaming Society, the Logan Square Assembly, Hack University, and the Unholy Alliance, have permanently left their footprints upon the road of high adventure. Can you too take up the flag of valor and the banner of honor and march alongside them? Or are you just a little wuss-monkey who brings low-fat potato chips to the gaming table?


In order to qualify as a local group:

1. One member must be a HMGMA GameMaster in good standing.

2. At least one other player (aside from the GM) must be an HMPA member in good standing.

3. The group may have non-HMA members, but it may never have more non-members than members.

4. Groups must submit a minimum of one home game report, via the HMA web site, each month. After six months of inactivity, the group will be removed from the HMA database. Furthermore, their group name may be taken by another group.


HMGMA and HMPA members may be players in any number of local groups. To form a local group, the GM must register the group on the HMA website.

III. Players

All HMPA members are ranked nationally, based on their level as a player and any UPS (Universal Point Scale) points they earned. There are seven levels through which a player can ascend – provided they meet the minimum requirements for that level, and have earned enough UPS points. Levels 6 and 7 are restricted and are available by HMA Headquarters appointment only.

In order to advance in level, a player must contact HMA Headquarters by e-mail (hma (at) kenzerco.com) and petition for advancement. HQ will review the petition and, if the player meets all the requirements for the next level, that player will be advanced. The HMA Manager may waive certain requirements, at his or her discretion, if the player has performed sufficient additional services in support of the HMA.


Player levels and their requirements are as follows. Unless otherwise stated, participation is cumulative. For example, a prospective level 3 player must have submitted at least six approved articles while either a level 1 or level 2 player. The player need not have submitted all six articles while a level 2 member.

Level 1:

Upon joining, new HMPA members automatically reach level 1. There are no other requirements. HMPA members should be warned that level 1 players have not been tested; they have not walked through the flames of virtue and lofted the banner of honor. Though they are brothers, they should receive only a minimum of responsibility until they prove themselves.

Level 2:

UPS point requirement: 20

A prospective level 2 HMPA member must be a level 1 player in good standing, and must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • played in at least one HMA-sanctioned tournament from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • organized at least one HMA-sanctioned tournament

  • run four or more new players through character generation in at least two HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events

  • submitted at least one approved article to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least two HackJournal articles

Level 3:

UPS point requirement: 100

A prospective level 3 HMPA member must be a level 2 player in good standing, and must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • played in at least three HMA-sanctioned tournaments from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • organized at least two HMA-sanctioned tournaments

  • run four or more new players through character generation in at least six HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events

  • submitted at least six approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least eight HackJournal articles

Level 4:

UPS point requirement: 500

A prospective level 4 HMPA member must be a level 3 player in good standing, and must also meet at least two of the following requirements:

  • played in at least four HMA-sanctioned tournaments, from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ and one of which must have been a Regional or higher-level tournament

  • organized at least three HMA-sanctioned tournaments, one of which must be a Chapter or higher-level tournament

  • run four or more new players through character generation in at least eight HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events

  • submitted at least eight approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least sixteen HackJournal articles

Level 5:

UPS point requirement: 1000

A prospective level 5 HMPA member must be a level 4 player in good standing, and must also meet at least two of the following requirements:

  • played in at least five HMA-sanctioned tournaments, from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ and one of which must have been a National or higher-level tournament

  • organized at least four HMA-sanctioned tournaments, two of which must be Regional or higher-level tournaments

  • run four or more new players through character generation in at least ten HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events

  • submitted at least ten approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least twenty HackJournal articles

Level 6:

Only HMA HQ appoints level 6 players. There will be no more than five level 6 players wurldwide, and they will receive Very Important Person treatment at conventions and tournaments.

Level 7:

There will only ever be a secret number of level 7 players wurldwide. The details of how such players are selected and advanced are so secret that even knowing that those details exist somewhere in some dark, hidden place puts your life in peril! FORGET THAT YOU EVEN READ THIS PART!

Level 8 and above:

Levels 8 and above are reserved for Kenzer and Company staff, and are not available to the public.

Earning Player UPS Points

UPS (Universal Point Scale) points are used as a means of comparing players and GMs. Let’s face it, if being a hero was easy then anybody could do it! There has to be some method of separating the cheesebags and chumps from the HackMasters and heroes - and the UPS system is how it’s done. Players earn UPS points as noted on Table 1A: UPS Points Activities (Player). HMA HQ may award additional points on a one-time or recurring basis for outstanding service.


Table 1A: UPS Points Activities (Player)

Point Awards


Activity

1

per home game session run1

5

being voted Tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player for the entire tournament)

5

running approved Learn To Hack character creation session for four or more new players

5

per submission written, accepted and approved for publication in HackJournal

5

per pre-generated character written, accepted and approved for the pregen bank

5

playing in a Local tournament

10

per year of membership

10

write an approved tournament round (10 pts/round for a multi-round tournament)

10

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Local tournament2

10

playing in a Chapter tournament

15

playing in a Regional tournament

20

per year as a Chapter officer3

20

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Chapter tournament2

20

playing in a National tournament

20

winning a National tournament

25

playing in a Wurld tournament

25

winning a Wurld tournament

30

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Regional tournament2

40

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round National tournament2

1Regardless of how many home games a player plays in, a player may only receive one home game point per week. Only members of an approved local group may earn these points.

2When multiple tournaments take place at a single convention or event, the organizer receives points for the highest-tiered tournament only.

3Chapters are responsible for e-mailing HMA HQ (hma@kenzerco.com) with a list of the names (and HMA numbers!) of its officers between December 1st and December 31st of each year, or their officers will not receive points for that year.


Becoming a GameMaster

Eventually, some players want to test their mettle behind a GameMaster’s Shield. The HMA strongly encourages such activity, but becoming a GM takes time and effort. A player cannot transfer his membership from HMPA to HMGMA, and retain the same membership level. All new GMs must start at level 1. A new GM may retain his former HMPA number, but no UPS points earned as a player apply towards HMGMA level.


There is only one exception to this rule: if an HMPA member in good standing has at least 20 UPS points, and meets at least one of the requirements to become a level 2 GM, he can begin his HMGMA membership as a level 2 GM (no higher) with 20 UPS points.

IV. GameMasters

There’s the elite, and then there’s the Elite. Sure, the HMA would be nothing without its players, but the players would have nothing to do without GameMasters. Take care, though, lest you recklessly and thoughtlessly enter the GM’s wurld only to find it is not what you thought. Then you would join those sad, tired souls who populate the group of Retired GMs. Often called the Loneliest Seat of All, that honored place behind the GameMaster Shield is at once a sanctuary, a resource center and a final fallback position. GMs are the final authority on their game wurlds, but that is both a blessing and a curse.

Like players, GMs advance in level by earning UPS (Universal Point Scale) points as well as meeting other requirements. There are seven levels of GM, but only the first five can be reached by normal means. HMA Headquarters appoints level 6 and 7 GMs.

Like players, a GM must contact HMA Headquarters via e-mail (hma(at)kenzerco.com) and petition for level advancement when meeting all the requirements for the next level. Be warned, though! The HMA tolerates dishonor in GMs even less than in players. The HMA Manager may decide that a GM’s contributions to the HMA warrant advancement and waive some of the requirements.

For example, if a GM writes several approved tournament adventures, but is unable to travel to run tournaments, the HMA Manager may, at his or her sole discretion, promote the GM to the next level.


GM level requirements are as follows. Unless otherwise stated, participation is cumulative. For example, a prospective level 3 GM must have run at least three HMA-sanctioned tournaments as either a level 1 or level 2 GM. The GM need not have run all three tournaments while a level 2 GM.

Level 1:

All new HMGMA members start as level 1 GameMasters.

Privileges: Level 1 GMs can serve as Head GM for Local level tournaments.

Level 2:

UPS point requirement: 20

A prospective level 2 HMGMA member must be a level 1 GM in good standing, and must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • served as table GM for at least one HMA-sanctioned tournament, from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • organized at least one HMA-sanctioned tournament

  • run four or more new players through at least two HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events, each of at least 3-4 hours in duration and from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • submitted at least one approved article to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least two HackJournal articles

Privileges: Level 2 GMs can serve as Head GM for Local and Chapter level tournaments.

Level 3:

UPS point requirement: 100

A prospective level 3 HMGMA member must be a level 2 GM in good standing, and must have served as table GM for three HMA-sanctioned tournament adventures from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ.

The prospective member must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • organized at least two HMA-sanctioned tournaments

  • run four or more new players through at least six HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events, each of at least 3-4 hours in duration and from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • submitted at least one approved tournament rounds to the HMA

  • submitted at least six approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least twelve HackJournal articles

Privileges: Level 3 GMs can serve as Head GM for Local, Chapter, and Regional level tournaments.

Level 4:

UPS point requirement: 500

A prospective level 4 HMGMA member must be a level 3 GM in good standing, and must have served as table GM for at least four HMA-sanctioned Local or higher-level tournament adventures and one HMA-sanctioned Chapter or higher-level tournament adventure, from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ.

The prospective member must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • organized at least four HMA-sanctioned tournaments, one of which must be a Chapter or higher-level tournament

  • run four or more new players through at least six HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events, each of at least 3-4 hours in duration and from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • submitted at least three approved tournament rounds to the HMA

  • submitted at least ten approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least twenty HackJournal articles

Privileges: Level 4 GMs can serve as Head GM for National and lower-level tournaments.

Level 5:

UPS point requirement: 1000

A prospective level 5 HMGMA member must be a level 4 GM in good standing, and must have served as table GM for at least ten HMA-sanctioned tournament adventures, from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ and at least two of which must have been a Regional or higher-level tournament.

The prospective member must also meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • organized at least eight HMA-sanctioned tournaments, one of which must have been a Regional or higher-level tournament

  • run four or more new players through at least twelve HMA-sanctioned “Learn to Hack” events, each of at least 3-4 hours in duration and from which results have been properly reported to HMA HQ

  • submitted at least six approved tournament rounds to the HMA

  • submitted at least twenty approved articles to the HackJournal

  • edited (mechanics or grammatical) at least forty HackJournal articles

Privileges: Level 5 GMs can serve as Head GM for Wurld or lower-level tournaments.

Level 6:

Level 6 GMs are appointed only by HMA HQ. There will be no more than five level 6 GMs wurldwide, and they will receive Very Important Person treatment at conventions and tournaments.

An intern at HMA HQ once accidentally read the Secret Internal Document detailing how the HMA selects level 6 GMs. Donations may be sent in his memory to the charity of your choice.

Level 7:

There can only be a secret number of level 7 GMs wurldwide. Don’t ask how they are selected. If the HMA revealed that information to you, you would become insane from the very knowledge! (We have.)

Level 8 and above:

Levels 8 and above are reserved for Kenzer and Company staff and are not available to the public.

Earning GM UPS Points

Sure, it would be nice if all GMs were skilled in the art of character death. We would love it if every last GM were a dark master of monster creation. Sadly, that’s not how things are. To separate the Shield Shysters from the Dungeon Doctors, we use the UPS point system. GMs earn UPS points as noted on Table 1B: UPS Points Activities (GM). HMA HQ may award additional points on a one-time or recurring basis for outstanding service.


Table 1B: UPS Points Activities (GM)

Point Awards


Activity

1

per home game session run1

1

per significant editorial contribution to published HackJournal article

5

serving as GM (table or Head) at a Local tournament3

5

running approved Learn To Hack sessions for four or more new players

5

per submission written, accepted and approved for publication in HackJournal

5

per pre-generated character written, accepted and approved for the pregen bank

10

per year of membership

10

write an approved tournament round (10 pts/round for a multi-round tournament)

10

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Local tournament2

10

serving as GM (table or Head) at a Chapter tournament3

15

serving as GM (table or Head) at a Regional tournament3

20

per year as a chapter officer4

20

serving as GM (table or Head) at a National tournament3

20

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Chapter tournament2

25

serving as GM (table or Head) at a Wurld tournament3

30

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round Regional tournament2

40

serving as convention organizer for a multi-round National tournament2

1Regardless of how many home game sessions a GM runs, a GM may only receive one home game point per week. Only members of an approved local group may earn these points.

2When multiple tournaments take place at a single convention or event, the organizer receives points for the highest-tiered tournament only.

3If running a multiple-round tournament, the GM receives these points per tournament (not per round). If running multiple single-round tournaments during one calendar day, the GM receives points for that day’s highest-tiered single-round tournament only.

4Chapters are responsible for e-mailing HMA HQ (hma(at)kenzerco.com) with a list of the names and HMA numbers of its chapter members and officers between December 1st and December 31st of each year, or their officers will not receive points for that year.

V. Serial Numbered Items

From time to time, the HMA will make available certain rare and powerful magic items. Such items receive a serial number and are tracked by the HMA. The item name, item serial number, basic powers, and owner of the item become public information available on the HMA web site. Beware, dice monkeys! Falsely creating numbered magic items is grounds for immediate expulsion from the HMA. Moreover, once you’re expelled, the real pain begins.

Items with serial numbers may be freely given away, traded or sold at the owner’s discretion. The owner is free to do so at cons, at local gaming stores, or even over the Internet via online auction sites.

Under no circumstances may a sanctioned HMA character have an artifact or relic, unless HMA HQ awarded such an item during a sanctioned tournament, in which case that player holds an actual certificate for the item. If a HackMaster module published by Kenzer and Company contains an artifact or relic, and the GM awards the item during play, that artifact is banned from sanctioned tournaments (it won't make the transition to “Garweeze Wurld Prime,” where all tournaments take place). Sanctioned HMA characters may not own multiple SNIs, although players may earn multiple SNIs over time.

See the Tournament Policy for more information on these items.

VI. Sanctioned vs. Non-Sanctioned Play

Of course, any self-respecting HMA members worth their salt should be tested in as many sanctioned HMA tournaments as possible. (The only way to become tempered is to jump into the fire.) However, since waiting for only sanctioned tournaments to play may not always be an option, the HMA awards UPS points to local groups for playing home games (see the UPS point sections above).

Sanctioned Tournament Play

Tournament play is any official HMA tournament run by an approved HMGMA member during a time approved by the HMA. This includes everything from official Local tournaments at the game store down the street, to the coveted HackMaster Wurld Championship.

Sanctioned Local Group Play

Members of officially sanctioned local groups earn points for playing home games - with some restrictions. GMs and players may only earn points for playing with a group of which they are a member. They may only earn one home game point per week, regardless of how many they participate in. Furthermore, no points will be awarded unless the HMGMA member running the game properly submits a report via the HMA web site.

Unsanctioned Play

Any other manner of HackMaster gaming is not recognized by the HMA. Whatever trials, tribulations and rewards your character received in such a shoddy, amateurish game are of no concern to us - as far as we’re concerned, it never happened. Card-carrying HMA members should be wary of such games. Why isn’t the group a sanctioned HMA group? Is the GM too unskilled to be sanctioned? Is the group ignoring the rules?

Alternatively, perhaps such an unsanctioned game is simply trying to bring new victims into the fold. In such a case, HMA members are encouraged to participate (while extolling the virtues of HackMaster, the HMA and sanctioned play).

Magic Items

Naturally, GMs in home games are going to provide magic items. If they did not, their players would rise up in protest. However, it is necessary to place limits on how much magic a sanctioned HMA character may have. Otherwise, an unscrupulous group might be tempted to cheat the system.

In order for a character to be considered legal and HMA-sanctioned, that character may not have more EPs worth of magic item than shown on Table 1C: Max EP in Magic Items (Per Character Level) below. Your GM has information on how many EPs each magic item is worth. Characters also cannot have any single item worth more than 50% of their max EP in magic items. Serial-numbered items count as zero EP for the purposes of this calculation.

Note that some magic items may not be allowed in tournament play, regardless of its EP value; see the HMA website and HMA discussion forums for details.

Table 1C: Max EP in Magic Items (Per Character Level)

Level

Max EP

1

1,000

2

2,000

3

4,000

4

6,000

5

8,000

6

10,000

7

14,000

8

18,000

9

22,000

10

26,000

11+

+4,000 EP per level

VII. Tournaments

This section has been replaced with the HMA Tournament Policy, which is also available for download from the HMA website, currently at http://www.kenzerco.com/hma/main/index.php.

VIII. Online Play

Although there is simply no substitute for sitting around a table with your gaming group and laying waste to monsters and hoarding treasure, the HMA recognizes that the modern age brings modern changes to our hobby. An HMA group does not need to be located in the same geographic area. They can register as a group and play exclusively online, only getting together in person perhaps at larger conventions. Online chapters have formed to promote interaction between online players and groups, and members can even participate in online HMA-sanctioned tournaments.

Membership

Newcomers Guide

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Resources

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HJ Submission Guidelines

Garweeze Wurld

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