Welcome to HackMaster. If you’re reading this you might be thinking,
god — yet another fantasy role-playing game?”
This is where we make our pitch.
HackMaster Basic has truly been a labor of love. We have a passion for
fantasy role-playing at Kenzer and Company. All of us here first picked
up the dice and created our first characters in the late 1970’s. And
we’ve spent the last 17 years working on role-playing products
professionally. You might say it’s in our blood. HackMaster Basic takes
the passion, know-how and attitude (more on that
attitude in a moment) from the last edition along with years of
experience garnered along the way and takes the game to the next level.
So why another fantasy role-playing game in an already crowded market?
Because not all games are created equal. And neither are
gamers. We all come to the table with our own likes and
dislikes as far as game style and play. No single game can be all
things to all players. We created HackMaster Basic with one goal
in mind — to be the game we ourselves would want to buy and
play with our friends. This is the same approach to game design that
earned us Best Game of the Year (for HackMaster 4th Edition) and Best
RPG of the Year (Aces & Eights). We happen to think
there are others out there like us. So far we’ve been right.
Now a few things about HackMaster Basic you should know.
First off what does “HackMaster Basic” mean…?
This game provides just that — the basics. Everything the GM/Players
need to run and play HackMaster for 1st through 5th level
characters. And when you’re ready to
take the next step? Advanced HackMaster picks up where HMb leaves
off. No need for conversions or changes to your characters or
campaigns, just keep on playing.
If you’re new to the HackMaster experience we welcome you. The
adventure is just beginning. And if you’re a HackMaster 4th
Edition fan coming to HMb with some concerns…? Let’s just say
that we feel HackMaster Basic is the rightful heir to the game(s) we
all cut our teeth on. We wouldn’t have put the HackMaster logo on the
cover if we didn’t feel we had met that challenge.
Okay, a brief word on HackMaster’s unique style and a bit of back
history. When HackMaster 4th Edition came out it earned something of a
reputation among some gamers as being a ‘silly’ or ‘joke’ game. A few
quickly dismissed it as being such. A pity. Fortunately tens
of thousands of gamers were able to look beyond the veneer and
recognize that there was a truly fun and unique game underneath and
quickly embraced HackMaster as their game of choice. Just to
clarify, our previous license required that HackMaster 4th Edition be a
‘parody’ and approval for HM product required a certain bit of
‘silliness’ to be sprinkled about. HackMaster Basic (and its
upcoming successor, Advanced HackMaster) are free of any such licensing
So how has that affected the new game? We reeled in and
scrubbed the game of much of the over-the-top “silly factor”. But… we
decided to keep the fun. And most importantly, the attitude. So while
game play takes itself very serious and is as rock solid as we
could possibly make it — the rules are presented with the notion, “This
is a game, it should be fun. It shouldn’t read like a text
Finally, you can run your HackMaster campaign with as much humor or
even silliness as you want. Or… you can run it deadly serious. It’s all
up to you. HackMaster Basic has been developed to support
both styles of play.
So pick up those dice and have fun.
Blackburn, David S. Kenzer and Steve Johansson The HackMaster Design