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01.Player's Handbook
02.HackMaster Basic (free)
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04.HackJournal #030 (PDF)
05.White Palette, Ivory Horns (PDF)
06.HackJournal #031 (PDF)
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08.HackMaster Basic (PDF)
09.In the Realm of the Elm King (PDF)
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11.Mysterious Shrine (PDF)
12.Frandor's Keep
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HackMaster
Welcome to HackMaster. If you’re reading this you might be thinking, “My 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 requirements.

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 book”.

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.

Jolly R. Blackburn, David S. Kenzer and Steve Johansson
The HackMaster Design Team

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 The Gauntlet (PDF) 
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 The Temple of Unrelenting Despair (PDF) 
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 Mysterious Shrine (PDF) 
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 White Palette, Ivory Horns (PDF) 
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