Sunday, February 27, 2011

What the Heck is "Old School Hack"?

I stumbled across this when I read my latest email from the fine folks at Kobold Quarterly just a few minutes ago... what exactly is the Old School Hack RPG?

I downloaded it, skimmed thru it, and can't figure out if it's an RPG, a quasi-board game... I'm kinda  confused as you can tell.  You seem to roll characters, but no more then one player per class - which is heavy handed in an rpg, but fine in a board game.

You can check it out here for free.  I need to look at this more.  Presentation is nice, just not 100% sure what is being presented ;)


  1. It's totally a roleplaying game. I've run it once at it was amazingly fun. Check out this AP: http://www.risusmonkey.com/2010/11/temple-of-hentai-old-school-hack.html

    I also recommend the OSH boards: http://www.oldschoolhack.net/

  2. Thanks RM!

    I just gave it a quick skim / virtual flip thru.

    Is this geared more for one-shots then campaign play then?

    Heck, let me just check the links ;)

  3. It served me well for a one shot but I think that it intended to play about as long as D&D Basic without the Expert set. Future versions of OSH will take characters past level 4.

    Now, I should mention that the game as written seems to encourage a very light-hearted style of play. Part of it is the humorous bits sprinkled throughout the rules. Part of it is the nature of how players award Awesome Points. Most play reports tend to agree that players reward humor more than anything else.

  4. Having ran the game once, I can say without a doubt it encourages a bit of silliness. I think it could work for long term play, but there would always be a tad of comedy naturally inherent in the game from the system. You can read my AP report here:

  5. Well I went back and read through the copy I downloaded a while back. It's crisp, clean, and well written. Features that are lacking in many roleplaying games. However, the fact that it has only four levels of advancement will limit it to mostly one-shots. If the author could expand it to 20-25 levels, a larger monster list, and perhaps a few more character options, while mantaining the clarity of style, then we'd have something wonderful.

  6. @imredave: There is a place between one-shot and campaign play that OSH would be very well-suited suited for - the mini-campaign. In our session, the PCs only spent about half their quota of awesome points, so I imagine we could swing about an 8 session series using only the current rules.

    Also, more levels (at least through 12) are planned for future releases.


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