Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Look at Hollow Earth Expedition

Now that I actually have Hollow Earth Expedition in hand (and not the two free quick starts, which are both very good introductions for the system) I must say I am really impressed.  More impressed than I have any right to be.

Savage Worlds does a lot of things right.  Once you are comfortable with the system, it most certainly does play fast and furious (I'm fairly certain Solomon Kane will be in my list of games to run in the short story arcs).

That being said, I think HEX will play even quicker.

The Ubiquity System, which HEX is built upon (and really should be released as a stand alone core system) is extremely intuitive and user friendly, at least that's what I get from it on my initial read.  The ability to take an average result for non-stressful event determination is a great time saver if used properly.

The secret is even results on a single die are a success.  Roll the number of dice you are rated at for that action (any even sided dice will do), count the even number of successes and compare it to the number of successes you needed to succeed.  The degree you succeed by or fail by will be determined by the number of even results and the target number needed.

It really is a sweet system.

It's also asking me to hack it to either high fantasy and / or space opera type sic-fi.  I must be hanging around too many game designers these days.

I think the space opera hack could be fairly simple (well, relatively simple) compared to the fantasy hack, as I don't believe there is a spell system here.  I may be able to crib the spell system from Savage Worlds for that purpose, but that may occupy more time than I have free these days.

This will definitely been in my short list of games to be run in the short story arcs.

Major thanks to Runeslinger Casting Shadows on G+ for the HEX suggestion ;)


  1. Glad you are liking it!

    HEX did come to include a few types of magic, and other games which run under licenses of Ubiquity have had them from the start.

    Desolation by Greymalkin Designs is a high fantasy setting based about 18 months after an apocalypse. It has a little of unique takes on fantasy races, and has a very challenging and robust magic system involving free form spell design and lots of flavour from the nature of magic in that world.

    All for One uses a similar magic system to HEX, but with more options and as a more intrinsic element of the seting. It also involves free form spell design, but has a very high magic feel with its reliance on ceremonial aspects of casting. Magic is hard and frowned upon by the Inquisition, but it is also very powerful in the right hands

  2. All for One: Regime Diabolique is put out by Triple Ace Games.

  3. I've run HEX a couple times and totally dig it. I'd love to play it on G+ some time...

  4. @Runeslinger - I'll have to check Desolation out soon.

    @Michael - I'll post here (and G+) when the start running the "Limited Arcs Sessions", where I use a ruleset / setting for 2-4 sessions before breaking for a bit and coming back with something else.

    I'm figuring late April at the earliest. First system is still up in the air, but HEX is certainly making a strong push ;)

  5. There is a lot of preview content on the Desolation webpage: http://desolationrpg.com/

    The game is deeper than the previews allow, but it is a good first look.


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