Thursday, April 5, 2012

If Hackmaster 5e Can Do IT, Why Can't Eldritch Ent.?

I'm looking through my many copies of Hackmaster Basic and I'm realizing the following:

1 - The new Hackmaster is no longer running off of the AD&D 2e license they previously used

2 - The new Hackmaster is not using the OGL

3 - The new Hackmaster is using Level (as a number, not a %), Hit Dice, Hit Points and Defense (for AC, as a number, not a %)

Hackmaster is obviously derived from, and compatible on some level with, the various edition and clones of (A)D&D.  I guess they went the Copyright route with their game terms and numbers.

Did Eldritch Ent. really need to use Power (as a %), Health and Defense (as a %).  Did they even have to use %'s at all?

Strangely enough, both games include an initiative modifier.

I'd assume since Hackmaster Basic is copyright 2009 and it wasn't apparently challenged (and Hackmaster Advanced is to be released shortly) by WotC that they filed off just the right parts of the serial numbers.

Are there any other games closely derived from (A)D&D that have gone the copyright route and avoided the OGL?


  1. Palladium still uses hit points, saving throws, class, level, experience points, alignment, weapon proficiencies...

    Why the heck not?

  2. Fight on! does fine, with a few generic, clearly derivative terms.

    And Guy Fullerton's Chaotic Henchmen modules are AD&D compatible, without using the OGL.

    To be fair, though, from what I understand, the Hackmaster dude is an actual IP Lawyer and knows what he can get away with.

    I'm fine with the approach in FO!, or Mr. Raggi's non-ogl work.

  3. Also Hackmaster Basic/5e is clearly it's own game and so is Palladium. And copyright doesn't extend to the concepts of game mechanics.

  4. Plus, Dave Kenzer is a copyright lawyer. WotC won't go near that.

  5. Dave Kenzer being a Copyright Lawyer might have something to do with WotC not touching him.


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