Monday, August 13, 2012

Hackmaster Basic is Now Free in PDF

I wish I knew if this lined up with the print version of Hackmaster Basic or not - I bought 5 (actually they sent 6) copies when they had their 5 for 25 deal a while back. Meant to give copies out to my old group, but the time was never right and they are packed into storage.

This is the Next Edition of Hackmaster - their 5e if you will (as they started with 4e designation). It is not a system I am comfortable with myself. To my eyes it's more of a D&D / GURPS mash-up, which may be the ideal system for some but isn't the ideal system for me.

That being said, the buy in costs nothing and even includes 3 adventures in the rulebook to get you started.

Give it a shot - you might like it... if nothing else the cover rocks!

From the blurb:

Congratulations! In a world where there is no shortage of mediocre games, you’ve managed to find one of the true gems. Designed from the ground up to be played at a table with real life friends, this hard-hitting, old-school game makes no qualms about its heritage. This is the way role playing games were meant to be played and we present to you the best of breed.

This version of the game is 'basic' only in that it serves as a gateway to the dynamic thrill of the HackMaster game. Gone are the days of waiting around for your 'turn', of battling static opponents or of being anything but totally in charge of your own destiny.

We want you to try HackMaster so we're letting you download the basic game for free! What have you got to lose?

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find in this free 231-page PDF:

• A combat system geared for quick, hard-hitting, dynamic action.
• 11 Ready-to-Play characters
• Knock-back rules that eliminate static “conga line of death” battles
• Penetration damage, damage reduction from armor and shields and revamped ranged combat rules, including shield 'cover'
• A combination of slot and spell point system that allows for 'straight up' mage play but at the same time allows your mage to change spells on the fly or increase a spell’s range, duration and other effects
• 70+ spells (including Skipping Betty Fireballs and Heat Seeking Fist of Thunder)
• Classic fantasy races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human) and classes (fighter, thief, mage, and cleric) for your campaign
• Five clerical classes to choose from!
• An all-new thief statistic: Luck Points!
• Quirks and flaws that transform your PC into a real character
• Building Point rules that let you customize a character to your own style (there are no ‘cookie cutter characters' here!)
• Quick-Start rules for even faster character creation 
• Skills, Talents and Proficiencies (including all weapons and armor) and specialization open to every character class... for a price
• Honor tightly integrated into play and with more flexible usage
• GameMaster chapters with treasure tables, 75 monsters, magic items, tips and more
• Three adventures included so you can start gaming immediately


  1. They're doing this because the full new Player's Handbook was released last week.

  2. I had no idea - still, a good way to try before you buy

  3. The new free version of Hackmaster Basic they just released has been changed so that it matches the new Player's Handbook. They didn't overhaul anything so much as refine, I am guessing. It sucks if a person has bought the Hackmaster Basic book or PDF, but these are sunk costs, and it is nice to have the Basic Game match the Player's Handbook in certain areas.


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