Sunday, September 11, 2022

Realizing I've Grown, Well at Least Changed, as a Gamer

Realizing I've Grown, Well at Least Changed, as a Gamer
Back when I was playing HackMaster 4th Edition and really trying to get to be a level 3 GM (It was a thing......and this isn't a HackMaster story/post), I was also doing HackMaster demos at game stores and trying to get interest up for some future tournaments. A common reaction when chatting players up at the store was something along the lines of, "I like HackMaster (or my group plays a mix of 1st & 2nd Edition), but my group has been playing for twenty years in my buddy's basement and none of us are interested in playing anything new/different." Even though I used to be a complete Rules As Written (RAW) single-ruleset player, well....that changed. I'd love to say that it was because I matured in some capacity, but really it was because I got the opportunity to playtest HackMaster 5th Edition.

The experience was an eye-opener for me, mostly because I wasn't involved with the early playtest, but more towards the end of the playtest development cycle.

Although I had a definite preference, I did have experience with a variety of other games, so hopefully I had some value to add to the process. There was one thing with the old in-progress rules that the Development Team were adamant about including and I was adamant was beyond effed up....as in, I will NEVER buy, much play this game if this one core mechanic is publish as-is. Lucky for me, another playtester, who agreed with my assessment, was able to vocalized exactly why that mechanic was so effed up and I think her explanation is what got that mechanic changed.

Of course if it hadn't I guess we could've house-ruled it to make sense......but remember, I was really a RAW type of guy. 

Fast forward at least a decade and I don't think my home group plays that much RAW. Our GM writes a few things and likes to run the group through his new creations. Usually things are a bit more in the polished....."about to publish" stage, but not always. Once or twice we've had to roll things back 'cause the whatever-it-was didn't work out as planned, but that was a rare. I think playing some odd mix of mostly BX with some elements that are-not-but-feel-like AD&D and these "home rules" has had me come around 180*.

This surprises even me, but I'm actually looking forward to playing my 1st Psionicist in my home group, mostly because I don't have a freakin clue how Psionics work. I think I have the rules from New Big Dragon Games Unlimited Basic Psionics Handbook, but I'm not even going to read said rules until I absolutely have to. I think I've flipped through them, but I don't recall any of it. Not having a clue will be a bit of fun, at least for a while. Eventually I'll need to know how everything works, but learning as I go along feels like fun. At least more fun than just picking up an entire new ruleset would be......

Now I'm assuming that the type of gamers we have here at the Tavern are more like the type of gamer I am now than the type I used to be back then.


  1. Chris, I was involved in the Hackmaster 5E playtest as well (from the beginning) and I'm really curious which rule you're talking about that turned you off so hard.

    Ultimately, I decided 5E wasn't for me and I continue to play 4E, so I had plenty of things in the system I disagreed with too. Just curious which one stood out to you so much!

  2. For me, it was some football analogy that rubbed me the wrong way.


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