Publisher: Gold Piece Publications
Engine: Heavily-modified OSR (B/X)
I learned the rules for The Black Hack in fifteen minutes as I was working on a review for The Wasted Hack, so that I could be sure I knew what was original Black Hack material, and what was Wasted Hack-specific. That includes the time it took me to get them, as they are readily available online.
Fifteen Minutes. And I read it twice. In the Second Edition the rules are less than 30 pages of the 126 pages of the corebook. And that is with some options and detailed refinements. This is an extremely easy and fast version of the B/X line of Dungeons and Dragons that has been modded to about as light as it can be while still being recognizable to its source material.
Here is the short list of the changes over D&D included in The Black Hack:
- All rolls are a d20 under an ability score.
- If an attribute is rolled at 15+, the next one is rolled using 2d6+2.
- Character generation includes a single swap between scores.
- Penalties are levied when enemies have more HD than the player character.
- All other mitigating circumstances on a roll are expressed using Advantage and Disadvantage.
- Your class' most important attributes have a chance of going up when leveling.
- Armour absorbs a limited amount of damage each day.
- Encumbrance is handled through slots based on STR.
- Resources are tracked with usage dice.
- When characters reach 0hp they roll on a death & dismemberment table.
- Levelling up is handled by milestones.
- Spells are handled by rolling under INT or WIS. Casters may cast any spell they know, and use up spell slots when they fail spell rolls.
- Random encounters are rolled based on real session time instead of in-game time.
- Monster armor and damage is based on HD.
- Monster attack rolls are replaced with player-facing defense rolls.