The Black Hack 2E: OSR DnD Game Review

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The Black Hack Second Edition (2e) is a sleek, modern adaption of the classic DnD rules.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Tap into the OSR with the Questing Beast newsletter: http://bit.ly/Glatisant
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    Download my RPGs and adventures: http://bit.ly/ItchStore
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  2. I think a lot of your problems with the drop tables and the "draw your own map" page stem from the fact that the author primarily distributes via PDF, with only a secondary interest in "dead tree" publishing.

  3. Damage location… roll 1d4 + 1d12 and match up the roll with the location. Asign arm head leg body with 1,2,3,4 first.

  4. Excellent review, thanks. Overall, I'm torn. The quality of the book and its attitude and general coolness factor make me want to add it to my collection, but on the other hand it appears that most of the mechanics aren't really things I'd want to add to my games. There are a few exceptions though, so it'd still be useful. Unfortunately what with shipping and the GBP/USD exchange rate, it'd cost me over $38 to get a copy of the main book in the United States. Sigh. :/

  5. Very interesting review, I've played a few games of BH2E and have very much enjoyed them, but I agree there are some odd choices in the mechanics.

  6. Advantages of the Armor Pool system (or at least differences which make it unique and potentially preferred to the conventional damage reduction system in similar games):

    The Armor has a limit to its use in combat, and the player gets to strategically choose when and where they are willing to apply it.

    Flat armor reduction is boring and easy to forget. Also since it doesn't degrade in a flat damage reduction system, it creates an extra math step after every single attack. The Armor pool only being applied in some instances, having a cost, and a random factor makes it much spicier and it being used more sparingly causes it to potentially interfere less in play.

  7. i just discovered your channel and i've got to admit, it's blossomed into one of my favorites. I picked up Mothership because of your review. Kudos – Dirk

  8. If you ever get a chance I would love to hear your thoughts about Heroes & Monsters by Mikeal Hassel. It's a Black Hack derivative based on B/X D&D.

  9. You could do a review of 'Winters Daughter'

    Everyone seems to say its quite good. Would be interesting to see.

  10. Hi! Loving all your reviews. I see some negativity in the comments. I think that if you review something without having played it, that is fine.

    When it comes to a game system (vs. a module) Maybe state at the front of the video that you are just giving your impressions of the material based on your overall RPG knowledge. Just a suggestion, I really do love your videos and look forward to each one.

  11. You don't write your die and everything, you keep dice pools aside like boardgame tokens. You only need to write it down at the end of a session to prepare for the next (or take a picture of your die pools). You're using a book-keeping-less as a book- keeping mechanism, that's why you're not seeing how it speeds up and adds a kinestetic element to armor, ammo, etc.

  12. Thanx for the review. You may have talked me out of the hard cover edition. With the pdf, you can print out the drop charts and the extra forms, like the hex maps.

  13. What if for armor you roll your armor pool and total that and that's how much dmg it blocks? So let's say light armor is 2d6, medium is 4d6 and heavy is 6d6. The opponent rolls his weapons attack pool and then you roll your armor pool 1s represent degradation they still count for your total for that roll. So for example your opponent rolls 6d6 for an attack totaling 25dmg, you roll your heavy armor pool and roll 6,4,3,2,(2)1's totaling 17. You'd take 8dmg and lose two die. After you get your armor repaired then you get those die back. And this same idea could be used for weapons as well and different effects could be considered regarding quality of the weapon/armor etc. Just blurting what came to mind.

  14. It is a great game and I loved it. But it is much harder to put to the table than the previous edition for know nothing players with short attention spans. 1st edition was a go to, no thought choice for random RPG play with completely ignorant players. 2nd edition is not the game for that and while it is still a cool game, it is not as simple as I have come to expect from the Black Hack.

  15. I like the idea of a usage die for something less quantifiable, like magic or even personal vigor. You could even tie each die step to a given spell level, with higher level magic corresponding to smaller dice, but which increase as the PC levels up. For example, at 1st level, a wizard/MU has a d4 usage die for 1st level spells per day. At 2nd level, they have a d6 for 1st level spells, and at 3rd level they have a d6 for 1st level spells and a d4 for 2nd level spells.

  16. Another excellent review. I already own the 1st edition but you convinced me to buy this new hardcover. Another interesting OSR system is Dungeons and Delvers: Red Book, which I have just backed on Kickstarter, along with Golgotha by Fire Ruby Design (which will satisfy my love of sci-fi). It would be great to see you review these games if you get the chance.

  17. There's a distributor for Black Hack in the USA, at exaltedfuneral.com for those who don't want to mess with international shipping!

  18. Amen on the usage die! I'm glad that someone else sees it the same way that I do. A usage die does not simplify the active tracking your arrows. Rather, it's an abstraction.
    Therefore our usage die is great when you want to give your player or your player character an abstraction of usage, such as a magic item or similar thing. For example, give a wand of magic missiles D4 or D6 charges.

  19. I think the justification for the armour system is that it remains equally useful throughout all levels. If it was a simple damage reduction, the benefit would become more and more negligible the more damage enemies are putting out.

  20. The usage die is far less cumbersome than counting every single arrow. Even your example shows that the usage die takes less time and effort than having to count each and every arrow.

  21. Regarding the usage die:
    When I ran Gardens of Ynn using Knave, some of the characters were equipped with firearms (of the 19th century variety).
    I just used the following rule: after each shot, roll D6 for rifles /D8 for pistols. A result of 1 means this was your last bullet.
    It happened only once during the six-session run, but on the last fight against the evil mirror-twin of a PC (secretly replaced during a previous altercation and marvelously played by him). It upped the tension quite significantly.

  22. Love the drop tables in the game but they definitely need to be photocopied out or you should get the fancy box set that has them on separate sheets outside the book. And I think I agree with you about all the usage dice. They're a fun idea but they're not actually easier to keep track of in practice. Especially if you are using actual dice like it suggests since you have to keep track of the physical die and also write it on your sheet so you can keep track between sessions. I've been using it to run Johnstone's Dungeon Full of Monsters and it's been a lot of fun but Idk if it's the right game for me for doing a dungeon crawl. That said, I think this is a perfect set of tools for generating an excellent hex crawl game even on the fly with a series of smaller dungeons and locations

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