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The Indie Hack
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The Indie Hack

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What is This?
The Indie Hack (TIH) is a minimalist fantasy roleplaying game, build up from the ideas in The Black Hack, that is played with pencils, paper, dice, and imagination. It takes old-school gaming and gives it an indie edge: you get heroes, magic, traps, and monsters but the players get more control over the richness of the story.

The characters are ruled not by abstract ideas of goodness and order, but by Masters (who they try to impress) and Goddesses (who they need to appease when they are near death). The characters have relationships with each other and NPCs that mechanically evolve. Players answer class-centric questions about the world during character creation, to help the GM develop the setting and tone of the adventure.

There are seven classes to choose from: The Veteran wades through battle. The Exorcist banishes the Unliving. The Hunter can find anything in the wilderness. The Scoundrel bypasses traps and locks. The Elementalist manipulates fire, water, and stone. The Occultist summons up dead things. And The Outlander is... well... different.

In The Indie Hack, you don't collect XP, you collect scars.

At just 28 pages, The Indie Hack a light-weight way to shift your dungeon-delving paradigm.

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Jon B December 06, 2021 7:56 pm UTC
Hey, Slade! Rediscovering this through my K$er copy of DFaGE (which I fall in love with every time I crack it open or stumble back across my PDF) and I was curious if there are any of the saddle-stitched copies remaining out there in the world that I might be able to get my hands on?
Customer avatar
Robert H January 27, 2019 2:54 am UTC
Will the Indie Hack be available as a pod ?
Customer avatar
Ramses V November 05, 2017 10:31 pm UTC
Could someone tell me why this is listed as an Apocalypse World game?
Reading the description it says that it's based on the Black Hack, a game I really like.
I however, do not like the Apocalypse World engine.
Can someone clear this up for me?
Customer avatar
Charles V November 14, 2017 4:51 pm UTC
It's based on the Black Hack in that the author was inspired by the brevity and diamond-like focused simplicity of BH.

However, it's not a roll-under system by any means. Rather, players and the GM are adding details to the characters, NPCs, the scene, etc. They're writing them down on character or environ sheets and exploiting the details later. So if you attack and roll well, you're adding 'cut-off hand' to the Orc's list of details, or 'cracked-off ribs' to a skeleton's. If you attack and the dice go against you, the GM adds some details about your injury. For a risky act, one rolls a black and a white d6. You then see which rolls highest, and get a number based on the higher roll minus the lower roll. The higher die determines who adds details, the number determines how many and how permanent the details are.

There's an SRD for the system here:

Which goes over what you get in the pdf. I recommend you turn on the examples at...See more
Customer avatar
Jeremy H April 10, 2017 3:06 am UTC
I'd like to see some more of the artwork before I purchase this one.
Customer avatar
Slade S June 19, 2017 6:04 pm UTC
That's a fair point, Jeremy H.

We've got a new preview that goes up to page 14 now. It now shows off a bunch of great art pieces! Although, I found that I had to clear my browser history to have the full-sized preview show the new pages. I hope this helps you (and others) decide.
Customer avatar
Jeff E March 08, 2017 2:20 am UTC
A couple of pages (10 and 22) are black background, with gray text, making them effectively unprintable.
Customer avatar
Slade S March 17, 2017 5:41 pm UTC
Hey there Jeff,

If you'd like, I can make a print-friendly version. Any other changes you suggest?
Customer avatar
Jeff E March 18, 2017 1:13 am UTC
Not really. Other than those two pages, it's very printer friendly, skipping the cover, of course. I just found that the black seemed out of place with the rest of the book.

One of the things I like about these "Hacks" that have been coming out, is that they are little books that you can print out a couple of copies, and have them ready for a quick game. Hack on, dude!
Customer avatar
Slade S March 23, 2017 7:57 pm UTC
Sounds good. I'll get those files whipped up as soon as I can. Although, it might be a week or two, as we are busy over here at Scablands at the moment. More hacks are in the works!
Customer avatar
Diego B December 02, 2016 10:46 am UTC
Why is it so expensive to just 30 pages?
Customer avatar
Slade S December 15, 2016 6:43 pm UTC
It's pretty good! Also, it's got some pretty nice artwork. I compare it in scope to things like The Rad Hack or Into The Odd.
Customer avatar
Diego B December 27, 2016 9:13 am UTC
Customer avatar
Chaotic G March 04, 2017 4:41 pm UTC
Worth it.
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File Last Updated:
September 23, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on August 31, 2016.
Scablands Press
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