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5e: HARDCORE MODE
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5e: HARDCORE MODE

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In a game’s maturity, the chase of character evolution has limits. After a few life cycles, players are looking closer, thinking deeper, and asking for more substance. Challenge becomes a word often heard at the table, and the GM feels a pressure that isn’t easy to satisfy. It’s time, then, to cook with fire. It’s time to go to HARDCORE MODE.

This D&D fifth edition rules mod from RUNEHAMMER and DRUNKENS & DRAGONS will push your game to the limits of simple, fast, deadly play. Keep your core books, and mind your feet. It's dangerous to go alone. 

Now also available in a super slim, backpack friendly hardback for your tabletop! The hardback also includes CASTLE OF MIRRORS.

5ehm

5ehm

 
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Reviews (13)
Discussions (28)
Customer avatar
Nick W December 28, 2020 8:17 pm UTC
hi i wanted to ask if it was possible to gain a liscnece or something to help develop this into a game system for foundry. as i mostly use vtts to do my gm work. and foundry have a policy where if they dont have explicit permissions to use material due to copywrite that they cannot develop a game system without authors permission.
Customer avatar
Jonathan S October 04, 2020 5:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
I apologize if this was answered, but I don't see it below. The spells are increased by learning 3 new spells at their current level, so does that mean when they are level 1, they have 3, level 1 spells; at level 2 the learn 3 level 2 spells, etc. or do they know only cantrips at level 1; learn 3 level 1 spells at level 2; 3 level 2 spells at level 3; etc.? I ask because standard 5e does not have any level 10 spells.
Customer avatar
Alex D August 06, 2020 3:03 pm UTC
I noticed this is missing the OGL, which should be there since this is a third party 5e offshoot.
Customer avatar
Erwan G July 23, 2020 10:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Can't download it, except the nice character sheet.
Customer avatar
Michael M July 11, 2020 12:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I will be using this for my next D&D campaign. Question about spell casting - a caster gets 3 spells of their level. Does this mean at level 9 they can pick up to 3 level 9 spells to add to their known spells? And what happens at level 10? OR they get 3 spells of the level they would normally get - so at level 5 they can pick 3, 3rd level spells?

Any reason for not allowing "3 spells of their level or lower"?

Thanks.
Customer avatar
Aaron A June 20, 2020 1:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I don't understand how monster creation works. What is the damage calculation for attacks supposed to be? And if they're under cr 1, what's should their HP be? 1HP?
Customer avatar
Richard M July 18, 2020 11:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
If s CR1 has 10HP then a CR 1/2 has 5HP. A CR 1/4 would have 2 or 3 HP. A CR 1/8 would be like a 4e minion, 1 HP. That's how I have handled it. This document and it's author intend the DM to make some rules decisions that best suite his/her game. Nothing is written in stone until you, the DM, says it is.
Customer avatar
Andrew C June 05, 2020 3:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Print on Demand? Any chance that is coming? :)
Customer avatar
Karlen K June 04, 2020 3:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I had some questions that came up in some recent sessions of mine. I posted them on the Runehammer forums but wanted to throw them up here.

When a character is dropped to zero hit points they must make a Death Save on their turn, per the normal rules. However, all players decide what order they go in, so when does the Death Save need to be rolled? At the start of the collective player turn or only when the downed player decides to “take a turn”?

Speaking of Death Saves, when a character succeeds in a Death Save do they stop making saves and instead become “Bleeding Out”?

In the Hardcore Rules you have to roll first to see if you can cast any spell of 1st Level or above, but many spells also require a Ranged Spell Attack (See: Scorching Ray). Would you count the roll to see if you can cast the spell as the same Ranged Spell Attack to save time, or have the magic user roll again, increasing their odds of succeeding in the spellcast but failing to hit?
Customer avatar
Richard M July 18, 2020 11:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Your call.
Customer avatar
AUSTIN H May 11, 2020 2:59 pm UTC
I think the wording could use some clearing up. I've only read the Preview, but it mentions stuff like skill ranks, which 5e doesn't have. Was this made for 3e originally and then adapted for 5e? Or did the author not know much about 5e before they started messing with it? I'm not trying to be rude, those are just thoughts that went through my mind when reading stuff like that- clearing it up would make for a better read and a more authoritative product : D
Customer avatar
Michael L August 07, 2020 12:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
I think the appropriate Proficiency bonus would be the skill rank. Just saying.
Customer avatar
ALAN H E May 09, 2020 11:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm confused by the spells not slots.
"Frequency limits on spells still apply, and are only expended when successfully cast." If there are no spell slots, what are "Frequency limits"

Please forgive my ignorance.
Customer avatar
Aaron A June 20, 2020 1:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think it's regarding to the other limits of spells. Like casting back to back mage armor. To double it's effect.
Customer avatar
scott B May 03, 2020 8:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a way to have a printer friendly version?
Customer avatar
Sean M April 12, 2020 2:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Massively enjoying this - thanks for sharing it. It's honestly the best slipstream 5e nostalgia I've read. I am especially pleased to see someone else boiling things down to CR and calculating everything from that!
Customer avatar
John M April 08, 2020 6:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any chance of a POD hardcopy?
Customer avatar
Antonio E April 06, 2020 9:00 am UTC
Reading the Preview, I have seen reference to Skill Ranks. But 5e doesn't have Skill Ranks. You are either Proficient in a skill, or not. What's the document referring to?
Customer avatar
Karlen K May 07, 2020 1:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
You're right, that is a weird entry. But in these rules it's similar with a change to skills you are not proficient in.
Customer avatar
Alexander G March 10, 2020 12:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So. Maybe my english is a bit off, but I cant understand how lack of spell slots work. So, wizards now have infinite casts of powerful as heck spells? Or do they have 3 CASTS per level, which is incredibly low? Or maybe spell slots are fixed for all spell levels, and dont get mentioned? I'm confused.

Also, about the candle: I presumed that it is a one-use artifact for a group to counteract extremely unlucky streaks. But reading into it, it seems now thats a portable checkpoint, usable any amount of times, which reduces actual death risks almost to 0 (they can just rewind time when somebody dies life is strange style. Its also too tempting to refrain from doing that.) So i'll make it a one-use thing for sure if its not what is intended

Next. All features for above 10 are ditched. Im fine with that, most adventures are within 10 levels anyway, but a lot of cool abilities are left out.

Half-caster classes like paladins get to 5th level, get their spells... And then on 6 and...See more
Customer avatar
Nathan P March 12, 2020 8:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Alexander, Lets see if I can help with your questions.

1) The way the spell mechanics work is that each level the caster can learn 3 spells that they are capable of casting. Any spells they learn they can cast ONCE before needing to rest. Think of it as them preparing one of every spell. This means casters have access to their full spell list; however has repercussions on natural casters like sorcerers. Choices like Sorcerer vs wizard become more about their spell lists & casting attribute.

2) The Candle is designed to be a mobile checkpoint. TPKs kinda suck for everyone and Hardcore is meant to be more lethal, thereby making TPKs more likely. This allows players to both have more control over the siutation so they don't feel like the dice screwed them while also present a risk vs reward mechanic.
Yes, as soon as someone goes down you can reverse time and undo that, however the candle requires a 'safe place' to revert to. Its left vauge enough that you can dictate which...See more
Customer avatar
Gray H March 13, 2020 4:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I wouldn't bother trying it. It's a bit of a jumbled mess of ideas. I don't believe this was really even playtested.
Customer avatar
Alexander G March 15, 2020 9:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It helped a lot, thanks.

Of course it is a jumbled mess as the next comment says, but I feel like it is also quite tweakable to the point that my playgroup might just find the golden spot to play 5e proper hardcore/minimalistic style
Customer avatar
Brandon G March 23, 2020 4:20 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hey Alexander! Your questions are spot on, and very fair!
As far as caster edge cases, mixed classes, and the like, yes it is intentionally not acknowledged. In my games, we work out custom rules for every caster case to simplify things in a way the player likes. We also eschew edge classes, or invent them. HARDCORE MODE is more a mindset than a set of answers. The questions, to me, are not a problem but the very rocket fuel that gets a GM going to the ol' journal. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!!!
Customer avatar
Jason C March 04, 2020 8:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This has now been updated to version 1.9 and has adventures in it so potential purchasers can disregard all comments that the adventures are missing.
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This title was added to our catalog on February 11, 2020.