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The Black Hack
by stephen g. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2020 11:15:36

This was my first step into the world of OSR and something other than D&D and pathfinder. This system is what taught me how to actually have fun, how TTRPG are meant to be played, and that simplicity can add more depth to your campaign than any 300 page rulebook ever could. My players who come from a long background of pathfinder and 3.5 absolutely hated this system as it does lack character complexity. This system is made for people who love to roleplay and not like to be bogged down by complex mechanics that can interpreted in a multitude of ways or constant page flipping. No, you spend 10 min creating a character, boom you're playing. Simple tests of skills and a little imagination can help narrate a quick fast paced, adventure filled dungeon crawl in half the time. Combat is smooth and quick while also being extremely easy to manage. Again though, some imagination is required as combat can be a little stale after a few rounds just swinging and dodging. Magic is simple and straightforward as well. If the limited spells bore you, adding more balanced spells is super easy. Finally, not to mention the plethora of excellent and cheap 3rd party material, you'll never be bored of this system.

This system is highly recommended for GMs and players who are easily exhausted by the more complex modern systems and just want a game to tell a fun story together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack
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Savage Worlds A5 Character Sheet
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2020 23:16:09

Got exactly what I was expecting. Great character sheets.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds A5 Character Sheet
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The Black Hack Second Edition
by Jonathon D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2019 16:49:51

Fun very simple RPG. The core of the rules are about 30 pages with a bunch of fun tables taking up the bulk of the book such as random dungeons, NPCs and a bestiary of monster stats.

I used it with a group whose primarily only played D&D 5e. We were able to character creation, rules explanations and start playing in about a half hour.

Since the rules are so so simple and sparse, it leaves a lot of on the fly decisions for the GM. My players complained about a lot of stuff before the game started but once they got into the game they had no problems with it. They were just used to playing 5e superheroes and not used to having a character with 2 hit points and (in their eyes) low attributes.

Another problem/feature (depending how you look at it) with the sparse rules is that there is a lot of stuff not included, but the author even says that this is meant to be "hacked" to add stuff in. For example, I wanted there to be a better ranged combatant so I created a ranger class that (I think) is balanced in about a half hour.

The layout of the book is great. A character can have everything including the rules for their abilities on the front and back of a sheet. All topics seem to be laid out so that you don't have to flip pages. For example, a topic may start on the left page but will wrap up on the bottom of the right page.

I love the art work and even if the game was atrocious I'd have given it a free star just for the logo.

I definitely recommend the game and hope to play it again. If you have friends you want to introduce to tabletop RPGs, but think they might be overwhelmed by D&D, give this a shot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
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The Black Hack Second Edition
by Heath B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/05/2019 14:57:19

I've said this a hundred times on Reddit, but TBH went from a really neat RPG (1E) to my favorite OSR ever published in 2E. I don't know if you've got more in store for the future or not, but I hope there will be more to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A5 Maps
by Samantha L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2019 20:59:24

Great product just not what I need at the time. Perhaps I will get more use out of it at a latter date.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
A5 Maps
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Savage Worlds A5 Character Sheet
by Steven B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2019 12:55:21

Excellent character sheet. You can print out the double sided version in landscape and have your main character on the left side and sidekick or extras on the right side. Very useful in extra heavy games like 50 Fathoms or Saga of the Goblin Horde.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Savage Worlds A5 Character Sheet
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The Black Hack Second Edition
by Raymond W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/27/2018 19:49:10

The organization, layout and visual presentation are perfect. A lot of the rules are great and innovative. But I have one problem: 2nd edition tries to "fix" the armor rules from the 1st edition, and it makes things worse. Now, your armor is rated with an Armor Value, which give is an equivalent pool of D6 Armor Dice. Characters "burn" these dice to ignore the damage of a hit, and after a short rest, they roll these dice to see if they recover. On a roll higher than the AV, the die recovers. Otherwise, you'll have to repair it later.

Got that? So now your armor has several separate stats you have to track, because most of them change:

  • Armor Value: This one doesn't change, at least.
  • Broken Dice: The number of dice that have been spent to negate damage.
  • Damaged Dice: The number of Broken Dice which did not recover when given a chance.

So now we're tracking all kinds of armor information. Plus, if you're wearing plate, then you probably need to get repairs every other fight, since these mechanics cause it to be worse at recovering than less protective armor. Not exactly the lightweight and intuitive experience that TBH otherwise provides.

Still, it's easy enough to use the old rules for armor, or substitute whatever you like. I like the idea of using an armor usage die.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
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The Black Hack Second Edition
by Ville H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2018 04:07:24

Probably the current pinnacle of OSR design.

Take a look at the preview. It gives a pretty good idea of how concise it is; the example of play illustrates the basic mechanics of the game within a very short space. It sold me on the game in a minute or two. The rest of the book is equally good, if not better.

The game has a few basic mechanics that it uses for everything. It is streamlined without being too simplistic (in my opinion, at least). The simplicity of its part guarantees that it's easy to hack and add house rules to, even if you're not too much into game design. Even the 78 spells fit on two pages.

The simplicity means that it's not for everyone. The spells are a good example. Because most spells' effects are described with one sentence, the game can't define the fictional content or detailed mechanical restrictions for them. Beginning GMs might find it difficult, and it certainly isn't suited for groups that want intricate mechanics or protection from arbitrary and unfair GMs. But for groups that trust one another and want to do all that work for themselves, it's a beautifully simple and open design.

The basic rules take up 30 pages or so, and the rest is filled to the brim with useful random tables and other rules and tools for the GM. You can read the whole thing fast, but keep using it for a long, long time. Because make no mistake, this is a book to be USED. But it still doesn't feel like a dry technical manual.

I believe the book suits a GM who is comfortable with improvisation. You don't need to everything alone - the mountain of random tables ensures that. But still, the tables only give you ideas and ways out of dead ends, instead of doing the work for you. It does require some effort and being comfortable at making stuff up on the fly; on the other hand, it ensures a surprising and rewarding experience for the GM as well.

I can't recommend this highly enough. You get an amazing product for a ridiculously low price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Brett M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2018 22:33:18

The Black Hack's original iteration started a new sect of the OSR/DIY D&D movement and became one of the most hacked games since D&D.

However, the original TBH made a lot of compromises to speed up play. Some of the rules were weird and wonky, and on top of that, the game made odd decisions for the sake of uniqueness (I mean, let's be honest, calling Wizards "Conjurers" was...interesting)

I think the slightly odd rules almost demanded that each table tailor the game to their liking. Which in a way has its own merits. But out with the old and in with the new.

Simply put, this new rendition of The Black Hack is a masterclass in design. Not a single rule made me scratch my head. Each page made me nod in agreement. The armor rules are awesome. The class abilities are great. The leveling system is fresh and will make sessions way more fun. And adding backgrounds finally brings TBH up to Whitehack's level of worldbuilding. So much amazingness in just the first 20 pages!

The art, the Game Master sections, and everything else are not just functional, they're wonderful. The page layout is so good it makes me emotional. This book is full of tools, tables, generators, and much more. $6.00 is a ludicrously low price for what you're getting.

If you want to try simpler D&D, look no further.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Simon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2018 05:32:06

First, an interlude. Skip to paragraph 2 for the punchline. My favourite edition of D&D is Moldvay Basic, the one between the Holmes and Mentzer editions. It was much clearer and more complete that Holmes, but much more concise and generously writen than the more wordy and better known Mentzer edition. Your characters were properly heroic. Can your character ride a horse? Just note how you learned to do so on the character sheet. Want to be able to swim, or navigate or helm a ship? No problem. Then there was the 'you can try anything' rule in the GMs advice section. If there isn't a rule for something you want your character to try, just roll 1D20 against an appropriate stat and try to roll lower, maybe with a modifier. Just like that, D&D got a general purpose task resolution system that made it a truly flexible, heroic system. But it was not to be, Mentzer and AD&D crushed the game under the "If it's not on your character sheet, you can't do it" ethos of doling out permission to be able to try to do things via feats and profficiencies.

The Black Hack jumps the tracks of the whole OD&D, OSR movement into an alternate timeline where this simple attribute check based mechanic from one edition of Basic D&D becomes the hart of the game. It's not just dialing the clock back to that key moment, it takes us back to the future again with a carefully judged selection of fun new little tools and mechanics to create a tight, minimalist but very capable system. It has the equivalent of feats and such, but rather than grant permission to try at all, they make it easier to succeed. Now that's how you do it! First edition was very spare, but the second edition clarifies and organises the system and adds a host of support meterial that make it into a complete game and great value for money.

I've no idea if David Black even knows about Moldvay D&D and that cute little rule, no reason why he should. What he's built here stands on it's own as easily my favourite of the OD&D/OSR games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Karlen K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2018 18:01:28

Everything I loved about the first ruleset has been improved with this new edition. The DM section takes up about 3/4 of the book and is chock full of inspiration, tables to roll on for fun twists, and excellent suggestions for running the game.

My top three favorite new things: Advantage and Disadvantage for more than just attack rolls, fluctuating prices when shopping, and simplified spells and spell slots for magic users.

For six bucks you are getting a real deal. Buy. This. Book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Olivier S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2018 11:46:16

TBH2 does everything the original TBH did, and then some: bigger, better, faster, stronger! TBH2 is (imho) the best "neo-retro" game on the market. The rules are easy and concise, the layout and artwork high-quality, 3rd-party support is ever-growing, and most of all, the game is fun as hell! If you need a game for quick one-shots at cons, but also for longer campaigns, TBH2 is your game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by D J B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2018 10:34:39

Simple, elegant, looks great and most important; eminently usable.

It's basically the same player facing rules that everyone loved from 1st edition TBH, with a few minor tweaks. However once you get past the the player section (approx 30 pages) you find that the Black Hack now features added GM tools (in the form of tons of useful random tables) to help improve and flesh out your adventures either in advance or, crucially, at the table.

Also included: Bestiary, each entry has some cool art and some cool random tables (this might even be the best chapter.) Sample dungeons, 2 of them, fully fleshed out with maps and GM friendly layout.

Recommended without reservation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Dave I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2018 18:53:04

The Black Hack is a great game. The second edition adds so much more great stuff that it boggles my mind. The art and monsters in the new version are wonderful. The 6$ for the .pdf is quite a bargain. I run this game a lot because it is easy to pickup and run with little prep. I highly recommend this game to everyone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Black Hack Second Edition
by Dani J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2018 12:32:33

I got to peruse this book after I recieved backer copy from recent kickstarter campaign. 2nd edition streamlined the format to further the ease of access and layed out one topic on a single page so that you don't have to flip back and forth. And there's plethora of options and random table to choose and, of course, let you "hack" from. Whereas 1st edition was perfect and sound in system but left you with blank tablet to fill in yourself, this one complements the basic concept of the first release with more options that should work toward the GMs' and players' convinience and fun. The book guides you step by step to make the game you put on your table easier and lethal without having to put so much effort. Those of you who are concerned with backward compatibility, yeah it is 100% compatible.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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