Thursday, March 23, 2023

Hack'D & Slash'D Keeps Getting hacked... and slashed

Living up to its name, this game keeps going through the meat grinder. Feel free to take a look at the most recent iteration.

I decided it was time to stop calling it version 2.0, since it was at LEAST version 2.8754 or somesuch. I couldn't even imagine how many edits I've made (even major edits have been in the dozens). I've just dropped the edition idea, called it Hack'D & Slash'D, and added a 'revised' note in the opening notes with the date. I'm okay with the idea that it's a living document that always sees a little bit of improvement and clarification when needed, but I also at some point would like to lock down the core game so people aren't afraid to start playing only to find that everything they've created is wrong and needs to be fixed.

Because I've been there a few times with this. I mean, I do it to myself, so I'm not frustrated (at all) - I keep getting excited to fix things or improve things, and I feel like I keep doing that. For this version, the biggest changes are moving from attribute checks to level checks as the default way to resolve a situation; your ability to get past a door is based more on your level than your physical abilities. You could use strength, or cunning, or guile, or just your understanding of how doors in underground environments can get warped over time (because this isn't your first rodeo), and you know how to use just the right amount of leverage and pressure to jimmy that bad boy open. If you've got a lot of might, you get to add a die to that check because you've got the power to really pull at it.

In the same spirit, I've simplified the six attributes down to three traits: Might, Mind, Reflex - and these are largely used to resist rather than act. With a rating of 4+ in any of these, you get +1 edge to level checks where they apply (as I outlined above).

The biggest shift is in getting rid of classes and races altogether. All characters get four tags, and you get to use these to build the character as you see it; I've decided to build a paladin type. Here's my first character with the newest set of rules. He's a bit different from the last set of characters:

Arek, Noble Human Templar 1 (0 xp/1 gp)
Armor 1; Hits 8; Move 40’ Apprentice’s Blade [1] 
Might 3; Mind 3; Reflex 0
Mystic (Common Magic; Light Magic); Warrior (+1 to hit in melee); Guardian (+1 armor with shield) 
Shield (+1 armor checks); Adventurer’s Pack

I like that he only took about two minutes to generate. I still had a lot of choices to make, even with the few things I had to decide. I am thinking about just making up a bunch of characters to see how the process goes... maybe make a bunch of level 2 characters with 100 gp in gear and see what it all looks like... actually, a resource with pre-generated characters as PCs or NPCs is not such a bad thing to work on.

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