Friday, December 22, 2017

Too Many Hacks

After reading The Black Hack, reviews of Whitehack, and Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells (yet another "Hack" system hack)...

Hack a Character

Roll 3d6 for a series of stats, such as: STR(ength), DEX(terity), END(urance), INT(elligence), POW(er), PRE(sence)
  • Set HPs (Hit Points) from the average of STR & END
  • MPs from POW
In most cases, your character rolls equal or less than a stat on D20 to succeed in some effort they might reasonably attempt under pressure, given their background and inclinations. Modifiers apply to shift the stat target. A "1" always succeeds and usually grants a critical result.

Magic-using types might select two or three spell options (see Hack Magic), but lack battle experience.

When characters advance, they get a chance to raise their stats. Maybe another chance to raise a favoured stat.

Hack Combat

Generally, roll against STR to hack at things, and DEX to avoid being hacked, or shoot something.
  • Use 1d6 for lighter or improvised weapons, 1d8 for martial weapons, when you roll for damage to HP.
  • Deduct Armour Reduction (AR), 1-5 (leather, gambeson, maille, half-plate, plate), from any damage you take. 
Only a character with battle experience can attack and avoid in the same round (so green fighters have to choose to attack or dodge).

Creatures get HP (the GM rolls a number of dice) and Ranks that apply to rolls in combat:
  • Threat Rank (TR) modifies STR and DEX
  • Power Rank (PR) modifies INT or POW (for spells and other eerie stuff)

Hack Magic

Spell casters burn MPs to launch magic. They roll against INT or POW when under pressure. 
  • Heal: 1 MP to heal 1d3 HP
  • Blast: 1 MP to deal 1d3 damage once
  • Protect: 1 MP to reduce all damage by 1 for the duration
  • Enchant: 1 MP to add 1 damage for the duration, or 1 to the chance to hit
  • Curse: 1 MP to reduce an enemy's TR or PR by 1 (POW roll required)
  • Uncanny Ability: 1 MP to add 1 to a stat, for the purpose of accomplishing a task (sneak, persuade, search, etc.) with preternatural skill


  1. BTW you have inspired me to write a short game called TALES FROM THE GREEN DRAGON INN. I have put in the title "Inspired by the article "Narrative adventures at the Green Dragon Pub" on RPG Tinkerage (web address) by Andrei Baltakmens. I plan to sell the game and make a million dollars! LOL! Is that by okay with you?

  2. The aim of the “Green Dragon Pub” game concept is to inspire hand-made gaming with minimum rules and focusing on deep, original worlds, so feel free to create your own game and publish it, as long as you acknowledge the inspiration. Obviously all the content I put up here is free for non-commercial use only, so anything you put up for sale will have to be your own material. When it’s done, do add a link to your creation to the comments under the Green Dragon post. Looking forward to the start or the Green Dragon gaming movement (-;

  3. The booklet acknowledges the inspiration with your name, the article, and you blog's address. I have been a part of the creation of many a project where I was not credited but oh well.

  4. I like this as a drastically cut-down DnD. Have been experimenting with Gateway, a free hack of 5th Edition that uses "Advantage/Disadvantage" as its main mechanic. Wouldn't mind seeing your thoughts on it.