12x2017: The Black Hack (Read)

Turns out I set my self up for success to get started. The Black Hack is only 20 pages, well laid-out, so it was an embarrassingly quick read for my first challenge.

I'll admit that all I knew going in was that lots of folks seemed to love TBH so I was a bit surprised at how accurate the name turned out to be: this is literally a hack. It'd be utterly incomprehensible to someone without some existing RPG knowledge.

And, uh, I kind of love it for that. I've read so many "What Is An RPG?" and "What Is This Game About?" sections that are roughly as long as The Black Hack that it's refreshing to just get a smart set of mechanics presented quickly and efficiently.

The epitome of that is probably the spell list. No spell is longer than one line of text, including spell name. I want to see if I can do that, especially for some spells where TBH assumes you know what they do. Like Animate Dead, which totally explains what it does as long as you're familiar with the idea that the caster can control the risen skeletons/zombies.

Overall TBH looks like a layering of lots of relative small simple ideas together to make something that's simple, fluid, and familiar. I like so many of these ideas, but I'm not actually sure what I want to do with them. I could run any classic adventure with the easy translation from existing stats, but I'm not entirely sure that any of these improvements makes me want to take on even that low level of overhead. Nothing here would make up for an existing bad adventure, and so many good adventures are deeply paired with the system/variant they were intended for in my mind.

All 12x2017 posts: https://plus.google.com/+SageLaTorra/posts/Dwvy3ijuRcU
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