Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hacking Hackmaster Part 3 (on Fractional Ability Points)

The idea that abilities might go up in time is not very new. There are several reasons for that. It makes something that got decided with character generation (and stays this way if you play it by the rules) more flexible. It gives a feeling of advancement and growth, if you will.

But I won't get that much into it. HackMaster did find (really, find, I don't think the rule originates there, but is rather something somewhere hidden in AD&D...) a nice way to make this an achievement per level, without inflating ability scores. Each score gets an additional number between 1 and 100 (roll 1d100) with character generation (like they used to allow with STR). With every level those numbers will increase, but different for every ability score, depending on the main focus of a class (fighter, thief, cleric, wizard). As soon as a number exceeds 100, the ability score goes up one point. Every point over 100 is kept and you go from there to get the next 100 points.

To translate that from HackMaster into D&D is very easy. We use it in our game for some time now and I always wanted to fix it in digital ink. So here it comes:

Ability Score Advancement per Level:
STR    +1d20
DEX    +1d10
CON    +1d12
INT    +1d4
WIS    +1d6
CHA    +1d8 
STR    +1d8
DEX    +1d20
CON    +1d6
INT    +1d12
WIS    +1d4
CHA    +1d10 
STR    +1d10
DEX    +1d4
CON    +1d12
INT    +1d6
WIS    +1d20
CHA    +1d8 
Magic Users 
STR    +1d4
DEX    +1d8
CON    +1d10
INT    +1d20
WIS    +1d12
CHA    +1d6
If you allow Echoe (see Hacking Hackmaster, Part 1) to it, you'll make your players happy. If you need a few reasons to get rid of Charisma, maybe you'll find some in Hacking Hackmaster, Part 2.


  1. Yeah, HackMaster 4th Edition is really full with nice little rules to discover and worth a look. We just don't play it anymore, because it is rather complex and long-winded, if played RAW.

  2. Hmm..what about Elves, Dwarves and Halflings...thinking of including this using Rulescyclopedia...

    1. Good question! Hackmaster was AD&D, so it's race + class there and no problem, but I can see how it's a problem with the D&D RC ... My take would be to allow Fighter for Dwarves, Thief for the Halfling and I'd either alter Figther/ Wizard for the Elf or let the player decide which way they'd want to go each level (because it's a mix). You could customize it, of course, then I would say Elf d12, d10, d4, d20, d8, d6 (low CHA for the alien nature of their beauty? Main dice on INT and STR as wel as DEX secondary, but still not big on CON, WIS can give additional boni versus magic ...). Halfling I'd take the thief but switch INT and WIS as well as CON and CHA, Fighter for Dwarves works well, I think, but I could imagine going d12, d10, d6, d20, d8, d4 instead.

      It's a timely question, too, because I will implement this into the fantasy variant of the bx clone I'm working on. Ha! One thing less to worry about. Thanks for dropping by.


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