The Black Hack 2nd Ed

Chris J

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#1
I'm interested in The Black Hack (I've had my fill of wading through 400+ pages of crunchy rules) but I read somewhere that it's focused on dungeon delving. That's great, that's always fun, but what about wilderness exploration and urban adventures replete with politicking and social skullduggery? Does the 2nd edition cater for these types of adventures too? Variety being the spice of life and all that.
 

Sosthenes

Oiled Greek Wrestler
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#2
Not really. There are a few pages about overland (hex) maps and encounters, but as with most of the DM session, that's mostly random tables to populate the world. Now, I think that a "Skullduggery Hack" book would be a good idea, if it doesn't already exist. Some of the core rules of the Black Hack lend themselves easily to political maneuvering: You've got universal attribute checks for all kinds of situations, and Usage Die are awesome for abstract concepts, too. You might have a "Ud6 Favor w/ Mercantile Guild", just like you've got a Ud6 Black Annis Poison vial.
 

Chris J

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#4
One thing I dislike about D&D is the level system. I dislike that when a character goes up in level, they are suddenly better at this that and the other. Doesn't feel very organic to me, and so I always try to incorporate incremental advances. That's where a player can choose to increase (for example) their attack chance, then perhaps roll for extra hit points, then perhaps gain a skill point, etc. When they gain all possible advances, they go up a level.

It all depends though, on how many advances a character gets in a D&D game; each character class needs to have a similar amount of advances or it's lopsided. Do we know how many advances characters get in TBH2?
 

MacAndrew

Needs a treat
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#5
Leveling in TBH2 is a little different to traditional DND-type games.

First of all the act of leveling is by acquiring experiences (major events in a characters life) equal to their current level, they may then storytell those experiences or another tale from their past to gain a level. This also involves carousing and rolling to see how much money must be paid for the drinks required for the stories to be told.

When a level is gained all characters do the following:

Roll D20 against each attribute, if over that attribute they gain a permanent +1 to said attribute​
Roll hit points (D8+2 for Fighters, D8 for Clerics, D6 for Thieves, D4 for Magic Users)​
Fighters have the most interesting leveling, they gain another damage die. They start with one and gain one per level. These dice gain be assigned to nearby targets and a roll to hit is required for each target. An exciting narration is required or encouraged. Fighter's shield bash also does more damage each level.

The Thief's Sneak Attack does +1 more damage per level. Their thieving abilities which are loosely defined get better as DEX goes up with leveling. They also have the ability to change their background (called Deep and Murky Past ability) if they roll below their level on a D10. This might be useful as they travel to different kinds of places.

Cleric and Magic Users gain the ability to cast a number of spells per day equal to their level so that advances. They also gain the ability to cast new spells equal to their current level. For example, a level 2 Cleric can cast level 2 spells when they level up they can then cast level 3 spells.

My take on this is that a lot of the advances are based on attribute gain, and that is random. Spells have to be acquired, Clerics and MUs do not automatically gain access to new spells. Magic items at least as specified in the rules tend to award new specific talents, and as such will be part of the overall "advance" for a character.

This kind of system will certainly not be for everyone but it does give a nice lightweight feel as long as you can buy into the randomized attribute gain system. It might not work for long term campaigns but should work well for something a lot more finite.
 

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
#6
Leveling in TBH2 is a little different to traditional DND-type games.

First of all the act of leveling is by acquiring experiences (major events in a characters life) equal to their current level, they may then storytell those experiences or another tale from their past to gain a level. This also involves carousing and rolling to see how much money must be paid for the drinks required for the stories to be told.

When a level is gained all characters do the following:

Roll D20 against each attribute, if over that attribute they gain a permanent +1 to said attribute​
Roll hit points (D8+2 for Fighters, D8 for Clerics, D6 for Thieves, D4 for Magic Users)​
Fighters have the most interesting leveling, they gain another damage die. They start with one and gain one per level. These dice gain be assigned to nearby targets and a roll to hit is required for each target. An exciting narration is required or encouraged. Fighter's shield bash also does more damage each level.

The Thief's Sneak Attack does +1 more damage per level. Their thieving abilities which are loosely defined get better as DEX goes up with leveling. They also have the ability to change their background (called Deep and Murky Past ability) if they roll below their level on a D10. This might be useful as they travel to different kinds of places.

Cleric and Magic Users gain the ability to cast a number of spells per day equal to their level so that advances. They also gain the ability to cast new spells equal to their current level. For example, a level 2 Cleric can cast level 2 spells when they level up they can then cast level 3 spells.

My take on this is that a lot of the advances are based on attribute gain, and that is random. Spells have to be acquired, Clerics and MUs do not automatically gain access to new spells. Magic items at least as specified in the rules tend to award new specific talents, and as such will be part of the overall "advance" for a character.

This kind of system will certainly not be for everyone but it does give a nice lightweight feel as long as you can buy into the randomized attribute gain system. It might not work for long term campaigns but should work well for something a lot more finite.
I was hoping for TBH to accommodate long term campaigns. Perhaps I'll introduce 'Feats' or something else the players can choose from and see if I can slow down advancement. The game says it lends itself for hacking purposes so perhaps it'll be easy to do.

I like the way experience is handled either way.
 

Chris J

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#7
Let's say a character has Dexterity 15 and they are dodging an opponent's attack. That's a flat 75% chance.

Are there rules in 2ed to modify this chance, perhaps because Opponent 'A' is faster, more agile, and just better at attacking than Opponent 'B'?
 

MacAndrew

Needs a treat
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#8
GMs can apply Advantage or Disadvantage to any roll for any reason. Roll two dice - Advantage: the player decides which roll to use, Disadvantage: the GM decides which roll to use.

In your case apply Disadvantage due to Opponent "A"s greater agility/special skills.
 

Chris J

Registered User
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#9
That's a bit extreme though. I think rolling two d20 is the equivalent of a +6 / -6 or something like that.
 
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