Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Old School Hack

It's spring break and my Old Forest campaign is on a bit of a hold with all but one player out of town for the next could week. In the mean time, I've gotten to play two one-shots of a game call Old School Hack. It's still in development, but I decided to give it a shot.

They were two excellent sessions. I mean really excellent. Very Gonzo, yes, but a whole lot of fun. I had to break out of my shell a little and went for a very Bonsoomian adventure to get the feel right: it was a blast (literally, at times).

What surprised me most was how much I enjoyed combat. Usually combat tends to be one of my least favorite parts of the game, but there's something about the chaotic tendencies of this game that make characters was to dive from flying shuttles and crush their enemies with a good old fashioned round-house kick. It was hilarious; the whole thing was just wacky. Great for one-shots, but I have my doubts about it for long term play.

The players had a lot of fun choosing talents for their characters. The Dwarf's Impressive Partier talent was especially popular. It was the first time when I saw characters choosing non-combat over combat oriented ability. I think that was total in the spirit of the game and I definitely make some...unconventional...ruling to that the players could use those flavorful talents.

The one serious problem I saw with the game was the leveling system. To gain a level of experience, every member of the party must each expend 12 awesome points. While it worked out well for our one-shots. I can see problems in a longer campaign-type model. I really just not sure what to do if a player misses a session. I'm just completely stumped. I'll have to on that.

Overall, we all had a blast, despite all of the new-school additives, like per combat abilities. I just decided to go for it and it turned out great. Excellent game, but I can't see it being all that great for long term play.


  1. I've played several games of Old School Hack, and I agree the game is one of the most entertaining I've played in a long time. The game's creators certainly knew what makes a pen & paper game worth playing. Many of the larger RPG companies should take notes from Old School Hack.

    Your right about the long term play, however with a few minor alterations to the rules I've discovered long term games are possible and just as fun.