Published on January 2, 2013
An illustrated example of play Sometimes a rule can seem confusing until you see it in play. With that in mind let’s take what we’ve learned and see some of the rules used during an actual game session. For this example we’re going to have a little fun and see how the KNUCKLES characters from the popular gaming comic book, Knights of the the ninth Dinner Table handle themselves playing HackMaster. Player: Bob B.A. will be stepping behind the screen as the Gamemaster. He’s prepared a special adventure to introduce his players to this edition Race: Dwarf Dagger Class: Thief and they’ve shown up with new characters for the occasion. Level: 1 Note: the characters listed here are abbreviated representations of Size: Medium 7 (5) 0 player characters used in the adventure — reduced to only the essential Movement: 5 +3 information needed for that purpose (i.e. primary Alignment: CN ability scores, quirks, flaws etc are not listed). Luck Points: 21 +6 S 2 Honor: 15 Fatigue: -1 2d4p 6 THRESHOLD Hit Points: 25 0’ 6 Noir Lotus Equipment: leather armor, Light Crossbow small shield, dagger, light Player: Brian crossbow, 5 bolts 20 0 Race: Dwarf Staff Proficiencies: shield +3 Class: MageTIP: Spell Points: 140 proficiency. light crossbowKnights of the +2 2 Level: 1 13 +2Dinner Table is the +3award winning Size: Medium NOTES: Knuckles pur- 2d6p 6 Movement: 5monthly gaming chased the shield profi-magazine/comic 0’ THRESHOLD 6 Alignment: LN +3 / 1 ciency. He is also proficientpublished by Honor: 10 with light crossbow but he 2d4p 7Kenzer and RANGE (ft) ATK DIE Fatigue: 1Company. couldn’t afford one during Hit Points: 26 7’ -2 THRESHOLD character creation. He ob- 5-60 d20p 8In addition to the tained his weapon in the 61-100 d20p-4characters and early stages of the dungeon 101-140 d20p-6 Equipment: thick robes, Spells: (A) Feat of Strength,strips, KODT pres- from a fallen foe 141-180 d20p-8 staff (A)Springing (J) Aura of Protection,ents a monthly dose (1st) Scorchof gaming articles— including officialHackMaster mon-sters, NPCs, newrules and articlesuseful to both play-ers and gamemas-ters. For more Justinia VII El Ravagerinformation go to the fifthwww.kenzerco.com Player: Sara Player: Dave Race: Human Longsword Class: Cleric (The True) Race: Human Battle axe Level: 1 Class: Fighter Size: Medium 10 3 Level: 1 Movement: 10 +1 Size: Medium 11 1 Alignment: LG Movement: 10 +4 Honor: 16 +1 2 Alignment: N Fatigue: 2 Honor: 12 +7 M 2 Hit Points: 29 2d8p 7 Fatigue: -2 -3 THRESHOLD 4d3p 7 3.5’ 8 Hit Points: 30 +3 THRESHOLD 3’ 9 Equipment: Leather Spells: Know North, Cure Trifling armor, longsword Equipment: leather armor, NOTES: El Ravager has specializa- Wound medium shield, battle axe tion of +1 Attack, +1 Damage & -1 Speed with his battle axe244
The Goblin Caves of Dak Skeer hoping to shave a day off their TRAVEL TIME to the town of GILOREALON (perched on the sleepy shores of RANDDOR LAKES), the KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER table decided to take a SHORT CUT through the KALALI FOREST. unfortunately, a THUNDER STORM soon set in and the party quickly found themselves lost as a HEAVY FOG set in. after many hours fighting their way through the twisty-gnarled undergrowth they stepped into a small clearing — where the dark, inviting maw of a LARGE CAVE stood. as four GOBLIN guards drew swords and shouted an alarm the party found themselves engaged in an unexpected fight for their lives... okay — your SEARCH of say what...? that little bit of NOTHING was it? the cavern turns up nothing else of value. just FOUR stinkin’ GOBLINS and a few silver pieces? b.a. dance oh no... there’s hrrmmph.. you SEARCH gotta be MORE to it. they did the side a VICTORY JIG!! seem to be hardly passageways those guys FOUGHT FIGHTING worked up but to no AVAIL. how many BOLTS were in tooth and nail. dearly to a SWEAT. that POUCH? guard it appears where’s the “something” complete they lead GOOD STUFF, b.a.? waste nowhere of our TIME. but to DEAD ENDS. kewl there beans! are FIVE bob. HAAA! for YOU alright, alright... ’m on it. losers maybe!! stand back - gimme some room. SCORED a frickin’ by the way, B.A... dave’s RIGHT, LIGHT CROSSBOW ’m makin’ sure bob. there’s off that ONE this thing is in GOT to be dude’s body!! WORKING ORDER. more to this place... can scratch THAT off my wish list.. b.a. ’m gonna check the WEST WALL of this chamber... looks suspicious. okay, roll -snicker- hrrmph -- well it for it. would be NICE shooka sh shooka if you did yer JOB... o sh oka oo c’mon, MISTER THIEF. ka how ‘bout searchin’ for SECRET DOORS?T HE P L AYERS E XA MPLE OF P L AY L EGEND A shows the exact “Count” in seconds ACTION COUNT: 1 1 during combat. Player character token. Combat ring — indicates target is being engaged in an attack. Combat Rose: this a tool Monster token to present all the combat essential data for PC, NPC or Monster at a glance. Also used in the Hacklo- pedia and the new Dead Monster or PC. HM character sheets. 245
ONE SCRUTINY CHECK LATER CHECK FOR SECRET DOORS okay, KNUCKLES and WHY whoah, good job, bob! will take POINT... exactly am DOWN, cujo. dave -- you playing TORCH KNUCKLES get my BACK. BEARER again? bob’s got a discovers part Bob used his CROSSBOW now. of the cavern Scrutiny Skill here wall is FAKE and got a SHIELD. -- it actually to search for secret SLIDES back. doors. CUJO...? Bob rolled against a revealing difficulty set by the a hidden CORRIDOR GM. behind it.. you got it, dude. SARA See Skills, page 186 hold that TORCH up high!! A SHORT DISTANCE LATER... oh boy.. and certainly uh huh... HERE we can’t be carryin’ you enter another NATURAL CAVERN. just what go guys.. a TORCH around. THOUGHT... your TORCHLIGHT reflects DEAD END need BOTH hands off the damp stone walls... my ass... to cast my SPELLS. revealing two passages, okay, fine. one to the right and one on the left, whatever. both areas appear to open into OTHER CHAMBERS. NOW WE’RE TALKIN’. there are several TORCHES on the TORCHES! wall here -- bad guys casting EERIE must be SHADOWS... CLOSE! SKILL CHECK: LISTENING Here BA asks the players to make a Listening check aside from the sound of water to see if they can hear the goblins waiting to ambush dripping from ceiling somewhere everyone in the distance, the room is QUIET. hrrmph... make the PCs in the other room. a LISTENING SKILL CHECK. This is a real skill check, but it could easily be a decoy QUIET from a clever GM simply trying keep his players on indeed. their toes. Bob’s Listening skill is 50. He rolls an 42 on d100p for a total of 92. alright, dave keep an eye on the right tunnel. B.A. rolls a Sneaking check for the Goblins, getting ’ll check roger sh an 89 and adding the goblins’ Sneaking skill of 17 for a out the left. that! let’s o do it sh oka total of 106. oo ka sara yer with me. keep those Since Bob’s roll is lower than the Goblins’ total, he fails. weapons at Dave, Sara, and Brian do the same thing, but all fail as the READY.. well. See Opposed Checks, page 155 ok, dave, PEERS into the right hand tunnel. bob you and sara VENTURE into it opens into a dark foreboding chamber that the OTHER tunnel -- SWALLOWS up the LIGHT from the torches. the light from your TORCH reveals an IRREGULARLY shaped you hear the chamber. ECHOES of okay - ’m not dripping water going any FURTHER. and the odor of it’s about 25 foul rotting ’ll just STAND FEET in WIDTH meat waifs there and keep watch. and FIFTY to SIXTY through the air. somethin’ feet in length... must’ve DIED. eeew.24 6
the CHAMBER bends to more torch light got a 4! drats! a 9 the LEFT at the other end huh? well, ’m being BA has ruled Initiative -- toward what APPEARS REAL quiet and... right behind since the to be a LARGER cavern. you with a 5 -sigh- wait -- did you players were on 9 here the flickering say BEADY EYES...? guard and as well. GLOW of TORCH LIGHT prepared for comes from that area. GAAA!! “something” everyone and BACKLIT roll for a that they can WE GOT just at the INITIATIVE!! GOBOS!! roll 1d10 for entrance...? initiative. Note: BA doesn’t have to roll initiative Knuckles, being for the goblins! They were lying in wait three small make it to ambush the PCs (having heard the hunkering forms a D-10. a thief, will roll with BEADY 1d8 instead. previous combat in the other room). yellow EYES.. Since they were ready they can attack See Initiatve, right away at 1! page 216 See Ambushes, page 218 okay guys... GOBLIN you’ve got THREE goblins armed Size: Small ONE! CROSSBOWS... Movement: 5 got my readied and Hit Points: 20 BRING IT CROSSBOW aimed at YOU!! SCREEN at the Crossbow MONKEY¡¡ READY, b.a. here comes the 20 3 BA has ruled the goblins have been aiming since the PCs COUNT UP!! +3 arrive in this area and can fire immediately on one. Had they not been aiming they would have been subject to +2 / 2 either a penalty for firing without aiming, or forced to wait 4 seconds to take aim. you DO by 2d6p 8 Note that B.A. has ruled, Bob did not load the crossbow he realize DOH!! weapon -1 THRESHOLD it wasn’t 6 took from the dead goblin — in this case the GM was looking LOADED...? for a specific called action stating this had been done. ACTION COUNT: 1 Sara the THIRD CRAP -- only got a 15 on my FIRST defense roll, goblin has bob the FIRST GOBLIN YOU in his sights... rolls a 17 to hit on you, and a 19 on the SECOND. crossbow the second fires at bolt comin got a SMALL -sigh- you and rolls a 12! at ya --- a 16! SHIELD however - rolled a 12 - ’m HIT! what IS this...? so have a chance to KA’CHUNK!! PICK ON BOB DAY? BLOCK that FIRST bolt. roll DEFENSE! sh o sweet! sh oka oo just give ka me some DEFENSE rolls. COMBAT: SHIELD HIT nice try bob -- but you said you had the bolts hit, but your CROSSBOW AT THE READY — neither is serious. so no shield block roll for you! Normally, when a character is struck by a mis- you were gotta sile weapon, they may roll against their shields bob you take a take the whopping 3 points. ahh, ROBBED dude. hit, bob. cover value to see if they block/catch the projectile. man. Unfortunately, Bob didn’t have his shield ready sara yer and Justina doesn’t have one at all. tapped for 5. See page 219 Since both Bob and Sara were struck with mis- COMBAT: Ranged siles, BA now rolls 2d6p for each bolt to see howRanged fire is treated a bit differently than melee much damage their characters sustain. BA rolls a markcombat. Bob and Sara roll d20 but don’t add their ‘em off. 2 and a 1 for the damage on Knuckles for a totaldefense bonus! Since the goblins are within 60’ of 3, and a 2 and a 3 on Justina, for a total of 5.BA rolls d20+3 (the goblin’s Attack bonus) todetermine his total attack rolls See Ranged Attacks, page 218 See Ranged Attacks, page 218 1 247
my DR and my DR brings heh! dude alright... my damage taken COMBAT: Damage reduces it to that’s a continuing ONE POINT, BA down to THREE. Once hit both Bob and PAPER CUT. the count... Sara record the wounds on their character TWO!! okay. sheets, reducing their Hit Points by the ap- propriate number. However, it’s important that they record each wound separately since THREE! it factors into how Each time a PC, NPC, or monster is struck for damage they reduce the rolled wounds are healed. damage by their DR (Damage Reduction) from their armor or natural pro- See Damage, page 222 tections. In both cases Knuckle and Justina are wearing leather armor which has a DR of 2. See Damage, page 222 go on THREE! ACTION COUNT: 3 save the Movement: Speed me too! PCs can start moving with a one on the moving at a JOG on right behind walk or a jog, but not a run or RIGHT for you bob!! ME, sara -- this COUNT! sprint. he’s MINE! Since Knuckles is a dwarf he can jog 5’ a second. Justina, being a human, can you begin moving 10’ a second. GOT it! Since the goblins are 15’ feet Bob’s initiative is 4 and Sara’s is 9, however since both away they will close the gap were struck by a weapon (on count 1), they can act 2 rather quickly, unless the gob- seconds after being struck. On 3 both can move and lins start hauling ass. attack. See Movement, page 218 See Mitigating Surprise, page 217 3 two goblins ACTION COUNT: 4 DROP their crossbows and sara you REACH In the heat of the DRAW DAGGERS! your gobo this round!! moment, Bob has sara you FOUR!! apparently lost his have REACH. bob you will arrive on 5. focus. Had he declared he was moving from a Jog to a Run he it’s could have moved on!’m ATTACKING 10’ and reached b.a.!! his opponent this count. See Movement, page 218 4 GOBLIN Dropping an item takes no time at all and 4 got a NINE REACH Size: Small the goblin can do so without taking any ad- and that’s on my ATTACK GOOD Movement: 5 ditional time. Furthermore, drawing a small ROLL, b.a. ENOUGH Hit Points: 20 weapon takes 0 seconds. As Justina closes the to hit!! Dagger goblin draws his dagger waiting for combat. See Movement/Action Rates, page 218 DROPPING WEAPON 8 3 +3 Goblins are small creatures (like dwarves and halfings) and essentially have a 1-foot +2 / 2 penalty to their reach. Since they are using daggers both Justina and Knuckles will strike by 2d4p 8 first in combat when they arrive because their weapon -1 THRESHOLD reach is longer. 6 See Reach, page 22324 8
go ahead Sara rolls 2d8p and adds (or subtracts) her Damage DAMAGEFor this attack Sara rolls d20p and ROLL bonus (-3) to the roll to determine the total amount of hitand adds her Attack Bonus (+1). yer DAMAGE damage. himShe rolls an 8 and adds 1 for a for 13!! Her first roll is a 7, but her second roll is an 8.total of 9. Since Sara rolled the maximum on one of her dice (i.e.BA rolls d20p-4 and adds the a penetration roll), she can roll that die again. All addi- PENETRATIONgoblin’s Defense Bonus (+2 with- tional rolls must subtract 1 from the result. However, get-out a shield) to see if the goblin ting the max value a 2nd time permits a 3rd roll and so on.successfully evades the blow. See Dice Penetration, page 8BA rolled a 3 and adds 2 for a Sara rolls 2 on her second roll. Subtracting 1 from thistotal of 5. Since 5 is lower than 9 bonus roll yields 1 extra point of damage.Justina successfully hits the Her damage is 7+8+1 = 16. She then subtracts 3 pointsgoblin and can now roll damage. (on account of her poor strength) for a total of 13 points of damage. See Melee Attacks, page 223 4 See Damage, page 222 4 TOP CHECK NICE JOB, sara. sara, your HAA!! BA first reduces the dam- attack strikes take that!! he’s DEFINITELY age from 13 to 11 because the goblin so CREEP! gonna FEEL that. hard he is goblins have a DR of 2. KNOCKED BACK However, goblins are small and is in a stupor! creatures; thus any amount of NEXT!!! damage more than 10 points -snicker- results in a knockback. Even if the goblin’s DR had he’s TOPPED! reduced the damage under 10 KNOCK BACK he still would have been knocked backwards 5 feet! See Knock-Backs, page 231 Not only has Sara knocked the goblin okay next count... ACTION COUNT: 5 b.a. can backwards, but she has also forced a trauma start MOVING check by doing more than 8 points of FIVE!!! move this count... damage to it. See Trauma, page 235. over to that THIRD start off Goblins have a Trauma Save of 6 so BA goblin... at a JOG rolls a d20. If he rolls 6 or less the goblin re- YES! b.a. and move mains standing and can retaliate. Anything ENGAGE HEY! save up to HELP! the GOBLIN some more than a 6 and the goblin is incapacitated. on the RIGHT. for me! BA rolled a 16 and the goblin thus missed his check by 10 points. It is traumatized for a lengthy period of time (10x5 seconds = 50 seconds!) See Trauma, page 235 HEY hot to hack!! sorry, dude. don’t have Brain asks Dave to assist him by mitigating sur- you forgettin’ time -- prise. Brian is clearly acting on knowledge his something? NEEDS me character shouldn’t have — something most GMs some GOBO frown upon. can’t go ACTION! til ELEVEN. Until Brian’s initiative comes up at 11, he is momentarily stunned by the action with his thumb up his butt — unable to do anything. MITIGATE SURPRISE come MITIGATE JERK!! yer gonna Dave can choose to assist Brian by stopping and my SURPRISE. leave the pointing out the danger. SPELL LOBBER unprotected?!! In this latter instance, they would split the ini- tiatives by averaging the count in which Dave helped Brian (5) and when Brian can act (11) – making both Brian’s and Dave’s initiative 8. 5 See Mitigating Surprise, page 217 24 9
sara, the GOBLIN you were MOVING toward 5 ’m gonna rule he moves into the SPACE Certain aspects and actions which occur dur- was moving his BUDDY just got to ENGAGE KNOCKED BACK from. ing the course of the game (and especially you as well... combat) will require GM arbitration. since you were he mutters a In this instance, BA has made two important preoccupied with GROWL and SPITS decisions. killing his buddy intent on the second First he has ruled that the second goblin AVENGING before... his comrade. (despite being 5’ away) is currently ‘engaged’ with Justina. This means both Justina and the goblin are already locked into the count and weapon speeds won’t be reset as they engage one another. This decision was made because BA had already determined the goblin was going to attack Justina! Goblins are small creatures (like Secondly BA has ruled sara you’re got REACH on your dwarves and halfings) and essentially that since both Justina and GOBLIN so you can attack first. have a 1-foot penalty to their reach. the goblin are attempting Since they are using daggers both to move into the vacant bob, yer usin’ a Justina and Knuckles will strike first in square between them, the DAGGER same as combat when they arrive because their goblins arrives first. your OPPONENT reach is longer. with the SAME There are a number of penalties... Justina will get to attack first, but ways to determine who Knuckles and the goblin will go at the arrives first in such situa- you two will same time since they both have a -1 to tions, but BA has decided ATTACK simultaneously. Reach and are wielding daggers. the goblin took advantage Sara takes her attack but misses — of the extra time he had giving the goblin an opportunity to tak while Justina was killing his e his attack. comrade. See Reach, page 223 Near Perfect Defense the GOBLIN now attacks rolled a 5 BA rolls an 11 for the goblin’s attack and adds his Attack Modifier of +3, for a total of eh... my his ATTACK NATURAL 19 -- NEAR on you, sara. 14. Since Sara’s roll is higher (19-4+1 = 16) PERFECT for a she successfully defends the attack. Sara re- DEFENSE with a 14!! modified 16! ceives a -4 to her defense roll because she is misses, b.a. not using a shield. In addition, since she roll that’s a rolled a ‘natural’ 19 AND beats her attackers for a NEAR PERFECT DEFENSE. roll she gets a Near Perfect Defense result. DEFENSE, sara! Since Sara gets a Near Perfect Defense she now makes an attack roll vs. the goblin’s de- nice! fense. If she hits, she rolls (d4-2 + d4-2) + Str bonuses for the damage. Near Perfect De- fense damage ignores DR (unless it’s natural – such as scaly skin). See Near Perfect Defense, page 241 okay... good for Critical Hit okay, b.a. go ahead you. OVER HERE!! and ROLL, YEEES!!! Bob rolled a Natural ’m ATTACKIN’ bob. roll yer this dude 20 on his attack roll. If a NAT DAMAGE RIGHT here! his roll is greater than TWENTY! the defender’s Defense RULE!! roll then he not only hits but scores a criti- cal hit. See Critical Defense, page 241250 5
Also, since Bob rolled the maximum he rolls a penetration he -sigh- and GOBO Penetrationroll. In this instance a d20 penetrates to a d6; Bob then rolls COLLAPSES misses on his in agony,a 3 on a d6 for a total of 25 (20-1 [for penetration]+3[d6 simultaneous attack. failing hisroll]+3 [his Attack modifier]). TOP CHECK. looks like he goes See Dice Penetration, page 8 DOWN with a cut throat unable to Since BA only rolled an 8 for the goblin’s Defense roll, Bob WHET his blade.not only hits but scores a critical! See Critical Defense, page 241 Simultaneous Combat Even though the goblin has been critted he STILL gets totake his attack before going down — since this
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