Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Subject of Other Fantasy RPGs ...

Does anyone have any idea when (if?) HackMaster Advanced is scheduled to be released? HackMaster Basic came out well over a year ago and, at the time, Advanced was rumored to be on schedule for late 2010. Here we are about to enter the second quarter of 2011 and I haven't seen any evidence that Advanced is on the horizon, though, not being a regular reader of either Knights of the Dinner Table or the Kenzer forums, I might well have missed an announcement somewhere.

So, did I? What's the latest word on HackMaster Advanced? I ask out of pure curiosity, since I'm unlikely to pick up a copy, but Kenzer is one of those companies that I have a strange fondness for despite the fact that they make no games I play. They just seem like really good folks and I wish them well.


  1. Hi James,

    There's no official release date for most of the corebooks, although the Kenzer D-Team are optimistic that we may see the first two this year.

    The Hacklopedia of Beasts, a single, full-color, hard-cover monster manual is currently being printed and might reach our shores by May or June. The Player's Handbook has probably been 90 or 95% written and is being formatted by Jolly Blackburn. Jolly has expressed hope that the book will see print by the end of the year. The GMG is rumored to be due out in 2012, hopefully in time for GaryCon or Origins.

    In the meantime, a number of shorter adventures - including, hopefully, the Mines of Chaos - are due to see print this year as well.

  2. I believe that the HM monster book is probably due out in June in time for Origins. Honestly I wouldn't expect to see the players handbook for Advanced this year. Kenzer's release schedule is agonizingly slow and is the main reason I stopped caring.

  3. (I forgot to mention, you can pre-order the Hacklopedia of Beasts and get the pdf right now. It is glorious.)

  4. Don't know if it affects the topic at hand but unfortunately I heard that Jolly B has had a death in the family. I follow his Twitter and he's having a hard time right now, hope he and his wife are ok.

  5. Jolly and Barbara lost their daughter, Amber, yesterday.

    re: Adv HM, I had heard at Garycon (though not directly from the Kenzer staff) that the player's guide was due pretty soon. Possibly in time for Origins. I picked up the Hacklopedia pdf while there. It is quite impressive.

    The HMB rules are a definite departure from their D&D roots, but many of the changes are good ones, IMO. It makes for a bit more die rolling on everyone's part, as well as doing some extra math at character generation to derive certain modifiers. In actual play, it goes pretty smoothly though.

    As a small-time OSR publisher, I tend to focus on the games I write for (i.e. LL, MF, etc.). That said, after getting to play it a couple times at Garycon, I am seriously considering running some HMB as an alternate game at some point in the future.

  6. The "advanced" books will be the Hacklopedia of Beasts, Player's Handbook, and GameMaster's Guide. (Note that "Advanced" will not appear in the title; it's just "HackMaster.")

    The Hacklopedia is scheduled for May 31st, and the Player's Handbook following thereafter. There's no exact 2011 release date yet on the PHB or GMG. Better to take time and do them right than rush them to press. ;)

  7. Yeah, from what I can tell, the guys at Kenzer and Co. don't like to give hard and fast release dates, since they're a fairly small operation catering to a relatively large fanbase. Any kind of deviation from a set schedule can result in a pretty sizable uproar on their forums, as has been witnessed in the past.

    There are some tantalizing tidbits that suggest the PHB will come out sometime this year, though, and the Hacklopedia is already available for preorder, as has been mentioned. I got the PDF, and in my opinion it is one of the best creature compendiums for any RPG to date. At $60 though it's pretty steep, but it's absolutely beautiful.

  8. The reason that they don't give release dates anymore is they did that before and got complaints when A&8's didn't make it due to a shipping problem... (Literally a Slow Boat from China)...