Fictive Hack: Why Play This Game?

Here’s a section from my upcoming “Fictive Hack: Basic, Player’s Book.”

Intended Play Style

Fictive Hack is designed to be low-prep, improvisational, reactive, cinematic, and fast-paced. Character advancement is based on the kind of game the players and DM want, and how they reward each other for playing in that style. (The game can be silly and over-the-top, or focused on tactics, or serious with emphasis on character development, etc.) Decide what is awesome, and that decision drives the game. A few interlocked systems (Awesome Point economy, weapons and arenas, armor, inherent abilities and talents) express a wide variety of action.

 Why Play This Game?

  • The Awesome Point economy (points awarded from the DM and also shared among players) encourages camaraderie and fun, and substitutes for many complex mini-systems by charging Awesome Points to adjust outcomes.
  • A simple codification of weapon types combines with the concept of an “arena” as an area in a fight to create simple tactical variety that encourages movement and swashbuckling.
  • Skills, feats, magic, and special abilities all combine under the “talent” umbrella to create a consistent but flexible system, tightly integrated with the Awesome Point economy.
  • This game is built on a permissive, bonus-over-balance, easily improvised mindset. It is fun.
  • Preparation can be very fast, even improvisational. A few flexible rule sets accommodate a wide variety of cinematic and exciting action scenes and social interactions. Allies, foes, and monsters can be swiftly developed and dropped into play.
  • Characters can access abilities they have not earned, within limits, and “multi-classing” or taking abilities from other areas is easy. Characters advance quickly and are extremely customizable. The Basic game can take characters to 12th level or further. Character advancement is tied into the Awesome Point economy, and players choose the speed of their advancement as a group.
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10 Responses to Fictive Hack: Why Play This Game?

  1. Michael says:

    Having played this system I can say that it is a lot of fun. We’ve done at least 4 games; The Breathing World, The World Between and two other GMs. Each having its own flavor and style. All easy and fun to play in. With all the mix and match options you could play a party of 5 fighters and they could look nothing alike. Its a solid and simple system with a lot of potential. I hope other people enjoy it as much as we have playing it.

  2. Karlen says:

    I’m still part way through my “Curse of the Sage Heart Gem” homebrew campaign and all my players are having fun with it.

  3. fictivite says:

    @Michael: Glad you’re enjoying it! Thanks for checking in.

    @Karlen: Homebrew is a lot of fun. What’s going on in your campaign?

  4. Tim D. says:

    Nice summary. Anyone not familiar with the game should have a good idea of how it works from this description.

  5. fictivite says:

    @Tim. Thanks. It was an interesting exercise to really sum up what makes this game special. 90% of the description also works for Old School Hack.

  6. Karlen says:

    The players have retrieved a ruby gem for a wizard, only to find that upon their return he has been assassinated. Tricked by a member of a mysterious assassin guild into the forest, the players find that the gem has an attraction to danger and causes beasts to crave the power within. But the spirit of their fallen wizard ally is not so easily dispelled and he instructed them from the great beyond to take the stone to his brother in a far away city. After much treking through the swamps to evade pursuing assassins, fending off many wild beasts, and climbing the mountain to city they were traveling to the players deliver the gem safely to the wizard’s brother. But one might guess they were not close brothers because once in his possession he attempted to kill the players with incredible magic fueled by the raw energy of the gem. As our last session ended the players just barely escaped the ivory tower in the city where the wizard lives by the skin of their backs. It was on their backs that they saw the arcing lightning striking the skies and dark, purple clouds began to spread across the skies.

  7. m.s. jackson says:

    Soooo, Andrew, how does one get a copy of this game?

  8. fictivite says:

    I plan to put a Word document out by the end of next week so people can use the “comment” feature to offer suggestions, help me catch typos, note what they really like, ask questions, and so on. Then after a couple weeks I’ll tighten up the final product with that feedback, and put out the .pdf.

  9. Karlen says:

    Any chance you’ll be revamping the player sheet? I dug how that guy did the player sheet for Shadow Hack and thought it was a good start to a better player sheet.

    • fictivite says:

      The changes to the sheet will be minor. I looked over the Shadow Hack sheet, and for one, my eyesight is not so good; eye-bleeding tiny font is one of the problems I had with the original game.

      Some people look at a character sheet and judge the complexity of the game by what is there. Because of that, I’m trying to keep the sheet as simple as I can.

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