Draft for “Fictive Hack: Basic, Player’s Book”

Here is the draft of “Fictive Hack: Basic, Player’s Book.” I have posted it in Word so you can help me out. I’d like those who are willing to go through and use the “Comment” feature to point out typos, unclear text, rule confusion, or stuff you really like. Let me hear it before I finalize this thing!

Fictive Hack Basic Player Book draft 7.9.12

Here is the font I use in the document, Scurlock. With that font, you should be able to see what I see as you work on the document.

If you’ve been thinking, “Gee, I’d like to help Andrew out with his crazy projects, but I just don’t know how,” this is your moment!

The document is 42 pages long; that’s 15 pages longer than Old School Hack. Of course, I also plan to do a DM book to go with the player book. Some of the things that were requested won’t be here, like monster stat blocks; that will be in the DM book, it isn’t something the player needs to know. However, as soon as I get this done, all the advice I have for DMs, and tools to build a scenario super-fast, will go into the DM book!

Then, down the road in a more liesurely fashion, I’ll do a campaign book with all the things I did for Old School Hack updated for Fictive Hack. Mounts, poisons, piles of templates, a cross-reference document with all the talents in it, etc.

Anyway, enough talk out of me! Please, download this and look it over and tell me what you think.

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6 Responses to Draft for “Fictive Hack: Basic, Player’s Book”

  1. Tim D. says:

    Hi Mr. Fictive!

    Here’s my hack on your hack. Enjoy.

    (I don’t have the latest version of Word, so I’m sending this in details as opposed to on the actual docx)

    1. I’d move the “intended play style” to the title page. Does a great job explaining the overall game.

    2. 15 AP per pax? 2.5 per pax was the original starting point in the bowl, seems like a lot of AP, but I’m still working on my AP economy.

    3. p5: space needed between “mindset & It is fun”

    4. p6: space needed between “one and”.

    No benefit/limitation for the other attributes other than brawn and awareness?

    space needed between “(see page 5.) and The”

    5. p10: spaced needed between “Ranged throw weapons and have”

    6. Medium armor is free weight? Later it appears to have +1 load. No mention of heavy armor here, but later it’s +2.

    For more gritty (realistic) play, I’d put MED as +1, HEAVY as +2, and SUPER HEAVY as +3. Body armor, kevlar, M4 and basic load of ammo made me slow and staggering in Afghanistan, and that’s probably the equivalent to heavy. Can’t imagine plate armor and shield and long sword…

    7. p11: light weapon description says “3d10”, but no context as to what that means. I know from OSH what that means, but should be spelled out here I think.

    8. Heavy crossbow. Does 1 damage but reduces target’s armor damage? Huh? This doesn’t make any sense to me. Damage reduction doesn’t help if it only does 1 damage anyhow. Maybe I’m missing something…

    9. p12: Armor weight is different here than in the earlier weapons description.

    10. p27: Initiative. A) Not effected by Awareness? Thinking old D&D Dexterity here… B) Armor impact (described in the armor area p12) not mentioned here, but I think should be.

    Didn’t really dig into the rest, but wanted to go after the mechanics initially.


  2. fictivite says:

    @Tim: Thanks for the initial look! I’ll run through this and update my doc, but I wanted to say thanks sooner than that.

  3. fictivite says:

    @Tim: Thanks again. Here’s some thoughts from my end that may be helpful.

    2. The 15 AP per player is listed under what the DM needs; you don’t want to run out of chips, and if the players aren’t spending them, the Stack can get low. In the section on Awesome Points the advice is about 5 per player in the Bowl to start. Hey, I prefer to have lots available, it is irritating to run out or run low when the players are getting into the spirit of handing them out. Of course, that’s a style issue.

    Brawn and Awareness have initial advantages if you take them, and the others don’t, that’s true–in Basic. In the Campaign book, Commitment can allow an honor code, and Charm, Cunning, and Daring together can generate advantages. (You can get a sneak peek of how that will look by checking out People vs. Monsters on this blog.) That seemed too advanced to go in Basic. Maybe not?

    6. and 9. I found this, it’s on page 9 in mine, under the Encumbrance section. I’ve fixed it, thanks. These pesky errors will crop up, and I appreciate help finding them and crushing them! We agree on the best numbers, as represented on the chart on page 7, which is right.

    7. Good catch. I’ve tried to get my mindset out of my experience, and approach it with the eyes of a newcomer, but it’s tough. I’ll fix that.

    8. If you hit armor and the armor ignores 1 Wound, then the crossbow cancels that, so your 1 Wound gets through.

    10. Initiative is a plain d10 roll, just like in the original. I’m not seeing a reference under Encumbrance to initiative; am I missing it?

    Tim, thanks again for taking the time to help me comb through this document and fix stuff. I really appreciate it!

  4. Tim D. says:

    Regarding point 10 above, I looked at the “cunning penalty” on page 12 and assumed that would apply to initiative. Makes sense to me, and adds another dimension to wearing heavy armor: you go slow and don’t set the pace for the event. Would be an important use for this attribute.

    I really think having each attribute have an immediate impact is important. I remember in old D&D days when my players all had charisma of about 6 or 7 because it seemed to them to have no point in the game. While you’ve given immediate effects for brawn and awareness, adding something for the other attributes seems important as well.

    Resurrecting the “reaction roll” in conjunction with charm bonus seems like a natural. Commitment as a “saving throw” (opposed roll mechanic) seems appropriate vs magic or poison. I’m struggling with daring, could be a “saving throw” vs traps or thrown weapons perhaps?


    Heavy crossbow…. wouldn’t it be easier and less convoluted to just say it hits for 2 points of damage? Same impact vs armor (I think), and really hurts if you don’t wear any. Which makes sense to me.

  5. fictivite says:

    Well, any social test (including intimidation, if you want) is modified by Charm. Commitment is already the saving throw against controlling magic. Daring is a saving throw against reflex issues (and also what you use to dodge stuff and maneuver in high places). That’s all built in, not sub-systems. Brawn and Awareness have ADDITIONAL value (Awareness just at generation, Brawn for encumbrance) to start with mainly for languages and starting gear.

    I’m not worried about dump stats for Fictive Hack. For one, you get an attribute point every time you level. For another, some talents are more effective based on an attribute, thereby drawing focus to it. Every concept will find some of these attributes more valuable, so there’s some balance there. Finally, having some low stats can actually help you, as you spend Awesome Points to bolster lousy rolls and therefore level faster, and keep some flavor to your slightly flawed character.

    I agree it could be simpler just to say crossbows are light weapons and heavy crossbows are heavier weapons. Heavy crossbows were one of the first things I designed, and I adapted them over when I switched the armor setup; I think there’s value in dropping the complexity (which, against armor class, made it possible to hit on a wider range, and mattered more.)

    Thanks for checking in.

  6. fictivite says:

    Oh, I missed the encumbrance idea. Here’s the thing. Initiative only matters when characters are going in the same band of actions in the combat round; it’s not like “who goes first” generally, but instead “who of the people doing this kind of action goes first.” That reduces the importance some. I think this is a good place to keep the simplicity and not add modifiers that must be tracked.

    In my overall modifications, I’ve tried to expand how many attributes you can use for some tasks, so it’s less of a puzzle of tracking what attribute maps to what actions and more a matter of looking how a character can apply strengths to a situation.

    Maybe I’d want an initiative bonus from Awareness, or Daring, instead of Cunning. I could make a case for that. But then we’re working out our bonuses when we should be getting down to business.

    Of course, people can house rule that one up, but I prefer the flat Initiative; at my game table, it rarely comes up as a nail-biter (who goes first.) When it does, I like the die working that out instead of players throwing Awesome Points or modifiers at it to get the jump. Also, this makes the Elf cooler. =)

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