Written by Jeremy Morgan, tabletop games editor, gamer, and software developer.
About | Planescape4E

Old School Hack

21 July 2012

There’s nothing quite like playing an RPG and having the creator of the game be the GM. It’s a magical experience, one I recommend to all who can pull it off. Tonight was one such night. I had the supreme pleasure of playing Old School Hack with some amazing people.


  • GM: Kirin Robinson (aka @koboldstyle on Twitter)
  • Our fighter, Vlad of Big Fist, played by Brian Engard (@zelgadas on Twitter)
  • Our thief, The Edge, played by Irven Keppen (@myrkwell on Twitter)
  • Our magic user, Imagi Muoko, played by Quinn Murphy (@qh_murphy on Twitter)
  • Our cleric, Egbert, worshipper of Jeff the God of Biscuits, played by Tom Cadorette (@cadorette on Twitter)
  • Our goblin, Gorkin Rinsey, played by me.
  • Spectator John Adamus (@awesome_john on Twitter)

The Mission (in Brief)

Our job was to rescue someone from a place. (I’d be more specific, but I know Kirin was previewing the material for us.)

List of Cool, Fun, Awesome Stuff that Happened

  • Hitting creatures… IN THE FACE!
  • Guards being thrown down shafts
  • Cannons blasting holes in castle walls
  • Guards being thrown through holes in castle walls
  • Guards being thrown through stained-glass windows

My Thoughts on Old School Hack as a System

I love this system! It feels like D&D, but it’s lightweight and easy to learn. It flows really well at the table, and combats feel dynamic and fun. The Awesome Point mechanic is just that: awesome. There were several moments where we couldn’t help but award them, and we got to use them to great effect. I never felt like I was paralyzed with too many options, and the system seemed to support my urge to try fun stuff just because it was fun. Setup time was minimal, with all but one of us choosing pregens (Had to be different, didn’t you Brian? 😛).

I’ve been considering starting a campaign for my co-workers, a mixed group of lapsed roleplayers and at least one newcomer. After an initial glance at the rules, I thought this might be a good one to introduce / reintroduce them to RPGs. Now that I’ve played it, I’m even more convinced it would be an excellent choice. Now I’ve just got to figure out the scenario…


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