Monday, January 18, 2016

Wilderlands of Hack Session 1 discussion

Picture:  Little Jimmy and Kurt the Bard flee down Alchemist Alley ahead of the mob of Cultists

The first session of Wilderlands of Hack was complete last night, the log is available at the Wilderlands of Hack wiki Log Page  if you did not get a copy.  Also, I've added a Characters Page to the wiki, and the basic details of the characters generated last night are entered therein.  Feel free to edit or add to your character's page.

The Adventure:
It was a good city adventure mini-session.   The encounter did not go at all as I had envisioned it.  I sort of expected a magic-user with 2 sleep spells to be available.  A bard with 1 armor spell not being remotely the same thing.   Nevertheless, the street-map board and the detailed City State city map worked well together.  The players were cunning and managed to accomplish their mission using cunning, tactics and clear thinking, and did not end up getting swarmed by 30 cultists.   They only managed to kill about 4 of them (mostly Marlon's doing), but won the day.

They didn't follow up on the spy who alerted the cultists, so they didn't find the map to the dungeon and treasure, but with the time constraints we were under, it was probably alright to just do some city adventuring instead.

No Skills
I must admit I liked the fact that there were no skills, proficiencies or the like in the game.  Most times they tried things, like blocking the door, breaking down the wall, sneaking past the mob.  It was simple just to roll Ability Score or less on d20,   or do an opposed roll based on ability bonuses, or use a similar Combat Maneuver set up to a quick ruling.  Everything was fast an moved quickly.

I also liked just how simple the characters are to create and manage

Having the chips in place of monster XP worked well.   You had them as an option, but you had to be judicious in their use.   Poor Tim, his use of a chip cost him a level-up, since he ended up 100xp short.  But,  if we had used monster XP instead of the chip method, they would have gotten about 20 monster XP to split 4 ways, instead of 400-500 each.   The goal shifts from killing, to winning the encounter at low cost and getting treasure.

Special Trait Cards
These worked out well.   Marlon's +1 DEX was a huge help to him.   Tim's Spell cast protection should be too.   I need to decide about getting more draws.   I think it would be good to get another draw at various levels.   Either 4,8,12,16 etc,  or 5,10,15 etc.    I guess the more the merrier.   How about every 4th level.

Here's an in-game ruling I made that should be carried forward:
        Move at Combat Move Rate and you can make your normal attack or action (spell etc)
        Move at Double Combat Move:  no attack/action but may move around corners, make wild turns, curves, etc.
        Move at Triple Combat Move (run rate) no attack, no action (except charge) and must move in a straight line.   All charges must be straight line moves.


Fighting Withdraw:  move back 5 feet, may not attack unless enemy moves to contact later in the round, then you get a standard attack.  Enemy does not get free attack.

Reckless Disengage:  make your standard combat move or less away from the enemy, breaking contact, you may make your normal action/attacks but the enemy gets a free attack against you the moment you move out of contact.

Retreat:  move up to running speed away from enemy.  Enemy gets a free attack that counts as a rear attack (+2 to hit, ignores DEX bonus and shield )

Thanks for coming out everyone, it was fun and should be a good campaign.


  1. Cool! What are the rules for character creation? Do I need the AD&D Cyclopedia? Is there a digital version available somewhere?

  2. This is the D&D rules cyclopedia, which has quite a bit of the stuff Dave is using:
    Fairly priced, but oh my lord does it have a ton of stuff in it.

  3. For ability scores, use 4d6, drop the lowest, 6 times, arrange to taste. You may not "raise a score by 1 by dropping another by 2".

    Choose any of the classes from the Rules Cyclopedia, or the Bard, Berserker or Gnome from the House Rules document.

    Thieves use 1d6 for hit die, instead of 1d4.

    Add 5% time DEX bonus to all thief skills (used by thieves, bards, gnomes or mystics) except for Hear Noise

    Roll 3d6 times 10 for gold pieces, spend based on gear book.

    Start with 2500 experience points (most classes 2nd level, except thieves (3rd) and elves (1st))

    E-mail me if you want to handle the "Special Character Traits" before coming to the table.

    Alignments: LG, CG, N, LE, CE

    Religions: special to CSWE, if you really don't care just pick Shang-Ta (god of the sky, the church teaches Lawful Good, but they really aren't all that into it and most worshippers are neutral).

  4. If you make an arcane caster, check with me for spells.

  5. i did like the on the fly ruling you made about movement and disengaging from combat
    i like the idea of every 4th level for the trait cards
    i gotta say im not the biggest fan of the way the hit point rolls are done but i may just be saying that because my rolls sucked on the night
    another idea might be depending on the level of maintenance you pay instead of getting an extra roll on the hit points it could just add +1 hit point per die the unfortunate thing is that benefits the d4 and d6 hit point characters much more
    but i very much did like the low level ACKS system of of a d8 character rolling 1/2 dice +4 for the first 4 levels