caption= Player's Handbook cover
designer= "Jolly R. Blackburn, David Kenzer, et al."
Kenzer & Company
system= Custom, derived from AD&D system
footnotes= Spun off from the "
Knights of the Dinner Table" comic strip
HackMaster is a
role-playing gameproduced by Kenzer & Company, being a revised expansion of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It started out as a fictional game, a parodyof the most ludicrous aspects of " D&D" played by the characters of the " Knights of the Dinner Table" comic stripby Jolly R. Blackburn. The characters in the comic began playing "HackMaster 3rd Edition", which has since been updated to a numerously-revised 4th edition, and it has been hinted the name of the game was originally changed for copyright reasons.
As of the 4th edition, the official setting of Hackmaster is Garweeze Wurld, a giant continent on the planet Aldrazar based on the notes of Jolly Blackburn. This has been developed in the "Garweeze Wurld Atlas" and "Garweeze Wurld Gazeteer". Garweeze Wurld is about eight thousand miles across, circling much of the northern hemisphere of its planet. The continent is mapped based on forty-eight "sectors", each one thousand miles across. The continent reaches from the tropical band of Aldrazar to its Arctic circle.
Kenzer & Company received many requests from fans of the comic to produce an actual HackMaster game, but initially they thought that licensing
Dungeons & Dragonswould be impossible. However, when they asked Wizards of the Coastabout creating a derivative work, they reached an agreement that led in 2001 to the publication of "HackMaster 4th Edition", sometimes ironically referred to as the most realistic and complete set of role-playing rules in existence.Fact|date=May 2007
K&C acquired the rights to produce HackMaster after the Dragon Magazine Archive software was published where
Wizards of the Coastfailed to get permission to reprint many of the original articles such as the Knights of the Dinner Table comic in the electronic media archive. A lawsuit was settled out of court, and K&C started producing HackMaster afterwards. In part of that ability to use AD&D rules, K&C is required to maintain a higher level of humor than in the Knights of the Dinner Table comic for products that are revised from previous AD&D material.Fact|date=February 2007 Completely original works for Hackmaster are not subject to this restriction imposed by Wizards of the Coast.
Whereas Wizards of the Coast overhauled the rules for 3rd edition "Dungeons & Dragons", Kenzer & Company took the opposite action by revising the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" First and Second Edition rules (including various supplements such as 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures and the mid-90's Skills & Powers supplements) into a more coherent system and adding an element of parody. However, as a nod to the version from the comic, the first edition of Hackmaster was published as the 4th Edition.
The Hacklopedia of Beasts, the Hackmaster version of the Monster Manual, was next released as 8 separate volumes, costing $19.99 each. These books were somewhat optional as creature statistics from the 1st and 2nd edition versions of AD&D were compatible with Hackmaster. Kenzerco later released the Hackmaster Field Manual, which contained the more popular Hackmaster creatures in a single volume.
Since its release in 2001, "HackMaster" has evolved into a fully-fledged role-playing game, spawning over forty add-ons, supplements and game aids. Most notable products include a 32-panel gamemaster's shield, a 16-page character sheet and a 10-volume monster encyclopedia.
In 2002, "HackMaster" won the
Origins Awardfor "Game of the Year 2001". [cite web|url=http://www.originsgames.com/awards/2001|title=2001 - Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design|accessed-on=2007-05-13]
On July 6, 2007, Kenzer & Company announced that
Kingdoms of Kalamarwould replace Garweeze Wurld as the game's default setting. [cite web
last = Kenzer
first = David S.
authorlink = David S. Kenzer
title = Re: Future of Kalamar
url = http://www.kenzerco.com/forums/showpost.php?p=377848&postcount=12
accessdate = 2007-07-18] On July 11, 2007, Kenzer & Company announced that their license agreement with Wizards of the Coast would expire in August of that year. [cite web
title = Wizards of the Coast/Kenzer & Company License Agreements Expiring
url = http://www.kenzerco.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32056
accessdate = 2007-07-18 ] The loss of the license means that existing works containing licensed text would not be reprinted and that future editions of the game would not contain material copyrighted by Wizards. [cite web
last = Kenzer
first = David S.
authorlink = David S. Kenzer
title = Re: HackMaster and License: Questions
url = http://www.kenzerco.com/forums/showpost.php?p=541982&postcount=5
accessdate = 2007-07-18 ]
The "Hackmaster Players Association" (HMPA) and "Hackmaster Game Master Association" (HMGMA) are organizations created to ensure that any tournament level characters and players abide by the rules, and have no unfair advantages. Likewise they ensure that their sanctioned GMs strive to help see that players may enjoy themselves in environments free of prejudice, alienation, and favoritism. The HMPA/HMGA also has a system to allow players to have their home game characters to be used in sanctioned convention tournaments.
The HMGMA audits and moderates GMs to ensure that there are no GMs who are making life too difficult, making it too easy, or even cheating outright. They are also required to act professionally, and to be impartial during games of Hackmaster. An HMGMA certified GM who is caught to be breaking either of these rules will suffer consequences. Some of them include:
* Having any Hackmaster chapters they GM for audited.
* Risking having their membership revoked, or possibly banned.
* If their actions have any legal impacts, they could even risk legal action.
The HMGMA initially started as a parody of the
RPGAin the Knights of the Dinner Tablecomic. With Kenzer & Companyreleasing HackMaster as an actual roleplaying game, the HMGMA has become a gaming organization in its own right, having several chapters in numerous countries including the U.S. and U.K., requiring annual dues of its members, and so forth.
The first HackMaster Association created and organized without direct assistance and contribution from Kenzer Co employees was the Northern California Chapter of the HackMaster Association. Brought together by Norm Hancock, co-founder, the first President and later Minister of Propaganda, the Nor Cal Chapter held several tournaments over the next two years and the Bay Area was one of the most active regions in the country.
In 2006, Norm relocated to Oregon after resigning from his post, passing on the leadership role to Steve “Bloody-Mage” Willett.
* [http://www.kenzerco.com/index.php?cPath=25_26/ Official HackMaster site]
* [http://hma172.fdns.net/ HMA Local #172: HMA chapter of Southeastern Wisconsin! Hoody-Hoo!]
* [http://norcalhma.thereliquary.net/ Northern California Chapter of the HackMaster Association]
* [http://www.hackwurld.com/gwwiki/ GW Wiki - Information on one of the official settings for HackMaster]
* [http://www.kenzerco.com/hma/main/index.php Official Hackmaster Association (HMA) site]
* [http://www.gaming-site.net/ Ohio & Western PA HMA Chapter]
* [http://www.hma-uk.tk/ United Kingdom HMA Chapter]
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