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Known Game Hacks?

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've seen the word "hack" used recently with games. What does it mean? It seems to have snuck up on me without explaining itself!


I've seen the word "hack" used recently with games. What does it mean? It seems to have snuck up on me without explaining itself!
People basically taking a rules system and stripping out the setting info and gearing it toward a different genre or setting. There is a Star Wars hack for Dragon Age for example. Often they have a small rules set you use in addition to the original or in place of.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Ah. New words for old things! :)

I'll slip this over to the appropriate forum for you.


Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Dungeon World is a hack of Apocalypse World.

Monster Hearts is also a hack of Apocalypse World.

Is Bruce Cordell's The Strange considered a hack of Numenera?


I have seen E6 or Epic 6th referenced as a hack. If it classifies, it is my favorite. 3.5/Pathfinder and making it much lower leveled, controlled, and more grim and heroic.


Funny I should spot this today. I have one I've been working on for a couple of days (in my spare time) in anticipation of the new system. This is what I have so far.


The world of Rysis came to an end. The land fissured, volcanoes spewed forth their doom, the sky fell, and all of Rysis prayed for salvation.
On Earth, it was the Dark Ages. An age passed since the fall of Rome. Knowledge culture, and civilization were things of the past and man struggled for survival while the Catholic Church prospered on the skulls of the oppressed. Then came the falling star:
The Earth split and strange landscapes shot from the very soil as if two lands crashed together. Volcanoes shot their ash into the clouds and the sun was erased from the sky. The After a time, the lands froze and the black snow came. Then came the encounters. From the smoke and ash appeared the Droagan, Erow, Thoran, and Verik - people of such strangeness, they could only be described as demons from hell with powers not of this world.
The natives were primitive and savage. The Erow, tall, elfish people were convinced they could bring civility to this land. With the assistance of the beastly Varik and the current negotiations with the Dwarvish Droagan, it would be easy to make this world a New Rysis. The Thoran would fall easily in line if you told them the expedition was lucritive for those who valued posessions. The massacre came quickly. The war was lost for the humans. The otherworlders were too powerful - had superior technology - a stronger military. For a time, Europe and much of Asia was enslaved, but those on the British eisles and the Far East are spared the subversion (including the Catholic Church).
Another age passed and with the help of the Verik (whom had long known the burdens of slavery), the advantages of mixing technologies and cultures were learned, man's freedom was won, and a new world was born - a world of free Europe, mixed culture and technology, and an oppressive Catholic Church in the west which is convinced these are the end times and the falling star was the Morning Star.
These are the end times. The otherworlders brought the ways of magic, and with that, the fear of witchcraft. After the emancipation of man, the Church has claimed credit for keeping man's hope and winning man's freedom. It has become the new human supremacist group and turned this freedom into a hatred to the other races. This belief is purified and set in stone by a new found power - a connection with God or something like him. The church, however, is split. While the Church has authority and power, there are fringe groups within the church who do not agree with the new hatred. The church hunts these clerics down with a vengeance out of fear that the church's authority will be undermined by the power of the clerics and the seeds of hope they may plant. Only the church's numbers, authority, and wealth have kept revolution at bay. Hope is good, but not enough.
It is still the Middle Ages, but it is an age of magic, technology, fantasy and wonder. Old cultures are gone. New races have clashed but the collision of worlds has awaken the creatures of old and unsealed those which were shut away by the angels: Demons and Dragons not the least of them. Others creatures from High Rysis have joined Earth. This is not the old world. There are some recognized ruins of Old Earth, but this isn't the Earth anymore. We aren't human anymore. It is High Earth - or New Rysis - depending on who you talk to, and who wins the war. No matter which side you ask, both agree you are speaking of this world when you call it Rapture.

The war is a backdrop and there is no pressure to include it in your campaign. For the most part, it is a cold and secritive war of hatred - differing cultures forced to live together in the same world. If anything the only real contention should be racial differences and Templar alliances within the church.
CHANNEL DIVINITY: Pray for a Miracle - Once per gaming session, the Cleric may expend a use of Channel Divinity to make a special connection with God and pray for intercession on an impossible scale (such as bringing a character back from death, or saving the party from a demon who was particularly more dangerous than expected). The Cleric then makes a DC 25 Wis Save. More often than not, the prayer goes unanswered, "It was not part of his plan. Blessed are we to understand this wisdom and humble ourselves to his will." Another attempt may not be made on this particular request (or any other request that attempts to circumvent this rule - that would be questioning God's will, Cleric). Before attempting the Pray For a Miracle, you should ask the DM for permission, as this may not be part of HIS plan, "You hear a voice in your heart telling you, 'You already have the wisdom to carry out my will.'"
FEAT: ENGINEER - You gain the ability to repair technologies of which you are proficient and craft limited technological items.
FEAT: DEFLECTOR - Use of this skill requires a +1 Magical Weapon or greater. A Deflector who is the target of a blaster attack while wielding a +1 magical weapon, the player may expend a reaction to make a Dex Save vs a DC equal to the attack roll made. On a success, the attack is deflected to a safe direction. On a failure, the player is hit. On a crit, the attack is reflected back to the attacker. On a fumble, the attack is deflected to a random friendly target who is hit by the attack.
WEAPON PROPERTY: Alternate Attack (Dual) - This melee weapon has a ranged attack option that does 1d4 damage. Players that make use of the dual weapon option may use this attack for such a purpose as well. Such weapons are usually weaker in damage compared to their counterparts that do not have Alternate Attack (Dual).
RACE RENAME AND RESKIN: Dwarf = Droagan (Punkish with piercings, colored hair and outrageous hairstyles.
New Proficiency = Droagan Technology - you may use Droagan Technology. Droagan Technology has a tenancy to be metallic or crystalline and very geometric. Blaster pistols (bows) have 6 shots and recharge after a short rest - usually spent turning a crank for a mini-generator. Bolt-action blaster rifles have the Loading property and unlimited shots. [Weapons = -1 To Hit, +1 Damage; Armor = +1 AC vs Blasters, -1 AC vs Bludgeoning]
RACE RENAME AND RESKIN: Elf = Erow/Erowa (Very tall with grey or bluish skin tone)
New Proficiency = Erowa Technology - you may use Erowa Technology. Erowa Technology is biological and usually grown. Blaster pistols have 6 shots and recharge after a short rest - usually spent exposing an open panel to the rays of the sun or warmth of a fire. Bolt-action blaster rifles (crossbows) have the Loading property and unlimited shots. [+1 To Hit, -1 Damage; Armor = +1 AC vs Blasters, -1 AC vs Slashing]
RACE RENAME AND RESKIN: Halfling = Thonan (Proportionately smaller humans)
New Proficiency = Thonan Technology - you may use Thonan Technology. Thonan Technology is more of a technological advance of dark age technology and usually involves similar shaped weaponry with enough change that a layman would recognize it, but not know what to do with it (strange grips, awkward center of gravity, unfamiliar design). Typically, Thonans do not have any blaster technology - too noisy and uncivilized. [-1 To Hit, -1 Damage, Weight cut in half (rounded down), Normal weaons are given the Light property and Heavy Weapons lose their Heavy property; Armor = +1 AC vs Blasters, -1 AC vs Piercing]
RACE RENAME AND RESKIN: Half-Orc = Verik (Tall, anthropomorphic-bear-like creatures)
Originally a slave race (a point of contention in this new world among the other races: continue the slave tradition or embrace the idea of a new life), the Verik have no technology of their own but may pick one technology with which they are proficient (usually the technology of their masters before the rapture).
CLASS RENAME: Paladin = Templar - Those of good alignment draw their power from above. Those of evil alignment draw their power from below. The end result is the same.


Worth pursuing or is it scrap material? I won't be offended.


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