I love hacking game systems and settings. It’s fun and creative and some of the leg work, the foundations, are done for you.
I also think I’m pretty much incapable, at this point, of NOT hacking shit.. Just the way it goes now.
I love Trent’s hack because it is simple, has awesome save/skill mechanics, and is gritty and fun.
I really wanted to take his hack and twist it a little bit for my play group. My goal was to take a few aspects of my hack and from Searchers of the Unknown (another really kick ass hack) and merge it with the awesomesauce of Trent’s hack. I’d like to use this hack for quick pick up games, CON’s, or when we’re all hanging around bored and want to game some D&D.
Here is the PDF (print below): My Hack of Trent’s Hack
Stuff I did:
Added races and gave each 1 ability.
Went to three classes- Fighter, Priest, Wizard.
Fighter has ability to be rogue, ranger, barbarian, or soldier based on chosen abilities.
Priest is a cleric but doesn’t cast spells, gets a list of abilities to use.
Wizard casts spells. I took the Searcher of the Unknown mechanic here and added Trent’s casting ability.
When I discovered Searchers of the Unknown I really fell in love with just how concise the spell list was for Clerics and Wizards and decided I wanted to do that for my hack (both of them).
For my hack of Trent’s hack, shortness was key, so I created a one page list of spells.
However based on conversations on G+ and on the blog, people really dig the idea of a really concise spell list.. Thus my next hack idea (after I’m done working on my current hack of Vornheim- a Complete Wilderness Kit) will be to create that. The goal will to keep all spells within 1-2 lines of text. If they can’t be reduced to that, then they are unneeded and will be removed.
Aside: I know that the version of Summon I have in the document is NOT falling in line with the 1-2 line philosophy I mentioned above and when I do that Hack, it WILL be.. However I just created that that spell recently and A) my players like it and B) I want to see it get some play time.
Here’s print version:
My Hack of Trent’s Awesome D&D Hack Rules
Roll 3d6 in order: Reroll one you feel sucks.
Str- Melee Attack Bonus, Damage
Con- Bonus HP
Dex- AC, Initiative, Ranged Attack Bonus
Int- Modifier for Skill points (any class) and
Wis- Modifier for dice can be rerolled/session.
Chr- Reaction Adjustment, modifier for # henchman
You Really Suck: 3= -3; Just Suck: 4-5= -2; Kinda Suck- 6-8= -1; Average- 9-12= 0; Kick Some Butt- 13-15= +1; Kick Butt- 16-17= +2; Kick Serious Ass- 18= +3
Race– Roll d10 and consult- on 10, get to choose
1- Dwarf– +2 to saves VS poison and magic. Must make saves on helpful spells.
2- Elf– Choose 1 lvl 0 and 1 level 1 spell- cast each 1x/day for free (in addition if Sorcerer).
3- Dark Elf– Darkness 1x/day- Can see in it. Moves with you. 20ft radius. -8 enemy attack. 2 rnd/lvl.
4- Half Demon– Charm Person or Scare 1x/day (as spell).
5- Half Orc– Rage as Fighter ability 1x/day- Adds +1 to time per day if you take that as well.
6- Halfling– Immune to all fear affects because Halflings are crazy and weird.
7-9- Human– Roll 1d3- 1) Extra reroll/session; 2) +1 Skill Point; 3) +4HP.
Darkvision- Dwarves, Dark Elves, and Half Demons- See 60ft in dark. Light cancels effect.
Low Light– Elf and Half Orc- See twice as far in low light as human.
Race Knowledge- Be smart about it. Elves know about magic and nature and being whiny. Dwarves know about stony shit and gems and weapons and drinking.. Etc. Justify how it fits to the race, add level to knowledge roll.
Three Classes: Fighter, Priest, Sorcerer
Info– HD- d8, Base Attack Bonus +1 per level, weapon damage d8
Roid Rage– Kill an enemy and get a second attack (once per round).
Vital Strike– Damage from fighter can explode.
Rapid Attack– Get a second attack even with movement at a -5 to roll, with bow or melee.
Rage– +2 to Damage and +2 to saving throws against mind altering affects and fear. Ignore amount of damage equal to ½ level rounded down. Also incur -2 to AC and -2 to Intelligence checks. Rage lasts a number of rounds equal to one half level rounded down +1 (min of 2 rounds at level 1). Rage Con bonus x/day (min 1). Can’t cast spells or use abilities of concentration.
Unarmed Fighting– Treat hand as a deadly weapon and do Fighter damage instead of pansy slapping of everyone else.
Skills Package (choose 4+ Int Modifier): 1. Stealth; 2. Tinkering; 3. Murder; 4. Survival; 5. Lore/Occult; 6. Perception/Investigation; 7. Symbology/Cryptology; 8. Engineering/Stonework; 9. Therapy/Medicine; 10. Exploration/Spelunking
Blind Fighting– Don’t suffer the embarrassing -8 to swinging when can’t see.
Thick Skin– Ignore two points of all damage.
Improved Critical- Score criticals on 19-20 instead of just natural 20.
Animal Companion– You start with a cool faithful companion that is more epic than the normal version.
Every Third Level– +1 to an Attribute, +1 Damage, +1 Reaction/Morale (for followers) or +1 ‘Skill’.
Info– HD- d6, Base Attack Bonus +1 per 2 levels, weapon damage d6
Blessings: Choose One–
Weapon of Deity– +1 to attack and damage when using Deity weapon.
Divine Health- Immune to diseases, whatever the origin.
Lay On Hands– Heal target for 2hp/level once per day.
Remove Curse– Add Remove Curse to list of abilities
Also Get: Abilities– Cast Cure/Inflict wounds (1d8 per 3 levels), Turn Undead (per your chosen spell route), Protection from Evil/Good (lasts Priest levelx2), Blessing/Curse (lowers/raises attributes by +4 for 2d6 rounds), Remove Fear, Bless Water, Cure Poison, and Smite Evil (+20 attack, +1 dmg per level) Can use abilities 3 + level per day (lumped, not individually).
You Gotta Believe– You gotta do what the fuck your god says. If you don’t he/she/it will give you a snobby sarcastic look and say fuck all and take your powers away for 1d3 days and mocks you with visions of people having a good time while you are impotent and lame.
Every 3rd Level- +1 to an Attribute, +1 Reaction/Morale, +1 Attack Bonus or +1 ‘Skill’.
Info– HD- d6, Base Attack Bonus +1 per 2 levels, weapon damage d6
Abilities: Can Read & Detect Magic within 2 yards, after 1 round concentrating. Summon Familiar– As per GM decision.
Scribe Scroll: Must know spell to write. 100gp x spell level. Time to scribe- 1 day x spell level.
Spells: Cast spells (see list below)- # spells equal to lvl +2. Can cast any spells equal to ½ x level safely. Higher than that or extra spells see Extemporaneous-Channeling below. Either knows all spells or starts with 1d4 lvl 0, 1d3 lvl 1, and roll d6- 1 of spell of that level (reroll 6)
Extemporaneous-Channeling: Foolish or desperate Magicians can try to navigate the mysteries of inscrutable sorcery and cast a spell unprepared. It is difficult and dangerous which is why, typically, enchantments are carefully ritualised, formulated and locked safely away in the matrix of a sorcerous mind. A character may cast any spell from the list (inc. from scrolls), beyond normal spells/day, by rolling 11+ or higher on a D20. If the spell is higher level than you can normally cast, subtract the difference from the roll. Each daily attempt beyond the first carries a cumulative -5 penalty to the roll (increasing chance of taking extra damage as well). If you fail, the attempt backfires with inverse effect. If a 1 is rolled a rip in time and space opens up and the caster dies Raiders of the Lost Arc style.
Dark Elf– Common and Narrithian (Dark Elf)
Dwarf– Common and Dwarven
Elf– Common and Elven
Half Demon, Half Elf, Half Orc, and Human– Common
Halfling– Common and Halfling
Additional Languages: A character’s Intelligence modifier gives them an x in 6 chance to know another language at character creation. IE- A character with a +3 in has a 3 in 6 chance to know another language. They get an automatic language for having a +1, but no more for additional modifiers.
Languages: Abyssal, Common, Dwarven, Elven, Goblinoid, Halfling, and Narrithian.
Saving Throws are (Half Attribute) + Level. Roll D20 equal/under.
If it is reasonably achievable yet challenging for most humans: D20 under Attribute.
If it would require specific training: D20 under Half Attribute.
If it is also a trained Skill of yours: + Level
If you have Double-Training: D20 under Full Attribute + Level. Natural 20 is always failure.
Other bonuses and penalties may apply to various tasks.
Initiative– Roll d20 + Dex Bonus. Rolled a 20- Act when you want, +2 on next roll.
Attacks: Attack Bonus plus Str bonus (melee) or Dex (ranged). Damage is d6 (d8 for fighters). 20 on d20 is a critical, damage is doubled and consult table at end of document.
Weapons: Two handed weapons (min Str 13)- Roll 2 of damage die, take higher of the two. Dual Wielding (min Dex 13)- +1d3 dmg or +1d3 AC/rnd. Unarmed– Weapon damage/2. Can do zero damage.
Ranged Weapons: Bows/slings- move and fire (35 yards). Crossbows +2 hit/dmg- 1 round immobile to load. Firing into melee equals x in 6 chance to hit comrade. X= # of people, max of 5. 6 always hits enemy.
Shield: +1AC, May Be Sacrificed If a Normal DEX check is passed. If so, it is Splintered to ignore one physical attack. Shields are strapped to user’s Arm.
Very Light Armor– +1 AC- Max Dex Bonus +5- Dex Skill Roll Penalties- 0
Light Armor– +2 AC- Max Dex Bonus +4- Dex Skill Roll Penalties-0
Example- Light Leather
Medium Armor– +3 AC- Max Dex Bonus +3- Dex Skill Roll Penalties-2
Example- Studded Leather, Chain Shirt
Heavy Armor– +4 AC- Max Dex Bonus +2- Dex Skill Roll Penalties-3
Example- Breatplate, Hide Mail, Half Plate, Chainmail
Very Heavy Armor– +6 AC- Max Dex Bonus +0- Dex Skill Roll Penalties- 5
Example- Full Plate
Each Character Starts with the Following:
Adventurer gear– Backpack, Bedroll, Torches x2, Rations x 5, Waterskinx2,Flint and Steel, 1 healing potion (1d8 HP), Hemp Rope (50ft), Adventurer’s Clothing. All Characters start with 1d4x50GP.
Fighter– Heavy Armor, a Shield and 3 weapons; Sorcerer– Spellbook, Staff, 1 other weapon, and Cloth Armor; Priest– Holy Symbol, Vial of Holy Water, 2 weapons (can be weapon of deity if chosen), and Medium Armor.
Optional- Roll 1 random item with GM on super fun table
THE 2K STANDARD: Characters need 2000 XP for level 2, Doubled for each subsequent level. Once that number hits 128k (for lvl8), just keep adding 128k for each subsequent level (256k lvl9, 384k lvl10 etc.)
1) Enemies– Enemies give 100 xp per HD, +50 for weak special abilities, and +100 per beefy special abilities.
2) Gold– Each 1 gp found equals 1 experience point.
3) Magic Items– Magic items that are not used and sold are given an allotment of xp based on the gp value.
4) Experience Base– Each session the base amount of experience for playing is 100.
5) Role-playing/Creativity– Playing your character, less metagaming, and coming up with cool and creative ideas can grant bonus xp of 100.
Level- Spell- Range- Duration- Effect
0- Endure Elements– Touch- 24 hours- Ignore intense weather conditions.
0- Ghost Sounds– 150’- 1 rnd/lvl- Create any type of sound up no louder than 4 humans.
0- Light– 150ft- 10 min/lvl- Light a 30ft radius.
0- Mage Hand– 25 ft- Concentration- Lift something 5 lbs 15 ft any direction/rnd.
0- Prestidigitation– 10ft- 1 hr (if alteration)- Do cool little creative stuff.
0- Ray of Frost– 25ft- 1d3 dmg. Save or ½ movement.
1- Change Self– 10 min/lvl- 1ft taller/shorter- No race change- doesn’t alter touch/sound.
1- Charm Person– 50ft- 1 hr/lvl- Makes target enamored with caster. Will not harm self.
1- Hold Portal– 50ft- Till opened- As if locked- knock spell or battering will open.
1- Identify– 5ft- 1 rnd/lvl- One feature of magic object revealed per round.
1- Magic Missile-150ft- 1d4+1 dmg, extra missile every 3 level.
1- Shield- Touch- 1 min/lvl-+4 AC, immune to Magic Missile.
1- Shocking Grasp– Touch- 1d8 +1/level dmg.
1- Sleep– 150ft, 30ft radius- 1 min/lvl- 2d4 HD creatures affected. 5HD+ not affected.
1- Spider Climb– NA- 2 rnd/lvl- Climb like spider. Hands and feet must be uncovered.
1- Summon– You delve where you shouldn’t- see below.
2- Fog Cloud– 150ft- 10 min/lvl- 50x20x20 fog. Conceals anyone further than 5ft.
2- Invisibility– Touch- Permanent- Invisible until attack. Those attacking suffer
2- Knock– 50ft- Permanent- Unlocks even magical doors. Up to two types of prevention.
2- Lock– 50ft- Permanent- Magically locks a door.
2- Mirror Image– 5ft around caster- 3 rnd/lvl- 1d4+1 exact copies. Roll random for hit.
2- Pyrotechnics– 150ft- Turn fire into fireworks (blinds for 1d4 rnds) or choking smoke.
2- Scare– 50ft- 1 rnd/lvl- 5HD or less roll save or flee in terror. Success -1 to all rolls.
2- See Invisibility– As norm vision- 10 min/lvl- You see invisible things.
2- Web– 50 ft- 20x20x10 area- Roll dex. Fail -2 to attacks, -4 dex. Success ½ move.
3- Blink– 2 rnd/lvl- Attackers -10, target spells (and caster) 50% fail. Caster -2 attacks.
3- Dispel Magic– 150 ft- Suppresses magic for 1d6 rounds in 60ft radius.
3- Fireball– 450ft- Fire blast 1d6 dmg/lvl.
3- Fly– Touch- 10 min/lvl- Ascend 45ft, Dive 180 ft, and move 90ft round.
3- Gust of Wind– 150 ft- 1 rnd- Snuff small/fan large flames, knock over small creatures.
3- Haste– 50ft- 1 rnd/lvl- Double movement/attacks/rnd- Age 1 year.
3- Hold Person– 50ft- 1rnd/lvl- Hold person physically in place. Can do mental shit.
3- Lightning Bolt– 100ft 5x60ft- 1d6 dmg/lvl.
3- Slow– 50ft- 1 rnd/lvl- ½ movement/attack. No bad aging stuff.
3- Stinking Cloud– 30ft- 1 rnd/lvl- 20x20x20 cloud- fail save sickened 1d4 rnds.
3- Water Breathing– Touch- 2 hrs/lvl- Any # creatures touched- duration divided evenly.
4- Charm Monster– As with Charm Person, but only a monster
4- Confusion– 150 ft- 1 rnd/lvl- 1) Do nothing; 2) Attack self; 3) Attack friend; 4) Normal
4- Dimension Door– Caster is transported up to 450ft. Cannot act till next round.
4- Fear– 50ft- 1 rnd/lvl- 25 ft radius. Flee in terror and cower. -2 to all actions.
4- Ice Storm– 150ft- 1 rnd/lvl- 50ft line- 5d6 damage, ½ movement while in area.
4- Minor Globe of Invulnerability– P- 1/rnd lvl- 1-3 spells not effective. Can cast own.
4- Polymorph– 50ft- 10 min/lvl or perm- Natural creatures, gain abilities.
4- Wall of Fire– 50 ft- 1 rnd/lvl- Line or around caster. 2d4 dmg (10ft), 3d4 through.
4- Wall of Ice– 50 ft- 1 rnd/lvl- Line or around caster. No vision. 1d6 dmg through.
5- Animate Dead– 50 ft- perm- 25ft radius- Animate 2HD/lvl undead.
5- Cloudkill– 150ft- 1 min/lvl- 20x30x20- 3HD/less dead. 4-5 save die. 6 1d10 dmg.
5- Hold Monster– 50ft- 1rnd/lvl- Hold monster physically in place. Can do mental shit.
5- Wall of Stone– 50ft- Perm- Adjoin to other stone- 2ft thick- 1000 square feet to change.
Sorcerer- Level 1
You tear open the fabric of reality and summon a creature from beyond the void. It may not be the smartest thing to do, but damn it you’ve got the power and you’re going to do it!
Thaumatergic Circle– Takes a while to create. Is a mix of fine silver fleck (equaling 500 silver pieces), mystic salts, the casters own blood, and other mystic herbs that make the party whacky and fun (remember breathe deeply). This gives you +2 to your roll.
Sacrificing– You gain +1 per HD of the sacrifice, up to a maximum of +4. The target must be restrained and helpless.
Summoning the Beast– Roll Wisdom based save (plusThamatergic Circle and Sacrifice)- if successful the creature comes from the void to cause havoc. Roll your level in d6’s to determine the length of time the creature is present.
Dominate This Bitch– The Magic User must put his will over beast or the havoc it will cause may be against the party. The Magic User rolls a Wisdom based save (plusThamatergic Circle and Sacrifice) while the creature rolls a d20 + the number on the d4 (see below). Who ever wins determines how this situation is going to go down. If the magic user wins by 10 he is able to control the creature and do other tasks. If he wins below that he must concentrate for the duration of the spell. If he is distracted or takes damage another roll must be made.
What Happens if I Fail (roll a 1)- Bad shit happens. Really really bad shit happens.
- The creature has stirred but goes back to sleep. A second failure at a Summoning Spell (even just a regular failure) the creature will immediately reawaken and will immediately manifest at the casters location and destroy all within in its grasp.
- The creature stirs and moves in its sleep causing the caster to catch a glimpse of its realm. The Caster must make a Wisdom based save or become hysteric (permanently losing 1d6 Intelligence).
- The being is not interested in the movement of ants and goes back to sleep.
- The creature is angered and 2d6 of it appear to rend and tear and feast and kill and bring all sorts of horror to reality.
- The creature briefly touches our reality and perverts it at the casters location. Everyone must make a save. Those that fail switch bodies.
- The creatures brief moment of consciousness causes the weather to be completely opposite for the season.
- The being takes over the caster (unbeknownst to the rest of the party) and seeks to pervert the world. It will do all in its power to form a cult and gain power and open the rift further bring out a even more terrible and fucked up being.
- Like swatting a gnat on the wall the creature simply wills the caster out of existence.
What the Fuck Did I Just Summon?!–
Base Creature– Two Attacks (1d6 claws, 1d4 bite). AC 12. Base Attack Bonus- Roll 1d6. These can change based on what is rolled.
Roll one of each the following polyhedral dice at the same time and consult below: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20
D4- Hit Points- Roll 1d20 and consult number on the die.
D6- Form 1- Consult number on die and choose one of two.
- Glowing/Dark and Shadowy
- Slimy/Dry and Cracking
- Necrotic/Pus Leaking
- Furry/Skin of Maggots
- Flayed and bleeding/Hard rock-like Skin
D8- Powers 1
- Three Attacks
- Four Attacks
- AC 15 + d8
- AC 15 + d10
- Venomous Bite (-1d10 Dex per bite)
- Half Damage FromNormalWeapons
- Immune toNormalWeapons
- Long Reach (up to 25 ft) with Claws
- Baby Heads
- Negative Energy or Smoke
D12- Form 2
- Half Goat Man
- Swirling Wisp of Strange Energy
- Bulbous Frog With Maggot Eye Stalks
- Giant Eyeball Dripping Blood
- Horse Turned Inside Out
- Giant Stomach With Gnashing Teeth and Black Orb Eyes
- Your Character’s Mother, Beaten, Battered, Dead, and Bloated
- A Child’s Head on a Slimy Spider’s Body
- Strange Pulsating Tumor With a Hundred Legs and Four Hundred Eyes
- A Hanged Man With No Face, Moaning, His Intestines Trailing on the Ground
- A Small Body of Writhing and Crawling Insects With the Laugh of a Little Girl
- Body of a Lion, Centipede Neck, Face of Magic User, Mandibles of Beetle
D20- Powers 2
- Miasmic Cloud (Cloudkill)
- Fire Breath (3d6)
- Spits Acid (2d8)
- Gaseous Form (at will)
- Invisibility (at will)
- Swallow Creature Whole (on natural 20 or if successful by 10 or more)
- Immunity to Magic
- Mind Control (at will, one at a time)
- Phantasmal Killer (at will, one at a time)
- Horrific Visage (Fear Effect- constant)
- Summon Undead (at will- 1d6 appear- can’t use again until all are gone)
- Make Like Thyself- Attacks Start Transforming Target into Summoned Being (under its control)
- Wall of Fire (at will, one at a time)
- Aging- Attacks cause target to age 1d10 years
- Transmute Flesh to Stone (on a successful hit)
- Fireball Blasts (at will, one at a time)
- Summoning (as this spell, but under control of the beast and not the caster)
- Impregnates (Constitution based save or now carrying a creepy fucker in your belly. Can be man or woman. Bursts forth in 1d10 days fully formed)
- Dimension Door (at will, one at a time)
- Death Touch (one time- no save- Summoned Creature immediately returns to the Void)
Small But Vicious Dog Table
When a player scores a critical hit by rolling a natural 20 on their attack, damage is doubled and roll 2d10, one for the power and the other for the location, and consult the charts below.
|Leg, R||Leg, L||Arm, R||Arm, L||Body||Head|
|1||ButterfingersDrop wielded item||StaggeredLose next action||DisorientatedLose next action||Winded-4 to all actions for 1 rnd|
|2||Arm NumbedNo attack or Dex bonus to AC for 1 rnd||Leg NumbedMove 1/2, -4 to Agility checks for 1 rnd||Ear Ringing-2 to all perception checks for 1 rnd||Kidney ShotStunned for 1 rnd|
|3||Dead ArmAs #2 but for 1d4 rnds||Dead LegAs #2 but for 1d4 rnds||Nose CrumpledSame as #2 but for 1d4 rnds||Groin ShotStunned for 1d4 rnds|
|4||Hand IncapacitatedCannot use hand till healed||Leg IncapacitatedFloored 1 rnd, move ½ and -2 to Agility until healed||Scalp Sliced-2 to all actions||Ribs Cracked-2 to all actions|
|5||Arm BrokenCannot use arm till healed||Hip CrackedIn shock 1d4 rounds, move ¼||Concussed -4 to all actions for 1d6 rnds||Badly Winded-4 to all actions for 1d6 rnds|
|6||Arm MauledAs #5, but bleeding out||Leg MauledAs #5, but bleeding out||KO-edUnconscious and helpless 1d10 minutes||WallopedStunned for 1d10 rnds|
|7||Arm MangledAs #6, but roll Con save or lose hand||Leg MangledAs #6, but roll Con save or lose foot||Brain BashedAs #6, but roll Con save or lose 1d4 perm Int||GuttedHelpless and bleeding out|
|8||Arm Hanging OffAs #6, but roll Con save or lose arm at elbow||Leg Hanging offAs #6, but roll Con save or lose leg at knee||Face MangledAs #6, but make Dex save or lose eye||Spine ShatteredAs #7, but make Con save or lose use both legs|
You are dead, bloodily so
You are dead, messily so