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  1. #51
    Tried to run my game with this last night. Still has issues, some of which are definitely the extension and some could be the extension or the underlying ruleset. Will be working on it throughout the week but I don’t expect to have another update ready until at least Wednesday. Recommend unloading it for now.

  2. #52
    Another update, didn't add to the version. Just fixes a few outstanding bugs from the ruleset patches. Tested it in my Sunday night game and the only issues I ran into seem unrelated to the extension and were things I believe I saw Celestian say in Discord would be fixed in next Tuesday's patch.
    Last edited by Sterno; March 2nd, 2021 at 02:41.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Sterno View Post
    house rules that are similar to rules seen in Hackmaster.
    You wonderful, wonderful person!

    I have been looking for something to let me play Hackmaster in FG for the longest time. I haven't really been happy with attempting to use MoreCore for that, and I always thought the 2e ruleset would be a better starting place. Your additions sound amazing. I'm curious - are you actually playing HM with these, or are they just a handful of rules that you liked and happened to nab for your ruleset? Because I would pay for a ruleset or 2e extension that makes Hackmaster fully functional in FG.

  4. #54
    I used to run a live version of Hackmaster (4th edition) 15 years ago, had kids, and never really had time to game again until recently when I decided to try VTT. I started out last year creating a ruleset for Hackmaster (using Celestian's 2E ruleset as a base and modifying it). That ruleset was closer to true Hackmaster than this extension is, because it had the full initiative system and crit system of Hackmaster. However, the downside to that approach (ruleset vs extension) is that I didn't get the updates that Celestian made to the 2E ruleset unless I manually merged them in every time his ruleset updated. Plus, I started to want to try out some other things, like the Player's Option critical hits and initiative system. So I eventuallly decided to rewrite it as an extension with toggleable options and could find the exact set of "features" that I wanted in my home game. That old ruleset hasn't been updated and likely doesn't work anymore after the big CoreRPG changes a few weeks ago, so I recently removed the link to it from my signature.

    Personally, despite it being a lot of work to add, after a few weeks my player's decided they preferred 2E initiative to Player's Option initiative, so I don't even use that option now. I use just about everything else in the extension, though. I plan to eventually (soon) add two things to the extension that my HM ruleset had... the Hackmaster initiative system (weapon speeds were basically 5 less, spells went off on their casting time +1d4 if they had material components, missile weapons firing on fixed initiatives, and a round ended at segment 10 with any initiatives higher than that rolling into the next round), as well as the Hackmaster crits. The reason the version of this extension hasn't hit "1.0" yet is because those are the two features I feel like I need to add to really capture the full Hackmaster experience. Unsure whether or not I'll end up using them personally though... Hackmaster crits are pretty lethal. I might end up going with a hybrid where I use the Hackmaster crits, but have the Player's Option style of "You need to hit by at least 5 to crit, and the target can save vs death to avoid the extra effects" to lower their lethality. Otherwise, 5% of hits in Hackmaster have a really good chance of just flat out killing you or disabling you, if you play with rules as written.

    So to directly answer the question, yes, I'm currently running a Hackmaster game using this except I'm using 2E initiative and Player's Option crits instead of HM rules for those right now.

    I have no plans to make a paid extension. I created this because I enjoy the game and feel like if I'm doing all this work, hopefully someone else can get use out of it. If there are some rules from Hackmaster that you think the extension doesn't cover that you'd like to see, let me know and I'll see about adding them.

    Also, I personally have a module that contains all the Hackmaster spells, races, and classes that I use in my own game, but I don't think it's shareable due to copyright issues (and because I pulled a lot of the common ones from the for-sale 2E modules), and I also think there's no chance to publish it even if the copied 2E content were removed, because I'm pretty sure Kenzer & Company can't even sell Hackmaster 4e stuff anymore. So unfortunately, people trying to run a HM game either need to create that themselves or use the 2E stuff, which to be fair, is close enough for most things unless you're getting into some of the specialist wizard classes, or pixie fairies, etc. I might look into putting out a module that has some of the races (half-orc, half-ogre, pixie fairy) and classes (barbarian, assassin, monk, dark knight, specialist wizards, etc) if I can figure out a way to do it legally (which, at a minimum, means not copy and pasting the class text).

    All that said, here's what I think are the big changes between Hackmaster and 2E, and which of those I've implemented so far:

    1) More races/classes - done personally as discussed, not sure how to legally share these, but people can create them on their own
    2) Penetration dice for healing/damage - implemented
    3) Comeliness score - implemented
    4) Honor affecting dice rolls - implemented
    5) 10 segment initiative system - Not implemented in extension yet (but code for it has been written/tested in the old ruleset code), but will be added soon
    6) Critical hit charts with severity rolls and location rolls - Not implemented in extension yet (but code for it has been written/tested in the old ru), but will be added soon
    7) Fatigue - Implemented with minor changes
    8) 20 point kickers - Implemented for NPCs. Players have to add it manually when they create their character. Also added a house-ruled "size based kicker" option because I hate Tiny creatures getting +20 hp. Stirges and rats and such with +20 hp is dumb.
    9) Hackmaster stat modifiers (different charts for strength, dex, etc) - Implemented
    10) Dexterity reaction adjustment affects init - implemented
    11) Armor damage and damage soak, and shield hits/damage - implemented
    12) To-hit modifiers vs different armor types - implemented
    13) Using attack matrices vs Thac0 - not implemented and don't plan to, but did implement the correct to-hit chance for monsters based on HD if you translate it to Thac0. So works out almost the same except a "20" doesn't hit 6 ACs like it would in Hackmaster or 1E.
    14) Threshold of Pain checks - implemented
    15) Secret Bonus feature: Want to roll quirks and flaws? Type /qf (or, /getf*cked, and you can guess which missing letter to fill in there) in the chat console and it'll do it for you (PHB quirks and flaws only).
    16) Double Secret Bonus Feature: type /mishap to generate a spell mishap result. Since that can generate a quirk or flaw, that's why #15 even got implemented. Despite having spent hours coding these charts in, I've literally never used them in-game because spell mishaps don't usually come up. But hey, it's there if you want them!


    To me, those are the big changes I think between 2E and Hackmaster, and as you can see, most are already implemented or soon will be. If you feel like something is missing that really makes for the real Hackmaster experience, let me know and I'll see how hard it would be to add.
    Last edited by Sterno; March 23rd, 2021 at 13:59.

  5. #55
    Wow, that's incredible. I have tried and run into a brick wall multiple times trying to make something to make Hackmaster playable in FG, and you've gone and done it!

    You mentioned HM4e, which I am unfortunately not very familiar with. I started playing Hackmaster 5e, and I don't know precisely what has changed. Does 4e use an initiative count up system the way 5e does? Because to me that is the "one killer feature" of Hackmaster 5e that sets it above other D&D variants.

    I've got this nagging feeling in the back of my head that the count up system could be worked into FG's default initiative system without too much of a Herculean effort. By treating the "New Round" button as a +1 second button, I've been able to simulate the initiative count. The trick after that would be to automatically add each weapon's speed to the character's initiative count after each swing, pushing them further up in initiative.

    I suppose that probably doesn't make sense if you're not familiar with 5e's rules. I know 5e builds off of HM4e/AD&D2e, but I've heard there are a few significant changes that take it further away from that grouping and into its own family.

    In any case, I'm excited to take a look at your extension and at least see how much of it applies to 5e as well. Thanks for all of your hard work!

  6. #56
    Hackmaster 4 and Hackmaster 5 have pretty significant differences. Hackmaster 4 is a lot like 1E and 2E AD&D, while Hackmaster 5 is kind of its own thing. This extension won't feel at all like Hackmaster 5th edition.

    I think creating a Hackmaster 5 ruleset would certainly be possible, but it would probably work best as its own ruleset built directly off CoreRPG rather than trying to extend 2E. In addition to the vastly different initiative system, the way combat & defense bonuses are calculated is totally different, and there is the whole concept of opposed attack/defense rolls and various sizes of defense dice depending on conditions. You've also got spell points instead of memorization for wizards, tracking of individual wounds, and all sorts of other minor differences.

    I know Jolly Blackburn (one of the HM creators) has run games in Roll20 for Hackmaster 5th edition. It might be worth reaching out to him to see what he does if 5th edition is what you're looking to run. I suspect they use almost no automation and just do it all manually and on paper, using Roll20 just for maps, dice rolls, and communication, but I could be wrong.

  7. #57
    Version 0.98

    A general note: I added some new options around armor damage, critical hits, and hit locations that in some cases are mutually exclusive with other options you could have on. For instance, Hackmaster critical hits can't be turned on at the same time as Player's Option critical hits. Toggling on option one will automatically toggle the other off. Similarly, if you're using the "Generate Hit Locations" option to add some flavor to generic hits, you can't use Player's Option hit locations if you're using the HM crits, or vice versa. The extension will do its best when you toggle one option to toggle related options appropriately for you.

    • Added a Hackmaster Critical Hits option to the "Hackmaster House Rules" section. This option is mutually exclusive from the "Combat & Tactics Critical Hits" option. Enables the critical hit rules (including severity level, hit location, etc) from Hackmaster. Can be set as "As base ruleset", in which case any nat 20 is a critical hit, or "As base ruleset, hit by 5" where you also need to have hit the target by 5. Extra damage caused by the hit is automated and added to the die roll, but like with the Player's Option crits, any other effects are not automated and are just output to the chat window for you to implement manually. Even though it isn't part of Hackmaster crits rules as written, I left in the code that rolls a save vs death on critical hits like Player's Option does in case any GMs (like myself) want to reduce extra effects of crits by giving player's a chance to save to avoid them.
    • The "Generate Hit Locations" option used to just be "Off" or "On". Now it is "Off", "Hackmaster", or "Player's Option" depending on which system you want to use for generating a hit location. If you're using a crit system, the hit location system must match. If you're not using a crit system at all but want hit locations, I recommend the Hackmaster hit locations, because you'll get a ton more variety.
    • Added a "What can hurt magic armor (if using armor damage?)" option. Previously in this extension, if you had armor damage enabled, magic armor could only be hurt by special damage types like fire/electricity/acid or by weapons that had an equivalent or greater magical bonus. I've added an option closer to the Hackmaster rules as written where magic armor takes 1 point of damage for any original damage die that penetrates, or, in the case of shields, for however much damage penetrates, regardless of the damage source (meaning, normal weapons can hurt magical armor under this new option). Options values are "Off" (where magic armor can't be damaged by weapons), "Equivalent magic" where it checks if the bonus of the weapon is greater than or equal to the bonus of the armor, "Penetration" where it occurs on penetration as described above, or "Both" if you want both to occur.
    • There's a "Hackmaster 10-segment Initiative" option you'll see there, but it doesn't do anything yet. I was just too lazy to hide it. It'll probably get implemented in my next update. Depending on how things shake out, it might come with some options to allow people using standard 2E initiative to deal with multiple attacks in the combat tracker.
    • Changed how I was handling some dice colors. Extra damage dice granted from a critical hit will show up as green in the chat log. Extra damage dice caused by penetration will show up as red.
    Last edited by Sterno; March 8th, 2021 at 16:54.

  8. #58


    Version .99

    • Added an "Items" section in the Encounters box so that you can spawn NPCs with items already-equipped.
    • Added an "Adjust NPC AC for items and abilities?" option.
    • Fixed a bug where armor class for NPCs wasn't updating properly after taking damage if you were using the Armor Damage option. Not sure when that stopped working, but it's probably been broken a few months.


    Encounter "Items" Section
    The new "Items" section in encounters is useful if you want to spawn something with a magic item equipped but don't want to have to create a separate NPC just to do that. Also, if you're using the Armor Damage rules, it's really useful for spawning enemies with different armor sets worn. For instance, you could have your NPC record for an Orc set to "AC 10" (rather than the usual AC 5) and spawn them with Chain Mail to have AC 5, or spawn some with Plate for AC 3, or just represent some orcs sleeping armorless in bed by not spawning them with any armor. Note that if you aren't using armor damage rules, though, it's probably easier to just use that "AC" box in the encounter sheet instead. Still could be useful to spawn an orc who happens to be wearing a Ring of Fire Resistance or something though. This also means NPCs will be affected by the "Weapon Type vs Armor Type" option, if you're using it.

    A note on performance... Celestian had concerns that adding a bunch of items to NPCs could slow things down. And it does, a bit, when spawning an encounter. I found it took about 50% more time for FGU to spawn everything in the combat tracker from the time you click the "Generate Encounter" button if each NPC had 3 items (say, a weapon, armor, and shield). I tested spawning 20 orcs with no items and it took 2.15 seconds. Spawning 20 orcs with 3 items each took 3.19 seconds. Spawning 20 orcs with 20 items each took 6.3 seconds. So there is some minor slowdown, though I think it won't be noticeable in most cases since I'm betting most encounters are < 20 monsters and most items have <= 3 items you care about. On the long end of things, 100 orcs with no items already took a whopping 17 seconds to spawn, and adding 3 items to each of those pumped it up to 27 seconds. So use your judgment when deciding how complex you want a large encounter to be. My testing didn't show any noticeable performance hit once everything had spawned, though.

    Adjust NPC AC for items and abilities? option
    This option will automatically be flipped to true if you're using the Armor Damage rules, but can be used even if you aren't using armor damage. What this option does is modify an NPCs AC based on what armor, shield, or other items they have equipped, plus it factors in things like Defensive Bonus due to high dexterity. Basically, with this option on, NPC armor class gets treated the same way PC armor class would. However, what this means is that if you turn it on and stick some Chain Mail on a Bugbear that you copied straight out of the Monster Manual, it's going to end up with an AC of zero or so because it'll take the base AC from the monster manual (which I think is like AC 5 or so) and further modify it downward for the armor.

    So if you use this rule, for humanoid monsters who probably have the AC they have due to armor, you'll probably want to create your own NPC records for these that have an AC of 10 instead. Or if you don't want to modify the NPC record, you could set it as "10" in the encounter box I guess and it would use that as the base AC before applying armor. I already kind of have my own Monstrous Manual module that I've copied/modified entries from the "real" one into, mainly so I could assign cooler tokens to everything, so in my case I just updated a bunch of humanoid ACs to 10 so I never have to worry about it again. This option pairs well with the new "Items" line in encounters mentioned above to give you full control over how every monster is kitted out. This works with all the standard modifiers that work on players, such as rear attacks denying dexterity/shield, or loss of dexterity/shield for being unconscious, etc.
    Last edited by Sterno; March 20th, 2021 at 15:56.

  9. #59
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    Very nice addition.
    DMing since February 1979. FGC & FGU Ultimate License holder.

    Currently GMing:
    * C&C Greyhawk | Yggsburgh and Castle Zagyg (Monday)
    * Rolemaster Greyhawk (Thursday)
    * AD&D The Village of Hommlet (Saturday)

    Thanks for 9+ years of gaming via FG my friends (AD&D 2e / 3.5e / Rolemaster Classic / Castles & Crusades / Pathfinder / Savage Worlds / 5e / Traveller 2e)!

  10. #60
    Version .991

    • Fixed a bug where Weapon Type vs Armor Type penalties weren't being applied for magic weapons.

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