I have to admit, I'm a little late starting up this blog. This Sunday will mark the fourth session of our new Hackmaster game (not counting character creation). So with three sessions already under our belt, I should do a bit of background before I start logging the sessions.
A human double specialist conjurer historian, the party leader
An elven gladiator beastmaster
A boarman barbaric cleric
and an human thief gypsy
Hackmaster has races, classes, and if you're single-classed, packages. Packages are like second edition kits.
Double specialists are super-restricted in their spells compared to single specialists, however they cast as a level higher, and can learn spells a whole spell level early (i.e. they learn second level spells as first). How super-restricted? Can't learn spells from two schools, -45% chance to learn from an oppositional school, and -30% chance to learn from any school that's not conjuration. That's at best a 65% chance to learn a non-conjuration spell, assuming it's one he can cast.
One of the biggest balancing factors for magic-users seems to be that their spell acquisition is random. They don't get to pick the five best spells. This opens up a variety of game-play space, in that you can have several spells of varying efficacy at each level as well as providing a lot of variation between wizards.
The historian package gives the character a variety of skills at a discount.
The gladiator is an expensive fighter without specialization. By that, I mean his experience point totals costs are higher (300,000 to reach name level, versus the standard 250,000). What does he gain for this cost? Two things: first, the drawback of being either a slave, or an escaped slave and the second allows him to create a 'fighting style'. There is a trade-off between his style and the time it takes to become usable, versus the quick and dirty utility of being able to gain high mastery with a weapon as a fighter.
His beastmaster package allows him to select an animal, and his animal is a silver drake. This came at a high creation cost, and so far, he's spent most of game time separated from it.
The boarman is a native of these parts, also a slave and freed as a guide. He is. . . annoying, as a flaw. The interesting thing about this is, is that it is pretty constantly causing the other party members to lose honor. (Having a someone of a lower social class insult you causes an honor loss.) Since he's a slave, and he's constantly telling the party their gods don't live here, it's an endless slide for the 'party leader'
The thief gypsy is standard thief with the gypsy package. The primary reason the person took the gypsy package is that we're using 1st edition psionics rules and gypsys as a package feature automatically gain psionics.
I don't think he realizes what a liability such a power is. He rolled low on power points and attack modes, but acquired all defense modes as well as rolling over 100% on the powers known table. He is about to acquire his second power. His current power 'hypnotism' is very powerful. What's the downside?
Any time a person with psionics encounters a hostile monster with psionics, psionic combat ensues. This occurs as full rounds during segments. They blast at each other, until someone runs out of points and then they either die, go insane, fall unconscious, or become dominated or dazed. Effectively, it's giving away a bunch of powers for a huge gaping weakness. (There are four random rolls after you qualify for random psionic ability: power points, attack modes, defense modes, and powers. You have to roll well on the first *three* to do well in psychic combat)
Well, that's the party. I'll write more about their adventures after I get back from the gym.