HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

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George.Fields
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HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by George.Fields » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:45 pm

As Kalamar is the default setting for the new HackMaster, this seems appropriate.

The HackMaster GameMaster's Guide is up for pre-order!

http://www.kenzerco.com/product_info.ph ... cts_id=986

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Bouv » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:54 pm

That is one pricey book!

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Greylond » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:20 pm

Actually, if the PHB(Player's Hand Book) and HoB(Hacklopedia of Beasts) are any guide what you'll get is well worth the price. They typically have a massive word count, compared to other game books. Plus the contents are generally very well written and organized.

Plus the current deal is that you get the physical book and the PDF. Actually, the way the current deal goes is that you get any and all updates to the book as it is being designed. They'll add rules as they go and in the final stages add in the artwork and finishing touches to make it a really cool looking book.

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:46 pm

Bouv wrote:That is one pricey book!
They shipping is pretty high too. Only $12.00 for the USA, but $30.00 for Canada and $48.00 for anyone outside of the US and Canada, making a total buy-in price of $107.99 to anyone over in Europe or down in Australia! :shock: :o

I'm afraid I can't afford to pay over $100 USD for a single gamebook, especially when a lot of this is going to be rules and only a fraction is likely to be Kalamar. :(

But I'll be looking forward to see what setting-based material follows this up.

EDIT: I just noticed this:
Kenzer & Co wrote:The print edition will be a leathered hardcover book of extensive length. Choose your appropriate shipping option from the drop-down selector below. Books will be shipped in USPS Priority Mail boxes. Please note that pre-orders cannot be canceled once ordered.
I'm not surprised the book is expensive, if it is a special leather version.

And I see they are using USPS Priority Mail instead of going with more economical international shipping options (like Thriftbooks - who charge less than $3.00 for shipping to both Canada and the UK and less than $5.00 to the rest of the world). USPS are much more expensive than the alternatives.
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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Greylond » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:06 am

Actually, from what they've said, I don't think that they know about Thriftbooks. I hadn't ever heard of them either. I'll bring it to Steve's Attention.

Thanks!

Care to enlighten us with other, cheaper alternatives?

EDIT: So, Thriftbooks isn't a Shipping Alternative. I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. The only shipping options are FEDEX, UPS or USPS. Of which USPS is the cheapest, which is why K&Co uses it. However, they say they are open to other shipping options that truely are cheaper, so if you can share something, please let me know and I'll pass it along since I don't think they come here often. :)

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Big Mac » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Greylond wrote:EDIT: So, Thriftbooks isn't a Shipping Alternative. I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. The only shipping options are FEDEX, UPS or USPS. Of which USPS is the cheapest, which is why K&Co uses it. However, they say they are open to other shipping options that truely are cheaper, so if you can share something, please let me know and I'll pass it along since I don't think they come here often. :)
Sorry Thriftbooks is not a shipping company, but is a US based company that is very good at negotiating shipping rates.

Most of the US RPG companies I've dealt with use the standard shipping options and those options are all now so pricey that the total buy in price is being pushed up. (And it isn't as if the extra money goes towards the RPG companies making more stuff. It is all going into the pockets of the US shipping companies.) But whoever is getting it, the price hike makes it harder for non-US gamers to be able to join in with things from US companies.

Thiriftbooks uses companies that provides combined shipping. Lots of books are packed up into a single package (with a single customs form) and sent to a distribution centre that the shipping company owns in another country. Once it is there, the package is split open and the individual packages are sent on at local shipping rates.

It does take longer to prepare a combined shipping package and split it up at the far end, but some of us would rather wait a week or two extra and have extra money to buy more stuff with. TNT is one of the companies that delivers books I buy from Thriftbooks. The combined shipping option isn't too easy to find.
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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Crusoe45 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:58 pm

I am very reluctant to pay what amounts now to $120 for a GMG when once it is released it will be much cheaper than that in the UK. I must say that a better idea of release date would really help.

1. Does anyone have an idea of the expected release date?

2. Has there been any word on a cover price for the GMG yet?

I must say that I'm really keen to get my hands on the book (not $120/£78 keen) but from glancing at the development blog it seems as if we're waiting for some pretty minor stuff............ 0 level characters? In Hackmaster? Playing 0 level characters? My players already thought they had 0 level characters when we started playing. "I know guys, let's have some fun and play some even less effective characters tonight!"

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Crusoe45 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:54 pm

So the GMG has come back from the printers and has gone to all the lucky ones who pre-ordered - which doesn't include me.

Now I notice that the PHB is pretty much unavailable in the UK and there seems to be no sign of the GMG on pre-order lists for my local gaming store. I wonder how long we'll have to wait before - hopefully at around £35 delivered - we'll get our hands on the big black book.

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Bouv » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:14 pm

I love the other two books, just wish there was less of a wait time between them!

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by DirtSkull » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:36 am

Dust off this thread. Yeah. I'll probably put this book next to the other two on my shelf. They are great books and I did love playing this game but not sure when I'll get back to playing it. The comments flying around Kenzer & Co. for the delayed release seem bitter. But if you were running HM(this is the new HM we are talking about, not the 1&2e D&D clone)and had the GMG pdf, you should have been fine. The DMG for the new 5e D&D usually stays in the backpack during the game, other than critical hit/miss charts(which were availible)I'm not sure how NOT having this book prevented people from playing it.

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Crusoe45 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:08 am

No, you're right, not having the GMG hasn't prevented me from running HM 5th with the Basic rules plus the PHB and the Hacklopedia of Beasts. The GMG though bridges some annoying gaps - like criticals and fumbles and other things not covered in the Basic. Quite right also that everyone could have had the pdf by now BUT for those of us in the UK that pre-order cost around £80 whereas the book alone will probably cost around £35 delivered. For me that's a huge difference.

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Big Mac » Sat May 02, 2015 2:16 pm

Bouv wrote:I love the other two books, just wish there was less of a wait time between them!
This is something that I find a bit baffling. During the 3rd Edition D&D era Kenzer and Co were churning out books for multiple product lines at a rate of knots. I'm still trying to hunt down old 3e D&D Kalamar books.

Now they have merged their Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign setting into their HackMaster ruleset, so that they have less stuff to work on, but their output seems to be considerably slower.

And, as someone who is interested in the campaign setting, but who wants to stick with the ruleset that Kingdoms of Kalamar used before, I'm glad to see that the GMG is out, but I'm wanting K&C to get done with the "Edition Treadmill" stuff, so that they can start putting out Kingdoms of Kalamar 5eHM books that have new content. I'm guessing that their first big book is going to be a 5eHM Kingdoms of Kalamar Campaign Setting hardback, so that will be mostly reproducing what I've already got.

We seem to have waited for this book for 2 years. I hope that this has gotten things past the bottleneck and that we can see faster stuff soon.
DirtSkull wrote:Dust off this thread. Yeah. I'll probably put this book next to the other two on my shelf. They are great books and I did love playing this game but not sure when I'll get back to playing it. The comments flying around Kenzer & Co. for the delayed release seem bitter. But if you were running HM(this is the new HM we are talking about, not the 1&2e D&D clone)and had the GMG pdf, you should have been fine. The DMG for the new 5e D&D usually stays in the backpack during the game, other than critical hit/miss charts(which were availible)I'm not sure how NOT having this book prevented people from playing it.
People do get very bitter in the roleplaying community. It is a really sad thing. Because we can always stick with older books if we do not like newer books.

I can see why people might get impatient for a dead tree book, when a beta PDF is available. Some of us struggle with PDFs. I find them very useful for searching for things, but very hard to use for proper reading. There are books that I've had as PDFs for years and then I've gotten the dead tree version later and started to understand it more.

I'm also a little bit sad, but not bitter, because there is always time for K&C to change their mind, that they have some new stuff that seems to be PDF only. I hope that they change their minds and set up Print on Demand publishing on DriveThru RPG.
Crusoe45 wrote:No, you're right, not having the GMG hasn't prevented me from running HM 5th with the Basic rules plus the PHB and the Hacklopedia of Beasts. The GMG though bridges some annoying gaps - like criticals and fumbles and other things not covered in the Basic. Quite right also that everyone could have had the pdf by now BUT for those of us in the UK that pre-order cost around £80 whereas the book alone will probably cost around £35 delivered. For me that's a huge difference.
Hi Crusoe45. I don't think we have spoken before, so welcome to The Piazza! (I think I'm the first person to get to say this to you - so I win a "Piazza-point". ;) ) You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic and say "hi" to the community at large.

Are you sure you are right on those numbers? I've seen Kickstarters that seem to be charging above the odds for backers before, but £80.00 for backers vs £35.00 to non-backers seems like really bad economics. If they are not overcharging by £45.00 that would seem to suggest they are being uneconomical with the distribution.

I recently bought into Kobold Press's Southlands Kickstarter (mostly because I wanted to get Anna Meyer's maps - I didn't have any Midgard products before that). After I bought into that Kickstarter, I went looking for some Midgard books to buy and saw a softback version of the Midgard Campaign Setting for sale on DriveThru RPG. It was full colour and it was Print on Demand and they printed it in the UK and that meant that I didn't have to pay the stupidly high shipping charges that USPS drops onto US companies that want to export RPG books.

I have previously bought RPG books from the USA, but the high shipping charges mean that good deals often get eaten away and the total cost of ownership prices me out of the market. So I'm really hoping that Kenzer & Co don't get pushed into a position where they can not sell physical products to non-US fans at reasonable prices. If they end up supplying all their non-US customers via USPS, they are going to be making money for USPS, rather than for themselves and the total size of the fanbase may shrink (meaning that I get less fans to talk to).

I really like what Bruce Heard is doing for Calidar. He does have help from people like Thorf, but he is pretty much doing it as a one-man-band, and yet he has set up several localised stores, so that people in various places in Europe can buy stuff in their own money. That stuff really makes it easier for customers.

I really hope to see K&C doing well. I hope to see them get through their core rulebook period and go onto make cool Kalamar stuff. I hope to see more fans turn up here and talk about more aspects of the setting. I hope it gets talked about more in the wider community.

I would really love to see Kingdoms of Kalamar get something like a sub-setting. A Hollow World, a Kara-Tur or a Taladas for Kalamar would be a real move forward for the setting.

The GMG is a stepping stone towards that sort of stuff. So I hope it comes out soon and that it does well.
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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Crusoe45 » Tue May 05, 2015 9:01 pm

High Big Mac, yes, I'm afraid that that was the pre-order price for people outside of the US and Canada. It stacked up because it gave access to the regularly updated PDF and due to the enormous cost of shipping from the US. Considering that Infinity Games sold me the PHB at around £35 delivered I decided that forking out £80 for the GMG pre-order was just out of the question, of course now I think it's virtually impossible to get any of the HM 5th ed core books from UK suppliers and Kenzerco is very uncommunicative about getting the book to UK distributors. It's all a bit frustrating and not good for them either I'm sure................ I love Hackmaster 5th ed stuff, but I can go away and run a game of Labyrinth Lord with none of these problems, or Burning Wheel Gold which is now my Saturday night system, a slot which HM 5th could easily have occupied. Shame!........... okay so I've just checked and now (without the PDF included) a GMG direct from Kenzerco comes to a little over £70.......... (over £30 of which is shipping!).......... pdf for around £25!!

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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by Big Mac » Wed May 20, 2015 11:56 pm

Thanks Crusoe45.

£30 for shipping, for one book, really isn't economically viable for gamers. I can buy two otherRPG products for that (including shipping). Rich gamers, who pay high prices to eBay bandits, can afford to buy books that are only available with a high shipping charge, but they are going to price some poorer European games out of the market. And that could make the player base smaller, and mean that players have less other players to talk to.

I'm still buying Kenzer & Co products (3rd Edition Kingdoms of Kalamar products) and would love to see K&C do well, and create new Hackmaster expansions for Kalamar, but they really do need this book to be in the European gaming stores and available to European customers for a price comparable to US customers.
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Re: HackMaster GameMaster's Guide

Post by night_druid » Thu May 21, 2015 1:43 am

Big Mac wrote:This is something that I find a bit baffling. During the 3rd Edition D&D era Kenzer and Co were churning out books for multiple product lines at a rate of knots. I'm still trying to hunt down old 3e D&D Kalamar books.

Now they have merged their Kingdoms of Kalamar campaign setting into their HackMaster ruleset, so that they have less stuff to work on, but their output seems to be considerably slower.
One word: Staffing. K&C today is much smaller than it was in the 3e era; I think they have maybe five full-time employees (one of which is devoted 100% to KoDT). Core books are being developed entirely in-house, no freelancers. Plus there's been some turnover. So, yeah, throughput is pretty slow with such a reduced staff.
And, as someone who is interested in the campaign setting, but who wants to stick with the ruleset that Kingdoms of Kalamar used before, I'm glad to see that the GMG is out, but I'm wanting K&C to get done with the "Edition Treadmill" stuff, so that they can start putting out Kingdoms of Kalamar 5eHM books that have new content. I'm guessing that their first big book is going to be a 5eHM Kingdoms of Kalamar Campaign Setting hardback, so that will be mostly reproducing what I've already got.
On the bright side the GMG has a gazetteer of Kalamar, so that should do for now. I can imagine that a Kingdoms of Kalamar 5e book shouldn't be too hard to do (most of the text can be lifted from older products). The trick is that they've got a number of other projects they've committed to, particularly Mines of Chaos (no idea if we'll ever see that one) and various splat books (classes in particular).
We seem to have waited for this book for 2 years. I hope that this has gotten things past the bottleneck and that we can see faster stuff soon.
I hope so. They probably should switch to a few smaller projects (96 pagers and less) for a while to get some product out the door, and work on bigger projects as side items to announce once they're ready for beta (at least).
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