Home > Hackmaster, RPG, Rules > Mastering the Hack, Skills, Talents and Proficiencies

Mastering the Hack, Skills, Talents and Proficiencies

Time to move on with character building. We are getting close to the final steps and it is time to spend those Building points on skills, talents and proficiencies.

The skill system works with percentile dice. The player has to roll lower than (or equal to) the skill value to succeed. Pretty straight forward. However the range of values from 0-100 is divided to different mastery levels from unskilled to master level. My thief has a Rope Use skill of 26%, just on the better side of border from Novice to Average skill mastery. If he succeeds in the skill check he can securely tie prisoners and evaluate quality of the rope. From his Novice days he already can tie basic knots, including hitches, bends, loop knots and friction hitches. When he reaches higher levels of mastery he can tie more complex knots, weave his own ropes and even design and supervise construction of an entire rope bridge. The basic idea of the system is that character can’t do miracles with low skills with just good luck with the dice. Mastery levels give a good guidance of what kind of feats characters can achieve with their skills.

Skills are purchased with Building Points. Each skill has some suitable price and paying BPs you get to roll dice to increase your skill mastery. The die roll is modified by your ability scores and the die rolled depends on the existing level of mastery. Increasing a skill in that is still at Unskilled or Novice level gets an increase of 1d12 and the die gets smaller and smaller when the skill gets better. Universal skills can be tested without purchasing any increases in them. Universal and newly opened skills have mastery level equal to the relevant ability score.

Talents are somewhat like D&D feats or advantages from some other games. My elf gets a discount of 50% of BPs to buy some talents relevant to his race like being Charm resistant or needing Less sleep. Basic prices for talents range from 10 to 40 BPs. Some of them are more useful in combat heavy games and others seem to favor more role-playing intense games so there seems to be a fine lot of choices available for every one.

Proficiences mean simply an on-off type of skills to use different armor or weapons and a couple of more specific skills, including Magical Transcription for Mages and Maintenance/Upkeep to take proper care of one’s equipment. Without a proper proficiency a character can’t wear certain armors or gets a hefty penalty when trying to wield some weapon they are unskilled to use. Proficiences seem to cost from 1-6 BPs.

This part of character creation requires some bookkeeping. Especially the mechanic about rolling dice to increase skills after paying BPs is difficult to backtrack if you get confused at some point and want to check what you have payed/purchased already. It is one time problem during the character creation though as you don’t get so many BPs to spend later when leveling up and those few BPs are quickly spent. Increasing the skill mastery resembles of a Finnish RPG Praedor though the skill system in general is different there.


Categories: Hackmaster, RPG, Rules
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