I’ve always liked percentile-based (d100) systems for role-playing games. The early editions of RuneQuest, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Call of Cthulhu were the staples of my formative adventuring back in the 1980s. In terms of game mechanics, d100 systems provide an unmatched clarity over the likelihood of an action’s success or failure. They also tend to be more flexible, avoiding rigid character classes and levels.
However, many traditional percentile-based systems are also relatively detailed, particularly in their use of skills. The most recent edition of RuneQuest has a character sheet that runs to four pages and features nearly one hundred individual skills. That’s fine if you’re happy to invest the time needed to create such detailed characters. My personal preference is for something more streamlined. Hence the project that I will be describing in this blog.
Hack100 will be a system in which adventurers can be created in minutes and in which the vast majority of in-game actions will be covered by a dozen, rather than dozens of, skills. Its origins lie in a supplement I wrote back in 2011 that transplanted a light d100 mechanic onto the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. I doubt that anyone else ever ran a game using that supplement, but my own playtesting demonstrated the possibilities of running d100 games with greatly reduced skill lists. Nearly a decade later, Hack100 will build upon that idea to provide a lightweight, standalone role-playing game. That’s the plan at least.