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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2016 11:30:43

156 pages, 153 are the content. The stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Page 6 & 51 has a TAAC0 (To-Hit Armour Class 0): should be THAC0?

Hulks and Horrors can be described as D&D/AD&D in space (with the THAC0).

It really is well detailed, with sections on classes (Pilot, Soldier, Psyker, Hovering Squid, Omega Reticulan, and Bearman); Psychic powers, Equipment, Weapon, Armour, Grenades, Protective Devices, Power sources, Drugs, Computerised Devices, Goods & Services. The next section continues with fleshing out your character (name, background, appearance). After that, we have Environmental hazards, Foot travel, Food & water, Experience, Combat, Spaceships, Ship combat, Exploration, The Surveyor's Guild, Generating star systems, Ruins & wrecks, Loot, Monsters (creating them as well), Dungeon Mastering, Alternate concepts, Tweaking the rules, Being a Red shirt (P145-146), Converting to and from other RPGs. I think I've covered everything. All this for free! The softback book is £13.22/$18.75. I remember purchasing a RPG system costing about £10.30/$15.99 last year, and it had nowhere NEAR anything as much as this in it's contents (rather bare actually). But H&H on the other hand, is quite 'full', and can be increased in content with items from similar systems/RPGs.

'Borrowing' other bits from other OSR RPGs should be easy to add to H&H. Well worth obtaining; you'd be daft not to.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Jacob R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2015 15:50:30

This is a fantastic RPG. If Stars Without Number is a mix of D&D and Traveller, and White Star is D&D and Star Wars, then Hulks & Horrors is D&D meets Doctor Who and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Easy to learn, even more customizable (IMHO) than Traveller, SWN and WS.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heaven's Shadow
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2014 21:15:54

A chilling world where evil walks in human form and it is up to the assassins of Heaven's Shadow to take out the demon spawn before they taint the world so much that the final curtain is called. The author has come up with a world in which the profession of a murderer is, instead of a deadly sin, a good thing for humanity. There is a lot of room here for the kind of gallant wetwork found in so many games, and there is ample room in this world to explore the existential horror of the life of a killer. All this and using the amazingly fast and simple rules of Mini Six version of the OpenD6 system from our old WEG games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heaven's Shadow
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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2014 22:40:29

I have never really connected with any of the "old school" RPGs that I've come across over the last few years. I thought I kinda got it in the days of Castles & Crusades but eventually I just couldn't see the point - others could and that was fine, but it was over my head. However, there have been a few games that have piqued my interest and gotten across their purposes and systems solidly enough for even a dummy like me to grasp it. Interestingly, they tend to be more science fictional than fantasy, perhaps reflecting that I didn't connect that much to fantasy novels when I was but a boy and a beardless youth, but would chew through a H. Beam Piper story without realizing that the world was still turning and a girl may have been trying to talk to me. Sorry, Jeannie.

I backed Hulks & Horrors in its first incarnation (it was unsuccessful there), so I was thrilled to see it come across rpgnow and even more excited to see that it nailed down everything it promised.

Hulks and Horrors combines dungeon crawling with space exploration, two things which might not seem to go together at first - the advantage of dungeon crawling being a constrained environment with clear choices, and the allure of space exploration being literally infinite possibility in all directions. Yet for me, one of the drawbacks of dungeon crawling was that I couldn't envision most dungeons in some modules I played in as being real places with real functions (since that time I've come to appreciate the surreal nonsense of certain dungeons in their own right), and one of the drawbacks of space exploration games I've played has sometimes been the lack of clear objectives. Combining the two is an amazing idea because the dungeon crawl aspect gives a solid objective to all player activities, and the space exploration element puts it in a context that I can connect to.

In Hulks & Horrors, the player characters are Surveyors - basically looters and scavengers on a lawless frontier. They bring important data back to galactic civilization, but the real riches are in robbing hulks (potentially ancient starships), star pirates (piles of jewels!) and maybe even the mysterious artifacts of the Ancients. It posits a universe where the characters have primarily mercenary motivations and a situation where they can exercise that to the fullest.

Characters are disposable in this game - they're generated quickly and disposed of just as quickly. The deadly situations they will get into are almost certainly going to kill player characters, but the decidedly "old school" method of rolling 3d6 for a character's stats - each assigned in order, of course - before glancing at the list of classes to see what they qualify for, picking one, and getting going, makes it so that you can just give a battlefield promotion to some faceless member of your crew and be back playing again immediately. (The adorable "Redshirt" class, which you have to choose when you don't qualify for any of the real classes, is a great idea but it doesn't seem too likely to me that it will ever get used.)

Character abilities are very broad - even a character's equipment and tools have very broad applications. This means that players are encouraged to be creative with the uses of their abilities and tools, a key factor since actual confrontation with enemies, traps ("boy, the security systems on this thousand year old ship sure are reliableerrrrrrggghh!") and so on are very serious matters.

The simple, fast-moving system will keep the game moving along. Interestingly, the DMs section is largely dominated by random tables to assist in the creation of scenarios in different types of location and facing different sorts of monsters. The monster list is evocative, and actually tells you more about the setting perhaps than anything else, something I really appreciate since conflict with monsters that tells me something about a setting is always more interesting than just hearing a GM say it to me.

If I could pick one way to improve Hulks & Horrors, I might try to integrate more system notes and "cheat sheet" material onto the character sheet.. Because the system's so simple, there's no reason to take up so much of the character sheet with just a list of 6 numbers for stats when you could, say, have a die rolling precis or a combat flowchart or something. (But maybe that's an old school thing? Who knows.) The other suggestion I might have is to provide a sample complex or hulk for exploration. Although a random star system, uh, system has an example, there isn't one for the actual meat of play, which is the very specific facility or location that the player characters are exploring/looting.

Maybe the best thing about Hulks & Horrors is the Dungeon Mastering section (and yes it is called a Dungeon Master, get over it.) It gives a clear idea of what Hulks & Horrors play is about and what the job of the DM is. Yeah, I've been a GM for a long time, but it really helps a game a lot for me to understand where the creator is coming from.

The most remarkable section in Hulks & Horrors, unquestionably, is the "optional rules" section. While the game has been diligent about telling you how to design your own spaceships, characters, star systems, facilities and monsters, it also goes into detail on rules extensions, options and different ways that you can change the rules to fit your own style or goals of play. On the one hand, this is possible because the core system is so simple - but I also think it reflects a constant, relentless focus on customization of your game experience to your table, and it's a major asset to the game.

I'm really excited about Hulks & Horrors - I have been since that crowdfunding effort long ago. I'm almost certainly going to run it at this year's RinCon. If you want a fast-moving, action-based science fiction exploration/fighting/looting RPG, this is absolutely the one you want.

Oh, and forget the haters saying they don't like this RPG because there's no art in it, it's their loss. Wait, wait, ummm.....I mean, uh, there's no pictures in this really solid, really well-crafted RPG and I almost gave it five stars just on the basis that there were no pictures. WAIT, this keeps coming out wrong. What I mean is if you want there to be art in your RPG book, there isn't any in this one. And you have bad taste. AGH, I can't stop myself. I should probably end the review before I make more people mad.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2014 08:17:23

Rules-wise I really like H&H, I think it compares favorably to Stars Without Number.

However, $15 for an artless PDF? I don't think so.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Welcome to Neuro City
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2014 10:40:08

HO-LY CATS!

If you have picked up Arcana Rising and enjoyed it as thoroughly as i have, then Welcome to Neuro City is a must buy product.

Set in the future of the AR setting, a world filled with monsters, magic and high technology. Easy to read and digest prose and clear tables allow you to generate the strange world of tomorrow with the ease that only John Berry could bring to your gaming tables. If you are new to gaming or a grizzled old school DM, Neuro City and the fantastic world of Arcana Rising are sure to not only excite and enthuse but will also not break the bank.

So join me in a grand adventure, in the near future like you have not seen the likes of before.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Welcome to Neuro City
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Arcana Rising
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2013 09:00:08

The Good: Dayjobs are a fun way to link your character to the modern setting. Spell choices are useful and have colorful quirks. Skill system don't hobble characters growth. Clear writing and easy to follow guidelines.

The Bad: Meh to Meh art (a lot of it looks stock). Monsters feel tacked on setting, this may be a side effect of setting itself with magic returning to the world. But I sit there wondering...what is the implications of critter X in the setting and it only get's touched on. Setting could really do with a 'deeper secerets' book that fleshes out the world more...but it doesn't take much effort to take the tools given to cook up modern magic stories.

It's a fun book if you know what you are getting into. Great if you want to try something different with OSR.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arcana Rising
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Arcana Rising
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2013 10:40:04

Hey there! If you have not yet picked up a copy of Arcana Rising, you are missing out!

The system is very familiar if you have picked up Hulks and Horrors or have ever played in any OGL game. With a quick glance at the game any goodly DM can start an AR game with their group in short order. The system is familiar as a comfortable set of gloves for any old school DM and the changes made to create a distinct flavor of modern day with the wonders of magic are logical and intuitive.

The book is written in John Berry's normal style. It is clear and engaging peppered with wit. It covers all of the bases a good DM needs and everything a new gamer needs if this is the very first RPG book they happen upon.

The illustrations keep with the Old School RPG feel and remind me of the wonderment I felt as a teenager picking up the newest AD&D books in the 1980's.

The spells and magic hold many a surprise for any gamer. The system is both new and different without moving so far from old standards that would make it difficult to understand.

All in all I must say that AR is yet another mind blowing experience from John Berry who is quickly becoming my favorite author of all things RPG. Pick it up and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Arcana Rising
by Naomi B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2013 15:05:12

I really like this product. Unlike other Urban Arcana, this is set as magic is released back in to the world. The premise is that scientists have dug down to the lake under Antarctica, thus breaking a magical seal and releasing the magical waters. The reason that there has been no miracles in recent times is that the deities have backed off to maintain a balance but now they can come back - slowly. Spells and such only go to level 6 as people have to relearn how to control their new abilities.

I have only skipped through the text but I like some of the new restrictions. The Forestwalker (aka druid) has abilities that fluctuate with the seasons. Healing strength is doubled in spring while their constitution bonus increases during winter. You could probably add in the Wiccan sabbats to make things even more interesting. Power comes from sacrificing plants. You want to heal a broken leg? Touch a tree and the patient and go for it. It may kill the tree if it is too young (less than 50 years) but, hey, that's what sacrifice is all about.

Some of the items are really funny. You want to summon a Toad Lord? Then pay the price - blood from a lawyer. Good luck with that!

The diagrams are black and white and have the old look of woodcuts. No modern pictures here. Unfortunately not all the monsters in the Monsterpedia are illustrated but there are enough to muddle through.

One surprise was that the character sheet is only one page. It seems to have everything but I haven't tried to use it yet.

There is a large section on settings. At first I didn't see the point of this as the time is Today but then I saw that the presence of magic was being used to convert places to portals. Got a really deep lake? Look out for monsters coming from the Water Plane. A dormant volcano? The Fire Plane is reachable. The same for ancient cities, old graveyards and libraries of old books. That pretty much destroys Rome.

The text is fully bookmarked and easy to read in one column so you don't have to scroll up and down to read a whole page.

I really like this and intend to use it in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/09/2013 19:40:18

WHAT WORKS: I love the random charts. I always love the random charts. The Redshirt option for characters that don’t qualify for a character class is great as well. I do like how the classes have been balanced for the game, instead of just doing a straight renaming of the D&D Classes. Some of the tongue in cheek effects for various pieces of loot are also great as well.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: I’d prefer a d20 chart over a d12 chart every time. Less chance of repeating an option. The space combat rules seem like they would leave non-pilots in the cold…moreso than non-Pilots will be left out on the ground. Contested checks are just clunky (rolling higher than the opponent but under your stat).

CONCLUSION: I’m not a big fan of the older school D&Ds, and I think that’s where I wind up displeased with some of the mechanics here. That said, I actually like the premise of exploring space hulks and dead planets more than I do straight up dungeon crawls. The extensive use of random charts is always a plus, and I do like that there are multiple options for acquiring a ship. If you’re a fan of old school D&D and you want something more than a different coat of paint on it, then definitely check this out.

For the full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2013/06/tommys-take-on-hulks-and-horrors-basic.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
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Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2013 15:17:52

I must say that Hulks and Horrors is a joy to read.

The universe building tables are fantastic for taking your adventures in new directions.

Character creation is a snap, the aliens are fantastic! (Who doesn't want to be a flying squid or psychic bear!), and game play is fast.

Hulks and Horrors has been one of the best game finds of the year for me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Christopher W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2013 09:40:11

Fantastic little system built on D&D's core strengths with something akin to Traveller's interstellar travel, coupled with some incredibly useful starship, sector, and solar system generating tables. Quick chargen and amusingly deadly!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2013 20:20:09

Humorous old school rpg action.

First Edition has come to the stars. And what a grand trip it is!

Simple start up, monsters that harken back to Gamma World & Metamorphosis Alpha, & cool Star Frontier like loot & alien races.

This game is a great find.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Travis N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2013 02:40:56

I really like this Edition because I can use it with many different game systems!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hulks and Horrors - Basic Black Edition
by Benjamin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2013 20:09:38

I skim read this in a day, mostly reading it for the background and story. The rules as I looked at them are a good basic set of rules, and will require that the players and game master agree to expand upon them in play. it is much like the old style rules that I learned on in the early-mid 1980's. I feel that the background is fairly well done, with lots of room to expand for the game master, or for the game developers. I could wish that they had at least run the levels to ten, but six is a nice level. I feel that they could differentiated the skills of the races a bit better for the players if they where going back to the old school style game design, but I also see that most current players will never stand for that level of focus.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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