Wednesday, March 21, 2018


New Skill: Trapping
Relevant Abilities: Intelligence and Dexterity
Cost: 6 BP
Universal: No
Prerequisite: Novice level Hunting, Novice Level Animal Empathy
Materials/Tools: Yes

Trapping is the skill of placing pre-made hunting traps, and creating snares, deadfalls, pits, and other natural traps. Trapping requires some basic knowledge of hunting, but is developed separately. A skilled trapper not only makes a snare, but knows exactly where to place it to catch the game they’re after; like hunting, trapping is limited to a specific climate. Also, like hunting, trapping does not always provide you with a dead animal, merely the opportunity to kill one.

Traps are oriented towards a certain size of creature; a pit trap that will catch a bear might be safely hopped over by a rabbit, and a snare that will catch a rabbit will do little more than annoy a bear. Depending on the size of creature sought, and the skill of the trapper, a trap can be created in minutes to hours. The difficulty of trapping varies with local conditions, but trapping for meat is usually an Average check. If you wish to preserve a saleable fur, it becomes Difficult; an Average trap will destroy (5-DR)d10p% of the pelt.

Novice Tiny: 60 minutes, Small/Medium 60 minutes, Large 4 hours, Huge 8 hours
Average: Tiny: 45 minutes, Small/Medium 45 Minutes, Large 3 Hours, Huge 7 Hours
Advanced: Tiny: 30 Minutes: Small/Medium 45 minutes, Large 2 Hours, Huge 6 hours
Expert: Tiny 15 minutes, Small/Medium: 30 minutes, Large 90 minutes, Huge 5 hours
Master Tiny: 10 Minutes, Small/Medium 15 minutes, Large 1 Hour, Huge 4 Hours

Note: Huge creatures are generally only vulnerable to pit traps or deadfalls; effectively creating a pit trap for a Huge creature requires Mining. These times are in addition to the necessary time to excavate enough earth or stone to create an effective pit trap. Deadfalls for Huge creatures often involve dropping hillsides on them.

Materials required vary, but usually start with a knife or hand axe, and some wire or twine. Not having these bare requirements increases the difficulty by one step. Having a premade mechanical trap makes the base difficulty Easy, and reduces the time for all mastery levels to 10 minutes per trap, regardless of size (though premade traps are seldom made larger than Large).

Hunting snares can be effective mantraps, but are relatively easy to spot. Observation checks to locate mantraps set by trapping are +50% if the trapper is Novice, +40% if they are average, +30% if Advanced, +20% if Expert, and +10% if Master. This bonus does not apply to wild animals, but domesticated animals trained for hunting do receive this bonus, as do humanoids and any creature with an Intelligence of 7/01 or higher.


The Outdoorsman is a woods-wise warrior, similar to both a ranger and a barbarian, but with key differences. Unlike the ranger, they do not necessarily have a dedication to the health and safety of others… outdoorsmen might be poachers, smugglers, or marauders, happy to devastate a township or simply quickly move illegal goods over the land. Unlike the barbarian, however, there’s no necessary component of chaos in their alignment; an outdoorsman could equally be a King’s Forester, responsible for catching those poachers and smugglers, or stopping marauders along the road. Or an outdoorsman may be a tribesman, not quite so tough or superstitious as a barbarian, but still capable of living off the land and surviving the wilderness.

While able combatants, most Outdoorsman favor tools over weapons; they might learn to use a sword, but facility with a hand axe, spear, or bow is a lot more practical. While they benefit greatly from the physical attributes of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, they also find Wisdom to be of great use, given its relation to key skills such as Hunting, Survival, and Weather Sense.

Unsurprisingly, those Outdoorsmen who are religious favor deities such as The Traveller, The Great Huntress, and the Bear, but there’s not restriction on their following other deities or no religion at all. Most are moderately suspicious of magic, especially those of a tribal background, but it seldom manifests as a true phobia, as one sees amongst barbarians; it is simply something beyond their ken, and so they may have little use for it.

Monday, March 5, 2018



Basic Investing for HackMaster

There comes a point in many games when the characters simply have too much money. They may have purchased everything the GM will let them purchase, may be on the move and unwilling to buy real property (houses, bars and the inevitable stronghold), or may simply be wanting to make more money when they’re in that limbo between being having to scrape every last copper and being able to destabilize the local economy without half trying. Some mercantile-minded players may turn their minds towards investing some of their rewards in commercial ventures, hoping for a return in wealth and influence. Unless you truly wish to be playing HackTrade, however, most GMs will seek to abstract this process a little, letting the game flow without preventing the character from spending his wealth as he sees fit.

For the purposes of this article, Investments are of two different types: caravans and in-place businesses. Caravans are limited-duration ventures, and investment money usually goes to hire guards, drovers, and stock, moreso than the actual goods for sale. In-place ventures tend to be investments in existing businesses, either letting a business owner expand, hold a special event, or start up. Many of the same principles apply to each, but some modifiers will have different effects depending on whether or not the business venture travels.

Lastly, these rules are designed primarily for PC investment in NPC businesses, but it is possible to adapt them to PC (or detailed NPC)-run businesses; there are some notes at the end on using them as such.