Hack Publishing

I published a couple of game hacks for the Acoustic Cover Jam this week, both of which started out on this blog. You can find them and other things I’ve published on my Itch page.

First, From Numenera Into the Odd collects my current notes on running content from Monte Cook Games’ Numenera using Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd. At the moment, this consists of one page. The left half contains notes for the GM in converting creatures and cyphers, while the right half has player-facing material about advancement, inventory management, and an “effort” mechanic. Note that, other than referencing the game, this document contains no material from Numenera.

Second, World of Ultraviolet Grasslands takes inspiration from John Harper’s World of Dungeons and reworks it heavily for Luka Rejec’s fantastic UVG setting. Like the previous publication, this doesn’t represent a complete game. I extended the WoDu resolution mechanic (risk roll) a bit, changed the skills and abilities, and removed classes, attributes, and hit points. UVG isn’t really about combat; it’s about exploration far beyond most TTRPGs. (You may notice a theme in my interests here!) So while weapons, armor, and combat certainly exist in my game, I take sort of an FKR-ish approach. We use the caravan and inventory mechanics from UVG, but of course without republishing them.

The final addition to the WoUVG document is a custom ability mechanic. I believe pretty strongly that character advancement should reflect their recent activities, so every third level starting at 2 asks the player to write a new ability based on what they’ve been doing. It might have light mechanics (several of the abilities grant advantage, for example), but in general should just help the character do something special in the world.

Both of these games are completely free because of their nature. I did publish my Welcome to ERF scenario for Mothership several months ago, however, and that one does ask for a small payment. Note that I have committed to matching and donating all profits from my games to the International Rescue Committee, benefiting refugees all over the world. My first payout didn’t cover much beyond expenses, but the excess ($24) led to a $50 donation to the IRC over and above my normal contribution to that charity, as I believe fervently in their mission. I design games as a hobby, not as an income stream, and I only take money so as not to devalue the work of other designers who have chosen to make this their profession. I love and respect their work and want them to continue!

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