Congratulations to Kirin Robinson and his Old School Hack game for winning the 2011 Gold ENnie Award for Best Free Product.
The EN World RPG Awards (the “ENnies”) are an annual celebration of excellence in roleplaying gaming, with the final winners determined online by the voting gaming public in the style of a true peoples’ choice award. They’re a good indication of what’s particularly hot in the gaming community.
I’ve featured Old School Hack at Hobby Games Recce before and am still impressed with both its game innovations and intuitive layout. If you haven’t already at least read this inventive take on old-school Dungeons & Dragons-style roleplaying, download Old School Hack for free and check it out.
While it uses many familiar tropes from that classic era of gaming, it develops them for modern gamers seeking both the feeling of nostalgia and an original style of play. The game introduces some interesting interpretations of old-school hack-and-slash gaming elements: familiar classes with clearly defined talents yet a flexible skill system for non-combat tests; generic weapon and adversary descriptions to customize in descriptions without much game crunch; and an “awesome point” mechanic for experience and bonuses. Robinson achieves all this with a dynamic page layout featuring call-outs, sidebars, charts, and titles making reference intuitive.
Old School Hack also stands above the other nominees for this ENnie fan award category because it was the only standalone roleplaying game; other nominees were free quick-play, demo, or intro versions of more complete games available for sale.
I’m using Old School Hack this coming weekend at a gaming convention to run a scenario testing out my Infinite Cathedral medieval fantasy setting currently under development. It’s not exactly a dungeon crawl, but the character class mix, skill and combat resolution systems, and overall feel should work well.