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Knights of the Dinner Table + HackMaster

Knights of the Dinner Table + HackMaster

by Tuesday 8 May 2018
In May 2018 we presented two offers from Kenzer and Company. The all-new Knights of the Dinner Bundle had .PDF e-comics featuring the longest-running and most successful comic strip in RPG history, Knights of the Dinner Table by Jolly Blackburn. And if you’ve read KoDT, you know the Knights’ favorite game is HackMaster — so we also revived our March 2016 HackMaster Bundle, with the core Fifth Edition books and more.

1. KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER BUNDLE

Jolly R. Blackburn created Knights of the Dinner Table in 1990 as a filler comic strip for issue #2 of the small-press gaming magazine Shadis, which he was publishing out of a spare bedroom. The strip was something of a “creative burp,” and Jolly didn’t give it much thought. He was surprised when it quickly became a favorite among readers; the most frequent reaction was, “Those guys remind me of my own group!” Soon KoDT was overshadowing everything else he’d ever done, and the created was now controlling the creator.

Twenty-eight years later, Jolly still draws and writes for the monthly Knights of the Dinner Table magazine. Since he joined Kenzer and Company and formed the KoDT Development Team (Barbara Blackburn, Brian Jelke, Steve Johansson, and David S. Kenzer), KoDT strips have appeared in seven different magazines and in many limited-series comic books. Throughout this unmatched run, the theme of the strip has held true: Outsiders and loners of all kinds, regardless of their flaws, can find friendship and acceptance at the gaming table.

This bargain-priced Knights of the Dinner Bundle gave you literally thousands of pages from the entire run of Knights of the Dinner Table. There were nine titles in this offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $86) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the first five KoDT Bundle of Trouble compilations (reprinting KoDT issues #1-15), all three Tales from the Vault collections of scarce early strips, and the first volume of The CattlePunk Chronicles, Outlaw Trail.

Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also got this offer’s entire Bonus Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $88.50, including KoDT Bundle of Trouble Volumes 6 through 10 (collecting KoDT issues #16-30); the second CattlePunk Chronicles collection, Four Herdsmen of the Apocalypse; and two standalone books, Men That Hack and The Java Joint. After launch we added KoDT Special #1: Last Man Standing (retail $3.50), a self-contained 40-page story of the Knights playing Urban Assassin on the streets of Muncie, Indiana.

2. HACKMASTER [from March 2016]

In 2001, armed with an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons license from Wizards of the Coast, Kenzer and Company released HackMaster “4th Edition” — a not-quite-parody of the AD&D 1E/2E rules that captured the spirit of the game seen in Knights of the Dinner Table. (There were no prior editions; “4th” was part of the spoof). HackMaster won that year’s Origins Award for Game of the Year.

Through one of the more unusual paths in RPG history, HackMaster evolved into a full-fledged, full-featured RPG, spawning over 40 add-ons, supplements, and game aids. In 2011, as the original license was expiring, Kenzer started a long transition to a new version of HM. This “fifth edition” removes most of the parody aspects. The new game mechanics, written from scratch, incorporate the Honor, Skills, and Count-up systems from Kenzer’s 2007 Old West RPG Aces & Eights. (We presented A&8 in our October 2015 Aces & Eights Bundle.)

This revived HackMaster Bundle presented all three massive HackMaster Fifth Edition core books — the Player’s Handbook, GameMaster’s Handbook, sourcebooks and adventures, and the monumental Hacklopedia of Beasts monster manual. Together they provide everything you need for a complete campaign using this remarkable Old School game.

There were five titles in this offer’s Player Collection (retail value $57) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • HackMaster 5E Player’s Handbook (retail price $40): The complete, current 400-page Fifth Edition rulebook. Includes the free HackMaster Basic introductory rulebook.
  • Zealot’s Guide Book 1 and Book 2 (total retail $7): These two short supplements present new clerical orders and dozens of spells.
  • In the Realm of the Elm King and Legacy of the Elm King (retail $5 each): One of the best introductory HM adventures — a search for missing children outside a small village near Frandor’s Keep — along with its free-standing follow-up, a traditional crawl through kobold-infested caverns in the half-wild lands around the village.
  • HackMaster Player Resources: As a convenience to our customers, we’ve gathered many free HackMaster downloads from the Kenzer and Company website — charts and play aids, reference sheets, and more.
This offer’s entire Gamemaster Collection had three more titles worth an additional $87:
  • HackMaster 5E GameMaster’s Guide (retail $40): This 370-page tome has rules, NPCs, treasure tables, and advice for every situation.
  • Hacklopedia of Beasts 5E (retail $40): The massive, lavishly produced monster book that launched the HackMaster 5E project.
  • Frandor’s Keep (retail $15): A lonely military outpost on the creature-infested borderlands — an ideal sandbox to start an adventuring career.
  • HackMaster GM Resources: More free downloads from the Kenzer website — these help the HM GameMaster.