[generic] Black Hack/early D&D compared to 5e (relocated)

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#1
The Black Hack Second Edition Classic Monsters ook project is now live on Kickstarter. Classic Monsters is designed to support and enhance your Black Hack games. It features over 200 monsters, drawn from B/X and First Edition sources of the The World's Most Popular Fantasy Role Playing Game, all converted for use with The Black Hack. There is also a limited number of premium rewards that include the Kickstarter Exclusive cloth/foil cover main rule book from the last campaign.

Check out the project page here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1730454032/the-black-hack-second-edition-classic-monsters
Ended up backing it as I can imagine picking up the Black Hack and running an old module on impulse (okay, it's unlikely to happen, but I can dream).
 

MartinP

Rune Priest
#6
If old adventures can be easily converted to D&D 5e, surely the old monsters can be converted to the Black Hack without this book.
Probably, but as with all pre-prepared RPG books the trade-off is money (yours) for time (theirs).

I personally wouldn't play old D&D/AD&D adventures with 5e if I was looking for the 'authentic' experience. 5e is pretty compatible with old modules, but the actual game-play is very different. Can't speak for the Black Hack, I've never tried it.
 
#7
Probably, but as with all pre-prepared RPG books the trade-off is money (yours) for time (theirs).

I personally wouldn't play old D&D/AD&D adventures with 5e if I was looking for the 'authentic' experience. 5e is pretty compatible with old modules, but the actual game-play is very different. Can't speak for the Black Hack, I've never tried it.
Yup! All those cantrip make all the difference.

The Black Hack is good for steamrollering through all the old modules. I’ll have to run you a game sometime.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#8
I personally wouldn't play old D&D/AD&D adventures with 5e if I was looking for the 'authentic' experience. 5e is pretty compatible with old modules, but the actual game-play is very different. Can't speak for the Black Hack, I've never tried it.
Authentic smauthentic, I was there, I know what I ran, and 5e does it better for me that B/X or BECMI did.
Plus 5e is so modular that if you want to cripple your magic users, turn off the cantrips, remove death saves, only allow 1HP of healing per night, 0hp is death, bingo some kind of the earlier D&Ds*

Black Hack is very different, still valid, but PCs are very very powerful..

*never let anyone really convince you that there weren't multiple parallel D&Ds.. from the very beginning, and there's no problem there still being so.
 

Pual

Lay member
#9
Authentic smauthentic, I was there, I know what I ran, and 5e does it better for me that B/X or BECMI did.
Plus 5e is so modular that if you want to cripple your magic users, turn off the cantrips, remove death saves, only allow 1HP of healing per night, 0hp is death, bingo some kind of the earlier D&Ds*

Black Hack is very different, still valid, but PCs are very very powerful..

*never let anyone really convince you that there weren't multiple parallel D&Ds.. from the very beginning, and there's no problem there still being so.
Just for curiosity, how do you find the old modules balance using 5th Edition. my impression is that 5th Edition characters are much more powerful against single opponents (we had two 1st level pcs take out a bugbear with no trouble) but I’m not sure how they cope against multiple opponents.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#10
Just for curiosity, how do you find the old modules balance using 5th Edition. my impression is that 5th Edition characters are much more powerful against single opponents (we had two 1st level pcs take out a bugbear with no trouble) but I’m not sure how they cope against multiple opponents.
I convert the day before and usually drop the 5e statblock in, if it's still roughly appropriate. I adjust the numbers of foes to suit, just as always. I don't run many combats so PCs usually go *nova* and can easily take out a single bad guy. Therefore I tend to deploy waves of multiple foes of moderate power working intelligently to support the big bads, often over a long time with space for short rests.
However sometimes I just run a BECMI/AD&D stat block. AC == 19 minus old one but never higher than 17. Double hit points. Ability bonus/proficiency/Attack_mod, all HD/2+2
I don't like spells for NPCs so I pick 1-2 and treat them as rechargeable actions like 13th Age.
 
#11
Just for curiosity, how do you find the old modules balance using 5th Edition. my impression is that 5th Edition characters are much more powerful against single opponents (we had two 1st level pcs take out a bugbear with no trouble) but I’m not sure how they cope against multiple opponents.
A 5th Ed Bugbear? First time I ran my "standard" scenario with 5th Ed I was stunned what a BEAST it was. See also goblins. "Old-fashioned" D&D 3hp cannon fodder. 5th Ed - 7hp and some kind of feat as I recall.

What little I've seen is that if you drop in the 5th Ed monsters it still balances.
 
#12
Part of the thing is that in 5e combat adds and damage are compressed into a narrower range. Which means at L1 a wizard can be as competent a sword fighter as anyone else. But so can a goblin. When we ran the starter set we had to get used to that!
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#13
Part of the thing is that in 5e combat adds and damage are compressed into a narrower range. Which means at L1 a wizard can be as competent a sword fighter as anyone else. But so can a goblin. When we ran the starter set we had to get used to that!
True, but why would a wizard fight with a sword if they can cast a cantrip that does d8 or so damage each round?

5e is also much easier for characters to heal.
 
#14
True, but why would a wizard fight with a sword if they can cast a cantrip that does d8 or so damage each round?

5e is also much easier for characters to heal.
That alludes to probably my biggest problems in 5e, beyond 1st level, there's not much jeopardy. Run into any encounter in an official adventure head-on and you'll probably be fine. It seems like blunder along room to room, twatting things as you go, and then it's just 30 mins of standing in the same place grinding down hit points using the same abilities over and over again until they eventually win.

A trait I've noticed from younger players who have only played 5e is that there's no attempt at dialogue or clever solutions, just charge. So when we're running a different system and they charge something that is intentionally unbalanced and die they get pissy.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#17
trait I've noticed from younger players who have only played 5e is that there's no attempt at dialogue or clever solutions, just charge. So when we're running a different system and they charge something that is intentionally unbalanced and die they get pissy.
IMHO this was always the case from 3rd level up in D&D. 5e starts it a bit earlier. May I also suggest that if the DM keeps offering room after room of underpowered combat then.. guess what?
Read the basic structure of how the game is balanced then you can slowly up the opposition to match your players.
But the "we aren't playing D&D anymore and it's hard syndrome" is hardly new.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#19
Fight fight short rest fight fight long rest..

Oddly it's perhaps 5e versus earlier D&D.

I find it's much more robust and the DMG has enough modular options to make it gritty if u want, but it's never going to be Runequest or GURPS or Traveller levels of grit.
 
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