I like The Black Hack. I like how I can tinker with it and so much is left to table interpretation I can do a little better at squashing my inevitable “but I wrote that wrong D8″ reaction, especially these days. 1e is still my go-to for it.
Last year (after several years of scrabbling at the idea), I finished what I called the “Blue Lotus Hack” and — after more months of panic at the idea — released it, first as a PoD on Amazon via CreateSpace and then the pdf on DriveThru. I also did this under a different nick, because it was the only way to talk myself into it, and linked a blog inside the book; a blog I then managed maybe two useful posts on, because I was sure that the more I posted the more obvious I’d be.
After that I started tinkering with a much smaller idea of a bolt-on “not Spelljammer” / “fantasy space” setup, and got as far as the basics + a class + some critters (I do love me some critters) but stalled at what I thought was the writing up a few paragraphs of a sample system but was/is more likely to be the brainweasels attacking full force again. Now I’m debating maybe putting the “spacehack” — which needs a name I suppose, oops — up here in parts and pieces, and maybe I’ll collect it all up in a pdf and toss it on here if I go through with it completely …
These were/are my theme paragraphs; they would be most of an intro, with a bit more explanation stapled on either before or afterward:
– the universe is shattered, but we can draw the shards together –
So, what might a hotblooded group of adventurers be doing out in the shimmering void?
Exploration: The fields of the Shard Sea change and shift and grow new structures, worlds, suns — entire systems — out of the primordial aether. Finding them, recording them, blazing trails between them, all are possibilities, which leads naturally to
Communication: Because there are uncountable worlds and worldlets and systems and stranger things, all needing to reach out and touch someone. A ship and its crew may carry mail, messages, bulkier cargo, mercantile gambles, and people looking for new opportunities (or to get in contact with older ones); but it’s best to make sure to
Fight Back The Tide: Because there’s always going to be miserable bastards who want to conquer, enslave, destroy — and these are the ones you hoist the skull and crossbones against when all else fails, be they conquerors or cultists. Use words when you can, but you can’t reason with the unreasonable, and there’s countless worlds that could use defenders.