Ok, let us read Whitehack 3rd edition. Few pages in and it feels good.

Stated right at the start of the book that it is expected that the GM and the players should collaborate during play to flesh out the game world. I am a big fan of this kind of play where a world emerges through play instead of being designed before hand by the GM. It’s nice to have this up front in the book.

The examples of play are pretty standard fare here but they do a really good job of showing how the game plays without getting bogged down in mechanical details. I can see people who are new to these games getting quite a bit out of them.

Ok so nothing exciting about the stats here. 3d6 for each and they are the standard str, dex, con....

What is interesting is it mentions a later section with advice on swapping out the traditional stats for custom ones for “specific genres”. Can I finally make that The Impotence of Being Earnest old school rpg?

I like 3d6, has a nice bell curve that means ultra low stats are just as unlikely as ultra highs.

Right, here’s where shit gets interesting. Classes.

Classes do not function how you would expect from DnD or Pathfinder. You choose a class but it doesn’t define if you are a wizard or a fighter, it defines how your wizard or fighter plays.

Standard classes are Deft, Strong and Wise. What’s interesting is you could be a strong wizard or a deft barbarian.

It works more like a modification to your character background.

Ok cool, you choose a class and then a vocation.

Vocation is just a keyword so it seems. You could be Wizard, barbarian, plumber, teacher. Anything really, there is no list!

Deft Plumber, I’m playing as Luigi!

Actually I love this.

Defy characters get a better roll on anything they do that seems relevant to their vocation.

If you choose baker you get a huge boon to kneeding dough or hitting someone with a rolling pin I suppose.

I like that it’s quite loose.

It really allows room for very free play without being bogged down in the specifics of mechanics.

I am all over this right now.

Ok I can’t keep reading now as I have a headache coming but so far so good.

My only gripe so far is that you can’t just swap “race” for “species” and expect you are free from the casually problematic racism of prior games.

Ok headache eased so I dug back in. The classes are basically

Deft - rogue
Strong - barbarian
Wise - mage

With the appropriate mechanical advantages that go with them. What’s fun is the vocation.

A deft wizard would be pretty crap at slinging spells but might be very learned in magical lore and reading runes.

A wise knight might not be physically strong but might be a master tactician and has appropriate magic to control a battlefield.

While I think the “smart” thing to do is to be a wise wizard, strong knight or deft assassin I personally think what makes this game stand out is the ability to play outside of those tired norms.

Wise chef for instance, like a herbalist but for baked goods.

I like this quite a bit.

Right, species.

In an attempt to distance themselves from the “race” problem that some other games have they have decided to go with species.

They have also gone to great lengths to make it so that a species isn’t type cast such as “orks are tall, strong, dumb and prone to evil” or “gnomes are short with hook noses and are wealthy” and in doing so have created something that is just... weak.

You pick a species, again this is just a keyword so you can choose anything.

Also the character creation section is pretty unclear at times.

I had to read it a couple of times to understand how it works, and I am still not 100%.

I think I would need to actually play and level up a character to really grasp how “slots” work.

They seem to be different for each class and to be honest it’s not clear what you are supposed to do at times.

The class sections seem like they need some sub sections for levelling up and slot use, among other things, instead of there just being a wall of text to read with it all in jumbled up.

Especially the wise class because the miracles make things complicated to manage.

That being said though I like the character creation generally. I think it allows you to build some really interesting characters and provides some really free form fun play styles.

It’s not without fault but, yeah, it’s ok.

Ok, the sportsball is on so lets read a bit more whitehack.

I like the simplicity of the equipment weight system. I always thought encumbrance was just a pain to calculate all the time and this just gives you a number of things you can carry.

Heavy objects count as 2 items.

This is better than adding weights.

Weapon table is simple enough. Includes a guide as to designing your own weapons but to be honest there’s enough in this table that you could probably just repurpose something.

I think I both love and hate this character sheet design. It looks nice but I don’t think the circular stat block adds anything.

There isn’t anywhere good to write down what’s in your slots either, which can be quite a bit.

It looks great, but usability questions.

Now the actual core rules.

Opening with a description of not using the dice to decide outcome unless it makes sense to.

This little section is really good and makes it clear when to and when not to ask for a roll.

Ok, there’s nothing interesting or surprising about the dice system. It’s a standard d20 roll under. The twist is that rolling equal to your stat is s crit and a 20 is always a fumble.

If your stat is 20 it’s tough luck I suppose.

Right, there are degrees of success but they are at the discretion of the gm when needed.

Basically works that if you pass a check the closer to your stat you roll the better the success.

If you get to have a double roll, which is basically rolling with advantage, and get a success on both die then you succeed with a little extra spice which is nice.

If you have a 20 in a stat then you crit on a 19 as a 20 is always a fumble.


All in all I like this dice system. There’s a little more detail in there I won’t run into but it’s ok.

It’s not groundbreaking or anything but I think for this game it’s a really good fit.

It’s simple and flexible.

@jameschip this little read through you've been doing has sold me on picking up a copy! It sounds super cool!

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