How would you handle magic in this game?
A downloadable Zine
is a rules light, grim dark fantasy roleplaying game.
Made to print, pick up, and play; Sledgehammer's two mini-zine format offers a rules set that encourages free-form collaborative roleplaying for grim dark fantasy scenarios.
Sledgehammer Core Rules Zine
- Simple single roll D100 resolution system
- Quick and customizable character creation
- Character sheets included in the core rules booklet so you can print a copy and give one to each player.
Ref Book and Expanded Rules Zine
- Guidance for running the game.
- Sample Non-player Characters.
- Random tables for quick scenario inspiration.
- Optional rules for Mutations, Critical Hits, and Advancement.
This download includes:
- The Sledgehammer core rule zine
- The Ref Book + Expanded Rules zine
- Both provided in pdf files for printing and screen
- Sledgehammer Compatibility Logo
If you want to create your own content for Sledgehammer just include the following text in the description:
"Based on Sledgehammer by Gayhalforc. [INSERT NAME HERE] is an independent work compatible with Sledgehammer but not affiliated with Gayhalforc."
Check out more content for the game from the #Sledgejammer!
Listen to me talk about Sledgehammer on the Draw Your Dice Podcast with Jeremy Gage
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I haven't considered it yet! The rules have been intentionally left as small as possible for people to create their own content. If you end up creating some rules for magic I would love to check them out. I am not currently developing any additional material for this version of the game. Thanks for your interest <3
I made this for the Random Adventure Jam: https://nightmace.itch.io/sun-in-the-grotesque-environment
I really like the escalating advantage/take +10% forward system, and how you can give it up for a retreat. Really clean and simple, pushes gameplay towards certain tropes.
Like many rules-light systems, you'll have to fill in the blanks with your own preconceptions. e.g. how does initiative work, and do NPCs have similar stats to players?
The "take the 10s digit of a successful attack, this equals damage dealt" would suggest this, because The Black Hack-style "roll over player's stat to hit" would produce only really high damage numbers.
edit: I missed the ref booklet, which answers this question. NPCs deal static damage on a failed roll by the player.
(this isn't meant as a criticism--there's necessarily gaps when a game fits onto a single-sided A4 sheet. Just a forewarning for people not sure what to expect)
Sledgehammer might be the first d100 system that I would recommend with absolutely no reservations.
It's two pages total, including both a GM and player document, and it has a fun and extremely readable hand-lettered and illustrated visual style.
Mechanics-wise, it's direct and simple. You're trying to roll d100 under one of your four stats, and adding bonuses for any relevant backgrounds or equipment.
However, to negate the swingyness of d100 systems, when you get into combat, every time you deal damage or create an opening you increase your odds of hitting. This gives combat a sense of continuous acceleration.
Damage is still pretty swingy, with your tens die determining how many wounds you deal (5 is your max, unless you take corruption to get to 6), and there's hit locations and critical damage rules to make things even more potentially brutal. So this is probably not a system where you get *extremely* attached to your character, but there's also neat progression rules if you do stick around.
For GMs, there's some short but solid advice sections and some potential NPCs, but Sledgehammer feels like it's so easy to write for that bashing together a scenario or borrowing a scenario from another d100 fantasy game wouldn't be any burden.
Overall, this is a well-made, easy to use thing with a clear aesthetic and strong mechanics. If you want to tell a mud-and-blood fantasy story and don't want to finely machine together a complex statline to do so, Sledgehammer should probably be your go-to.
Thank you so much for the kind words, I'm a huge fan of your reviews.
“If an attack roll is successful, deal damage equal to the first digit of the tens die. EX 25 = 2 damage.”
Probably just being dense : ) but how do you determine is the roll is successful? Thanks!
Anytime you roll the dice you need to roll under one of your 4 stats. Here's an example.
You want to attack a monster with your sword. Start with your weapon skill of 25. Lets add some bonuses:
+10 for having a sword
+10 for knowing about dueling from your career
+10 for the point of Advantage you get for charging into combat
You need to roll under 55. You get a 36, success! You do 3 points of damage.
I hope that clears things up! Thanks for the question.
Is there any downside to spending corruption? Especially since demons deal corruption instead of normal wounds, it seems odd that it's a consequence-free resource as long as you keep spending it before it fills up.
The severity of consequences cause by filling your corruption clock are up to the table. It’s intended to be a way to scale the tone of the game. If you succumb to the dark gods, you should prepare for the worst, what “the worst” is, is left up to you. Thanks for the question!
So...I am correct in understanding that however severe the consequences of filling it, you can dodge those consequences by aggressively spending your corruption for +10s and Healings?
It just seems like it would make more sense to have to MARK corruption, like when you're under demonic attack, instead of spending it, to get the bonuses.
spending and marking both fill a segment on the clock. Might just be my wording.
Character creation is quick, the rules are clear and easy to learn, and the way combat speeds up as turns pass is amazing! And it's so easy to add to and hack. Ditch your slow & clunky fantasy RPG and pick up Sledgehammer instead.