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HackMaster is a fantasy role-playing game produced by Kenzer & Company. Originally published in 2001, it began as a fictional game, a parody of the most ludicrous aspects of D&D played by the characters of the Knights of the Dinner Table comic strip by Jolly R. Blackburn. The characters in the comic began playing HackMaster 3rd Edition, which was updated to a numerously revised 4th edition
In the current (5th) edition of the game, the setting has been switched to Kenzerco’s “Kingdoms of Kalamar” (KoK) setting. KoK was originally developed as a D&D setting, and has been very well developed and detailed in several supplements and adventures. Developers for Kenzerco have stated on their forums that the world will not be significantly altered for HM 5th. This setting for the new game should help those wishing to transition to the new system understand the culture of the world that they may have adventured in using the D&D rules. This setting has been featured in several editions of Knights of the Dinner Table, and while the setting will not be changed entirely, it has many areas still ripe for expansion and GM creativity.
In 4th edition, the official setting of Hackmaster was Garweeze Wurld, a giant continent on the planet Aldrazar based on the notes of Jolly Blackburn. This has been developed in the Garweeze Wurld Atlas and Garweeze Wurld Gazeteer. Garweeze Wurld is about eight thousand miles across, circling much of the northern hemisphere of its planet. The continent is mapped based on forty-eight “sectors”, each one thousand miles across. The continent reaches from the tropical band of Aldrazar to its Arctic Circle. The name Garweeze World was a play on the name of D&D creator Gary Gygax.
The Hackmaster Association (HMA) is a Game Manufacturers Association-recognized organization created to promote the game and facilitate organized play at game stores and conventions, as well as provide a resource for home games. With the release of the latest version of HackMaster, the HMA is in the process of restructuring to better suit the new system.
The HMA initially started as a parody of the RPGA in the Knights of the Dinner Table comic. With Kenzer & Company releasing HackMaster as an actual roleplaying game, the HMA has become a gaming organization in its own right, having several chapters in numerous countries including the U.S. and U.K., requiring annual dues of its members, and so forth. Membership also includes a subcription to the Hackjournal (an online only HM publication including optional rules, official rule additions, and fan submitted material).