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The Empire Strikes Hack

Rules for adventuring in a Galaxy far, far away


(Draft 5)
Made using The Black Hack and influenced by the original WEG Star Wars RPG.
Whats New?
Medpacs now have a usage dice (d6) and a character can be treated unlimited
times per day with one, though all treatment tests following the first each day are made
with Disadvantage.
Documented the Powerful Opponents rule.
Added rules for Grenades & Thermal Detonators.
Added statistics for a selection of vehicles.
Extended the equipment list.
Added costs for repairing starships and other equipment.

Character Generation
All characters start with the values 7, 9, 10, 10, 11, 13 allocated between 6 attributes:
Dexterity
Strength
Perception
Knowledge
Mechanical
Technical
All characters also start with Life Blood equal to their Strength and 5 Hero Points.
Non Force users start with:
5 Skill Specialisations.
Force users start with:
A Force Dice of d6.
A Dark Side Dice of d6.
2 Force Powers.
3 Skill Specialisations.
All characters begin with some appropriate equipment that you think the GM will let you get
away with. If it's anything expensive or unusual then have an appropriate story ready ;-)
e.g.

Luke Skywalker
Dexterity 11; Strength 9; Perception 10; Knowledge 7; Mechanical 13; Technical 10
Life Blood 9; Hero Points 5; Force Dice d6; Dark Side Dice d6
Enhance Attribute; Lightsaber Technique; Dodge; Starfighter piloting; Repulsorlift
operation

Han Solo
Dexterity 11; Strength 10; Perception 13; Knowledge 7; Mechanical 10; Technical 9
Life Blood 10; Hero Points 5
Blaster pistol; Dodge; Con; Space transports piloting; Starship gunnery

Skill Specialisations
A character gains Advantage on Attribute Tests covered by their Skill Specialisations.
This list should not be considered exhaustive.
Dexterity
Archaic weapons, Blaster pistols, Blaster rifles, Bowcaster, Bows, Brawling1,
Brawling parry1, Dodge, Firearms, Grenade, Lightsaber, Lightsaber parry, Melee1, Melee
parry1, Missile weapons2, Pick pocket, Repeating blasters, Running, Thrown weapons,
Vehicle blasters.
Perception
Bargain, Command, Con, Gambling, Hide & Sneak, Initiative, Investigation,
Persuasion, Search, Willpower.
Knowledge
Alien species, Bureaucracy, Business, Cultures, Languages, Law enforcement,
Planetary systems, Scholar, Streetwise, Survival, Tactics, Valuation.
Strength
Brawling1, Brawling parry1, Climbing, Intimidation, Jumping, Lifting, Melee1, Melee
parry1, Stamina, Swimming.
Mechanical
Astrogation, Beast riding, Blaster artillery, Capital ship gunnery, Capital ship
piloting, Capital ship shields, Communications, Ground vehicle operation, Repulsorlift
operation, Jetpack operation, Sensors, Space transports piloting, Starfighter piloting,
Starship gunnery, Starship shields, Walker operation.
Technical
Armour repair, Blaster repair, Capital ship repair, Computer programming/repair,
Demolitions, Droid programming/repair, Forgery, Medicine, Repulsorlift repair, Security,
Space transports repair, Starfighter repair.
1
2

Tests for these skills can be made with either Dexterity or Strength.
Grenade launchers, rocket launchers, etc.

Attribute Tests
Only PCs make attribute tests! They make attack tests (e.g. Dexterity/Blaster pistol) when they
attack and defence tests (e.g. Dexterity/Dodge) when they are attacked.
Roll d20 + attribute + any GM assigned modifiers:
Roll

Result

< 10

Fumble - unless stated otherwise this is the same as Failure but at the GMs
discretion the character also suffers Disadvantage on their next test.

10-19

Failure

20-29

Success

30

Critical - unless stated otherwise this is the same as Success but at the GMs
discretion the character also gains Advantage on their next test.

Advantage & Disadvantage


Various situations can call for a test to be made with Advantage or Disadvantage:

When rolling with Advantage roll 2d20 and pick the best.
When rolling with Disadvantage roll 2d20 and pick the worst.

Levels of Advantage and Disadvantage cancel each other out, but in the end a test can be at
best be rolled with Advantage or at worst rolled with Disadvantage. If there are 3 or more levels
of Disadvantage then at the GMs discretion the task is impossible.
Powerful Opponents
For every HD an NPC has above the characters level, subtract 1 from every roll the player
makes for any test that would determine the outcome of a conflict between them and an NPC.
e.g. a level 3 character defending against an NPC with HD 5 would subtract 2 from their
dodge/parry roll.
Hero Points
A player can spend a Hero Point to:

Reroll any test, except one made to level-up an attribute.


Reroll the Force Dice but not the Dark Side Dice.
Have the GM reroll any (damage) dice rolled against them.

At the GMs discretion where the narrative of a scene has not clearly defined a
certain piece of information, the player might suggest something that sounds reasonable
and make that suggestion become fact.
Characters gain 1 Hero Point at the beginning of each session and may be rewarded more insession at the GMs discretion.
Experience
Characters gain levels at the GMs whim, probably once every two or three adventures.
When they gain a level:
All characters:
At every level - test each attribute, if the test fails then increase that attribute by 1
point. If all tests succeed then increase one attribute of the players choice.
Non Force users:
At every level - choose 2 different attributes and make a second test as above.
At levels 4, 7 and 10 - gain an additional Skill Specialisation.
Force users:

At every level - choose 1 attribute and make a second test as above.


At levels 3, 6 and 9 - increase Force Dice by one step:
D6d8d10d12
At levels 4, 7 and 10 - gain an additional Force Power or Skill Specialisation.


The Force
To use the Force a player chooses one of the characters available powers and rolls their Force
Dice to determine the effect:
On a natural 1 or 2 the Force Dice type is reduced by one step:
d12d8d6d4.
A character's Force Dice is reset at the beginning of each session.
If the target of a power is of higher level/HD then apply the level/HD difference as a penalty to
the roll.
The Dark Side
To call upon the Dark Side a player chooses one of the characters available powers but instead
of rolling their Force Dice they roll their Dark Side Dice to determine the effect:
On a natural 1 or 2 the Dark Side Dice type is increased by one step:
d6d8d12.
Once increased above d12 a character has been consumed by the Dark Side
and becomes a GM controlled NPC.
A character's Dark Side Dice is never reset.
A character cannot both use the Force and call upon the Dark Side for the same action.
Using a power in anger, hate, or fear always requires the Dark Side Dice to be rolled.
At the GMs discretion a Force user conducting evil deeds even when not using a power may be
required to roll the Dark Side Dice or even have their Dark Side Dice automatically increased.
The GM should warn a player when an action requires rolling the Dark Side Dice and give them
the opportunity to change their mind.

Force Powers
Energy Manipulation
Subtract the result of rolling the Force Dice from the damage caused by an
energy attack.
Roll the Dark Side Dice and cause that much damage to one or more Nearby
targets (Force Lightning). When multiple targets are attacked roll separately for each
with a -2 penalty per additional target.
Enhance Attribute
Add the result of rolling the Force Dice to any test which the GM agrees might be
influenced by the Force. This does not have to be declared in advance, it can be done
after the test is rolled.
Lightsaber Technique
Character does not suffer Disadvantage when using a lightsaber; use of this
effect does not require the Force Dice to be rolled.
A critical result when parrying a blaster bolt allows the character to deflect the
bolt back at either their attacker or a different target. No attack roll is required, just roll
the Force Dice to determine the damage caused; this can never be more than the
maximum damage for the blaster.
Telepathy

Send and receive thoughts at a distance:


Range

Target number

Line of sight

Same planet

Same solar system

Beyond

Read thoughts of unwilling target,


or perform the Jedi mind trick.

+2

Telekinesis
Move an object from the characters hand, to Close range, from Close range to
Nearby range, from Nearby to Far Away, or vice versa:
Weight

Target number

Brick

Person

Land speeder

Starfighter

Small objects can be moved at 20-30 mph larger objects at about walking pace.
Roll the Dark Side Dice and cause that much damage to one or more Nearby
targets (throw an object at them; throw them at an object; crush their trachea; lift them
off the ground and drop them, etc.) When multiple targets are attacked roll separately for
each with a -2 penalty per additional target.

Combat
Combat occurs in rounds of approximately 10 seconds duration.
Initiative
At the start of each round all characters make a Perception/Initiative test:
Result
Fumble

As Failure but character also suffers Disadvantage on their next test.

Failure

Character acts after opponents this round.

Success

Character acts before opponents this round.

Critical

As Success and character can either perform two actions without penalty on
their turn, or gain Advantage on their next test.

Attack
A character may perform multiple attacks on their turn suffering a -4 penalty for each attack
beyond the first. This penalty only applies to the characters Attack tests. e.g. if Han shoots his
blaster 3 times then all 3 attack tests will be at -8 but there would be no penalty to any defence
tests made on the same round.
Modifier
Melee - You have a weapon and your opponent does not or you have a
lightsaber and your opponent does not.

Advantage

Melee - Your opponent has a weapon and you do not or your opponent
has a lightsaber and you do not.

Disadvantage

Result
Fumble

Either character suffers Disadvantage on their next test, or the Usage Dice (if
any) for the weapon they are using is automatically reduced, or when parrying
their opponent performs a riposte, no Defence test is allowed, just roll weapon
damage.

Failure

Attack misses, is dodged, or parried.

Success

Attack hits for rolled weapon damage.

Critical

Either the attack hits for maximum damage, or the attack hits for rolled
weapon damage and the opponent suffers some calamity that allows the next
test against them to gain Advantage.

Defence
Ranged attacks are defended against with Dexterity/Dodge, or Dexterity/Lightsaber parry tests.
Melee attacks are defended against with Dexterity/Brawling parry, Dexterity/Lightsaber parry, or
Dexterity/Melee parry tests.
If a character is targeted by multiple attacks in a round then their Defence tests suffer a -2
penalty for each attack beyond the first. This penalty only applies to the characters defence
tests. e.g. if Han is shot at by 2 pirates and punched by a 3rd on the same round then all 3
defence tests will be at -4 but there would be no penalty to any attack tests made on the same
round.
Modifier
Melee - You have a weapon and your opponent does not or you have a
lightsaber and your opponent does not.

Advantage

Melee - Your opponent has a weapon and you do not or your opponent
has a lightsaber and you do not.

Disadvantage

Result
Fumble

Either character suffers maximum damage, or Disadvantage on their next test.

Failure

Attack hits for rolled weapon damage.

Success

Attack misses, is dodged, or parried.

Critical

Either character gains Advantage on their next test, or when parrying the
character performs a riposte, no Attack test is required, just roll weapon
damage.

Grenades & Thermal Detonators


When a character attacks with a grenade, thermal detonator or other area effect weapon a
single test is made irrespective of the number of NPCs in the target area. Instead of the
Powerful Opponents penalty being applied to the test it is applied to the damage caused.
Attack Result
Fumble

Character drops it at his feet, throws it at his friends or otherwise misses the
target area by a wide margin. Friendly characters must make a Defence test
as described below to avoid collateral damage.

Failure

Misses target area. Intended targets and others who might be caught in the
blast suffer rolled damage.

Success

Hits target area. Roll damage separately against each target.

Critical

As Success.

When an NPC attacks with an area effect weapon each character in the target area must make
a Dexterity/Dodge test. This test does suffer the Powerful Opponents penalty:
Defence Result
Fumble

Character suffers maximum damage.

Failure

Character suffers rolled damage.

Success

Character suffers rolled damage.

Critical

Character suffers no damage.

Damage
If a character is reduced to zero Life Blood (they cannot be reduced below zero) they are taken Out of
Action (OofA), they are unconscious and cannot act for the remainder of the fight. When the fight is over,
a character that is taken OofA should roll on the table below to see what happens to them. If they
survive they gain 1d4 Life Blood.

Roll 1d6

Result

KOd - Just knocked out.

Dazed - All tests suffer Disadvantage for the next hour.

Wounded - All tests suffer Disadvantage for the next day.

Incapacitated - All tests suffer Disadvantage for the next week.

Crippled - Random attribute permanently reduced by 2. The character also


suffers the penalty for being Incapacitated.

Mortally Wounded - Within moments of dying. One Technical/Medicine test


may be made to stabilise the character to the Crippled condition, otherwise
they die. This test is rolled with with Advantage if the medic uses a Medpac.

+1

If already Wounded.

+2

If already Incapacitated or Crippled.

Healing
Treatment with a Medpac takes 10 minutes and a successful Technical/Medicine test to heal 1d6 Life
Blood and cure the Dazed and Wounded conditions. After the first treatment each day further Medpac
treatments suffer Disadvantage due to reduced effectiveness of the drugs. If the treatment test is a
Fumble then no further Medpac treatments are possible on the patient for 24 hours.
Treatment without a Medpac takes 1 hour and a successful Technical/Medicine test to heal 1d6 Life
Blood. This can only be attempted once per patient per 24 hours.
After a complete day of rest a character automatically heals 1 Life Blood.
Curing the Incapacitated condition requires treatment in a bacta-tank taking 2d6 hours and costing 500
credits. This also heals all lost Life Blood.
Curing the Crippled condition requires treatment by a surgeon or surgical droid at a high-end medical
facility taking 1d6 days and costing 2000 credits. This also heals all lost Life Blood. Depending on the
nature of the wound it may involve extensive reconstructive surgery and possibly cybernetic replacement.

Starship Combat
These rules apply to dogfights between Starfighters and Space Transports; Capital Ships follow
different rules.
Range & Position
Ships in a dogfight are at either Long, Medium or Short range with respect to each other. If at
Short range a ship may have an Advantageous Position over one opponent.
At the start of each round the pilot makes a Mechanical/Starfighter piloting or Mechanical/Space
transports piloting test:
Modifier
Maneuverability greater than opponent

Advantage

Maneuverability 4 or more greater than


opponent

Irrespective of the result the opponent cannot


extend the range beyond Medium.

Maneuverability less than opponent

Disadvantage

Maneuverability 4 or more less than opponent Irrespective of the result the pilot cannot
extend the range beyond Medium.
Result
Fumble

As Failure but pilot also suffers Disadvantage on their next test.

Failure

Opponent can change or maintain range or position.


Pilot and his crew act last this round.

Success

Pilot can change or maintain range or position.


Pilot and his crew act first this round.

Critical

As Success and pilot also gains Advantage on their next test.

Attack
This works as per the normal ranged combat Attack rules except tests are made using
Mechanical/Starship gunnery. Multiple attacks are possible, but each weapon system may
only fire once per round.
Modifier

Pilot has Advantageous Position

Advantage

Opponent has Advantageous Position

Attacks only possible using rear and turret


mounted weapons. Attack test suffers
Disadvantage.

Medium range

Disadvantage

Long range

Attacks not possible.

Pilot has extended the range this round.

Attacks only possible using rear and turret


mounted weapons.

Evasion
This works as per the normal ranged combat Defence rules except tests are made using
Mechanical/Starfighter piloting or Mechanical/Space transports piloting as appropriate.
Modifier

Pilot has Advantageous Position

Opponent can only attack using rear and


turret mounted weapons. Evasion test gains
Advantage.

Opponent has Advantageous Position

Disadvantage

Medium range

Advantage

Long range

Attacks not possible.

Opponent has extended the range this round.

Opponent can only attack using rear and


turret mounted weapons.

Deflector Shields
If a ship has deflector shields then the pilot may make a Mechanical/Starship shields roll to
angle them against incoming damage. In a ship with a co-pilot position this test must either be
made by the co-pilot or with Disadvantage.
Result
Fumble

As Failure but deflector shield Usage Dice is automatically reduced.

Failure

Deflector shield has no effect.

Success

Roll deflector shields Usage Dice and reduce damage by value rolled.

Critical

Do not roll deflector shields Usage Dice, damage reduced by maximum value.

Damage
Damage is subtracted from a ships Hull Points. In addition for each hit that causes more than
4+ points of damage roll on the Starship System Damage table below:
Roll 1d6

Result

Controls Ionized - All actions using the ships systems are at Disadvantage
until the end of the ships next turn.

Crew Injured - A random crew member (including any droids) takes 1d10
damage.

Engine/Stabiliser Damage - All piloting tests suffer Disadvantage until


repaired. If this result is rolled a second time then the ship is Dead in Space.

Weapon System Damaged - All Mechanical/Starship gunnery tests with the


damaged weapon system suffer Disadvantage until repaired. If this result is
rolled a second time then the weapon system is Destroyed.

Shield Generator Damaged - All Mechanical/Starship shields tests suffer


Disadvantage until repaired. If this result is rolled a second time then the shield
generator is Destroyed.

Hyperdrive Damaged - All Technical/Astrogation tests suffer Disadvantage


until repaired. If this result is rolled a second time then the hyperdrive is
Destroyed.

If a ship is reduced to zero Hull Points (it cannot be reduced below zero) roll on the table below:
Roll 1d6

Result

1-4

Dead in Space - All the ships systems except for life support, comms and any
escape pods are inoperable. If the ship suffers further damage it goes Boom!

5-6

Boom! - The ship is within moments of exploding. All crew must make a
Knowledge/Survival test to reach the escape pods. Those who fail can spend a
Hero Point to survive or persuade a friend to spend one to rescue them.

Repairs
Require an appropriate Technical/Repair test. In all cases a Critical halves the repair time.
Type of repair

Time taken

Notes

Jury-rig Damaged system

1 round / 1 hour

If attempting a repair in 1 round then


the test suffers Disadvantage. On a
Fumble the repair is botched so badly
that further jury-rig attempts may not
be made.

Jury-rig Dead in Space ship

1d6 hours

On a Fumble the mechanic manages


to hurt themselves for 1d6 damage.

Repair Damaged system

1d6 hours

Costs 1d6 x 5% of original system


cost. On a Fumble the repair is
botched and half this cost must be
paid to try again.

Repair Dead in Space ship

1d6 days

Costs 1d6 x 5% of original ship cost.


On a Fumble the repair is botched
and half this cost must be paid to try
again.

Replace Destroyed system

1d6 hours

On a Fumble the installation is


botched and not only is the system not
installed, it is also Damaged.

Equipment
A character can carry a number of items equal to their Strength. Carrying more means all
physical tests suffer Disadvantage.
Weapons
Weapons

Dmg.1

Cost

Holdout blaster

d6

300

Blaster pistol

d8

500

Heavy blaster pistol

d10

750

Blaster carbine/rifle

d10

1,000

2 equipment slots.

Light repeating blaster

d8

2,000

Shoot twice without multi-action penalty; 3


equipment slots.

Medium repeating
blaster

d10

3,000

Shoot twice without multi-action penalty; 6


equipment slots; requires bipod, suffer
Disadvantage if firing from the hip.

Heavy repeating blaster

d12

Not for sale


(5,000)

Shoot twice without multi-action penalty;


requires 3 people to carry weapon, power
supply and tripod.

Wookie bowcaster

d10

Not for sale


(900)

2 equipment slots.

Lightsaber

d12

Not for sale

May be used to parry blaster bolts. Attack


and parry test suffer Disadvantage unless a
character has the Lightsaber Technique
Force power.

Force pike

d10

500

Two handed; 2 equipment slots.

Vibroblade

d6

250

Vibroaxe

d8

500

Fragmentation grenade

d8

200

Blast radius 5 m

Thermal detonator

d12

2,000

Blast radius 10 m

Notes

Half damage (round down) vs. Vehicles, quarter damage (round down) vs. Starships.

Armour
Armour

Damage
reduction

Cost

Notes

Blast helmet

-1

300

-1 Dexterity; usage dice d8.

Blast vest

-1

300

-1 Dexterity; usage dice d8.

Medium Battle Armour

-3

2,000

-3 Dexterity; -3 Perception;
3 equipment slots; usage dice d8

Heavy Battle Armour

-6

8,000

-6 Dexterity; -6 Perception;
4 equipment slots; usage dice d8

Stormtrooper or
Bounty hunter armour

-3

Not for sale


(5,000)

-3 Dexterity; 3 equipment slots;


usage dice d8.

Droids
Droids

Cost

Notes

First-Degree Droid

5,000

2-1B Surgical Droid

Second-Degree Droid

4,000

R2

Third-Degree Droid

3,000

3PO

Fourth-Degree Droid

2,000

G-2RD Defence Droid

Fifth-Degree Droid

1,000

BLX Labour Droid

Caller

100-500

Restraining Bolt

50

Droid Remote Control

500

Droid Memory Wipe

50-500

Miscellaneous Equipment
Miscellaneous equipment

Cost

Ammo Bandolier

100

Blaster Power Pack

25

Breath Mask

50

Chronometer

25

Comlink (civilian)

100

Comlink (encrypted)

1,000

Datapad

100

Fusion Generator (Light)

500

Glowrod

10

Jetpack

1,800

Macrobinoculars

100

Medpac

100

Quick-Draw Holster

250

Rations (1 week,
concentrate)

200

Recording Rod

30

Recording Rod (Holo)

750

Sensor Pack

650

Sleeping Bag

15

Space Suit (emergency)

1,000

Syntherope

Toolkit

200

Work Clothes

100

Notes

4 equipment slots

2 equipment slots (worn); usage dice d8.


Recharge costs 150 credits.

Usage dice d6

Computer, Droid, Vehicle, Security Systems


toolkits are each separate items.

Starships
Starfighters

Manoeuvre

Hull

Shields

Weapons

ARC-170

14

d6

DL; DL(T), PT

A-Wing

11

d6

DL; 2 x CM

B-Wing

d8

HL; DL; TI; 2 x PT

Delta-7 Aethersprite

d6

DL

Eta-2 Actis Interceptor

11

DL; DI

TIE/ln

DL

TIE Bomber

13

DL; CM(16)

TIE Interceptor

10

12

QL

X-Wing

12

d6

QL; 2 x PT

Y-Wing (1-seat)

12

d8

DL; DI(T); 2 x PT(4)

Y-Wing (2-seat)

12

d8

DL; DI; 2 x PT(4)

Z-95 Headhunter

12

d6

DL; 2 x CM(6)

Manoeuvre

Hull

Shields

Weapons

Firespray-31 Patrol Craft

12

d6

2 x DL(T)

Gallofree Medium Transport

d6

4 x DL(T)

Ghtroc 720 Freighter

11

d6

DL

Lambda Shuttle

12

d8

2 x DL, DL(R)

Millennium Falcon

18

d10

2 x QL(T); 2 x CM(4)

Slave I

14

d10

2 x DL(T); HI; CM (4)

YT-1300 Transport

12

DL(T)

YT-2000 Transport

12

d8

DL(T)

YT-2400 Transport

d8

DL(T)

Space transports

Starship weapons

Code

Damage1

Notes

Single laser cannon

SL

d6

Double laser cannon

DL

d8

Quad laser cannon

QL

d10

Heavy laser cannon

HL

d12

Double ion cannon

DI

d6

Ignores deflector shields and


causes no loss of Hull Points. A hit
causing 4+ damage still causes a
roll on the Starship System
Damage table.

Triple ion cannon

TI

d8

As above.

Heavy ion cannon

HI

d10

As above.

Concussion missiles

CM

2d6

May only be fired at Short range.


If multiple launchers are installed
they may all be fired as a single
action; a separate Attack/Evasion
roll is required for each.

Proton torpedoes

PT

2d8

As above.

Rear mounted

(R)

May be fired at an opponent who


has an Advantageous Position.

Turret mounted

(T)

As above.

Quadruple damage vs. Characters, double damage vs. Vehicles.

Vehicles
Vehicles

Manoeuvre

Hull

Weapons

AT-ST Walker

DB; DLB; CGL

AT-AT Walker

36

DL; DB

X-34 Landspeeder

Aratech 74-Z Military Speeder Bike

11

SB

Ikas-Adno 22-B Nightfalcon Speeder Bike

10

SB

Mobquet Flare-S Swoop

14

Incom T-471 Airspeeder

Rebel Alliance Combat Snowspeeder

DB; PH(R)

Cloud Car

DB

Sail Barge

Skiff

Vehicle weapons

Code

Damage1

Single blaster cannon

SB

d6

Double blaster cannon

DB

d8

Double light blaster cannon DLB

d6

Double laser cannon

DL

2d8

Concussion grenade
launcher

CGL

d8

Power harpoon

PH

Rear mounted

(R)

Notes

May only be fired at Short range.

May be fired at an opponent who


has an Advantageous Position.

Double damage vs. Characters, half damage (round down) vs. Starships.

Designer's Notes
When I posted an early draft of these rules under the name Black Star to The Black Hack
group on Google+ it attracted little interest but there was one fairly critical comment there could
be paraphrased as Why have you diverged so much from The Black Hack? I didn't answer at
the time due to ill health and a busy work schedule but it has prompted me to add these notes.
Alternatively I might just pretentious ;-)
Why have you changed from the classic array of six attributes?
There is nothing particularly special about the classic array and you could argue that even for
Dungeons & Dragons it is not the optimal set. Why else does Charisma often become a dump
stat; especially outside of OSR circles where henchmen and reaction rolls have been left
behind? Perdonally even for D&D I would make an argument to add a Perception attribute
instead of overloading Wisdom and making all Clerics avatars of Sherlock Holmes. I believe the
array Ive used, borrowed from WEG Star Wars, to be genre appropriate.
Why have you changed from The Black Hack roll under mechanic?
The roll under mechanic is great, but I believe a roll high mechanic is actually more natural.
Rolling high is good on all dice rolls, penalties are always negatives to the roll and bonuses are
always positives. It also easily facilitates opposed rolls between PCs and an increasing chance
of critical with improved ability score.
What happened to Hit Points?
D&Ds Hit Points abstraction has always been a bit peculiar with some undefined fraction
measuring a character's actual vitality whilst the remainder measures fatigue, luck, dodging and
parrying ability. The Black Hack differs because a character's DEX can increase with level,
presumably corresponding to increased dodging and parrying ability. This leaves HP as a
measure of vitality, fatigue and luck. For the Empire Strikes Hack I decided I wanted an even
simpler abstraction and thus made Life Points purely a measure of vitality derived directly from
Strength.
Why have you introduced skills, I dont like skills?
I dont like skills either where they restrict what a character can do. But with the exception of
using the Force all characters in The Empire Strikes Hack can attempt anything. The Skill
Specialisations function the same as the advantages granted by different classes/races in a
more conventional Hack without the need to define a long list of Bounty Hunter, Pilot, Smuggler,
etc. classes.

Why use an increasing rather than decreasing Dark Side usage dice ?
Played raw a usage dice always decreases in The Black Hack and my earliest drafts had the
Dark Side Dice behave this way. However I didnt find it natural that the value decreased as a
character's taint by the Dark Side increased. Reversing how the Dark Side Dice worked cures
this problem and has the added benefit that the stronger the taint becomes the greater the
temptation to risk rolling the Dark Side Dice because the potential benefit increases whilst the
probability of the taint getting worse decreases.