Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HEX A-Poppin'

Lo! For there came upon the Blog a reader named SKelly, and upon the reading of my last post, SKelly did say:

Do you care to share your impressions of the HEX system? I have been reading it on and off, but not playing. I am planning on running a hollow earth based pulp game, and trying to choose what system to use (down to Spirit of the Century, HEX or Savage Worlds).

I started to reply in the comments section, but I would have ended up with a long comment that really deserves its own post.

Damn, SKelly, that's a tough choice. I do not envy you.

I have always liked HEX, and having run two short scenarios and played in one the best adjective I can use to describe it is quick. Task resolution is a breeze, and it's over and done with before you know it. Some folks grimace a bit at the attack rules (roll your trait plus the damage rating of the weapon), but to me it makes just enough sense for cinematic/dramatic adventure.

The first time I ran it, I was focusing on the rules because I'd never used them before. The second time, I brushed up a little (it didn't take much) during play, and found that the rules didn't need much mental processing, so I could devote the power of my mighty brain to the matter of describing bandidos and ancient glowing machines and lizard-men with obsidian spears. As a player, I found the rules to require even less thought, and I was able (with Style Points) to save my character's bacon once -- but not twice, which maintained a sense of tension for me.

The reason I said that I don't envy you, however, is because Savage Worlds and Spirit of the Century are ALSO good for this. I don't have SotC but I do have Starblazer Adventures, so I'm familiar with how it goes down; as for Savage Worlds, I've been monkeying with it the last couple of days and it, too, manages to get the job done and over with so you can get back to the real business of stealing a gem from a room full of zombies.

So...good luck, mac. Or, uh, sister. Whichever. Sorry, I can't see from here.