The Basilisk Hack presents rules for the transhuman horror game Eclipse Phase based on the first edition of The Black Hack, a super-simple take on old school D&D. Being based on one Creative Commons licensed game (EP) and one game under the Open Game License (TBH), the rules are doubly free, so have at.
I wrote this many months ago, posted an unfinished draft to Google+, and declared it “done enough for a game I wouldn’t run.” I’m not one to leave well enough alone, though. While looking through old G+ posts to move over to this blog, I came across this game again, decided the remaining edits could be completed in under an hour, and finished it up.
It’s still not exactly a “complete” game—you’ll want to have a copy of Eclipse Phase for setting information, additional background and faction info, and more psi sleights, and you may want to pull up The Black Hack for some specific rules I intentionally left out. That said, it’s got all the rules you’d need to play, and offers just enough setting info that you don’t technically need any more. (The one thing I don’t explain that you might be curious to know is what the heck a “basilisk hack” even is. You could find out online pretty easily, but the real answer is, “a term used in Eclipse Phase that compelled me to write a 17-page Black Hack conversion just so I could use it as a pun in the title.”)
Eclipse Phase remains one of my absolute favorite RPG settings, one of few gaming series whose books I read because I just can’t get enough of the nigh-obsessive attention to world-building details. Even the upcoming second edition’s rules are more complex than I typically prefer, though, so I’m still considering other options for the next time I run it. I’m still eyeing the transhumanism section of the new edition of Stars Without Number, and considering how I might adapt the rules for the Cthulhu Dark inspired Spiralis as well, replacing its sanity, stamina, and standing stats with ego, morph, and rep. If I get really carried away (a real risk if I end up binge-watching another season of Altered Carbon), I might even just end up making my own transhuman sci-fi game inspired by all of the above.
In the meantime, though, I might just go back on my claim that I won’t ever run The Basilisk Hack. The whole point of making it, after all, was to make it easy to run Eclipse Phase at a moment’s notice, and I’m pretty sure it’ll do that just fine. If you happen to run it yourself, please do let me know.