The comic strip Knights of the Dinner Table debuted in 1990, and this good-natured look at role-playing geeks was soon gracing the pages of Dragon magazine and being released as a monthly comic book. Created by Jolly R. Blackburn, KoDT followed five hardcore gamers as their dealt with real life, the politics of roleplaying, and numerous in-game catastrophes while participating in the fictional tabletop game known as Hackmaster.
As the popularity of the comic grew, requests came flooding in for publisher Kenzer & Company to develop an actual roleplaying game based on Hackmaster. They never thought this was a serious possibility, but a meeting with executives at Wizards of the Coast (the company behind Dungeons & Dragons) found them gaining permission to make the game.
Hackmaster debuted in 2001, and it won the Origins Award for Game of the Year. Over 40 supplements and aids have been developed during the life of the game, and Hackmaster has been set in fantasy locales ranging from Garweeze Wurld to Kanzerco’s Kingdoms. And for those who are interested in collecting Hackmaster products, keep the following in mind: The first edition is actually labeled the fourth edition (just like in the comic book), while the most recent version (2009) is the fifth edition.
Hackmaster RPG Rules
The basic set of rules for Hackmaster isn’t expensive to own. Troll and Toad sells a softcover version for $19.99. The hardcover is more expensive, with a fourth edition having a starting price of $22 on eBay (the “buy it now” price, however, is $122).
Two of the more valuable Hackmaster collectibles I came across include Gawds & Demi-Gawds and the Combat Wheel game aid. The former is a rundown of all the deities in the Hackmaster universe, while the latter allows a player to align three wheels in the proper position to determine armor modifiers, to-hit rolls, saving throws, and much more. Gawds & Demi-Gawds lists for $75 at Noble Knight and eBay, while Troll and Toad has it for $47.59. The Combat Wheel, meanwhile, sells for $70 at Noble Knight.
Another favorite is the Gamemaster’s Coupon Book. This booklet is filled with cards that can be torn out and given to players who threaten to ruin your perfectly laid plans. Sanctioned by the tongue-in-cheek Hackmaster GM Association, this product lists for $40 over at Noble Knight.
Collecting Hackmaster products is a snap thanks to all the supplements that have been released for the game over the years. When I visited eBay and typed in “Hackmaster RPG,” a number of valuable products were brought to my attention. These included the Hackmaster Goods and Gear hardcover ($35), Lost Caverns ($35), Hacklopedia of Beasts ($30), Sir Robilar’s City of Brass ($30), Quest for the Unknown ($30), and a near mint copy of the Zealot’s Guide to Wurld Conversion ($26.95).
Collecting Hackmaster Miniatures
Collectible fantasy roleplaying games often work best when using miniatures, and Hackmaster is no exception. I had no idea these items were available, but now they’ve rocketed to the top of my collectible Hackmaster list. When I searched around eBay, these were the most valuable Hackmaster miniatures currently listed:
- Hackmaster Tactical Combat Leper Giant – $21
- Hackmaster Tactical Combat Simian Orc Gang – $15.60
- Hackmaster Tactical Combat Yeti – $10.80
- Hackmaster Tactical Combat Pack – Ape & Lamp Fairy – $10.50
- Hackmaster Tactical Combat Horned Bush Grappler – $7.99
Collecting Knights of the Dinner Table Comics
But as valuable as Hackmaster collectibles may be, the series that spawned the game is even more sought after by collectors. I’m talking about Knights of the Dinner Table, of course, and I found issues #2 through #5 of Shadis magazine (the original home of the series) selling for a whopping $599.99 on eBay. Other high-priced and collectible Knights of the Dinner Table items included Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble, Vol. 1 ($40.04), Knights of the Dinner Table #4 ($33.74), a total of 88 issues of KoDT ($69.99), and the first eight issues of the Knight of the Dinner Table compilations ($48).