Thanks for the reply Sicnaxyz! I've been looking around for gamers in Montreal who have experience in HackMaster 4th Edition, but no luck so far. This was the only Montreal-specific forum I found that had a thread on this topic. It looks like a game with amazing potential and I'm kicking myself for not taking it seriously 10 years ago when it had a (relatively) large following. If you do happen to run into anyone who has played HackMaster, please let me know!
I will but like I said, things are pretty slow around here. Maybe if you're lucky, there could be a game at the upcoming Draconis convention on Montreal in 2017.
I'm trying to incorporate an 'old school' vibe in the game and I incorporated several house rules to make it function a bit more like 1e, at least in spirit. Perhaps the best one was starting each player with three 0-level characters, an idea I got from Dungeon Crawl Classics. It allows the characters to grow organically rather than the player saying, "I want to play a Half Tiefling-Drow Cavalier/Assassin!" It also teaches both new and old players that this is a deadly world and characters will die, while allowing you as the DM to kill off some low level characters without too much guilt. I highly recommend it!
Can't wait. I hardly play anymore. It's too bad too since my kids are growing up and I have more free time, I could actually play more but the opportunities are not there anymore.