A Modest Proposal

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The Butcher
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A Modest Proposal

Hi everyone! Long time fan here.

I have been playing very little, and most of it D&D5. Yeah, yeah, I know. If ACKS is a Porsche, D&D5 is calling an Uber — not nearly as finely crafted or as evocative, but it gets you there. It does its job and does it with very little fuss. And it’s really grown on me since we started playing in earnest two years ago.

I am actually looking forward to the D&D5 conversion of Sinister Stone of Sakkara, less out of desire to run it with D&D5 and more out of curiosity as to how it fares in translation.

Anyway, only recently have I had the opportunity to truly peruse the Heroic Fantasy Handbook and by God did I enjoy it.

You could reasonably argue that it’s a whole new game altogether, working off some fairly distinct assumptions from core ACKS.

And that, plus the ongoing revision of the domain management system, got me thinking two (somewhat provocative) things.

1. Will we ever see a new edition of ACKS with the Heroic Fantasy Handbook material baked into the core game, plus revised domain management?

2. Is it too wild a dream to imagine that a new edition — or more accurately, a whole new game — might one day come out, using the HFH ethos for characters and the thorough economic work we have seen for ACKS... but built on a D&D5 chassis rather than a B/X one?

Now don’t get me wrong! ACKS is a brilliant game and I have nothing but enthusiasm and fond memories of TSR D&D in general. But like I said, D&D5 has really grown on me, there are some intriguing D&D5 hacks out there already (such as Adventures In Middle-Earth) and I’d love to bring a little ACKS magic to the D&D5 table!

Aryxymaraki
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I experimented with a spreadsheet to do something inspired by ceremonial magic in 5E.

I had more of a 5E lens with it at that point, since their 'stigma' equivalent recovered on a short rest, and they were designed as more of a variant warlock than a variant mage.  I think in 5E design it works better as a warlock. 

I also did actually write a 5E "XP for GP" hack that was inspired by ACKs (Loot and Fortune on DM's Guild).

So basically what I'm saying is that it is totally possible, in theory, since I've done some tiny bits in this direction myself.  Just a matter of whether or not Autarch thinks it's worth it and wants to get it done.

bestial warlust
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BURN THE WITCH!!!!!!!!!! 

With the new editions of WoTC D&D 5e is a better iteration and with the hacks such as middle earth I agree it can make for a better game. I've played a few times to give it a fair shot but I still run and prefer ACKS, but 5e is still a bit too super-heroey for my personal taste to run as a GM. I would however sit down and play a game of it where as 3.x/pf I would not. 

I'm not an Autarch at all but as far as a possible second edition Axioms issue 6 actually has a letter from the future with a theoretical version of 2e ACKS that does incorporate some stuff from Axioms and Heroic fantasy. I see it would be easy to bolt on stuff from the Heroic companion to any base ACKS game.

Kiero
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I don't know if it's a statement of essential design philosophy, but something that really bugs me about D&D5e is the absence of the Warlord class. It seems too much like a deliberate slight against D&D4e for it's omission to be anything else.

Aryxymaraki
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I don't know if it's a statement of essential design philosophy, but something that really bugs me about D&D5e is the absence of the Warlord class. It seems too much like a deliberate slight against D&D4e for it's omission to be anything else.


-Kiero

It isn't.  They tried many times in betas to get a playable Warlord class.

It's just a very difficult class to get to feel right outside of the framework of 4E, and given how popular it was, they didn't want to release a half-assed job of it.  (Which they ended up doing anyway later with a fighter subclass, sort of, but I don't think Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide went through the normal playtesting and editing process, it seemed rushed and the quality control wasn't there in terms of mechanics.)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

The answer is "I don't know". 

It's been seven years, almost eight, since ACKS was released so we are well overdue for a second edition. The open question is what to do with it.

- Core rules without Heroic Fantasy - fix various flaws and loopholes, add improvements from Axioms

- Revised core rules re-built around Heroic Fantasy

- Completely new game built around Heroic Fantasy, perhaps adapt it to feel a bit more like 5E (attack bonuses instead of attack throws or whatever)

I think about it a lot but I'm not sure what would be best to do.

 

GMJoe
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- Core rules without Heroic Fantasy - fix various flaws and loopholes, add improvements from Axioms

-Alex
I guess this is the default assumption about what a second edition of ACKS would be: Not a new game, but the core game we all know and love, only with the rough edges that've been discovered in the years since its initial release smoothed over, the holes in the rules filled in, and a fresh lick of paint.

This sounds like it would be great for people who (like me) are already running ACKS campaigns by the book and don't want to change much, but would welcome some slight tweaks that improve rule clarity, fix up the more awkward mechanics, and give us a few more options without taking anything away. On the other hand, I imagine it might not be the most useful book you could release; since the changes are likely to be small, people who are already running ACKS campaigns might not feel that the new version is really needed. I guess it's hard to predict which of those would be the bigger group.

- Revised core rules re-built around Heroic Fantasy

-Alex
Ah, so basically Heroic Fantasy, but written as a standalone game rather than as a set of modifications and additions to the core rules.

That sounds like it would be great for people who (like me) yearn to run heroic fantasy because it's awesome and does a great job of capturing all the tropes of the heroic fantasy genre, but are reluctant to do so because it means having to juggle and adjudicate a two sets of rules that interact and override each other in complex and occasionally tricky-to-remember ways. Also, the need to juggle two sets of rules makes the learning curve steeper for players and GMs who aren't already familiar with ACKS, and a version of ACKS with the Heroic Fantasy changes baked in to the core game would solve that.

On the other hand, Heroic Fantasy already exists, and is still fairly new; a new second edition probably wouldn't introduce many changes that aren't already in the existing heroic fantasy handbook, so again, this wouldn't necessarily introduce much in the way of content that GMs and players feel they need.

- Completely new game built around Heroic Fantasy, perhaps adapt it to feel a bit more like 5E (attack bonuses instead of attack throws or whatever)

-Alex
I'm not sure what you mean by "completely new game." Are we talking about throwing out all of ACK's existing mechanics and starting from the ground up by making an entirely new game deisgned to support heroic fantasy plots rather than the "first you adventure, then you conquer a realm, then you reign and defend your throne against all comers" progression that ACKS is built around? Or do you mean to keep that progression from ACKS, but substantially redesign all the mechanics from the ground up, abandoning some of the proud nails of OD&D in favour of D&D 5e's... Uh... Actually, I don't know a lot about 5e, but I assume it has features which people like, and which are superior in some respect or another to the way OD&D did certain things.

I guess that'd please the 5e fans. Me, I'd have to see what the changes actually were before I could make up my mind. I really like ACK's focus on hexcrawl logistics and realm management and detailed economy and internally-consistent setting justification for everything beneath the winged sun, to the point where I tend to adapt them in some small measure whenever I run anything else... So, I'd be a little hesitant to play a game that deliberately distanced itself from those things. On the other hand, if you made a game that still included those things, it'd also need some improvement or new feature that made it significantly superior to ACKS, or there wouldn't be any point in making the switch.

Then again, "customers want what they know," and all that. Perhaps if you made something completely different to ACKS as it currently stands, I'd rapidly realise I wanted it.

At the end of the day, I'm likely to back nearly any kickstarter project Autarch announces, so my views probably aren't the most important one to take into account when making this decision.

James C. Bennett
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I support replacing throws with d20 + modifiers vs. DC. After a year running 5e at my FLGS, I've started building another ACKS campaign. Since anyone I'm likely to recriut is going to be coming from 5e, I'm going to present the rules as d20+mod vs DC to make it easier to transition. I'm going to keep the math the same though. Naked AC will be 11, for instance, so a level 0 character still hits on an 11+. For saves, thief skills, proficiencies, and anything else that comes up, I'm using a fixed DC of 20 and calcualting the bonuses back from that.

KingofElfland
Joined: 2018-12-06 18:25

 

Okay this is my first post on this forum. I always seem to find cool things after they are on the way out. I really like ACKS. I am looking forward to expanding my ACKS library and integrating it into my game. What appeals to me is the BX chasis and I would hate to see it go. I don't mind the attack throw system (it seems to me that its only problem is that it is a third system, but if 3e had used it instead then the current ascending system would seen odd), I don't like BAB/proficiency modifiers and the old descending system and the ACKS throw system neither need it. 

However, I realize I am a late comer. If a 2e is what is desired, maybe with the integration of the Heroic Fantasy Companion. But new editions should be editions, not completely new games: Chaosium and TSR, not WotC. Also, if it's more like 5e, why not just play 5e. 5e's greatest value is the many people playing it. If they don't want to learn a second cousin ruleset they probably don't want to learn a first cousin set either.

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

As it stands the attack throw actually fits well with the rest of the major rolling mechanics in ACKs (aka rolls with a d20), thus would feel a bit disjointed being an attack bonus if everything else was still a throw result.  Then comes the notion of do you change all of the rolls to bonuses, personaly I dont really think its worth while, the throw mechanic is solid and helps keep ACKs distinct from D&D 3rd - 5th.  It also helps keep it apart from ability score bonuses/penalities.

Core rules as Heroic vs Traditional would really be up to how you want ACKs to be seen.  Both versions have their perks and flaws depending on the individual group's prefered asthetics/mechanics.

Jard
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just chiming in that in my game, my players and i immediately converted the attack target throw reduction into an attack throw bonus (so 10+ is +0, 9+ is +1, etc.) and then treating what you roll over 10 as what AC you hit (IE: you roll 15 you hit AC5). it's been pretty easy to mentally convert on the fly.

golan2072
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I think that ACKS' main strength is bringing robust high-level/domain play rules to the OSR ecosystem. It means that you can use bits and pieces of ACKS with your favorite OSR system, so you have use of ACKS even if your main ruleset is, say, Labyrinth Lord. This creates a wide market for ACKS beyond those interested in ACKS per se (such as myself). Thus, compatibility with other OSR rulesets is a selling point and you should be careful not to distance ACKS too much from the OSR ecosystem in order to maintain that market segment.

So, I think that keeping the current core magic system is a necessity. However, transplanting other HFH rules, such as the healing and Fate Point rules, would be excellent and will not harm compatibility too much.

Also, D20-type attack throws (roll high w/ bonus/penalty vs. a fixed DC) will work well; Sword & Wizardry: White Box has these, as does BFRPG. These are easy to explain to newcomers and are, as I noted above, compatible with several OSR games. I'd use the same basic system for saving throws as well.

That said, a stand-alone "high level play and economic rebalancing" book for D&D 5E would be awesome. There are already some products along these lines IIRC, but ACKS has the best economics and high-level play in the market.

RandyB
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:07

From an information management perspective, two main rulebooks would be best. One, ACKS 2.0 Standard, and the other, ACKS 2.0 HFH. Each would be a standalone core book, the former being a version update of the existing ACKS Core and the latter a core rulebook using HFH rules.

From a product management perspective, that would be a nightmare. First, you'd either be dividing your product line into two competing lines, cannibalizing your own sales, or supplementary products would have to be larger, to include Standard- and HFH-specific content side-by-side.

Suggestion: for ACKS 2.0, keep the main product Standard, with HFH 2.0 as a supplement. As a special, separate Kickstarter, offer ACKS HFH 2.0 as a special one-off publication for those who want an integrated HFH.

<snip>...a stand-alone "high level play and economic rebalancing" book for D&D 5E would be awesome. There are already some products along these lines IIRC, but ACKS has the best economics and high-level play in the market.


-golan2072

This, too. :)

CharlesDM
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On the topic of a new ACKS core rule book, I previously stated in another thread: *I* dream of a glorious 10th Anniversary Deluxe edition -- largely the same as ACKS core, but with a wealth of clarifying sidebars and cross-references. And a few key bits from D@W, maybe. And an integrated Auran Campaign primer. And a Judge's Screen, darn it.

As much as I love, love, love the Heroic Fantasy Handbook, I would not create an HFH core rule book at this time. Instead, I would create a Heroic Fantasy Basic book, with integrated rules in an introductory, low level focus. If successful, I would follow up with a Heroic Fantasy Expert book, and ideally Heroic Fantasy adventures/gazetteers.

wmarshal
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I guess I'm a dissenter here. I'm somewhat wary about an ACKS 2.0. If a new edition is released it seems there would be a large catalog a associates products that would also need a second edition. Autarch is pretty much a 1 man operation, and that would mean Alex spending quite a bit of effort on pretty much the same material. I do like the HFH as that provides a different framework to use with ACKS core. What I'd find most interesting is if autarch created other frameworks built upon ACKS. Maybe there could be a post-apocalypse handbook or a cyberpunk handbook? I recall at one time Alex mentioned creating a sci-fi version of ACKS to simulate space opera, but he also likened it to Traveller, which confused me as I think of Traveller as not being very much like space opera. Maybe he could prove me wrong on that score, or create a handbook(s) that address one and/or both approaches.

Such "framework" handbooks wouldn't have to be limited to just supporting the genre they were written for in isolation. I am currently lifting material from White Star and SWN to replace the Astral Reavers in my Dwimmermount campaign.

I think an ACKS 2.0 would be more viable if and when ACKS gains a larger presence, and Autarch has more resources available in terms of man-hours. My 2¢ as someone never professionally involved in game publishing.

Korean Kodiak a...
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Hi,

Currently right now I am using the Core Book, The PC, several issues of Axiom and bits of HFH for my ACK that has been running close for two years now.

That is a lot, but over the last two years alot has come out and it has influence my campaign.

ACK does not need an 2nd Edition per say. It needs a Complete Edition.

The heart of the game is fine, what it needs is all of the errata and updates that have come out incorporated into it.

Combine the Core Book and the Companion Book, update the sections with the new stuff from Axioms

I would also take a lot of the Auran specific stuff out of the rule book and roll it into an authentic Auran Empire Sourcebook.

HFH deviants so far from ACK it really is its own game and should be treaterd as such.

 

 

 

GMJoe
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I don't mind the attack throw system (it seems to me that its only problem is that it is a third system, but if 3e had used it instead then the current ascending system would seen odd), I don't like BAB/proficiency modifiers and the old descending system and the ACKS throw system neither need it.

-KingofElfland
Ditto! I find ACKS's "Add the target's AC to this number and roll over" system much easier to use than post-3e D&D's "Roll, add your AB to the result, and then compare that number to the target's AC" system. It's only a small difference, admittedly, but only needing to do addition once per foe is measurably easier and faster than having to do it once per attack roll.

ACK does not need an 2nd Edition per say. It needs a Complete Edition.

The heart of the game is fine, what it needs is all of the errata and updates that have come out incorporated into it.

Combine the Core Book and the Companion Book, update the sections with the new stuff from Axioms


-Korean Kodiak aka Evil Eli aka The Vile One
Huh, I really like the idea of having all the rules in one comprehensive and logically-organized place.

Jard
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I understand it represents a non-trivial amount of effort, but I am currently at a place where I would be interested in buying rules i already have presented in a way that's easier to reference as well.  Just having rules that i regularly have to cross reference, which are very far apart in terms of pages or even books, in one place would be a big boon for me and, imho, worth ponying up $$$ to justify the effort.

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

I've read somewhere in the ACKS rulebook that everything a player sees in the world he can try to own someday, like everything is achievable, from having a pegasus mount and being the leader of the bandits in the woods to being a wizard-king inside a floating castle. This is possible in no small scale thanks to the finest market simulator in a RPG that you guys developed, and is something completely impossible to translate to any other RPG, including D&D 5E (which by the way is almost the complete opposite, leaning towards the GM saying 'no' to almost any action and decision outside what is defined by the character classes). I believe that this is the most important and unique factor in your system and the heart of it, and so the only thing I would not dare to change.

please forgive my engrish

golan2072
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Yes, this is the main strength of ACKS IMHO - everything follows consistent rules so players can essentially anything an NPC of their level can do. You can even tame and ride a dragon!

Of course, with the right Referee/Judge you can do that in any fantasy RPG with some handwaving and spot-rules, but ACKS provides a robust and consistent rule framework allowing all this cool stuff,

Chimera_Prime
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The key thing is not to loose your identity in the new addition, or your brand as the marketers would say.

Things like the relatively consistent throw mechanism are good as is (and can be houserulled with ease).

At its core a basic cleanup and update with a few additions changes would be all that is needed. Whatever is done should be relatively consistent with currently published material to not cause an edition earthquake.

jojodogboy
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I see the benefit of an ACKS 2.0 in consolidating the tweaks from the varios Axioms articles in the same place, plus a few tidbits from HFH such as Alchemmy adding to magic research rolls for potions, critical hits on 10 over roll, etc.  

I converted attack rolls to a d20 roll + modifier vs ACKs AC +10.  It makes monsters and NPCs easy to write in short hand (e.g. sword +5 1d6+3, or 2 claw +2 1d6, 1 bite +2 2d6).  I think that this is not a structural change, but a cosmmetic one.  

I do not like the idea of converting ACKS saving throws to a d20 roll + mod vs.  various DCs.  This is a structural change.  In my experience with 5e, it greatly effects scaling.  As an OSR option, if the DC was a static level (like the target 20 system), then it is mathematically the same as the current system.  

A simplification of the ACKs save system also effects class balance.  My players, completely on their own, have noticed the class distinctions in saves and adjust their strategies as a result : Poison? - have the cleric rush in; Magic? - send in the mage, etc.  

If there is a vote, I say focus on new content and work on modular rewriting of core sections to include Axiom and new content material appropiate to the sections along the way.  This would allow playtesting and comments.  You could publish either as Patreon content or piecemeal as pdfs for sale.  Once enough sections were completed, you could launch a kickstarter if there seems to be enough interest.  That might be a more sustainable economic model, which is important to me as a consumer to ensure that the game continues to grow and be supported.  

All that being said, an economic system add-on for 5e could be a very sucessful product.  It should include an alternate XP for gold system, and an explanation of player selected balance (i.e. the players deterine the level of risk/reward based on  in-game fiction - the deeper/farther you go, the more risk).  Without those elements, the basis for the ACKs economic system becomes a little skewed. 

A domain management system for 5e would also work, especially if you pared it with a software product that created a UI that combined a hexographer style mapping system that does all of the math and rolls for you.  (I keep holding out hope for something like this for ACKs, but I realize that the market just isn't big enough for the development cost - so back to the spreadsheets I go)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I've read somewhere in the ACKS rulebook that everything a player sees in the world he can try to own someday, like everything is achievable, from having a pegasus mount and being the leader of the bandits in the woods to being a wizard-king inside a floating castle. This is possible in no small scale thanks to the finest market simulator in a RPG that you guys developed, and is something completely impossible to translate to any other RPG, including D&D 5E (which by the way is almost the complete opposite, leaning towards the GM saying 'no' to almost any action and decision outside what is defined by the character classes). I believe that this is the most important and unique factor in your system and the heart of it, and so the only thing I would not dare to change.

please forgive my engrish


-Saturno

Thank you for the very kind words!!

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

To summarize the views above:

  • There is fairly unanimous support for a revision to the rules that would combine game mechanics from the disparate rule books into a set of core rule books that includes much of what's in Axioms.
  • There is fairly broad support for retaining ACKS's distinctive approach to throws and mechanics, although not universal.
  • There is limited support for any robust revision of ACKS to make it more like HFH, which is viewed as more of a separate type of game. 

Hypothetically that suggests something like:

  • Adventurer Manual (Introduction to Campaign rules from ACKS, as revised by Axioms; all character class rules from Player's Companion; templates for all classes) 
  • Judge Manual (Monster, Treasure, and Secret rules from ACKS, class creation rules from PC, spell creation rules from PC, race creation rules from Axioms, spell creation rules from Axioms, economic notes from Axioms)
  • Monster Manual (Monsters from all books, monster creation rules from L&E, advanced monster rules from L&E)

I'd be curious if anyone has any thoughts on which Axioms articles would be most important to include and where to put them. 

golan2072
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Axioms abstract mass combat should definitely go into the Adventure Manual, alongside the revised domain rules. Potentially beastman/tribal domains as well.

You should also probably use HFH healing rules for the new ACKS core. They make much more sense than the vanilla D&D ones, IMHO.

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

 

I've read somewhere in the ACKS rulebook that everything a player sees in the world he can try to own someday, like everything is achievable, from having a pegasus mount and being the leader of the bandits in the woods to being a wizard-king inside a floating castle. This is possible in no small scale thanks to the finest market simulator in a RPG that you guys developed, and is something completely impossible to translate to any other RPG, including D&D 5E (which by the way is almost the complete opposite, leaning towards the GM saying 'no' to almost any action and decision outside what is defined by the character classes). I believe that this is the most important and unique factor in your system and the heart of it, and so the only thing I would not dare to change.

please forgive my engrish

 


-Saturno

 

Thank you for the very kind words!!


-Alex


I'm 30 years old, started playing with AD&D First Quest, passed through many good years of different systems and tables, and was retiring from RPG when I found out about Old School/Retroclones, mainly Labyrinth Lord and ACKS. Now I'm totally hooked up, and me and my friends are returning to play thanks to you guys! So it is my pleasure to be part of your patreon! 

I've been showing ACKS to everyone I know here in Brazil and until now the reactions are all very very positive. If one day you guys decide to make a version translated to Portuguese I believe you would find a very good number of customers. I believe the wave of OSR games will hit my country very soon and make a huge impact in the way brazilians play RPGs.

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

...

  • There is fairly broad support for retaining ACKS's distinctive approach to throws and mechanics, although not universal.
  • There is limited support for any robust revision of ACKS to make it more like HFH, which is viewed as more of a separate type of game. 

...


-Alex

A change to the throw mechanic (particularly for attacks) could be a sidebar optional rule (providing word limits allow that is).  This could then spark it as a posibilility for those that are keen on that while keeping the current throw style system as the core idea for ACKs.

Likewise the HFH stuff could be an appendix style addendum should you want it (and have the word count for it).  Though I've not delved far enough into the differences between ACKs Core and HFH to really tell if that is even a valid option.

This could essentially bind the two flavours into the one product, while giving more data to fill out the 3 tome route (there could be more than enough stuff already to fill 2 core tomes anyway).

Jard
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A change to the throw mechanic (particularly for attacks) could be a sidebar optional rule (providing word limits allow that is).  This could then spark it as a posibilility for those that are keen on that while keeping the current throw style system as the core idea for ACKs.

Likewise the HFH stuff could be an appendix style addendum should you want it (and have the word count for it).  Though I've not delved far enough into the differences between ACKs Core and HFH to really tell if that is even a valid option.

This could essentially bind the two flavours into the one product, while giving more data to fill out the 3 tome route (there could be more than enough stuff already to fill 2 core tomes anyway).


-Loswaith

the first is feasible, the second isn't really. the biggest differences between core and HFH are ceremonial magic and the eldritch power source, which both take up a large amount of pages.

RandyB
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:07

A change to the throw mechanic (particularly for attacks) could be a sidebar optional rule (providing word limits allow that is).  This could then spark it as a posibilility for those that are keen on that while keeping the current throw style system as the core idea for ACKs.

Likewise the HFH stuff could be an appendix style addendum should you want it (and have the word count for it).  Though I've not delved far enough into the differences between ACKs Core and HFH to really tell if that is even a valid option.

This could essentially bind the two flavours into the one product, while giving more data to fill out the 3 tome route (there could be more than enough stuff already to fill 2 core tomes anyway).


-Loswaith

the first is feasible, the second isn't really. the biggest differences between core and HFH are ceremonial magic and the eldritch power source, which both take up a large amount of pages.


-Jard
One or more appendices might be a good way to handle the larger parts of the second, while the smaller parts are handled as sidebars.
Mender
Joined: 2018-02-09 09:54

As far as HFH, I think you could integrate the stuff like healing and adding Wisdom to saves, and have another supplement for the new magic, the altered treasure (unless that is becoming core), Fate Points, etc.

As far as Axioms articles, this is my vote: Tribal and Chaotic domains from Axioms 2, all the new domain stuff, everything from Axioms 5, the persuasion rules from Axioms 6, and possibly Stocking the Wilderness from Axioms 8 (I like it, but it may not be for everyone). Not sure about Downtime Rules, revised D@W (Axioms 4), or Magic Item Research (Axioms 7), as I've never used them. 

Perhaps also launch a compilation of sundry Axioms articles that don't quite fit into a core rulebook, such as "Who Stands Against the Beastmen?", "The Economics of Peasant Families", "What's In Its Pockets?", and "Make Magical Items Magical Again". I have found those pretty useful, but they seem out of place in a core rulebook. 

Jard
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Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

Perhaps also launch a compilation of sundry Axioms articles that don't quite fit into a core rulebook, such as "Who Stands Against the Beastmen?", "The Economics of Peasant Families", "What's In Its Pockets?", and "Make Magical Items Magical Again". I have found those pretty useful, but they seem out of place in a core rulebook. 


-Mender

and just like that, we get one step closer to ACKs having its own version of Unearthed Arcana :-P

RandyB
Joined: 2018-02-14 22:07

 

 

Perhaps also launch a compilation of sundry Axioms articles that don't quite fit into a core rulebook, such as "Who Stands Against the Beastmen?", "The Economics of Peasant Families", "What's In Its Pockets?", and "Make Magical Items Magical Again". I have found those pretty useful, but they seem out of place in a core rulebook. 

 


-Mender

 

and just like that, we get one step closer to ACKs having its own version of Unearthed Arcana :-P


-Jard

 

Call it "ACKSheads".

James C. Bennett
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Joined: 2012-01-17 20:17

I've read somewhere in the ACKS rulebook that everything a player sees in the world he can try to own someday, like everything is achievable, from having a pegasus mount and being the leader of the bandits in the woods to being a wizard-king inside a floating castle. This is possible in no small scale thanks to the finest market simulator in a RPG that you guys developed, and is something completely impossible to translate to any other RPG, including D&D 5E (which by the way is almost the complete opposite, leaning towards the GM saying 'no' to almost any action and decision outside what is defined by the character classes). I believe that this is the most important and unique factor in your system and the heart of it, and so the only thing I would not dare to change.

please forgive my engrish


-Saturno

Absolutely this. 

The class- and spell- building rules are also big reasons I like ACKS. They are great for world building. If those are going to be native in ACKS 2.0, I think you should incorporate the magic rules from Heroic Fantasy natively, too. That gives three lists of magical effects (arcane, divine, and eldritch) that can be generated in five different ways (using magic items, performing ceremonies, casting spells, singing spells, and perfoming rituals). If all the spell descriptions take up too much space, perhaps a limited list in the core book. Or just a giant core book like Hero.

I also reiterate my support for at least a sidebar listing of different, mathematically-equivalent ways to perform a throw. The core of the players in my Crusaders campaign were three veteran gamers who started in AD&D 2nd Ed or earlier. Throws were the one thing in ACKS they universally disliked and had trouble wrapping their brains around. As bad resolution systems go, they rated ACKS throws below THAC0, but above the Palladium system, the Gamma World 3rd Edition action table, the original World of Darkness Storyteller System, and the Castle Falkenstein card-based system.

It might have something to do with my play style. I prefer to have my players roll an attack and tell me what AC they hit. The simplest way I could explain how to get that was to roll the die, add all your bonuses, and subtract the ACKS Attack Throw target number. Subtraction is never popular.

golan2072
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Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

Another potential way of organization is a Core book and a Companion book. The Core book has basic, tight rules and a basic, tight cast of classes and races (and monsters). It goes all the way to high-level and domain play, but in a streamlined manner. The companion gets all the ultra-cool fiddly bits, all the Player's Companion design sequences, AXIOMs hedge wizardry and financial investments, tribal domains, and so on.

Alternatively, have Core + Player's Companion (potentially just a splat book without the design sequences) + a Judge's Companion (all the cool design sequences, advanced monsters, HFH magic, etc).

Keep the Core tight and avoid bloat; make it as accessible as possible as the gateway to ACKS. The Companion(s) will add complexity for players who are already familiar with teh core and desire expanding it.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

 

I'm 30 years old, started playing with AD&D First Quest, passed through many good years of different systems and tables, and was retiring from RPG when I found out about Old School/Retroclones, mainly Labyrinth Lord and ACKS. Now I'm totally hooked up, and me and my friends are returning to play thanks to you guys! So it is my pleasure to be part of your patreon! 

I've been showing ACKS to everyone I know here in Brazil and until now the reactions are all very very positive. If one day you guys decide to make a version translated to Portuguese I believe you would find a very good number of customers. I believe the wave of OSR games will hit my country very soon and make a huge impact in the way brazilians play RPGs.

 

 


-Saturno

Brazil is a huge market. If I ever decide to do a translated version, a Portugeuse language version would be on the list for sure!

 

wmarshal
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Joined: 2012-04-08 15:12

I recall seeing a couple of large booths of Brazilian vendors the last two years or so at GenCon. I recall none from other Latin American countries, but that is anecdotal. There seems to be a significant gaming market and enthusiasm in Brazil. I believe there are some noticeable differences between Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese, so you might be mindful of that when looking for a translator.

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

Likewise the HFH stuff could be an appendix style addendum should you want it (and have the word count for it).  Though I've not delved far enough into the differences between ACKs Core and HFH to really tell if that is even a valid option.

This could essentially bind the two flavours into the one product, while giving more data to fill out the 3 tome route (there could be more than enough stuff already to fill 2 core tomes anyway).


-Loswaith

Mmm, I suspect that wouldn't work very well. The big problem with HFH at the moment is that many of its rules replace or alter parts of the core rules, and there's enough changes that keeping track of all of them is hard and requires you to constantly flip between the core rules and the HFH during play to make sure you don't miss anything. Moving the HFH rules into an appendix wouldn't solve that problem.

Integrating HFH's content into the core rules as a vast number of sidebars would avoid that problem by putting each HVH rule next to the core rule it's connected to, but it would also obscure how all the HFH content is supposed to hang together as a consistent whole and make the core rules harder to read, so I suspect that's not a great option, either.

Then again, I'm in favour of the HFH rules being made into a stand-alone product, so I'm biased.

GMJoe
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Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

Hypothetically that suggests something like:

  • Adventurer Manual (Introduction to Campaign rules from ACKS, as revised by Axioms; all character class rules from Player's Companion; templates for all classes) 
  • Judge Manual (Monster, Treasure, and Secret rules from ACKS, class creation rules from PC, spell creation rules from PC, race creation rules from Axioms, spell creation rules from Axioms, economic notes from Axioms)
  • Monster Manual (Monsters from all books, monster creation rules from L&E, advanced monster rules from L&E)


-Alex
Sold!

I'd be curious if anyone has any thoughts on which Axioms articles would be most important to include and where to put them.

-Alex
Unfortunately, I haven't read all the Axioms articles, so I'm not sure what should be included... But it sounds like the stuff that would be most popular would be the things that expand on the core rules (useful to everybody) without extending them with new options and content (useful only to those tables who want to make changes).

Rodriguez
Rodriguez's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-05 04:40

I'd be curious if anyone has any thoughts on which Axioms articles would be most important to include and where to put them. 

I wonder what people acutally think about the overcasting rules from Axioms 1. I really like them but they seem not to be too popular in general it seems... 

wmarshal
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Joined: 2012-04-08 15:12

 quote=Rodriguez]

I'd be curious if anyone has any thoughts on which Axioms articles would be most important to include and where to put them. 

I wonder what people acutally think about the overcasting rules from Axioms 1. I really like them but they seem not to be too popular in general it seems... 

[/quote]

 

My players have used them, especially at the lower levels, though that was also in conjunction with using the fate points for rerolls in case the overcasting failed. There has been a time when they let the failed result stand , and they wound up with a permanent Dispel Magic zone in the middle of a level of Dwimmermount.