ACKS Heroic Fantasy Middle-Earth Campaign rules for creating a character

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CharlesDM
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ACKS Heroic Fantasy Middle-Earth Campaign rules for creating a character

[Now that Heroic Fantasy Handbook is on the way (!), it's time for me to put my Judge hat on again. Following is what I have to share so far - feedback is welcome.]

ACKS Heroic Fantasy Middle-Earth

Campaign rules for creating a character

We are using ACKS and the Heroic Fantasy Handbook, modified by the campaign rules below.

The rolling order of ability scores is Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.

Roll ability scores for your character using the rolling method from Dragon #39:

“Roll 4d6 seven times. Record the sum of the three highest six-sided dice. If that sum is six or less, reroll at once. The sums must be recorded in order. The player is allowed two chances to alter the numbers as recorded. She may switch the positions of two of the numbers and she may discard one number – not necessarily the lowest one.”

** You may not combine this with the ACKS core raising of a prime requisite ability or abilities by sacrificing points in other abilities. **

As a reminder, a character’s Wisdom modifier will be applied to all saving throws, not just saving throws versus magic.

The number discarded from the ability scores becomes your character’s starting wealth roll (ACKS core p. 16).

Choice of class is limited to the classes listed below. Additionally, many classes are uncommon or rare in the campaign world. This rarity is implemented into character creation by increasing the requirements to qualify for these restricted classes. To qualify for a restricted class, the character must have the number specified or higher in one of the class’s prime requisites.

Unrestricted classes

assassin [i.e. bounty hunter, infiltrator, watchman], Beorning, Dunlending or Wood-man barbarian, bard, chosen, explorer, fighter, freebooter, thief, venturer (revised)

Restricted classes

15+

dwarven delver (DEX), dwarven vaultguard (STR), Beorning or Dunlending berserker (STR or CON)

16+

Beorning or Wood-man beastmaster (STR, DEX, CON or CHA), dwarven machinist (INT or DEX), elven ranger (STR or DEX), halfling bounder (STR or DEX), halfling burglar (DEX), loremaster (INT or WIS), Dúnadan [Nobiran] champion (STR or CHA)

18

Lorien, Mirkwood or Rivendell elven courtier (INT or CHA), Lorien or Rivendell elven spellsinger (INT or CHA), elven spellsword (STR or INT), Dúnadan [Nobiran] wizard (INT or WIS)

Elven courtiers and spellswords will use spellsinging.

Cultural Heritage

In addition to choosing a class, the player must choose a culture for their character. Like racial classes, each culture has minimum ability requirements which must be met. Cultures associated with racial classes (e.g. dwarves) or which are themselves racial classes (e.g. Dúnedain [Nobiran]) must meet the requirements of the racial class. These culture/racial classes are noted with an asterisk (*) on the table below. Where a culture or cultures is listed with a class on the choices of class lists above, only characters of those cultures may choose those classes. For example, only a Beorning or Dunlending may be a berserker.

Each culture provides a starting wealth roll modifier, starting languages (replacing any languages mentioned in class descriptions), a bonus proficiency or ability gained at 1st level, and additional proficiencies which become class proficiency choices for the character. Also, the Judge will provide each character an item or items reflective of their cultural heritage.

Anduin Vale

This campaign will begin in the Anduin Vale, and characters of cultures from the Anduin Vale will begin with one additional Fate point. Cultures from the Anduin Vale include: Beornings, Leofrings, Wood-men, Wood-men of Mountain Hall, dwarves of the Grey Mountains, hobbits of the Anduin Vale, and elves of Lorien and Mirkwood, including Wild elves.

Culture

Requirements

Starting Wealth

Language(s)

Bonus Proficiency or Ability

Expanded Class Proficiencies

Men

Beornings

STR 9

0

Valish, Westron

Intimidation

Berserkergang, Mountaineering

Dúnedain*

-

0

Sindarin, Westron

Knowledge(history) or Survival

-

Dunlendings

CON 9

-3

Dunlendish

Kin-Slaying

Berserkergang, Mountaineering

Lake-men

CHA 9

+3

Dalish, Westron

Bargaining

Craft, Profession

Men of Bree

WIS 9

+3

Westron

Eavesdropping

Craft, Profession

Men of Dale

CON 9

+3

Dalish, Westron

Diplomacy or Martial Training (bows and crossbows)

Fighting Style (missile weapon), Weapon Focus (bows and crossbows)

Men of Minas Tirith

INT 9

+3

Westron, Sindarin

Knowledge(history)

Engineering, Healing

Rohirrim (or Leofrings)

WIS 9

0

Rohirric, Westron

Riding

Animal Husbandry, Animal Training

Wood-men

DEX 9

-3

Valish, Westron

Attunement to Nature

Animal Training, Survival

Wood-men of Mountain Hall

STR 9

0

Valish, Westron

Mountaineering

Goblin-Slaying

Dwarves*

Blue Mountains

CHA 9

+3

Westron, Dwarvish

Perform(singing)

Ceremonial Magic (runic tradition), Magical Music

Lonely Mountain

WIS 9

+6

Westron, Dalish, Dwarvish

Craft

Ceremonial Magic (runic tradition), Endurance

Iron Hills

STR 9

0

Westron, Dalish, Dwarvish

Weapon Focus (maces, flails and hammers)

Endurance, Military Strategy

Grey Mountains

DEX 9

-3

Westron, Dwarvish

Alertness

Bargaining, Craft, Labor, Profession

Hobbits*

Anduin Vale

-

-3

Valish

Passing Without Trace

Riddle-craft (Targets of placating suffer a -2 penalty to their saving throw), Survival

Shire (or Bree)

-

+3

Westron

Craft, Labor or Profession

Diplomacy, Naturalism

Elves*

 

 

 

 

 

Lorien

-

+3

Silvan, Sindarin

Wakefulness

Ceremonial Magic (sylvan tradition), Magical Music

Mirkwood

-

0

Silvan, Sindarin, Westron

Wakefulness

Ceremonial Magic (sylvan tradition), Magical Music

Rivendell

-

+3

Sindarin, Quenya, Westron

Second Sight

Ceremonial Magic (sylvan tradition), Magical Music

Wild

-

0

Silvan, Sindarin, Westron

Overlookability (Axioms #5), as a spell-like ability, once per hour, in lieu of making an attack

Ceremonial Magic (sylvan tradition), Magical Music

 

Proficiencies

Alchemy and Collegiate Wizardry are not on the General Proficiency List. Destined (HFH) is on the Class Proficiency List for all human characters, including Dúnedain. Hedge Wizardry (Axioms #5) is on the Class Proficiency List for all characters capable of performing eldritch ceremonies or casting eldritch spells.

 

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

I would love to play. Please sign me up!

koewn
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Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

The psychology of the dropped stat becoming Wealth (I do that too, just as a 7th stat) would be interesting to observe on a larger scale. I expect much of the time it'd be a dump stat; except perhaps for edge cases where plate/shield is preferable and no other stat risks being a negative modifier? Not sure...WIS being more important now kinda shelves the idea of any character stat being dumpable.

I dig the proficiency mappings you've done. Adding to the class proficiency list is an idea that I wish I'd thought of...I ended up doing alternate wealth rolls for various strata of society, but I think the static bonus may make more sense - I did end up letting folks take the "excess" of value from the wealth roll as coin after picking a template - so if someone rolled a 22, and picked the "16" template, they kept 60gp of it.