Share your house rule - Character Creation

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jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05
Share your house rule - Character Creation

This thread was started in the hope that we can create a list of house rules on a single topic - Chacter creation.  The speed of Core ACKS + Players Companion char generation is one of the great strengths of the system.. What tweeks have you addded for our campaign?

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

My campaign - 

Roll two sets of 3d6 (each set a different color, e.g. 3 red d6 and 3 white d6).  Roll the dice for each characteristic in order, adding up the dice of the same color.  The PC must choose one of the two characters as their PC.  The remaining character is given to the DM to use as an NPC.

The PC chooses a class. They can choose any class as long as the prime characteristic is at least 8.  If the class thas two prime characteristics, both must be 9 or higher.  Once a class is chosen, the character gets +1 to the prime characteristic (up to 18).  If the class has two prime requisites, the PC must choose one of them to receive the bonus.  

The PC can reduce any of the chars non-prime stats by 2 to raise any of the chars prime requisites by one, as long as the characteristic does not go below 9.

The PC must roll the 6d6 one more time, adding up each of the dice off the same color, ending up with 2 numbers from 3 to 18 to determine their starting class template.  The PC must choose one of the templates from the Players Companion for their class that they rolled, determing their starting equipment and proficiencies.

Half of the bonus proficiencies from a high intelligence can be a class proficiency (i.e. 13 int get 1 bous class prof, 16 Int gets 1 bonus class prof, one bonus general prof, 18 int gets 2 bonus class prof., 1 bonus general prof.).  The PC can choose the bonus prof. immediately, or choose them during play.  

Bonus arcane spells are randomly generated.

All chars begin with max HP for their class at 1st level (roll after that).  

This results in a character ready to go within 10 minutes, even if there is some added XP (for a replacement char and an XP bank).  It works great for new players or experienced players and the templates are GREAT for flavor and makes each character unique.  The max HP and +1 to prime char makes it more likely that whatever they roll, they can make a character they can play. 

Nikephoros Phokas
Joined: 2011-10-19 17:02

Roll 5 sets of stats, one is picked for your character the rest given to starting henchmen. You may not modify the stats.

Pick class. Either start with maximum HP or start with HD+2 HP.

Roll starting gp. Pick a class kit you can afford. Class kits contain starting equipment, starting languages, alignment requirements, starting spells (or spell list for clerics) and a special ability (usually corresponding to an ACKS proficiency but not always). Proficiencies are not in use. 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Roll starting gp. Pick a class kit you can afford. Class kits contain starting equipment, starting languages, alignment requirements, starting spells (or spell list for clerics) and a special ability (usually corresponding to an ACKS proficiency but not always). 


-Nikephoros Phokas

Are the class kits similiar to the templates in the PC?  (They were based on 3d6x10 starting gold)

Nikephoros Phokas
Joined: 2011-10-19 17:02

I'll post two examples, one mage kit and one figher kit.

Steppe Warrior
Nomadic warriors that often bolster the Japanese armies as mercenaries. They are skilled horse archers hardened by the endemic warfare of the steppes.

Language: Turkic

Starting kit (cost 140gp): Light horse, military saddle, shortbow, two quivers with 40 arrows, scimitar (medium sword), leather armor (AC2), embroided tunic, boots, fur hat.

Special ability: Parthian shot, you can shoot a missile at any point during your movement, even during a withdrawal. You may retreat or withdraw even if you did not declare it before rolling initative.

Steppe warriors may be of Neutral or Chaotic alignment. They are typically found on the plains or employed as mercenaries.

 

Aurochs Order Arcanist
The Order of the Aurochs is the oldest of the open schools of magic. They decorate their helmets and hats with horns and call the spirit of the aurochs to strengthen their magic by ‘throwing up the horns’ with their hands.

Language (casting language italicized): One human and Braying Chant

Starting kit (cost 40 gp): Spellbook, labrys (medium axe), blood red robes, extravagant horned helmet, crakows.

Special ability: Invocation of the Auroch, if both your hands are free when casting a spell you count as two levels higher for the purpose of the spell cast, saves against the spell are two points more difficult.

Aurochs Order Arcanists can be of Neutral or Chaotic alignment. They are found in rural communities or sylvan sanctuaries.

Available spells:
1st level
Charm Person
Detect Magic
Green Sleep
Protection from Evil
Shocking Grasp

2nd level
Elf’s Food
ESP
Wizard Lock

 

BigFatStupidHead
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2017-07-30 22:31

Templates are rolled on 3d4. Rolls of 3 or 4, and 11 or 12 are combined, otherwise each value has a single template assigned to it. This ends up with a flatter distribution curve than 3d6, so you might actually see someone with the Lancer template in a game.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Nikephoras - Good stuff for a specific campaign setting.  If I ever get around to a full conversion of my original 1st edition campaign to ACKs, maybe I'll have the energy to add specific templates/kits.  

BFSH - I will allow a PC to choose one of the existing templates if they really want a specific one.  

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

Really excellent and interesting house rules!

tire_ak
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Joined: 2015-05-27 22:24

My game has stronger medicinal herbs. They grant a +4 instead of +2 to the relevant throws to cure disease, neutralize poison, or cure light/serious wounds. Their use allows characters with only one rank of Healing to make those throws at an 18+ (after the bonus) instead of not being able to do them at all.

I start new characters with templates - a player can choose from the default template (11-12) or the choice that they roll.  Players roll 5 sets of stats, and keep the other 4 on the back of their sheet to assign to henchmen or replacement characters.  We reroll another set of 5 once all the sets are used up.

I've replaced level loss from energy drain with the following: if you would lose one level, instead age 2d6 years and save vs death at +4. If you would lose two levels, instead age 2d12 years and save vs death. Catastrophic energy drain ages you 2d20 years, causes a mortal wound, and requires a save vs death at -4.

Divine spellcasters have limited spell repertoires like arcane spellcasters (spells per day plus Int mod), but gain Ceremonial Casting as a bonus proficiency with a separate (much larger) repertoire. 

I generate henchmen with a spreadsheet that produces a list with templates based on market class of 39% fighter-types, 24% thief-types, 24% cleric-types, 10% mage-types, and 3% non-humans.  They start with 0, 2000, 4000, or 8000 XP instead of levels 1-4. Human spellcaster henchmen are all eldritch ceremonialists.  Venturers never work as henchmen. Most nonhumans are dwarves or elves, but depending on the area you might find gnomes, thrassians, or beastmen.  Halflings are curiously absent. 

Characters lose gp at the end of each month equal to the wage of a henchmen of their level. I am thinking about changing this to (total XP / 40) to make it level-independent.

I haven't been rolling Loyalty for henchmen when they level up. They die often enough as it is. :)

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

My game has stronger medicinal herbs. They grant a +4 instead of +2 to the relevant throws to cure disease, neutralize poison, or cure light/serious wounds. Their use allows characters with only one rank of Healing to make those throws at an 18+ (after the bonus) instead of not being able to do them at all.

I quite like this rule.

I've replaced level loss from energy drain with the following: if you would lose one level, instead age 2d6 years and save vs death at +4. If you would lose two levels, instead age 2d12 years and save vs death. Catastrophic energy drain ages you 2d20 years, causes a mortal wound, and requires a save vs death at -4.

Cool rule.

Divine spellcasters have limited spell repertoires like arcane spellcasters (spells per day plus Int mod), but gain Ceremonial Casting as a bonus proficiency with a separate (much larger) repertoire. 

Interesting. That might make a good Axioms article. 

 

Dave
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Joined: 2013-03-17 15:23

4d6 drop lowest in order.  No point swaps.  Done.

I was a hardcore 3d6 guy for a while; ironically it was ACKS that converted me back.  4d6-L is fairly close to best of 5 sets of 3d6, and gets new players going faster.

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

I've basically removed the Proficiency restriction of class. Every single Proficiency is in the same General segment, even the magical ones, and any character can purchase them. So for instance, I can play as a Mage with Berserkergang and Martial Training (flails/hammers/maces). Or a Thief with Divine Blessing. The only restriction is to make sense for the character, so there must be an explanation.

This allowed some interesting player characters, like this one:

Harryn, the Wildling
Cleric 1
HP: 6 / AC: 6
FOR 6 (-1), INT 10 (0), WIS 13 (+1), DEX 10 (0), CON 9 (0), CHA 9 (0)
Greataxe: Attack -1, dmg 1d10-1
4 Proficiencies: Adventuring, Berserkergang, Healing, Survival.

Harryn comes from a barbarian village in the middle of the wilderness. When his tribe was destroyed by their enemies, the boy escaped the horror, surviving in the woods for weeks until he was found by the priests of a borderland temple. The boy was adopted and initiated in the ways of the clergy, and after years of study he is a young cleric now, but still struggling to balance his brutal and uncivilized instincts with the calm piety the priests have taught him to pursuit. 

golan2072
Patreon SupporterBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu AuthorPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

I don't know if this counts as "house rules", but I have written a Python3 program which generates the entire henchman roster of a given market to a plain text file. It still needs tweaking and the various databases (names, quirks, trinkets, etc) need expanding; it also still needs Players' Companion and Heroic Fantasy classes.

 

https://github.com/Golan2072/RPG

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

I've basically removed the Proficiency restriction of class. Every single Proficiency is in the same General segment, even the magical ones, and any character can purchase them. So for instance, I can play as a Mage with Berserkergang and Martial Training (flails/hammers/maces). Or a Thief with Divine Blessing. The only restriction is to make sense for the character, so there must be an explanation.

This allowed some interesting player characters, like this one:

Harryn, the Wildling
Cleric 1
HP: 6 / AC: 6
FOR 6 (-1), INT 10 (0), WIS 13 (+1), DEX 10 (0), CON 9 (0), CHA 9 (0)
Greataxe: Attack -1, dmg 1d10-1
4 Proficiencies: Adventuring, Berserkergang, Healing, Survival.

-Saturno
Shouldn't this character have Martial Training? Clerics can't weild greataxes without it.

Also, this character seems to lack a Strength stat. Or have you renamed "STR" to "FOR"?

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

 

I've basically removed the Proficiency restriction of class. Every single Proficiency is in the same General segment, even the magical ones, and any character can purchase them. So for instance, I can play as a Mage with Berserkergang and Martial Training (flails/hammers/maces). Or a Thief with Divine Blessing. The only restriction is to make sense for the character, so there must be an explanation.

This allowed some interesting player characters, like this one:

Harryn, the Wildling
Cleric 1
HP: 6 / AC: 6
FOR 6 (-1), INT 10 (0), WIS 13 (+1), DEX 10 (0), CON 9 (0), CHA 9 (0)
Greataxe: Attack -1, dmg 1d10-1
4 Proficiencies: Adventuring, Berserkergang, Healing, Survival.


-Saturno

Shouldn't this character have Martial Training? Clerics can't weild greataxes without it.

 

Also, this character seems to lack a Strength stat. Or have you renamed "STR" to "FOR"?


-GMJoe

 

Ops, I forgot to translate FOR to STR!

About the Axe, he asked me if his god would allow the use of axes instead of maces for his clerics as they live in reclusion in the woods. As the difference was purely aesthetical I allowed. x)

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

I've basically removed the Proficiency restriction of class. Every single Proficiency is in the same General segment, even the magical ones, and any character can purchase them. So for instance, I can play as a Mage with Berserkergang and Martial Training (flails/hammers/maces). Or a Thief with Divine Blessing. The only restriction is to make sense for the character, so there must be an explanation.

This allowed some interesting player characters, like this one:

Harryn, the Wildling
Cleric 1
HP: 6 / AC: 6
FOR 6 (-1), INT 10 (0), WIS 13 (+1), DEX 10 (0), CON 9 (0), CHA 9 (0)
Greataxe: Attack -1, dmg 1d10-1
4 Proficiencies: Adventuring, Berserkergang, Healing, Survival.

Harryn comes from a barbarian village in the middle of the wilderness. When his tribe was destroyed by their enemies, the boy escaped the horror, surviving in the woods for weeks until he was found by the priests of a borderland temple. The boy was adopted and initiated in the ways of the clergy, and after years of study he is a young cleric now, but still struggling to balance his brutal and uncivilized instincts with the calm piety the priests have taught him to pursuit. 


-Saturno

That's an interesting idea. When I have selected proficiencies for classes I have sometimes tried to do so with play balance in mind - for instance, the Elven Enchanter doesn't get a few key proficiency options that a Mage does - but for the most part I can't see too much of an issue. It can certainly make for some neat characters. I've allowed "GM discretion" choices at times, myself.

 

Frank
Joined: 2018-01-01 06:39

I always let the players roll 5 characters. Roll of 3d6 connected to a fixed stat. As the ACKS rules states. The dices determine what you have to work with. I love it.

As players die or seek out henchmen, they use the 5 characters. When they have Played 3 of them, I allow 5 new to be created.

I posted this on rolling hp earlier:

Rolling hit points is scary. With the classical approach you may potentially 'destroy' your character with a bad roll. I've always house ruled the following rule when rolling hit points. The rule is not my idea, but I'm not sure exactly where I saw it first.

1st level: roll hit point or select average. Following levels: The player roll all HD dices and add con modifier multiplied with level (basicly a re-roll of all hit points) or selects previous level +1 hp (to avoid the PC of having less hp on following levels).

In this way, the player always feel that the character can be saved and is worth keeping. The hp roll feels less 'final'. This rule works well for me. Personally I do not like fixed hp. Hp should be personal to the character.

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

These are my houserules for weapons and combat:

2-Handed Weapons: -1 Initiative, +1 Damage
1-Weapon and Free Hand: +1 to Attack roll or AC (melee only), which must be decided every round. Can use free hand to interact with stuff and cast magic.
1-Weapon and Shield: bonus AC from shield, can sacrifice shield to ignore damage from one attack. Can make that decision after enemy rolled damage.
2-Weapons: in a successfull hit, roll the damage for both weapons, keep the higher.
Missile Weapons: +1 to attack and damage in very short distance (30ft), can't attack when engaged in melee.

A roll of 20 is a critical hit and causes double damage (you roll all the damage, add the bonuses and then multiply it by 2). Any variable or instance that would make that critical "more critical", raises the multiplier by one factor. So a Thief 1 backstabbing an enemy would normally causes damage X2, but if he rolls a critical 20 his damage goes to X3. 

The proficiency Weapon Focus raises your multiplier by one factor as well and can be purchased only once per weapon category. So a character with Weapon Focus (bows and crossbows) would have a critical standard of X3 instead of the regular X2. 

I've made this changes because my players like combat as something very fast and lethal. They LOVE the fact that PCs and NPCs have low HPs, which means anyone can potentially be killed with a single lucky shot anywhere, anytime (including themselves).

I'm currently DMing an adaptation of the adventure "Kidnapp the Archpriest" and they were appalled by the fact that the Patriarch they must kidnapp has only 26 HP.

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

Oh, I also houseruled rules for bronze, bone, stone and iron weapons.

Bronze and Iron weapons: cost a third of the price, but may bent or chip on a natural roll of 1 to 5. A weapon that is bent or chipped have a cumulative penalty of -1 on attack or damage (player can choose every time). A weapon that is damaged 3 times consecutively, or 5 times in total is broken and cannot be used. Arrows have a 3 in 6 chance of being destroyed regardless of hit or miss. Armor made by these materials cost half the price of steel armor, but will bent/chip when hit by a critical success from an opponent, losing an cumulative -1 to AC. 

Stone, Wood and Bone Weapons: cost a tenth of the price, but will break on a natural roll of 1 to 5.  Arrows have a 5 in 6 chance of being destroyed regardless of hit or miss. Armor made from these materials will cost 1/4 of regular steel armors, has -1AC, normally cannot be plate armor (not without magic at least) and will be destroyed by a critical hit.

Kiero
Domains At War Backer
Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

No 3d6 in order. Instead we use the following scheme, which generates an array: Roll 1d6+12, 2d6+6 twice and 3d6 four times. Drop the lowest result from these seven rolls.

You may choose to use either your array, or that of anyone else at the table. Once you have your array, you may arrange them however you like.

K-Slacker
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Joined: 2013-02-23 21:32

I missed this post earlier. I've put together character creation house rules for each of my ACKS campaigns:

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

Way late to the party, but I use a variant of the ACKS "roll 3d6 in order 5 times" character generation method. Each player gets a character set consisting of 4 "3d6 in order" ability score groups and one Average Joe/Plain Jane group (12,11,11,10,10,9; arranged to suit). I use a spreadsheet to generate a bunch of character sets, print them, cut them out, fold them up, and have the players choose them from a hat (literally; it's a pirate hat from Disneyland). The players pick one set of ability scores to be their character, one to be a henchman for hire in the starting market, and keep the other three for replacement PCs. It's much faster than rolling a zillion times.