My "point-buy" system for ACKS.

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Joined: 2012-08-26 04:17
My "point-buy" system for ACKS.

So, this is the point-buy system I cooked up following suggestions by my players. I haven't seen it used in play yet, since my group made characters as described in the ACKS rulebook. I took care that this could be used to produce Nobiran Wonderworker characters with a 5% experience bonus. Every other class should be possible with a 10% bonus.

I believe this should level the playing field, so to speak, should your gaming group be into that kind of thing. :)

Ability Value: Point Cost

5: -10
6: -7
7: -5
8: -3
9: -1
10: 0
11: 1
12: 2
13: 4
14: 6
15: 8
16: 11
17: 14
18: 18

All attributes start at 10, and players have 14 points to spend.

Lowering attributes below 10 provides extra points to spend on other attributes, as listed.

For game balance purposes, no attribute can be lowered below 5.

(Keep in mind for campaigns that a character starting with a 6 or lower in either STR or CON will never survive past “ancient” age for their race, as a character dies when either of these scores reaches zero. A character who begins with a DEX of 6 or lower will likewise be bedridden once they reach this age, as a character with a DEX of zero cannot move.)

Some example stat blocks with this method:

18 10 9 9 9 9

16 13 13 10 9 9

16 16 9 9 9 8

13 13 11 11 11 11

16 16 16 11 5 5

18 18 9 9 5 5

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

I think if I was going to do a point-buy system, I would buy the modifier rather than the raw score, since ACKS usually does not use the score, so there's no "game balance" there. Looking at just the modifier and assuming lowest-possible, your point buy system ends up with 20 points and these costs:

-3: n/a
-2: -9 points
-1: -6 points
+0: 0 points
+1: 5 points
+2: 12 points
+3: 19 points

I might change that to 4 points and these costs:

-3: -4 points (score 3)
-2: -2 points (score 1d2+3)
-1: -1 points (score 1d3+5)
+0: 0 points (score 1d3+8)
+1: 1 points (score 1d3+12)
+2: 2 points (score 1d2+15)
+3: 4 points (score 18)

That would also let people have some variety in their scores (and some occasional sense of superiority) without significantly changing the balance of the game.

It's also worth noting that I priced the difference from +1 to +2 the same as +0 to +1 (you get roughly the same benefit) but priced +2 to +3 higher to avoid lots of 18s.

Joined: 2012-08-26 04:17

I like your approach a lot, and I particularly like that you added a random element to determine if the +2 score was a 16 or a 17, for example. That makes it balanced, but still maintains an organic and random element---even if that element is unlikely to come into play outside of arm-wrestling contests.

The only change I'd make would be giving the players 2 points to start, but at that point it's DM preference, I think. :)

Thanks for sharing you stuff!

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

I used four points because that was the closest to what the original system offered. Here are the original listed scores and their cost in both systems:

18,10,9,9,9,9 costs 14:4

16,13,13,10,9,9 costs 17:4
(a corrected 16,13,13,9,9,8 costs 14:3)

16,16,9,9,9,8 costs 16:3
(a corrected 16,16,9,9,8,8 costs 14:2)

13,13,11,11,11,11 costs 12 points or 2 points
(a corrected 13,13,13,11,11,10 costs 14:3; but the more optimized 13,13,13,13,9,9 costs 14:4)

16,16,16,11,5,5 costs 14:4

18,18,9,9,5,5 costs 14:4

There are some differences, of course, because the new system is a lot simpler, so some complex interactions don't arise, and because I allowed scores of 3 and 4. And you could ban the -3 (or make it give back 3 points instead of 4) for better correspondence.

Joined: 2012-08-26 04:17

Ah, I see what you mean!

In my original method, I tried to discourage min-maxing at least some degree by making the corresponding negative scores provide fewer attribute points than their corresponding positive scores would cost.

That way you don't get an 18 just by eating a 3, which is a consequence if you make the system perfectly symmetrical in point costs.

I like your suggestion of giving back 3 points instead of 4 for the -3, because I think that would accomplish much of the same thing.

Of course, if I'm ever doing point buy, I might also just say you need all attributes at 8 or higher to take the Adventuring proficiency in the first place! XD