Supplemental custom power swaps

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Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57
Supplemental custom power swaps
My list of rules for those curious. 1. The value of a custom power is based on the level it is gained at. I usually use decimal notation, but it occurred to me this morning that it might be better to represent it as whole numbers (cpe = "custom power equivalents").
Level 1: 16 cpe Level 2: 13 cpe level 3: 12 cpe level 4: 11 cpe level 5: 10 cpe level 6: 9 cpe level 7: 8 cpe level 8: 7 cpe level 9: 6 cpe level 10: 5 cpe level 11: 4 cpe level 12: 3 cpe level 13: 2 cpe level 14: 1 cpe
Thus, a level 1 (16 cpe) can be swapped for a level 3 and level 11, or two level 7s . . . or four level 11s . . . or three level 10s and a level 14. 2. Most (all?) General proficiencies are worth half a custom power (8 cpe at first level). Arcane Powers 3. Based on Nose for Potions, the ability to manufacture potions is worth three custom powers (½ custom power at first level, plus three customs at fifth level, adds up to 8 + 10×3 = 38, or roughly 2.5 powers). Note that I personally would value potions and scrolls at only one custom power each, but the game seems to assume a higher value. 4. Based on Design, Build, and Repair Automatons, the ability to create a category of monster is worth three custom powers. 5. I estimated the extra sanctum benefit (the ability to construct dungeons) as half a custom power, worth 3 cpe at ninth level. 6. The Arcane 4 default build has a total of 117 cpe that can theoretically be swapped out, or a bit over seven custom powers.
scrolls: 30 (3 @ fifth) potions: 30 (3 @ fifth) magic items: 18 cpe (3 @ ninth) dungeon: 3 (½ @ ninth) constructs: 12 (3 @ 11th) undead: 12 (3 @ 11th) crossbreeds: 12 (3 @ 11th)
7. Those powers were not assigned with the intent that they could be swapped out, however, and it is possible to eliminate most of them without significantly altering the power of the build. Much like the higher fighting ability builds, then, there should be an XP cost surcharge for swapping them out (my previous builds have ignored this). As a rough guideline, I would charge +150 XP per 8 cpe (double the fighting ability surcharge), rounded up. So dropping all 117 cpe worth and replacing them with custom powers would have a surcharge of +4,500 XP for second level. It might also be possible to calculate the surcharge in a different way for all build points:
1 build point: no surcharge. You're barely functioning in this role anyway. 2–3 build points: 75 XP per 8 cpe. 4–5 build points: 75 XP per 4 cpe. 6–7 build points: 75 XP per 2 cpe. 8 build points: 75 XP per 1 cpe.
8. Regarding the surcharge, I would personally make allowances for alternate-but-extremely-similar custom powers; swapping "Design & Create Construct" for "Bind Elementals" or "Design, Build, & Repair Automatons," for example, I would not inflict the surcharge for. Actually, though . . . it might be better to use the extended surcharge list for "all build points," but specify that any swap within the list of swaps costs nothing. So swapping a thief skill for another thief skill, costs nothing; swapping armor broadness for weapon broadness (as the thief and cleric builds do) similarly costs nothing; but swapping a fighting style for a spell-like ability would increase the base XP. Breaking the Rules 9. As a Judge, when designing an interesting class, I'm perfectly happy to break or bend the rules here and there, especially regarding niche protection (no swapping non-thief customs for thief skills; no swapping thief customs for spell-like abilities; no swapping mage customs for better weapon selection; you name it, I'll break it for an interesting class, so long as I think the result is reasonably balanced). For player-created classes, however, I would want to avoid this×players have a conflict of interest in the design that I, in my role as Judge, don't.Air Jordan XI 11 High
Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Great stuff. 

The Player's Companion rules are meant to be a framework that's a bit more restrictive than, e.g., a true point-build system like Mutants & Masterminds or Champions, but as you are developing, it's entirely possible to convert it into an amost pure point build. 

Tywyll
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I think this is really interesting. I'd love to see a break down for all class swaps.

Also I'm not sure giving a class ability to another class has a straight comparison. Nose for potions lots noncasters do something they normally never could so I'd argue it's worth more to them (and has a higher cost) than it would be in it's parent class.

Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

These are the core book classes only, but it may help see.

Fighter (HD 2, Fight 2; XP 2,000)

No swaps.

Mage (HD 0, Fight 0, Arcane 4; XP 2,500)

No swaps.

Cleric (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2; XP 1,500)

No swaps.

Thief (HD 0, Fight 1b, Thieving 3; XP 1,250)

Dropped one thief ability at first level for 16 cpe.

Added one thief ability at fourth level (11 cpe) and tenth level (5 cpe).

Assassin (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 1,850)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe. As a Fight 2 class, this adds +150 XP.

Added nothing.

Note: The assassin's saving and attack throws table is wrong.

Note: The XP cost for a fighting ability swap is ignored in the experience charts.

Note: Assuming base two thief abilities for Thieving 1 instead of three fixes the cpe accounting.

Bard (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2; XP 1,400)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe. Dropped one thief ability at first level for 16 cpe.

Added one thief ability at fourth level (11 cpe) and one at tenth (5 cpe).

Bladedancer (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2; XP 1,500)

Dropped unrestricted armor to narrow armor for 32 cpe.

Added an initiative bonus for 16 cpe and a swashbuckling equivalent for 16 cpe.

Explorer (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 2,150)

Dropped unrestricted weapons to broad weapons for 16 cpe; unrestricted armor to broad armor for 16 cpe; and the fighter damage bonus in melee for 16 cpe. All of these were from Fight 2, so 150 XP was added for each 16 cpe, for a total of +450 XP.

Thieving 1 grants 3 thief skills at first level; the explorer added two for 32 cpe.

Note: The XP cost for one of the fighting ability swaps is ignored in the experience charts. Based on a comment in the Player's Companion, i suspect the fighter damage bonus swap was missed.

Note: Assuming base two thief abilities for Thieving 1 instead of three fixes the cpe accounting.

Dwarven Vaultguard (HD 2, Fight 2, Dwarf 0; XP 2,200)

No swaps.

Dwarven Craftpriest (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2, Dwarf 3; XP 2,400)

No swaps.

Note: I was unable to determine how the base XP was calculated to be 2,650.

Elven Spellsword (HD 1, Fight 2, Arcane 1, Elf 3; XP 4,000)

No swaps.

Elven Nightblade (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2, Elf 2; XP 2,775)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe.

Note: Assuming base four thief abilities for Thieving 2 instead of five fixes the cpe accounting.

Thieving Ability

Core book classes with Thieving 1 seems to assume two base thief skills instead of three; and (except the bard) with Thieving 2 assumes four base thief skills instead of five. I suspect this was a late change in the underlying framework.

An easy fix is to give the Assassin, Explorer, and Elven Nightblade one extra, appropriate ability. Some suggestions:

Assassin: Disguise.
Explorer: Beast Friendship (see image) or Hear Noise.
Nightblade: Hear Noise.

It's also possible I missed an ability when I was reading through the class (I missed the bard's Performance on the first pass-through), but I was pretty careful.

Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

An updated list of classes, with corrections from Alex, with some Player's Companion classes thrown in, and alphabetized. I will probably update again another time, when I'm not already up past my bedtime ;-).

Anti-Paladin (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 1,850)

Dropped unrestricted weapons to broad for 16 cpe. Dropped three thief skills for 48 cpe.

Added aura of protection for 16 cpe; command undead at half level for 16 cpe; detect good for 16 cpe; and after the flesh for 16 cpe. The fighting swap increased XP by +150.

Assassin (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 1,850)

No swaps.

Note: The lack of shield fighting in ACKS is errata.

Barbarian (HD 2, Fight 2; XP 2,600)

Dropped damage bonus for either melee or missile attacks for 16 cpe. Dropped unrestricted armor to broad for 16 cpe, unrestricted weapons to broad for 16 cpe, and one fighting style for 16 cpe.

Added natural proficiency for 16 cpe; animal reflexes for 16 cpe; naturally stealthy for 16 cpe; and savage resilience for 16 cpe. The fighting ability swaps cost a total of +600 XP.

Bard (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2; XP 1,400)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe. Dropped one thief ability at first level for 16 cpe.

Added one thief ability at fourth level (11 cpe) and one at tenth (5 cpe).

Bladedancer (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2; XP 1,500)

Dropped unrestricted armor to narrow armor for 32 cpe.

Added an initiative bonus for 16 cpe and a swashbuckling equivalent for 16 cpe.

Cleric (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2; XP 1,500)

No swaps.

Dwarven Craftpriest (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2, Dwarf 3; XP 2,400; max 10th)

No swaps.

Note: The XP total in the core book is errata.

Dwarven Delver (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2, Dwarf 2; XP 2,000; max 11th)

No swaps. Five thief skills from Thieving 2, and two from Dwarf 2.

Dwarven Fury (HD 2, Fight 2, Dwarf 0; XP 3,250; max 13th)

Drop unrestricted weapons to narrow for 48 cpe, and unrestricted armor to forbidden for 64 cpe.

Added flesh runes for 48 cpe; fighting fury for 32 cpe; and savage resilience for 16 cpe. The fighting swaps add +1,050 XP.

Note: My count may be off, but I got 7 customs traded away, and only 6 gained. It's possible the dwarven fury was built when broad to narrow weapons only offered 1 custom power.

Dwarven Machinist (HD 1, Fight 1a, Thieving 2, Dwarf 3; XP 2,300; max 10th)

Drop unrestricted armor to broad for 16 cpe.

Note: Master craftsman (3 proficiencies) and attention to detail are both paid for by Dwarf 3. Design, build, and repair automatons takes up three thief skills, and find and remove traps takes up the other two. Allowing the machinist to wear plate armor fixes this.

Dwarven Vaultguard (HD 2, Fight 2, Dwarf 0; XP 2,200; max 13th)

No swaps.

Elven Courtier (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 1, Arcane 1, Elf 1; XP 2,450; max 12th)

Drop unrestricted armor to broad for 16 cpe, and broad weapons to narrow for 32 cpe.

Thieving 1 grants diplomacyinspire courage, and perform.

Added classical weapons training for 16 cpe. Added work magic with song and poetry for 16 cpe.

Note: Classical weapons training might be worth less than 16 cpe. I ended up with 16 extra cpe anyway.

Note: I'm not sure how 2,600 was arrived at. 500 for HD, 500 for Fight, 200 for Thieving, 625 for Arcane, reduced by 125 for elven arcane, 750 for Elf.

Elven Enchanter (HD 0, Fight 0, Thieving 1, Arcane 3, Elf 1; XP 2,700; max 12th)

No swaps.

Elven Nightblade (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2, Elf 2; XP 2,775)

No swaps.

Elven Spellsword (HD 1, Fight 2, Arcane 1, Elf 3; XP 4,000)

No swaps.

Explorer (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 2,000)

Dropped unrestricted weapons to broad weapons for 16 cpe; and unrestricted armor to broad armor for 16 cpe. All of these were from Fight 2, so 150 XP was added for each 16 cpe, for a total of +300 XP.

Thieving 1 grants 3 thief skills at first level; the explorer added two for 32 cpe.

Fighter (HD 2, Fight 2; XP 2,000)

No swaps.

Mage (HD 0, Fight 0, Arcane 4; XP 2,500)

No swaps.

Thief (HD 0, Fight 1b, Thieving 3; XP 1,250)

Dropped one thief ability at first level for 16 cpe.

Added one thief ability at fourth level (11 cpe) and tenth level (5 cpe).

 

Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Below is a list of swaps for each build value, translated into cpe above.

HD 0–4

No swaps available.

Fighting Ability 0 (16 cpe)

styles: 16 (1 @ first)

Fighting Ability 1a/cleric (112 cpe)

styles: 32 (2 @ first)
armor: 64 (4 @ first: unrestricted > none)
arms: 16 (1 @ first: narrow > restricted)

Fighting Ability 1b/thief (112 cpe)

styles: 32 (2 @ first)
armor: 32 (2 @ first: narrow > none)
arms: 48 (3 @ first: broad > restricted)

Fighting Ability 2–4 (208 cpe)

styles: 48 (3 @ first)
armor: 64 (2 @ first: unrestricted > none)
arms: 64 (4 @ first: all > restricted)
damage bonus: 32 (2 @ first)

Thievery 1 (48 cpe)

thief skills: 48 (3 @ first)

Thievery 2 (80 cpe)

thief skills: 80 (5 @ first)

Thievery 3 (160 cpe)

thief skills: 160 (10 @ first)

Thievery 4 (240 cpe)

thief skills: 240 (15 @ first)

Divine 1 (46 cpe)

turn undead: 16 (1 @ first)
scrolls: 15 (3 @ tenth)
potions: 15 (3 @ tenth)

Divine 2 (134 cpe)

turn undead: 32 (2 @ first)
scrolls: 30 (3 @ fifth)
potions: 30 (3 @ fifth)
magic items: 18 cpe (3 @ ninth)
constructs: 12 (3 @ 11th)
undead: 12 (3 @ 11th)

Divine 3 (150 cpe)

turn undead: 48 ("3" @ first)
scrolls: 30 (3 @ fifth)
potions: 30 (3 @ fifth)
magic items: 18 cpe (3 @ ninth)
constructs: 12 (3 @ 11th)
undead: 12 (3 @ 11th)

Divine 4 (166 cpe)

turn undead: 64 ("4" @ first)
scrolls: 30 (3 @ fifth)
potions: 30 (3 @ fifth)
magic items: 18 cpe (3 @ ninth)
constructs: 12 (3 @ 11th)
undead: 12 (3 @ 11th)

Arcane 1 (0 cpe)

Arcane 2 (30 cpe)

scrolls: 15 (3 @ tenth)
potions: 15 (3 @ tenth)

Arcane 3 (45 cpe)

scrolls: 21 (3 @ eighth)
potions: 21 (3 @ eighth)
magic items: 3 cpe (3 @ 14th)

Arcane 4 (114 cpe)

scrolls: 30 (3 @ fifth)
potions: 30 (3 @ fifth)
magic items: 18 cpe (3 @ ninth)
constructs: 12 (3 @ 11th)
crossbreeds: 12 (3 @ 11th)
undead: 12 (3 @ 11th)

Stronghold Options (My Personal Working Values)

1d6 level 0 followers: 2 (1/3 @ ninth)
2d6 level 0 followers: 3 (½ @ ninth)
5d6 level 0 followers: 6 (1 @ ninth)
(1d4+1)×10 level 0 followers: 12 (2 @ ninth)
2d6×10 level 0 followers: 18 (3 @ ninth)
5d6×10 level 0 followers: 24 (4 @ ninth)

followers are fanatics: ×2 to a maximum of +12 (up to +2 @ ninth)
followers are level 1: ×2
followers are level 1–3: ×3

Dungeon: 3 (½ @ ninth; sanctums)
Half-Off Stronghold: 18 (3 @ ninth; temples)
Secures a Domain: 18 (3 @ ninth; all but hideouts)
Hijinks: 18 (3 @ ninth)

Fortress: (1d4+1)×10 level 0 followers [12 cpe] and 1d6 level 1–3 followers [6 cpe], secures domain [18 cpe]. Total 36 cpe.

Hideout: 2d6 level 1–3 followers [9 cpe], hijinks [18 cpe]. Total 27 cpe.

Sanctum: 2d6 level 0 followers [6 cpe] and 1d6 level 1–3 followers [6 cpe], secures domain [18 cpe], dungeon [3 cpe]. Total 33 cpe.

Temple: 5d6×10 level 0 fanatics [36 cpe] and 1d6 level 1–3 fanatics [12 cpe], secures domain [18 cpe], half-off stronghold [18 cpe]. Total 84 cpe.

jedavis
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Joined: 2012-03-08 01:21

Very interesting stuff! Bookmarked for later use.

Cameron
Joined: 2012-05-18 16:35

Brilliant! And stolen!

RPGHerb
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Great stuff. I did some very rough work along these lines to recost the Zarandarians (sp) because I liked them for my Imperial/Draconic Elves (Elric takeoffs) to contrast to my Lunar Elves. In the end, I just swapped out elf powers. If I do more work I'll probably look back at this.

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

 

 

Assassin (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 1,850)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe. As a Fight 2 class, this adds +150 XP.

APM: You've caught a long-standing error that's been present with this class since 8/2010. I've reviewed my notes through 30 differents of ACKS and back into my pre-ACKS "Auran Empire House Rules" documents. When I first created the class, I decided it shouldn't be able to use shields. The inability to use shields is incorrect; assassins can use all three fighting styles. I never bothered to fix this. This should almost certainly go into the ACKS Errata.

 

Explorer (HD 1, Fight 2, Thieving 1; XP 2,150)

Dropped unrestricted weapons to broad weapons for 16 cpe; unrestricted armor to broad armor for 16 cpe; and the fighter damage bonus in melee for 16 cpe. All of these were from Fight 2, so 150 XP was added for each 16 cpe, for a total of +450 XP.

Note: The XP cost for one of the fighting ability swaps is ignored in the experience charts. Based on a comment in the Player's Companion, i suspect the fighter damage bonus swap was missed.

APM: I don't think I understand why you are saying that the explorer traded its fight damage bonus in melee.  ACKS, p. 29: "Due to his careful aim, explorers increase their base damage from successful missile and melee attacks..." 

 

 

Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

I said that because I was reading too fast and misread the damage bonus sentence, or conflated it with the accuracy bonus immediately prior.

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

Ah, makes sense... phew. 

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

 

Elven Nightblade (HD 1, Fight 1b, Thieving 2, Elf 2; XP 2,775)

Dropped one fighting style for 16 cpe.

Note: Assuming base four thief abilities for Thieving 2 instead of five fixes the cpe accounting.

APM: Elven Nightblades did not drop a fighting style. (Neither did Thieves). The language for both of them is the same, and badly written in both cases. Both Elven Nightblades and Thieves can fight with one-handed weapons, but they can do so using two hands if desired. I didn't spell this out in the ACKS core rules in a clear manner. 

If I ever did a second edition of ACKS, I would probably re-write "one-handed" and "two-handed" weapons as "standard" and "large" weapons. 
 

 

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

 

Dwarven Craftpriest (HD 1, Fight 1a, Divine 2, Dwarf 3; XP 2,400)

No swaps.

Note: I was unable to determine how the base XP was calculated to be 2,650.

APM: Me neither. Looks like grist for the errata mill.

Malo Monkey
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Great stuff, Thomas. How do you price spell-like abilities with this system?

Thomas Weigel
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Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

All custom powers are priced the same under this system. Spell-like abilities are a type of custom power.

It might be possible to write up a system for broader spell-like ability construction, using the points above, but I haven't.

Magus7a
Joined: 2017-01-20 08:13

With Elven Courtier I suspect the extra 150 XP is to give them thief saving throws, instead of the mage saving throws they should have by the rulebook

 

CharlesDM
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Joined: 2012-03-01 22:31

Interesting ... I never noticed this.

Early notes have the Elven Courtier as HD 1, Fighting 1 (1 tradeoff), Thievery 1, Arcane 1, (High) Elf 1, and an early draft has mage saves.

If it were HD 1, Fighting 1 (1 tradeoff), Thievery 1, (High) Elf 2, that would provide thief saves (similarly to the Nightblade) at 2600xp, but the max level would be one lower.

The difference is 125xp (not 150xp), after +25xp for High Elf. It does appear to be an exception to the rules, similar to how the Bard has the Fighting Value 2+ Stronghold.

In any event, I believe the class works great as is.

Magus7a
Joined: 2017-01-20 08:13

I figured it out now, you only lose max levels for putting extra points in racial value.

The only other class that takes advantage of this is Gnomish trickster which is Gnome 4 Fighting 1 (1 Tradeoff)

Magus7a
Joined: 2017-01-20 08:13

Dwarven Fury and Mystic both trade away one extra compared to the number of bonus powers they get, and both are only charged XP for the number of bonus powers they get.  So it's either going from unrestricted weapons to broad, or one of the armor trades, that isn't included

Dwarven Machinist's missing cpe is in the fact that they can open locks