Our Eighth Kickstarter: Secrets of the Nethercity!

For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand....

We’re excited to announce Autarch’s eighth Kickstarter project: The Secrets of the Nethercity™, an immersive dungeon for the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ and other D20 fantasy role-playing games.

Dr. Michael Capps Joins Autarch’s Management Board

January 14, 2016 (Durham, NC): Autarch LLC, publisher of the best-selling Adventurer Conqueror King System, is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Capps has become a member of the company’s management board.

Domains at War Designer's Notes #4: Combat Mechanics


Every wargame design must balance simulation and playability. Achieving this balance is often quite hard, and most games end up tipping towards one or the other end of the range. Balancing Domains at Wars was even harder than other wargames I’ve designed, because I was actually attempting to simulate two things – an ancient or medieval battle, and a battle fought by characters from an ACKS game.


Domains at War Designer’s Notes: Historical Reference Points

While designing Domains at War, I frequently tested my game mechanics against available real-world examples. Nowhere was this more challenging than in the area of siege warfare, which is akin to the PhD level of ancient warfare. Below are a few of the historical reference points I relied on in assessing whether the construction and siege mechanics had a reasonable level of versimilitude.

Siege of Alesia

Domains at War Designer's Notes #2: Sieges

The mechanics of siege warfare, both at the battle and campaign level, presented the most challenging part of the design of Domains at War. Pitched battles are glorious in their simplicity; sieges revel in complexity. Artillery, arson, assault, location, mining, supplies, treachery – all play their part.

Domains at War Designer's Notes #1: Magic


Welcome, everyone! The Domains at War kickstarter has just launched, and after just 48 hours we’re already close to meeting our initial goals. It’s an exciting time for me as a designer, as the rules pass from a small closed circle of testers into the hands of the larger gaming community.

Dinner's Not Ready, Bring Out An Appetizer

We won't have the Domains at War Kickstarter ready to launch this month, despite my stated intentions in a previous post. It's frustrating to have people saying "TAKE MY MONEY" and not be able to! The delays in starting the campaign are because we're trying to plan for everything and avoid a much more frustrating delay in delivering the goodness we'll create with your money.

ACKS Nominated as Finalist for Three Castles Award

The nominations for the 2013 Three Castles Award have been announced and we're proud that ACKS is among the finalists! Congratulations to the other nominees; it's an honor to be included among such excellent entries this year, the third in the contest's history (each of which has featured many fantastic contenders). Full text of the announcement is reposted below, and more info about the contest can be found at the NTRPG site. I've attended NTRPG since its inception and always have a great time, but I'm looking forward to this summer's con with special enthusiasm!


Domains at War Kickstarter Reward Levels

Later this February Autarch is planning to launch the Kickstarter for Domains at War, our comprehensive rules for all aspects of waging war in a fantasy world. Planning the rewards for a Kickstarter campaign is one of the trickiest parts because as soon the campaign goes live and someone claims a reward, the text can't be changed. To help work out any kinks in the phrasing of the rewards, and make sure that we're offering all the kinds of things backers would want in exchange for their support, I'm hoping to get feedback on the proposed rewards. The pledge levels for each reward are still being worked out, this being its own kind of tricky.

With the caveat that these are not yet final - and will hopefully be improved by your input - here's what we're thinking of offering Domains at War backers:


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