Astonishing ACKS – Hyperborean Custom Classes

UPDATE (24-Nov-16): I’ve changed the Hyperborean appearance in my campaign. Also, a Half-Breed Spellsword Class Summary is now available.

Hyperborean_SpellswordHyperboreans are extremely tall men (c. 7-foot males, 6½-foot females) of milk-white skin, golden hair, and violet eyes; rare females shew silky, blue-black hair. Reputed to live 200 or more years. Also reputed to be sexually incompatible with normal humans.

Most take a dim view of the other races, deeming them “savages”, “apes”, or “sub-men”. Like Atlanteans, they are a race in decline.

Only half-breeds (Hyperborean Value 0) are appropriate as Player Characters.

Hyperborea HR

Requirements

All Hyperborean classes require a minimum Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma of 9 or better. (In general, non-degenerate Hyperboreans should possess above-average scores in all abilities.)

Class Category Values

Arcane: Any build points allocated to the Arcane Value stack with build points allocated to the Hyperborean value for purposes of determining the class’s spellcasting ability (see below). Because of their innate magical power, the XP Cost of the Arcane Value is reduced by 125 XP for characters with a Hyperborean Value of 1 or more.

Hyperborean Value

Value   Hyperborean XP Cost
4 Hyperborean + Mage 2500
3 Hyperborean + ⅔ Mage 2000
2 Hyperborean + ½ Mage 1375
1 Hyperborean + ⅓ Mage 750
0 Hyperborean Half-Breed 150

When building a Hyperborean custom class, assign between 0 and 4 build points to the class’s Hyperborean Value. All Hyperboreans gain the following custom powers:

  • Ancient Pacts: Before the Ashen Worm, the lords of Hyperborea ensorcelled the dark powers of the world in pacts of service and obedience. Some creatures still remember these pacts and will aid Hyperboreans when commanded. Hyperboreans gain a +2 bonus to reaction rolls (+1 for half-breeds) when encountering intelligent chaotic monsters. Intelligent chaotic monsters suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws penalty to saving throws against any charm spells cast by Hyperborean (-1 against half-breeds).
  • Uncanny Senses: All Hyperboreans detect hidden and secret doors with a proficiency throw of 8+ on 1d20 when actively searching, or 14+ on casual inspection.
  • Overcasting: Hyperborean Mages can cast extra spells beyond those they are normally allotted each day. However, an Overcasting Success throw is required for each attempt – and there is a chance of Arcane Calamity on a failed roll. (Overcasting rules are fully described in Axioms Issue 1.)
  • Longevity: Hyperboreans enjoy a lifespan longer than that of normal men. Half-breeds (Hyperborean 0) can live to see 130 – use the ‘Halfling’ entry from ACKS p.250 for age categories. True Hyperboreans are ageless and enjoy a lifespan of 260 years or more; they are also immune to ghoul paralysis.
  • Hyperborean Tongues: In addition to fluency in Common, half-breeds speak Old Hyperborean and one other language of choice (usually Hellenic). True Hyperboreans may also select two additional languages; these can include lost or esoteric tongues.

“Hyperborean 0” represents an extremely rare half-breed. Although tall, thin, and pale; the character may pass as almost normal amongst other men. At higher Hyperborean Values, the character’s inhumanity becomes obvious:

  • Inhumanity: At Hyperborean 1 and higher, the character suffers a -1 penalty to the reactions, loyalty, and morale of humans. The character gets an equivalent bonus to the reactions, loyalty, and morale of fellow Hyperboreans.

Additional points allocated to the Hyperborean Value stack with points allocated to the Arcane Value for purposes of spellcasting, magical research, strongholds, and magic item usability. Add the two values to find the class’s effective spellcasting abilities. (Latter-day Hyperboreans cannot exceed an arcane spellcasting value of 4, though it is said that the ancient masters transcended these limits.)

All Hyperborean spellcasters (including half-breeds) can cast spells wearing whatever armour they are permitted to use.

Experience Point Progression

Hyperboreans increase the amount of experience required to gain each level after 8th by 50,000 XP (25,000 XP for half-breeds).

Hyperborea HR

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About K-Slacker

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14 Responses to Astonishing ACKS – Hyperborean Custom Classes

  1. K-Slacker says:

    Half-Breed Spellsword

    This half-breed Hyperborean class is appropriate for PCs.

    Hyperborean 0, HD 1 (d6), Fighting 1a (1 trade-off), Arcane 2 (½ Mage).

    Base XP: 150 + 500 + 500 + 1250 = 2400 for 2nd level.

    2 Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
    Narrow Weapon Selection: Swords/daggers, spears/polearms.
    Broad Armour Selection: Chain or lighter, shields allowed. (Spells can be used while wearing armour.)
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts (+1), Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues.
    Custom Powers: Arcane Striking @ 5th; Spell Storing @ 9th.

    Maximum Level: 13th.
    Prime Requisites: Strength and Intelligence.
    Requirements: STR, INT, WIS, & CHA 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: Alertness, Ambushing, Armour Training, Battle Magic, Berserkergang, Black Lore of Ix, Blind Fighting, Combat Trickery (force back, knock down, overrun, sunder), Command, Elementalism, Endurance, Familiar, Fighting Style, Intimidation, Kin-Slaying, Leadership, Magical Engineering, Manual of Arms, Martial Training, Military Strategy, Mystic Aura, Sensing Power, Siege Engineering, Skirmishing, Theology, Unflappable Casting, Wakefulness, Weapon Focus.
    Attack Throws: As Cleric.
    Saving Throws: As Mage.
    Magic Items: As Mage.
    Stronghold: As Mage.

  2. K-Slacker says:

    Hyperborean Spellsword (Full-Blooded)

    These are the legendary full-blooded spellswords of old Hyperborea.

    Hyperborean 3, HD 1 (d6), Fighting 2 (2 trade-offs), Arcane 1.

    Base XP: 2000 + 500 + 1000 (+ 300 250) + 625 (- 125) = 4250 for 2nd level.

    All Fighting Styles: Two weapons, weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
    Broad Weapon Selection: All melee weapons (one-handed and two-handed).
    Unrestricted Armour Selection: All armour and shields. (Spells can be used while wearing armour.)
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts, Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues, Inhumanity (-1).
    Custom Powers: Arcane Striking @ 2nd; Spell Storing @ 4th; Death Healing @ 9th. Damage bonus in melee only.

    Maximum Level: 10th.
    Prime Requisites: Strength and Intelligence.
    Requirements: STR, INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: As Ruinguard, rename Sensing Good to Sensing Chaos; plus Acrobatics and Weapon Finesse.
    Attack Throws: As Fighter.
    Saving Throws: As Fighter.
    Magic Items: As Fighter and Mage.
    Stronghold: Hyperborean Fastness (as Elf).

  3. K-Slacker says:

    Template: Swordmage

    This pre-generated template represents a swordmage of the Hyperborean tradition and is appropriate for both half-breeds and full-blooded spellswords. The template assumes that the character has an INT score between 13 and 15, qualifying him for one bonus proficiency and one bonus spell (noted in italics).

    Proficiencies: Battle Magic, Military Strategy, Manual of Arms.
    Equipment: Leather-bound spellbook with magic missile and sharpness, Hyperborean greatsword, dagger, well-oiled chain mail, traveler’s tunic and pants, leather belt, low boots, backpack, 1 week’s iron rations.

  4. K-Slacker says:

    Hyperborean Nightblade (Full-Blooded)

    Cunning and subtle assassins of old Hyperborea. (This class doesn’t really fit my conception of the Hyperboreans, but was an easy conversion from ACKS.)

    Hyperborean 2, HD 1 (d6), Fighting 1b, Thievery 2.

    Base XP: 1375 + 500 + 500 + 400 = 2775 for 2nd level.

    Two Fighting Styles: Two-weapon style, two-handed weapons.
    Broad Weapon Selection: All missile weapons, any one-handed melee weapon.
    Narrow Armour Selection: Leather armour or lighter (no shields). (Spells can be used while wearing armour.)
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts, Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues, Inhumanity (-1).
    Thievery Skills: Acrobatics, Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, Climb Walls, Backstab (all @ 1st).

    Maximum Level: 11th.
    Prime Requisites: Dexterity and Intelligence.
    Requirements: DEX, INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: As Elven Nightblade.
    Attack Throws: As Thief.
    Saving Throws: As Thief.
    Magic Items: As Thief and Mage.
    Stronghold: Hideout (as Thief).

  5. K-Slacker says:

    Hyperborean Noble (Full-Blooded)

    Courtiers and dilettantes of the Hyperborean noble houses.

    Hyperborean 1, HD 1 (d6), Fighting 1a (1 tradeoff), Thievery 1, Arcane 1.

    Base XP: 750 + 500 + 500 + 200 + 625 (-125) = 2450 for 2nd level.

    Two Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
    Narrow Weapon Selection: Swords/daggers and spears/pole arms.
    Broad Armour Selection: Chain armour or lighter (including shields). (Spells can be used while wearing armour.)
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts, Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues, Inhumanity (-1).
    Custom Powers: Classical Weapons Training (melee), Diplomacy, Inspire Courage, Eldritch Aura (as Mystic Aura)

    Maximum Level: 12th.
    Prime Requisites: Intelligence and Charisma.
    Requirements: INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: As Elven Courtier.
    Attack Throws: As Cleric.
    Saving Throws: As Thief.
    Magic Items: As Thief and Mage.
    Stronghold: Hyperborean Fastness (as Elf).

  6. K-Slacker says:

    Hyperborean Specialist Mage (Full-Blooded)

    Powerful Mages of full Hyperborean blood, combining the powers of a human specialist with full arcane spellcasting and Overcasting.

    Hyperborean 1, HD 0 (d4), Fighting 0, Thievery 1, Arcane 3.

    Base XP: 750 + 200 + 1875 (-125) = 2700 for 2nd level.

    No Fighting Styles: One-handed weapons only.
    Restricted Weapon Selection: As per Mage specialization.
    Forbidden Armour Selection: No armour or shields.
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts, Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues, Inhumanity (-1).
    Custom Powers: As per Mage specialization.

    Maximum Level: 12th.
    Prime Requisites: As per Mage specialization.
    Requirements: INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more; plus specialist requirements.
    Proficiencies: As per Mage specialization, minus bloodline proficiencies plus selected Overcasting proficiencies (from Axioms #1).
    Attack Throws: As Mage.
    Saving Throws: As Mage.
    Magic Items: As Mage.
    Stronghold: Sanctum (as Mage).

  7. K-Slacker says:

    Hyperborean Sorcerer-Priest (Full-Blooded)

    Powerful full-blooded Hyperborean devotees of Xathoqqua, combining divine spellcasting with full arcane magic and Overcasting.

    Hyperborean 2, HD 0 (d4), Fighting 0, Divine 2, Arcane 2.

    Base XP: 1375 + 500 + 1250 (-125) = 3000 for 2nd level.

    No Fighting Styles: One-handed weapons only.
    Restricted Weapon Selection: Club, dagger, dart, staff.
    Forbidden Armour Selection: No armour or shields.
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts, Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues, Inhumanity (-1).
    Custom Powers: As per Sorcerer-Priest.

    Maximum Level: 11th.
    Prime Requisites: Intelligence and Wisdom.
    Requirements: INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: As per Sorcerer-Priest, minus Hyperborean Bloodline plus selected Overcasting proficiencies (from Axioms #1).
    Attack Throws: As Mage.
    Saving Throws: As Mage.
    Magic Items: As Mage.
    Stronghold: Sanctum (as Mage).

  8. K-Slacker says:

    Half-Breed Nightblade

    Although exceptionally rare, this half-breed Hyperborean class is appropriate for PCs.

    Hyperborean 0, HD 0 (d4), Fighting 1a (1 trade-off), Thievery 1, Arcane 2 (½ Mage).

    Base XP: 150 + 500 + 200 + 1250 = 2100 for 2nd level.

    2 Fighting Styles: Two-handed weapons, two-weapon style.
    Broad Weapon Selection: One-handed melee weapons, all missile weapons.
    Narrow Armour Selection: Leather armour or lighter (no shields). (Spells can be used while wearing armour.)
    Hyperborean Powers: Ancient Pacts (+1), Uncanny Senses, Overcasting, Longevity, Hyperborean Tongues.
    Thievery Skills: Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, and Backstab (all @ 1st).

    Maximum Level: 13th.
    Prime Requisites: Dexterity and Intelligence.
    Requirements: DEX, INT, WIS, & CHR 9 or more.
    Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Alertness, Ambushing, Battle Magic, Blind Fighting, Cat Burglary, Climbing, Combat Reflexes, Combat Trickery, Contortionism, Eavesdropping, Fighting Style, Intimidation, Mystic Aura, Passing Without Trace, Precise Shooting, Prestidigitation, Quiet Magic, Running, Sensing Power, Skirmishing, Skulking, Sniping, Swashbuckling, Unflappable Casting, Wakefulness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus.
    Attack Throws: As Thief.
    Saving Throws: As Thief.
    Magic Items: As Thief and Mage.
    Stronghold: As Thief.

  9. K-Slacker says:

    Half-Breed Specialist Mages are also plausible as PCs.

    They would be treated as per human Specialist Mages, plus Half-Breed traits (including Overcasting). Base experience requirement would be 2225 2250 XP, max lvl 13. Remove bloodline proficiencies and add selected Overcasting proficiencies (from Axioms #1).

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