Astonishing ACKS!

I’m calling my current campaign Astonishing ACKS. It’s an old-school RPG mashup set in the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SH) campaign world using the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System (ACKS) ruleset.

Here’s the setting in a nutshell:

Hyperborea is the default campaign setting for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. This “flat earth” realm is hemmed in by the mystical boreas (“North Wind”), and under the scarlet light of a bloated, dying sun, its roiling seas spill eternal over the world’s rim. Hyperborea is in a perpetual state of decay, populated by disharmonious men, hostile monsters, and weird, alien beings.

To learn more about the campaign, use the menus at top and right (on the desktop view) or click on the following links:

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About K-Slacker

Gamer and referee for online gameblogs.
This entry was posted in Astonishing ACKS, Campaign Setting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Astonishing ACKS!

  1. I love your blog. Are we acquainted on g+? I tried to locate you, but couldn’t find anything under “K-Slacker.” I’m Venger Satanis, of course.

  2. K-Slacker says:

    The name was already taken on Google+ when I registered. I can be found at:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/114984212427860516154/

  3. Charles Myers says:

    I am extremely tardy in commenting on your wonderful blog. I first noticed it when you linked to my blog (bythisaxe.co), and being a backer of both AS&SH and ACKS, of course I love the subject matter! I’d really like to read your blog from “cover to cover”. A question: have you ever written about what classes you changed, why, and how it’s worked out for you? I’m very interested in your class changes. I see your summaries for PCs, but the changes are subtle.

    • K-Slacker says:

      I started making the custom classes to add “Hyperborean” aspects to the game (especially non-human races and religion). The Xathoqquan Sorcerer-Priest is still one of my favourites (although sadly underused in play), and I tweaked the Barbarian options very early when one of the initial PCs was a Viking sea-rover.

      Specialist Mages (particularly the Pyromancer) have seen the most actual use in play. In essence, they’re variants of the Warlock from the ACKS Player’s Companion.

      The first draft of the class followed the creation rules-as-written, which resulted in various spell-like abilities that could be used at will, or once per 8 hours, once per day, or once per week, etc. It was too fiddly so after a few sessions I just changed them all to “once per day”.

      Next, the player felt the class was too weak compared to the core Mage. I fudged the levels at which class abilities came available, added them to spell repertoires, and decreased the XP requirement. I personally find the class too powerful now, but won’t adjust things until after the current campaign wraps up.

      I had two players ask for Serpent-Man PCs when the party ventured to the Serpent Isles, resulting in the Serpent Monk and Snake Shaman. I found the class abilities of the Serpent Monk (based on the ACKS Mystic) too fiddly – there are a lot of situational bonuses that got missed during play.

      I also created many of the additional classes simply because I was having fun working with the class creation rules from the ACKS Player’s Companion. This is the origin of a lot of my custom classes, quite a few of which have never actually been used in play.

      So I guess my biggest take-away is that simpler class builds are generally better, so try not to get too complicated.

      The other big change that I recommend was with Thievery skills. The players who originally had Thief and Assassin characters never succeeded on any of their checks, and I didn’t have any rogue-type characters wasn’t until I tweaked the rules.

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