What does this offer that the OSR books and rules already in your collection don't? Four new racial classes: two for Dwarves and two for Elves. Stats listed in the classic order. A proficiency system. The traditional four human classes and the assassin, bard, blade dancer and explorer. Did I mention each class level is named, just like in AD&D? Yep ;)
If you've played (A)D&D or any of the clones, you should be in fairly familiar territory. Heck, and of the classes included should port fairly easily to Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord.
There are some fairly unique sections too. Strongholds, domains, and even mercantile ventures are addressed. Yes, your character may just outgrow the dungeon life.
If you are the do-it-yourself type of DM, there's a section on building your own campaign setting. It is full of charts dealing with populations, political divisions, revenue by realm type (and comparisons to historical data)... I could go on, but I won't. This section is unique in my gaming experience, and could certainly be sold as it's own small universal supplement. If you play in any fantasy type RPG and are interested in building your own campaign, many of the tools are here. It is also very sandboxie in nature, which is a huge selling point in my eyes.
There is even a section (with random tables no less - can never have enough of them) on designing and placing your own dungeons. Complete with wandering monster tables. Whee!
I do have a question. There are 8 human classes, 2 dwarves classes and 2 elven classes. Dwarves and Elves are discussed as a race in their class descriptions (I didn't notice racial modifiers). No halfling or gnome classes, but the races do appear on the starting age table and in the Monster Section. Strange omission, especially as they are reference in a chart that deals only with player races. Easy enough to fix and draft in from outside sources, but one shouldn't have to.
Overall a very nice addition to the OSR stable. I just wish they hadn't overlooked the 2 shortest races. Heck, even Raggi let the Halfling in Weird Fantasy ;)
edit: forgot to mention the excellent hyperlinking in the Table of contents and the Index. Makes up for shorting the short races. heh :)
From the blurb:
Enter a world where empires totter on the brink of war, and terrible monsters tear at the fragile borderlands of men; where decaying cities teem with chaos and corruption, nubile maidens are sacrificed to chthonic cults and nobles live in decadent pleasure on the toil of slaves; where heroes, wizards, and rogues risk everything in pursuit of glory, fortune, and power. This is a world where adventurers can become conquerors – and conquerors can become kings.
Will you survive the perils of war and dark magic to claim a throne? Or will you meet your fate in a forgotten ruin beyond the ken of men?
The Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS) is a new fantasy role-playing game that provides the framework for epic fantasy campaigns with a sweeping scope. With the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ you can:
- Play 12 different classes, including the fighter, mage, thief, cleric, assassin, bard, bladedancer, explorer, dwarven craftpriest, dwarven vaultguard, elven nightblade, and elven spellsword.
- Easily customize your character using a unique, optional proficiency system. Make your fighter a berserker or your mage a necromancer!
- Buy, sell, and trade common merchandise, precious silks and spices, and even monster parts and magic items in a balanced and integrated game economy.
- Construct strongholds, establish kingdoms, and carve out a realm for your character.
- Run a thieves' guild and send your minions to carouse, smuggle, steal, and commit other hijinks.
- Establish a wizard's sanctum and explore the forbidden arts. Crossbreed horrific monsters in an underground laboratory, enact powerful magical rituals, build golems, craft magic items, or even transform yourself and your followers into undead monsters.
- Build and run a living world for adventure on a grand scale. With game mechanics built to support emergent play, ACKS is the ultimate RPG for sandbox campaigns.
Whether you want to crawl through dungeons, trade with merchant caravans, run a merchant emporium, conquer an empire, or even raise an undead legion, ACKS supports your playstyle with simple, fast-playing game mechanics.
To learn more, visit the Autarch website.