Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reference Library for My Upcoming ACKS Campaign

My Adventurer Conqueror King System campaign will be kicking off two weeks from today and I'm trying to make sure I have all of my pieces in place.  Therefore I have assembled my "Reference Library" if you will.  For those following at home, it consists of the following:

ACKS Core Rulebook - Kinda obvious, I know, but figured it deserved a mention.  Not much in the way of house rules (Max HP, 3d6 and arrange as you want - we are using the ACKS Online Character Generator)

ACKS Player Companion (GaryCon Edition) - this has only been released to Kickstarter supporters, but I've included it in the mix.

Blackmarsh - sandbox setting for use with Old School systems.  Free in PDF at RPGNow.  This is where my smaller "mini-sandbox" is being placed.

Hex 000 Series from Loviatar Zine - Christian's excellent sandbox series from his zine.  This will form the core of my mini-sandbox.  BTW Christian, how about rereleasing the Free City of Haldane in print?  Pretty please?  Can't find my copy anywhere :(

Tome of Adventure Design - if I need a random table, I can find it here.  If I need some tools to spark my creativity, I can find it here.  Not sure if I'd be picking this up if I didn't already have it just for this game, but I do and it will see some good use.

Toys For the Sandbox Series - not all of them are a good fit for the campaign setting I'm working on, but some should fit fine and others may need some work to fit.  just for the sheer number of plot hooks and personality filled NPCs could keep my running for months.

LotFP Grindhouse Edition Referee Book - one of Raggi's best pieces of work, I'll be keeping this nearby me as I work on some plot hooks and set encounters the PCs may find in their travels.  This book is almost worth buying the whole set.  As I already have it in both dead tree and PDF, it will see much use.

Random Esoteric Creature Generator For Classic Fantasy RPGs and Their Modern Simulacra - talk about a long ass title.  One of Raggi's earliest works and one of his most useful.  I'm definitely going to try to keep the PCs (and their players) honest, and this should be an excellent tool to keep them on their toes.  I already had this in PDF from RPGNow but would have bought it again.  It actually was my plan to, as I'd heard nothing but good about it, and forgot I picked it up years ago (when I had no game to GM)

This doesn't include the dungeons that the PCs my find / get drawn to / investigate / etc.  The above listing is pretty much System and Setting and Tools.


  1. This sounds pretty awesome. When you say "ACKS Online Character Generator" Do you mean the random stat generator on the autarch site or is there a more robust character generator somewhere online? Thanks!

  2. nope, that's it. i allow them to arrange as they wish, and can totally cross off any character generated with a score of 3, or 2 or more scores of 4 or 5 as being total unsuitable for adventuring.

    then they generate a new set of 5 from the site, replacing the open slots from the top of the new five. so if replacing one character, character number 1 from the new set moves to the first five, and true last 4 aren't used.

  3. Still waiting for my hardcopy of ACKS (it's in the mail), didn't go for the GaryCon edition of the player's companion, but wasn't the PDF released a short time ago? Or I am confusing that with something for Castles & Crusades?

    dunno Blackmarsh or Hex 000.

    Tome of Adventure Design is full of random goodness. I'd get it on principle and find a use for it (except I already have it).

    Toys for the Sandbox, haven't looked at.

    I've heard good things about LotFP referee book.

    Dunno the random monsters thing with the longass name [that that phrase was still shorter than].

    Looking forward to it, will be reading ACKS as soon as it gets here. I hate reading long stuff in PDF.

  4. Do you think you will be doing session reports or are you running multible groups

  5. awesome! for players i guess we just need the acks main book right?

  6. i have just the pdf but that shouldnt matter i guess

  7. just skim the classes for now to get a feel for them.

    players companion has not been released in PDF yet. kickstarter supporters have it as a word file and some have the pre release softcover. the book isn't final yet

    Loviatar Zine is an excellent old school style monthly zine. print only, and fairly prices

    blacmarsh is free. no harm in picking it up. shouldn't spoil any surprises, and may give you some general background of the overall setting. not need tho

  8. joe, main book is all you need.

    if you want an idea of what's in the companion, hit me at the email i gave in the g+ campaign thread.

    i can play a game fine from PDF. running a game, i find a hard cover is easier to flip to the page i need ;)

  9. @apis - just the one group.

    I will definitely post session reports

  10. Thanks. Also, I'll second the Random Esoteric Monster Generator. It's useful and super fun just to roll up monsters and see what you get.

  11. The Tome of Adventure Design really is excellent and is one of my sandbox standby's. Same with the creature generator. You may not be looking for new things at the moment, but fyi: I've found Sine Nomine's Red Tide sandbox kit and "An Echo, Resounding", consistently useful at the table. The Red Tide book has some concise, instantly useable series of tables for generating NPCs and interesting non-dungeon locations. It's totally saved me a number of times. An Echo Resounding has a lot of good town/city characteristic stuff, as well as stats if you're into that kind of thing. Those two and the Tome of Adventure Design are always in front of me while I'm DMing.

  12. Look forward to hearing how the game plays out. Been running my ACKS campaign for a few weeks now, and really loving the system.

  13. Sounds like a good compromise as per the magic-users

    I did a quick calculation of the thief point progression from the table on pg 23.

    1st to 2nd level = 7 points added total across all categories
    2-3 = 6
    3-4 = 7
    4-5 = 6
    5-6 = 7
    6-7 = 12 (I know, weird huh?)
    7-8 = 11
    8-9 = 11
    9-10 = 11
    10-11 = 11
    11-12 = 7
    12-13 = 7
    13-14 = 5

    (Did it quick while stuffing my face with KFC, so the numbers may be off a bit.)

    Couple ideas to throw out there to be able to make more customized thieves:

    1. arrange points however you want.
    2. number 1. except that no more than x points per skill per level
    3. number 1 but less total points if customizing than if not, either with or without any restrictions as per no. 2
    4. just use Raggi's specialist rules and/or skill point system for specialists as per Grindhouse. (my preference, which guarantees I will roll up a thief).

    Do it how you want of course, just a few ideas for ya.

  14. @joethelawyer - let me looks this over before making a decision.

    I personally think Raggi's Specialist is the best take I've seen on a thief class, but I'm not sure how it will fit with ACKS and the skill system.

    Give me a day or two to look over the numbers...

  15. Fine with me however you decide to go. I'm just happy to be playing and the basic fighter is a fine alternative

  16. Fine with me however you decide to go. I'm just happy to be playing and the basic fighter is a fine alternative


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