Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sometimes a Rant is Worth Sharing - Stuart Marshall on ACKS

Now THAT's a Merchant ;)
There is a HUGE thread on TheRPGSite that started out complaining about the time James Mal needs to complete Dwimmermount, which then morphed in part to a discussion about Kickstarts, which brought Adventurer Conqueror King System into the equation. Now, before I go further, I'm going to remind you that I run ACKS on a weekly basis (although we've taken the past few weeks off) and I do enjoy the system, even with the house rules I added before we played a single session.

Stuart Marshall, he of OSRIC fame, added his 2 cents (or more like a full British Pound) to the conversation when he spoke about ACKS. I'm just going to quote part of it - for the rest of it, which actually got me choking on my breakfast, you'll need to go to the original thread (Stuart's post is the second one on the page):

...my first impression was that the system is clearly misnamed. If I'd written a book called Adventurer Conqueror King, it would involve adventuring, conquering, and being king. This system ought to be called Manager Merchant Landlord, which is what it's actually about. Adventuring doesn't seem to come into the equation at all. Despite the authors' penchant for extreme detail, including for example seven pages about mundane equipment, they haven't written word one about dungeons or exploring or all that boring stuff that appears in other games. They've skipped straight onto the subject they love:- resource management. 
Anyway, after marvelling at the price tag, I skimmed over stuff I'd already read hundreds of times, and indeed written myself at least twice, before I made it as far as the first custom PC class. The Bladedancer. I quickly determined that what this means is "druid chick", and moved on. My right eyebrow crept upwards as I encountered the Dwarven Vaultguard and Dwarven Craftspriest. Then I read about the Elven Spellsword, and Elven Nightblade, at which point I had to stop and send out a search party for my eyebrow, since it had not stopped rising and was now lost somewhere above my hairline...
Classic stuff. Simply classic :)

BTW, as for the topic of the original thread - Dwimmermount gets done when it gets done. I didn't expect it to take this long, but at the same time I think I can count on one hand the number of RPG Kickstarters that actually released on time, let alone within months of it's target date. My enthusiasm for the project is waning, but I suspect that won't be an issue when I finally have it in hand ;)


  1. I too kickstarted Dwimmermount and am quite content to patiently wait for it to be completed. Is it taking longer than I would've liked? Yes. But I have faith that this one will be delivered. His timeline updates that he is providing give me confidence.

    Once it does arrive, I have no clue if I will ever run the thing. My group has usually not played in dungeon delves. On the other hand, having that adventure available could be a very interesting experience.

  2. Definately classic stuff. Sixty pages of banter? But I fail to get what your take on the discussion is, particularly Stuarts comments?

  3. My take on the discussion (which i refused to read all 60 and growing pages) is that RPG Kickstarter projets are far more often late than completed on time, and that the largest complainer in the thread isn't even a supporter of the project.

    I've got a kickstarter post brewing in my head - I'll see when it actually comes to fruition if it's worth posting.

    As for Stuart's comments - some of them are right on, some are a big miss, but as a fan of ACKS I thought they were hilarious.

    The big selling point of ACKS for many folks is the end game - and I'm not sure I'd run it that way if / when my players get to that level.

    I'm surprised he didn't rant on the "Rolls" vs "Throws", which i consider needlessly confusing to Grognards like me ;)

    Tavis might disagree :)

  4. Isn't that P&P's stock response (ie, haughty derision) to anything that isn't OSRIC?

    Anyway, that was a funny thread overall. I don't miss forum mudslinging in the least, but it's illuminating to revisit that side of the tracks.

    I'd chide folks for not taking gaming products so seriously as to get into a 60 page bitchfest, but when you've put down some money, you've got a right to question and complain.

  5. Wow - i'm no expert on medival exconomic matters, what 1. ACKS is a game 2. you don't need the use those rules and 3. reading the rules and reading some behind infos (especially Alex's comments and answers to questions) the system seems to be sound.

    So, if mr. Marshal could do it better, he should do so...

  6. Hey Beastman, he did. See OSRIC and many posts on Knights & Knaves for follow-up.

  7. I find the Dwimmermount delay baffling more than anything else. It seems to be almost done - like 6 of the 9 levels are available in draft form.

    Yet the PDF version is supposed to now be out in the Fall of 2013, or a year and a quarter after the first given date of Summer 2012.

    Seems like it shouldn't take over a year to write 3 more dungeon levels.

    But anyway, considering you can access the draft if you are a backer, it's hard to feel cheated, since even 6 levels is a lot of dungeon.

  8. Mmmm. I can't seem to find any rules in OSRIC covering the things he so harshly critized...where are his dominion building or his trade management rules? Don't get me wrong, OSRIC is a great product, but it certainly aims for another audience.

  9. I have no problem waiting for DM and strongly agree with Stuart. I would never run that other system.


  10. Jeez... I've read about 27 pages of that thread so far. Just had to sign up to the forum and see what else happens in all this drama, and I wanted to put the scissors guy on ignore. He got more that a little longwinded with some of his posts and I found the quoted sections in other posters replies a good summation of his points. There are one hell of a lot of axes to grind over on that site.

    Thanks Tenkar, that was very entertaining.

  11. I read the first 2 pages, then skipped ahead to what was current at the time - 55 I think.

    I was definitely entertained by the strong personalities so quick to piss on each other.

    Stuart's post was hilarious - not 100% accurate, but he hit some valid points and had me choking on my breakfast - not an easy thing ;)

    Jason, you are very welcome :)

  12. Haha, a very entertaining rant, thanks for the link! :)


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