ACKS House Rules

Contents


Character Generation

A single player may have up to three characters, but can play only one per session.

If you need a new character at the start of a session:

  • Roll 5 sets of abilities, in order. Sets where all scores are below 9 are rerolled. Pick one set to use now, keep two for later, and hand the rest to the Judge. (If you already did this and have unused sets left, use one of them instead of rolling more, natch.)
  • Choose class. All classes from the core book are in use.
  • Roll hit points — no rerolls.
  • Determine template by rolling 3d6 and using the Player’s Companion tables: this determines your proficiencies, equipment, and spells.
  • If you have high INT pick bonus general proficiencies and roll for possible bonus spells.
  • Name your character, and you’re good to go.

The point is the make start-of-session chargen fast.

If you want to pick your proficiencies and spend time shopping equipment at your leisure, you need to make your character at the end of a session or arrange a separate time with the Judge. If you want to play a class from the Companion, ask.


Escaping the Dungeon

Inspired by Jeff Rients’ and the Alexandrian’s rules for the same thing.

If characters are still in the dungeon at the end of the session, unless everyone present can schedule a new game within 7 days, these rules are used to determine if the characters can get out of the dungeon. These rules can and will be applied to non-dungeon settings as well when it seems appropriate.

Each character gets a separate Escape Throw on a d20. Those characters that are in a group can hinder or help each other via Heroic Sacrifice if they choose to. If the throw succeeds, the character escapes the dungeon relatively unscathed.

Every point the throw fails by represents d6 damage to the character. Characters reduced to 0hp or below get a Mortal Wounds roll if there are enough surviving comrades willing to carry them out – others are lost in the dungeon, exact fate left to the Judge’s whim.

Escape Throw

Characters are lost in the dungeon 15+
Characters knows where they are 10+

Modifiers

Opposition on the way out is below character’s level +5
Opposition on the way out is above character’s level -5

Heroic Sacrifice

Taking a -3 penalty on your own throw allows you to gives a +2 bonus to another character. Vice versa, giving another character a -3 penalty gains you a +2 bonus.

You can choose to give one bonus by taking a penalty, and gain one bonus by giving a penalty. Taking a penalty represents selfless sacrifice and giving one represents sacrificing others for your own gain.


Gullible Henchmen

Those ability scores you rolled and handed to the Judge? They’re earmarked for your first two henchmen, for whom hiring rolls are waived, and who don’t demand gold up front as long as you feed them. Old drinking buddies, relatives, or something. Loyalty and morale rules apply as normal, though.

Henchies after those first two need hiring rolls, and if it’s know that those two have gone mysteriously missing while with you… well, don’t wonder if there are penalties to the hiring roll.

If you go through three characters, you get another two brave gullible drinking buddies to go.


Leveling Up

Hit Points

You have to options when leveling up.

You can increase your HP by rolling your hit die once and add your CON modifier, as per RAW. (If you’re on sufficiently high level you just get the fixed increment, but that’s not relevant to our game right now.)

Alternatively, you can roll your all your hit dice (one per level, that is), adding your CON modifier to each (each die is still counted as at least 1hp as usual), and use the new score if it is better than the old one. If it’s worse… your hit points did not increase this time around.

(The point is to make it easier to recover from rolling 1hp for multiple consecutive levels. I’ve been there, and it feel stupid.)


Mortal Wounds

This is a provisional replacement of the the Mortal Wounds rule in ACKS.

Zero Hit Points or Less

The player (or Judge for NPCs and monsters) rolls d20+d6 with the following modifiers:

Hit Points: Zero hit points gives a +5 bonus. Any negative hit points apply as a direct penalty, any non-lethal damage applies as a bonus. (If someone is at zero or below hit points, any further damage they suffer will be considered lethal, no matter the source.)

Constitution: CON modifier applies directly.

Refer to standard Mortal Wounds table, using the sum of both dice and the above modifiers, re-using the d6 to determine the additional effect as per RAW. Results saying “You recover with…” mean the character will recover on their own in d12 turns, or when treated.

NPCs and Monsters

The Judge may elide the roll in favor of gory kills, but should make it if the NPC or monster is to possibly survive.

Recovery Period

During the indicated recovery period the character moves at half speed. Any actions they take are at -4, and a roll of 1 indicates they have hurt themselves: roll for 1d6 points of damage every time this occurs, which also necessitates another roll on the Mortal Wounds table.


Rule of the D30

This is an experimental house rule, taken from the Order of the D30. Here’s the deal:

Once per game session, a player may choose to roll a d30 instead of any normal die, except during character creation or when rolling hit points.


Shooting Into Melee

Unless the shooter has Precise Shooting proficiency, aiming across melee, or at someone engaged in melee may hit any of the participants along the line of fire.

Roll to a cumulative -4 to hit for each participant, starting from the one closest to the shooter. Same applies when shooting across a melee, unless elevation provides a clear line of sight.

Eg. when trying to shoot at the orc fighting with your friend while standing some way behind your friend, first roll at -4 to hit your friend, then at -8 to hit the orc. If standing behind the orc, first roll at -4 to hit it, and on miss at -8 to hit your friend.

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