Category Archives: rules

De-Elfed Spellsword and Nightblade

nonelfspellswordnightblade

Here are the ACKS elven spellsword and elven nightblade classes… minus the elf! In other words, human fighter/mage and human thief/mage. I don’t like the idea of having to wait to cast spells, so I further reduced their weapon choices to bow/crossbow and sword/dagger and gave them a spell-like ability at 1st level to make up for it. If you’d rather have them more exactly de-elfed then just ignore that switch and keep the weapons at any one-handed melee or missile (like a thief).

Simplified Weapon Mastery

Here’s a simplified weapon mastery system usable in Microlite20 or OSR games. I use abstract “zone-based” combat rather than precise ranges so you can substitute your normal ranges/reach for the weapons instead of zones for your own use. I also use group initiative so the “delay” ability (target automatically loses initiative next round) doesn’t have much use for me, and it doesn’t appear here.

 

Weapons

All weapons deal 1d6 damage. An unarmed strike deals 1d3 nonlethal damage unless you have proficiency 2 or greater, in which case it deals 1d6 lethal damage.

Wielding a melee weapon and shield grants a +1 bonus to AC.

Wielding two melee weapons grants a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Wielding a single melee weapon in both hands grants a +1 bonus to damage rolls.

Keeping your off hand empty and wielding a melee weapon grants a +1 bonus to saving throws.

Weapons designated as “light” cannot be wielded in both hands. Weapons designated as “heavy” must be wielded in both hands.

A shield can be used to attack, but using it in this way does not count as wielding two weapons (i.e. you do not get the benefit of both weapon and shield and dual wielding at the same time). You get the +1 bonus to AC from a shield regardless of whether you are proficient in it as a weapon.

An unarmed strike can count as a second weapon for the purposes of wielding two weapons only if you have level 2 proficiency or higher. So, a totally unarmed fighter with proficiency 2 in unarmed strikes can choose to get either a +1 to saves or a +1 to attacks each round.

 

Proficiency

Characters get a free level 1 proficiency in all weapons on their class list, plus an additional 4 (if a fighter), 2 (if a cleric or thief), or none if a mage. Characters gain an additional proficiency at each odd-numbered level.

Regardless, a character may only have a level of proficiency in a weapon equal to his or her level +1 (so first level characters can have proficiency 2, etc.). The maximum proficiency is 5, and the minimum is 0. A character with 0 proficiency in a weapon is not proficient in it and receives a -1 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and maneuver attempts with the weapon.

Each weapon has two special abilities listed. The first is gained at proficiency 2, and the second at proficiency 4. Special abilities which provide a passive bonus (such as +1 to AC) provide the bonus as long as the weapon is wielded; abilities which cause a special effect (such as stunning, or ignoring shield bonus to AC) initiate the effect upon every successful attack with the weapon.  The exception is that strangling replaces entangling rather than both occurring. “Hurling” a weapon is an attack action rather than a special ability.

When wielding two weapons, the weapon in the main hand is the one which grants its special ability upon a hit, but passive abilities are granted by both weapons.

“Improvised weapons” are any non-weapon objects in the environment the player can convincingly describe using as a weapon in the combat.

 

Battleaxe

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Hurl (throw weapon 1 zone, +2 bonus to hit if first time hurled this combat)

 

Bolas – throw 1 zone

1. Entangle (target must save or is unable to take actions other than save to escape)

2. Strangle (target must save or is paralyzed and automatically takes damage each round)

 

Bow – projectile 4 zones

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Club

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Hurl (throw weapon 1 zone, +2 bonus to hit if first time hurled this combat)

 

Crossbow – projectile 4 zones

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Dagger – melee or throw 1 zone, light

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Throw range is doubled

 

Darts – throw 1 zone

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Flail

1. Ignore non-magical shield AC bonus

2. Ignore deflection ability of opponent your level or lower

 

Hammer

1. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

2. Hurl (throw weapon 1 zone, +2 bonus to hit if first time hurled this combat)

 

Improvised Weapons

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Hurl (throw weapon 1 zone, +2 bonus to hit if first time hurled this combat)

 

Javelin – throw 1 zone

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Lance

1. Deal 2d6 damage on charge attack

2.Deal 4d6 damage on charge attack

 

Mace

1. Knockdown (target must save or be knocked prone)

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

Morningstar – heavy

1. Knockdown (target must save or be knocked prone)

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

Net – no damage, throw 1 zone

1. Entangle (target must save or become unable to take actions other than save to escape)

2. Range is doubled

 

Polearm – heavy, reach (attack anyone in same zone without being melee engaged)

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

Sap – nonlethal damage

1. Knockout (target must save or fall unconscious for 1d10 minutes)

2. Wielder deals +2 damage

 

Shield

1. Knockdown (target must save or fall prone)

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

Sling – projectile 4 zones

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Spear – melee or throw 1 zone

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Skewer (target saves or automatically takes damage each round & immobile until removed if you choose to hold onto the weapon; removal deals automatic 2d6 damage)

 

Staff

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

 

Sword

1. Wielder gains +1 AC

2. Deflect (once per round, wielder can save to ignore one attack after being hit)

 

Throwing Axe – melee or throw 1 zone

1. Range is doubled

2. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

 

Unarmed Strike

1. Stun (target must save or can only move next round)

2. Knockout (target must save or fall unconscious for 1d10 minutes)

 

Whip – reach (can attack anyone in same zone without being melee engaged)

1. Entangle (target must save or become unable to take actions other than save to escape)

2. Strangle (target must save or is paralyzed and automatically takes damage each round)

 

Benefit
0 -1 penalty on attacks, damage, and maneuvers.
1 No penalty.
2 1st special ability.
3 +1 attack & damage
4 2nd special ability.
5 .+2 attack & damage