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).

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Another Way to Think About an ACKS Gish

There have been a lot of builds for a non-Elf and non-Zaharan ACKS spellsword class. Here’s my thought – NO points in Arcane! Rather than try to awkwardly balance the two, or end up putting more points in spellcasting than fighting, I figure’d I’d try to make a class that was really good at fighting with a couple magic tricks up its sleeve for when it really needed them. Interestingly at 1st level this dude can cast way more magic missiles than a magic user can, but doesn’t benefit from an expanded repertoire due to high Int and never gets a sanctum, magic item use, etc. so his endgame is basically as a fighter with a couple spells per day.

I figure a spellsword should have one hand free, or be able to without dropping anything, so no dual wielding or shields for this guy. If you don’t like my spell selections swap ’em out for ones of equal level. 

THE ELDRITCH KNIGHT (or whatever)

Fighting 2 1000xp Thief 1 200xp HD 1 500xp
3 thief skills; 2 trades (unrestricted to broad armor, weapon and shield style) 300xp
2 initial skills –> skills at 3, 5, and 7

 

Prime Req: Str and Int
HD: d6
Equipment: Any weapons; chain armor or lighter.
Fighting Styles: Two handed wield.
Cleave: 1/level.
Stronghold/Magic Items: As fighter.
XP: As fighter.
Saves: As fighter.

1st level: Fighter damage bonus, magic missile and sharpness 1/hour, battle magic prof.
3rd level: Ogre power 1/ 8 hours
5th level: Fireball 1/day
7th level: Protection from normal missiles 1/day
9th level: Stronghold

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

List of Essential Resources

Here’s a list of incredibly valuable hexcrawling, randomizing, and sandbox resources for any old school referee. Online resources are linked, otherwise they’re books.

PRINT

1. WFRP 2nd Edition – DM’s Toolkit
2. AD&D – Book of Lairs and Book of Lairs II
3. New Big Dragon Games – d30 DM Companion and d30 Sandbox Companion
4. AEG – Toolbox and Ultimate Toolbox
5. Frog God Games – Tome of Horrors Complete (Swords and Wizardry Edition)
6. Frog God Games – Tome of Adventure Design
7. Sine Nomine – Red Tide Campaign Setting and Sandbox Resource
8. Sword & Sorcery – Beyond Countless Doorways: A Planar Sourcebook
9. Goodman Games – The Dungeon Alphabet

ONLINE

1. One Page Dungeon Contests
2. Courtney Campbell’s “Tricks” and “Treasure” ebooks
3. Harnmaster – 101 Encounters
4. Kellri – CDD#4: Encounters Reference
5. Bat In the Attic –  How to Make A Fantasy Sandbox
6. Welshpiper – Hex-Based Campaign Design
7. Red Blob Games – Polygonal Map Design

RANDOM GENERATORS

1. http://www.chaoticshiny.com
2. http://www.wizardawn.com/rpg
3. http://donjon.bin.sh

Diopsid ACKS Stats

Diopsid

Diopsid were a really cool race of bug-men that premiered in DRAGON magazine and were collected in Paizo’s Dragon Compendium. Their two main features are bioluminescence and having four arms, two of which are too small to wield weapons but can be used to counterbalance larger weapons, allowing them to dual-wield or sword and board with otherwise two-handed weapons.

 

ACKS Halflings

Halflings

There are a couple ACKS halfling builds floating around, but I wasn’t too into any of them, so I made my own. The Halfling Arbiter in this document is based on the one posted here on the Autarch forums.

I especially like to imagine Halfling Outriders skirmishing with Goblin Wolf-riders on the edges of small agrarian towns. That’s my favorite idea of halflings and what I wanted to exemplify in my version here.

Sample Tengu Characters

Here are some fully statted tengu characters using my ACKS tengu stats from a previous post.

 

Warrior-monk

Level 1 Tengu Nestkeeper

Str 10 (+0) Dex 14 (+1) Con 13 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 15 (+1) Cha 12 (+0)
HP: 7 AC: 3 Attack: 10+ Petrif.: 11+ Poison: 8+ Blast: 14+ Staff: 11+ Spell: 13+

Beak and Claws: claw/claw/bite unarmed attack routine. claws deal 1d2-1, beak 1d4-1.
Mimicry: Imitate animal calls and people 11+
Vestigial Wings: Treat all falls as 10’ shorter when calculating falling damage.
Linguistics: Speaks Common, Tengu, Goblin, Orc, Dwarf, Elf
Turn Undead: Skeleton 10+, zombie 13+, ghoul 16+, wight 19+
AC Bonus: +1 when in leather or lighter armor
Lay On Hands: Heal a touched creature of 2hp per level damage once per day.

Healing: Patients heal an extra 1d3hp/day
Prophecy: Prophetic dreams allow commune spell 1/week (ask 3 yes/no questions of deity)

Equipment: Leather armor, pair of swords (attack 9+, damage 1d6), cloak, headdress (20gp value), holy symbol, backpack, 2 week’s iron rations. Encumbrance: 2 stone.

 

Nest Stalker
Lvl. 1 Tengu Aerie Guardian
Str 15 (+1) Dex 14 (+1) Con 13 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 12 (+0)
HP: 9 AC: 3 Attack: 10+ Petrif.: 15+ Poison: 14+ Blast: 16+ Staff: 16+ Spell: 17+

Beak and Claws: claw/claw/bite unarmed attack routine. claws deal 1d2-1, beak 1d4-1.
Mimicry: Imitate animal calls and people 11+
Vestigial Wings: Treat all falls as 10’ shorter when calculating falling damage.
Linguistics: Speaks Common, Tengu, Goblin, Orc, Dwarf, Elf
Thief Skills: Move silently 17+, backstab +4/x2
Damage Bonus: +1 with all weapons
Sword Mastery: When wielding a sword, tengu aerie guardians deal double damage on an unmodified attack throw of 20.

Military Strategy: Recognize famous battles, generals, weapons on 11+; +1 init. in mass combat
Fighting Style: Additional +1 to attack when wielding two weapons.

Equipment: Sword and dagger (attack 7+, 1d6+2), black leather armor, tunic, cloak, boots, pouch, backpack, 2 week’s iron rations, 36gp. Encumbrance: 2 stone.

 

Songbird
Lvl. 1 Tengu Syrinx
Str 12 (+0) Dex 14 (+1) Con 13 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 15 (+1)
HP: 7 AC: 4 Attack: 10+ Petrif.: 13+ Poison: 13+ Blast: 16+ Staff: 14+ Spell: 15+

Beak and Claws: claw/claw/bite unarmed attack routine. claws deal 1d2-1, beak 1d4-1.
Mimicry: 
Imitate animal calls and people 11+
Vestigial Wings: 
Treat all falls as 10’ shorter when calculating falling damage.
Linguistics: 
Speaks Common, Tengu, Goblin, Orc, Dwarf, Elf
Loremastery:
18+ to identify runes, occult knowledge, etc.
Magical Music: Sing to charm people or sleep animals; duration length of singing, or as spell if song lasts 1 turn
Read Languages: Decipher written languages and codes on 5+
Avoid Getting Lost: +4 to navigation throws to avoid getting lost.
Bargaining: Items sell for 10% more, cost 10% less.

Performance (singing): Identify famous singers, composers, etc. on 11+; earn 10gp/week
Swashbuckling: +1 AC if in leather armor or less.

Equipment: Crossbow (attack 9+, 1d6), case with 20 bolts, sword (attack 10+, 1d8), dagger, leather armor, tunic and boots, backpack, 2 week’s iron rations, 22gp.

 

Hexcrawl Procedure

Here is the procedure I use for hexcrawl exploration. This procedure can word equally well with solo play as well as with actual games with other people. This system is collaged from several peoples’ procedures, including:

http://alexschroeder.ch/wiki/2012-06-20_Hexcrawl_Procedure http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/17320/roleplaying-games/hexcrawl-part-2-wilderness-travel http://arsphantasia.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/hexcrawl-procedures/
http://louisvillednd.com/archives/359
http://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/140154/wilderness-hexplore-revised

I use encounter charts collaged from the ACKS corebook and Kellri’s Old School Encounters Reference which contains encounter charts that include events like finding a town, natural disasters, etc. in addition to standard monster encounters.

WILDERNESS EXPLORATION There are 2 watches in the daytime and 4 watches night, 4 hours each. Forced march allows additional watch of daytime exploration but party takes 1d6 subdual damage.

0) If using a randomly determined map rather than a premade one, determine terrain by looking at the previous hex (“Primary”) and rolling a d20. The result determines the new terrain. This system is based on Welshpiper’s system of hex generation but adapted for more on the fly random use.

1-10 Primary (50%)
11-15 Secondary (25%)
16-18 Tertiary (15%)
19-20 Wildcard (10%)

Primary Secondary Tertiary Wildcard
Water Plains Forest Swamp/Desert/Hills
Swamp Plains Forest Water
Desert Hills Plains Water/Mountains
Plains Forest Hills Water/Swamp/Desert
Forest Plains Hills Water/Swamp/Mountains
Hills Mountains Plains Water/Desert
Mountains Hills Forest Desert

1) Determine weather. This is pathfinder’s random weather chart, from the SRD.

d% Weather
01-70 Normal
71-80 Heat wave/cold snap
81-90 Precipitation
91-99 Thunderstorm/snowstorm/sandstorm
100 Blizzard/hurricane/tornado

2) Determine activity: There are 3 basic moves the characters can make during a watch: travel normally, forage/hunt, or explore.

Traveling Normally – Move full speed (as determined by terrain, below).

Terrain Movement Multiplier
Desert, hills, wooded areas x2/3
Thick jungle, swamps, mountains x1/2
Road travel, clear wide trails x3/2

Forage/Hunt – Stay in the same hex, make a proficiency throw 14+ to gather enough food to feed 1d6 people. The proficiency throw increases to 18+ in a desert or similarly barren location.

Explore – Stay in the same hex, make 14+ proficiency throw to find a feature; roll d6 if succesful – 1=ruins, 2=lair, 3=dungeon, 4=settlement, 5=river/road/island, 6=temple/monastery

3) Determine navigation by rolling d20 if in a new hex and not following a road, river, or landmark. If the navigation throw fails, the party veers.

Terrain / Navigation
Plains /  4+
Mountains or Hills / 7+
Forest or Coast / 7+
Open Sea / 11+
Desert / 11+
Jungle or Swamp / 11+

4) Determine encounters/events by rolling d6. Do this for both watches in the daytime, but only once at night. If a night encounter is rolled, roll 1d4 to determine which watch it occurs during.

Terrain / Encounter Roll
City, Plains, or Settled / 6+
Aerial, Forest, Hills, Water / 5+
Desert, Jungle, Mountains, Swamp / 4+

If a monster encounter happens, use this Welshpiper chart to determine where its lair is, after rolling 1d6 for direction:

Monster is smaller than Small: 0-3 (1d4-1) hexes
Monster is Small, Medium, or Large: 0-7 (1d8-1) hexes
Monster is bigger than Large:  0-11 (1d12-1) hexes
Monster is especially territorial or an apex predator: +1 hex
Monster is a flyer or can travel great distances with ease: +2 hexes
Monster is solitary: -1 hex
Monster is unintelligent: -1 hex
Monster is subterranean: -2 hexes

5) Making camp: After the 2nd daytime watch, but before the nighttime encounter roll, use the Louisville D&D procedure to make camp.

Basically: Make a proficiency throw of 7+. If you have Survival as a proficiency, you get +4. If you succeed, everyone consumes a ration. If you fail, everyone suffers a penalty of some kind. If you succeed with 18+, everyone receives a benefit of some kind.

ACKS: Goblin and Tengu Custom Classes

TenguandGoblin

NOTE: These classes do NOT follow the rules for beastman classes posted on the Autarch forums. They DO follow the rules for custom  racial classes found on the forums, and rules for custom classes in general found in the Player’s Companion, though.

This file includes my homebrew flavor for Tengu and Goblin D&D player races, ACKS rules for Tengu and Goblin custom classes, and 6 classes (3 tengu and 3 goblin) using those rules.