Some Reflections on ACKS

So I’ve been running Adventurer Conqueror King System for a few weeks now and spending all my game time reading and familiarizing myself with the system. And you know, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of this game. It’s a great old school game but also very well written and full of clever extra stuff.

I’ve discovered a few things though as I’ve really been working on my game that surprised or confused me. Here are a few of my discoveries as I’ve worked my way into ACKS.

1. Elves and Dwarves don’t have infravision. It was funny, I took the idea of dwarves and elves having infravision so for granted that my brain completely just filled it in and glossed over the fact that it wasn’t written anywhere. Now, I’m actually really happy with them not having infravision. I just filled that in on my own and one of my players had to point it out to me. So – some closer reading was in order…

2. Sticking with Elves… One of the more interesting additions to the game with the Player’s Companion is the class creation system. But as I began to tinker with this I realized that one of the quirks of this system is that there is no explanation about the whole “elves can cast spells while wearing armor.” At this point, I can’t really tell how that is handled or where it originates in the game system. This may seem like a small point – but it really is a big deal when it comes to customizing classes. It’s also no help to compare the created classes because the language is not carried through all of the elven classes. This is one I’d like a clear answer to (because there are also other examples – such as Zaharans).

3. The domain and kingdom rules are also really difficult. As much as I love the rules built to handle markets and the clarity they bring to certain things – the actual work to build a domain during campaign planning was awful – and not terribly clear. Some of the language is confusing to the point that I just chucked parts of the rules and just faked it – something I was striving not to do and which worries me when my players start to reach the stage where they begin to consider domains. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that since the domain rules shape everything else in terms of the game’s economy it is very difficult to separate these pieces and see them in isolation. I haven’t given up yet on planning and that I might have a breakthrough that makes it all come together but… it doesn’t really seem likely.

Again, I have a few difficulties and confusions but I still love this game and I’m really enjoying running it for my players.

Thanks for reading.

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2 responses

  1. The domain rules are pretty much *the* selling point of that system. The whole point was to get away from the insane improvisation that forced upon that side of the game due to the complete lack of rules, guidelines, and clarity in the Old Edition material.

  2. Those domain rules look really interesting, but I’d rather have an app for it. I started writing a review of it but had to stop when I got near that section and found it was not an easy read.

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