Last night was the second session of my new Adventurer Conqueror King System campaign. Session 2 also meant our first death but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
The first night primarily involved character creation with 3 players. Using one of the optional rules in the book, I had each of them roll up multiple characters and choose one of them to play. The others end up as back up characters and for use as NPCs.
The party… Knut (“Nut”), a thief with 2 hit points (there was some culture shock), Aella – a Bladedancer (a type of war-cleric who fights with two weapons), and a Dwarven Vaultguard named Mithras. I think the names embraced the style we were going for. Also, excitingly, the Vaultguard rolled both a 16 strength and a 17 intelligence and chose to play a dwarf instead of diving in with an Elven Spellblade.
So we have no arcane caster. It is what it is.
The first night we went through a very short, very typical dungeon crawl and it was strangely refreshing for me. I really enjoyed going back to a very simplified and straightforward accounting of time (the 10 minute turn). This actually made me feel a lot better about how I narrated time in the dungeon and really gave some context and some pressure to the idea of “you only have so many torches/flasks of oil.” So far, I find that I’m really enjoying these bookkeeping elements, including encumbrance, particularly because ACKS makes them much easier to follow on the fly.
After returning to civilization, the party wanted to do some buying and selling and they realized that the very little town they are in (a class six market) is just not going to cut it. The market system is a great innovation in the game and really streamlines a lot of the difficulties involved in “can I buy X here?” and really helps to push the characters toward civilization. I think there is room to manipulate the market system here with some subsystems so that it is not always tied to population size but I’m a big fan.
For their second adventure I’m running a modified version of a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure – and it’s a blast. I won’t say too much here – since they are playing through it still and my players all see this blog but I do want to say a big thank you to Knut for not only being our first casualty but also giving us the first chance to roll on the Mortal Wounds table. Let’s just say that it is going to be a game-changer when the bladedancer hits 2nd level and gets actual healing magic.
More to come on the ACKS experiment but I’ll say two things right now, I’d kill to get a copy of the Core Book as a hardcover (around $135 to get one on Amazon marketplace) and (not ACKS but…) Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures are every bit as cool to run as they were to read. I’m really digging this.
Thank you to the entire OSR for making Old School cool again. I’m having a blast.