Crowdfunding: Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint
Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint (ACKS II) is coming to Kickstarter on October 24th. It will consist of three books: Revised Rulebook, Judges Journal, and Monstrous Manual.
ACKS II Revised Rulebook will be everything BECMI and Rules Cyclopedia wanted to be.
ACKS II Judges Journal will be the contemporary OSR Dungeon Master's Guide.
ACKS II Monstrous Manual will set the standard for OSR bestiaries.
Here are five reasons why I will back ACKS II on day one:
- If you ever read early issues of Dragon Magazine, you have surely spotted various letter and articles proposing various tactics to cheese the game and one-up the Dungeon Master. A lot of Gary's rule modifications were his responses to players attempting to break the game. That's how we went from original Dungeons & Dragons booklets to the legendary Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. We wouldn't have had the game we had, hadn't it been for all the players that tried to break the game. ACKS II went through more than a decade of brutal play-testing. It survived players trying to break dungeons, economies, kingdoms, and planets.
- Basic D&D was about dungeon delving, Expert D&D was about wilderness exploration, Companion and Master D&D were about domains, warfare, and rulership. BX/BE procedures held up extremely well, as attested by a deluge of retroclones built on them. I attribute that to all the play-testing these rules were subject to. Domain and war machine rules, on the other hand, were mostly penned by a single man (probably a small team to be honest), and briefly tested. D&D was never known for tight economy. Some try to fix it by introducing the silver standard, i.e. switching all costs from gold piece to silver piece. ACKS II is built ground up to have tightly integrated economy which works. It is based on thorough research of historical data, followed by careful modelling and simulation, followed by playtesting above. “Oh no, is this a spreadsheet simulator?” Only if you want it to! ACKS II summarises everything in gameable tables. You know the numbers work—you can roll and play, being confident in the results given.
- Common complaint (lament?) in OSR circles is that player characters rarely go over 10th level, hence a lot of cool higher-level BECMI stuff doesn't get played. ACKS II fixed the problem by building everything from level 1 to 14. There is domain stuff you can play with from level 1; there are warfare rules covering small gangs as well as whole armies; there is something to challenge character of every level and every class.
- It evolves and builds on decades of gaming experience. Innovations it brings are firmly in the spirit of TSR's D&D, while fixing many, many small issues. Linear fighters, quadratic wizards? Fixed. Monsters of myth and legend that have very little to do with actual monsters of myth and legend? Fixed. Thieves that suck? Fixed. The list goes on (really, campaign description has 40+ bullet points). And the best part? Everything is presented and explained in such a way a Judge can simply lift part of ACKS II they like and use it.
- Because Gary Gygax would've been proud.
I'm very much looking forward to Adventurer Conqueror King System Imperial Imprint.
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