Friday, February 10, 2012

ACKS B/XC Or How I commit heresy with Adventurer Conqueror King

I just picked up Adventurer Conqueror King last night and sat down to read it just a bit ago.

I like it.  It is a solid Retro-clone, near-clone and actually does a better job than some of the other "core rules" clones on the market now.  I will get a proper review out later.

One of the things that people are drawing attention to is the fact that this is an "End Game" system.  Characters grow, mature and then move out of the dungeon into rulerships of their own.  It is not unique in that respect, it is in fact often compared to Mentzer BECMI but the comparison can also be made of it and D&D4.  All three have end games and all three have rules for how those end games can play out.

ACKS though caps most progress at 14th level.

This of course got me thinking.  At a hard stop of 14th makes B/X Companion a perfect "expansion" kit!  Yeah, yeah I know, I am totally violating the spirit and intent of the game.  Won't be the first time or the last time.

I did some quick checks and while things don't line up perfectly, they are damn close. Obviously pulling from the same source material.

Both rulesets deal with the idea of creating a life outside of the dungeon, the oft-sited "now you can play like Conan!"  Well Conan can retire, I have characters and a multi-plane universe to explore!

Others though have mentioned that it meshes nicely with Labyrinth Lord.  I have not checked that out for myself yet.

Is ACKS worth it at $10?  I don't know yet.  It is nice. The art is great. AND this might be the most important one, of all the clones out right now (S&W, LL, BFRPG, DD, LotFP, S&S) this is the only one I feel is good for a new player; one that has never played an RPG before.  The rest assume some level of knowledge.  No surprise, they were written by gamers for gamers.  ACKS I feel was written by gamers for non-gamers or even near-gamers.  Gamers too, but I think we have demonstrated that we will buy anything.

So who is up for an ACKS + B/X Companion campaign?


Rhonin84 said...

I have been thinking of this one for a bit, a friend of mine picked it up and said good things about it. I will need to see if I can get a chance to get it here down the road!

Tenkar said...

I was a kickstarter supporter and have actually played in a game that Tavis DM'ed last week (not ACKS tho).

It seems to be a really solid system. I'm excited about it, and I've been reviewing it (and need to catch up this weekend with the next part... i need time damn it!) on my blog.

and yes, there is another kickstarter for it with new classes and new spells.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I think you would like it a lot to be honest.

Timothy S. Brannan said...


Any idea if there will be a witch-like class?

Tavis said...

The Player's Companion has a bunch of new classes including the Shaman that might be a good fit for a witch. Since it's being Kickstarted, backer input might add the Witch to the list of classes (which was planned based on feedback from previous ACKS backers at the Autarch forums) or take another class in a witchy direction. Also the Companion will definitely have guidelines for making your own classes using the existing ones as examples.

Rhonin84 said...

Grabbed my B/X Companion today and started to think about that very idea!

Brutorz Bill said...

I recently picked up the BX/Companion as well mostly based on your post here! LOL

Anonymous said...

I've found ACKS to be exactly the level of awesome I needed to get me back into Old School gaming. I've flirted with the idea for nearly a year and a half, but the fact that none of the clones did enough to clean up my gripes kept me from it. ACKS is just great though. And with the Player's Companion's ability to make your own races and classes, I find it's infinitely customizable for individual campaigns. I'm probably going to work out something for 'Epic Level' ACKS past 14th level though because, well, as you say, I have planes to conquer!

Oh, and in case you hadn't found out yet, yes, there is a Witch class which encompasses 3 or 4 different archetypes.

Anonymous said...

Ok, not sure if blogspot just ate my comment or not. Gist is:
ACKS=AWESOME WIN. I might commit the heresy of taking it beyond 14th level, but otherwise, I think it's fantastic and it is just cleaned up enough to bring me back to the Old School.