ACKS v26 Rules Update

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Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10
ACKS v26 Rules Update

Hello, backers and patrons!
Later tonight we'll be uploading v26.
The biggest change you'll note from v23 is that we have spun all of the equipment-related rules into one new chapter, called "Equipment", and consolidated the remaining adventuring rules into the encounters and combat rules, creating a new chapter called "Adventurers".
Other updates:
1) Lamia and lammasu now appear in the monster chapter
2) Giant ferrets, rats, shrews, and weasels have been consolidated into one entry for "rodent, giant" in the monster chapter
3) Bat swarms and rat swarms have been added to complement insect swarms in the monster chapter.
4) Oil of etherealness has been replaced by oil of sharpness. We don't provide any rules for the outer planes, so the oil of etherealness was out of place.
5) Wish blades have been replaced with vorpal blades. We already have an entry for luck blades, so wish blades were redundant.
6) Costs of lodging and houses have been included.

blizack
Joined: 2011-07-16 15:35

B-b-but ferrets and weasels are mustelids!

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

B-b-but ferrets and weasels are mustelids!
APM: Oh, oh, god.

blizack
Joined: 2011-07-16 15:35

Not to mention that ferrets are domesticated animals (specifically, domesticated polecats), which makes them an odd choice for a "giant" version of an animal. Might as well have giant chickens or giant basset hounds.
I should stop, right?

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

Put an entry in for badgers (approx as tough as 1.5 dogs), it's the only mustelid you ever need ;-)
Well, unless you want a giant badger..

sean wills
Joined: 2011-07-07 19:39

You know how great songs sound even better when you hear them in the right sequence.
I like how the way v26's ordered makes hirelings seem more integral, not just an afterthought, and the way that combat is just a part of adventuring, not the sole focus like it is in most rulebooks where the combat chapter is straight after chargen. This really drives the point home about the breadth of possibilities ACKS offers.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

OK, so joking aside, does putting ferret and weasel under Rodent, Giant really upset you guys? It makes the monster section much cleaner. What about "Varmint, Giant?" instead of "Rodent, Giant"? Ferrets are varmints, aren't they?!
James: I had Raccoon Dogs in my OA campaign for many sessions before I realized they were actually Badgers.
Sean: Thanks for the kind words! I have to admit that you guys were right and I was wrong. The rules are much better organized now. Kudos to all the backers who insisted I create an Equipment section.

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

I read through (sorta) v26 once I spotted it was out (and after I'd put up my other epic proofreading posts) and like Sean I am stonkingly impressed with how much better it flows now. I'm also inordinately pleased that some (lots) of my suggestions have made it into the rules, for which I am very grateful on a 'I've helped make this great' sort of level. Hopefully everyone else will think it's great too!

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

There's no question the structure of the rules has been improved. As a designer, the "patron model" has been awesomely beneficial - I've never had the benefit of so many dedicated readers and reviewers during the writing process before.
And James, thank you for your egregiously detailed reviews of the text. That sort of thing is wildly helpful.

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

*chuckle* You realise that egregious has a generally negative meaning these days right? I can stop if you want ;-)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Bahahah, at least you didn't criticize me for my lack of mustelidology.

blizack
Joined: 2011-07-16 15:35

You could go with "Vermin, Giant" for the heading, but the 3e people might think giant bugs should be in that category too. I was just ribbing you about the mustelids, but to be honest, if I was looking for weasel or ferret stats and didn't already know where to find them, I would never think to look under "Rodent" because, well, they're not.
I'm weird, though. Maybe most people really do associate them with rodents.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Huh. I'd really like to consolidate them to save space. :-\
Giant Critters?
Giant Varmints?
Also, what do you think about combining Nixie (or Nyad) and Dryad into "Nymph" with two sub-categories, and Sprite and Pixie into "Faerie" with two sub-categories.

sean wills
Joined: 2011-07-07 19:39

I think combining into 'Nymph' and 'Faerie' is a good idea, both in terms of presentation and an implied kinship. Nyad/Naiad works better than Nixie in this case.
Giant Varmints - sounds more like a mix of rodents/mustewotsits than the broader Vermin, and a little less Okefenokee-moonshiner-in-a-shack-a-cussin' than Critters.

hermand
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2011-07-28 21:02

Can I suggest moving the rules on languages spoken out of the flow of the explanation of the Character Abilities (Intelligence) on page 12 (the block from "All character begin the game ..." to "...and necromancers)."). While the Intelligence ability has an effect on languages, right now it breaks the flow of the explanation.
I think they would fit better in the chapter on Proficiencies (somewhere near the start), that location fits in nicely with the Language Proficiency as well.
Alternately, you could move them to either just above or below the section on Hit Points on page 13.

Longshanks
Lairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-09-15 12:31

I endorse \the Varmints, Giant; Faeries; and Nymphs organization. This will make my life easier.
On an editing note (not strictly v26): there is no Initiative space listed on the ACKS character sheet.

Duskreign
Joined: 2011-08-10 17:22

Wow, does V26 read so much better! Great job Alex!
I see the sap has finally made it into the rules - however I find the sap rule kind of odd. Sap grants a +2 bonus to incapacitating someone. However, the standard rule of thumb is that using a lethal weapon to capacitate gives a -4 penalty to the attack throw. Would it not be better to state that the sap only suffers a -2 penalty instead of -4 to incapacitate, or that it suffers no penalty and actually gives a +2 bonus to the attack throw. They way it currently reads, it comes across as a little ambiguous in its intent.
Also, there is still one more thing I *believe* to be in the wrong place. The weapon range chart on page 101. I think it is more important for this to exist alongside the weapons in the new equipment chapter. Reason being, when choosing a ranged weapon, one of the determining factors is its range. In addition, it is not intuitive to look at "how to make a ranged attack" to find the range penalties for your weapon. I can't stress my recommendation for changing this enough.
Does anyone else feel the same? ;)
Never the less, kudos to you!
Edit: One last question - oil flask rules. It states you can pour oil into a square and torch it later. Is it meant to be poured into an empty square or can you pour it into an enemies square to have it lit later? One of my dastardly players hit upon the idea that you could pour oil into a spellcasters square and this forces the spellcaster to move instead of cast spells otherwise take fire damage for two rounds. I allowed it, but would like some clarification. Thanks.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

see the sap has finally made it into the rules - however I find the sap rule kind of odd. Sap grants a +2 bonus to incapacitating someone. However, the standard rule of thumb is that using a lethal weapon to capacitate gives a -4 penalty to the attack throw. Would it not be better to state that the sap only suffers a -2 penalty instead of -4 to incapacitate, or that it suffers no penalty and actually gives a +2 bonus to the attack throw. They way it currently reads, it comes across as a little ambiguous in its intent.
APM: I think its important to phrase it as a bonus because that's the only way to have it cleanly stack with the Incapacitate Combat Trickery proficiency.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Edit: One last question - oil flask rules. It states you can pour oil into a square and torch it later. Is it meant to be poured into an empty square or can you pour it into an enemies square to have it lit later? One of my dastardly players hit upon the idea that you could pour oil into a spellcasters square and this forces the spellcaster to move instead of cast spells otherwise take fire damage for two rounds. I allowed it, but would like some clarification. Thanks.
APM: You can pour it first and light it later!

Duskreign
Joined: 2011-08-10 17:22

Duskreign's Minion here.
I am the dastardly player! Eat it Duskreign's stupidly high level cleric/plot device that flamestriked me and then kicked our asses! Ha! :)

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

I'm going to start a new v26 copy-editing thread later on, and transfer over all my outstanding issues from the v23 thread that either haven't been changed already, or haven't had an answer from Alex.
I've not gone through v26 looking for *new* stuff yet, just compared it against my notes from v23.

Undercrypt
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion ContributorDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-21 00:40

Also, what do you think about combining Nixie (or Nyad) and Dryad into "Nymph" with two sub-categories, and Sprite and Pixie into "Faerie" with two sub-categories.
Combining naiads, dryads, nymphs, etc., into an all-encompassing "nymph" category is both handy and historically fitting.
"Faerie" can cover everything from sprites and pixies to the Host of the Sidhe and Titania. It would be appropriate, but it might also imply a lot more. You could also call the little flyer-types all "sprites" to refer to pixies, sprites, and the traditional fairy.