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So, awhile ago I saw a blog post over on Bag of Holding suggesting that 5E and ACKS might be similar enough for a mashup. Since 5E's D&D mechanics look worth trying out, and ACKSonomics is always great, I convinced one of my friends that maybe his name game should be run in a hybrid. Does anyone have experience with *both* systems? We're wondering where the best points to draw the line of merging would be. I'm assuming probably all of 5E's combat and character creation, and then ACKS's Mortal Wounds and Tampering with Mortality welded on, and then just socially the world works according to ACKS. Not sure which one makes more sense to do treasure by. Nike Ambassador 11
koewn's picture
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Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

So, I've seen people wanting to lay ACKS on top of DCC, or 13th Age, or what-have-you. I <3 ACKs socioeconomics enough I always tell them to go for it.

The socioeconomics is tied to two major things:

1) Treasure as XP
2) 14 levels

where the 14th level character has accrued enough treasure (for XP) that he's expected to be able to have spent the necessary gold over time on strongholds, henchmen, mercenaries, and such to enable him or her to be an Emperor(ess).

Money is literally power.

The choices then could be either you

a) hand-wave all that, and just set up the world using ACKS' guidelines
2) insert as reward the same amount of treasure an equivalent ACKS character would get so that the spending power is the same
iii) redo 5E's XP to ACKS XP-as-treasure.

And then panic as appropriate as you near 14th level.

Alternatively, you could handwave the demographics a bit; and move on assuming 1=1 and 14=20, and you'd get a table like this:


so if ACKS says you need a 6th level character to run this joint, you know it's gonna be 8th or 9th level in 5E terms.

That's probably close enough for the half-life of most campaigns, honestly, though I don't know if the 5E DMG will have any demographic advice. It's also a whole lot easier than trying to recalc ACKS' demographics or squish 5E into 14 levels.

Personally, I'd go with #2, with the 14-to-20 conversion. Giving them an amount of treasure equivalent to what an ACKS character would get. You could make a quick table that equates 5E XP to ACKS XP, and then apply that multiplier to the treasure you hand out.

Probably base it on Fighter XP, that's a good mid-point, and an easy number.

It takes 300 XP to get to 5E L2, and 2000 to get to ACKS F2. For every point of XP in 5E, there should then be 6.6 GP handed out.

Levels 11 and 12 in 5E take 36K in 5E to get through, which equates to ACKS F8, which wants 65K to get through.

Hand out 1.8GP per XP at those levels.

I'd have to spreadsheet out this previous bit to see if it doesn't go crazy somewhere, though.

Aryxymaraki's picture
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I am pretty experienced in both.

The 5E DMG is extremely unlikely to have any demographic advice (it's out, but I won't have it for a week).

In addition to the options Koewn presented, you could also go with option 3; use the 5E XP tables, and redesign the treasure drops and demographics around them. Note that in 5E, levels 1 and 2 are considered 'apprentice' levels, and if you want to have real demographics, you will either need to change the XP requirements for those or accept that there will be a lot of 3rd level characters. (Using the 5E XP rewards for killing monsters, and the expected number of encounters per day, the difference between level 1 and 2 is literally a single day of adventuring.)

So ignoring levels 1 and 2, you have levels 4-20 to worry about. Level 4 requires 2,700 xp (1,800 xp from level 3). This tells us that a level 3 character will earn 1,800 gp on their way to level 4 (a total of 2,700 gp earned in their career). ACKS characters who have earned 2700 GP are level 2, which tells us that level 4 characters are as common in 5E worlds as level 2 characters are in ACKS worlds. (It sounds better when you remember the different level scales, and that 1st level characters in 5E do not yet have all of their primary class features yet).

You can continue like that; a 20th level character has earned 355k gp, which is equivalent to a 10th level fighter in ACKS. We wouldn't even need the full 14 levels of demographics for this option.

Of course, as I see now, this option does result in a lot of high-level characters hanging around, so it might not be a great idea. I still think it's valuable to note that 5E treats levels 1 and 2 as not being real levels; they caved to pressure during the playtest to add a real level 1 option (as opposed to 4E characters, who are tremendous badasses from character creation on), but they didn't really like it, so this was their solution.

koewn's picture
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That is a very compelling 3rd option; levels 11 through 14 from ACKS becoming either redundant or can be held in reserve for the inevitable Epic 5E splatbook.

The forum post I'd replied to about 13th Age I'd recommended close to the same - stopping at 10th level and reserving 11-14 for the Icons or NPCs with close ties to them.

Knowing ACKS basically draws off of BX, therefore knowing there's not necessarily an underlying logic to the XP numbers (AFAIK), I'd be curious how in this option capping earnings a bit lower translates into expenditures on domain improvements or warfare, though. The 20th level fighter would have ~500K less gold earned.

It's a lot easier than a crazed reference table though :)