0th level demihumans

Are there rules for 0th level “normal man” demihumans? I just wondering if, say, a 0th level elf henchman got the normal elven special abilities. Also, what class do they get at 100xp (can’t exactly go fighter, at least in the main book)? Is it just assumed that, by the time these long lived creatures get to adulthood, they have learned enough to get to 1st level (that throws off the demographics of heroism)? I’d assume normal demihuman mercenaries would have to be 0th level.

I’m sorry if this has already been addressed.

By the book, “inexperienced” dwarves and elves are 1 HD creatures (and thus never zero level). I think this is made more explicit in Domains at War.

So… no elf-y bonuses? Just a generic 1HD creature. If you get one as a henchman, how would they level?

No, I think he means you won’t find them at lower than L1, by the book.

If you wanted, you could have L0 dwarves that become Vaultguards and elves that become Rangers (or Nightblade, if you don’t have the PC) by default. And I would allow them the standard dwarven/elven abilities at L0. They would be pretty uncommon though.

In my game, each of the starting PCs had one henchman. The guy playing the elven spellsword wanted his to be a squire/apprentice that became a spellsword himself at L1, and I allowed it.

I kind of disagree with the “always at least 1HD” interpretation, on the basis of “adult noncombatants and young equal to 50% and 25% of the number of able-bodied adults respectively”. I figure noncombatants would probably get the 4 general profs and 1d4 HP of L0 man, plus racial traits as appropriate, and level into a fightery class at 100XP. Likewise, if we look at the domain rules, we get “Families will be of the same race as the adventurer, e.g. elven fastnesses are settled by elven peasants” on page 127. So I think there’s good reason for L0 elves and dwarves to exist, The monster listing entries for demihumans are best compared to the bandit or berserker entries for men; these armed camps are hardly the only ways men exist in the campaign world, and so too with demihumans.

But yeah, I’d level L0 dwarves into vaultguard definitely. Elves are harder, but keeping in the fighter motif, I’d probably aim them at spellswords… ? Magic is native to them, so they can pick it up where a L0 human wouldn’t be able to (or some other fluff explanation similar).

There are non-magic elf classes in PC, so I don’t think it is quite THAT natural to them, they still need someone to teach them their initial spells.

Sure; just didn’t want to assume PC access. And spell acquisition is always a problem :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, I don’t have ready access to it (my friends have it though). Still, one of the big reasons that 0 level men advance to fighters is that you simply CAN’T just pick up other classes while adventuring. You need special training, especially for spells. MAYBE if you have a character of the appropriate class in the party.

Normal Men can advance to other classes, they just need specialized training, per the rules on page 147 of the core book:

Magical Research: 0th level characters who study under an
arcane spellcaster of 9th level or higher may become 1st level
mages. To qualify they must first possess the Alchemy, Collegiate
Wizardry, Magical Engineering, or related proficiency (Judge’s
discretion). They must then study for 1d6 months and make
a proficiency throw of 14+, modified by their INT bonus or
penalty. Success means the character advances to 1st level.
Failure means the character has no gift for magic.

A 0th level character may earn
XP from domain and mercantile income. They are treated as if
they had a Gp Threshold of 25gp. The character will advance
into a type of class appropriate to the domain managed. For
instance, a petty noble’s son (0th level character) who inherits
his father’s small domain (125gp per month) will earn 50XP per
month [(125gp – 25gp) x ½], advancing to become a 1st level
fighter after 2 months as serving as baron (if bandits don’t kill
him first).

A 0th level character may earn XP from perpetrating
hijinks. In most cases, the only hijink available to 0th level
characters is carousing (Hear Noises 18+). When the 0th level
character earns 100XP from carousing, he may become a 1st
level assassin, nightblade, or thief. Which class will depend on
his race (only elves may be nightblades) and the sort of company
the character is keeping. On average, it takes 0th level characters
6 months of consorting with unsavory sorts in dimly-lit taverns
to advance.

When a 0th level character advances to 1st level, he gains his
new class’s proficiency, powers, attack throws, and saving
throws. The character re-rolls his hit points using his new class’s
hit die, keeping either his new hp total or his prior hp total if
it was higher. The new 1st level character retains any general
proficiencies he already knew. When he advances to 2nd, 3rd,
and 4th level, he must remove one of these pre-existing general
proficiencies (representing erosion of skills over time). When he
reaches 4th level, he acquires the Adventuring proficiency.

I would argue that most human classes with at least fighting value 2 can be created by adventuring: Fighter, Paladin, Explorer, Barbarian, etc. Although obviously the DM will have to decide for their own campaign if there are additional requirements. The one exception would be Assassin, who should probably be created through hijinks. Bard and the Cleric types are largely left undefined by the rules as written. As for demi-humans, there’s nothing clear in the rulebook, but if the random NPC class table is an indicator of common-ness, I would expect most 0th level dwarves to become vaultguards and elves to become spellswords. Of course, all of this is under the purview of the DM to alter as they see fit, as the rules are decidedly open-ended. For example, in my game I presume that there are no 0th level demi-humans in human settlements, but that most 0th level people in a dwarf or elf settlement match the city.

Like I said, you need training. I’m thinking along the lines of leveling via adventuring. But the thing about elves becoming nightblades seems to confirm the existence of 0-level elves. Unfortunately, 0-level carousing at an 18+ means that you are more likely to get into trouble with the law (1-4) than getting any gp or xp (18-20). Odds are you will be spending more money than you’re making, but if you really want a 1st level thief, assassin, or nightblade, I guess it might useful. Maybe adventure until they are almost 1st level fighter, then send them carousing?

As far as I’m concerned, any 0-level can enter a class related to their employer’s, or related to their starting skills. (If you’re a wizard, and you hire a torchbearer whose starting skills look like an Explorer, he could end up Explorer, something else Fightery, or (if you’d been tutoring him) something Arcane at 1st level.)

Hey everybody! Lots of questions got raised in this thread. I’ll try to parse them out.

  1. 0th-level characters can advance in two ways, from adventuring or from campaign activities.

  2. Under normal circumstances, 0th level characters do not advance into classes other than fighters from adventuring XP (ACKS p. 115). The reason for this is that all of the other classes presuppose some set of skills that might require either a particular background or a substantial amount of practice, and not just some real-life battle experience. In early playtests, we allowed 0th level characters to become any class they qualified for, and it stretched the suspension of disbelief that dockside laborers and peasants were suddenly becoming magicians, or clerics, etc., from helping to kill some orcs.

However the rules are written to allow for “extraordinary circumstances” when it would make sense to allow a 0th level character to become a mage, explorer, barbarian, or other class. For example, a Skysos youth rescued from a nomad’s destroyed village certainly might become a 1st level barbarian or explorer. A young noblewoman with a beautiful voice who becomes an adventurer might become a bard. A peasant who levels up from a battle during which he saves the party by using a scroll of ward against magic might be allowed to advance to 1st level mage. Judges should use their wisdom and discretion in these matters.

  1. Jedavis is spot on in his understanding of the dwarves and elves listed in the book; they are akin to the bandit or berserker entries for men - all of these creatures are 1st level characters (as indicated by their HD and Saving Throws), simply presented in a streamlined format for use as monsters.

The reason dwarves and elves of the sort normally encountered are basically 1st level characters has to do with the assumptions of the setting. Both races have much longer lifespans than men, with more time to train for war. Dwarves live in a state of constant warfare against the creatures that assail their vaults, while elves who are sedentary or weak are disinclined to risk their long lives by leaving their havens.

If it becomes relevant, brigands and berserkers can be considered 1st level fighters; dwarves can be considered 1st level vaultguards; and elves can be considered 1st level elven fighters (HD 2, Fighting 2, Elf 0) or perhaps rangers. In particular circumstances, the Judge could certainly have encounters with the rarer types of demihumans, such as dwarven delvers or furies, or elven courtiers or spellswords.

  1. Spellswords are “remarkable” (p.33) and serve as leaders of elven bands. The average elf would not advance to become a spellsword just from adventuring.

Seems like a generic adventurer class might be worthwhile for your standard 0th level guys to advance into. Training in heavy armor and lots of weapons only seems slightly more plausible than picking up, say, thief skills.

Maybe a HD 2, Fighting 1, Thievery 1? Trade in the three thief skills for skills at 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th, representing the broadening of skills over time as they determine their path in life? Heck, I’d play that, especially at 1700 XP.

In my setting the elves are murderous bastards so they default to the Nightblade class. :slight_smile:

My players tend to issue their L0 henchmen heavy armor, as a character wearing armor they’re not proficient with “fights as a L0 man”… which they already do, so it’s no loss. So levelling into fighter makes sense for our guys, but if they were to issue lighter armor (and have a thief in the party to teach thief skills) then yeah, I’d see no problem with levelling 0s into a ‘jack of trades’ adventurer class.

That’s what I thought, until I read a little more and saw the “no gaining experience when using non-proficient armor/weapons” thing. Nasty. The weird thing is, 0-level men wearing armor happens all the time with mercenaries (who can level in certain situation) and there doesn’t seem to be a place that I can find that lists specific weapons/armor for 0 level men. I think that each 0-level man’s weapon/armor training up to the Judge and could possibly be increased by manual of arms. That’s how my judge plays (he is admittedly somewhat new to ACKs).

Eh, yeah, we play those rules kind of soft. “Fight as a L0 man and can’t use class abilities” is enough of a deterrence for us, even without ability scores bonus or XP loss.

Non-proficiency penalties: Because if you tell Role Players that they can’t use an item for balance they will want to use it more, but if you merely give crippling penalties to use it they will avoid it like the plague!

I’ve allowed a few henchmen with ‘woodsy’ Proficiencies to become Explorers rather than Fighters. I’d have no problem letting them become thieves either.

In my campaign setting, elves and dwarves of adult age are 1HD. I just prefer it that way…it makes them the ‘elite’ fighters they typically are in media/myth/etc. It also makes them the equivalent of the Beastmen they regularly fight… remembering that an orc can be twice as tough as a regular human.

And also in my setting, elves without magic are the rarity (much like there is only one class in ACKS that lacks some spellcasting). So, if I did do something for 0-level elves, I’d definitely let them advance into a Spellsword or whatever.