2e Bards...

Take a gander at this: http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/09/q-favorite-class.html
Reading this post by Jeff Rients totally made me want to re-do the ACKS Bard as a low-magic Gandalf type class called “Loremaster”. It’d be as easy as replacing the Magical Music class power with the Beast Friendship class power (enabling understanding animals and animal henchmen, like Shadowfax).
Perhaps this should appear in the Player’s Companion.

That would be excellent. What would the conservatory turn into? Library? Museum? School of philosophy?
“Angry Librarian of Alexandria” would be a fun character to play.

Great idea - how about being able to set up an Academy, but only in a city. Maybe the inflow of money comes from training students (from 0th-1st level) drawn by it’s reputation. I foresee much carousing and maybe spying on rival academies.

Having thought about this further, I think what I might do is create a series of classes that are “low magic” versions of the core classes.
So instead of mage, we’ll have loremaster, with reduced casting but lots of subsidiary skills and powers. Instead of cleric, we’ll have cultist, with reduced casting but lots of peripheral abilities. These classes could then be used in Conan or LOTR style campaigns where magic is still present but at reduced frequency compared to standard fantasy RPGs.
Coincidentally I just noticed that some of the earlier CONAN material just went public domain. Huh.

A project I’ve long thought of doing was short stories + game stats for something in the story. Public domain stuff is great for this!

ZOMG Great Idea!

I have a slight idea for a Dwarven Barrowchanter - a bard/cleric mashup, who sings to the spirits of his ancestors for guidance and aid, and if need be, can summon or ‘charm undead’ - Black Lore as a class power. Maybe with a spell list of necromantic spells. Maybe he can form a choir - a congregation whose harmonies aid his necromancy - maybe he can bond the spirits to items to imbue them with power. But rather than the necromancer being seen as a foul evil outsider, the Barrowchanter is the community’s link to their past, ancient wisdom and lost glories. A sage/wiseman-type figure.

I love the idea of “low magic” ACKS class variants. Please do it!

I like the Low Magic idea also. A campaign where there is no Mage Guild, mages all learning their forbidden arts from a master lurking on the edges of civilization, no one quite trusting those who barter with the ancient spirits, weird spells with no “standard list”… groovy.
Quite a lot of Lovecraft’s work is public domain now also.
Barrowchanter sounds very shamanic.
Which supplement idea has the rules for creating character classes? That’s likely to cover a lot of ground.

I like the Low Magic classes idea - gives the system a lot more flexibility, for running ‘Midnight’ style games where the players are underpowered in comparison to the opposition, or even adapting the ‘normal’ ACKS classes to use as Prestige classes, to advance to after handful of levels spent in the ‘low magic’ classes.