So I finally got around to printing out hardcopies of ACKS, the Player’s Companion, as well as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. I’ve had the PDFs for quite a while, but never really got into them until I had the books in my grubby hands.
(As an aside, I also printed out a clean copy of the revised Barrowmaze the same day - all of these are the finalists for this year’s Three Castles Award.)
And now I’m obsessed with the idea of running ACKS in the Hyperborea campaign world. (Maybe I’ll throw the Barrowmaze in there, too.)
Anyhow; I was wondering if anyone else has done something similar. (I see the Barbarian Conqueror King posts, which are kind of similar.) Any fans of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea here?
Initial thoughts include the following:
Most classes are a very good fit as-is, but I love fiddling with the custom class rules in the Player’s Companion, so I’ve already drafted up some new ones.
It’s a human-centric setting. Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes are right out. Thrassians might fit, but the Nobirans and Zaharans would need some tweaking. Ideally, I’d like to come up with Sea Bloods (Deep One hybrids) and Subhumans (Vhuurmis hybrids), as well as Hyperborean and Atlantean custom racial classes.
I think I’d take most of the background info from the Hyperborea setting, but I like the ACKS gods so would treat these as the “common” gods of men (as opposed to Xathoqqua-worship).
I love this idea. Sword and Sorcery and ACKS are like chocolate in peanut butter, after all.
I’m nut use I’d like playable Sea Bloods in my Barbarian Conqueror King setting (which has Deep Ones and hybrids) but YMMV. Lizardmen are the main playable alien race there.
Has there been much info on how to create custom races from scratch? I’m not sure how the XP values etc. were derived in the Player’s Companion.
Funny, I just purchased the PDF of Hyperborea this weekend and have been going through it when I’ve had a chance. Some really fantastic stuff in there - and the art is awesome.
I haven’t spent a lot of time on the races, but I definitely want to ACKS-icize some of the classes, spells, and monsters for my game. It’s on the list, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
So here’s a crack at Hyperboreans, based off of the Zaharan Custom Classes from the Player’s Companion:
(I’ve added the concept of half-breeds, although this is not consistent with the AS&SH setting as-written.)
Now I’ve posted the Atlantean race (based of the Nobirus and Dwarf custom classes):
The Atlantean Machinist has been included as a sample class:
I’ve deliberately changed some aspects of the Atlantean race from the AS&SH default. “True Atlanteans” are a race of man, while the degenerate modern Atlanteans that most are familiar with are actually tainted with Deep One blood.
ACKSifying the classes looks like it’d work better than I thought. At least, reading over the variant Magician classes, they strike me as exactly the same as the core Magician except for one or two powers swapped out (lose familiars, gain a cantrip and a resistance?) and a different (narrower) spell list.
Barbarian’s a bit harder. Larger HD than a fighter, same fighting ability, and lots of extra powers (replacing heroic combat, but not replacing extra attacks). This feels like a > 4 point build, which is the province of nonhumans in core ACKS. I seem to recall an Autarch suggesting that campaigns with small parties might create custom classes with more than 4 build points… Which would give us the typical overpowered S&S barbarian.
I like the ACKS barbarian as-is. My take is that a “typical overpowered S&S barbarian” is just higher-level than “normal” characters.
Also, the Warlock class from the ACKS Player’s Companion is a good example of a “custom” magician. If I get ambitious, I might play around with Illusionist and Pyromancer variants.
I also like the idea of using the ACKS Witch class as a cthonic Priest. You can customize by swapping out the “tradition” powers for something appropriate for each of the “Old Gods”.
I’m following this with great interest.
I just renamed the post to “Auran Gods in Hyperborea”; the new link is:
I’ve added some barbarian subtypes specific to Hyperborea and conversions of the specialist sorcerer classes from AS&SH:
The specialists are modifications of the ACKS Warlock. I’m interested in peoples’ opinion on whether they are “powerful enough” compared to the base Mage class.
Should note that the full-blooded “Hyperborean Spellsword” has been posted:
It’s basically a melee version of the Elven Spellsword, with the powers of a Zaharan Ruinguard. Pretty brutal XP requirement; intended for NPCs.
The Atlantean Alchemist has been added:
They are specialist sorcerers devoted to Alchemy and Transmogrification.