ACKS with a small party

I am thinking about running an ACKS campaign for my fiancee, who has already played Shadowrun, D&D 3.0E and BFRPG in the past. However, I’m not sure if I can get more players for this particular game for various reasons.

So how well would ACKS work for a “single player” campaign (i.e. 1 player and 1 Judge)? I was thinking about letting her play a charismatic character and let her start at level 3 with several henchmen…

don’t quote me on this, but I believe the designer (Alex) has run the game in exactly that scenario, based on some of his posts.

In more specifics: starting her off with a little more money and letting her hire henchman (and possibly have the henchmen hire henchmen) will allow her to tackle encounters normally suited for a full group. In fact you might go so far as to use the back-of-the-book advice for starting her at “adventurer” tier so you can guarantee there will be some encounter she can easily do.

Yes, I did. I ran a campaign for my wife.  She played a 4th level Elven Spellsword.

Your idea of having your fiancee start with henchmen is a good one and works well, as long as she has the play experience to juggle multiple characters. My wife enjoys being a "lone wolf" so I went with magic items instead of henchmen.

I deliberately equipped her character with a magic sword, a rope of climbing, and elven cloak and boots. Her spell selection was charm person, detect magic, sleep, knock, and levitate. The cloak and boots allowed her to move through dungeons commando-style, while the rope of climbing allowed her to navigate through environments that would otherwise have been impassable without a thief. The spells let her find magic items, recruit minions, and get through locked portals and so on. 

She then assaulted the Caves of Chaos... it was very Batmanesque, as she maneuvered invisibly and inaudibly, unleashed sleep spells, cleaved through foes, then fall back to strike again later.






Thanks for the advice! And it’s great to hear that other people have gamer spouses as well! :slight_smile:

We often run with one or two PCs and their henches and works fine. But failing that…baton sounds like an awesome option.

Sigh…batman. Stupid autocorrect.

My White Sandbox campaign started out as OD&D and evolved into ACKS over the course of its development. We sometimes have really big groups - 15 players was the max - and sometimes just two or three players. The biggest payoffs from ACKS have been with the smaller groups, because it supports the kind of extended, personal schemes that you can get up to when focus isn't spread between as many players. In the one-on-one games I've done with ACKS, it's been awesome to have the player create their own domain and get involved in all aspects of its growth and struggles; I'd also love to do one where the lone PC is at the head of a thieves' guild and dealing with infiltrators within the ranks, or running a mercantile or mercenary company, or leading a congregation fighting for space on the Street of the Gods...