I like the narrative.
7. Fighters and explorers gain a +1 morale bonus to retainers and mercenaries starting at 5th level, to encourage mid-game recruitment of loyal bands.
1. Love it. Question. If a 5th level fighter is leading a band of mercenaries, but both the fighter and the mercenaries are hired by the 9th level lord....do the mercenaries not get a +1 morale?
2. This ability reminds me that men under direct command of an 'army commander' receive a +1 to all throws in CM. Or an ability to force morale checks on enemies after a charge a la 'superheroes'. I'm curious to see what trade offs a hero may have in the ACK's wargame. Is there a benefit to staying with a body of troops instead of wandering off alone on a battle field?
1) does MS/HS increase surprise chance? If you are MS/HS do you gain automatic surprise? If so, the statement in the thief write up about being able to backstab (from behind?), "...either by surprise or by moving silently and hiding in shadows" is redundant. Also, shouldn't it be moving silently *and/or* hiding in shadows? No need to hid in shadows if you're approaching from behind I would think. My feeling is surprise is 2 in 6. +1 for hiding and moving apiece for a total of 4 in 6 with both. Does a failed MS/HS mean you can't roll for surprise? If that's the case, a fighter in plate armor (2 in 6 or 33%) has a better chance of surprising a goblin than a 1st level thief (5% HS)
2) Find Traps. Ok. I see later on in the book you describe non-thief characters checking for traps. How does this work with "players" checking for traps? A 10' pole traditionally was a means by which a player searched for a trap, does the 18+ proficiency throw non thieves have a "material component" of a 10' pole? Do you use the 10' pole with player skill or a proficiency throw? The next paragraph describes a trap triggering by walking on it on a 1 in 6. Perhaps a paragraph describing "player skill" with things like 10' poles in finding traps. Originally thieves were the only class with a meta-game find traps ability, while everyone else relied on player skill, "I poke the floor plate with the 10' pole, etc" as opposed to the thief who could just roll a d% and find out. I think you should mention that this is still an option for players for finding and disarming traps and an option for thieves too, just because a character fails his disarm (or search), doesn't mean player skill can't disarm it.
doesn't say they get double dmg when set against a charge like the pole arm does in the equipment write up. Although it's mentioned in the combat section.
Any benefit for having an arrow knocked and readied?
1. I love how you can make a paladin or a "chaos knight" just by picking certain proficiencies. (lay on hands, detect evil, command undead, etc). A real "sub" class. It would be neat to see a few to turn a generic magic user into more of an illusionist.
2. weapon focus: Does this ability boil down to +1 dmg 5% of the time? Isn't that the math behind rolling 2 damage die and picking the best one?
1) How do you pick your 1st level spell? I recommend the game master chose an NPC wizard from the area the PC comes from and consult his book of 1st level spells and then roll randomly for which one he gave to the PC. After all, with ACKs, we know exactly how many wizards are in any given city and what level they may be, why not utilize this information at the start of play? If there is a semi-retired PC wizard, then a new PC mage might be able to pick his own first level spell as kind of a "heir/legacy" bonus.
2) fireball: Still 20 feet? Or do you mean something other than a radius of 10'.
flamestrike: you use diameter here 10' I think ACKs should pick radius or diameter and stick with it you mix it up throughout the spell descriptions, actually, is there any benefit to having some spells as circles and some squares? For game purposes (like the 5' lightning bolt) would there be a benefit to having fireball described as, "filling a #x# area instead of saying a radius of X'? I have no idea.
4) reincarnate. What are the stats of a werebear/wolf/rat in human form?
1) Should "charging" be listed in the "time and movement" section?
2) character movement and encumbrance table. charging isn't here, not sure if it's needed, but thought I'd mentioned the possibility.
you mention cardinal directions. No mention of using hex paper for outdoor travel, though you mention graph paper for dungeon exploration? Getting lost could be a simple d6 roll and the party exists through that face, since you're giving options for such things, why not include both cardinal and hex options.
MERCENARY TYPES BASE MORALE
"men at arms" does this mean 1st level fighters? Perhaps include that in parenthesis.
EXPERIENCE FROM TREASURE
"no xp for trade goods or equipment unless sold."
1. What happens if I find a cask of wine worth 300gp, sell it. And then go buy a cask of wine worth 300gp. Do I get the item and the XP? What's the rational here?
2. What happens if I pay my retainer his 300gp salary with the wine? Or sell the wine and pay his 300gp salary?
4. If I drink (carousing) the whole cask of wine, can I give 270 xp to my "heir's" reserve xp fund? Or do I need to do #1 so I can get the XP for my main PC first? Why can't I just do #4. Why do I have to sell the wine, to buy wine, to put xp in my heir's reserve xp fund?
5. can I stock pile goods and items (hard for thieves to steal) and sell them years later when I need cash to build a castle, and get xp for them then? Is there an expiration date for experience?
1. 2d6x10 is dungeon encounter. Man in plate moves 20' per round. This means probably around 1/2 the time a man in plate cannot complete a charge in one round.
2. How often can a charge move be made?
3. ACKs says you can't normally "run" in combat mode. If a plate armored fighter needs to get 90' to a row of goblins with arrows his options are: move 20' over 5 rounds/charge for 2 rounds?/run for 1 round and...?
dragon subdual and subdual listed in combat options are slightly different. Neither effects, nor takes into account morale, which I think is odd.
When is it ever a good idea to make an attack at -8. Why is it harder to sunder the sword in the hand of someone wearing plate armor than sundering the sword of someone wearing leather?
Is a reaction roll required of a newly created intelligent undead creature? Any benefit for being on friendly terms in life?
Rank "2" is missing the the #2.
CREATING A SYNDICATE
There is mention of lower level PC's becoming domain lords, yet in syndicates it's assumed retainers must be 9th level to run a hideout. There is also (I think) an assumption that once a PC lord has too many holdings, he will install his retainers as his vassals, Does this mean that a 9th level fighter cannot install his 6th level retainer as lord over an expansion in his domain, if thief syndicates require retainers to be 9th level? I'm confused. Must vassal lords be 9th level, just as leaders of hideouts? What is the fighter version of the "underboss"?
XP FOR CASTLES/RESEARCH/ETC
hmm...I feel funny about this. It seems like double dipping. I like the idea either you don't get XP from gold, but you get XP from anything you spend gold on, or you get XP from gold, but not the things you make. I'm not sure how I feel about getting XP from gold and then getting XP from things you make with that gold.
1. Since only 9th+ level fighters get followers, lower level characters who establish domains don't get XP for castle construction (though low level wizards get xp for spell creation). I can't see anyone wanting to start a domain early. A 5th level fighter isn't going to have the GP to build much of a castle, why not give him XP for it?
2. Who would want to take over someone elses castle, if building your own can earn you 15,000-60,000xp? You only get xp for building a castle, not "taking one" right? If you take one and loose it, do you still lose it's GP value in XP?
3. If Quintus the Wizard gets out of a dungeon with a haul of 30,000gp, he gets 30,000xp. But He also gets another 12,000xp for turning that 30,000gp into a sword. So, 30,000gp is worth 42,000xp and a sword+2. Now, I like the idea of his apprentice getting XP from making the scrolls, because he's using Quintus' money (I assume).
4. Stealing: Ok, a followering gets 300xp from stealing a cask of wine and the PC gets 60xp. This is better than the PC who finds a cask of wine in a dungeon...