Arcane repertoire management

I’ve read and re-read the “Adding New Spells to the Repertoire” section on ACKS Core p.67 several times, and every time I read it, it seems to say:

  • Adding a new spell to your repertoire takes a flat 1 week of study and costs no gold if you have an empty slot available for it.

  • Replacing an existing spell in your repertoire with a different spell takes 1 week per spell level and costs 1,000gp per spell level.

Is this accurate?

If so, what’s the logic behind it? It seems to me that it’s essentially saying that adding a spell is quick and costs nothing, but removing it takes up extra time and money, which doesn’t seem right.

Apparently removing magical knowledge from your brain is a difficult and costly process. I am really interested in what you’re buy with that money. My money is on brain-bleaching arcane alcohols…

First, let us acknowledge that this one of the more “gamey” rules in ACKS. It is intended, in play, to allow a mage PC to easily and cheaply utilize a fixed repertoire, but to make it expensive and time-consuming to frequently change their repertoire, without making it impossible. It’s thus mid-way between 3.5 Sorcerers and Wizards - the former who could never change their repertoire, and the latter who could change it daily from an unlimited-size spellbook.

That said, what does it mean in-world to say that you have an empty slot in your repertoire? It depends on how your Judge has interpreted what it means to have a spell in your repertoire of spell slots is in the first place.

Having a spell in your repertoire of spell slots might simply be a matter of mental capacity (memory). If so, gaining an empty slot means that your mind has expanded and is ready to learn; in which case not having an empty slot means that the learning a new spell is a torturous and difficult process that involves much wasted ink, reagents, lab time, etc.

Having a spell in your repertoire of spell slots might represent the favor of spiritual allies who actually maintain certain arcane connections on your behalf. If so, gaining an empty slot means that you have acquired a new spiritual ally who will maintain another connection; not having an empty slot means that you have to dismiss an old ally and then bribe a new one to appear.

Having a spell in your repertoire of spell slots might represent performing certain oaths and vows before the occult powers. If so, gaining an empty slot means that your iron will and power enable you to undertake more such commitments; not having an empty slot means that you have to make sacrifices to the occult powers to release you from older vows in order to make new ones.

I hope that helps.

I like this :slight_smile:

still I think that 1week*level is a little too much :slight_smile:

It gives them something to do while the fighters are spending a couple of weeks recovering from their mortal wounds!

I would prefer to roll over the research table and get the head of my character blow off than to spend 1 weeklevel of spell just to change 1 spell in my repertoire…; in my campaign it is 1 daylevel for changing spells!!! ditto! :wink:

Each campaign is a law unto itself, you should do what works best for your camapign. The likely outcome is that the value of learning as many spells as possible will go up (even higher than it already is) as each one is fairly rapidly available options. If you limit yourself to just the spells provided, it sounds like your players won’t abuse it. I would be concerned, if new spell creation was allowed, that a crafty player of a mage might start making slight variations on the same spell in order to pick the most optimal one on a given day. For example “Oh there’s a part of the dungeon full of fire giants and another full of frost giants? good thing I have fireball and my new spell basically-fireball-but-ice-damage”

Well, if the character researched the new spell why not? It still takes 3 day to change the spell so…

and what about keepign the time requirement but no the money requirement?

The occult powers in your campaign are very forgiving indeed! :slight_smile:

How about… adding a spell to the repertoire takes time, removing one takes money?

My suggestion would be to reduce the replacement time to a flat week and 500 gold per spell level, so essentially the same as learning a new spell but with some material cost. One of the things I really like about ACKS is how it seems to be designed to slow things down. I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but it’s something I’ve really grown to appreciate. It allows for significant downtime between adventures, which in turn encourages the characters to engage in non-adventuring activities.

It’s definitely by design! Glad that it’s working out for your campaign.