Some advice sought. I’m running ACKS from a pre-prepared 3.x source (probably 3.5ed). At several places in the text, it says things like “for doing such and so, award the PCs the equivalent of defeating a CR2 creature”. There are four PCs, and the average player level intended for them in the text is more or less known. How do I translate this into ACKS terms? For a “CRx” creature, do I just read “x Hit Dice”?
Also, is there a general guideline on level progressions? From 3.5x pre-made materials, do my ACKS PCs grow with experience twice as slowly? Three times?
I don’t really have a problem adding some extra stuff in here and there to keep them roughly in line with the general power level intended for them as they go along, but I don’t want to kill them off needlessly or hand them a whole bunch of loot to get them “over the hump” and then have to deal with that undue richness in the game.
Can anyone advise on the general 3.x → ACKS XP rewards process, or point me to a source that discusses it?
i would say, that this will be rather difficult. i would ignore any cr references and instead use monsters, traps based on ACKS difficulty alone. anyway: perhaps this link will help you to get on the right track:
Long story short. The “CR” is supposed to be equal to an average encounter for an average group. (Where 4 PCs use up 25% of their resources in the fight.) But do you mean 25% of your spell slots, or the death of one out of four PCs.
For a “quick and dirty” system, I’d use the “Random Monsters by Level” chart on page 243. Look at the suggested CR and compare it to the appropriate NPC party on a result of “6.” Then use the suggestions on that column to judge what you should offer as XP.
It’s not perfect (CRs can up to Level 20 for 3.X, while ACKS goes up to 14.) But it’s a place to start.
As for the speed of character development… the thing with 3.X and 4E versions is that characters advance (typically) based on number of encounters (10-13 encounters of equal level will result in going up a level… more if you fight lower CR fights, less if you fight higher CR fights). But in ACKS, the party could (thanks to random treasure distribution) stumble onto a treasure trove well above their level and go up a level or nearly two after one trip into a dungeon.
It’s an entirely different ethos.
I’d ignore the CR, look at the monsters and replace them with ACKS equivalents. I would also increase the amount of treasure by a fair amount as it is much lower in 3.X and 4E games than in OSR games (because treasure wasn’t tied to xp directly).
Thanks for the advice everyone.