There’s already a lot of cool, unique custom classes on this board that bring something new to the table so I’ve decided to try something simpler: create archtype classes with the same exp growth. That means the Fighter would level up at the same time as the Mage.
I’ve decided to use 2500exp as the balancing point as that’s what an Arcane4 character (mage) already is:
Very straightforward. Having 1d10 hitdice is uncommon in ACKS so I see this as the fighter’s ‘special power’, especially in a level 1 party where most characters have no more hitpoints than the max damage output of an arbalest.
The ACKS Mage kept as is. His teeny tiny d4 hitdice looks even smaller compared to a d10 fighter. Sleep is an awesome spell that will make you welcome in any adventuring company.
In my experience thieves die more often than every other character class. Light armor, low hitpoints, and a class ability that encourages you to sneak off ahead and not actually know if the ogres see you or not and tinker with deadly traps makes for a very death prone character. This is alleviated in the Specialist a teeny bit with d8 hitdice and a huge amount of points (15) to spend on thievery and general/class proficiencies.
A houserule I’m using is you can spend your thievery points twice on the same thief skill to count as 1 level higher when using that skill. This is to make up for the higher exp costs to level up.
So a dungeoneering specialist would double up their thief points on find and remove traps and proficiency in engineering and stonework, while a medical/poison specialist can pour a lot of points into alchemy, herbology, healing and perhaps sneaking.
“Chosen of ____”
Fighting 1a 500exp
Divine 3 1000exp
Compared to a regular cleric, the chosen has more hitdice and more spells. Pretty straightforward, though I’m not sure if ACKS custom class rules the Chosen has any spells at level 1.
On to the ‘campaign class’ variants
“-Hunter” the ‘fighter/thief’ or ‘ranger’
Fighting 2 1000exp
Thievery 2 400exp
Less hitdice than a Warrior but tougher than a Specialist, the Hunter is the ‘assassin’ and ‘explorer’ equivalent. Put your points in backstab, acrobatics, and sneaking to be a manhunting assassin. Put your points in trap finding/disarming n’ listen to be a dungeon delving treasure hunter.
“Champion of ____” the ‘fighter/cleric’ or ‘paladin’
Fighting 2 1000exp
Divine 2 500exp
Compared to the Chosen, the Champion trades one divine rank for better fighting abilities. Another way to view this is a straight power boost of the ACKS cleric, the tradeoff being slower leveling.
“Thaumaturge” the mage/cleric or ‘mystic theurge’
Arcane 3 1875exp
Divine 2 500exp
Thievery 1 200 exp
Basically the Wonderworker racial class with less features in exchange for faster leveling. The single rank of Thievery is only for class/general proficiencies and not thief skills, largely so a level 1 Thaumaturge that has yet to access their casting can still support the party with proficiencies.
On the “Bard” class
Instead of making them their own class, any other class can decide to spend a proficiency point during character creation to pick up Inspire Courage, Loremastery and/or Magical Music. This allows for a large variety of bard-type characters from armored battle Skalds roaring ballads in the middle of battle to magical enchanters taming beasts with song, though Specialists have the most proficiency points to spare for this.
Some of these classes are a bit off from the goal of 2500exp, but I figure they’re close enough for what I’m going for.