So, I probably won't be running ACKS for at least a couple years. But that gives me lots of time to do pre-campaign prep.
Working from ACKS Core and the Players' Companion, the only classes I'm not planning on using are the Nobiran, Ruinguard and Thrassian. At this stage, the PC Venturer is being replaced with the v3 Venturer.
Most classes will remain as printed, although I will need to replace Bribery wherever it appears in proficiency lists (I'm not remotely happy with it as a proficiency, rather than something you do).
Anyway, feel free to throw any feedback at me.
The biggest change I'm planning to an existing class is to up the Elven Ranger to Elf 1. I moved back and forward on this for some time. I like the class as written, and it certainly stands on it's own as perfectly playable, but I also like the idea of magic being something that all elves of consequence can do. I considered stealing the divine-based Ranger found here:
And I think that's an excellent class. However, in the end, I decided to leave all elves as Arcane.
This drops the max level to 12, increases base XP to 2,900. Quiet Casting was added to the proficieny list. Since I'm using the enhanced Arcane progressions, they end up with a decent spell selection at higher levels, so they're getting a decent extra punch for the XP.
In calculating the new XP progression, I also noted that the existing Ranger appears to have an incorrect progression. They advance at 150,000 per level after level 8. However, as best I can tell, this should be 120k (Fighter) + 50k (Elf) = 170k.
I like gnomes. They're a bit of dwarf and a bit of elf, tough little critters in a small package, with a fondness for nature. Some of them can be annoying pranksters, and some of them have small-man syndrome, but for the most part they're pleasant and reliable, just not to be messed with.
I've removed Infravision and replaced it with:
- +2 to all saves
- +1 to AC (increasing at 7th and 13th for classes limited to leather)
- Sensititivy to Rock and Stone
Other than the racial change (and the improved Arcane progression that applies to all partial arcane classes), the Gnome Trickster remains as printed.
However, these guys need more than one class. Who patrols their vales and meadows? Who fights back kobolds in the deeps? Who marches to war?
While I see no need for the halfling class, I do like the idea of a short, tough, heavily armoured warrior packing a serious punch, ala the BX halfling. A plate-wearing, dual-warhammer-wielding, tough as nails gnome titan NPC from an old Hackmaster game also played into my thoughts on this class. I think the bulwark is different enough from the vaultguard to justify his existence as a PC Option.
I've seen a general preference on these boards for gnomes to stick to lighter fighter archetypes. This guy isn't for those poeple.
- Fighting 2, HD 1, Thief 1, Gnome 0
- Max Level: 13
- Prime Req: CON
- Required: INT 9
- Base XP 1,950
- Armour: Any
- Weapons: Any other than long bows and melee weapons designed exclusively for two-handed use
- Fighting Styles: Any
Gnome Bulwarks are excellent marksmen. They gain a +1 to hit with crossbows and arbalests. When using a crossbow, they are limited to a maximum of three cleaves, instead of the usual limit of two (as much as anything, this is nod to the BX halfling, but seems to be in keeping with the ACKS assumption that gnomes like crossbows).
Bulwarks are amongs the most selfless and courageous of all gnomes, willing to stand face-to-face with nearly any foe if necessary to defend their brethren. They are unaffected by all magical and natural fear effects.
Third Ability: I had Speak with Animals pencilled in here, but I've decided that's boring. I'm undecided on what I'm going to replace it with. One possiblity is a +1 to hit vs goblins and kobolds, plus some additional 1/2 point (or weak 1 point) benefit.
And all basic Gnome abilities, of course.
Proficiences: Alertness, Ambushing, Berserkergang, Beast Friendship, Blind Fighting, Caving, Combat Trickery (Disarm, Incapacitate), Command, Craft, Endurance, Fighting Style, Gambling, Goblin-Slaying, Land Surveying, Leadership, Mapping, Manual of Arms, Military Strategy, Mountaineering, Navigation, Passing Without Trace, Precise Shooting, Seige Engineering, Skirmishing, Sniping, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus
However, I have no problem with less in-your-face, brute force gnomes. The warden is the gnomish equivalent to the Ranger. Deeply attuned to nature, with access to natural magics as a result.
- Fighting 1b, HD 1, Thief 1, Cleric 1, Gnome 2
- Max Level: 11
- Prime Req: CON and WIS
- Required: INT 9
- Base XP 2,525
- Armour: Leather
- Weapons: Any one-handed weapon, any ranged weapon other than longbow.
- Fighting styles: Weapon and shield, weapon in each hand.
I'm giving them Difficult to Spot, Tracking and Ambushing and Naturalism (Three skills from Thief 1, plus trading in turn undead).
The clerical spell list is being stolen from the divine elven ranger linked earlier.
1: Cure Light Wounds, Delay Disease, Pass Without Trace*, Predict Weather, Salving Rest
2: Augury, Chameleon, Charm Animal, Delay Poison, Silent Step
3: Cure Disease, Eyes of the Eagle, Glyph of Warding, Locate Object, Remove Curse
4: Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Neutralize Poison, Speak with Plants, Summon Animals
*Pass Without Trace will probably need to be swapped out with something else, as it's duplicating the passless tracing proficiency.
Proficiencies: Alertness, Beast Friendship, Blind Fighting, Caving, Combat Reflexes, Combat Trickery (Disarm, Incapacitate), Craft, Endurance, Eavesdropping, Fighting Style, Gambling, Goblin-Slaying, Healing, Land-Surveying, Mapping, Mimicry, Quiet Magic, Mountaineering, Navigation, Passing Without Trace, Precise Shooting, Running, Sensing Power, Skirmishing, Sniping, Survival, Swashbuckling, Trapping, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus.
Passable fighting and HD, plenty of gnomish racial powers, a pretty decent Arcane progression and some clerical spells down the road. All for a pretty cheap XP value.