Dark Days, great deeds (AP)

My regular gaming group and I just started up a new game of ACKS recently and we’re having a blast with it. I don’t really have a lot of experience with old-school games, or D&D at all really, aside from a few sessions of 1st edition I’ve only played 3.5/Pathfinder before but the detailed end-game rules really caught my attention.

We’ve only had three sessions so far and the first two players just hit 2nd level, but we play just about every week for a good 4-6 hours so I’m hoping we’ll make some solid progress.

I started up an Obsidian Portal site for our campaign and I’ve been posting up a bunch of background fluff alongside the session write-ups and I was hoping some people could take a look and give me some feedback on what I have and/or ideas for more stuff to elaborate on.


looks pretty awesome! Are you running a pre-made module? It looks like your PCs are collecting quite a few magic items.

No, not a module. I’ve got a kind of over-arching storyline I’m planning to use to set up a long-term sandbox style game that will use a plot device as a focus and motivation for the players to go out and adventure, rather than just being munchkin murderhobos. To that end I’m kind of doing the first few sessions as a semi-linear plot-driven arc to introduce all of the elements for later one. I’m hoping to be done with that in the next two or three sessions so I can open things up and let them do basically whatever they want.

I know I’m probably being overgenerous with the loot and xp right now, but I’m having a lot of trouble putting together encounters that won’t just be a guaranteed TPK for four 1st level guys. My original plan was to just roll up random encounters for them and let the chips fall where they may, with the understanding that eventually we’d have some PC deaths on our hands. But I sat up for a couple of hours before the first session trying to fill out some random encounters, I don’t have a deep background in D&D so I wanted to have everything rolled up and stated out before hand so I wouldn’t be wasting time flipping pages or anything. But every time I rolled an encounter I ended up realizing there was no way they would ever be able to handle any of them in a million years. Even weak sauce monsters like goblins are a death sentence when you are fighting like a hundred of them. It seems either you give them a fight that they can reasonably win, like a gang of goblins or something, but if it’s not in a lair they get no treasure, which basically means no xp, so they never level. I’d say this is where it is important the player knows when to fight and when to retreat, but they’ll never get anything unless they eventually fight something.

I don’t want to sound like I’m being critical, I really like this system and we’re all having a blast playing it. I also realize that, unlike later editions, these kind of games don’t really concern themselves with “balance” in encounters, which is fine with me, I don’t mind there being the possibility of a character dying, but I don’t want it to be a certainty.

I realize this is probably something I’m missing, so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I’ll just keep muddling along and fudging die rolls to keep everyone from dying. I’ll also keep updating the adventure log.

Yes, you will want to read over the rules several times because you’ll find something different each time.

For example, while you may not get a clear reading from it just with the rules, the intent when you roll a goblin “lair” is that they are actually in several rooms that the PCs can work through one by one. Same idea with a village. Really, the most dangerous encounter one could have with goblins is in the wilderness not as a lair, when you could reasonably be expecting to fight the entire warband at once. However if you stumble across a goblin village, aka goblins “in lair” in the wilderness, that should really be a full-blown dungeon on it’s own.

hi, i want to say that" this site is so much lair and really most warband however be a full dungeon on that several rooms can one by one.


Spam. The giveaway is 'hi, i want to say that" ', the quote delinates the rest which is a hashed-up quasi-English list of words from Jard’s post.

I think it’s like a test attack to see what else they can get away with. They’ll probably come back once that text is indexed and they can search and see where they hit with what was a pretty automated script.

Keep in mind that “wilderness” adventuring is not intended for low level characters, so you are generally going to find some pretty nasty stuff there. Basically, when you wander away from civilization, you find things that can survive in that environment. Big groups and powerful monsters.

Low level characters should probably be closer to civilization, and face smaller threats. That often means dungeons. In low levels of dungeons you can find smaller threats, our big groups spread out a bit. For example, if you face a goblin sarcasms in it’s dungeon lair, they would not all be in one room. You might have a gang watching the entrance, a couple of gangs in a common area, a couple of gangs out “wandering” and the subchieftain in the back with some guards (another gang) the treasure and his harem. The trick for the PCs is to avoid getting them all attacking them at once, preferably with some stealth. Here, powerful groups hold more territory in their lairs, so they will be more spread out.