Hello everyone!

I am new to the whole ACKS thing, and I am really liking what I am seeing. I am very excited to be able to provide feedback for the Player’s Companion now. I want to say up front that my comments on this forum are going to be critical, but that is just because I am only pointing out the places that I think there is room for improvement. The ACKS system is terrific, the designers should be very proud, and the PC shows lots and lots of promise. Please read all my criticisms in the most charitable light; They come from a place of respect.

The first concern that I have about the PC has to do with paladins. It appears that they actually require fewer experience points for each level than do fighters, but seem to have a large number of advantages over them. It looks to me that the balancing mechanism is meant to be the d6 hit die, but I don’t feel that this is enough.

A fighter will, on average, have one hit point per level more than the paladin. He also can change his alignment without penalty (I don’t think this is considered in the xp math for the paladin, nor should it be. A player who wants to play a paladin is someone who WANTS to play a Lawful character, so the requirement to do so is no penalty at all in practice).

The paladin, by contrast, has the following advantages over the fighter:

-Aura of Protection (+1 AC/saves against evil creatures)
-Immunity to all diseases
-Unlimited Detect Evil
-Lay on Hands

(Holy Fervor and Battlefield Prowess are pretty much a wash. Battlefield Prowess is slightly better because of the lack of a religion requirement, but I don’t see that difference coming up much in actual play. Paladins will almost always be leading their coreligionists into battle.)

I wonder if the class creation system doesn’t overvalue the difference between a d6 and a d8 for hit dice. I don’t think an average difference of 1 hit point per level is enough on its own to make the fighter more powerful than the paladin despite the latter’s various advantages, but the xp math does seem to think so. Just eyeballing it, the fact that paladins require fewer xp to level than do fighters seems a bit silly. If anything, I’d like to see paladins need a bit more to level than do fighters.

Possible Fixes: 1) Add some mildly difficult to meet stat requirements to the paladin.

  1. Decrease the experience value of slightly different hit dice sizes.

Of these options, I think I’d like to see some stat requirements on paladins (it is kind of an old school tradition anyway, though I don’t recommend anything as draconian as AD&D’s CHA 17 requirement!) and some sort of kludge to put paladins at slightly higher xp-to-level relative to fighters.

(note that pretty much everything in this post applies to anti-paladins too, though I haven’t read them quite as closely yet)

Thanks very much for your indulging this feedback! I’ll have more as I read and play with the other classes in more depth.

Dionysos gives voice to some concerns I’ve had when overlooking the earlier drafts of the Companion. I haven’t had a chance to examine the latest one in detail yet, but I would like to better understand what’s going on with the Paladin class.

Hey guys!

I don’t know if helps to alleviate your concerns at all, but one thing I did notice is that Paladin’s have don’t have access to ranged weaponry. They are strictly a melee class… at the forefront of the battle and all that. Fighters not only have access to whatever ranged weapons they choose but also add their damage bonus to those weapons.


If it’s true that Paladins can’t use ranged weapons - or at least get no benefits from doing so - this isn’t clear from v6.

“Paladins increase their base damage roll from missile and melee attacks by +1 at 1st level and by an additional +1 at 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th level. They may wear any armor, and may fight with a broad array of weapons, including …”.

To me ‘including’ means ‘not limited to’. If they are to be restricted to or at least focused on melee weapons then it would make more sense to remove the damage bonus for missile weapons and make some limitation on missile weapons express. The same would hold true for anti-paladins I suppose.



Im on a train so I can’t look at the document at the moment. If i had to guess, the missile damage inclusion I would imagine to be a mistake, considering the weapons a paladin is restricted to. When I was creating the ruinguard with Alex we overlooked the bonus damage wording as well, even after we chose melee-only weapons for the class.

In terms of “including” - I think he’s saying those are the weapons they’re allowed to use. Why say they’re allowed to use a broad array of weapons and only list a few specific weapons, all melee? I think “broad array” refers to the weapon group choice that is available using the character creator point buy system in the PC - a “broad selection” as opposed to a “restricted selection” etc.

In any case missile bonus damage should be clarified or erratad.

I only noticed the allowable weapons section. I should have read further. :slight_smile:

I definitely think that this should be clarified. Being a warrior with no access to missile weapons ever is enough of a drawback (combined with the lower HD) to eliminate my concerns about the class, but the text does need to be clearer about that. Thanks, everyone!

I'm sorry the language has caused confusion!

Paladins are exclusively limited to the following weapons: the battle axe, flail, lance, mace, morning star, pole arm, spear, sword, two-handed sword, and war hammer. 

Paladins increase their damage with both melee and missile weapons. What missile weapons, you ask? Hurling their spears or throwing their war hammers. 

I purposefully didn't remove the missile damage bonus as I thought the paladin didn't need another class power.

However, as an alternative way to design the class, I could remove the damage bonus to missile weapons and replace it with the Divine Blessing class power (+2 to saves). That would raise the cost of the class's XP curve by 150XP, to 2,000XP for level 2. 

Which is better? Opinions welcome. 



now i would go with divine blessing but what about a backstab-like power (damage vise only i.e. damage multiplier) but only againt evil/creatures and only in melee. lets call it smite evil…

I like the divine blessing version. Brings the XP up equal to a fighter’s, removes a point of wording confusion, and probably a good bit more useful than the missile damage bonus. Smite would be cool, but blessing is very paladin.

It might seem odd given that I began this thread, but I’d prefer to leave the paladin alone rather than give it another potent special ability like +2 to saves. I didn’t at first realize that the paladin had such limited access to missile weapons, and I think that alone pretty much assuages my concerns.

Is there a less potent special ability to give the paladin instead of divine blessing? That might be the best of both worlds.

As a heads-up, if any changes are made to the Paladin, the same changes will need to be made to the anti-paladin.

How comes? I think it would be rather neat to have some more subtle differences between these classes.

Sure, Divine Blessing sounds like it could fit but the Mystic and the Ruinguard already have that power. So I think its fine as it is!
It keeps some uncommon ranged option open for lightning, thunder or fishing gods. :slight_smile:

Because the anti-paladin (which I wrote) is largely derived from the paladin and balanced against it, and if the issue is one of the paladin being found too powerful for its XP cost, then the anti-paladin would also have that exact same problem.

I dont think that classes are balanced against each other beyond the fact that they are build by the same system. If there is something wrong with the XP costs it would affect far more then just these two classes.

Sorry, but in this case you’re incorrect about the former. Yes, they are built using the same system, but I also created the anti-paladin with a very deliberate eye to balancing it against its counterpart, the paladin. So, it’s balanced both ways by design.

That might be the case for your Anti-Paladin design but I am talking about the classes in general.

Personally I think the paladin is pretty balanced against the fighter considering what they lose. Also I felt like the weapon limitation was clear considering what the rules in the class builder state.

I imagine that surviving to level 2 is where the balance shakes out.

I agree completely.