I admit, these house rules go rather to the core of the system, but I have established my D&D-preferences for quite some time and I just can’t go back to Gary Gygax’s version of D&D (as ACKS is quite faithful to).
Irda, it's really amazing to see how you've adapted the ACKS rules to your personal framework. It looks very comprehensive, fun, and playable. Some of your tweaks are really fascinating, such as hp based on armor.
I really also need to praise your 3-liner description of ACKS alignments. It's the best summary of ACKS alignment I've ever read. For those too lazy to click through to Irda's link:
Lawful - Team civilization. Honor your word, defend the frontier and kill bad-guys.
Neutral - Team me & mine. Get the money and protect your crew or kin. Everyone else, watch out.
Chaotic - Team evil. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Thank you for the kind words, Alex. I appreciate it.
A lot of this will require playtesting in the ACKS context. What works in d20 D&D won’t necessarily work exactly right in TSR D&D, and will require tweaking. In particular I can think of two things which might be off-
The rate of HP recovery. Right now I have them bounce back each full night of rest (minus any effect from Wounds), but that may end up being too easily achieved. My back up plan is to require a full 24 hour period of rest to reset your Hit Points, which would be hard to find in a dungeon or while traveling rough in the Borderlands.
The damage multiplier. I want to keep fights short and brutal even at high level (or allow a high level Fighter to just really plow through a crowd of mooks like a scythe through wheat), but the way that AC, Fighting, Damage, To-hit, and monster abilities all play together in actual fights is really hard to model. Nothing to do except play it out and see how it works. The multiplier may end up being too high, or monsters might need a boost to damage output to keep it “fair” between them and PC’s. We’ll see.
Thanks for the kind words on the alignment summary too. My players are famously allergic to prose, so I try to keep things as short and punch as I can.
With regard to your combat - balance conerns: ACKS fights are quite deadly due to the lower hit points of characters (1d8 for fighters, max CON bonus of +3 instead of +4, etc.) combined with the fighter damage bonus.
An average 6th level fighter with STR 15, CON 15, and a +1 weapon will have (4.5 x 6 + 6) 33 hit points and will deal (4.5 +1 +1 +3) 9.5 damage per attack. It will take only 3-4 blows to finish the fight.
In contrast, in AD&D, the same fighter would have (5.5 x 6 +6) 39 hit points and would deal (4.5 + 0 +1) 5.5 damage per attack, or 7.5 damage if using weapon specialization. It will take 8-9 blows to finish the fight, or 6-7 with weapon specialization.
I usually measure my combats in terms of rounds though (not hits). Not every attack hits, so a fight between two high-AC, low to-hit guys can still drag out for a while. So you have to adjust for that as well.
If I do my math right most fights should be pretty short in terms of absolute number of rounds. With the ability to quickly recover HP after combats or overnight, there shouldn’t be a problem with high-damage fights.
But we’ll see. That’s what the playtesting is for.