I’ve been running D&D games in my homebrew setting since the early 1990s. I began with 2nd Edition, switched to 3rd when it came out, then to 3.5. For the last few years, I’ve been running in Pathfinder, which all my players seem to love.
I, on the other hand, am tired. Thirteen years of dealing with the rules crunch of the 3.x iteration has worn me out. I’m interested in simplifying things, and have been investigating earlier editions.
The main thing that has held me back from just grabbing the old B/X rules and diving in is that I’m not ready to give up the stories and mythology of my homebrew setting. It represents almost 20 years of my DMing life, after all. To switch over to B/X from Pathfinder would require me to either reskin, rewrite, or eliminate entire concepts from my world as it currently stands (especially those which affect existing PCs).
That’s where ACKS caught my eye, particularly the Player’s Companion. Having some guidelines for creating custom classes in a B/X mold goes a long way towards making this a feasible switch for me. That said, I need a little advice from those with a bit more experience in the system (or preferably, both systems).
First, I intend on keeping Vancian prepared casting, at least for the actual wizards. I like the free casting for clerics and other divine types, but it just rubs me wrong for wizards, especially when I still have sorcerers with which to contend.
Ultimately, that’s my first real challenge. A few very important existing characters in my world (both PC and NPC) are sorcerers, and I need a better way to model them than just making them mages and calling it a day. The fluff of the sorcerer as distinct from the wizard is too intertwined now with my setting to be handwaved away, so I need to figure out how to properly model that in ACKS.
Mechanically, I’d like them to still feel more or less like they do in 3.x, as arcane casters with a seriously limited spell selection, but more daily casting than a wizard. What would be the best way to achieve this while keeping the basic balance between classes intact? How many XP could such a character expect to require for leveling up? Would it throw the world off its axis if the ACKS sorcerer used Charisma instead of Intelligence as their prime requisite and casting stat?
Any insight or advice is welcome.