Proficiency questions for new player

I think it is fair to say that I went in with a lot of assumptions and thus didn't realize ACKS did things differently until it came up. Reading the thing cover to cover might've helped.


That said, the book does have some severe ergonomics issues where nothing is ever technically in the WRONG place, but it does seem like it takes me more guesses than with other systems to find what I'm looking for. That said, I think Alex knows and feels bad about it, so we try not to mention it too much.

The book was absolutely written as if you would read it cover to cover, and as a result many mechanics are in the wrong place when you want to use it as a reference. The inspiration/guide for the presentation was BX, which very much introduced rules in an as-you-are-ready-for-them format. Unfortunately (a) few players that buy ACKS read rule books that way anymore and (b) ACKS is a teensy bit longer than BX. So it didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped.

If someone is so inclined, it would be helpful to me if you started a thread mentioning the rules you find least accessible/hardest to find or learn in actual play.


Dreaming of 2nd edition, huh?

Nothing like opening a can of worms!

But back to my questions ...   :)

Essentially you have a 10% to do stuff that's not explicitly stated you have a better chance (if I'm doung my 18+ on a d20 math correctly) that right?




tcgb, I find the ACKS reference tables (from the download section) invaluable at collecting key numbers spread across the book in one place for easy use at the table - and yes,they have the open doors stuff right on the first page.  Some stalwarts put them together ages ago:

Regarding the last question, 18+ is basically a 15% chance and is the closest you can get to 1d6 on a d20 - it's a good guideline to use when there's no rule.  Lots of things that were 2 in 6 chances in the old BX system are now 14+ in ACKS (like elves detecting a secret door).

No. The stuff mentioned is explicitly's and there.


By "10%" I meant "15%" of course.  I was using that new metric math.


I get an "access denied" message trying that link.  Perhaps they've vaporized my account for being a troublemaker.    I'll try at home - maybe it's this phone that is the problem.

Just as background, ACKS core was written for a broad OSR audience, some of whom demonstrate their OSR -ness by despising anything that smells like a skill system. Therefore, ACKS core walks the difficult path of Proficiencies being presented as optional (with a light hand).

As time has passed, it seems people who like ACKS like Proficiencies, and there are numerous posts on the forum asking for more detail and explanation on Proficiencies and related throws.

Still, there are many who tweak Proficiencies and throws to their tastes, such as d6 rolls, ability checks, etc. “Every campaign is a law unto itself …”

I think the Autarchs have way too much cool stuff in the pipeline to seriously contemplate a 2nd edition. However, I dream of a glorious 10th Anniversary Deluxe edition – largely the same as ACKS core, but with a wealth of clarifying sidebars and cross-references. And a few key bits from D@W, maybe. And an integrated Auran Campaign primer. And a Judge’s Screen, darn it.

You had me at "glorious 10th Anniversary Deluxe edition."


I get an "access denied" message trying that link.  Perhaps they've vaporized my account for being a troublemaker.    I'll try at home - maybe it's this phone that is the problem.


Weird, I'd drop support (email in the footer) a note about the downloads section.  I thought it was public for all forum folks.

Shut Up And Take My Silver Talents!

Can't get the file on my home PC either - sent question to support.

That particular file is locked to original Kickstarter backers of ACKS. 

That being said, the Judge's Screen by Beragon at the bottom of the page is very much the same content, and has many of the adventuring proficiency rolls.


man, you'd think after all this time those reference files could be safely opened up to the public.

There's honestly not a lot in there that either hasn't been done better elsewhere or has been obsoleted.

It would be worth a lot of ducats if it had the spell points for each spell and build options used for each class in the fancy-schmancy sidebars.

It's the glorious 10th Anniversary Detect Invisible edition!

This is from the Judges Screen on the download page:

Task Throw
Forcing Open a door 18+ (+/-4 per point of STR mod.)
Detect a Secret Door 18+ (Elves 14+)
Listening at a Door 18+ (Demi-humans 14+)
Spotting a Trap 18+ (Dwarves 14+)

If I want to improve Detect Secret Door, I would need to be able to get the Alertness Proficiency (which some classes like Cleric can not).

If I want to get better at Spotting a Trap, I would need to be able to get the Trap Finding Proficiency (which only the "thief" types can get).

So...if I make a fighter for example, there is no way for him to ever get better at finding traps.

Also, my Thief can get a little better by taking the Trap Finding - getting a +2 - otherwise they would improve in it as they level up.     

I guess I would question why others could never get better at finding traps - though I suppose "class protection" is part of the history of this type of game.

In any case, I hope I'm starting to get the Proficiency stuff.




Class niche protection is ultimately the answer. However, Spot Trap, Listen at Door, and similar aren't learned Proficiencies. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they aren't really Proficiencies at all, and probably shouldn't be called out as such. These were what I was thinking of when I mentioned the Craftpriest's bonus not applying to all Proficiencies.