Using Build Points to Separate Race and Class or Removing Proficiencies

It seems to me one of the things you can do with the class design rules is to make ACKS play like other TSR editions and old-school games where different choices were made about player options. In particular I think that if you wanted a game like AD&D where race and class were separate choices you could break these out as separate pools of build points, and if you didn't want to use the default proficiency system you could build classes around a larger number of points as if you were buying back the proficiencies that the class would have gained at the standard levels.


I'd love to be able to back up these ideas with an actual description of how to go about it, but a baby is waking up (this is a virtually constant state of affairs) - can anyone lay out for me what this would look like?

“Race 0” drops maximum level by 1, and adds a small amount to the base XP for a class. Build every class at 4 points. Sprinkle with your favorite multi-classing rules - an elven fighter/mage/thief would add +125 XP to the base for all classes, of course.

For 1st edition, I might lower the maximum experience level by two per extra class, since the classes won’t be “sharing” build points, but will have some synergies. So the elven f/m/t would be limited to 9 character levels.

I believe the “High Elf” Elven Courtier shows the way to separating race and class, if desired. Separate XP progressions. However, a Judge must determine how to customize this approach to his campaign, and how to present it to the players. The first challenge, there is not just “Elf” in ACKS, but Elf Value 0-4. Does the Judge allow the player to choose their Elf Value, require that the player use selected Elf Values for given classes, or perhaps choose a single Elf Value for all elves in the campaign? Then, does the Judge allow an Elf to play any and all classes in the game? With these decisions made, how does the Judge present the options to the players: on an ad hoc basis (essentially custom designing each character/class); pre-calculated XP progressions for the options the Judge allows in his campaign; or a “choose one from Column A and one from Column B” approach?

As a very simple example, a player in my PbP campaign wanted to play a dwarven vaultguard goblin-slayer who retained the ability to see in the dark, taking the fight to the enemy in their dark warrens. For this purpose, I created “Deep Dwarves” as follows.

Deep Dwarf

As a dwarf, plus:

Infravision: The deep dwarves tendency to underground life has granted them extended infravision to 60’.

A deep dwarf advances as any other dwarven character, but increase the XP cost for each Dwarf Value of his class by 50XP.

Dwarven Vaultguard (Deep Dwarf)

Level XP Plus Total

1 0 0 0
2 2,200 50 2,250
3 4,400 100 4,500
4 8,800 200 9,000
5 17,500 400 17,900
6 35,000 800 35,800
7 70,000 1,600 71,600
8 140,000 3,200 143,200
9 270,000 6,400 276,400
10 400,000 12,800 412,800
11 530,000 25,600 555,600
12 660,000 51,200 761,200
13 790,000 102,400 892,400

In this example, a couple of issues come up. The vaultguard XP progression is rounded at 5th level (not the more common 7th level). I am choosing to keep the vaultguard XP plus the deep dwarf add-on, rather than round differently.

Then, one could round to 70,000 at 7th level, per XP smoothing. Doing this results in the deep dwarf add-on rounding to zero. I haven’t decided, but this has some appeal to me. Sort of like a 3.x level adjustment buy off, reflecting that at some point having infravision doesn’t dramatically help at higher levels.

Anyway, I thought this example may show the kind of issues a Judge will face in separating race and class in ACKS. Bottom line, it can be done with the tools available, and that’s pretty cool!