Variant/specialist wizards

Thanks for the suggestion! Even though I’ve explained the Zaharan “Dark Souls” drawback to players a couple times, it hadn’t occurred to me to invent anti-powers like that.

That’s awesome Alex. I like the idea that you can use it as a stand-alone campaign or mix and match into a standard ACKS setting. I love the idea of different traditions of magic in the same game world.

For sure. I have a notion that I will start to publish an e-zine called Axioms which will be filled with my little utilities and inside-baseball type stuff.


It looks like you’ve been thinking about it more than I did.

With the Astromancer, I wanted to get the class mechanics and abilities converted to an ACKS build as much as possible to figure out the XP progression and attempt to keep it in line with the PC Classes power-wise. As far as the spells go, I was going to do what you were planning on doing initially and just drop them in. If I noticed anything egregiously out of balance with the spells I’d either drop it or adjust its level.

The hardest part was finding all of the points for the abilities. Frankly you can’t do it with PC rules unless you make the astromancer a divine class, which I did and renamed a Seer - I haven’t looked through it in a while, but this is what I came up with so far:

Fighting ability none: 0 points
Clerical Ability (as cleric): 2 points
Hit points d6: 1 point
Thievery: 1 point (3 skills)

3 build points from thief
Armor Unrestricted to None: 4 points
Turn Undead: 2 points
Weapons restricted

10 Build Points

2 points: Starlit Sight
Celestial Clarity/Wisdom: 1 point
Impossible to Surprise: 2 points
Immune to Curses/double roll for save vs. death/avoid death once per day: 4 points.

I’m just finishing up my version of the druid class, which I’ll post for fun up where when I think it’s ready to be shown. The astromancer was going to be the next class I worked on.


I’ve been enjoying working on Heroic Companion so much that I’m of a mind to use it to run my own Auran Empire campaign setting. I think it will be compatible enough that I could do that.

The big “X factor” in my mind is whether to have strictly human casters or to only have human ceremonialists in Heroic Companion. Right now I have human ecclesiastics, human loremasters, human runecasters, and human occultists, but they are all ceremonialists. The true casters are the elven spellsinger, nobiran wizard, and zaharan sorcerer.

I did Kuan Amelatu as an Arcane Value replacement last night, by converting it from arcane magic to eldritch magic, which gives one bonus class ability per Eldritch point (because eldritch magic has other limitations/drawbacks). This created a little extra work, because of the need to make a chart of which abilities you gain at each number of (Arcane + Elf) points in the original class. In the end, I only went up to 4 points, partly because I was out of ideas for things to include and partly because I don’t think any of the classes in core or PC go above 4 anyhow.

The abilities I added were:

  • Arcane 1: Unending Vigil (the necrolator gives up the need and ability to sleep, but still needs 8 hours of calm to regain spells; also gives +1 on surprise rolls vs. undead)
  • Arcane 2: Favored of the Grave (mindless undead with HD less than or equal to the necrolator's level will not attack him without provocation due to his dedication to soothing the restless dead; does not confer any protection to others)
  • Arcane 3: Unquenchable Vitality (at fifth level, gain immunity to special effects of undead melee attacks, such as energy drain and mummy rot) and Envoy of Night (at ninth level, the necrolator can identify any undead creature and its special abilities on sight, even unique creatures, and recognize the general reason for its undeath)
  • Arcane 4: Protection from Undead (+1 AC vs. the attacks of undead creatures and +1 to all saving throws against their abilities)

Protection from Undead was basically thrown in just to fill out the final slot and Unending Vigil seemed a bit weak on its own, so I threw in the surprise bonus to beef it up a little. Aside from that, the abilities are all straight out of Crimson Pandect. I left out Guardian of the Gate (not needed in ACKS, since use of weapons and armor is already covered by Fighting score) and Ally from Beyond (because it’s basically cosmetic and, if it were to become mechanically significant, it would be a drawback, not a benefit).

On the spell list, I’ve only really looked at level 1-2 spells (the character who wants to swap to necrolatry is a level 3 elven enchanter, so higher-level spells aren’t a concern yet). I added Detect Undead (obviously) at level 1, increased Impassable Flesh from level 2 to level 4 (it removes all hunger and thirst, which is largely equivalent to Create Food and Water, so I would have gone level 5, but it’s self-only, so I dropped it back down to 4), and removed Know Alignment entirely (I don’t think any equivalent effect appears in ACKS). I also still want to go through the ACKS spell lists to see what might be appropriate to add to the lists.

Given what I’ve done with Kuan Amelatu, I think it would likely be best to build the others as complete classes rather than doing them this way, but, as a special case, I think this way of doing necrolatry was probably best for my current campaign. (The PCs are establishing a colony on a new island. A quarter of the seed population are elves and Kuan Amelatu is the dominant Creed among them, so I want most of the elves to be able to practice necrolatry without having to force them to all be the same class.)

I think there’s enough support in the fiction for that - mad men and women brushing up against what mere mortals are able to handle, while those touched with something ‘outside’ humanity able to wield magic more effortlessly.

What immediately comes to mind is the filmed version of the second White Council from the Hobbit film - Saruman dismissing the entity in Dol Guldur as a ‘human with magical tricks’ (iirc, can’t find the scene).

At any rate, drawing a stronger line between what’s human and what’s ‘other’ certainly fits the mold.

Yeah I agree - that’s certainly an established trope in heroic fiction… Human beings always reaching for a power beyond what they’re capable of handling. Or handling without a huge cost. I like the split for this type of game, especially if they’re all sort of balanced against each other anyway.

Awesome, thank you for the feedback, gentleman!

Here was a quote I found very inspirational in this regard:
“We have loosed a demon upon the earth, a fiend inexplicable to common humanity. I have plumbed deep in evil, but there is a limit to which I, or any man of my race and age, can go. My ancestors were clean men, without any demoniacal taint; it is only I who have sunk into the pits, and I can sin only to the extent of my personal individuality. But behind Xaltotun lie a thousand centuries of black magic and diabolism, an ancient tradition of evil.” – Orastes, in The Hour of the Dragon (R.E. Howard)


Interesting. “Ceremonies” seems to imply a slower and more deliberate method of casting than normal ACKS spells Could we get some sense of how ceremonies differ from traditional spell casting (if they do at all) and maybe some example effects?

You are great, and a terrible tease… these forum are hard to follow so searching around for eldritch magic in the heroic companion I found this other one… you should put all this tease in the blog!!!

I love this two classes… I was thinking similary for my homebrew (but with a different division in spells) great :slight_smile: