Lords & Wizards Playtest: Basic Changes to ACKS

Here are some of the basic changes to the Adventurer Conqueror King System we are using at the start of the Lords & Wizards conversion — the rules we’ll be using this afternoon:

Race and Class are separate. Humans are the standard. Others races add abilities which increase the XP total needed to advance for a standard class:

Dwarves: +200xp (2nd), +400XP (3rd), +600xp (4th) +800xp (5th)
Elves: +125xp (2nd), +250xp (3rd), +375xp (4th), +500xp (5th)
Halflings: +150xp (2nd), +300xp (3rd), +450xp (4th), +600Xp (5th)

Characters may select, with the approval of the GM, a one or two-word background that represents a broad base of skills and knowledge, e.g. Farmer, Merchant, Desert Nomad, Noble, Shaman, Templar, Thyatian Mercenary, Ritualist, etc. Backgrounds need not be related to the PCs class, e.g. a player who creates a deeply religious fighter skilled in the arts of vision interpretation, divination and oration might pick ‘Prophet’ as a background. Backgrounds may not duplicate a class. The GM will consider the character’s background just as he would the character’s class when deciding if a character will succeed with an action. For example, a character with an “Engineer” background should have a much better chance of damming a creek or building a bridge over it than a character with a “Courtier” background.

Task Resolution
There are no specific skill to roll against in Lords & Wizards. Instead players are expected to think like adventurers, tell the GM what they are doing and the GM decides if it will succeed in the situation,
taking into account the character’s class, background, and proficiencies. If the GM decides a random success chance is truly needed he may resolve the situation with a roll of his choice or he may call
for one of the following rolls:

Proficient Task Roll: 1d20 + Stat Bonus + Class Level if the character is attempting something directly covered by a Proficiency which the character possesses.

Skilled Task Roll: 1d20 + Stat Bonus + (Class Level/2, round up) if the character is attempting something strongly related to their class or background.

Unskilled Task Roll: 1d20 +Stat Bonus + (Class Level/4, round down) if the character is attempting something not really related to their class or background.

When the GM calls for a task resolution roll, he will declare the type of task roll, which stat the task roll falls under, and any situational modifiers and the player will make the task roll. (The GM should
make the roll in secret if seeing the result would give the player more information than his character should have.)

Roll higher than the GM assigned Difficulty Class to succeed.

Suggested Difficulty Classes:
Normal – 10, Hard – 20, Very Hard – 30, Legendary – 40, Nearly Impossible – 50.

Hit Points
If Hit Points reach 0, the character is unconscious and begins to take severe physical injury. Further damage, including any remaining points of damage the attack that reduced hit points to zero, directly reduces Body Points. Hit Points represent stamina, luck, minor cuts and scrapes, etc. Optional: To avoid confusion, “Hit Points” may be renamed “Fatigue Points.”

Recovering Hit Points: All characters recover all hit points after six hours of total rest. If a character has lost Body Points due to wounds, only 50% of total hit points lost are recovered per six hours of rest.

Body Points
All characters have 10 Body Points. If Body Points reach 0, the character is dead. Each point of body damage a character has suffered gives a -1 to all attack, success, saving, and similar rolls.

Healing Body Point Damage: Body points lost recover at a rate of 1 point per 4 full days of rest (adjusted by CON bonus: decreased by 1 day per point of positive bonus, increased by 1 day per point of negative bonus; minimum of 1 day). If a character with up to 5 points of BP damage performs more than very light activity or careful travel during a day, he has a 50% chance of losing an additional body point. If a character with 6 or more points of BP damage does anything other than rest quietly in bed during a day, he has a 50% chance of losing an additional body point.

Casting Spells
Casting a spell costs one HP. A caster may attempt to cast a spell without spending a hit point, but must roll over twice the spell’s level on a D20 or the spell fails and is lost from the caster’s repertoire until he has a chance to re-add it to his repertoire (arcane caster) or performs a minor penitence set by a higher level cleric of his deity (divine caster).

Extra Effort
Characters my spend hit points before they roll a die, each hit point spend adds +1 to the die roll. A character can spend no more than 50% of their level (rounded up) in extra effort on any single task.

Note that we are trying a different method of handling proficiencies from the one I thought of a few days ago. While this new method will requiring rewriting a number of proficiency descriptions, it will (if it works in actual play) play well wityh my Background system — which all my players would to see retained.

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