Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Adventurer, Crippled, Killed

This morning I bought the .pdf of Adventurer, Conqueror, King System. Mainly because I was interested in the fantasy economics that are designed to fit the assumptions of D&D (I've sent the players in our game to their post on 'The Demographics of Heroism') rather than model historical economics. But, on opening the 'book', one of the first things that I went to was the awesome, single page, Mortal Wounds table, right at the back. Oh, am I going to love inflicting everything from, 'Ghostly visions of lost companions flicker before your eyes as you awaken', to,'Your lips and tongue are severed or mangled (cannot speak, cast spells or use magic items involving speech, -4 to reaction rolls)' on the PCs in our game. It is a good middle ground between single table simplicity and the pages and pages of tables and detail in WFRP1e (with the Character Pack, at least) and Rolemaster.

The thing to remember with Death and Dismemberment tables and the like is that they actually make D&D less deadly - 0HP does not equal insta-death - but they make death much more colourful AND they explain why there might be people with permanent injuries in a world that would otherwise works on the principle of, 'he's fine, he's fine, he's fine, he's DEAD'.

At the moment, I'm only envisaging using ACKS for the economics, some of the ideas about ritual magic, and the mortal wounds table. I prefer LotFP for the core adventuring mechanics and simple, well defined classes. But you never know... it is another D&D-alike to add to my original books (AD&D1e/2e, BECMI/RC), my retro-clones (Labyrinth Lord being my go-to clone) and my simulacra (Crypts and Things, LotFP, and now ACKS). That's a lot of D&D, and lots of things to pick and choose from in there.  

And if we're speaking of copper coins, I really do like the ACKS Treasure Generator.

1 comment:

  1. I used a similar system in 3e for many years. It did make the game less lethal without the whole "up to -CON hit points" nonsense. Plus it makes going to 0 more memorable such as the time the dwarf's leg got severed and he had to carry it around for days in his backpack while he was polymorphed into an ogre.

    One thing I don't like about ACKS is that you're automatically unconscious a 0 hp. I let the players take a save to stay conscious, possibly continuing to fight knowing that every hit they take from then on is another roll on the "death chart".