Friday, July 8, 2011

ACK! Adventurer Conqueror King (System)

ACK - it was inevitable...
ACK - Adventure Conqueror King System, another wordy sounding "I'm not a retro clone" game has shown up on the radar, with a name almost as unfortunate as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplaying - which I tend to just abbreviate as LOTFP these days, and refer to it as Lamentations with the group - as in, "When we're done with this campaign, the next one will be back to using Lamentations rules".  So now I can foresee a future where we're referring to the ACK rules like so; "We're still using Lamentations for classes, but I love the ACK system for economics and dominions".  Maybe saying it A-C-K (Ay-See-Kay) will work.  (Hopefully it's as good as LOTFP too).

After seeing a note on Mule Abides, I started following the new blog for it here ( ).  It's been super interesting reading so far and I highly recommend checking it out; as a world builder I love systems that address background demographics and economics, and so far the designer has focused on tackling those issues right up front.  The post on "The demographics of heroism" is excellent.

It's funny, a few weeks ago I remarked how this is such an amazing time in the RPG hobby for D&D players - the suits have left the building, and in the post-OGL world we can build the games we want and redress the omissions perpetrated by the corporate machinery.  James can put his frisky Medusa art in LOTFP, and build a better thief and a better magic-user spell list and beat the tar out of the cleric with the nerf bat, and Goodman can wallpaper Rolemaster-style critical and spell effect tables all over the place, and now these ACK guys can put together a rules set that fulfills D&D's early promise about castle building and army building and ruling your own kingdom and having it all make sense.

Anyway - it's way too early to say whether we'd play ACKS or just borrow from it, and it's even unclear if they'll get off the ground (unlike a lot of hobbyists, they're going with a kickstarter event up front to raise money).  But I'm willing to check out any rules-set that marries old school D&D classes, sandbox gaming support, beaucoup random tables, and dominion economics (done right).  After playing LOTFP, the old school percentile-based thief is a drag, and so is old style encumbrance - I want to port that stuff into every D&D game I play.  I foresee people's home games becoming more and more like "Frankensteins", as designers create incremental improvements to old school D&D - we'll pick and choose the best rules bits and subsystems for home use, not married to any one rules set.

Good luck ACKS guys, it looks promising so far.

PS:  I didn't realize the Hill Cantons domain game was going to be a print product too - looks like there will be two supplements in the near future that support name level dominion play!