Friday, December 27, 2013

Summon Berserkers: What do you get?

Summon Berserkers, a terribly useful spell in ACKS when you need a 4-pack of single HD creatures to sacrifice horribly.

One of the kids in the kid's campaign has this spell, so why not make a table? This started off marginally serious, wanting to be a swords & sorcery & planets theme, but quickly fell into cartoon references and the like.


  1. Common Vikings - horned helmet, leather, axes, beards, attitudes
  2. 9 foot tall green men - 4 arms, large tusks exuding from their lower jaws, fluted ears atop their heads
  3. 8 foot tall long-furred humanoids, a metallic sash across their chests
  4. Thick-muscled lizardmen with shiny silver eyes
  5. Humanoids in silver-fabric suits, with spherical round helmets. Golden faceplates obscure their features. Thick silver gloves and clunky boots spattered with a fine grey dust.
  6. Silent men in armor made from whole bones of various types.
  7. Bright blue men wielding long white tubes in each hand.
  8. Bearded men in khaki fabric and pith helmets, harrumphing at the apparent non-functionality of their metal-tube handled clubs, though they seem to swing fine.
  9. White-armored and helmeted troopers.
  10. Squat, armored men with impossibly wide, bald heads, and seemingly  no neck.
  11. Cat-headed humanoids of various types; lions, panthers, etc; in harness
  12. Ridge-headed humanoids in leather; wielding a large crescent blade with handholds on the back
  13. A group of 4 persons greatly resembling 4 people in the caster's party; but in fancier armor and clothes, and with well-groomed facial hair, if the party member it resembles is male and is clean-shaven (or cleanshaven if the party member is not)
  14. Thin lizardmen with rubbery skin and enormous black eyes
  15. Blue suited and helmeted humans, stylized red cobra on their chests.
  16. Long-clawed sloths which walk like men.
  17. Upright-walking insects resembling ants.
  18. Gaunt, blackskinned creatures with featureless oblong heads and a viciously fanged mouth dripping sizzling ichor.
  19. Potbellied, rat-faced creatures with membranous wings stretching between their arms and torsos.
  20. Pig-snouted, tusked, overmuscled green men with tusks and mohawks
  21. Hirsute, toga-wearing men with bestial faces and a single horn growing from their forehead
  22. Wild-eyed men in bamboo reed armor, poles with garish flags strapped to their backs.
  23. Intelligent looking, large-skulled grey apes in harness.
  24. Bipedel fungus, painted in pastel warpaints.
  25. 8 foot tall blue cat-men with prehensile tails, in harness.
  26. Humanoid in plate armor, with round glowing blue eyeholes in their helmet. Moves stiffly with slight mechanical noises.
  27. Clockwork men made of various low-value metals - copper, tin, etc.
  28. Confused, average looking human males in fake-looking armor wielding blunt weapons.
  29. A warrior bedecked in crimson armor, a valkyrie armored in azure, a dagger-wielding man in green leathers, and a golden robed elder with a staff. The warrior looks peckish.
  30. Men in black leathers wielding large, garishly bladed axes; with black-and-white facepaint.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Death of a Scorpion

       /                  \
      /                    \
      |      HERE LIES     |
      |                    |
      |     Kan Kaleus     |
      |       lvl 6        |
      |      Fighter       |
      |                    |
      |     killed by a    |
      |pack of Desert Dogs |
      |        2013        |
      |                    |
     *|    *     *      *  |  *

So, Kan Kaleus, the Scorpion, the Sting of Urik, met his end.

We were supposed to get this guy off of a mekillot-drawn enormous multi-story temple-trader thing. After safely ensconcing our kobold henchman-turned stone golem inside one of the mekillots (yea, I know, long story), we got on as mekillot keepers.

The mage would use Ventriloquism to speak to the kobold-golem inside the mekillot when it needed to be cranky so we could "calm it down", this proving our worth.

Anyway. We got into a poker game with the officers of the moving temple, plus some of the priests. Good time for a mutiny? Yes! The mage excuses himself to go to the little mage's room, comes back around the corner throwing Deep Slumbers (3.5E larger Sleep spell, 3rd level). Dropped a number of them, which I coup de grace'd.

The idiot who we're there to retrieve didn't know about our plan, mainly because he was charmed by the head templar to keep him calm, and we couldn't tell him. He panics, runs. Guards alerted.

I'm armed with only a knife, having been at a poker game. It quickly breaks during a natural 1. I overrun/bull rush my way through entirely too many guards, make it to my quarters with 6 HP, grab my spear and shield and armor. I climb out the window, joined by the mage who gifts me with a Spider Climb to get down.

Our target is running away from the chaos through the desert with the rest of the slave crew. We climb down. It's night. Some odd desert-dogs begin picking off runaways.

The mage (who is a Dark Sun elf) quickly catches up to the target, begins dragging him back. Dogs are following. I recklessly throw javelins to draw them off the mage, and am quickly downed.

Mage returns the favor with Magic Missiles. I'm drug up onto one of the enormous wheels of the thing, stabilized. Mage has to run off to do something else.

My unconscious body falls off the wheel and is chewed on by dogs. The kobold-golem had emerged by this point and drives them off.

And, I quote:

Mage: Now that the dogs are off I'll climb down and give him the Dr. House treatment.
Me: Well, at least you'll know it's not, wait, I was killed by dogs. It's lupus.

So there's that.

The game I play in is 3.5E -> E6 through Trailblazer, and the DM is trying out a new thing where we can start multiclassing in lieu of taking another feat, and gain other class's benefits, up to level 6 - for example, the wizard is a Wizard 6/Spirit Shaman 1 - he gets the Spirit Shaman 1 benefits that aren't overrun by the Wizard benefits he already has (which is none so far). It's a "best-of" gestalt.

I have my doubts about the long term validity. I don't necessarily see why everyone wouldn't have 6 levels of Fighter and Wizard, no matter their core concept, or at what point it becomes more complicated to manage than just leveling up past 6th - at some point (which is already here) your limited number of actions as a single character as opposed to your total number of options for actions available becomes unwieldy. Additionally, as 3E presents itself, you are going to come up against opponents who are more difficult than they really need to be simply because you've got an abstract power level that's not really anywhere near your applicable power level, and 3E really begs you to balance your encounter scales. I don't think I've met a caravan guard with less than 2HD.

But, hey. That's why this is an ACKS blog, and I'm not running that game.

We're a few E6 feat-slots into it by now, so I'm working up a:

Monk 6 + (Fighter 2+Hexblade 2)

which is so far ridiculous. I'll post it later, just to share the madness. I have my doubts I can make anything similar in ACKS, as I did with the previous character, but I'll sure try.