Saturday, January 23, 2016

Age of Specialists

Charles of By This Axe! is running a PbP on Autarch's boards; utilizing his Troupe starting rules. I'm excited to see how it works out - I support anything that gets players initially invested in the extra elements ACKS gives you.

One of the troupe members can be a specialist. NPC specialists are a ...special sort of breed - normal men and women stacking a lot of proficiencies.

Thing is, different specializations require different levels of proficiency gain. To add to that, the four proficiencies that normal humans receive can't be used to pre-stack at the start of your career - the Sage cannot take Knowledge four times at the start of their career.

They can, however, utilize their INT bonus, if any, to stack starting proficiencies.

Normal humans (I'm ignoring demihumans, because I usually do) gain proficiencies based on age, essentially - +5 years, +15 years, and +35 years.

If one starts at age 18, that's an additional proficiency at 23, 33, and 53 years of age - two proficiencies earned while an adult, and one last earned close to the end of middle age.

If you can't bootstrap yourself with an INT bonus, then you have to come about it the hard way.

From ACKS, here's the list of specialists and the number of times they need a repeating proficiency:

Specialist TypeWageProficiencies RequiredIdentical Proficiencies Required
Artillerist25Siege Engineering1
Creature Handler (Domestic)25Animal Training1
Creature Handler (Wild)75Animal Training1
Creature Handler (Dire)150Animal Training2
Creature Handler (Exotic)250Animal Training2
Marshal (LI)30Manual of Arms1
Marshal (Ranged)60Manual of Arms, Weapon Focus (bows & Crossbows)1
Marshal (HI)60Manual of Arms2
Marshal (LC)60Manual of Arms, Riding1
Marshal (HC)120Manual of Arms, Riding2
Marshal (HA)120Manual of Arms, Weapon Focus (bows & Crossbows), Riding1
Marshal (CC)240Manual of Arms, Weapon Focus (bows & crossbows), Riding2
Siege Engineer50Siege Engineering2

I made a guess that the Quartermaster would take 2 ranks of Profession, based on it's income. I''ll additionally wager they're often coming in with an INT bonus.

Note Siege Engineering follows the Profession increase, as does Healing. Sailing captains are established professionals as well.

How quickly you can start out depends entirely on your INT:

# Proficiencies Req. for SpecialistINT+0INT+1INT+2INT+3
3Adult (Older)AdultStartStart
4Middle AgeAdult (Older)AdultStart

If you're a normal human and you've got a 16 or higher INT, for lord's sake, become a Sage - live the rest of your life in affluence without having to go into a dungeon.

So, chances that you meet a specialist of a certain age group rest entirely on their own INT score. 

# Proficiencies Req. for SpecialistStart (18-22)Adult (23-32)Adult (33-35)Middle Age (36+)

100% of 1-proficiency specialists will be 18 or older - 100% of 3-proficiency specialists will be at the end of the Adult age category.

Meeting an Engineer at age 18-22 means you've met someone with an 18 INT, and your party's mage should recruit them as an apprentice immediately.

This doesn't really cover specialists like multi-role Animal Trainers, or Marshals - you can treat that as a total number of proficiencies count - figure out the chances of any given Animal Trainer having specialized in another type, let's say:

Total # of ProficienciesStart (18-22)Adult (23-32)Adult (33-35)Middle Age (36+)

so if I had a really focused animal trainer, she'd be able to handle 3 different types of dire or exotic animal plus a domestic (or 7 domestics, or...) - and she'd probably be middle aged. 

Alternatively, being a Cataphract Marshal costs 4 proficiencies - if he can act as a Siege Engineer when not training folks, he's got 6 proficiencies total - 100% chance he's in his early 30s.

As a more immediately useful table, roll 3d6 and get the age of your specialist:

# Proficiencies Req. for SpecialistStartAdultAdult (Older)Middle Age
Total # of ProficienciesStartAdultAdult (Older)Middle Age
Result 13-
Roll 1d4
Result 13-15
Roll 1d6
Result 16-17
Roll 1d6

..with an optional second roll to randomly determine age class from that result.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Autarch's Patreon

Happy New Year.

Lairs & Encounters finished successfully - just a hair over the amount needed to unlock the final Christmas Special stretch goal.

So, all ya'll are getting some pretty badass monsters added in. Hope you remembered to back it.

Autarch Patreon

Autarch has started a Patreon - Alex Macris is always putting out little rules updates and such on the Autarch forums, and he wanted to do more - hence the Patreon.

We patrons have already gotten a new resource: a Spellcaster Type Creation system.

Following in the heels of the Player's Companion, where you could create your own spells, comes a way to customize an entire source of magic.

From the blurb:

In the Adventurer Conqueror King System , there are only two types of magic: divine magic and arcane magic. All of the spellcasting character classes in ACKS and Player’s Companion use one or both of these types of magic. The two types of characters represent the most common and popular archetypes of myth,
legend, film, and literature. However, they also incorporate certain assumptions that might not be appropriate for every setting. For instance, in a setting similar to Robert E. Howard’s Hyboria, the Judge might want sorcery-wielding priests who can heal and animate the dead, but learn their spells through study like mages.
The rules in the attached PDF follow enable Judges to create new magic types with different characteristics that can be used with the Players’ Companion to create very different spellcasting classes.
These rules were built for my internal use during the development of the upcoming Heroic Companion, which features an Eldritch magic type for use in heroic fantasy settings. With these rules, along with the monster creation rules in Lairs & Encounters, you have the building blocks to re-create virtually any fantasy setting.

It's a hell of a thing. Recall, if you will, the 11 spell categories from the ACKSPC. By altering the default multiplier for your source, or eliminating categories entirely, you can customize a new type of spellcaster with a unique spell source - and experience point value.

 It's a fully realized thing too - after you've established how your spellcaster should operate, spell wise, there's guidelines on spell slots, a way to calculate a divine repertoire number, how the class should interact with the various magic item/research rules depending on it's category multipliers, as well as guidance on saving throw progressions and such. A new repertoire type, "Inherited", is also introduced.

What you end up with is a new spellcaster build option that slots right along with Arcane and Divine, fully customizable  to how you think magic could work in your world.

I've said it before, but what Autarch is able to do with the class builder, spell builder, the upcoming monster builder from Lairs and Encounters, in a system that was very much a product of play and fiddling, and never really meant to be mathematically equatable, is nothing short of miraculous.

Hell, d20 or 4E couldn't do what has been done here and those two were supposed to be...formulaic, for lack of a better term. I've mentioned True Sorcery here before; which tried to make the d20 spell list createable on-the-fly...and while a noble effort, ultimately unusable.

Obviously, I'm an Autarch supporter - you can tell that by the rest of the blog.

The subsystems they're putting out - derived from the structure of the game itself in many cases, or emergent from the base economics ACKS starts with - are enabling judges and players to put a highly customized stamp on their games and their worlds.

The publishers of The World's Most Popular Versions are feeding you stories and paths, trickling out disparate content you have to figure out - they're not helping you figure out how  your campaign world works.

They're giving you a show - a guided tour through their worlds...sit back and enjoy it, if you're that type.

Autarch's giving you the tools, not a plot. The cameras, the crew, they're showing you the back lot where the sets are, where to find the sound guys and the costumers. They're letting you go create - with a supporting structure that won't fall over when you look at it crosseyed. A place your players can walk into without a script and start ad libbing.

Check out Autarch's Patreon and see what you're missing - then come by the forums and find a great group of folks that are a lot more interested in enabling play and having a good time with it.

(without, I may add, the extraneous bullshit that infests other RPG forums)