Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flame Princess Conqueror King

I've been reading the Adventurer Conqueror King (ACKS) system I picked up on Drive ThruRPG and I do like it but I have to admit that it is the Lamentations of the Flame Princess that is really drawing my attention of late.  I downloaded the free (sans art) PDF a while ago and I took a quick look at it but I didn't really look at it.  But lately I've been playing in a Labyrinth Lord game which is soon to be re-platformed to an ACKS game and so I've been looking at those systems.  While doing that, I found myself taking another look at the LotFP rules and I have to say that I think it's the best of the three.  I think that if I was going to run a fantasy game and I couldn't run Beacon I'd probably want to run LotFP and not ACKS or Labyrinth Lord.  Why?
  • Fighters fight.  If I was less worried about general compatibility with d20 I'd man up and take away leveling attack bonuses from all the non fighter classes in Beacon too.  I won't though since that compatibility is one of the design cornerstones.
  • Magic is chaotic.  This is great, re-purposing alignment like this and it revitalizes so many of the cleric spells and provides social consequences of magic.  I missed this bit until I heard Raggi talking about it in an Atomic Array interview.
  • The specialization system is great and would be easy to work with.  Assuming any special skill you might need in a game requires a 1 in 6 and then allowing specialists to add pips is very flexible. (the thing I dislike most about ACKS is the long list of proficiencies/skills.  I prefer adding to a short list because a long list will never be long enough or exactly fit your campaign).
  • ACKS just has too much going on with core mechanics.  It feels more like AD&D than D&D.
  • Labyrinth Lord is great and I love what they've done with the place but I'd have to do some major renovations if I wanted to move in.  Also who puts saving throws halfway through the book and not in the character section.  Really.   
Don't get me wrong, there is a lot in the ACKS book I really like, especially the stuff focusing on building up social institutions as part of the game, but I think that Lamentations has it beat for basic adventuring rules.  The great thing is that additional campaign orientated content is readily applied to any fantasy adventuring rule set and I can see myself mining it for a Beacon campaign just as easily as it could be mined for a Labyrinth Lord or a Flame Princess campaign.  I am totally glad I picked up the Adventurer Conquer King PDF but I would seriously considering picking a LotFP Grindhouse book to keep beside the table just in case.

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