Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Am Waffling

A little while ago, I said that I'd decided that ACKS would be the system I'd use for my dungeon-crawling campaign. As I think about it, though, I find that I am weak. I keep going back and forth. ACKS or AD&D? Each has its advantages, and each has its drawbacks. Let me list some advantages that I am thinking about:

  • I know the system pretty well.
  • It has years of stuff that I can raid for ideas.
  • There is a certain cachet to the game that could attract players.
  • I have it all (except for stuff I don't care about) already.
  • It's pretty easy to convert stuff from other D&Ds to it.
  • Robust and amenable to house rules.

  • Explicit endgame, which is really my ultimate goal.
  • Simpler B/X style.
  • Excellent economics built in.
  • Elements that should appeal to modern gamers, without leaving old school aesthetics.

And for the disadvantages:

  • Modern gamers might not get it right away, especially the lack of character sheet fiddling.
  • Kinda involved rules.
  • A lot more house ruling involved in endgame phase or merchant prince activities.

  • Have to wait to get Players' Companion and other supplements.
  • Difficult to modify due to economic system built in.

I don't know. I really like ACKS, but AD&D is much more ingrained in me. What am I overlooking? ACKS or AD&D?

Also, don't forget to vote on the next Obscure Games review over to the right there.


  1. Hey!

    The Player's Companion is out now. I just picked it up yesterday.

    Granted, PDF only, but it does print out nice.

    1. I'd also have to wait for the wargame supplement, whatever it's called (OK, I don't actually have to wait for that, since I probably won't need it for a while yet, but Battlesystem and Delta's Book of War are already around).

  2. Can't you do the old standard, and mash them up?

    By which I mean, run AD&D but port over the economics and endgame system from ACKS. Would that be more work than it's worth?

    1. That is definitely on the consideration list! That's one of the neat things about D&D, too: it's basically a loose framework with a ton of optional rules and ideas out there. Even GURPS doesn't come close to the amount of different ways to do things (though GURPS is probably second on the list of "build-your-own-game" games, what with its about six or seven different, fully fleshed-out magic systems and such; and don't think that I've completely ruled GURPS out, either, as I do have one potential player who is a strong advocate for it, though that would be a lot more work to get going for what I want to do, as I learned while trying to do GURPS Greyhawk*).

      *A project that I have not abandoned, by the way, though it's been a while since I've done anything with it.