Mechanically and philosophically, it is important for the feel of the game I want to play that PCs will encounter a semi-intelligent and hostile environment whenever they enter a dungeon. One way to emulate this is that all doors are locked. As such, the primary way of opening doors is to muscle through them. If the attempt fails, however, all chance at surprise is gone. Therefore, PCs have two alternative ways of attempting to open a door without giving up that chance of surprise should that attempt fail. One is magical (Knock) and the other is the Burglar.
Enter the ACKS Player Companion. Ostensibly, it is filled with extra classes, races, spells and equipment for use in Autarch’s house campaign world. However, they live by the credo that Every campaign is a law unto itself. Therefore, they provide a section wherein they brake down all of the mechanics that they used to create every class in ACKS (including the core classes) making it possible for Judges (the ACKS version of the DM) and players alike to create custom classes for their own campaigns.
This is, by far, my favorite aspect of ACKS. It is mechanically sound, balanced and backward compatible. The first part of my attempts to convert Averoigne to ACKS will heavily involve these custom class rules. First up is the aforementioned Burglar:
Burglar Class for ACKS
Prime Requisite: DEX
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 14
Burglars are adventurers who specialize in the opening of doors (thus the title burglar). They may wear chain-type armor or lighter and are able to use axes, bows and crossbows. They can use the fighting styles weapon + shield or two-handed weapons.
Burglars have three Thieving skills: Open Locks, Find Traps and Climb Walls.
In addition they have the following Custom Powers:
- Difficult to Spot: Burglars are very good at seemingly disappearing into shadow, nooks and crannies found within dungeons. If they are quiet and hold still while in cover, they can escape detection on a roll of 3+ on a d20. They can put this skill to use in wilderness conditions as well; however, the roll required is 14+ on a d20. [Note: the original Custom Power reverses these two rolls for Explorers and Elven Rangers]
- Keen Eyes: Burglars can detect hidden and secret doors with a roll of 8+ on a d20 if they are actively searching and a 14+ on a d20 if only casually inspecting.
- Loremastery: The burglar can decipher runes, remember ancient history, identify artifacts, etc. with a roll of 18+. This improves by 1 per level of experience.
Burglars fight and save as Thieves and can build an Adventurer’s Guild at 9th level (same rules as a Hideout). They also have the same Proficiency list as Thieves with the exception of Skulking and Sniping which are replaced with Blind Fighting and Eavesdropping. XP progression looks like this:
- Level 2: 1,400
- Level 3: 2,800
- Level 4: 5,600
- Level 5: 11,200
- Level 6: 22,400
- Level 7: 44,800
- Level 8: 89,600
- Level 9: 179,200
- Level 10:279,200
- Level 11: 379,200
- Level 12: 479,200
- Level 13: 579,200
- Level 14: 679,200
This was the first big test for the Custom Class system of ACKS: could it emulate what I was looking for in the Bilbo Baggins inspired thief/burglar archetype? I think it has done so better than my own earlier attempts at making the Thief class something that I would not only allow in my games, but would actually like to play.