ACKSian Combat Rules

Adventurer, Conqueror, King

I’ve played a lot of ACKS (Adventurer Conqueror King) in the past year or two and have grown to approve of its approach to weapons and combat styles – which I now intend to integrate into Tempora Mutantur.

I don’t want to go back to edit and repaginate all my one-page rules, so I’m posting these “House Rules” for my TM Roll20 Campaign.

Expect to see some additional changes and/or updates “real soon now”…


Weapon Categories:

ACKS divides weapons into similar categories as the Tempora Mutantur Core Rules, but with some key differences. I’ve gotten used to the ACKS approach, and I intend to use the following groupings for melee weapons:

  • Light melee weapons are fast (+1 initiative), concealable, and are wielded with one hand. They inflict 1d4 points of damage, and many can be thrown in combat as missile weapons (e.g., knives, hammers, clubs).
  • Medium melee weapons come in a wide variety and are typically wielded one-handed, inflicting 1d6 points of damage (machetes, wrenches).
    • Some medium melee weapons can be thrown in combat as missile weapons (hatchets, javelins, spears).
    • Some medium melee weapons may be wielded with one or both hands. When used one-handed, they inflict 1d6 points of damage. When gripped with two hands, damage increases to 1d8 (crowbars, katanas, spears).
  • Heavy melee weapons inflict 1d10 points of damage, but require two hands and impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls (sledgehammers, fire axes).

In Tempora Mutantur game terms, this means that some weapons will see their damage decrease. Light melee weapons only inflict 1d4 damage. Many medium melee weapons have been “demoted” from 1d8 to 1d6 damage when used with one hand, and need two hands to inflict 1d8 damage.

My original rules for ranged weapon categories actually matches the ACKS assumptions, so these remain unchanged.

I’ll be using “ACKSian” assumptions for details not covered in the Tempora Mutantur rules (missile weapon ranges, relative costs, special manoeuvres, etc.).

Hybrid weapons (constructed using Ancient-tech materials) will increase the damage by one die type. A Newsteel knife, for example, will inflict 1d6 damage (instead of 1d4).


Fighting Styles:

Fighting styles represent the character’s training in combat. There are four styles:

  • One-Handed Style: Basic fighting style. Available to enforcers, scouts, and thinkers.
  • Two-Handed Weapons: Allows increased damage. Enforcers and scouts only.
  • Dual-Wielding: +1 bonus to melee attack rolls. Enforcers and scouts only.
  • Weapon & Shield: Allows shield bonus to AC. Enforcers only.

All characters can fight using weapons one-handed, since it is considered the “basic” fighting style. This includes light weapons, as well as medium weapons wielded with one hand.

Enforcers and Scouts gain increased damage by wielding two-handed weapons, although heavy weapons incur a -1 penalty to initiative. Note that many medium weapons can be used two-handed.

Enforcers and Scouts can fight with a weapon in each hand (dual-wielding). Characters fighting with two weapons still make 1 attack, using the primary weapon, but they gain a +1 bonus to the melee attack roll from having the second weapon. If the second weapon has a bonus to attack, it may be added to the roll (stacking with the primary weapon), but not to the damage roll. Dual wielding does not give additional attacks.

Proficiency with weapon & shield style is limited to enforcers only. Characters with a shield gain a bonus to Armour Class without incurring a non-proficient negative condition.

Any character can try using a shield, dual-wielding, or using 2-hander weapons without the appropriate proficiency, but suffer a -2 “Non-Proficient” negative condition.


Combat Specialization:

The following options replace the Enforcer’s “Combat Specialization” choices at 5th rank:

  • Light Weapons: +1 to initiative rolls.
  • Medium Weapon: +1 to attack rolls (1H or 2H).
  • Heavy Weapons: +1 to initiative rolls.
  • Missile Weapon: +1 to attack rolls.
  • Two-Handed Weapon: +1 to damage rolls (Med or Hvy).
  • Dual-Wielding: +1 to attack rolls.
  • Weapon & Shield: Opponents are -1 to hit.

The ACKS “Berserkergang” proficiency is cool (and can be chosen as a specialization), but needs to be reworded for Tempora Mutantur:

  • Berserkergang: The enforcer can enter a berserk rage. While enraged, he gains a +2 bonus to Attack and becomes immune to fear. However, attackers get a +2 bonus to attack the enforcer, and the character cannot retreat from combat. Once it has begun, a berserker rage cannot be ended until combat ends.

I’ve also got a house rule in my ACKS games which allows PCs to fire into melee at a -4 penalty and avoid hitting allies (unless the roll a 1, of course). The following is permitted as an Enforcer’s Combat Specialization:

  • Sharpshooter: Can fire into melee with only a -2 penalty, with no chance of accidentally hitting an ally.

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