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ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
by Eric S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2015 02:54:36
I really like the basic idea but...no examples, no ready-made factions/characters, no scenario. Any questions of depth get referred to some other core book. In sum, I can't see how to use this book to start anything. It's just not a quickstart. I want to like it, but after several read-throughs, I simply can't use it.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
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Dwimmermount Illustration Book
by Michael F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2015 10:01:50
I was disappointed with this product. Not due to the art, which ranged from average to very good. My criticism is that virtually all, if not all, of the images also exist in the main book. Now if you only had the hard copy version of main book, I can see how this illustration book could be handy. However, I have the PDF version. I could simply copy and paste each image in order to show my players.

I was also disappointed that there was no identifications for the images. Most are obvious but some I have no idea what in the adventure they are supposed to represent.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Illustration Book
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Dwimmermount Illustration Book
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 16:09:16
But what the hell is in it, what monsters crawl in its rooms, deal death in its halls, and kill over and over again? Well the artbook has some fantastic dark and deadly fantasy artwork done by some of the best of the old school artists.
You want to show your players what killed them on level seven. Its here in dangerous and diabolical colour.
A picture may be worth a thousand words – but a dungeon with more than a thousand rooms still requires a lot of pictures.
The Dwimmermount Illustration Book includes a complete set of illustrations of the Dwimmermount megadungeon’s most essential features and locations, designed to be shown to the players in the style of the classic adventures of old.
Featuring artwork hand-selected by dungeon creator James Maliszewski, the Illustration Book has over 40 different works by top artists including Jeff Dee, Mark Allen, Eric Quigely, Conor Nolan, John Larrey, Steve Zieser, Russ Nicholson, Kelvin Green, and the grand master of old-school fantasy, Erol Otus. Bring Dwimmermount to life with illustrations ready to be used right at your gaming table!
Is the art book worth the fiver that its going to cost you? Yes it is because art costs money to put into rpg products and this is a solid set of artwork that actually relates right into the backbone and backdrop of the dungeon you happen to be playing in. This isn't a cute art book that simply exists for the sake of existence, its a tool to show your players exactly what, who, and where they're exploring. This is a book to get across the old school action that they happen to be involved with. This is a professionally done book of OSR nastiness by some top flight artists and it presents the material for Dwimmermount right in your hands!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 15:54:05
what about the monsters and mayhem happening in the dungeon? What the hell are you going to do when you've got those twenty orcs baring down on you and the PC's are with their back to the pit trap or the flame spells? There's a the dungeon tracker for this situation and another thing that makes this series unique in a way. I can hear the grognards howling in anger and frustration at the inclusion of such a thing being included in an OSR campaign. Believe me I'm howling along with you but hear me out.
The Dwimmermount Megadungeon Tracker is pretty neat, it allows you to keep the party seemingly off kilter while actually neatly organizing the whole affair nice and concisely all in one go.
Here's the product description:
The Dwimmermount Megadungeon Tracker is a unique play-aid designed to help you get the most out of a 13 levels of Dwiermount. For each level of the dungeon, the Megadungeon Tracker provides a double-sided reference sheet, with a specialty keyed map on one side and a level summary on the other. The map provides brief descriptions and contents for each room on the level; the level summary covers each level’s history, factions, wandering monsters, access points, and special areas, and a llows the dungeon master to easily track turns and marching order.
This brings up the motives, reasons, hatreds, rivalries and high OSR monster weirdness of Dwimmermount. There are reasons for everything here and not unlike an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel those reasons bare out over the time as the PC's go deeper and deeper into Dwimmermount. If and only if they get that far. They're going to need a ton of luck, plenty of magic, and a butt load of healing potions.
The dungeon tracker is one handy little device to have and its a nice addition to a DM's arsenal. The lessons of the tool box are there to be used and I for one I'm planning on making my own version of the Dungeon tracker. A very handy device to have at the table.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Dungeon Tracker
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Dwimmermount Map Book
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2015 15:42:18
The rooms,passages, and dungeon setting pieces as well as room descriptions are well thought out and concise. The problem here is the amount of time and energy a group of players and DM here are going to have to invest in the backdrop and details. This is where the dungeon map book comes in very handy. The book is filled to the brim with every location, place point, and adventure detail all concisely drawn out in glorious OSR detail for the DM and players to use. The idea of the 'hows and whys' of the place are done in a very neat slight of hand bit of editing in the ACK's book and the map book that works very very well together.
But why purchase another book of simply the maps? Well because the Pdf is like a small heads up display for the DM to keep track of everything while giving the players bits and pieces of the action either through print out or by screen bits. Very easy to make this sort of thing happen.
Its right in the product description from Drivethrurpg:
Few adventurers who ever enter the legendary halls of Dwimmermount ever return. Its dangers are too great – its mysteries unplumbed. If only a map were at hand – or better, a dozen maps, one for every level of the dungeon….
The Dwimmermount Map Book presents each of Dwimmermount's wilderness, dungeon, and fortress maps as a two-page spread for reference and annotation in play. It’s an indispensable reference when running a dungeon that’s large enough to encompass an entire campaign! The Dwimmermount Map Book also includes a special two-page visual timeline of the construction of Dwimmermount, showing its origins in the early First Era to its final completion millennia later.
This is not a standalone product. A copy of Dwimmermount™ is required to run the dungeon. Dwimmermount is a 13-level megadungeon for Adventurer Conqueror King System™, Labyrinth Lord™ and other d20-based fantasy role-playing games, available for purchase separately from Autarch™ LLC.

That's why the map book is really out to provide the DM his road map and back up for everything. You have more to worry about with the death and destruction of the PC's in this dungeon. Then there are some of the science fantasy elements that are in the background to contend with. This book helps out alot. Its available right over HERE
And on top of this the maps are concise, well done, and perfect for use with Dwimmermount. Everything is percisely right where you need to know what's happening in real time as your player's PC's stumble right into the yawning death trap or pit trap right over there. This is where the Dwimmermount Map Book is not only useful but completely and utterly necessary to run through this thirteen level dungeon of destruction

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount Map Book
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Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2015 15:07:58
It is the place where adventure begins, the ender of lives, and the legend itself. Dwimmermount (ACKS version) From Autarch is all that and more. And it almost broke me. Well not really but this is the first of a multi part review in which I take a look at one of the most massive products in PDF to come across my hard drive.
So lets dive right into Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
I want to take a look at the descendant of Dwimmermount ACK's version). The Adventurer, Conqueror King system has some twists to it and I spend sometime looking and reading up on it before even attempting to tackle this megadungeon. I actually like the system from what I've seen. Its well done and has some very smart twists and turns to it. The skill and proficiency bits are nice. But as a DM you really don't have to know the system to get the most out of this product.
The history, setting, timeline, interaction, and back base material for Dwimmermount are essential these are the backbone of the campaign itself and tie into everything about the dungeon. How it all fits together and how this over arching monster of a campaign can fit into your world. That's one of the beauties of Dwimmermount dungeon that it can easily and compactly be fitted right into the back drop of your own campaigns. This book is really a tool kit for the design and care of the Dwimmermount setting itself.
The fact is that the Autarch crew have done an excellent job of setting up this book into a whole cloth campaign into itself that can link into the backdrop of your own dungeons and that for me at least is part of its charm and OSR style. There's a lot to this beast and using it is going to take time, patience, and a whole lot of build in with it. That's not a bad thing at all. There's plenty of room here for DYI improvement to shoe horn it into your own campaigns.
Does this campaign live up to its hype? Yes, I think so because of the care and feeding that has been done into the quality of Dwimmermount (ACKS version) but this is a very different and highly expanded beast then the original incarnation in my humble opinion.
There are a metric ton of monsters here with their own motives, motivations, and agendas for your PC's along with a world into itself which is Dwimmermount. PC's are going to be changed forever going into this megadungeon. There are everything here from PC options to leveling up to simply having your PC killed outright. There are sections of sheer nasty and lethality that are going to take PC's by surprise.
This is only the tip of the OSR iceberg here even if its a well written campaign your going to need a few things as well even though their optional.
The maps are very well done but you as the DM are going to want the optional map book.
Seriously this is a wise investiment on the DM's part and they show just about every over arching map that a DM is going to need to really truly run this mega dungeon right over HERE
The Dwimmermount Map Book presents each of Dwimmermount's wilderness, dungeon, and fortress maps as a two-page spread for reference and annotation in play. It’s an indispensable reference when running a dungeon that’s large enough to encompass an entire campaign! The Dwimmermount Map Book also includes a special two-page visual timeline of the construction of Dwimmermount, showing its origins in the early First Era to its final completion millennia later.

The second piece of equipment whist running this monster is the art book. If you want to show your players exactly what the hell their getting into grab this book.
This is an entire world of a dungeon that your PC's are getting into and their going to be there for quite a long time. A picture is worth a million words and the artwork is perfect setting fodder to really bring home the feel and old school vibe echoing throughout this product.

Which really brings me to the whole point of Dwimmermount which is the investment factor itself. And I'm not talking about money here but time as well as energy. All of those are going to come into play with running this monster. This campaign is compatible in some respects to fully thought out old school dungeon ecologies. There are plenty of set dressings, ideas, monsters etc that are pulled from this product and will engage your PC's for a very long,long time to come if used properly. This product if used correctly could connect a plethora of old school campaigns for years and years to come.
In a word, yes and its ulitity is quite frankly something that you as a DM will be using for years and years to come. A very nice and in my estimation an improved version of Dwimmermount. I enjoyed the hell out of this OSR product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dwimmermount (ACKS version)
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ACKS Domains at War: The Complete Set
by John-Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2014 14:48:09
Autarch has created a lens with D@W. This finely crafted piece allows you to view mass combat within your game. It is up to you to focus the lens, choosing when to pull back and see the whole of a war campaign and when to zoom into a single battle. The rules of D@W work seamlessly, allowing a group to flow back and forth between both rule sets as the story of the game and their interest demands.

While you can buy the D@W books separately, if you have even the slightest interest in Battles, I would highly recommend buying the Complete Set. This set comes with Campaigns, Battles, the battlemap PDF (which I printed out and looks gorgeous), and a token set.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: The Complete Set
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ACKS Domains at War - Campaigns
by John-Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2014 12:24:28
There is a lot crammed into the 105 pages of this PDF. D@W: Campaigns is a great supplement for people who want mass combat added into their game but still want it abstracted into in an evening of play.

ACKS books are well thought out, and there is a high level of interplay between all the moving pieces of the rules. D@W is no different. So much of the structure of D@W ties back into the ACKS rules about economics and domains. So when you get this, I would advise reading through it at least twice. Once to get a wide view of the Campaigns system and a second to dig deeply into each section. D@W provides cross-references to the other ACKS books where they apply, which is very helpful.

If you are looking for a rule set for a d20 game that abstracts mass combat in a fun, simple way, while still providing players influential choices, check out D@W. I wrote an in-depth review of Campaigns at: http://originsofadarkgod.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/domains-at-
-war-campaigns/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War - Campaigns
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Adventurer Conqueror King System
by William M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2013 18:48:03
Anyone familiar with original D&D or any of its more recent clones will naturally know the gist of the system from the start, there are a few surprises within this tome however. It uses an ascending AC system that is a little different than usual. Proficiencies offer a grab bag of skill and feat like abilities that don't weight the game down (plus they are optional). There is a hard cap on character level at 14. Demi-human classes may have a lower cap, but it is less of a handicap when its only a handful of levels at most. High level play is VERY much meant to be about lords and their domains, of which every class has its own unique take.

If I were to ask for more out of ACKS it would be that it included an example domain to get you playing as soon as possible. That and maybe a little dungeon module.

All in all, if you enjoy OSR style gaming there isn't any reason not to give ACKS a look over for ten bucks. If you like enjoy it, the pdf has a coupon for those ten bucks off of the hard back if you just have to have it in good old dead tree. I'm definitely considering it myself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer Conqueror King System
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Adventurer Conqueror King System
by Victor J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/18/2013 03:47:31
Captures the feeling of earlier games and presents it well for a modern audience. Well-written, nicely laid out, and with artwork perfect for the tone. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurer Conqueror King System
by Roger R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2013 16:34:50
Really well thought out, internally consistent. Brings an element of realism and verisimilitude that's lacking in some of the other more fantastical settings. I like it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
by vince k. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2013 14:16:48
I mainly bought this to supplement my rules for random war results, and it was useful for that application. I would like to try to play it as a system in itself, but I will have to make rules for acquiring soldiers before that can happen.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
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ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
by Jacob S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 12:10:04
A friend of mine and I were discussing a campaign idea using large scale armies days before this popped up on DriveThru, so when I saw what it was I figured it was probably along the lines of what I was looking for. It looks like it will make for a great system for full army warfare.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Domains at War: Free Starter Edition
by Jeffrey B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2013 22:36:02
An excellent introduction to mass combat battles. Clear, understandable, and usable, even to someone who hasn't done much miniature wargaming, like me. Its baseline uses the Adventurer Conqueror King system, but it can be used by almost any OSR or d20 system that wants to incorporate mass combat into their campaigns. The starter edition makes me look forward to the full Domains at War product, which is due to be released sometime later this year.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Player's Companion
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2013 07:24:10
So the long awaited Adventurer Conqueror King System Player's Companion is now out in PDF. I don't know know if it is out in stores yet at all or if people that supported it on Kickstarter have their physical copies, but it is up on here on DriveThruRPG.

Now full disclosure time. I did provide some support for the witch class. I was able to look at an early copy of the witch and provide some feedback since it had been based on some work I had done for d20. I shared a copy of my spells research notes and some material that would be part of my own Witch Book.
Neither group was looking for cross-compatibility except int he broadest terms. We did though develop from similar source materials and there is a bit of cohesion between the two classes. To be clear though, I didn't actually write anything for this. The authors had their ideas in a pretty solid form when they talked to me.

That being said let me proceed. ACKS Player's Companion reads like an "Unearthed Arcana" or even a Player's Handbook 2 for the ACKS set. In many ways it is very similar to the Complete B/X Adventurer that came out last year.
There are a number of authors that were brought to together to author the various sections. Sometime you can tell, other times not. This is not a big deal to me except for maybe there are some redundancies in various classes.

Chapter 2 covers all the new classes. We get: Anti-Paladin, Barbarian, Dwarven Delver, Dwarven Fury, Dwarven Machinist, Elven Courtier, Elven Enchanter, Elven Ranger, Gnomish Trickster, Mystic, Nobiran Wonderworker, Paladin, Priestess, Shaman, Thrassian Gladiator, Venturer, Warlock, Witch, and Zaharan Ruinguard. Not a bad list at all. That takes up about 44 pages of the book's 160.

The classes vary a bit. I liked most of them to be honest. The new feature of ACK:PC are the templates (Chapter 3), so all the new classes also have these templates. They define starting proficiencies and equipment.

At first I expected to hate the new racial classes but they provide a nice bit of background that goes beyond just crunch and fluff. In particular the Elven Enchanter and Elven Ranger add something interesting to the game. Sure, you could do this in AD&D in 1978, but here it has a bit of different feel. In fact I reminded of the old Dragon article back in the mid 80s about the Elven Cavalier. Sure it was something you could do on your own, but the article and this book give you something a bit more. The Gnomish Trickster could be reskinned if you are like me and miss the Halflings. The Mystic is a suitable Monk replacement in the vein of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia. There are few ACKS unique race-classes too. We also get a Priestess, Warlock and Witch. Those I'll deal with later.

Chapter 3 introduces Templates. These are part role-playing tips and part mechanical. If you remember the old 2nd Ed Kits these remind me of those, or the Backgrounds in newer games. Several are presented for all classes, new and old. Each character gets Proficiencies and Starting Equipment. It's a really fun idea.

Chapter 4 is an interesting one. It is a custom class creation tool. I have not seen how it compares with similar systems I have seen on the net or in Dragon. I know that the classes in this book were "Verified" with it, so it at least has ACKS internal consistency.

Chapter 5 is Spells. There is a section on magic experimentation and mishaps. Really fun stuff to be honest. Also a section on creating new spells. This is from the same school of thought on the Class Creation. in theory you should be able to check on any spell in the book and get the same numbers.
This followed by the Spell lists. Spells are listed by type and level then the descriptions are alphabetical by name. There is about 38 pages of spells here.

Chapter 6 covers Supplemental Rules. Things like Aging and various equipment.
There is a hyperlinked index and two more for spells and powers.

Utility for other Old School Games
Well the classes can be ported over outright for the most part. The Proficiencies and Templates are a nice addition to any game even if you ignore the mechanics and use them only as role-playing guides.
I am not sure if the Class Creation guidelines will work outside of ACKS or not. My feeling is that they will with some tweaking. Same with the Spells sections. Chapter 6 should be fine for any game.

Witches, Warlocks & Priestesses
The witch is why I picked this book up. The other classes (like the Anti-Paladin and Paladin) also deserve a lot of attention, but the witch is what I am most interested in.
There are three (four if we throw in the shaman, or even five if we count the Elven Enchanter) classes that fit the witch archetype. The Priestess is a female cleric dedicated to what we normally call Mystery Religions. They honor a Goddess for example. Now in other games this would just be another type of cleric, or a cleric with role-playing notes. To me it actually seems weaker than the regular cleric. The Warlock is stereotypical "Evil" warlock and that works well here really. But the real utility for me is when you compare the Warlock to the Witch.
The Warlock is an arcane caster and the Witch is a divine one. So depending on what sort of archetype you want to build you can choose a witch or a warlock. This is a dichotomy that I have also used in the past and it works out well. You can even rule in your games that witches and warlocks were once one class that split or two classes with similar methods or not even related at all.
Witches are most similar to my own. Witches in ACKS:PC also have Traditions. The Traditions here are Antiquarian (a classic witch), Chthonic (dedicated to dark gods), Sylvan (woodland and faerie) and Voudon (voodoo or even Shaman-like). You can adapt these traditions to work with my book or my trads to work with ACKS. I should post a conversion guide between the traditions sometime.
Spells of course a completely cross compatible.

The Book Itself
The layout is top notch and this is a good looking book. It will be attractive as all heck in dead tree format, but the PDF is no lesser product. The index is hyperlinked to pages and it is fully bookmarked.
The art is great and I especially enjoyed the "character" art of Chapter 2. The art changes by Chapter 5 to some commercially available art, which is not a bad thing, but the style is different for the later half of the book.

Who Should Buy this Book?
For the first audience, players and game masters of ACKS, this is a no-brainer, you should get this. There is enough here to make this purchase worthwhile even if you only use parts of it.
If you are a fan of B/X clones and top your games off at level 14 then this is also a good buy. Also the class creation and spell creation engines are worth the price if you like to experiment with your games.
If you play other retro-clones or other versions of the Grand Old Game, then there are still some things here you will find useful.
At 10 bucks for the PDF this is a pretty good deal.

I have more detail on this book at my blog as well.
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-acks-playe-
rs-companion.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ACKS Player's Companion
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