Thursday, December 21, 2017

Come the ACKS-pocalypse

I imagined (dreamed/thought at night, in fact) a post-apocalyptic ACKS. Not necessarily an all-out Gonzo apocalypse - Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu does the Gonzo job wonderfully well - but rather an apocalypse after which Humanity regressed to a medieval technological level and to feudalism.

Domain management works as in vanilla ACKS, as does the rest of the economy and society.

Possible use of "exotic" (or "quantum") weapons alongside the usual nuclear and biochemical weapons led to various mutations and possibly "magic" as well. 

Instead of magic items, most of what you get are high-tech pre-war artifacts, as well as S.T.A.L.K.E.R-style Chaotic artifacts created by the "exotic" weapons. Monsters/mutants are results of pre-war advanced bio-engineering and the "exotic" weapons.

Possible invasion of Lovecraftian entities due to use of "exotic" weapons.

There is the Blight - a collective term for radiation and bio-contamination, as well reality-wrapping Chaotic effects of the "exotic" weapons. The Blight causes mutations and can cause sickness and death. This is similar to Kelly Roberge (K-Slacker)'s Creep rules.
Fighters, thieves, explorers, assassins - work as per the base rules.

Mages, clerics, and other casters - removed and replaced by psychics and sorcerers. Both use traditional spellcaster rules, similar a bit to a mage. Psychics use psionics, which are quite limited in scope and power but safe to the caster; mostly divination and charm-type "spells", very little actual damaging spells. Psychics cannot create "magic items".

Sorcerers, on the other hand, take risks and mess around with Chaos, which is nasty; they follow the Shades of Magic rules from Axioms 1. Anything damaging or mind-controlling, among other similar things, is Black Magic. Using black magic invites Chaotic influence, and thus Blight. Thus, sorcerers seek pre-war artifacts to gain power from rather than risk frequent use of black magic. They may assemble all sorts of contraptions from scrap, but these are expensive; without the pre-war industrial infrastructure, building even a simple automatic weapon is a major undertaking, even if there is pre-war scrap at hand. Building such devices uses the magic item creation rules in ACKS.

Both psychics and sorcerers can heal; in fact, this is a safe white magic spell.
Machinist rules are perfect for the tech-artificer who builds robots from scratch! But this time in a human rather than a Dwarf.

Mutants are a race - and one with low XP cost. They gain two rolls on a beneficial mutation table and one on a negative mutation table. Each mutation is a Power as per the Player's Companion. Thus, the negative mutation evens out one positive mutation, and what we are left with are one positive mutation and blight resistance - 2 powers, 100XP. Higher levels of the Mutant race grant more mutations.

Robots are also a race - but much, much more expensive. Very tough at low levels, but progressing through levels at a snail's pace. They need no food or water and are resistant to Blight, but normal healing magic or stim packs do not heal them - they need repairs (as automatons?).

You can justify almost any monster by the combination of radiation, pre-war bio/cyber-technology, and invading Chaotic entities.

Between this and my Elysian Empire, my head is full of ACKS ideas!