I’m sorry that I’ve been silent for a few weeks. My seasonal allergies turned into a nasty sinus infection which I am just now truly recovering from. It seemed to be immune to the initial drugs I was given.
Progress on Lords & Wizards rules writing has been slow. This is a good thing because we still do not have its full direction mapped out. A couple of my players really lobbied for basing the system on the Adventurer Conqueror King System instead of Labyrinth Lord or Swords & Wizardry as I had originally planned. We’ve now tried that and it simply did not work as well as its proponents in my Sunday group hoped it would. Two of the most noticeable issues were proficiencies and tying expected wealth to experience points.
Proficiencies are simply a mess when you are used to my broader backgrounds and talents system. They are often more limiting and a couple of different attempts to combine ACKS proficiencies and my backgrounds and talents system simply made a larger mess that brought out the worst in both systems. Proficiencies are technically optional in ACKS, but dropping proficiencies takes away one of the main reason for using ACKS as the rules framework.
There are two problems with the ACKS XP-Wealth tie. First, I do not like anything that works remotely like “wealth per level”. If a group of first level characters manages by some miracle to get an ancient red dragon’s hoard, that’s fine with me. I don’t want to feel like I need to stop this because it will make the characters far too wealthy for the mechanics of the system. Likewise, I don’t see anything wrong with a 10th level character who has gone broke and do not want the rules mechanics making this inadvisable. The second problem with tying XP to wealth is I really want to use the partial XP for weaker monsters rules as 0e and 1e did. For example, under these rules, if a 4th level character defeats a 1st level (aka 1HD) monster, he’d only get one-quarter of the XP the monster and its treasure would normally give. I used these rules back in the day and the object of Lords & Wizards is to create and (slightly modernized) version of the weird combination of 0e, 1e, B/X, Arduin, house rules, etc. I used in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Using a partial XP for weaker monsters rule tosses the idea of the ACKS XP-Wealth tie out the window.
Don’t get me wrong. I like ACKS and think it is a good game, but for these and other reasons it has become fairly obvious than ACKS is simply not a good framework to base the Lords & Wizards rules on. Even the two strong proponents of basing L&W on ACKS among by Sunday game players agree that it simply does not work as well for L&W as they thought it would. Starting with today’s game, we’ll be trying a version of L&W based on the Labyrinth Lord family of games (Labyrinth Lord, Original Edition Characters, and Advanced Edition Companion). I expect that this will be a better fit for what I am trying to do. This does not mean that ACKS will have no influence on L&W, however. I expect many of the campaign design and high level/domain play ideas from ACKS may eventually find their way into L&W — at least as a major influence.