Axioms is Autarch’s quarterly supplement for the Adventurer Conqueror King System. Each issue of Axioms offers a mix of short content updates for ACKS, such as new classes, new sub-mechanical systems, explorations of specific themes within the game, short adventure scenarios, and more.
In this issue, Wounds & Woe, we offer an expansion of the beloved ACKS Mortal Wound and Tampering with Mortality tables. The new Mortal Wound tables deliver different wounds for different weapons, while the Tampering with Mortality tables assign different side effects for different alignments. In addition, we update the modifiers and mechanics to take the victim’s age, HD, and other factors into effect.
If you’re not familiar with the Mortal Wounds and Tampering with Mortality tables in ACKS, here’s some examples of how they work.
Athelstan is a fighter with CON 13 and 20hp. He is reduced to -5hp after being struck by dragon fire. He is immediately incapacitated At the end of the fight, the party’s cleric casts Cure Moderate Wounds on his burned body to try to save his life. This triggers a roll of 1d20 and 1d6 on the Mortal Wounds: Fire table. The 1d20 roll is modified by +1 (CON 13), +4 (1d8 HD), -2 (negative 1/4 max hp), +2 (2nd level cure spell), -3 (treated within 1 turn of injury), for a total modifier of +2. Athelstan’s player rolls 1d20 and gets a 12+2=14. He rolls 1d6 and gets a 4. Consulting the table, the Judge reveals that Athelstan is critically wounded. He must be healed to at least 1hp within a day or he will expire. If he is healed, will need a week of bed rest before he can adventure again.
Sadly, Athelstan’s friends have no other healing magic available and Athelstan ends up dying. The party carries his body back to town, a 2-day journey, and to the Temple of Mityara. There they make a great donation to the Temple in exchange for the priestess casting Restore Life & Limb (ACKS version of Raise Dead) on him. When she casts the spell, this triggers a roll of 1d20 and 1d6 on the Tampering with Mortality table for Athelstan’s alignment (Lawful). The 1d20 roll is modified by +4 (1/2 prieste’ss level), by +2 (cast in temple), -1 (hand destroyed), and -2 (dead for 2 days), for a total modifier of +3. Athelstan’s player rolls 1d20 and gets a 3+3=6. He rolls 1d6 and gets a 2. Consulting the table, the Judge reveals that, although Athelstan is restored to life, his soul is permanently connected to the spiritual plane now. He glows like a candle to the unliving, such that all undead can sense his presence within 60′. He will require 14+1d20 days of bed rest to recover from his ordeal before he can adventure again.
While designed for use with ACKS, the systems are compatible with any d20-based fantasy RPG. They add a new level of flavor to the fall and rise of heroes in every campaign.
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