I’ve now clocked in about 33 hours of play in 4 sessions… eleven total sorties into ACKS Dwimmermount now. The party is largely at level two now, and though I have read both the game rules and the adventure module, I have now outstripped the point where I can run things correctly while under time pressure. While I saw some of these issues coming in advance and failed to prepare accordingly, other things have blindsided me. I’m doing this post in order to nail down a few thorny aspects of my campaign so that things don’t just summarily spiral out of control.
Q: First off, experience points for selling magic items. That is a huge deal which quadruples the rate at which the players advance. Are you sure you’re doing that right? The players are currently sitting on another six or eight thousand experience points if they cash in a few items they have. They should get to third level in no time!
A: Well actually… that uber cool Thulian chainmail that they have? The players do not in fact get experience for that even if they choose to sell it! See page 113: “If the party recovers magic items on an adventure, and sells them without using them, they receive 1XP per 1gp earned in the sale. If the characters use the magic items, they do not get any XP, even if they later sell them.” (It’s almost like the authors have anticipated that this will come up as an issue during game play…!)
Q: So how much are the other oddball magic items worth then…?
A: Well, Flight is a level 3 spell and Levitation is a level 2 spell. So the Potion of Flying will sell for 1500 and the Potion of Levitation will sell for 1000. The Broach of Unbelief has been used, but I dunno… that’s kind of a cool thing. Could it have gone for even 2000? (What level would a spell that turned clerics into unbelievers be?) That cursed dagger… I can’t see that as being anything more than kind of a gag gift. It might sell for 100 gold if you could find the right person, but it might be better put to use next time you have to kibitz with some beast men! (They love that sort of thing, after all.)
Q: Are you sure you’re running this whole “banking of XP” thing correctly.
A: Actually, there is a mistake here. Only 90% of the gold that is spent for no benefit whatsoever counts as XP for replacement characters. This actually won’t be too hard to fix, though.
Q: So what’s up with Azoth not being worth hardly anything on the open market. We thought we were going to make a killing selling that stuff!
A: Yeah, well… you lucked out on your mage’s Loremastery roll so you at least found out what you could do with the stuff in the short term. But my theory on its relatively low value is that so much knowledge has been lost since Dwimmermount got locked down two hundred years ago that nobody really knows what to do with it. I think it’s sort of up to you guys to be the ones to recover that knowledge… and if you ever set up shop or start doing some magical engineering, then there might be some awesome things in store. Or you guys might just get total party killed.
Q: So you hand-waved it during the adventure, but do you think there’s any chance of wandering monster encounters when a party travels back and forth between Dwimmermount and Adamas?
A: Well, going by page 244 of the ACKS rule book, it looks like there is going to be one encounter check made for each hex you guys pass through. For this clear terrain, it’s going to be a one-in-six chance of meeting something. The tables for what you come across are fairly detailed, but half the time it looks live you’ll be rolling on the men, animal, or humanoid subtables. Note that cutting across the mountains is not only slower and not only has a higher chance of y’all getting lost, but there is a much higher chance of encountering something in those hexes as well! (And note that it is not unreasonable for me to check for a wilderness encounter when you travel between Muntberg and Dwimmermount.