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Adventurer Conqueror King System
Publisher: Autarch
by Dominique C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2012 04:05:04

I bought AKCS mostly out of curiosity. It's before all an "OSR" game (i.e. old school renaissance rpg), a simulacrum of the basic/classic older D&D rpg. Where Labyrinth Lord is a "clone" intent on reproducing basic old D&D faithfully, AKCS is a simulacrum, meaning it's that old game but with more modern, streamlined game mechanics, and differences.

The main difference is that AKCS uses the same mechanic as saving throws for combat and skill checks (and others things). I must say it works very well, and is a welcome simplification. That is, for each class level there is a target number that a character must equal or exceed with a d20 roll (to which he adds his bonuses and the target's ascending AC) to hit his opponent. I like this very much.

There is 12 classes, including of course the core Fighter, Thief, Mage and Cleric. Elves and dwarves get two classes each. Well, I am a little dubious about the dwarf classes, that provide even less abilities than they did in the original D&D, and are thus very much alike a Fighter and Cleric. There is also 4 variant classes derived from the core: Assassin, Bard, Bladedancer and Explorer. Here also, these classes are rather bland. Bladedancer for example is very much a cleric with little difference. Explorer replaces the Halfling class from BD&D. However, the good point is that classes can be customized with adding proficiencies, that are derived from 2e NWP and 3e Feats.

Then, unlike all the clones and simulacrums I have read before, AKCS provide extensive rules for castle and dominion management, ritual magic, and much more. All these pages are really a good addition that will be useful to players and GMs IMO. I won't detail them here, since I only flipped through these pages so far, but I am glad to see them included.

Lastly about art: it must be noted that AKCS is lavishly illustrated, which enliven the whole work and makes it pleasant to read.

If I were to run or play in a Classic-Basic D&D game, AKCS is the iteration I would want to use without a doubt.

[5 of 5 Stars!]