Friday, March 1, 2013

Proficiencies 101: Traits

This post is the eighth in a series of posts that will take a closer look at proficiencies in the Adventurer Conqueror King system main rulebook.

In my first post in this series, I defined several proficiency categories for analysis and discussion.  I mentioned that I would delve into each category in a future post, and this post will delve into proficiencies I categorize as traits.  A trait provides a bonus to other functions in the game, such as initiative or attack throws.

In the Adventurer Conqueror King system main rulebook, there are 41 proficiencies that include a trait benefit.

Five proficiencies that include a trait benefit also include a scaling benefit: acrobatics (save bonus), black lore (spell effects/research bonus), eavesdropping (hear noise bonus), goblin-slaying (attack bonus) and swashbuckling (armor class bonus).  The latter three proficiencies’ trait benefit is the aspect of the proficiency that scales.  All five of these proficiencies and scaling are discussed in my fifth post on proficiencies.

Four proficiencies that include a trait benefit also include a skill benefit: dwarven brewing (craft bonus), land surveying (hide bonus), magical engineering (magic research bonus) and military strategy (mass combat initiative bonus).  Skills are discussed in my seventh post on proficiencies.

There are a whopping twenty-two “pure” trait proficiencies:

Bonus to
hear noise, detect secret doors, surprise
Battle Magic
initiative, dispelling magic, penetrating magic resistance
Combat Reflexes
surprise, initiative
Combat Trickery(disarm)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(force back)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(incapacitate)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(knock down)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(overrun)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(sunder)
attack, saving throw penalty
Combat Trickery(wrestle)
attack, saving throw penalty
reaction roll
Divine Blessing
Dungeon Bashing
feats of strength
Illusion Resistance
reaction roll
henchman, domain morale
Righteous Turning
turning undead
movement speed
reaction roll
hide, move silently
spell effects/research, saving throw penalty

These proficiencies provide a trait benefit and nothing else. As a procedural matter, note that in my totals I count each combat trickery maneuver as a separate proficiency, but all fighting styles count as a single proficiency, as is done when counting proficiencies using the ACKS Player’s Companion approach to creating a custom class.

Ten proficiencies that include a trait benefit also include a feat benefit:

Bonus to
reaction roll
Beast Friendship
reaction roll
damage per die, saving throw penalty, hp per Hit Die
Fighting Style(pole weapon)
Fighting Style(missile weapon)
Fighting Style(single weapon)
Fighting Style(two weapons)
Fighting Style(two-handed weapon)
Fighting Style(weapon and shield)
armor class
Lip Reading
open locks
Mystic Aura
reaction roll
avoid getting lost
Trap Finding
find/remove traps

A feat provides an ability or power that a character would not otherwise have.  Bargaining, beast friendship and mystic aura are similar to each other in that they provide an ability plus a reaction roll bonus related to that ability.  A Judge might create similar campaign-specific proficiencies, such as an ability to take a type of monster as a henchmen and a reaction roll bonus when dealing with that type of monster.

This concludes this week’s post in my Proficiencies series.  I plan to post in this series irregularly until it finishes.

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