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One of the major reasons to play with the Adventurer Conqueror King System is the late-game stronghold rules. However, certain game mechanics (most notably, the amount of territory a stronghold can control) depend on being able to accurately calculate the GP value of a stronghold, and when it comes to claiming existing dungeons and using them as strongholds as a way of saving money or playing a dwarven class... Well, the costing gets a little tricky, because the only explicitly underground stronghold component in the core rules appears to be 'dungeon corridors.'

This seems like fairly scant information to base dungeon/stronghold pricing on. Is the authors' intended reading of the rules known? It simply doesn't seem to cover the full variety of possible underground structures and chambers in a useful way. What am I missing?

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I think your intuition that it's absurd to conclude "dungeons only have corridors in this world" already answers this question. What is your real question? Is it "how do I assess the value of a reclaimed dungeon"? –  SevenSidedDie Jul 4 '13 at 19:11
@sergut Ah, are tags no longer considered sufficient indication of system? I ask because that means I may have a bunch of questions that may need to be re-named. –  GMJoe Jul 5 '13 at 4:40
@GMJoe No, your title was perfectly fine and tags are still a sufficient indication of system. I've rolled back that edit as it was unnecessary. –  doppelgreener Jul 5 '13 at 5:28
@sergut It is rarely necessary to mention the RPG system in the title. The fact this has the Adventure Conquerer King system's tag already makes it clear this is not a generic question about dungeons, but one about dungeons in Adventurer Conquerer King. Everywhere this question appears, its tags will appear as well to show what system this is about - the exception being links like this, but if you're providing those links, you can either provide the context yourself or let people see it's an ACKS question when they visit the link. –  doppelgreener Jul 5 '13 at 5:34
@sergut Network policy is to not put tags in the title unless they are an integral part of the sentence that can't be removed grammatically. Besides, that's a good side effect! ACKS is a D&D system, so some few of those readers may become interested, get it, and become new ACKS experts. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 5 '13 at 14:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Whether underground constructions count toward stronghold value is up to the Judge. In the case of dwarves it's clearly part of the assumptions, but for human domains one can imagine that after a certain point deeper levels of a dungeon will not contribute to the ability of a domain to settle the surrounding (surface) territory.

The dungeon pricing is basically "per 10x10x10 area excavated" - i.e. a room or chamber is treated like an extra-wide corridor. Doors and secret doors have an additional cost, so that a dungeon with rooms separated by doors will be priced higher than one without. Also note that the Player's Companion has prices for traps in dungeons, which factor into its defensibility.

You could certainly apply your own pricing modifiers to dungeons which are built to better serve the purpose of securing territory. Note, however, that the stronghold rules don't make this distinction - you could reach the desired GP value by building a lot of curving walls in parallel, like a medieval Richard Serra sculpture. The idea is that at some point, the defensibility, utility, etc. of the structure will be tested in play rather than captured in a formula a priori.

Like many parts of ACKS, the stronghold rules are one part passed down from OD&D, First Fantasy Campaign, early Judges' Guild stuff, etc., and one part based on historical research. Neither set of sources deals much with underground strongholds, so the work you do on this in your game will likely be breaking new ground.

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Always awesome to see the designer sharing the thinking behind the design! Thank you. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 5 '13 at 3:11

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