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?


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.

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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.