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Chapter 3: Equipment

The Basics of Equipment

All characters are assumed to begin with sturdy clothes suitable for adventuring. Any other equipment desired should be purchased using the character’s starting wealth of 3d6x10gp.

Each character should purchase equipment suitable for their class. For example, fighters should purchase arms and armor to fight monsters and survive blows, while thieves need rope, crowbars, lock picks, and other special tools to scale obstacles, find traps, and open locks. Clerics will require holy symbols to drive back undead and mages will need spellbooks to record their dweomers.

Coins and Money

Equipment is purchased using money. Paper currency is non-existent in the world of Adventurer Conqueror King, so money takes the form of coins of precious metal, the most important of which is the gold piece (gp). A gold piece is worth 2 electrum pieces (ep) or 10 silver pieces (sp). Each silver piece is worth 10 copper pieces (cp). In addition to copper, silver, electrum, and gold coins, there are also platinum pieces (pp), which are each worth 5gp.

Exchange Value

Coins = cp sp ep gp pp
Copper Piece (cp) = 1 1/10 1/50 1/100 1/500
Silver Piece (sp) = 10 1 1/5 1/10 1/50
Electrum Piece (ep) = 50 5 1 1/2 1/10
Gold Piece (gp) = 100 10 2 1 1/5
Platinum Piece (pp) = 500 50 10 5 1

What’s a Gold Piece Worth?

To put the value of currency in perspective, the Standard of Living table, below, shows how far a gold piece will go towards cost of living at different standards of comfort. A single gold piece is enough for a peasant to subsist at a wretched quality of life. Early in their career, adventurers will typically live on a few dozen gold pieces per month, enough to eat and sleep at an inn. A dragon’s treasure hoard of 50,000gp might keep a village of peasants alive for decade, but merely cover a prince’s monthly budget. Wealth is assumed to be highly concentrated in ACKS campaign worlds.

Standard of Living

Standard of Living Monthly Cost Common Professions
Wretched 1gp Serfs and peasants
Meager 3gp-12gp Unskilled manual laborers
Adequate 12gp-40gp Skilled laborers or journeyman crafters, 1st level adventurers
Comfortable 40gp-100gp Master craftsmen or yeomen farmer (85 acres), 2nd level adventurers
Prosperous 100gp-450gp Master professionals or landed patrician (200 acres), 3rd-4th level adventurers
Affluent 450gp-2,000gp Barons or wealthy patricians, 5th-7th level adventurers
Sumptuous 2,000-12,000gp Marquis or counts, 8th-9th level adventurers
Luxuriant 12,000-80,000gp Dukes or princes, 10th-12th level adventurers
Lavishly Opulent 80,000gp+ Kings or emperors, 13th-14th level adventurers

Purchasing Equipment

The arms, armor, and mundane gear available for purchase are listed on the Weapons and Equipment tables. These lists will also be handy when characters need to restock supplies between adventures. The equipment and other items listed on the Weapons and Equipment table are described in detail in the Equipment Descriptions section.

Should the players wish to purchase items not provided in the equipment lists, the Judge may use the items available as guidelines for determining new items’ characteristics and including prices.

All purchases should be recorded on the character sheet, noting how much money remains afterward. Most adventurers do not begin play with enough wealth to get everything they want - indeed, the quest for wealth is one of the primary motives for adventuring at all!

Regardless of class limitations, characters of any class may purchase, carry, and use any weapons or armor desired. However, characters who equip themselves with weapons and armor unusable by their class will fight as 0th level characters while so equipped. They also will receive no bonus on their attack throws or armor class from ability scores or equipment, may not use any of their class powers, and do not gain XP.

Example: Quintus, a mage, dons plate armor. While so equipped, he fights as a 0th level character, loses any attack throw or AC bonuses from his ability scores or equipment, cannot cast spells, and does not gain XP.

Equipment Availability

Adventurers may sometimes wish to purchase equipment in greater volume than the town they are in can handle. This is not normally a concern when characters are just beginning their career. But if experienced adventurers decide they want to use a dragon’s hoard to equip all their followers with fur cloaks (15gp each) and purchase a dozen heavy warhorses (750gp each) with plate barding (600gp each), they may find such goods are simply unavailable in the quantities they desire!

The amount of equipment available for purchase is determined by the price of the equipment relative to the size of the market the adventurers are in. A market can be anything from a village’s humble fair to a city-state’s outdoor bazaar to the ports of a major metropolis. Markets are rated by market class from I to VI, which rate their size and importance.

The vast mercantile hubs of empires, with urban populations of 100,000 or more, constitute Class I. Major ports, national capitals, and other large cities of 25,000 or more inhabitants constitute Class II. Provincial capitals and medium-sized cities of 8,750 to 25,000 inhabitants make up Class III. Small cities and large towns of 3,000 to 8,750 inhabitants make up Class IV. Small towns and large villages of 1,250 to 3,000 inhabitants are Class V. Any village of 1,250 inhabitants or less is Class VI. Market classes are also important for hiring henchmen, as discussed in the Hirelings, Henchmen, Mercenaries, and Specialists section below, and for trade and commerce, as discussed in the Mercantile Ventures section in the Campaigns chapter.

The Equipment Availability by Market Class table shows how many units of any piece of equipment are available in each type of market each month. Some values will indicate a percentage chance; this is chance of one unit being present at all in any given month.

Note that the values given are the number of each specific item, not the total number of items at that price level. For instance, a Class IV market will have 5 swords, 5 battle axes, and 5 of each other item priced at 2-10gp. Multiple small items sold as a bundle (such as 12 spikes, 6 torches, 20 arrows, etc) count as one item for purposes of the Equipment Availability by Market Class table.

Equipment Availability by Market Class

Price Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI
1gp or less 1,700 585 260 65 30 10
2gp-10gp 100 30 15 5 1 1
11-100gp 15 5 2 1 25% 10%
101-1,000gp 7 2 1 25% 10% 5%
1,001-10,000gp 2 1 25% 10% 5% 1%
10,001gp or more 10% 5% 2% NA NA NA

Example: Marcus is in a city of 20,000, a Class III market. He wants to buy a war galley (60,000gp), medium warhorse (250gp), 2 suits of plate armor (60gp each), 20 swords (10gp each), 100 bundles of 6 torches (1sp each) and 200 flasks of oil (3sp each). A Class III market has 260 units of any equipment priced 1gp or less, so he finds the 100 bundles of 6 torches and 200 flasks of oil without problem. A Class III market has only 15 units of any equipment priced 10gp or less, so only 15 swords are available. Since he needs the weapons to equip his men, he settles on 15 swords and 5 battle-axes. A Class III market has 2 units of equipment priced at 11-100gp and 1 unit at 101-1,000gp, so he is able to buy the 2 suits of plate armor and medium warhorse. There is only a 2% chance of a war galley being available, and the Judge rolls a 42; Marcus cannot find that type of ship in the city this month.

Commissioning Equipment

If equipment the adventurers desire to purchase is not available, they may commission it to be created. The advantage of commissioning equipment is that more equipment can be commissioned than is available as inventory; treat the equipment as if it were one price category less expensive to calculate the volume available. The disadvantage of commissioning equipment is that it is not immediately available. Buildings and vehicles, which can be built by large groups, are constructed at a rate of 1 day per 500gp value. Animals take 1 day per 1gp value to find and train. Other equipment takes 1 day per 5gp value.

Example: Marcus decides he’d like to commission a shipwright to build a war galley. Since Marcus is commissioning the war galley, the Judge checks for availability as if the war galley were one price category less expensive, putting it in the 1,001-10,00gp row. There is a 25% chance that a war galley could be commissioned in a Class III city this month. The Judge rolls a 17 on 1d100, so a shipwright is available. It will take 120 days for the war galley to be finished (60,000gp / 500gp per day).

Weapons and Equipment

Armor Cost AC
Clothing Only - 0
Hide and Fur Armor 10gp 1
Leather Armor 20gp 2
Ring Mail or Scale Armor 30gp 3
Chain Mail Armor 40gp 4
Banded Plate or Lamellar Armor 50gp 5
Plate Armor 60gp 6
Shield 10gp +1
Leather Barding 40gp 1
Scale Barding 75gp 2
Chain Barding 150gp 3
Lamellar Barding 300gp 4
Plate Barding 600gp 5
Weapons Cost Damage*
Axes - -
Battle Axe 7gp 1d6/1d8
Great Axe (two-handed) 10gp 1d10
Hand Axe 4gp 1d6
Bows and Crossbows - -
Arbalest 50gp 1d8
Crossbow 30gp 1d6
Case with 20 Bolts 2gp -
Composite Bow 40gp 1d6
Longbow 7gp 1d6
Shortbow 3gp 1d6
Quiver with 20 Arrows 1gp -
1 Silver-Tipped Arrow 5gp -
Catapults and Ballista - -
Ballista (800lb) 80gp 3d6
Ballista Shot 4gp -
Heavy Catapult (1,800lb) 200gp 4d6
Light Catapult (1,200lb) 100gp 3d6
Catapult Shot (25lb) 5gp -
Catapult Shot, Pitch (25lb) 25gp -
Flails, Hammers, and Maces - -
Club 1gp 1d4
Flail 5gp 1d6/1d8
Mace 5gp 1d6/1d8
Morning Star (two-handed) 10gp 1d10
War Hammer 5gp 1d6/1d8
Spears and Pole Arms - -
Lance (mounted) 1gp 1d10
Javelin 1gp 1d6
Pole Arm (two-handed) 7gp 1d10
Spear 3gp 1d6/1d8
Swords and Daggers - -
Dagger 3gp 1d4
Silver Dagger 30gp 1d4
Short Sword 7gp 1d6
Sword 10gp 1d6/1d8
Two-Handed Sword 15gp 1d10
Other Weapons - -
Bola 5gp 1d2
Darts (5) 2gp 1d4
Net 1gp -
Sling with 30 Sling Bullets 2gp 1d4
Sap 1gp 1d4
Staff 1gp 1d4/1d6
Whip 5gp 1d2

*Where two damage values are listed, the first is for one-handed and the second is for two-handed use.

Adventuring Equipment Cost
Backpack (holds 4 stone) 2gp
Barrel (20 gallon) 3sp
Belladonna (1lb) 10gp
Blanket (wool, thick) 2gp
Birthwort (1lb) 10gp
Candle (tallow, 1lb) 2sp
Candle (wax, 1lb) 6sp
Chest (ironbound, holds 20 stone) 22gp
Comfrey (1lb) 10gp
Crowbar 1gp
Flask of Oil (common, 1 pint) 3sp
Flask of Oil (military, 1 pint) 2gp
Garlic (1lb) 5gp
Goldenrod (1lb) 10gp
Grappling Hook 25gp
Hammer (small) 2gp
Holy Symbol 25gp
Holy Water (1 pint) 25gp
Ink (1 oz.) 8gp
Iron Spikes (12) 1gp
Lantern 10gp
Lock 20gp
Mirror (hand-sized, steel) 5gp
Musical instrument 25-100gp
Pouch/Purse (holds 1/2 stone) 5sp
Pole, Wooden (10’ long) 1sp
Rations, Iron (one week) 1-6gp
Rations, Standard (one week) 3sp-3gp
Rope (50’ length) 1gp
Sack (small, holds 2 stone) 3sp
Sack (large, holds 6 stone) 8sp
Spell Book (blank) 20gp
Stakes (4) and Mallet 3gp
Tent 20gp
Thieves’ Tools 25gp
Tinder Box (flint & steel) 8sp
Torches (6) 1sp
Water/Wine Skin 6sp
Wolfsbane (1lb) 10gp
Woundwart (1lb) 10gp
Clothing Cost
Belt / Sash (leather) 4sp
Boots (leather, low) 6sp
Boots (leather, high) 3gp
Cassock (cleric / mage) 7gp
Cloak (fur-lined, winter) 15gp
Cloak (long, hooded) 1gp
Dress (crafter / freeholder) 4gp
Dress (armiger) 20gp
Gown (lady-in-waiting / noble) 100gp
Gown (duchess) 1000gp
Gloves 4sp
Hat (armiger) 10sp
Linen (cheap, 1 yard) 1gp
Linen (fine, 1 yard) 7gp
Robe (cleric / mage) 6gp
Silk (1 yard) 15gp
Sandals / Shoes (leather) 4sp
Tunic and Pants (serf) 2gp
Tunic and Pants (crafter / freeholder) 4gp
Tunic and Pants (armiger) 20gp
Tunic and Pants (noble) 100gp
Wool (cheap, 1 yard) 6sp
Wool (fine, 1 yard) 6gp
Foodstuffs Cost
Ale/Beer (cheap, 3 pints) 1cp
Ale/Beer (good, 1 pint) 2cp
Bread (white, 4lb) 1sp
Bread (wheat, 8lb) 1sp
Bread (coarse, 12lb) 1sp
Cheese (1lb) 5cp
Cinnamon (clover, pepper, sugar) (1lb) 3gp
Dried Fruit (1lb) 1sp
Eggs (1 dozen) 5cp
Meal (1 person, poor to feast) 1cp-10gp
Meat (beef, chicken, mutton, or pork, 1lb) 1sp
Saffron (1lb) 15gp
Wine (cheap, 1 pint) 2cp
Wine (good, 1 pint) 1sp
Wine (rare, 1 pint) 5sp
Lodging Cost
Cottage (wood) 300gp
Inn (one person, one night, slum) 1sp
Inn, one person, one night, average) 5sp
Inn (one person, one night, superb) 2gp
Hut (wattle) 25gp
Hut (wooden) 50gp
Townhouse (stone) 1,200gp
Livestock Cost
Chicken (3lb) 1sp
Cow (550lb) 10gp
Dog (hunting) 10gp
Dog (war) 75gp
Goat (125lb) 3gp
Hawk (trained) 20gp
Pig (125lb) 3gp
Sheep (80lb) 2gp
Land Transport Cost
Camel 100gp
Caparison (warhorse) 20gp
Cart (small) 25gp
Cart (large) 50gp
Donkey 8gp
Heavy Draft Horse 40gp
Heavy Warhorse 700gp
Medium Draft Horse 30gp
Medium Riding Horse 40gp
Medium Warhorse 250gp
Light Riding Horse 75gp
Light Warhorse 150gp
Mule 20gp
Ox (2,000lb) 40gp
Saddle and Tack (draft) 5gp
Saddle and Tack (riding) 10gp
Saddle and Tack (war) 25gp
Saddlebags (leather) 5gp
Stabling (draft/riding horse, one night) 2sp-5sp
Stabling (warhorse, one night) 5sp-1gp
Wagon 200gp
Maritime Transport Cost
Barge/raft 1gp/sq ft
Boat (river) 4000gp
Boat (sailing) 2000gp
Canoe 40gp
Galley (large) 30,000gp
Galley (small) 10,000gp
Galley (war) 60,000gp
Longship 15,000gp
Sailing Ship (large) 20,000gp
Sailing Ship (small) 10,000gp
Troop Transport (large) 30,000gp
Troop Transport (small) 15,000gp

Equipment Descriptions

Arbalest: An arbalest is a heavy crossbow, pulled with the mechanical assistance of a rack and pinion or windlass. Historical examples include the late medieval arbalest and the Three Kingdoms era Chinese heavy crossbow.

Axe, Battle: This is a single- or double-bitted axe with a 24” to 48” haft, designed for battle and useable with one or two hands. Historical examples include the Scythian sagaris, Viking bearded and skeg axe, Celtic war axe, medieval battle axe, and Persian tabarzin.

Axe, Great: This is a double-bitted axe or long-shafted single-bitted axe, with a 48” or longer haft, requiring two hands to use. Historical examples included the Greek double-bitted labrys, Viking long bearded axe, and the English longaxe. Great axes impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls.

Axe, Hand: This is a single-bitted axe, with a 12” to 24” haft, balanced for throwing. Historical examples include the Frankish francisca, American tomahawk, and African mambele and kasuyu.

Backpack: A backpack has two straps and can be worn on the back, keeping the hands free. It holds up to 4 stone (40lb).

Ballista: A siege weapon, powered either by composite bow or torsion spring mechanisms, which hurls large bolts. Historical examples include the Greek oxybeles, Roman ballista, and medieval springald.

Barding: Barding is horse armor made from a variety of materials (see the descriptions of each type of Armor for details). Historical examples include Byzantine and Persian cataphract’s barding and medieval destrier’s barding.

Banded Plate Armor: Banded plate armor is made of overlapping horizontal strips of laminated metal sewn over leather. It is comparable in protection to lamellar armor, and superior to chain mail. Banded plate is commonly worn as a cuirass with shoulder protection, with reinforced leather protecting the arms and legs. The chief historical examples are Sumerian overlapping plate armor and Roman lorica segmenta.

Belladonna: Belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, is a poisonous flower. A character who eats a pound of belladonna within one hour of being infected with lycanthropy may make a saving throw versus Poison to shake off the affliction. If the character fails the saving throw, however, he dies from the poison after one turn. Even if the poison is then neutralized or the character is raised from the dead, he will still be afflicted with lycanthropy, and further doses of belladonna will be of no use.

Birthwort: Birthwort, also known as snakeroot, is a healing herb used as a remedy for snake bites and other poisons. Birthwort can be applied as a poultice to a poisoned wound by an adventurer with the Healing proficiency. Used in this manner, it provides a +2 bonus on the Healing proficiency throw to neutralize poison.

Boat, River: This boat is 20’ to 30’ long, has a “beam” (width) of 10’ to 15’, and has a “draft,” or surface depth, of between 2-3’ when in the water. Riverboats are rowed, or poles are used to push it along. A river boat requires at least 1 rower as crew (see the Hirelings, Henchmen, Mercenaries, and Specialists section, later in this chapter). The cost of the boat increases by 1,000gp if it has a roof. A riverboat can carry 600 stone (6,000lb) plus crew.

Boat, Sailing: This small boat has a single mast, with a length of 20’ to 40’, a beam of 10’ to 15’, and a draft of 2’ to 3’. Sailing boats are primarily employed for fishing on lakes or coasts. A sailing boat requires at least 1 sailor as crew. A sailing boat can carry up to 400 stone (4,000lb) plus crew.

Bola: These are throwing weapons made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. A character can use a bola to make a knock down or wrestling maneuver (as described in special maneuvers in Chapter 6) with a thrown attack.

Boots: Low boots come to mid-calf. High boots come to the knee or thigh and are popular for riding.

Bow, Composite: A composite bow is a recurved bow made of laminated wood, horn, and sinew. Composite bows are time consuming and expensive to craft but offer a better combination of mobility and power than longbows or shortbows. Historical examples include the Scythian horn bow, Chinese laminated bamboo bow, Greek and Roman composite bow, Mongolian composite bow, and Japanese yumi.

Bow, Long: A long bow is made from a single piece of wood, as tall as the person who uses it. Equal in range and power to more expensive composite bows, longbows require substantial strength (STR 9 or more) and cannot be used by mounted troops. Historical examples include the ancient Indian longbow, the Nubian longbow, and the Welsh and English longbow.

Bow, Short: A short bow is made from a single piece of wood, usually around 4’ tall. Shortbows lack the range and power of either longbows or composite bows, but are cheap and fast to make. Historical examples include the Neolithic short bow and Comanche self bow.

Candles: A candle dimly illuminates a 5’ radius and burns for 1 hour. Wax candles burn cleanly, but tallow candles produce a foul smelling smoke. Adventurers carrying tallow candles will never surprise creatures with keen olfactory senses.

Canoe: A canoe consists of frame of light wood wrapped with bark, hides, canvas, or other waterproofed covering. Canoes are primarily used on rivers and in swamps. Canoes have a 15’ length, 5’ beam, 1/2 ‘ draft, and can carry up to 60 stone (600lb) (plus crew). They can be carried overland by two people, at a cost of 5 stone of encumbrance.

Cart, Small: A small cart is an open, two-wheeled vehicle meant for personal transport. It may be pulled by one or two mules. If the cart is pulled by only one mule, it can transport up to 40 stone at 60’ per turn, or up to 60 stone at 30’ per turn. If pulled by two mules, it can transport up to 80 stone at 60’ per turn, or up to 120 stone at 30’ per turn. Carts may only move through deserts, mountains, forests, or swamps if a road is available.

Cart, Large: A large cart is an open, two-wheeled vehicle meant for shipment. It may be pulled by one or two heavy horses. 2 mules or medium horses can be substituted for 1 heavy horse. If the cart is pulled by only one heavy horse, it can transport up to 80 stone at 60’ per turn, or up to 120 stone at 30’ per turn. If pulled by 2 heavy horses, it can transport up to 160 stone at 60’ per turn, or up to 240 stone at 30’ per turn. Carts may only move through deserts, mountains, forests, or swamps if a road is available.

Catapult: A catapult is a siege weapon, powered by either torsion or fixed counter-weight mechanisms, which hurls rocks, burning pitch, or other projectiles. Light catapults inflict 3d6 damage in a 5’ radius, while heavy catapults inflict 4d6 damage in a 10’ radius. Historical examples include the Roman onager and medieval mangonel and couillard.

Chain Mail Armor: Chain mail is made of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. Chain mail is superior in protection to leather-based armors but inferior to metal scale or plate-reinforced armors. Chain mail is commonly worn as a shirt and coif, with lighter chain, ring mail, or hardened leather protecting the arms and legs. Historical examples include Viking byrnies, Norman mail, and Roman lorica hamata.

Cloak: A cloak is a cloth, fur, or leather garment of knee to ankle length, worn outdoors like an overcoat. Cloaks usually include a hood. Adventurers often favor military cloaks, generally worn pinned on one shoulder for ease of movement and access to a sword.

Club: A club is any simple bludgeon used to batter opponents.

Comfrey: Comfrey, also known as bruisewort and knitbone, is a powerful healing herb. An adventurer with Healing proficiency can use a poultice of comfrey to treat a wounded character immediately after a battle. This restores 1d3hp of damage. A character cannot be treated with comfrey more than once per day.

Cottage: A cottage is a 20’ high, 30’ square wooden building with a thatched roof and earthen floor, suitable for a wealthy peasant family.

Crossbow: A crossbow is a bow mounted cross-wise on a stock with a trigger. It fires squat projectiles called bolts. Crossbows are light enough to pull by hand or with a quick drawing lever and are much easier to use than bows. Historical examples are the Greek gastraphetes, Roman arcuballista, Chinese handheld crossbow, and medieval crossbow and cavalry cranequin.

Crowbar: A crowbar is 2’ to 3’ long and made of solid iron. This object can be used for forcing doors and other objects open.

Dagger: A dagger has a small 6” to 12” blade, either single-edged for cutting, or doubled edged for stabbing. Daggers may be used in melee or for throwing. Historical examples include the Asian kris, medieval poniard, Japanese tanto, Scottish dirk, and Renaissance stiletto. Some daggers have blades coated with silver for use against enchanted creatures.

Dart: A dart is any small projectile designed to be thrown. Most darts are fletched wooden shafts, ranging in length from 6” to 2’ long, but they may also be metal spikes or stars. Historical examples include the Roman plumbata, Macedonian kestros, and Japanese shuriken.

Dog: Hunting dogs are fast, lean hounds trained to track and bring down prey by working in packs. Most hunting dogs can scent prey, giving them the equivalent of Tracking proficiency. War dogs are heavy, fierce mastiffs trained to kill on command. While dangerous, they are capable of great loyalty to their masters when properly trained. See the Monsters chapter for game statistics.

Donkey: A donkey can carry its normal load of 8 stone and move 120’ per turn. A donkey can carry its maximum load of 16 stone and move 60’ per turn.

Flail: This is a bludgeoning weapon derived from the agricultural flail with a striking head connected to the haft by a flexible chain. Flails are useable with one or two hands. Historical examples include the medieval ball-and-chain, Japanese rentsuru and nunchaku, and Chinese meteor hammer.

Galley, Large: This is a large fully decked ship with a single mast, one large square sail, and multiple banks of oars. Large galleys are 120’ to 150’ length, 15’ to 20’ beam, and 3’ draft, and can carry up to 4,000 stone (40,000lb) cargo in addition to its crew. A large galley is generally crewed by a captain, 50 marines, 20 sailors, and 180 rowers. Large galleys may be equipped with up to 2 light catapults, one at the bow and one at the stern, and a naval ram. Catapults must be bought separately, while a naval ram increase the cost of the ship by 1/3. A heavy catapult can substitute for 2 light catapults. A historical example is the Mediterranean trireme.

Galley, Small: The small galley is similar to the larger model, but smaller and lighter; length is 60’ to 100’, beam is 10’ to 15’, and draft is 2’ to 3’. A small galley is generally crewed with a captain, 20 marines, 10 sailors, and 60 rowers. Besides the crew, the ship can carry 2,000 stone (20,000lb) cargo. Small galleys may be equipped with up to 2 light catapults, one at the bow and one at the stern, and a naval ram (increase cost by 1/3). A historical example is the Mediterranean bireme or penteconter.

Galley, War: War galleys are built to serve as the flagship of a fleet. These mighty ships have two masts, full decks, a length of 120’ to 150’, a beam 20’ to 30’, and draft of 4’ to 6’. Their crew consists of a captain, 75 marines, 30 sailors, and 300 rowers. All war galleys come with a naval ram, a full deck over the rowers, and light wooden towers rising over the bow and stern. These platforms are 10’ to 20’ square, rising 15’ to 20’ above the deck. A war galley can be fitted with up to 3 light catapults, and can carry 6,000 stone (60,000lb) in addition to its crew. A heavy catapult can substitute for 2 light catapults. A historical example is the Mediterranean quinquereme.

Garlic: Garlic causes a vampire to cringe for 1d4 rounds if presented with confidence.

Gloves: Gloves are garments covering the hands, worn for comfort, fashion, or protection. However, wearing gloves does not protect against curses or slime. Thief abilities such as picking pockets, opening locks, or removing traps cannot be performed while wearing gloves.

Goldenrod: Goldenrod is a healing herb used to treat diseases such as rheumatism, gout, and consumption. An adventurer with Healing proficiency can use a goldenrod tincture to treat sick characters. Used in this manner, it provides a +2 bonus on the Healing proficiency throw to cure disease.

Grappling Hook: These large hooks are made of sturdy iron and can be used for anchoring a rope. The hook may be thrown or attached manually by a climber. A successful attack throw is required to throw a grappling hook onto a target.

Hammer (small): The small hammer can be used for construction or as a mallet with iron or wooden spikes. If used to fight, the small hammer deals 1d4 points of damage.

Hat: A hat is a cap, fez, turban, or other headgear for protecting the head from the elements.

Holy Symbol: A cleric is required to own a holy symbol. These symbols will be different for each religion, but they are often worn as a necklace.

Holy Water: Holy water is water that has been blessed by a cleric of 7th level or higher. It is used in some church rituals, and is a formidable weapon against the undead, inflicting 1d8 points of damage for 2 rounds. Holy water cannot retain its holy power if it is stored in any other container than the special vials it is placed in when blessed.

Horse, Heavy: A heavy horse can carry its normal load of 40 stone and move 120’ per turn. A heavy horse can carry its maximum load of 80 stone and move 60’ per turn. Heavy horses are normally trained for draft. Only a small percentage of the otherwise placid heavy horses can be trained for war. A historical example is the medieval destrier (warhorse).

Horse, Light: A light horse can carry its normal load of 20 stone and move at 240’ per turn. A light horse can carry its maximum load of 40 stone and move at 120’ per turn. Light horses are trained for riding or war. Historical examples include the medieval palfrey and jennet (riding horse), medieval rouncey (warhorse), and Mongolian and Turkoman horse.

Horse, Medium: A medium horse can carry its normal load of 30 stone and move at 180’ per turn. A medium horse can carry its maximum load of 60 stone and move at up to 90’ per turn. Medium horses are trained for draft, riding, or war. Historical examples include the medieval hackney (draft or riding horse), medieval courser (warhorse), and Sarmatian medium horse.

Hut: A hut is a 10’ square building with an earthen floor and thatched roof. Serfs, unskilled laborers, and other working poor generally live in such homely dwellings.

Ink: This is a small pot of black ink. Ink can be purchased in other colors, but it costs twice as much.

Inn: An inn is an establishment that offers food, drink, lodging, and stabling. They are a common meeting place for adventurers. Slum inns are gambling dens, whorehouses, and flophouses, frequented by gamblers, harlots, and ruffians. Average inns include coaching inns, hostels, and traveler’s lodges designed for travelers and traders. Superb inns are the preserve of wealthy merchants and nobles.

Iron Spikes: These sturdy pitons can be used to wedge doors open or spike them shut or to provide belaying points for ropes.

Javelin: Javelins are short spears, 3’ to 6’ long, designed for throwing. Historical examples include the Greek javelin, Roman pilum and verutum, early medieval angon, and Zulu assegai.

Lamellar Armor: Lamellar armor is made of small bronze, iron, or steel plates laced together in parallel rows with silk, leather thongs, or cotton. It is similar to scale armor, from which it evolved, and comparable in protection to banded armor. Lamellar is generally worn as a cuirass over light chain or leather, and sometimes sewn to the backing. Lamellar would also include leather lames worn over chain. Historical examples include Mongolian lamellar, medieval brigandine and splinted armor, Japanese o-yori armor, and Roman lorica squamata.

Lance: Lances are long spears, 12’ to 16’ in length, designed for mounted warriors. Despite their length, they are used one-handed. Historical examples include the Greek xyston, Persian and Byzantine kontos, and medieval lance. Lances do double damage when used to charge, but impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls.

Lantern: Lanterns are used in dungeon adventures to provide light. They burn one oil flask for each four hours, or 24 turns, and have an effective light radius of 30’. Lanterns can be closed to hide the light or protect it from wind.

Leather Armor: Leather armor is made of hardened leather or laminated linen. Leather armor usually consists of spaulders (shoulder armor), cuirass, and tassets (flaps covering the groin and thighs). It is lighter but less protective then more reinforced leather armors such as ring mail. A historical example is Macedonian linothorax armor.

Lifeboat: Lifeboats typically have a 20’ length, 4’ to 5’ beam, and 1’ to 2’ draft. They are equipped with rations to feed 10 human-sized beings for 1 week. The mast folds down for storage of the lifeboat on large ships galleys, where there are typically 2 to 3 lifeboats. There are 1 or 2 lifeboats on small ships or galleys. Lifeboats weigh 50 stone (500lb) and will take up this much weight, each, on a vessel. The lifeboat itself is capable of holding a weight of 150 stone (1,500lb) in addition to crew.

Lock: This is a common iron lock with a key. More complex locks, made my highly skilled locksmiths, might be available (Judge’s discretion); these impose penalties on a thief’s proficiency throws to Open Locks.

Longship: The longship is a graceful, light ship with a single square-sailed mast, a 60’ to 80’ length, 10’ to 15’ beam, and 2’ to 3’ draft. Longships can operate equally well on oceans, coasts, or rivers, making them ideal raiding vessels. The standard crew is a captain and 75 sailors, of which 60 may row when the wind is low. Longship sailors are generally also marines (fighters). In addition to crew, longships are capable of holding a weight of 2,000 stone (20,000lb). A historical example is the Viking drakkar.

Mace: A mace is a bludgeoning weapon consisting of a 2’ to 3’ wood or metal shaft and a heavy stone or metal head, useable with one or two hands. Historical examples include the Egyptian bronze-headed mace, medieval flanged mace, Persian horseman’s mace, Russian pernach, and Slavic bulawa.

Manacles: These are used to bind hands or feet. Characters bound with manacles can escape if they have the Contortionist proficiency (as described in Chapter 4), or by making a proficiency throw to Open Locks.

Morning Star: This is any type of large mace-liked weapon with a spiked metal head. Historical examples include the medieval morning star, German chain-morning star, English holy water sprinkler, Flemish goedendag, and Japanese tetsubo. Any flails and maces too large to be used one-handed can also be treated as morning stars. Morning stars impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls.

Mirror: A mirror can be used to check around corners and defend against monstrous gaze attacks. A character using a mirror to see his target suffers a -2 penalty to attack throws, and cannot use a shield, second weapon, or two-handed weapon.

Mule: A mule is the infertile offspring of a horse and a donkey. It can carry its normal load of 20 stone and move 120’ per turn. A mule can carry its maximum load of 40 stone and move 60’ per turn.

Musical Instrument: A wide variety of instruments are available to bards and performers, including stringed instruments, percussion instruments, brass instruments, and woodwind instruments. Historical examples of stringed instruments are the cithara, harp, lyre, lute, psaltery, and zither. Historical percussion instruments include the castanet, chimes, drum, gong, sistrum, tambourine, and tympani. Historical brass instruments include the buccina, carnyx, cornu, and salpinx. Historical woodwind instruments include the aulos, flute, horn, pan pipe, and shawm. A common instrument costs 25gp. A superior instrument costs 50gp and adds +1 to Performance proficiency throws made with it. A masterpiece instrument costs 100gp and adds +2 to Performance proficiency throws made with it.

Net: This is a round, weighted cast net designed to entangle and entrap opponents. The chief historical example is the net of the Roman retiarius. A character using a net gets a +2 bonus on attack throws to wrestle opponents (as explained under special maneuvers in Chapter 6).

Oil: Common oil is burned in a lantern to give light. Common oil is usually olive oil, castor oil, or animal extract. Military oil is a weapon made of naphtha, and cannot be easily doused with water. Military oil may be thrown at monsters, dealing 1d8 points of damage for 2 rounds to the creature struck, or poured on the floor and ignited to delay pursuit.

Ox: An ox is a castrated bull, used for cart driving. An ox can carry its normal load of 45 stone and move 60’ per turn. An ox can carry its maximum load of 90 stone and move 30’ per turn.

Plate Armor: Plate armor is made from large metal plates worn over the chest and vital areas. Chain mail or other protective covering may cover exposed joints. Plate armor provides superior protection over banded plate and lamellar, having larger plates sewn onto a stronger backing. Historical examples include classical panoply (if worn with arm and leg armor), medieval plate and mail armor, Middle Eastern mirror armor, Eastern European plated mail, and Japanese tatami-do.

Pole, Wooden: This pole is a shaft of wood 10’ long and 2” thick. Adventurers often carry 10’ poles to prod and poke areas that might be trapped, test the strength of ledges or floors, or measure the depth of pools.

Pole Arm: Pole arms are two-handed slashing and piercing weapons with a metal head and a long wooden shaft. Pole arms range in length from 6’ to 21’. Historical examples include the Thracian rhomphaia, Dacian falx, and Macedonian sarissa; the medieval bill, fauchard, glaive, guisarme, halberd, partisan, pike, ranseur, spetum, and voulge; the Chinese gun dao; and the Japanese bisento, nagamaki, and naginata. Pole arms can be used to attack from the second rank in melee, and inflict double damage when used in or against a charge, but impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls.

Pouch/purse: These are 6” x 1’ bags of cloth or leather that can contain half a stone (5lb). They can be carried on a shoulder strap or on a belt.

Raft: A raft is a floating platform usually used for river cargo. Professionally built rafts are called barges, and have raised edges to keep out water, small wooden huts for shelter, and steering oars. Barges can be 30’ x 40’ in size, and can carry 500 stone (5,000 lb) for each 10’ square. Makeshift rafts are nothing more than crude platforms of up to 20’ x 30’. Each 10’ square section will only hold a weight of 250 stone (2,500lb). A makeshift raft can be built in 1 to 3 days for each 10’ x 10’ raft portion.

Rations, Iron: This food is dried and preserved to be carried on long voyages when securing other food may be uncertain. It will last two months in the wilderness and a week in the foul conditions of a dungeon. The cost for iron rations will vary depending on quality. The cheapest iron rations consist of hard, dried salted biscuits. Better rations included salted or pickled meat and dried, pickled, or preserved fruit and vegetables.

Rations, Standard: This food is fresh but untreated. It will last for a week in the wilderness; it spoils overnight in dank dungeons. The cost for this food will vary depending on quality. The cheapest standard rations include fresh bread, cheese, and lard. Better standard rations will include bacon or other meat, eggs, beans, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Ring Mail Armor: Ring mail armor is leather or padded armor that has a large number of small rings sewn directly over the foundation garment. Unlike chain mail, the rings are not physically interlocked with each other, so protection is inferior. Ring mail is closely related to scale armor, which sews leather or horn scales onto the foundation garment, and provides comparable protection. Historical examples include Frankish ring mail, Asian ring armor on leather, and Renaissance eyelet doublets.

Rope, 50’: This strong rope, made of animal hair, hemp, or similar fibers, can bear 45 stone, the weight of approximately three human-sized beings.

Sack, Large: This is a 2’ x 4’ burlap, cloth, or leather bag that can contain 6 stone (60lb). It is normally carried over the shoulder and dropped when combat begins.

Sack, Small: This is a 1’ x 2’ burlap, cloth, or leather bag that can contain 2 stone (20lb). It is often tied to a belt or spearhead.

Saddle Bag: This is a long pocketed leather sack that can contain 3 stone (30lb).

Saddle & Tack: This includes a leather and wooden saddle with metal fastenings, a leather and metal bridle and bit, and stirrups. Draft saddle and tack is used to harness to a cart or wagon or carry saddle bags; it cannot be used for riding. Riding saddle and tack is designed for the rider’s comfort. Military saddle and tack is designed for stability during combat. A character in combat without a military saddle must save versus Paralysis every time he is dealt damage or be knocked off the horse.

Sailing Ship, Large: This large, seaworthy ship has as many as 3 square-sailed masts, with a 100’ to 150’ length, 25’ to 30’ beam, and 10’ to 12’ draft. It has at least one full deck and the bow and stern are raised “castles” that give archers a superior field of fire. The crew for a large sailing ship is a captain and 20 sailors. It can carry 30,000 stone (300,000lb) of cargo in addition to crew. Up to 2 light catapults can be mounted on a large sailing ship. Historical examples include the Roman cladivata and the medieval round ship.

Sailing Ship, Small: This ship is much like the larger version, but has one mast, a 60’ to 80’ length, 20’ to 30’ beam, and 5’ to 8’ draft. Crew consists of a captain and 12 sailors. In addition to the crew, it can carry 10,000 stone (100,000lb) of cargo. Historical examples include the Roman corbita, the Viking knarr, and the medieval cog.

Sap: A sap consists of a heavyweight material wrapped inside a leather sack. Used as a weapon, it provides a +2 bonus to attack throws made to incapacitate opponents (as described in Special Maneuvers in Chapter 6).

Scale Armor: Scale armor consists of many small leather, cuir bouilli, or horn scales attached to a backing material of cloth or leather. Scale armor usually consists of a corselet or hauberk worn with leather or padded cloth. It is lighter than lamellar armor, which uses metal scales or lames over leather, and comparable to ring mail. Historical examples include Scythian scale armor, Egyptian scale armor, and early medieval scale armor.

Shield: A character with a shield equipped has his Armor Class increased by 1 point. A shield does not protect a character that is surprised, retreating, or attacked from behind, however.

Shoes: Simple leather shoes or sandals are suitable for walking long distances.

Sling: A sling is a projectile weapon, made of braided flax, hemp or wool cord, used to hurl small stones or lead bullets. Slings were used by all armies of the ancient world. Historical examples include the Hebrew shepherd’s sling and Greek peltast’s sling.

Spear: Wooden shafts, 6’ to 8’ in length, with metal heads designed for thrusting, spears are the main weapon of the common soldier. Spears can be used one- or two-handed. Historical examples include the Hoplite doru, the medieval winged spear, and the Japanese yari. Characters armed with spears can attack from the second rank in melee and inflict double damage when used in or against a charge.

Spell Book (Blank): A spell book has 100 pages of parchment, and each spell takes up one page per spell level (one page each for 1st level spells). These books are used by arcane spellcasters to record the spells in their repertoire.

Staff: A staff is a common weapon made from a stick of hardwood 4’ to 6’ long, and used two-handed. (If used one-handed, treat as a club.) Historical examples include the English quarterstaff, Japanese bo stick, and Chinese gun.

Stakes and Mallet: These 18” sharpened wood shafts are carried by adventures to destroy vampires.

Sword: The classic weapon of knights and kings, the sword includes straight and curved slashing and thrusting blades of 30” to 40” in length useable with one or two hands. Historical examples include the Roman spatha, Viking sword, medieval knightly sword and falchion, Japanese katana, and Chinese jian and dao.

Sword, Short: The short sword includes straight and curved slashing and thrusting blades, generally less than 30” in length, meant to be used with one hand. Historical examples include the Egyptian khopesh, Greek xiphos, Roman gladius, Japanese wakizashi, Arab scimitar, Persian shamshir, Turkish yatagan, and Indian talwar.

Sword, Two-Handed: The two-handed sword includes straight and curved slashing and thrusting blades, 40” or more in length, requiring two hands to use effectively. Historical examples include the medieval longsword, the Renaissance zweih”ander, Scottish claymore, Japanese no-dachi, and Chinese zhanmadao. Two-handed swords impose a -1 penalty on initiative rolls.

Thieves’ Tools: Thieves’ tools include long metal picks and probes, fine wires, tiny saws, miniature hammers, and an assortment of skeleton keys. Thieves’ tools are required to make proficiency throws to open locks and remove traps.

Tinderbox: This is a tinderbox used to start fires. Lighting a torch with flint and steel takes a full round, and lighting any other fire with them takes at least that long.

Torch: Torches are 1’ to 2’ long pieces of wood tipped with pitch. A torch burns for six turns (1 hour), clearly illuminating a 30’ radius. If a torch is used in combat, it deals 1d4 points of damage.

Townhouse: A townhouse is a 30’ square two-story building with a wooden floor and stairs and thatched roof. Wealthy yeomen, master craftsmen, merchants, and other professionals might live in such a dwelling.

Troop Transport, Large: This is a large sailing ship reinforced for war and modified to carry additional troops. It can carry 50 marines in addition to its normal complement of 20 sailors.

Troop Transport, Small: This is a small sailing ship reinforced for war and modified to carry additional troops. It can carry 25 marines in addition to its normal complement of 12 sailors.

Wagon: This is a four-wheeled, open vehicle for transporting heavy loads. Generally, two or four heavy horses draw a wagon. Two mules or medium horses can be substituted for one heavy horse. If the wagon is pulled by two heavy horses, it can transport up to 160 stone at 60’ per turn, or 320 stone at 30’ per turn. If the wagon is pulled by four heavy horses, it can transport up to 320 stone at 60’ per turn, or up to 640 stone at 30’ per turn. A wagon can move at a similar speed and conditions as a cart.

Warhammer: A warhammer is a bludgeoning weapon with a 2’ to 3’ wooden or metal shaft and a broad metal head shaped like a hammer. It is designed for crushing armor, and useable with one or two hands. The chief historical example is the late medieval warhammer.

Waterskin/Wineskin: This container, made of hide or preserved animal bladder, will hold 2 pints (1 quart) of fluid.

Whip: This is a long, single-tailed whip of the sort used to herd cattle. Used as a weapon, it provides a +2 bonus to attack throws made to disarm or knock down opponents (as described in Special Maneuvers in Chapter 6).

Wolfsbane: Wolfsbane (dried aconite flowers) may drive off werewolves and other lycanthropes if a character strikes the monster in hand-to-hand combat with the sprig. If the lycanthrope fails a saving throw versus Poison, it must flee as if turned. A character who eats wolfsbane must make a saving throw versus Poison or die after one turn.

Woundwart: Woundwart, also known as heal-all or lamb’s ears, is a herbal medicine with curative properties. An adventurer with Healing proficiency can use a woundwart tincture to treat injured characters. Used in this manner, it provides a +2 bonus on proficiency throws to cure light wounds and cure serious wounds.


Encumbrance measures how much equipment and treasure characters are carrying. Encumbrance is important because characters can only carry so much, and if they are heavily weighed down with equipment they cannot carry as much treasure, nor move as fast. Encumbrance is measured in stone. A stone is a historical unit of measure that varied from 8 to 14lb depending on what was being measured. ACKS assumes a stone weighs around 10lb, but it is left purposefully abstract to represent an amalgam of weight, bulk, and generally portability.

After characters purchase their equipment, they should calculate their encumbrance. To determine the number of stone encumbering a character, simply consult the table below.

When counting items, each weapon, scroll, potion, vial, wand, magic item, or other object counts as an item. Multiple small items sold as a bundle (such as 12 spikes, 6 torches, 20 arrows, etc.) count as one item for this purpose. Very small single items (such as 1 silver arrow) can be ignored for encumbrance purposes.

Item Encumbrance in Stone
Worn clothing 0 stone
Armor & Shield 1 stone per point of Armor Class*
Items 1 stone per 6 items
Heavy Item 1 stone per heavy item (8-14lb)
Treasure 1 stone per 1,000 coins or gems

*Magical armor and shields are lighter than mundane items. They reduce their encumbrance by 1 stone per point of magical bonus.

Heavy items include two-handed weapons (including bows, crossbows, and various large melee weapons); any item that is as tall as the carrying character (including spears, staffs, and 10’ poles); any item that weighs around 8-14lb; and any item that requires two hands to carry (such as chairs or chests). Items weighing more than 14lb will weigh more than 1 stone.

For purposes of encumbrance, 1,000 coins are considered 1 stone. When a carrying device, such as a backpack, lists the weight it can carry in stone, this weight can be converted at 1:1000 from stone to coins to determine how many coins it can carry.

A character’s speed will be affected based on encumbrance, as shown on the Character Movement and Encumbrance table, below. For additional information on movement, see the Time and Movement section in the Adventures chapter. The maximum any character can carry is 20 stone, plus his Strength adjustment.

Character Movement and Encumbrance

Encumbrance Exploration Movement Combat Movement Running Movement
Up to 5 stone 120’ per turn 40’ per round 120’ per round
Up to 7 stone 90’ per turn 30’ per round 90’ per round
Up to 10 stone 60’ per turn 20’ per round 60’ per round
Up to max capacity 30’ per turn 10’ per round 30’ per round

Example: Marcus is carrying a two-handed sword (1 heavy item), a crossbow (1 heavy item), a mace (1 item), 2 daggers (1 item each), 1 week’s iron rations (1 item), a tinderbox (1 item), 2 flasks of oil (1 item each), 3 stakes and mallet (1 item), a small mirror (1 item), a pound of wolfsbane (1 item), a pound of garlic (1 item), and a case with 20 bolts (1 item). He is carrying 12 items, which counts as 2 stone. His two-handed sword and crossbow count as 2 stone. Finally, he is wearing plate armor (AC6), which counts as 6 stone. His total encumbrance is 10 stone, so his exploration movement is 60’ per turn. Later, he picks up 8,000 silver pieces. This increases his encumbrance to 18 stone, and reduces his exploration movement to 30’ per turn.

In order to carry more equipment and treasure, characters may purchase beasts of burdens and ground vehicles. Each animal or vehicle has a normal and maximum load it can carry in stone, as shown on the Animal/Vehicle Movement and Encumbrance table.

Animal/Vehicle Movement and Encumbrance

Animal/Vehicle Exploration Movement Normal Load Maximum Load
Camel 150’ / 75’ 30 60
Donkey 120’ / 60’ 8 16
Elephant 120’ / 60’ 120 240
Horse, Heavy 120’ / 60’ 40 80
Horse, Light 240’ / 120’ 20 40
Horse, Medium 180’ / 90’ 30 60
Mule 120’ / 60’ 20 40
Ox 60’ / 30’ 45 90
Cart, Small, 1 Mule 60’ / 30’ 35 70
Cart, Small, 2 Mules 60’ / 30’ 80 160
Cart, Large, 1 Horse 60’ / 30’ 80 160
Cart, Large, 2 Horses 60’ / 30’ 120 240
Wagon, 2 Horses 60’ / 30’ 160 320
Wagon, 4 Horses 60’ / 30’ 320 640

The figure to the left of the slash is the animal or vehicle’s movement rate per turn when not encumbered (carrying its normal load limit or less), and the figure to the right of the slash is its movement rate per turn when encumbered (carrying more than a normal load but not more than a maximum load).

Hirelings, Henchmen, Mercenaries, and Specialists

In addition to buying equipment, adventurers may also spend their money to hire various NPCs, known as hirelings, to assist them. There are three types of hirelings. Henchmen are NPC sidekicks, companions, and associates. Henchmen are typically very loyal and are willing to take reasonable risks; in particular, they are the only sort of hireling who will generally accompany an adventurer into a dungeon, lair, or ruin. Mercenaries are hired soldiers, and will guard, patrol, and otherwise serve in wilderness settings, but only as part of a larger force, not an adventuring party. Specialists are hired individuals who have a particular trade or who have special knowledge. These individuals are usually hired for a specific task.

While adventurers often wish to hire as many hirelings as they can afford, hirelings are not available in unlimited numbers. Indeed, in small villages or remote outposts, they may be not available at all. As with equipment, the amount available will be determined by the market class within which the adventurers are recruiting hirelings. The Hireling Availability by Market Class table shows how many of each type of henchman, mercenary or specialist is available in each type of market. Some values will indicate a percentage chance; this is chance of that type of hireling being present at all. One half of the hirelings (rounded up) become available within the first week the adventurers enter the market. One quarter (rounded down, minimum 1) become available during the second week. The remainder of the hirelings become available in the third week.

Example: Marcus is in a city of 20,000, a Class III market. He wants to hire a sage to decipher a strange book, and a company of heavy infantry. There is a 65% chance of 1 sage being present; unfortunately, the Judge rolls a 98, and Marcus can’t find one available. His search for the heavy infantry goes better, as the Judge’s roll of 3d8 yields 22. Marcus finds 11 of these in his first week of searching, 5 more in his second week, and the remaining 6 in his third week.

PCs may sometimes find potential hirelings while on adventures. Otherwise, in order to find hirelings, the PCs must carouse in pubs, post notices of help wanted, hand out fliers, and seek out adventuring companies, mercenary brotherhoods, or professional guilds. These activities cost money. Each week that the adventurers are in the market for hirelings, they must pay the fee listed on the table below. This fee is per type of hireling.

Hireling Availability by Market Class

Hireling Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI
Mercenaries - - - - - -
Light Infantry 4d100 5d20 5d10 3d4 1d6 1d2
Heavy Infantry 2d100 5d10 3d8 1d8 1d3 1 (85%)
Slinger 8d20 4d10 2d10 1d6 1d2 1 (70%)
Bowman 8d20 4d10 2d10 1d6 1d2 1 (70%)
Crossbowman 8d20 4d10 2d10 1d6 1d2 1 (70%)
Longbowman 4d20 2d10 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%)
Light Cavalry 4d20 2d10 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%)
Mounted Crossbowman* 3d20 4d4 2d4 1d2 1 (75%) 1 (25%)
Horse Archers 3d20 4d4 2d4 1d3 1 (70%) 1 (23%)
Medium Cavalry 3d20 4d4 2d4 1d2 1 (70%) 1 (23%)
Heavy Cavalry 4d10 1d10 1d6 1d2 (50%) 1 (50%) 1 (15%)
Cataphract Cavalry 3d10 1d8 1d4 1d2 (33%) 1 (40%) 1 (10%)
Beast Riders* 3d10 1d8 1d4 1d2 (33%) 1 (40%) 1 (10%)
Specialists - - - - - -
Alchemist 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%)
Animal Trainer - Common 5d10 2d6 1d6 1d2 1 (65%) 1 (20%)
Animal Trainer - Exotic 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%)
Armorer 3d10 2d4 1d4 1 1 (40%) 1 (15%)
Engineer 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%)
Healer 5d10 2d6 1d6 1d2 1 (65%) 1 (20%)
Healer - Physicker 3d10 2d4 1d4 1 1 (40%) 1 (15%)
Healer - Chirugeon 1d10 1d3 1 1 (33%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%)
Mariner - Captain 4d6 1d6 1d3 1 (80%) 1 (33%) 1 (10%)
Mariner - Navigator 5d10 1d12 1d6 1d2 1 (60%) 1 (45%)
Mariner - Sailor/Rower 4d100 5d20 5d10 3d4 1d6 1d2
Ruffian - Carouser 4d100 5d20 5d10 3d4 1d6 1d2
Ruffian - Footpad 5d20 4d6 2d6 1d3 1d2 1 (40%)
Ruffian - Reciter 5d20 4d6 2d6 1d3 1d2 1 (40%)
Ruffian - Spy 2d10 1d6 1d3 1 (65%) 1 (25%) 1 (10%)
Ruffian - Thug 5d20 4d6 2d6 1d3 1d2 1 (40%)
Sage 1d6 1d2 1 (65%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%) None
Spellcaster Varies by Spell Level - -
Henchmen - - - - - -
Normal Men 4d100 5d20 4d8 3d4 1d6 1d2
Level 1 5d10 2d6 1d4 1d2 1 (65%) 1 (20%)
Level 2 3d10 2d4 1d3 1 1 (40%) 1 (15%)
Level 3 1d10 1d3 1 (85%) 1 (33%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%)
Level 4 1d6 1d2 1 (45%) 1 (15%) 1 (5%) None

*Mounted crossbowmen are only found in Dwarven settlements. Beast Riders are only found in Chaotic-aligned settlements.

Market Class Cost Per Week Per Hireling Type
I 1d6+15gp
II 1d10+10gp
III 1d8+5gp
IV 1d6+3gp
V 1d6gp
VI 1d3gp

Hirelings are recruited through negotiation. The Judge plays the roles of the NPCs the PCs attempt to hire. The PCs will have to explain what the job entails and the rates of pay. Henchmen are typically hired for a share of treasure (at least 15% of the employer’s income) and monthly fee for food, lodging and expenses (based on level, see below). Mercenaries and specialists are typically hired for a flat monthly fee, which varies depending on the type of specialist or mercenary (see below). Henchmen, mercenaries, and specialists will have equipment appropriate to their profession, class, or level. Adventurers may provide additional equipment to their hirelings.

Reaction to Hiring Offer

Adjusted Die Roll Result
2- Refuse and slander
3-5 Refuse
6-8 Try Again
9-11 Accept
12+ Accept with ‘elan

After the offers are made, the Judge will make a reaction roll of 2d6 on the Reaction to Hiring Offer table to decide the potential hireling’s reactions, modified by the prospective employer’s Charisma bonus or penalty The Judge may apply any other adjustments he or she feels are appropriate (a bonus of +1 for higher-than-average pay, signing bonuses, or equipment; a -1 penalty if the adventurer offers poor terms or a very risky job).

Refuse and slander means that all further reaction rolls made toward that adventurer in the given town or region will be at a penalty of -1 due to unkind words said by the NPC to his fellows. If the adventurer tries again in a different town, the penalty does not apply. Refuse simply means the NPC declines the offer.

If a Try again result is rolled, the potential hireling is reluctant, and needs more convincing; the adventurer must “sweeten” the deal in order to get an additional roll, such as by offering more pay, a magic item, or other appealing suggestion. If the adventurer makes no better offer, treat Try again as a Refusal result.

Accept means that the NPC has agreed to become the character’s hireling for the stated terms. Accept with ‘elan means the offer is accepted with very good spirit, and the hireling’s morale rolls receive a bonus of +1.


Henchmen should be rolled up with ability scores, classes, hit points, and equipment, just like player characters. Henchmen are typically hired for a share of treasure (at least 15% of the employer’s income) and a monthly fee for food, lodging and expenses. A henchmen’s monthly fee is based on his level, as noted on the Henchmen Monthly Fee table, below.

When they are hired, potential henchmen should be of lower level than their employer. A first level character can only hire normal men as henchmen; second level characters can only hire first level characters; and so on. There is no way for the henchmen to directly know the level of the PC employer, but if a henchman ever concludes he is more powerful than his employer, it is cause for an immediate Henchman Loyalty roll (see below). Note that henchmen of greater than 4th level are not generally for hire on the market, though they can sometimes be found on adventures.

Henchmen Monthly Fee

Class Level Monthly Wage (gp)
0 12
1 25
2 50
3 100
4 200
5 400
6 800
7 1,600
8 3,000
9 7,250
10 12,000
11 32,000
12 50,000
13 135,000
14 350,000

Morale: All henchmen have a morale score, which is generally 0 plus the employer’s Charisma bonus or penalty. This rating can be adjusted at the Judge’s discretion. It can be increased if the PC has been particularly good to the henchman, or reduced if the PC has been cruel or contrary to his word.

Morale rolls are made each time the henchman suffers a calamity. A calamity includes suffering an energy drain, a curse, a magical disease, or being nearly killed (Judge’s discretion). In addition, the Judge should make a morale roll for each henchman at the end of each adventure whenever the henchman has leveled up, to determine if the henchman strikes off on his own or remains with the adventurer. The Judge will roll 2d6 on the Henchman Loyalty table, adding the henchman’s morale, to decide how the henchman responds to the recent events. The Judge may apply adjustments to this roll, probably no more than +/-2, if the henchman is particularly well or poorly paid.

Henchman Loyalty

Adjusted Die Roll (2d6) Result
2- Hostility
3-5 Resignation
6-8 Grudging Loyalty
9-11 Loyalty
12+ Fanatic Loyalty

Hostility means that the henchman will leave the service of the character, and will consider him a rival and enemy in the future. The henchman can never be attracted to the character’s employ again. A result of Resignation means the henchman will leave the character’s employment, but he bears no ill will to his former master, and could be recruited to work for the character again in the future.

Grudging Loyalty means the henchman is reluctant to continue in the character’s service, but sees no better options. If the character does not make any improvements to the terms of service, the henchman’s next loyalty roll will be at a -1 penalty.

Loyalty means that the NPC will continue in the character’s service with enthusiasm. Fanatic Loyalty means the henchman has become a dedicated and sworn servant of the character. All future morale rolls will be at +2.

A henchman’s morale score is permanently decreased by 1 each time he suffers a calamity, and permanently increased by 1 each time he gains a level while in the adventurer’s service.

A player character may hire at most 4 henchmen, adjusted by the character’s Charisma bonus or penalty. Any attempts to hire more than this number of henchmen will cause the character to lose one of his existing henchmen. Mercenaries and specialists do not count toward a character’s maximum number of henchmen, since they do not require the same level of personal loyalty.

Experience: Henchmen gain experience when they participate in an adventure; however, as they are under the command of a player character, only one-half of a share of XP is allocated to each henchman. See Earning Experience from Adventures for more information.


Mercenaries are generally hired to garrison a stronghold or wage war in military campaigns. Mercenaries will not accompany their employers on highly dangerous adventurers such as dungeon exploration unless they become henchmen. The Judge should determine what constitutes a military campaign and what constitutes an adventure depending on the overall circumstances.

The Mercenary Troop Type table below list the typical wages of mercenary types based on type. The costs listed are the mercenaries’ wages only. The cost of armorers to make and repair troop armor and weapons, stablehands to groom horses, caravans to provide supplies while in the field, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included. Mercenaries in garrison need only be paid their wages, but mercenaries on campaign will expect a share of military plunder in addition to wages.

Mercenary Troop Type

Gp Wage per Month Man Dwarf Elf Goblin Orc
Peasants (spear) 3 - - - -
Light Infantry (3 javelins, short sword, shield, leather armor) 6 - 10 3 6
Heavy Infantry (spear, sword, shield, banded plate armor) 12 18 24 - 9
Slingers (sling, short sword, shield, leather armor) 6 - - 3 -
Bowmen (shortbow, short sword, leather armor) 9 - 21 3 6
Crossbowmen (arbalest, short sword, chainmail) 18 21 - - 12
Longbowmen (longbow, sword, chainmail) 18 - 42 - -
Light Cavalry (3 javelins, sword, shield, leather armor, light warhorse) 30 - 60 - -
Mounted Crossbowmen (crossbow, short sword, chainmail, mule) - 45 - - -
Horse Archers (composite bow, scimitar, leather armor, light warhorse) 45 - 90 - -
Medium Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, lamellar, medium warhorse) 45 - - - -
Heavy Cavalry (lance, sword, shield, plate armor, chain barded medium warhorse) 60 - - - -
Cataphract Cavalry (composite bow, lance, sword, shield, plate, chain barded medium warhorse) 75 - 140 - -
Beast Riders (spear, short sword, shield, leather or scale armor, dire wolf or giant boar) - - - 15 35
Mercenary Type Base Morale
Peasants, Conscripts/Militia -2
Barbarians, Light Infantry, Bowmen, Slingers -1
Heavy Infantry, Longbowmen, Crossbowmen 0
Light Cavalry, Medium cavalry, Horse Archers +1
Heavy Cavalry, Cataphract Cavalry +2
Fanatics, Berserkers +4

Mercenaries have morale like henchmen, but mercenary morale is based on their training and equipment rather than the personal magnetism of their employers. Mercenaries may have additional bonuses or penalties to morale based on working conditions. If the mercenaries are being killed frequently or subjected to other abuses, morale will be low. If the mercenaries are enjoying riches and excitement, it might be higher. All of these factors are considered by the Judge.


Below are several possible specialists and typical monthly pay rates. This list is not exhaustive, and the Judge may create more kinds of specialists as needed using the rules in the Proficiencies chapter. Player characters with appropriate proficiencies may act as specialists if desired.

Alchemist (250gp/month): Alchemists are valuable specialists because they dedicate their expertise to creating potions and other concoctions. They may work as assistants to mages to help them create potions. They may also research new potions as if they were 5th level mages, but at twice the base time and cost. See Magic Research in Chapter 7.

Animal Trainer (25gp to 250gp/month): Characters wishing to ride hippogriffs or employ carnivorous apes as guards will need the assistance of an animal trainer. The lowest cost above is for a standard animal trainer, able to train one type of “normal” animal such as warhorses; those able to train more than one sort of animal, or to train monsters such as hippogriffs, are more expensive to hire. The Judge decides how long an animal must be trained, based on the nature of the training. It will take a minimum of one month to tame a wild animal. Likewise it will take a minimum of one month to teach an already tame animal one behavior. After the first month, an animal has become accustomed to a trainer and can be taught additional behaviors at half the time per behavior. If training is interrupted, all time already spent on that particular behavior is lost.

If an animal is being tamed and the time is interrupted, the animal will rebel and cannot ever be tamed. In some cases, animal training may take years, a fact that adventurers may find inconvenient as well as expensive. A single animal trainer can train and manage no more than 6 animals at a time. Once an animal is fully trained and put into service the animal trainer won’t be needed to handle it any longer.

Armorer (75gp/month): Each month, an armorer can make 40gp worth of weapons, armor, or shields. In addition to being hired for producing weapons and armor, armorers must be hired at the frequency of 1 per 60 troops in order maintain fix and armor and weapons. Armorers may be assisted by up to two journeymen (20gp/month) and four apprentices (10gp/ month). An armorer with one journeyman and two apprentices produces 100gp per month and can maintain 150 troops; an armorer with two journeymen and four apprentices produces 160gp per month and can maintain 240 troops.

Engineer (250gp/month): Engineers plan and oversee large construction projects, such as building strongholds. The number of engineers required is based on the value of the project. A minimum of 1 engineer is needed, with an additional engineer per 100,000gp value of the project. For example, if a project is 60,000gp it will require 1 engineer, and if it is 200,000gp it will require 2 engineers. Human engineers usually handle large aboveground structures, while dwarves are usually hired for underground construction.

Healer (healer 1gp/day/patient, physicker 2gp/day/patient, chirugeon 4gp/day/patient): Healers are trained to treat wounds and diagnose illnesses. Being treated by a healer requires clean, sanitary conditions and bed rest. A patient under treatment of any healer regains an extra 1d3 hit points per day. In addition, physickers can non-magically neutralize poison, cure disease, or cure light wounds with a proficiency throw of 18+ once per day per patient. Highly skilled chirugeons can non-magically neutralize poison, cure disease, or cure serious wounds with a proficiency throw of 14+ once per day per patient. A normal healer can treat up to three patients per day, a physicker can treat up to four patients per day, and a chirugeon can treat up to five patients per day.

Mariner (rowers, 3gp/month; sailors 6gp/month; navigator 25gp/month; captain 100gp/month): Rowers are unskilled normal humans who man oars of vessels. Sailors are skilled normal humans who can handle a ship. The navigator understands how to read charts and navigate based on instruments and the position of the stars. He is required any time a ship will venture beyond sight of a coast. A captain is required for any large ship, is skilled like a sailor, and has more intimate knowledge of the particular coasts he frequents. In general, all such characters are normal men, and are not armored; they will usually be armed with clubs, daggers, or short swords.

Ruffian (carousers, 6gp/month; footpads, 25gp/month; reciters, 25gp/month; spy 125gp/month; thug 25gp/month): Ruffians are specialists in petty crime. Carousers are 0th level brawlers and hoodlums that populate inns and taverns. Reciters are 1st level bards. Footpads are 1st level thieves. Spies are 4th level thieves. Thugs are 1st level assassins. Ruffians are hired on a monthly basis. They can be used as enforcers or muscle, or sent on various hijinks, such as assassinating, carousing, spying, stealing, or treasure-hunting. Ruffians hired for hijinks will expect their employer to bail them out of trouble should they be caught. (See the Hideouts and Hijinks section in Chapter 7 for more information.) Ruffians will not go on adventures unless recruited as henchmen, but may gain XP from hijinks. Ruffians who advance in level from successful hijinks will earn higher wages; use the Henchmen Monthly Fee table for high level ruffians. Ruffians may or may not be reliable, and could stab the hiring character in the back (maybe literally!).

Sage (500gp/month): Sages are rare; they usually specialize in a subject area, such as a sage specialist in dragons. Sages may be consulted for information. If the information is particularly difficult to obtain, it will cost the characters extra. Characters may have to pay the monthly rate in addition to any other supplies the sage needs to research their question. The Judge will decide these costs. Despite the special knowledge sages have, they are occasionally wrong when it comes to particularly obscure questions. The Judge will decide what questions are obscure and the probability of achieving a wrong answer. If the characters receive a wrong answer, they may not realize it!

Spellcaster (Various): Spellcasters are arcane and divine casters retained to cast a spell for an adventuring party. Most often these are clerics asked to cast cure disease, remove curse, restore life and limb, and so on, but mages may be sought out from time to time as well. The Spell Availability by Market table shows how many divine and arcane spellcasters capable of casting a given spell level can be found in any given market. Each spellcaster will be able to cast a spell of the given level once per day. The cost per casting is listed for each spell level as well. Just because a spellcaster can be found does not mean he will cast a spell for the adventurer - he must still be recruited through negotiation. Clerics will never cast spells for adventurers of opposite alignment, and may charge double if the adventurers do not belong to their faith.

Spell Availability by Market

Spell Type and Level Cost Class I Class II Class III Class IV Class V Class VI
Divine-1st level 10gp 2d3x100 4d4x10 5d10 4d6 2d6 1d6
Divine-2nd level 40gp 8d10 4d6 2d6 2d3 1d3 1d2
Divine-3rd level 150gp 2d6 2d3 2d3 1d2 1d2-1 -
Divine-4th level 325gp 2d6 2d3 2d3 1d2 1d2-1 -
Divine-5th level 500gp 1d6 1d4 1d4 1d2-1 - -
Arcane-1st level 5gp 2d4x100 2d10x10 2d4x10 3d10 2d6 1d4
Arcane-2nd level 20gp 2d6x10 6d6 2d6 2d4 1d4 1d2
Arcane-3rd level 75gp 4d6 2d6 2d3 1d4 1d2 -
Arcane-4th level 325gp 2d4 2d3 1d4 1d2 1d2-1 -
Arcane-5th level 1,250gp 1d4 1d4 1d2 - - -
Arcane-6th level 4,500gp 1d3 1d3 1d2-1 - - -

Example: Quintus has been slain, while his companions (Balbus, Creven, and Marcus) have been infected with lycanthropy in a battle with wererats. The adventurers travel to a Class III market to seek restore life and limb for Quintus and cure disease for the rest of the party. The Judge rolls on the Spell Availability by Market table to determine the availability of these spells.

Cure disease is a 3rd level spell, so the Judge rolls 1d3 to determine how many spell castings are available. Unfortunately, he rolls a 1, so only one cure disease spell is available each day. Restore life and limb is a 5th level spell, so the Judge rolls 1d2-1. He scores another 1, -1, yielding 0. No restore life and limb spells are available in town at all! The adventurers must decide whether to stay in town the three days necessary to get everyone cured of lycanthropy, or to press on immediately to try to find a cleric who can raise Quintus.

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