Lairs & Encounters
Lairs & Encounters is the ultimate supplement for fantasy RPG sandbox campaigns. Designed for use with the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS™), it is readily compatible with other fantasy role-playing games built on the same core rules. In Lairs & Encounters you will find:
- More than 135 ready-to-play monstrous lairs - that's at least one lair listing for every possible monster lair mentioned in the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The lair listings are designed to be used both as dynamic points of interest that can be discovered while wandering through the wilderness and as obstacles to a would-be ruler’s attempt to secure land for a domain.
- New subsystems for sandbox play, including rules for populating 6-mile hexes with lairs based on the terrain and extent of settlements in the region, and rules for searching for lairs in the wilderness factoring in terrain density, aerial reconnaissance, splitting up to cover more ground (never split the party!), and more.
- Additional mechanics for monsters, including ability scores for monsters, proficiencies for monsters, and young monsters.
- A complete system for taming and training monsters, with details on the lifespan, roles, tricks, trained and untrained value, supply cost, training period, and the trainability modifier of every monster in the game.
- A complete system for creating your own unique monsters. In the ACKS Player's Companion we gave you mechanics to create balanced new character classes and new spells; now we bring our same rigorous attention to balance and customization to monsters.
What is a Lair Listing?
A lair listing is a description of the type and number of monsters encountered in a wilderness lair, along with a physical description of the lair and, if necessary, a map of the environs. When a wilderness encounter throw results in an encounter with a monster in its lair, the Judge runs the encounter using the lair listing for that monster.
Depending on the type of monster, lair listings can range from a short but flavorful paragraph of text to a multi-paragraph mini-dungeon with a map. Below we have presented two examples of lair listings drawn from Lairs & Encounters. The Brigand lair is extensive and complex while the Skeleton lair is simple though still interesting.
A fortified camp, with barracks, tents, and a large command pavilion, surrounded by a log palisade, is home to renegade mercenaries from the Company of the Black Thorn. They survive by raiding towns and robbing caravans and travelers.
There are 100 Brigands (AC 3, Move 120’, HD 1, hp 5 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon, Save F1, ML +1, AL C) equipped with leather armor, shield, sword, and shortbow, and another 100 mounted Brigands (AC 5, Move 120’, HD 1, hp 5 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon, Save F1, ML 0, AL C) with chain mail, shield, sword, and riding horses.
They are led by Inthorn, their captain (AC 7, Move 60’, F9, hp 45, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +6, Save F9, ML 0, AL L/C), equipped with spear +2, sword +2, plate armor, shield, and a plate-barded medium warhorse. He wears a red-plumed bronze helm of alignment change, which has turned him chaotic and led to his band going rogue, as well as a dragon-hide sword belt studded with hematite (900gp) and a wrought gold necklace set with thorn-shaped hematite (1,200gp).
Inthorn keeps a war-chest of 7,000gp, which is about one month’s operating expenses for the band. In a small locked coffer, trapped with a poison needle, he keeps 7 bloodstones (50gp each), 5 amethysts (100gp each), 6 amber (100gp each), 3 topaz (500gp each), and 1 sapphire (1000gp each). He keeps 3 wrought gold goblets (700gp), a gold decanter (800gp), and gold bowl (500gp) in the command tent.
Inthorn has 4 lieutenants (AC 6, Move 60’, F5, hp 25 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +2, Save F5, ML 0), 5 sergeants (AC 6, Move 60’, F4, hp 20 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +2, Save F4, ML 0, AL C), and 10 corporals (AC 6, F2, hp 10 each, Move 60’, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg by weapon +1, Save F2, ML 0, AL C), all equipped with plate armor, sword, lance, and warhorse.
Accompanying the mercenaries-turned-brigands is Dairin, a powerful chaotic wizard (AC 0, Move 120’, M11, hp 22, #AT 1 weapon or spell, Dmg by weapon or spell, Save M11, ML 0, AL C). Dairin wears elven cloak and boots and carries a wand of enemy detection (20 charges) and a scroll of cloudkill and conjure elemental. His spellbook has the following spells: burning hands, charm person, detect magic, magic missile, shield, sleep; detect invisibility, invisibility, knock, mirror image, web; dispel magic, fireball, fly, invisibility 10’ radius, protection from normal missiles; conjure elemental, cloudkill; death spell.
Inthorn’s new lover is Olyma, a priestess of Nasga (AC 8, Move 90’, C8, hp 28, #AT 1 weapon or spell, Dmg by weapon or spell, Save C8, ML 0, AL C). Olyma is equipped with polished black plate armor +1, a whip, a spiked mace, a shield, an unholy symbol (a silver statuette of a bat-winged woman with a whip), and a potion of poison. She wears a pair of engraved silver armlets (600gp each) and a platinum tiara set with a ruby (1,300gp).
The ground here is torn up by the remains of nine ancient Zaharan scythed chariots, broken and partially covered by webs, dust, and sand. Here and there the jagged blades stick up from the scattered chariot wheels. Each character passing through or searching the area has a 1 in 6 chance of stepping on one of these partly-buried blades and suffering 1d3 points of damage. 18 skeletons (AC 2, Move 120’, HD 1*, hp 4 each, #AT 1 weapon, Dmg 1d6, Save F1, ML N/A, AL C), with rusted mail and jagged, broken scimitars, litter the ancient battlefield in clusters near the chariots. They will rise to attack if blood is shed.
While in our prior Kickstarters, we've commissioned the cover prior to starting the campaign, with Lairs & Encounters we'll be commissioning the cover once we receive funding. That has allowed us to offer a new and exclusive reward - the ability to specify what appears on the book's cover! See the EVIL OVERLORD reward level for more information. If no EVIL OVERLORD arises, then the Autarch team will commission a work that we think fits the final product. (The beautiful full-color painting used in the Kickstarter header is a private work created by Autarch co-founder Ryan Browning and held in the collection of Tavis Allison. We are grateful for the opportunity to present a digital version of it here.)
At present, Lairs & Encounters is about 40,000 words long, with 135 lair listings and 4 lair maps. If we surpass our original funding goal, we will expand the book as follows:
BONUS GOAL #1 (ACHIEVED) - THE CRYPT OF OUR FOREFATHERS: If we reach $12,500 we will add 4 new lair maps to the 4 existing lair maps in the book. In addition, we will add a full-page illustrated treasure map suitable for handing out to your adventurers during play.
BONUS GOAL #2 (ACHIEVED) - THE COLOSSUS OF THE DEATHLESS: We will add another 4 new lair maps and another full-page illustrated treasure map. That's a total of 12 lair maps and 2 treasure maps in the book.
BONUS GOAL #3 (ACHIEVED) - THE CALENDAR OF THE COSMOGONIC SUN: We will add another 4 new lair maps and another full-page treasure map, for a total of 16 lair maps and 3 treasure maps in the book.
BONUS GOAL #4 (ACHIEVED) - THE SECRETS OF THE NORTH: We will add another 4 new lair maps and another treasure map, for a total of 20 lair maps and 4 treasure maps in the book. In addition, we will expand the Monster chapter with a set of 5 new monsters and monster lairs from the Auran Empire setting. One of five such sets, this set will feature monsters from the northern lands of Jutland and Rorn, including the draugr, hag, haugbui, hoarflesh, and kraken.
BONUS GOAL #5 (ACHIEVED) - WALKERS OF THE DESICCATED LANDS: We will increase the total to 25 lair maps and 5 treasure maps! At this stage we will also add another set of 5 new monsters and monster lairs, these from the desert realms of the south, including the dao, desert ghoul, marid, mummy lord, and sphinx.
BONUS GOAL #6 ($28,500) - MINIONS OF THE SORCERER-KINGS: We will increase the total to 30 lair maps and 6 treasure maps, and add another set of 5 new monsters and monster lairs. This set will feature the hideous necromantic creations of the Zaharans, including the blood hound, death charger, flay fiend, necropede, and venous sentinel.
BONUS GOAL #7 ($33,500) - SHADOWS OF THE WESTERING REALM: We will increase the total to 40 lair maps and 7 treasure maps. In addition, another set of 5 new monsters and monster lairs will be added. These exotic creatures hail from the Sunset Kingdom of Somirea, and include the arane, Child of Nasga, leyak, rakshasa, and yali.
BONUS GOAL #8 ($38,500) - SERVANTS OF THE BLACK GRIMOIRE: We will increase the total to 60 lair maps and 8 treasure maps. In addition, we will expand the Monster chapter with rules for creating and playing monstrous characters. We will also add a final set of 5 new monsters and monster lairs. This final set focuses on sorcerous crossbreeds and constructs, including the amphisbaena, chaos hulk, dire beastmen, golem (iron and stone), and sorcerous sphere.
BONUS GOAL #9 ($43,500) - LAIRS INFINITE AND UNFATHOMABLE: We will increase the total to 75 lair maps and 10 treasure maps. In addition, we will add a Random Lair Creation System with geomorphic maps, designed to quickly generate lairs at the gaming table.
SPECIAL BONUS GOAL (ACHIEVED): If Lairs & Encounters is backed by an EVIL OVERLORD, 3 MASTERS OF LAIRS, 5 LORDS OF MONSTERS, 9 MONSTER BREEDERS, or 18 BEAST MASTERS, or any other combination of those reward levels that equals $4,500 or more, we will provide a free copy of the Guns of War PDF to all backers of Lairs & Encounters! All the top-tier backers who contribute will get a special thank you in Guns of War if we meet this goal. See below for more details on Guns of War.
CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ($25,000) - INEXORABLE VICTORY OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN: If we reach this bonus goal by the campaign's end, we will include all 25 bonus monsters and monster lairs in the book.
Guns of War
Guns of War was a bonus goal for our successful Domains at War Kickstarter, intended to introduce gunpowder from the Age of Pike & Shot into the ACKS mass combat system. The gunpowder rules are compatible with those in our friend James Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
While working on Dwimmermount and The Sinister Stone of Sakkara, we have also quietly been working on Guns of War, and it's now ready for layout and release. Everyone who backed Domains at War will be getting a copy of the Guns of War PDF, and if we hit our special bonus goal, we'll give a copy of the Guns of War PDF to all the L&E backers, too.
In addition, if you back L&E at the Monster Hunter, Monster Slayer, Beast Master, Monster Breeder, Master of Lairs, or Evil Overlord level, you will get the word document of Guns of War when we fund, the PDF once it's laid out, and early access to a softcover printing of Guns of War.
Thanks for checking out Lairs & Encounters! Let us know if you have any questions or feedback in the Comments section. We appreciate your interest in our supplement, and hope you'll become a backer.
Risks and challenges
This will be the sixth Kickstarter that Autarch LLC has run. All of our prior Kickstarters have funded successfully, and have delivered well-received products to our backers, including the platinum best-selling Adventurer Conqueror King System and the enormous Dwimmermount.
In our first four Kickstarters, however, we encountered substantial delays in product development and delivery, which put us well behind schedule in getting them to our backers. These delays have resulted from either (a) unexpected challenges in product development; (b) complexities in fulfilling special backer rewards or bonus goals; or (c) logistical mistakes.
Having learned from past experience, we developed a new approach which we used on The Sinister Stone of Sakkara, our 5th Kickstarter. Since Sakkara is going to ship in a timely fashion, we are adopting this approach for this Kickstarter too. Here's the approach:
1. The product has already been written. All of the pre-bonus text and maps for the supplement are finalized. As soon as we are funded, Explorer-level backers and above will get the texts and maps so they can immediately begin enjoying the product.
2. Backer rewards have been streamlined into a small number of tiers with clear-cut rewards without a large number of special cases that can complicate and confuse our logistics.
3. Bonus goals have been carefully plotted out to be delivered within our overall framework without causing delay.
Nevertheless there are two possible risks that may cause delays to this Kickstarter:
1. There are a large number of bonus goals associated with this project. The design and cartography associated with these goals has not been done in advance, as it can only be funded if we meet these goal levels. It is possible that the high volume of maps required to meet the more ambitious bonus goals may delay the product (although the final product will be far superior as a result).
2. Many of our reward tiers invite the creative input of high-level backers. The need for close collaboration with these backers means that we cannot strictly control every aspect of the design and production. We consider this a worthwhile risk to accept in order to gain their input and insights.
We are very thankful for the support to all the backers who supported us in our prior Kickstarters!
- (31 days)