Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Its all in the Name . . . . .

I really REALLY can't call the set of rules I DM - AD&D, or Castles & Crusades anymore.

The rules I use come from so many different sources (even Mythus and Lejendary Adventures), but they still hold true to the core ideas and ideals set forth by Gygax and Arneson.

Many names get bandied about, OSRIC (Old School Reference & Index Compilation) is dull LoL - the rules are great; but the name is wholely uninspiring to me.

Castles & Crusades takes its name from Gary Gygax's gaming society of the same name.

Mazes and Minotuars ALMOST has it.

Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game - REALLY! Is that the best they could come up with?

Labyrinth Lord - sort of sounds like (and no offence is intended her, what they have done with the rules is great) an underground Gay-Bar . . . .

Swords & Wizardry - again, a valiant attempt that kinda falls short (for me at least).

This of course leads me back around in a circle to not really having a name, its not C&C - I have added in quite a few advanced rules, its not AD&D - as we use the C&C Saves and Combat. I have been using "Advanced Castles & Crusades" (which just sounds dumb when said out loud) as a descriptive term.

One of the guys on the AD&D 1st Ed Forum I am a member on, had the idea of breaking it down into 'Ages' -

D&D to AD&D 1st Ed would be the "Age of Magic", with 2nd Edition AD&D going on from the "Age of Magic" into the "Age of Expansion" as the world became more evolved and developed.

3rd/3.5 would be set after some great cataclism, which changed the world - in an attempt to explain how the world changed and Feats started to work - thus heralding in the "Age of Wonder".

Finally 4th Edition, with its overly developed sense of balance and more 'degenerate' races could be labelled the "Age of Decline".

Personally I hate the idea, as for me and my group nothing was really worth bothering with after the onset of all the 'extra' books from TSR (Skills and Powers being the worst IMHO).

AND STILL I am left without a name - Still more thinking and googling to do.

Keep Rollin'

Monday, 21 December 2009

Doctor Who in Castles & Crusades

It always suprised me no one ever attempted an official D20 Doctor Who set of rules, I would have thought it would have sold like Hot Cakes (or Jelly Babies Lol) myself.

I may even dig out my old notes and re-work them for C&C - my original Dr Who campaign was run using the AD&D rule-set, with a little Gamma World thrown in for good measure.

Ive had a REALLY busy day today, what with taking my Daughter and her Partner Christmas shopping and then running a C&C mini game (a trimmed down version of Keep on the Borderlands) - so not much writing today.

I hope to be back tomorrow with some more Booty and the Beasts conversions!

Keep Rollin'

Friday, 18 December 2009


Sorry about not posting for a few days, but with Christmas, Family, and Health Issues I've not had time to sit and think.

One of the things thats come up in conversation with various DM's, Groups, and Friends is how 4th Edition (NOT) D&D doesn't really encourage people to think - in terms of laziness the general consensus is that its the Table Top equivalent of a Video Game.

Gygax himself put it in the best terms, that Playing an RPG is a bit like going to the Theater.

Theres a little celebration going on, people have to make an effort - all the extra effort and anticipation goes to make the whole experience more fun and memorable. Most folks these days would rather play a Video Game, than go to any real effort.

The current incarnation of D&D doesn't really encourage any real effort, with the future of infinitely searchable tools and programs, there will be no real need to learn anything - as any rules queries that might crop up are easly indexed and found.

God forbid anyone should have to think!

And its likely to get worse - pretty soon with the online option, you won't actually even have to meet your gaming buddies in the flesh - you won't even have to leave the house and put on pants!

Its a real worry that people these days are more and more inclined to be lazy, both physically and intellectually - so its more likely they will be putting on a DVD on and slobbing about at home, not making any real effort, slowly stagnating mentally . . . .

Then you have the sorts that prefer electronic versions of their gaming books, they are of the mind that Books belong only in a Library.

This whole DL things to your PDA is part of the 'Lazy Revolution' with regards toRPGs, and Tabletop Gaming in general .

Its even reached Miniatures Gaming, with a new set of rules coming out where its all done on your PDA's & Iphones and the like - so eventually people will be playing wargames with each other and not even be in the same room!

God forbid anyone should have to think and interact properly!

I use newer technologies myself, but to ENHANCE things. I have Netbook with all my Rulebooks and Notes in PDF and Word format - should I have (and I must admit its never happened so far) forgotten to write something down, its easily found quickly - the idea is that my players need never know I forgot anything - I am the Dungeon Master, not the Dungeon 'Mostly Competent' kwim?

The Netbook is also useful for tracking combat, keeping notes (I can touch-type faster than I can write), and even for occasionally running random generators - and simply printing out the results.

I've even been know to Text players from my Netbook, rather than hand them a piece of paper when something happens just to their Character - rather than the group!

Keep Rollin' (and not pushing buttons LoL)

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Advanced Castles & Crusades Character Sheet

Here is the Character sheet we have been using, based upon an AD&D design it will happily accomodate games ran using the basic C&C rules as written - or those with more complicated modifications such as those I run.

Advanced Castles & Crusades Player Character Sheet

Even though I have't finished the Psionics rules yet, you will note there is a space for them.

Keep Rollin'

This character sheet is produced under the Open Game License (OGL) version 1.0a - and is done so without permission of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. No copyright infringement is inferred or intended. The Open Game Content appearing in this sheet is derived from the 3.0 System Reference Document, copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. All other content, excluding the OGL, is property of and copyright 2004 Troll Lord Games.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Simplest Thing

Of course the SIMPLEST thing is to literally use the Saves and Combat from C&C - transplanted over to AD&D 1st Edition. It works really well, with little or no tweaking.

There are several things you HAVE to do -

The main changes are to remember the AC conversion, and don't forget to add the level/hd/difficulty to the base challenge rating.

(I actually PREFER some of the things they have done with the Character Classes in C&C, Monks are actually tough, Cavaliers have been more correctly called Knights, and Wizards get extra spells for high intelligence - something I've always done in D&D - it just seemed logical).

Keep it fresh with your encounters, but don't be afraid to use old favourites. I've done quite a bit of converting classic monsters to C&C, as WizBro are touchy about the licensing other publishers simply can't use them under the OGL. Something which (if you know the history of some of the monsters) is a complete travesty. Take a look at what I've posted in the past, and use them as GUIDELINES - as Gary Gygax said "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules" - I always have taken that as gospel personally, and NEVER let the rules get in the way of running a good game.

Lastly, always remember even though you might be the "Master of the Game" its your duty to keep your players entertained and happy - and (hopefully) just a little bit worried and scared!

Keep Rollin'

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Multi CLassing in Castles and Crusades

There has been much discussion over Multi-Classing in C&C of late, even more so since the release of the 4th printing PHB into the wild.

As there are rules for it in the current PHB you would think it would end, but the debate continues.

I (for one) still prefer the original AD&D way of doing, and restrict multi-classing to non-human characters and dual classing to human characters. Not just for old times sake, but because it makes Humans too powerful and desirable as a character race at the expense of the non-human races.

Of course then you run into the brick wall that is the fact that non-human characters can only have two prime attributes, and that its a requirement to have the prime attribute of a class as one of your primes - thereby restricting your non-human character to multi-classing in just two classes.

One of the options I use is based upon the way we do attributes (Primary/Secondary/Tertiary).

If a multi-class option is taken, and the prime attribute for that class is a secondary attribute - then a 10% tithe is placed upon all EEP (or XP) that is applied to that class (so deduct 10% before applying it to your EPP (XP) total for that class) - if a multi-class option is taken, and the prime attribute for that class is a tertiary attribute - then a 25% tithe is placed upon all EEP (or XP) that is applied to that class (so deduct 25% before applying it to your EPP (XP) total for that class).

Now the 25% penalty might seem harsh, but its there for a reason - to DISCOURAGE a player from taking a Class with a tertiary attribute - JUST BECAUSE HE (OR SHE) can - we've all encountered such discommodious players.

Keep Rollin'