Thursday, 28 January 2010

Alignments in Castles and Crusades

Its common knowledge that (with a few adjustments LoL) Castles & Crusades is my system of choice.

Its quick, clean playing, and fun - and for the most part has gotten things 'right' (for me at least).

However, there are a couple of things I don't like - the biggest 'bugbear' being the alignments available to certain classes.

Fighters can be of any Alignment, which makes perfect sense - every army, clan, or tribe whether good or evil needs its Fighters - no argument there from me.

Then with Rangers, it breaks down a little. Rangers to my mind should be good aligned, look at Ranger-Types from Literature and Legend - Aragorn and Robin Hood (though the latter is a little rogue-ish) were both Good and the Ranger class should be no different. They should be restricted to Good Alignments only IMHO.

Rogues (why oh why can't they be called Thieves, this post-modern PC naming of things REALLY gets my Goat - I might design a Rogue class, a hybrid Class that cherry picks its areas of expertise), like I said THIEVES for some reason can be of ANY Alignment - WTF, ANY -SERIOUSLY! Thieves/Rogues should be restricted in some way, surely a Lawful Good Thief/Rogue is not only ridiculous its a contradiction! So, Thieves/Rogues can be any Alignment except Lawful Good.

Assasins are restricted to any non-Good Alignment. Now this is spot on, I have always allowed Neutral Assassins - those who consider themselves to be "just doing a job" with no Evil or Malice in what they are doing - Assassin Alignments stay 'as-is'.

Barbarians are also "Any" - SERIOUSLY LoL! The idea of a Lawful Barbarian seems Daft to me, mind you my Favourite Barbarian is Thongor - and Lawful he ain't! So, Barbarians can be any non-Lawful Alignment.

Monks are also Any, there seems to be a pattern here - like the writers are trying to break down the barriers between the Classes. One of the strengths of a Class/Level based system is it gives players (and Dm's/CK's) a good grasp of the way a game world works. Its strengths and weaknesses - and where everybody 'stands' in relation to the world at large. By levying these restrictions a milieu can rapidly degenerate into Chaos creating a lot more work for the DM/CK in the long run. Monks should be restricted to Lawful Alignments only IMHO, this represents thier strong and discplined nature and sets them apart from the other Classes.

Wizards, Clerics, & Illusionists - Any, again like the Fighter - makes perfect sense.

Druids are now any Neutral Alignment. Knowing a little about Historical Druids, and Druidic Characters and Cults in Fantasy Literature - this makes perfect sense. There would be those who lean towards Good just as those who used their powers for Evil.

Knights are allowed any Alignment too, whilst I understand the need for such Evil Knightly characters as NPC's I think they should be restricted to NPC's. In addition to this, how could you have a Chaotic Neutral Knight - he would be incapable, by the sheer nature of his Alignment - of following the Knightly Code. Its illogical IMHO. So Player Character Knights should be restricted to any non-Evil Alignment, and Chaotic Neutral should be off limits as well.

Paladins remain restricted to Lawful Good, so everythings fine there.

Bards - Once again any, like the Fighter - again this makes perfect sense.

Ok, Rant over LoL!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Advanced Castles & Crusades Character Sheet (re-uploaded)

I've re-uploaded my the Advanced Castles & Crusades Character sheet (to my 4shared account), this 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 have proposed on here.

Advanced Castles & Crusades Player Character Sheet

You will note there is space for Psionics, as well as the other 'amendments' made to the game.

Whilst it is called "Advanced Castles & Crusades" that is likely to change, and I will upload a new sheet as one is done!

Monday, 11 January 2010


One of the things I DID like from D&D Third/3.5 was the Sorcerer. They were nice 'change' to the Book laden Magic-Users/Wizards or Illusionists of 1st Edition AD&D.

To qoute the PHB -

"Sorcerers create magic the way a poet creates poems, with inborn talent honed by practice. They have no books, no mentors, no theories—just raw power that they direct at will. Some sorcerers claim that the blood of dragons courses through their veins. That claim may even be true in some cases—it is common knowledge that certain powerful dragons can take humanoid form and even have humanoid lovers, and it’s difficult to prove that a given sorcerer does not have a dragon ancestor. It’s true that sorcerers often have striking good looks, usually with a touch of the exotic that hints at an unusual heritage. Others hold that the claim is either an unsubstantiated boast on the part of certain sorcerers or envious gossip on the part of those who lack the sorcerer’s gift"

But how to translate them to Castles & Crusades and make them 'different' enough to be interesting, and yet similar enough to be playable.

With them (pretty much) channeling their magic through strength of will - their governing attribute will be Charisma. So stage one is done (at least that was easy). With their Spell lists/Spells per Level Chart being the same as those of the Wizard, and Bonus spells being allowed for High Charisma rather than Intelligence.

Saving Throws: For its saving throws, use either the familiar’s base save bonus or the master’s (as calculated from his attibute bonuses), whichever is better. The familiar uses its masters attribute Primes etc, and it doesn’t share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves (from magic items etc).

Skills: If not using the SEIGE Engine as standard, the Familiar will have access to all its masters secondary skills - excepting those which the Familiar physically cannot perform (Writing, all Craft Skills etc). Your DM/Castles Keeper has the final say as to what skills a Familiar can or cannot perform.

Background: Sorcerers develop rudimentary powers at puberty. Their first spells are incomplete, spontaneous, uncontrolled, and sometimes dangerous. A household with a budding sorcerer in it may be troubled by strange sounds or lights, which can create the impression that the place is haunted. Eventually, the young sorcerer understands the power that he has been wielding unintentionally. From that point on, he can begin practicing and improving his powers.
Sometimes a sorcerer is fortunate enough to come under the care of an older, more experienced sorcerer, someone who can help him understand and use his new powers. More often, however, sorcerers are on their own, feared by erstwhile friends and misunderstood by family. Sorcerers have no sense of identity as a group. Unlike wizards, they gain little by sharing their knowledge and have no strong incentive to work together.

Alignment: For a sorcerer, magic is an intuitive art, not a science. Sorcery favors the free, chaotic, creative spirit over the disciplined mind, so sorcerers tend slightly toward Chaotic Alignments over Lawful ones.

Religion: Sorcerers favour Gods of Magic, though any "spotaneous" Deity would be appropriate (Wizards typically learn to follow a Deity from their Masters, but as almost all Sorcerers are self-taught - with no Master to induct them into a religion; they tend to find their own 'truth').

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Sorcerers are proficient with all simple weapons (that is, any Weapon that does 1d6 Damage or less). As they are not taught by a Master, they tend to pick up what Weaponry they can use comfortably - with little or not training; but lack the restrictions training under a Master would leave on them. They are not proficient with ANY type of armour or shield. Armour of any type interferes with a Sorcerer’s Spellcasting, which cause his spells to fail.

Familiars: Sorcerers gain a Familiar at First Level as an 'innate' ability, and gain 'extras' as a consequnce of the link. Familiars are magically linked to their masters. In some sense, the familiar and the master are practically one being. That’s why, for example, the master can cast a spell on a familiar even though he can normally cast such a spell only on himself. A familiar is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a sorcerer or wizard. It retains the appearance, and natural abilities of the normal animal it once was, (flight, better vision, etc), but it is treated as a magical beast instead of an animal for the purpose of any effect that depends on its type. Only a normal, unmodified animal may become a familiar. A familiar also grants special abilities to its master (a sorcerer or wizard), as given on the table below. These special abilities apply only when the master and familiar are within 1 mile of each other. Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars (such as sorcerer and wizard) stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the master’s level.

Familiar (Special)
Bat (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Listening" Rolls)
Cat (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Moving Silently" Rolls)
Hawk (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Spot" Rolls during the Day)
Lizard (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Climb" Rolls)
Owl (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Spot" Rolls at Night)
Rat (Master gains a +2 bonus on all Constitution based Saving Throws)
Raven (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Appraisel" Rolls)
Snake (Master gains a +3 bonus on "Bluff" Rolls)
Toad (Master gains +3 Hit Points)
Weasel (Master gains a +2 bonus on all Dexterity based Saving Throws)

Now the above list (taken from the 3.5 PHB) isn't exaustive, but it gives a good idea of the level of bonus that a Familiar should confer upon its Master.

Familiar Basics: Use the basic statistics for a creature of the familiar’s kind, as given in the Monsters & Treasure book (if the Animals attributes aren't in that tome - please ask your DM/Castle Keeper for details), but make the following changes -

Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

Hit Points: The familiar has one-half the master’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded up, regardless of its actual Hit Dice. For example, at 2nd level, Aladon has 7 hit points, so his familiar has 4.

Attacks: Use the master’s base attack bonus, as indicated by his level or use the familiar’s attack modifier, whichever is greater, to get the familiar’s attack bonus with its natural weapons.

Damage: Damage a Familiar inflicts in Combat equals that of a normal creature of the familiar’s kind.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Return (A Lemurian Legend) Part One

Ages had past, such things had long past into legend. Those who remembered the old stories dismissed them as tall tales told by drunks in bars, and by parents to children at bedtime.

And yet, on the outskirts of the communities of Lemuria - strange shadows were seen in the night. Low to the ground, moving with grace and stealth.

Could it be, could they have returned after all this time. Some say that they are only seen in times of dire need, that they are one with the land - and seek to protect it at all costs. Others claim they are Half Breed Demons, sent by Asmodeus from the very pits of hell to take revenge on those who are good and holy.

Are they returned to the Land, if so - what doom awaits us.

And at who's hands . . . . . . .