Wednesday 24 February 2010


Harvesters is hot off the press and ready to go - this is a great way to try rpgs with your children.

Begin an epic journey in the rugged boots of the most unlikely heroes. Enter the world of the Harvesters where badgers, rabbits, squirrels, and otters launch into adventures of epic wonder. Here the smallest of creatures take on the roles of the greatest heroes: knights, druids, clerics, rogues, wizards, and fighters. Together they tackle the greatest of adventures, from rescuing the princess to find a lost treasure. Harvesters is a game for the child in all of us!

Harvesters is a role playing game designed for play by the whole family. Using the wildly popular and easy to use Castles & Crusades® Siege Engine, players choose any one of the listed animals to play, in any of the classes provided, and with them begin a long journey of adventure. Designed for children ages 6 and up, Harvesters is the perfect game to bring everyone together. Children delight in taking on the roles of their favorite animals and parents find the role of Castle Keeper easy and fun!

The adventure begins in the sleepy little town of Wheat Hollow where magic and mischief are always afoot. Old Farmer Thiseltdown’s farm has been burgled by something and whatever it is haunts the environs of Wheat Hollow. Plunge into the wilderness to face down the villains who alone are bringing terror to the goodly creatures of Wheat Hollow

Harvesters provides all the rules you’ll need to get started, it comes complete with 8 full color maps, and a Cover by Jim Holloway (dice are sold separately).

Harvesters is its own game (based on Castles & Crusades and the Siege Engine), or you could combine this with regular Castles & Crusades (or even Myths & Monserts he, he, he) to play a a campaign in its own right - along the lines of the Chronicles of Narnia.

Available from Troll Lord Games now!

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Critical Hits & Fumbles, Hit Points, & Death

Like AD&D 1st Edition, there are no real rules for Critical Hits and Fumbles (beyond the original AD&D Double Damage rule), these rules have been 'imported' directly from my original D&D/AD&D Campaigns (all those years ago LoL).

-10 HP & Death

Normally when a Character reaches -10 Hit points he dies immediately.

This version is ‘softer and bouncier’ . . . .

When a Character reaches Zero HP he is battered and exhausted, at Deaths Door – but not quite out.

However he does have a slight reserve left. He now resorts to just his Con (Normal folks in my games don’t Have HP just an average Con Score of around 8-9), if he continues to take Damage and he is reduced to half Con (or less) he must IMMEDIATELY make a Constitution Saving Throw – the difficulty is ALWAYS 18 regardless whether the Characters Constitution Score is Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary.

If it is failed, the Character passes out. If it is passed, the Character stays Conscious – and must continue making Constitution Saves every Round until he is healed and passes the Consciousness barrier (more on Healing later).

I the Character continues taking Damage, and reaches Zero Con he must make another immediate Constitution Save (again Difficulty 18 regardless) and if failed the Character dies. If passed he must continue making Con Saves each round. However now the difficulty of the Save increases by 2 each time he passes (the poor fellow is dying after all) until the he
receives Healing or finally expires.

Death Saves Table

Initial Save vs. Death – 18+
After1 additional Round – 20+
After 2 additional Rounds – 22+
After 3 additional Rounds – 24+
After 4 additional Rounds – 26+, and so on . . . . .

Critical Successes & Fumbles

Non-Combat Criticals & Fumbles

A Natural ‘20’ is a Critical Success, & a Natural ‘1-2’ is a Fumble when testing off a Secondary Attribute.

A Natural ’19-20’ is a Critical Success, & a Natural ‘1’ is a Fumble when testing off a Primary Attribute.

Combat Criticals & Fumbles

A Natural ‘20’ is a Critical Success, and a roll of ‘1-2’ is a Fumble – when rolling to attack in Combat, this applies to Clerics, Druids, Wizards, & Illusionists. They have limited skill in combat and are less likely to deliver a crushing blow.

An unmodified roll of ‘19-20’ is a Critical Success, whilst a Natural ‘1’ is a Fumble – when rolling to attack in Combat, this applies to Fighters, Barbarians, Knights, Rogues, Rangers, & Assassins.

If a Critical Success is rolled to hit, roll again – if another Critical Success is rolled the Damage is applied to the Characters (or Monsters) Constitution directly, just as if the target had no remaining Hit Points (see “-10 HP & Death” for further information). If no further Critical Successes rolled (or it the Hit is against a Zero Level NPC with not Hit Points) the Damage is Doubled instead.

If the Roll is a Fumble, it is an embarrassing accident and the Weapon is dropped. Again a further D20 is rolled, if another Fumble is rolled the Weapon not only dropped but damaged in some way. This (of course) only applies to Magical Weapons with no Intelligence and Non-Magical Weapons.

Friday 19 February 2010

GaryCon 2010

For those of you in the US, don't forget GaryCon 2010 is coming up - I unfortunately can't attend (my Father unwell at the moment) but I will be there in spirit if not in body.

Gary Con II is set for Friday, March 19th through Sunday, March 21st, 2010 at the Lodge on Geneva Ridge in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The fun begins at 9am Friday morning and runs through 5pm Sunday. That's right, Gary Con II will be 3 days of old school gaming fun in honor of the Father of Role-Playing Games, Gary Gygax. There will be over 4,000 square feet of gaming space at Gary Con II and numerous events ranging from miniatures to RPGs.

Come join notable gaming legends like Frank Mentzer, Rob Kuntz, Jim Ward, Tom Wham, Mike Carr, Tim Kask and many others. If you pre-register you will be able to reserve a seat at the most sought after events: imagine delving into El Raja Key with Rob Kuntz, playing white box D&D with Frank Mentzer or even flying a Dawn Patrol with Mike Carr.

In return for a $20 donation to the Gygax Family Memorial, you will receive a 3-day badge for Gary Con II as well as the opportunity to pre-register for 2 events online once event registration begins. If you pre-register by August 30th, you'll receive the additional Early Bird benefits which include a swag bag full of goodies and the opportunity to sign-up for 1 additional event (3 total).

Visit the Gary Con Treasure Room at and get your own Gary Con I poster - before they disappear . . . .

Three Rules for being a good DM

1 - NEVER put your Ego before your players needs.
Example - So, you spent an hour creating that particular NPC - and another two hours painting him. So what if the players finish him off before your expected, thats the nature of the game - don't go out of your way for revenge or for the NPC to avoid being killed. Grow a Sack and be fair!

2 - Know your Game!
Example - Nothing BUT nothing destroys confidence than a DM thats constantly looking up rules in the books. Screens go a long way to resolve this, but a scratch pad is a wonderful tool. Any rules you aren't sure of, write them on the pad - no need to check out the book then. Also, if you make a house ruling - write it on your Scratch Pad. That way you can be consistent because you never forget anything!

3 - Never let the Rules get in the way of the Story.
Example - If for some reason the rules themselves get in the way of story flow - ignore the rules. Make a quick note on your Scratch Pad (so you don't forget) and carry on. Refer back to your Scratch Pad between games and rationalize your decision, or make it part of your core way of running things - NEVER explain things during a game ("all will be revealed" is my favourite phrase) if you do waver you can come over as uncertain (see rule number 2).

Beyond the above, make things as fun as possible - for both your players and yourself - there is nothing worse than a bored DM! These are generic ideas that shouldn't interfere with your individual DM'ing style!

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Multi Classing & Dual-Classing

Castles and Crusades at its core, does not allow Multi Classing - there have been quite a few fan rulings for it - even notes by the great man himself. But nothing either concrete or (IMHO) playable. The official rules, from the new 4th Printing, are unworkable IMHO - and need some attention. For Multi-Classing to truly work, the Attribute system of Primary and Secondary attributes needs to be addressed.

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Attributes

In Castles & Crusades the Primary Attribute concept is introduced, challenges associated with a Primary attribute are set at 12+. All other attributes have the base challenge levels set at 18+.

There are no averages, no middle ground - you are either talented at something or you struggle. So here is introduced the idea of Tertiary Attributes. We all know how Prime attributes work, with the base challenge level being set at 12+.The idea behind this is simple - rather than all other attributes being set at 18+, Secondary attributes have a base challenge level now set to 15+, and Tertiary have a base challenge level of 18+.

Humans pick three Primes, two Secondary’s, and one Tertiary. Non-Humans pick two Primes, three Secondary’s, and one Tertiary. This way Non-Humans aren’t quite as penalized, and you get a more realistic spread (the Saving Throws for example are more in line with AD&D). However, ONE of your choices still has to be the Prime of the main Class you have chosen.

This allows us to have proper multi-classing rules. As we only allow non-humans to multi-class (its all based on 1st Edition AD&D) - non-humans only having two Primary Attributes becomes a problem.

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.

There is specific information about the interaction of the restrictions and abilities of Multi-Classed Characters. Gnomish Multi-Classed characters are (for example) limited to Leather Armour in order to cast spells, while Elven Multi-Classed Characters are not. These restrictions reflect the particular nature of the non-human races. It is a general rule however, that a Cleric/Fighter may always use edged weapons. When a non-human character has more than one character class, any experience points gained by the character will be divided evenly between those classes, once the character can no longer progress in one of the classes this splitting of XP ends – and the XP is given in its entirety to the Class the character may still advance in.

• Multi–classed characters use the least restrictive weapons list for their classes.
• Multi–classed characters use the most restrictive armour list of their classes.
• Multi–classed characters cannot combine abilities.**
• Starting gold is determined by rolling for each class individually, combining the results and dividing that by the number of classes the character has.

**For example, a fighter’s extra attack means that the character can make an extra normal attack and not use that extra attack to deflect missiles, make a back attack or inspire.

When the character advances in one of his or her classes, additional hit points are determined by rolling the appropriate die (D4 for Wizards and Illusionists, D6 for Rogues and Assassins, etc.), adding the appropriate constitution modifier, and dividing by the number of Classes involved (so two for a Cleric/Thief, or three for a Fighter/Cleric/Wizard, for example). It is therefore entirely possible for a multi-class character to be at different levels of experience in different Classes. As an example, a Half-Orcish Cleric/Assassin of Level 10/12 is possible.


In order to switch from one class to another, the human character must have an ability score of 15+ in the Classes Prime Attribute of the original Class, and of 17+ in the Prime Attribute of the new Class.

The character retains his or her Hit Points.

He or she can use the particular abilities of the original class, but doing so will cause the character to forfeit all experience points that would be gained from using the original Classes Abilities (as determined by the GM). This restriction applies until the character has advanced in the new Class to a Level at least one higher than was attained in the original Class.

When the character begins the process of learning a new class, he or she gains the Abilities of the new Class as a First Level member of that Class, and all Experience is applied to progressing in the new class. The Character gains no additional Hit Points until reaching a Level in the new Class one Level higher than in the original Class, after which time the Character’s Hit Points advance as per the new class.

Unlike multi-class characters, dual-classed characters cannot perform the functions of several different classes simultaneously. So, for example, an Elven Fighter/Wizard could cast Arcane Spells while wearing Armour, but a Human Dual-Classed Fighter/Wizard would have to remove his or her Armour to do the same thing. However, with dual-classed characters, any combination of classes is possible, provided the character qualifies in terms of Primary Ability Scores and can comply with any relevant Alignment restrictions. An individual with very high Ability Scores could therefore play a Cleric/Paladin or a Wizard/Illusionist.

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.


• Dual–classed characters take the best to hit bonus of their classes.
• Dual–classed characters use the least restrictive weapons list for their classes.
• Dual–classed characters use the most restrictive armour list of their classes.
• Dual–classed characters cannot combine abilities.***

***For example, a fighter’s extra attack means that the character can make an extra normal attack and not use that extra attack to deflect missiles, make a back attack or inspire.

Skills & Saves for Multi-Class /Dual Class Characters

When it comes to Saves and Tasks involving your Level, you use the Appropriate Level. Aladon is about to Pick a Lock. Aladon is a 3rd Level Thief/2nd Level Wizard. He would use his Rogue Level when rolling to pick the Lock. Likewise, to make an INT based Saving Throw vs. a Spell – Aladon would use his Wizard Level as INT is a Wizards Prime Attribute.

Tuesday 16 February 2010


What does everybody else do for maps, I recently found my original Game World Maps (Aerth, done WAY before Dangerous Journeys if anyone is interested) are missing. The folder, the originals, the photocopies - INCLUDING my mane game 'land' Lemaria are all gone!

So, I've had to start from scratch - unfortunately my cartographical skills are somewhat lacking - and the ones I have drawn recently are lacking to say the least.

Oh well, back to it.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Skills in Myths & Monsters Games

I've made this post before, but since then there have been some playtesting of this - and its working really well. I thought it might be nice to cover this ground again.

This is a way for any groups use of skills in their games to 'fit' a little better with the Siege Engine System - so its possible to actually use both approaches - allowing characters to attempt pretty much anything whilst maintaining a more structured approach - with appropriate Challenge Ratings of course.

This would still allow (for example) a Fighter to attempt to pick a lock - he just wouldn't have much of a chance of succeeding.

I personally believe that rather than have a long static list of skills, the players should choose skills that fit their character concept and with the help of their Myth Master - come up with their own list of skills and their descriptions.

Skills would still have levels of sorts – and these levels are ‘rated’ like any characters attributes - Tertiary (the lowest skill level), Secondary (average skill level), and Primary (the highest skill level).

Like class skills, the character applies any appropriate attribute bonus to the task at hand - strength when shoeing a horse, or dexterity when making a horse-shoe – both would be considered to come under the skill heading of blacksmithing, but you would require strength for one and manual dexterity for the other. But unlike class skills, you don't add your class level in a 'straight' manner.

Primary skills get a +1 bonus per level, Secondary gets +1/2 levels, and Tertiary gets a +1 bonus per 3 levels.

Your base challenge rating is determined by skill 'level' – level 3/Primary = 12, level 2/Secondary = 15, and level 1/Tertiary = 18. This in turn has a Challenge Rating applied by the Myth Master determined by the individual circumstances for that particular use of the skill.

As rule of thumb - the Number of slots a Character has for his Secondary Skills are equal to the Characters (INT+WIS), + Characters Starting Age/10 (another advantage for most Non-Humans).

What levels your skills start at is dependent upon how many skill points you have, and how you spend them. The cost increases AFTER first level, this represents the fact that a Characters focus becomes his Class(es) so new secondary skills become more difficult to learn.

Skill Level

Cost at First Level

Skill Level

Cost after First Level


1 point


3 point


2 points


5 points


3 points


8 points

For example, Brother Kydric has 26 ‘Slots’ to spend on his Secondary Skills – and he decides to spend 6 Slots on Healing. Giving him the Healing secondary skill at Level 3/Primary, his base challenge difficulty for all tests involving his Healing secondary skill is set at 12.

A Character gains Secondary Skill points at every ‘Odd’ level (3rd, 5th, 7th and so on), the points he gains are equal to his Int or Wis attribute modifier (whichever is higher) +1 (with a minimum of 1).

To make the check, the character performing the skill simply rolls a d20 and adds his appropriate modifiers - the difficulty is set by his skill level (either 12, 15, or 18) plus any challenge rating added by his Myth Master.

So if a character is level three, has a dexterity of 15 (the appropriate attribute in this example), and his skill level is 3/Primary – when using the Weapon Smith secondary skill they are allowed a +4 to their roll.

In some instances the use of skills causes another to make a saving throw. In this case, the character, monster or non-player character makes a saving throw but modifies the roll by a -1 for each level of skill the character has (-1 for Tertiary, -2 for Secondary, and -3 for Primary).

This is also adjusted further for any attribute modifiers. When a saving throw is called for, the character’s level or monsters hit dice also affect the roll.

Furthermore, as mentioned above - there are always circumstances than need some modification beyond that mentioned above.

Unusual circumstances, the weather and pure chance can come into play to effect the chances of success. In addition, the difficulty of the situation also adjusts the roll.

The following is offered as a guideline for deciding these modifications.











Unusual Application








Extremely Difficult


Nearly impossible


Never Gonna Happen


For those who REALLY desire (or need) a skill list, might I refer to such a list as this one - - But I would recommend NOT allowing non-roguish Characters to take Skills normally only accredited to Thieves and Assassins.

Or, alternatively - you could just allow players to roll on the secondary skill chart from AD&D 1st Edition a few times if you want really broad skills.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Myths & Monsters on Facebook

Myths & Monsters is now on Facebook - so if you want chat, or just to share your ideas and thoughts with me, here you go -

Myths & Monsters Facebook Group

Saturday 6 February 2010

Miniatures or Not Miniatures

Do you use Miniatures with your Games, being "Old Skool" I do - even though WotC have pretty much made it mandatory to run games effectively now that you HAVE to use a battle grid and miniatures making combat more like a tactical wargame - I don't really use them in that way.

They are there (at least from my own perspective) to -

Add Flavour.
Its a far more evocative scene in a Tavern (for example) if the Players know where their characters are standing in the room, where all the exits are, and exactly where the "Mysterious Stranger" is standing - and (hopefully) exactly what he looks like.

Stop Arguments.
How many times has a player argued his character wasn't standing there when a trap went off, or he wasn't "at the back" when those Orcs attacked. If the PC's miniatures are lined up in "marching order" there can be no arguments of that sort.

Scare the CRAP out of your Players.
You are attacked by 10 rampaging Ogres" is no where NEAR as scary as actually putting out 10 Ogre Miniatures, then telling them to roll for initiative. Likewise a Beholder looks scarier "in the flesh" on the table, indimidating the party!

Resolve Combat.
But not in a move your miniature and roll your attack sort of a way, in a broader more role-playing friendly manner. Who has line of sight to what, can the Thief get near enough to attempt that Back_Stab, or is everyone too close together for the Wizard to attempt that Fireball.

There are most likely to be many MANY more reasons than the four I have listed above, Miniatures should be treated as a tool to enable your Role Playing - they should't be allowed to take away from it (I'm pointing at you Wizards).

Thursday 4 February 2010

Its all in a Name (Part III)

As you can see I've updated the site Logo (all I've been able to do through the coughing and sneezing) to Myths & Monsters - the Blog address will stay the same, just the Logo has changed!

Monday 1 February 2010

Its all in a Name (Part II)

Well, I've finally decided upon a name "Myths and Monsters" - its snappy, and has a nice ring to it.

PLUS I quite fancy being the "Myth Master" LoL!

The name has been used but once before, in the mid-80's as part of the Kid Icarus series of Gameboy games.

Even then it wasn't the full title, merely part of the title "Kid Icarus: Of Myths & Monsters" (which ironically had a baddie demon called "Orcos" in it).

So, Myths & Monsters it is!

Click on the Image to the left
to go to the Download Link Page


I've had a couple of messages recently, from people moaning about me "mixing and matching" Castles and Crusades with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition.

They either believe that AD&D is sacred and should be left alone or the CC& is great as is!

I would simply like to point out a remark Gary Gygax once made over at the Dragonsfoot Forums -

YOU can decide for yourself, because what you decide is as valid as anything I might opine, doubly so in the case of your own campaign

Cheers, Gary