Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Talk to me about C&C

My son's group has moved from Pathfinder, to ACKs and now to Castles & Crusades.

I recall playing around with this game a little bit when it first came out.  But now I see there are a bunch of new 4th printing covers that are green.  Are they any different?

I have the Castle Keepers Guide and I have Tainted Lands.  The C&C books that came with that are all that I have.  For the record I was not thrilled with Tainted Lands.  It just never really jelled with me I guess.

So tell me about it.  What appeals to me is the 1st edition feel of it, but still taking advantage of the progress made in 3rd Edition.

This is what I have on my current "wish list", I think this could keep me set.

My son really loves it, but I have also suspected for some time that our next game is going to be either AD&D1 or a very modified version of 3.x (more modified that what I have now I guess).

So talk me.  Tell me what you like, what you hate.  If you are from Troll Lord then this is your chance to sell me and my readers on your game!


Dan said...

(cross posted from G+)

Tim, I don't own Tainted Lands, but I will do my best to answer your questions.

The 4th printing is different from earlier PH printings in that it has a revamped Barbarian class (it's now more of a savage warrior than a simple berserk). There are more illusionist spells. It includes multi-classing rules. I also believe the grappling rules were tweaked. And there is a bit of new art.

M&T is the core monster and treasure book.

Classic Monsters is a newly released monster book that has C&C stats for tons of classic monsters there didn't make it into the original M&T book. Many of these come from the Fiend Folio, MMII, etc. I find it to be a great monster book.

Gods and Monsters is really an optional book. It is akin to AD&D Deities & Demigods (I never got much use out of that in AD&D either).

I personally really like C&C. I find it to be sort of a 3e lite. It keeps a lot of what is good about 3e but throws out the clutter. And if you miss any of that clutter (e.g., Feats), you can easily add that stuff back in. It is fairly easy to use material from any edition of D&D with it.

Shane Mangus said...

This should help: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=38191

Anthony Simeone said...


'Nuff said.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Some chatting on FB as well.

mbeacom said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your basic assessment, 1st edition feel with 3rd edition streamlined universal mechanic. Although C&C takes the streamlining and universality even further (in a good way). Once you get proficient with the siege mechanic, the game just flows almost effortlessly. It can be used for almost anything on the fly. None of that "hold on, let me look this up" nonsense that was so prevalent in 3E. Also, none of the broken combos and multiclass shenanigans that are ripe in 3E. I can't recommend the system highly enough. With regard to Tainted Lands, that's a somewhat niche product. I've seen it compared to Ravenloft but I don't know that's entirely accurate. It's really just a very darkly written supplement to C&C with some new classes and a lot of setting material. It can be ignored for the standard high fantasy C&C campaign. It's really only for those who want a more horror/gothic/dark vibe to their games and want that to be evidenced in their classes core concepts. I personally quite like it but would only use it for those special campaigns where I really want to crank up the dark/evil themes.

I'm curious though. I've been looking at ACKS as well and really enjoying what I'm seeing. Can you expand on why your son moved on from that system so quickly? I'd be curious what problems he was seeing. Good luck and look forward to hearing more!

Unknown said...

I'll ask the same question as mbeacom...I am also looking at ACKS and am curious why he moved away from it.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

He didn't move away from it as much as his DM/GM did.
Personally I like ACKS and think it is a lot of fun, so did my son.

He is enjoying C&C a lot as well.

Cross Planes said...

While I like C&C the Siege Engine isn't for me. I really like Tainted Lands, though. The 4E PHB also has some interesting multi-class rules (If your running 6 level characters, you have 1 class at 6 & 1 & 3 or half-level).

I think it does get overlooked amongst the OSR though.

Rhonin84 said...

I am the GM for Tim's son and for the other four 12 year old boys that play in the group. I am trying out a variety of games off my shelves and seeing which one we get the most mileage out of...I really liked ACKS but CnC is clicking a lot more right now.

What we found is that with ACKS there were a few things the kids and I were not enjoying. The combat system in modified and not the THAC0 from DnD. The kids were not enjoying the lower hit points as compared to CnC. ACKS is more in line with Basic DnD with regards to that.

Overall the kids have enjoyed CnC much better and though combat can still be deadly they seem to enjoy the d20 mechanic of knowing that rolling high is a good thing.

ACKS is enjoyable and I can see getting use out of it!

Rhonin84 said...

Siege engine...oops yea I forgot about that. I am using the straight 18 idea right now. Meaning that if is is a primary you just add 6 to your roll. Everything is geared to beat an 18 plus and difficulty that might be added on.

There is another idea floating out there but I am not using it right now and don't feel comfy putting it out there...since it's not my idea and I am not using it.

Rhonin84 said...

Tainted lands...now that is a product I am steering away from. IT is a niche product and really it doesn't mix well with the other CnC books.

I agree it is very much like Ravenloft. I bought it when it initially came out and then sold it at an auction for a few bucks!

Adam Warlock said...

Tainted Lands is not a good example of the Seige mechanics and I'd steer away from it. (It is presented as a complete game not needing anything else to play. I have it and other than supporting James Ward I'll probably never use it. The Castle Keeper Guide is invaluable for not only its expansion of rules, but suggestions for alternative use of the existing rules. (Including a kind of Feats section.) The CKG is all about designing a game game that is more your style. With the Codex of Airdhe coming out soon you'll have a fully fleshed out world that your character can play in. I also have never really been all that keen on modules, but the C&C approach to them has sold me on modules. If you plan on using the Airdhe world; Monsters and Treasure is invaluable, if for nothing else your players will truly run into monsters that they don't know and can't use their player knowledge, (To do the right thing.) With up-coming supplements like and; Oriental Adventures C&C book a Planar book the future looks bright. Despite all the books I've mention above you still only need the players Handbook and; Monsters and Treasure to play. And easily fit into and existing 3.5 D&D rules set, or your own home brew.

Other smaller, cheaper supplements that I have found very good are, Castellan's Guide to Arms & Armour: Of the Early Medieval Period (28 pages of arms and armour stated for C&C. The Black Libram of Nartarus (Spells and items of wicked and evil nature.) 28 pages. After Winters Dark, Aihrde: A Fantasy Adventures setting. (Reminiscent of the old Greyhawk Folio from the late 80's.) Dragons of Aihrde: Miasmal Wyrms (24 pages) and Dragons of Aihrde: Leech Wyrms (24 pages). Thee is suppose to be more of these Dragon books, but I think they are on the back burner because of all the major books being worked on. If you are willing to wait, TLG has pretty awesome sales (On various items.) pretty regularly. I just filled out my two module runs getting all the modules I don't have for about 50% off.

I've been GMing by-the-seat-of-my-pants for decades and is a system of GMing I'm most comfortable with. C&C really allows for me to do this easily, without having to stop and consult a rules book. The flow of my campaign is more important than hard, inflexible rules.

C&C is now my go to fantasy system. (My sci-fi choice is Traveller from Mongoose Games.)

Hope that helps.

Rhonin84 said...

I'm not big on the world of Airdhe as a whole personally. I believe really the only books you need are the PHB and M+T. I enjoy the CKG for a variety of topics in the book but it isn't NEEDED.

The A-Series of Modules that were boxed are excellent and would be a great place to start. I'm not fond of the over Germanic names but again those are easily changed.

C+C is the best middle ground between old school and new school gaming for my dollar right now.

Timothy S. Brannan said...


Ok I have the CKG, the PHB, both monster books now and the gods and Monsters one.

Plus I am playing a C&C game at Gen Con. In for a penny, in for a pound right?