Castles&Crusades: Is this "The One"?

GothmogIV

Explorer
Hello, TTRPG friends. I have just discovered Castles&Crusades, and OSR game from Troll Lords. Me like. Someone on Reddit said something I have been trying to articulate for four years: 5e does mechanically what older games did narratively. That was like an afflatus for me!

I'm not slamming 5e: people love it, and that's totally cool. It's just not my jam, and as I've been poking around other systems (DCC, Dragonbane, Level Up A5e, Tales of the Valiant), I think I finally struck gold.

In any event, have people played this, and what are your thoughts? Thanks!
 

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Retreater

Legend
I have a friend who went absolutely ga-ga over this system last year and completely swears by it as being his favorite "D&D adjacent" system, the true "continuation of Gygax's vision," etc.
For me, I'm not big on the SIEGE engine. It feels kinda convoluted when you could just have flat numbers and give bonuses (which is a variant rule, but not the default.)
The books are also badly edited, and despite nearly 2 decades to clean them up, they're still as bad as most other companies' playtest drafts.
That said, it's not bad. It's got one foot in modern design and the other in OSR.
 

The Soloist

Adventurer
Troll Lord will tell you that C&C is not an OSR game. It's a modern system that emulates the AD&D play style.

I had my C&C phase two years ago. The two Difficulty Level system was too pass or fail for my taste. I used the three DL optional method. Played about twelve 2-hour solo sessions, put the books back on the shelf and never played again. It didn't leave a lasting impression.

Now, when I want old school, I play BX Moldvay + OSE Advanced.

Wish you all the best in your exploration of C&C. Finding the 'right game' is hard.
 

Troll Lord will tell you that C&C is not an OSR game. It's a modern system that emulates the AD&D play style.

I had my C&C phase two years ago. The two Difficulty Level system was too pass or fail for my taste. I used the three DL optional method. Played about twelve 2-hour solo sessions, put the books back on the shelf and never played again. It didn't leave a lasting impression.

Now, when I want old school, I play BX Moldvay + OSE Advanced.
Troll Lord will tell you that C&C is not an OSR game. It's a modern system that emulates the AD&D play style.

I had my C&C phase two years ago. The two Difficulty Level system was too pass or fail for my taste. I used the three DL optional method. Played about twelve 2-hour solo sessions, put the books back on the shelf and never played again. It didn't leave a lasting impression.

Now, when I want old school, I play BX Moldvay + OSE Advanced.
I have some experience with C&C. Here are my thoughts.

Pros: lots of support and supplements, love the setting Aihrde

Cons: my group did not like the siege engine, production quality for the books seems pretty low
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Hello, TTRPG friends. I have just discovered Castles&Crusades, and OSR game from Troll Lords. Me like. Someone on Reddit said something I have been trying to articulate for four years: 5e does mechanically what older games did narratively. That was like an afflatus for me!
If I understand what you mean, that applies to most, if not all, of the OSR. Glad you found your new favorite game though.
I'm not slamming 5e: people love it, and that's totally cool. It's just not my jam, and as I've been poking around other systems (DCC, Dragonbane, Level Up A5e, Tales of the Valiant), I think I finally struck gold.
Cool.
In any event, have people played this, and what are your thoughts? Thanks!
I bounced off C&C fairly early on. I've since found DCC RPG and it does all the things.
 

Erekose

Eternal Champion
Hello, TTRPG friends. I have just discovered Castles&Crusades, and OSR game from Troll Lords. Me like. Someone on Reddit said something I have been trying to articulate for four years: 5e does mechanically what older games did narratively. That was like an afflatus for me!

I'm not slamming 5e: people love it, and that's totally cool. It's just not my jam, and as I've been poking around other systems (DCC, Dragonbane, Level Up A5e, Tales of the Valiant), I think I finally struck gold.

In any event, have people played this, and what are your thoughts? Thanks!
While I prefer 3.5E DnD, I remember reading Castles & Crusades and thinking it was exactly how we were trying to play 1E DnD back in the day …
 


Jahydin

Hero
Favorite OSR game for longer campaigns (Shadowdark for shorter ones)!

Love that it's a cleaned up version of AD&D with a simplified 3.5 skill system. The class writeups are just perfect, especially their version of the Ranger.

What really makes me smile though is the treasure tables. Love that it's randomly generated by level with limits built in to keep things bounded.

Oh, and that the Prime system gives Humans a huge boost in being a desirable choice. I like to run human-centric campaigns, so this a huge plus for me.
 
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Jahydin

Hero
Some tips!:
Apologies if I've already mentioned these to you before...

1. Ability Checks are only used for resolving something interesting! The default assumption is a competent adventurer attempting a check has a 50/50 chance of success, so most PC actions should be resolved with common sense.

2. The most common houserule (that actually alters the game) I've seen is changing the Challenge Bases (12/18) to fit the CK's style of game. 12/15 or 10/15 are popular choices. I use the Tertiary Optional rule in the CKG which allows players to select 3 Primes, 2 Secondaries, and 1 Tertiary Attributes, so 12/15/18. I think this makes PCs more well rounded.

3. Use one Challenge Base: 18. Primes give a +6. Mechanically this is exactly the same, but so much easier to use.

4. Check out the rules for Class and a Half leveling! Essentially, it allows players to gain levels in two classes (a Full class and a Half class) at the expense of needing extra Exp. The rules are so simple and clever, you'll wonder why other systems don't use it.

5. If you want Saving Throws similar to AD&D, just lower the Challenge Base by 1 every other Level.

6. Join the Discord! Such a great community. :D
 
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Jahydin

Hero
One last post!

I posted this not too long ago in response to the idea of making SIEGE even easier by not needing Challenge Levels (CLs), so thought I'd post it here:

1. One Target Number (TN) to roll higher than for all skill checks: 18.
2. TN is modified by Prime Bonus (+6), Attribute Bonus, and Level (every EVEN). Write this number next to each attribute!

For instance, a Level 6 character with Prime Strength 16 (+2) would have to roll higher than 7 to succeed a STR check.
[18 - 2(Attribute Bonus) - 6(Prime) - 3 (Level 6 / 2) = 7]


That should give you a pretty playable game that has lightning fast skill checks (since all TNs are pre-written down), but does lack some complexity.
For that, I would also suggest:

3. Anytime a PC attempts a check they are "untrained in" (CK discretion):
If they are Prime they lose the Prime bonus.
If they are Non-Prime, they have to roll a Nat 20.

This limits Classes stepping on each other's toes while also allowing everyone at least a small shot at succeeding!

Note: The "untrained" TN can be written on the sheet as well for fast reference.
 

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