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Free RPG Day Round Up

Troll Lord

First Post
Greetings from the Dens,

Looks like Free RPG Day was another hit! We didn't get out to All Things Fun in West Berlin as we had hoped, but they ran our offered adventure Shadows of a Green Sky that contained the Open & Play Basic Set.

Any and all thoughts are welcome.

We hope you all had a chance to scoop it up. IF not, we'll have this online on July 1st for print or pdf.

In the meantime you can get started with the Starter Pack here. Great deal for all you need to play.

And join Castles & Crusades on Twitter.

TLG Shadows of a Green Sky FRPG Day cover.jpg
 

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Melkor

Explorer
Thanks for the Free RPG day module.

One thing I noticed about it was that there is a situation early in the module where a Fighter uses a DEX check to sneak down a hill and his level is added to the check. Based on all of the years I have played C&C, I have always been under the impression that a Fighter would never add his level to a check like that based on Move Silently being a Rogue ability that the fighter doesn't have.

Other than that, I thought that the adventure really relies way too heavily on Ability Checks - and as an adventure kind of geared towards new players, that kind of sets a bad precedent for the style of old school gaming that C&C tends to emulate. Granted, players and CKs should be able to run any kind of game they want, it just seemed excessive on initial read through.
 

Troll Lord

First Post
Yea! Thanks for supporting free RPG day. Ours was a blast!

Thanks for participating. It helps when people come in the stores and scoop 'em up. We were actually chided this year by one of retailer friends to send more books than the 4 per store we sent.

That's really good news.

Thanks!
Steve
 

Troll Lord

First Post
Thanks for the Free RPG day module.

One thing I noticed about it was that there is a situation early in the module where a Fighter uses a DEX check to sneak down a hill and his level is added to the check. Based on all of the years I have played C&C, I have always been under the impression that a Fighter would never add his level to a check like that based on Move Silently being a Rogue ability that the fighter doesn't have.

Other than that, I thought that the adventure really relies way too heavily on Ability Checks - and as an adventure kind of geared towards new players, that kind of sets a bad precedent for the style of old school gaming that C&C tends to emulate. Granted, players and CKs should be able to run any kind of game they want, it just seemed excessive on initial read through.

Melkor,

Holy carolina. Nice catch. Your right the fighter should have been added his level to that attribute check. I'll amend that for the release on July 1, turning it into an example of when characters do NOT add levels to their checks. Thanks!

As for the number of attribute checks, that was really intentional on my part. I've found that running C&C games at cons, if I'll inundate players new to the game with attribute checks . . . my favorite is to have them cross a river swollen with rain water . . . then it quickly teaches them the ease and versatility of the SIEGE Engine. That's what Shadows of A Green Sky was shooting, lots of checks, lots of repeated descriptions. The hope being by the time you've played it, the attribute check system as been explained so many times you have it memorized.

And that fighter sneaking thing you pointed out is the perfect addition to that.

I am pushing this onto our other games as well, Open and Play Basic for Amazing Adventures and Victorious...and later when we redo them Tainted Lands and Star Siege.

Thanks!
Steve
 

Melkor

Explorer
Melkor,

Holy carolina. Nice catch. Your right the fighter should have been added his level to that attribute check. I'll amend that for the release on July 1, turning it into an example of when characters do NOT add levels to their checks. Thanks

Thanks!
Steve

No worries Steve. Since the original C&C playtests - when (and when NOT) to add level to checks has been a constant discussion in my gaming group, and also on various forums - So it is one thing I am always specifically looking for in published material.

P. 16 of the 6th Printing PHB actually states: "Every check has an associated attribute. Whenever one of these checks is made a d20 is rolled by the player. Attribute and level modifiers, for class abilities only, are added to this roll, if applicable. If the result is equal to or greater than a number generated by the Castle Keeper, called the challenge class, then the attribute check is successful."

This seems to mesh well with things like Secondary Skills in the Castle Keepers Guide (P.321) which note: "A secondary skill provides a character basic knowledge in that area. To this end they gain a +1 on any attribute check associated with the skill. They do not add in their level bonus."

But this is contradicted in other places in the rules where it mentions that level is always added to a Attribute Check by default unless the attribute check falls into a class skill that is the purview of some other class - and then, level isn't added if the Castle Keeper even allows you to attempt a check.

So, as I have come to understand it (and maybe you would be willing to weigh in here on the topic to help put my mind at ease after years of playing C&C):
• Level is added to any check you have a class ability for.
• Level is added to saving throws.
• Level might be added (at the Castle Keeper's discretion to anything that might reasonably fall under an action that the character might have had some training in based on his background, class, or race.*
• Level is never added to an attribute check that falls under the purview of another class (A fighter trying to move silently, a mage trying to pick a pocket) if the Castle Keeper even allows a check for such things.
• Level is not added to an attribute check that the Castle Keeper deems is outside the realm of training that the character might reasonably have based on his class, race, or background. This in not specifically called out in the rules, but (in my opinion) probably should be - as it is the only way a lot of things (like Secondary Skills - see below) make sense.

*This seems to be the only way that the Secondary Skill rules as presented in the CKG (and not adding level) make sense. It's a 'little bit' of training in something, enough for a +1 to an attribute check, but not enough to add your level to the check...Otherwise, if you add your level to every check (except in the specific case where your character is attempting a roll that falls under the purview of another class), why the heck wouldn't you add it to a Secondary Skill you possess?

Appreciate any response Steve - would really like to hear your thoughts on the above as I think that C&C is the bees knees. Really, probably the best and most modern way to capture the feel of AD&D OSR style (AD&D with modern mechanics if you will) - But the ONLY issue I have had with it (and which has lead to numerous unpleasant arguments at out game table) is based on when and when not to add level to checks - and that is further confused by different statements in different areas of the rules (and the example I pointed out in the Free RPG day module).

Thanks!
 

Troll Lord

First Post
Melkor,

First, thanks for the kind words! Its very much appreciated.

As to your assessment, is pretty spot on. That first mention on page 16 needs to have that phrase "for class abilities only" removed. Its actually wrong in spirit and technically. I'll make sure that gets fixed for 7th printing.

Your First Point, class abilities: You certainly add levels to each class ability check, but you add levels to almost all the checks you make normally as well.

Your Second Point, saving throws: You always add to saving throws as the character's actual experience plays into his abilities to resist or react to situations.

Your Third Point, Day to Day Actions: You state this well. Its up to the discretion of the CK, and this plays into character backgrounds, etc. However, it is rare, very rare, that I don't allow levels added to almost any check. A fist level ranger that swims a river gets a +1, when he's 4th level he gets a +4. This represents his experience, and growth as a character. Where it gets a little tricky...and this is why we try to not hammer the rules down to tightly, but leave them a little fluid...is in character background. If that ranger grew up in the city and had never been able to swim, and has no knowledge of water, then I probably wouldn't allow him the level bonus. But even if he had a modicum of skill in swimming...kind of the unstated skill that we all have, then he would get the level bonus. It being representative of character growth, however you want to qualify it, whether in confidence, actual practice, intuition, etc. But this is a gray area and can cause some confusion. In general almost all checks allow the level added.

Your Fourth Point Other Class Skills: Yes, the level is never added. If a fighter tries to hid from someone he doesn't get to add his level because this is a skill a rogue or elf possesses. Now if the monster is making the check, to see if he SEES the fighter, I would probably allow the level added for the fighter, but really monsters aren't supposed to be making checks, this is a character driven game.

Your Fifth Point, Day to Day Actions Part 2: This is the gray area and really depends on the CK and their style of game...as you noted. In general any check made is allowed the level bonus. We do this to allow characters to become better in the mundane actions of life. When I was 18 I didn't have nearly the confidence to tackle day to day problems that I do now, even though I have no skill and or experience in certain areas. That's kind of the concept. The character has grown and this plays into the actual check. The problem with denying the attribute check is that it complicates game play. It all stands to reason to deny them the level, but now you have to keep track of all kinds of things. If the ranger noted above has no experience in swimming, but moves to a river, gains 4 levels, does he get the bonus for swimming or half of it or what have you. For simplicity sake I tend to allow the check unless it seems really egregious...."I want to try and understand what the orc's facial expression means." Yeah, he gets no level bonus. If its a dwarf. He gets the level bonus.

I sense this last part is where you've run into trouble at the table and it tangles with the secondary skills from the CKG. Because if a fighter who is fourth level, but has never gambled, gets to add his 4 levels, but a rogue who has the gambling skill does not, then its pointless to ever take a skill. But the real solution is that the sentence "They do not add in their level bonus" needs removed. Why? Because it ties the CKs hands to one particular. Plus it goes against the spirit of the "level equals character growth." It should read "They generally add in their level bonus plus 1, however this is up to the CK's discretion."

Though I may seem to be prevaricating on this gray area. I'm not. The game is really designed to play to the style of gamer you are and nailing down the rules, nails down the CK, which is the last thing we want to do.

Look forward to your response.

Steve
 

Melkor

Explorer
Melkor,

First, thanks for the kind words! Its very much appreciated.

No worries, Steve.

Sorry to just now reply, but I missed checking back in on this part of the forums for a response for several days.

I have long been a supporter of and advocate for C&C, and remember lengthy and heated arguments on the forums during its initial development and playtesting. Oh to go back and have that much time to game these days.

Look forward to your response.

Steve

You pretty much nailed every topic that had come up as a question at my game table numerous times over the years of play. I think the confusion came mainly from the CKG Secondary Skills, and then page 16 in the PHB. I want to say there is one place in the CKG that seems to indicate that level is only every added to a check for a class ability the character possesses, but I can't remember the specifics. If I find it, I will make a note of it.

Anyway, I really appreciate it.

One additional rules question - Do worn items (w) and carrying capacity items still count for 1/2 ENC when worn rather than carried? I don't have the 6th printing of the PHB with me to look, but I want to say that it seemed those rules were removed - and again, its been a while since I read the rule, but I want to say it made more sense with the inclusion of the worn items rule.

Finally, when will the print version of the latest printing Castle Keeper's Guide be available?

Thanks again.
 

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