Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Castle Keepers Guide Released At Last

I've had several people point me toward this thread over at the Troll Lord Games forums, where there would appear to be visual proof that the Castle Keepers Guide for Castles & Crusades actually exists. I know that's hard to believe, since the book has been delayed repeatedly since the middle of the last decade. I haven't seen a copy myself, so I can't provide any details about its length, contents, or quality, but I'm glad for C&C players that it's finally finished and available.

Mind you, this news doesn't mean a lot to me personally. My brief flirtation with Castles & Crusades was back in 2006, when I abandoned D&D III and started looking for an alternative. I still have fond feelings for C&C, since it was what helped me realize that what I really wanted was not a simplified 3e with some old school chrome but the real McCoy. That's why, in 2007, I turned to OD&D and wound up where I am today and I owe that to Castles & Crusades.

That probably doesn't sound like a compliment, but I sincerely mean it as such. C&C, even moreso than Third Edition, made me realize what I actually like about and want out of Dungeons & Dragons. Without it, I probably would have given up on D&D altogether.

16 comments:

  1. Damn, one more item for my Amazon wish list. The thing's getting nigh unmanageable.

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  2. I was impressed with C&C when I first saw it, though I'll probably never run it. Yet still, I may have to get this.

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  3. My experience with C&C (as a gateway to rediscovering 'classic' D&D) was pretty similar.

    Still, I may have to check out the CKG, for the sake of curiosity if nothing else.

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  4. I've been grooving on the AD&D DMG; there's stuff in there I haven't seen in any other edition. I am a big fan of C&C, and I do want to see what they did for the CKG, but oddly I might be prepared to run without it and just use the C&C player's guide and AD&D DMG, unless they've really brought something more useful or integrated.

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  5. I find that, with many games, I don't so much play it as much as I find a rule or angle that illuminates the games I *do* play. That goes for retro-clones as well as forge-y games. So I'll probably be taking a look at this, yes, even if I never play C&C.

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  6. Well, Dang... some of what they have in there sounds a LOT like what I'm furiously writing right now for the Adventures Dark and Deep GM toolkit. I guess I'll be forced to hold off getting a copy until I'm at least done with my first playtest version.

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  7. Okay, first I ♥ me some Castles & Crusades, boy. And I like to run it, and i like to play it, and it did for me much what it did for the rest of ya as far as pointing back to OD&D.

    Still, I do continue to play C&C, when I actually get a chance. I call it "The Rosetta Stone of D&D" (although TLG modified my compliment a bit), because it allows me to jam any damn crazy D&D thing I want to from any crazy damn edition, and it does so without squawking.

    So, yeah, I'm getting one, to be used as it was intended.

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  8. I'm pretty ambivalent towards C&C. I had the books for a while, played the game for a little bit, and found that in the end it just wasn't as much to my liking as AD&D 2e or Classic D&D. But why-oh-why does everyone insist on perpetuating the fallacy that C&C is a simplified 3e??? This is absolutely not the case! The SIEGE mechanic is not the d20 mechanic, the classes and spells resemble AD&D more than anything else, and the combat mechanic looks (if anything) like a streamlined Basic D&D. C&C has nothing at all in common with the d20 system, except for the utterly superficial fact that it uses ascending AC and a to-hit bonus (but not the *same* AC table and attack bonus charts as 3e!). So... yeah. Some myths just make me ranty.

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  9. I had the same experience with C&C, and still enjoy the game even though I finally drifted over to S&W. I might pick the CKG up for old time's sake.

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  10. "But why-oh-why does everyone insist on perpetuating the fallacy that C&C is a simplified 3e??? This is absolutely not the case!"

    It credits the 3E SRD in the copyright notice. Class names are the same. Equipment lists have matching prices. Spell summaries are copy-pasted. Armor AC bonuses are the same. Etc.

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  11. It was long due! The parts in the CKG which were missing from C&C are the things I like most in BECMI and AD&D (namely: the name-level options, siege warfare, hirelings, morale etc.) I will give this a look; but I hope they solve their editing problems (I already spotted a typo in the table of contents.)

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  12. It exists. I got the digest version in the mail Monday. Haven't been able to read much yet tho.

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  13. I hereby become the 5th (?) commenter to note that C&C mostly made me appreciate a different earlier version of D&D. In my case, I decided to use the B/X books for monsters until the C&C monster book came out. I ended up running an entire B/X campaign in the Birthright setting and moving on to my own design.

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  14. It credits the 3E SRD in the copyright notice. Class names are the same. Equipment lists have matching prices. Spell summaries are copy-pasted. Armor AC bonuses are the same. Etc.

    Delta pretty much nails it here. I certainly can understand the impatience with the notion that C&C plays at all like 3e, but it cribs far more heavily from 3e than do any of the clones. Likewise, the SIEGE Engine, while different from the D20 mechanic, is nevertheless universally applicable, something I consider a hallmark of WotC D&D rather than earlier editions.

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  15. [i]It credits the 3E SRD in the copyright notice[/i] As does Mutants and Masterminds and True 20 and they are [sarcasm]such clones of 3e[/scarasm].

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