Sunday, March 13, 2011

Castles & Crusades (a brief review)

I purchased C&C Players Handbook and the Monsters & Treasures hardcovers for a sweet deal on Troll Lord Games' site for $20.00. I have heard of C&C for a couple of years now, but never heard of anyone local who played it. I was curious about the game and so picked up these books.

I was skimming through the books yesterday and I like how it blends some 3E systems (such as Ascending AC) with AD&D simplicity (Monster Stat blocks from 1E MM). The Players Handbook is 127 pages and the Monsters & Treasures book is 143 pages. Thin and light when compared to the monster-sized books Paizo puts out for Pathfinder.

Saving Throws are done differently and are based on the Attribute checks. With their SIEGE engine mechanic, you don't really need a skill system, just make a roll against an Attribute Score (which you determine at character creation as to whether it's a Primary or Secondary ) to determine the base target number before modifiers. Combat is easy, just roll 1d20, add your BtH (Base to Hit) bonus and attribute modifier (STR or DEX)and match or beat the defenders AC. There is also an interesting Encumberance system that I haven't seen done by anyone else, though it's possible there is a similar system out there I may be unaware of. The magic system is just like from AD&D, but the spell lists don't seem to be as long.

The Monsters & Treasures book is just like looking through the AD&D Monster Manual. The statblocks are basically the same. The artwork is in black & white and very well done. Some of the artwork is a spot-on depiction of the monsters we know, but a few were different from images I am familiar with. The Bulette, for example is a cross between an armadillo and a snapping turtle. An iteresting picture of the Mimic shows a bear-like creature, almost looks like a bear-skin rug coming to life and suprising a person coming out of a fireplace. Its interesting because the description of the mimic in the text is what we are all familiar with. The picture does not seem to match the text.

I would say this is a "Rules Lite" type of game. Not so Rules Lite as say, Sword & Wizardry, but definitely not Rules Heavy like Pathfinder. Overall, I like what I have seen, but will have to give it a more detailed read.

1 comment:

  1. I have C&C. Last summer I played in a store sponsored Pathfinder Campaign ( games every day, overarching story framework). I had fun, met some great people. But when it was over, I really couldn't point at anything we did that needed Pathfinder to do it.

    We could have done the whole thing in C&C and I doubt it would have been much, if at all, different. Maybe faster. And definitely less complicated fights, although PF went smoothly. I just didn't know all the rules.