Castles & Crusades: Player's Opinions?

Joe_G_Kushner

Registered User
Validated User
So what are player's opinions of Castles & Crusades?

What games have you played outside of C&C and how does C&C compare with them?

Do you prefer the fast and random character creation of C&C to something more controlled like say GURPS/Hero?

Do you like the ease of use, or would you rather have more concrete rules?

In playing, how does it differ from other games in pacing and fast battles as a player.
 

mcrow

Dodger of Flung Poo
Validated User
Well, I like C&C for what it is:

Fast playing, simple, old school feeling, and priced right.

It works nicely for your straight up fantasty game.

The only problem I really have is that I get bored with simple games in a long running campaign, so it has more use for one shot or mini-campaigns for me.

What other games have I played? D&D 3.5, Iridium System, Tri-Stat, GURPs, HERO, WW stuff, GDi, Savage Worlds, Cartoon Action Hour, AD&D 1e & 2e, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, Conspiracy of Shadows, and Agon , to name a few of the more recent ones. Can't really compare to many of theres to C&C at all since most of them are more generic systems and C&C is very much a fantasy focused system.
 
Last edited:

Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
So what are player's opinions of Castles & Crusades?
It's fantastic. It allows me to focus on the personality and the story of my character. I don't have to give a crap about making choices as my character progresses, outside of personality growth/changes. I have my niche, I like my niche, otherwise I wouldn't have chosen my niche...

What games have you played outside of C&C and how does C&C compare with them?
WEG d6 Star Wars - It is equally as simple to play with a greater opportunity for character power scaling. The Default play of d6 allows only for a slow growth in character power. The changes to a d6 character are subtle.

Palladium Books - TMNT, RIFTS, Heroes Unlimited, Macross II, Robotech. C&C is far more streamlined than PB games. The rules are easier to follow and allow for a greater growth in power as well. PB Games are designed for little mechanical difference between characters of 5 to 7 levels apart. C&C characters are significantly different 5 to 7 levels apart.

AD&D 2e - C&C is simpler, yet follows many of the same kind of niche class setups. C&C doesn't have the built-in "Kits" as were available with the "Complete..." series of books. Yet, that isn't really required to create differences between characters.

EDIT:

I should add that I have also played another dozen or so different game systems, but who really has all day to list out all the differences, yet alone read them?

Do you prefer the fast and random character creation of C&C to something more controlled like say GURPS/Hero?
Yes.

Do you like the ease of use, or would you rather have more concrete rules?
The rules are simple and broad enough to cover a large range of situations. Simple, multi-use/broad rules are extremely concrete. More rules only means more complexity. Complexity isn't worth it in a tabletop game.

Example, I ran a game yesterday from 11:30am until 3:30pm. In that time, we used a battlemap and minis and ran combat with a grand total of 10 Fledgling and one Young Adult Dragons that are particular to my gameworld. The simple rules didn't get in the way and thus the entire series of 3 separate combat scenes took less than an hour and a half. The rest of the time was the PCs investigating, getting out on the road and searching out the lair.

In playing, how does it differ from other games in pacing and fast battles as a player.
In the games that I am a player, the simplicity of the combat rules and our combat options are clearly defined and allow for quick resolution of combat scenarios. It is not unusual to play for upwards of three hours and have anywhere from two to three scenes of combat with nearly to many more opponents than PCs, even with "mid-level" characters.
 
Last edited:

VictorC

I kick trolls
Validated User
The only problem I really have is that I get bored with simple games in a long running campaign, so it has more use for one shot or mini-campaigns for me.

It does have a way of getting redundent quickly, it's good but just a little boring.


It might just be me but options in the mechanics has never really taken up any amount of time that compromised my characters story or development of it's personallity.

If your looking for a more "streamlined" d20 I would use true20, but again it might just be me.
 

PaladinCA

The ONLY way to be sure.
Validated User
I read the revised rulebook and the monsters & treasures book and thought they were quite bland (almost boring). There isn't anything in there that D&D 3.5 doesn't already do with a lot more flavor (yes, with added complexity to).

I'd certainly play a game of it if I had the chance and there might be a better a game there than I think there is, but it wasn't interesting enough for me to actually try and run it for my friends.

I sold my C&C books after giving them a complete read. I was hoping for so much more really and they were a disappointment to me. It could be that I just prefer the True20 approach more as feats are something I like (within reason).

It could also be that the C&C magic system was just more of the same for me to.

Just goes to show that not every game is for everyone, no matter how much hype it gets on RPGnet.

YMMV :cool:
 

Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
I read the revised rulebook and the monsters & treasures book and thought they were quite bland (almost boring). There isn't anything in there that D&D 3.5 doesn't already do with a lot more flavor (yes, with added complexity to).

I'd certainly play a game of it if I had the chance and there might be a better a game there than I think there is, but it wasn't interesting enough for me to actually try and run it for my friends.

I sold my C&C books after giving them a complete read. I was hoping for so much more really and they were a disappointment to me. It could be that I just prefer the True20 approach more as feats are something I like (within reason).

It could also be that the C&C magic system was just more of the same for me to.

Just goes to show that not every game is for everyone, no matter how much hype it gets on RPGnet.

YMMV :cool:
I agree, not all games are for everyone.

A guy in my gaming group disliked the idea for Vancian style magic, after falling into the Storyteller/Ars Magica concept of gaming.

He found some people to play it with. After that, he decided that Science Fiction was where it was at for him. No overtly complex (Yes, Overt) magic, no simple magic, just "SCIENCE!" and a big helping of Fiction.

Then, I talked him into joining up with my C&C campaign and he went into it accepting the rules for what they were and has found it to be extremely enjoyable. Far more enjoyable than he originally believed it would be, even with the "simple" magic.

He's playing an "Ice Based" wizard, so all of the spells have an icy effect, instead of their standard effect. No plain old Magic Missile for his wizard, the spell is called "Ice Missile" and has the same mechanical effects as Magic Missile.
 

rshambrook

Registered User
Validated User
I ran it recently. Got to week 4 of the campaign when the TPK happened. When we talked about what to do next we decided to switch to L5R. I'll try and point out the reasons...

1) 1st level characters are very underpowered. And this was compared to the monsters in the Monsters & Treasures book. I found it difficult deciding what to throw at the players without killing them outright. In the end I had 4 2nd level PC's wiped out by 5 wolves. (That was after I handwaved everybody up to level 2.)

2) You get XP for both killing monsters and from treasure found. This led to the players looting at every oppurtunity. For no better reason then to get XP. OK, I could have house-ruled that but...

3) The XP rewards are very, very low. The rate of advancement is akin to a snails pace. It would have taken around 10 - 20 sessions to get everybody up to level 2. With the problems I was having just finding monsters they could take on, I would have found it difficult to sustain the players interest.

4) No significant increase in power when you level up. I'm not a big fan of the 3.5 rate of advancement, but at least when you level up you see a bit of a powerboost. C&C doesn't have that. A 2nd Level fighter isn't that much better then a 1st level one (at most 10 more HP and a +1 more to attack.) Combine that with the slow rate of advancement and my players hated it. They want to play characters who can actually do the "epic" quests and it would have taken far too long in C&C to get there. (Ok, I could have just started at a higher level...)

5) We never have the "fire and forget" wizards in our group. Everybody hates them. C&C could use a sorceror class in the core rules. Once the wizard cast his one magic missile he was surplus to requirements for the next 2 hours. All he could do was stay at the back and try to avoid being hit.

6) Some of the design decisions seem to have been made for no other reason then it's what the "old schoolers" expect. Like the advancement table. Having different XP tracks for the different classes did not go down well.

The big reason for us to abandon it was that they found it "dull". It just didn't do anything for them. My group likes having feats and prestige classes and all that. To them C&C was a step backwards and not in a good way. As the GM I found it difficult to select monsters that could provide a challange, but not kill them outright. In the end I failed and TPK'd them with what should have been a small side-fight. I don't know if I will be running it again.
 

Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
I ran it recently. Got to week 4 of the campaign when the TPK happened. When we talked about what to do next we decided to switch to L5R. I'll try and point out the reasons...

1) 1st level characters are very underpowered. And this was compared to the monsters in the Monsters & Treasures book. I found it difficult deciding what to throw at the players without killing them outright. In the end I had 4 2nd level PC's wiped out by 5 wolves. (That was after I handwaved everybody up to level 2.)
Shenanigans.

A first level party, with appropriate casters having appropriate spells readied, will totally destroy a larger force.

After having the party utterly smash an equal number of Goblins with no difficulty. I set them up against 20 Goblins, whom they equally smashed with little difficulty.

All it took was the Cleric casting Soundburst, which has the chance to wiping out every goblin within 20ft of eachoter, if the Die comes up an 8. (Which it did.)

Then, the rest were entangled by the Druid's entangle spell, only to be picked off with Ranged weapons and another judicious use of Soundburst. (I have houseruled no memorization needed for Clerics/Druids. Wizards and Illusionists have slightly different rules for casting.)

2) You get XP for both killing monsters and from treasure found. This led to the players looting at every oppurtunity. For no better reason then to get XP. OK, I could have house-ruled that but...
It wouldn't be D&D without looting.

This can be easily houseruled. (I use story awards, especially when there is a ton of Role-Playing and no combat/looting going on.)

3) The XP rewards are very, very low. The rate of advancement is akin to a snails pace. It would have taken around 10 - 20 sessions to get everybody up to level 2. With the problems I was having just finding monsters they could take on, I would have found it difficult to sustain the players interest.
It took two sessions before the players in my campaign hit level 2. We are about 15 or so sessions in and they have just hit 5th level. The House Rule Story Reward, Bonus XP Rewards and the fact that they keep surprising the hell out of me, in regards to how much they can handle at one time, has given them plenty of XP.

4) No significant increase in power when you level up. I'm not a big fan of the 3.5 rate of advancement, but at least when you level up you see a bit of a powerboost. C&C doesn't have that. A 2nd Level fighter isn't that much better then a 1st level one (at most 10 more HP and a +1 more to attack.) Combine that with the slow rate of advancement and my players hated it. They want to play characters who can actually do the "epic" quests and it would have taken far too long in C&C to get there. (Ok, I could have just started at a higher level...)
Shenanigans, see my above responses.

5) We never have the "fire and forget" wizards in our group. Everybody hates them. C&C could use a sorceror class in the core rules. Once the wizard cast his one magic missile he was surplus to requirements for the next 2 hours. All he could do was stay at the back and try to avoid being hit.
Shenanigans.

C&C Wizards start with more than one spell at 1st level and a couple of 0-level spells that are very useful. If the wizard has a high Intelligence (What wizard doesn't?), you are talking upwards of three 1st level spells/day at 1st level.

6) Some of the design decisions seem to have been made for no other reason then it's what the "old schoolers" expect. Like the advancement table. Having different XP tracks for the different classes did not go down well.
The different XP charts are all about internal balancing of the power a class has. Weaker, overall, classes advance faster than generally more potent classes. I could go on, suffice to say, there are plenty of discussions about this topic all over the 'net.

The big reason for us to abandon it was that they found it "dull". It just didn't do anything for them. My group likes having feats and prestige classes and all that. To them C&C was a step backwards and not in a good way. As the GM I found it difficult to select monsters that could provide a challange, but not kill them outright. In the end I failed and TPK'd them with what should have been a small side-fight. I don't know if I will be running it again.
You should try running it with some "Old School" gamers who know how to teamwork and throw around those "paltry" spells in game.

In my gameworld, I have dragons that are less powerful, just more numerous than the base C&C Dragons. I figured that two of them as Fledgling would be a challenge for my group. Nope, they took them both down in two rounds, dealing well over 25 points of damage to each. (Using minis and the movement rules for combat.)

I set them up against 4 at once, they slammed the crap out of them too. I put them against their Young Adult mama and 3 Fledglings and still the party slaughtered the Dragons.

Originally, going by the numbers, they should have had some issues with the original 5 total Dragons they were to face. I ended up setting them against 10 total and only then did a character come close to getting killed and even that was a weaker NPC who was brought down to 0 hit points and the party cleric was able to maneurver over and slap a Cure Light Wounds on that character...

C&C can be incredibly fun, even with the alleged limitations of no feats.
 

Treebore

New member
Banned
A big thing I saw, and which I had hoped to see, was instead of focusing on class builds my players started focusing on character building.

In other words, whaqt distinguishes their character is the same thing that distinguishes real people, even among people with the eaxct same training and levels of proficiency. Their personality and how they use their abilities to deal with a given situation.

So a player, or DM, who doesn't understand what I am talking about is not going to enjoy a game like Castles and Crusades. They need something like 3E to make their character be a feel unique.

Yeah, my Bard is just like any other Bard. So is my Wizard. How I play them, what decisions I have them make, how I have them act, is what differentiates them from every other Wizard and Bard in any world, real or imagined.


Besides, if people really understood how the SIEGE engine works they would see that feats do exist in C&C. Its just that everyone gets to attempt them, they are not given as class/character power add ons.

You want to tumble? You can. Want to power attack or Cleave? You can make the attempt, irregardless of your class. Want to do a Whirlwind attack? Roll versus the assigned TN and if you beat it you can whirlwind.

C&C is as good and as exciting as the Game Master wants to make it be. Really understanding what the SIEGE mechanic allows you to do is the key. Something the "examples" given in the PH should make people realize. Apparently it fails to do so with a lot of people.

Plus if there is some kind of structure of rules that you need that C&C doesn't give you do what we/I do. Take it from one of the other editions of D&D and use it in your C&C game.

I agree that not every game system is for everyone. I like plenty of RPG's that not every one likes, such as L5R, Shadowrun, Paladium Fantasy, MegaTraveller, EPICrpg, HARP, and perhaps most of all, Synnibar.

However, I frequently read posts like what are in this thread, and it often sounds to me like too many people never realize that the SIEGE engine is designed to enable the Castle Keeper/DM to allow his players PC's to attempt to do anything they want, including what I call "feat like actions".

My "Feat like actions" house rule was only needed because my players were used to playing 3E and didn't "get" how the SIEGE engine worked. So I wrote up a house rule telling how the SIEGE engine worked, but wrote it in 3E terminology.

So they thought I was adapting a modified feat system to C&C when I really just told them how they could use the SIEGE Engine to perform feat like actions in 3E terms that they understood.

Now I have started actually using feats. The players/PC's who have attempted and succeeded in using certain feats a lot get it assigned as a "bonus class power". Meaning they no longer have to roll to pull of the action, they only have to roll a to hit roll, if required.

So I am having a good time playing my Bard and Wizard as well as running my two campaigns with a total of 10 different players. 4 in one group, 6 in the other.
 

mcrow

Dodger of Flung Poo
Validated User
A big thing I saw, and which I had hoped to see, was instead of focusing on class builds my players started focusing on character building.
yeah, that's one of the things I like about C&C.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom