Friday, November 16, 2007

Guide of Guides Part II

Lets see how this goes. My daughter keeps wanting to help me type. I have enough problems on my own without a two year olds help.

I will skip any entries about the actual rules presented and simply address seom of the concerns that have come up on our message boards.

The first and perhaps gravest…

“that blog has totally shattered my hope for the ckg. no matter how much you call it "optional", because it's a 3 book paradigm that is being followed, for the most part, these will become more than just optional rules.”

For many players some of the optional rules will become standard rules. That is the intent of course. For some players, some of the rules are already standard or derivations and similar rules already exist in their games.

Castles and Crusades was designed to be fooled with. We have long encouraged players to add, subtract and amend rules to fit their needs and desires. What the CKG does, is give them some of the options available to them and should (in an ideal world) teach others how to amend rules to fit their needs.

In that regard , we have borrowed ideas from every edition of the game and incorporated them into ‘rules sets’ which can be taken and used. The important aspect of this, is that no optional rule exists in and of itself. An optional rule exists in relation to a choice. The CK and Player must choose which optional rule they are going to use because many are mutually exclusive.

A simple example is with critical hits. There are 3 optional critical hit rules. They go from the simple to complex. A choice of one would have to be made – if at all ! I say the last because the section is preceded by the reasoning why critical hits are not included in the standard game and why it may not be wise for players to want to use the. Ultimately though, it is up to the CK and players to decide. There can be no standard rule.

Which brings up an issue I am willing to fix now. I did have a listing of CnC standard optional rules. That is, those rules which we here at TLG use or would use were we so inclined and which met with the premise of our initial design. In retrospect, I will remove all reference to those and they will simply remain optional rules.

In all, there will be standard set of rules to use but rather, sets of rules which work well together, mutually exclusive rules etc.
“sounds like a 2nd edition to me“

Not a single rule has changed and, other than a few things like class advancement, more weapons and perhaps a few more spells, have been added to.

“why oh why oh why oh why must the tendency always be towards complexity.”

Gamers. As for our game, it shall remain sweet and simple.
“totally, utterly, and absolutely distraught.”

Breathe easy, its not a core book. Don’t buy it and don’t let your players see and if they should, dock ‘em 50,000xp.
It would be nice to know what you expected – because there is more.

“For those who just kicked the 3.x habit to switch to C&C, they'll need a bit of help and that 'optional' crunch you see will help.”

Many people who play left 3x. I would guess roughly ½. That number will increase with time. Many come over for the simplicity of use and ease of manipulation. I know of only a few who play CnC but do not incorporate rules from 3x. We get requests all the time for explanations on how one would go about incorporating x and y rule. The CKG will go a long way to alleviating their rules creation problem by offering ready made examples or at least the method by which the rules can be brought in.

“why is it wrong for TLG to expand their potential audience through optional rule add-ons? It seems to be the best of both worlds and makes the game appeal to a wider market. I personally enjoy both types of games (streamlined & more complex), and if C&C can give me both, I say more power to them.”

We are trying to give everyone who plays the tools to tailor their game as they see fit.

“now, I haven't seen the "official" title of the CKG, so perhaps there is a sub-heading of "optional rules to enhance your game" or something like that. All I do know is the title of "Castle Keeper Guide" indicates some level of authoritive proclamations.”

Steve is checking into a title change as we speak (distribution channels). AS with you, he does not like the title and really does not like the 3 book paradigm.

“do you or do you not include these options in the modules (my guess not, because it's optional), then, when you play with all these "options" tacked on, how much longer does it take the CK to get the module ready? “

No optional rules will be included in the CnC modules – at least not to my knowledge. None that I will write anyway. I imagine if it were the case we would note it on the cover and make them available for free.

“Modules are supposed to be fast, little effort, quick to play. if I have to do lots of extra stat munging to get the module to work with my enhanced/rules players, then C&C has violated 1 & 2 of the above. “

That’s a good question. In general, when a rule is incorporated it will easily apply to encounters without having to do anything to the creatures stats or abilities. The few exceptions have a brief explanation on how to ‘upgrade’ monsters to meat a classes new strength. This is brief as it is not that difficult. But, as always, when changing a rule or adding to it, the CK brings more work upon him or herself. Its just the nature of the beast. (I make it up as I go, if you’ve run games long enough, its second nature, like riding a bike or flying a Jumbo Jet blindfolded)

There are so many hundreds of things that can be discussed in a CKG that enhances the game that doesn't require adding crunch to the core classes

There are. Wandering monster charts, ship travel time, weather charts, NPCs, hirelings, etc etc etc

1 comment:

Adaen of Bridgewater said...

C&C from Troll Lord GamesI'm really digging Castles & Crusades (C&C). It is an old school (meaning D&D/unmuddled-AD&D) system that cleans up and updates the game going back to the original game rather than dragging it through all the history of D&D/AD&D 1E/Basic D&D/AD&D 2E/ D&D 3E/D&D 3.5/rumors of D&D 4E. It allows for a lot of customization and I like that. This snippet is from "The Trolls Den", the official Troll Lord Games Blog:

...Castles and Crusades was designed to be fooled with. We have long encouraged players to add, subtract and amend rules to fit their needs and desires. What the CKG does, is give them some of the options available to them and should (in an ideal world) teach others how to amend rules to fit their needs.

In that regard , we have borrowed ideas from every edition of the game and incorporated them into ‘rules sets’ which can be taken and used. The important aspect of this, is that no optional rule exists in and of itself. An optional rule exists in relation to a choice. The CK and Player must choose which optional rule they are going to use because many are mutually exclusive....

That's great news. I was drawn to C&C due to its familiarity (based on it being derived from old-school D&D) and the ease with which the core system (The SIEGE Engine) can be modified/tweaked/adjusted/what-have-you. As a long-time dabbler in house-ruling and home brew systems, C&C really resonates with me. My own HAGIS projects should interface well with C&C....much of what we do is designed as "targeted tweaks". Anyway, I'm greatly looking forward to the "Book that until very recently was known as the Castle Keeper's Guide".

I should probably do a review of the C&C Players Handbook....and definitely should do one of the "CKG" since it is so heavy on tweaking. Put that on the To-Do List!

~AoB, High Adventure Games