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dr_venture
April 15th, 2013, 19:55
I wrote this up specifically as an introduction to Castles & Crusades for some friends who are long time AD&D 1e players. I stumbled back upon this text on the wiki for my Greyhawk game, and figured that this new forum would be a good place to put this little comparison. Not trying to convert anyone, but for the folks in this forum especially, it's worth knowing about C&C if you don't already. Hope you enjoy :)

Castles & Crusades is pretty much a streamlined and optimized version of 1st edition AD&D, but with many of the most awkward parts of the early rules (such as the class based attack tables, saving throw tables, etc.) replaced with streamlined rules that require no tables. In fact, much of the game's mechanics can be just figured in your head. If you know 1st edition D&D, there will be very little time spent learning about C&C.

One of the things that I like is that this is the last game that Gary Gygax chose to work on before his death. When he finally published the real Castle Greyhawk and City of Greyhawk – renamed ‘Yggsburg’ (a play on his initials, E.G.G.) it was published for C&C.

Finally, C&C and AD&D 1e are so close that modules and game material can very easily be converted back and forth, in many cases right in one’s head, on the fly.

Here are a few of the more prominent differences between the two games:


There are more character classes than vanilla D&D: Barbarian and Knight have been added (Knight being somewhat analogous to Cavalier class in Unearthed Arcana). Thieves are called ‘Rogues’ and Magic-Users are called ‘Wizards’ in C&C.
Any race can be any character class, with no maximum level restrictions.
Character classes have no stat requirements.
In C&C, every character has two 'prime' stats, with the rest 'non-prime' stats (Humans get three primes). One prime stat is determined by the character’s class (Fighters have a prime of Strength, Rogues a prime of Dexterity, etc.). The player then simply chooses one additional prime for their character (two for Humans). The way Prime/Non-Primes are used is:
Almost all Abilities and miscellaneous rolls are made against a basic stat, such as STR to move a large boulder, or INT to figure out a puzzle, etc. To determine the likelihood of success, if the stat is a Prime, then the success base is 12 (roll 12 or over to succeed). If the stat is Non-Prime, the success base is 18. Roll a d20, add the stat’s bonus and any other modifiers, and if you equal or exceed the success base, you succeed. For a skill based on the character's class (such as a Thief climbing a wall), the character’s level is also added. For a stat check against something which can be 'opposed' (such as disarming a trap set by another Rogue, or tracking a Ranger who has obfuscated their trail) the level of the opposition is subtracted. (C&C has no 'opposed rolls' such as later version of D&D use).
Armor class for an unarmored person is still 10, but AC goes up, not down… so what used to be AC 5 is now AC 15. Armor's bonus and Dexterity bonus are simply add to one’s base AC to make it higher.
Each character class has a Base to Hit (BtH) number that ascends with a character's level. Fighters ascend faster, Wizards slowest.
To hit an opponent, you have to roll equal or over their AC. You add any STR or DEX bonus, character's Base to Hit, and any other bonuses (i.e., +1 for a +1 dagger). Then roll a d20 & add the total bonus. If the result is equal or bigger than the target’s AC, you hit. Very simple to figure, even without gaming software. For most monsters, their level simply added to the attack roll.
No saving throw tables. All saves are stat based as described above. Dexterity is used for Breath Weapons & Traps, Constitution for Disease, Energy Drain, and Poison, etc.
Some of the spells are kinda different. For instance, there is no “Protection fro Evil” spell – the C&C version is Protection from Good/Evil/Chaos/Lawfulness, with the caster specifying what the spell is protecting against when it is cast. But many of the spells are the same.
The Dungeon Master is called the Castle Keeper
Only the Player's Handbook and Monsters & Treasure books are needed to play the game. The Castle Keeper's Guide is actually filled with entirely supplemental info, and while very useful, is not necessary to play the game.


That’s enough to get you familiarized with some of the differences. In practice, it plays very similarly to AD&D. If you’d like a bit more info, here are some good links:

Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules (http://www.trolllord.com/downloads/pdfs/tlg2010quickstartpdf.pdf): These rules only cover the Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, & Wizard, and a subset of spells, but it’s enough to really get your feet wet. And it’s FREE from the publisher!

Review of the Player’s Handbook (http://mythmere.tripod.com/reviewph.html): This was written for the first release of the book, which I understand had a lot of typos. As of this writing, the PH is on its 4th printing and the typos are all but eliminated.

opusaug
April 16th, 2013, 01:34
Good summary. Of all the retro games, this one seems the most well thought-out. They didn't avoid changes, but what did change was smartly done.

I've been looking into C&C lately and the more I look, the more I'm interested. PH is on order at the local game shop, should be here tomorrow. Already got the ruleset.

leozelig
April 16th, 2013, 11:58
Good summary, dr_v!

I know it's nit-picky, but C&C's idea of "simplification" seems more like 3e-ification to me. That is a big reason why I chose OSRIC for my AD&D games.

Some examples:
* Renaming of thief and magic-user to rogue and wizard
* AC goes up from 10, not down
* "Base to hit," aka "base attack bonus", goes along with the AC system really
* Saving throws analogous to Fortitude, Reflex, Will system

You could certainly argue that these were improvements over the AD&D system, but when I want an old school game, I want all of the quirky rules that go with it! :D

But this summary is very helpful for someone who is trying to decide between the two. I have not used C&C on FG, but I think the ruleset is probably more developed than the OSRIC ruleset, which might be a factor for some.

dr_venture
April 16th, 2013, 18:40
For me, I love the streamlining of the rules without losing the vibe of AD&D (as D&D began to do starting with 2e), but if you're really interested in playing AD&D/OSRIC, I see no reason to consider C&C, just play what you like. C&C's just another choice within the classic D&D family.

I actually really like the OSRIC ruleset, though I haven't used it to run a game. I want to take some ideas from that and apply them to the C&C ruleset. The C&C ruleset has more FG bells and whistles (and will moreso after the current beta gets finalized... at some point... *sigh*), but I'd say anyone considering changing to C&C solely based on the ruleset should definitely consider the value of the FG ruleset features vs. their desire to remain totally consistent with the classic rules. It is what it is... as always, YMMV.

opusaug
April 17th, 2013, 02:41
...if you're really interested in playing AD&D/OSRIC, I see no reason to consider C&C, just play what you like. C&C's just another choice within the classic D&D family.
LOL, way to play both sides of the street, doc! You were the one who posted about a C&C campaign that seemed interesting, and then you started this thread. Don't discourage me before I even have a chance to learn more about the system you're promoting. :p

Seriously, sometimes it's a matter of what GMs make available, especially with FG and the rulesets as they are. I don't want to limit myself just because someone (like you) might prefer C&C over OSRIC, and I don't know the nuances of the system. It seems like a viable and fun option, so I'm willing to do what I need to do to get up to speed. All good!

dr_venture
April 17th, 2013, 03:00
To me, all game systems are good, if that's what you're into. I tried to get a GM friend to consider C&C for his long time AD&D game - not because C&C is better, but because at the time I didn't know about OSRIC, and the C&C ruleset seemed like the best option. But he definitely wasn't interested - like leozelig, he didn't want something close, he wanted AD&D. And why should he switch if it's not what he really wants?

I do like to evangelize C&C because I'm so enthusiastic about it, and I think other classic D&D fans will enjoy it, too. But I'd never say it's better or worse than any other system... it's just an option worth being aware of if you're a classic D&D fan, thus the post. :) So like you said, it's all good!

I'd be interested to see some other posts like this about other systems, such as AD&D vs. Labyrinth Lord (I think). I'm not looking to switch from C&C, but I'm still curious about the differences between some of these game systems. I think it's good for the Classic D&D community here.

S Ferguson
April 17th, 2013, 21:45
To me, all game systems are good, if that's what you're into. I tried to get a GM friend to consider C&C for his long time AD&D game - not because C&C is better, but because at the time I didn't know about OSRIC, and the C&C ruleset seemed like the best option. But he definitely wasn't interested - like leozelig, he didn't want something close, he wanted AD&D. And why should he switch if it's not what he really wants?

I do like to evangelize C&C because I'm so enthusiastic about it, and I think other classic D&D fans will enjoy it, too. But I'd never say it's better or worse than any other system... it's just an option worth being aware of if you're a classic D&D fan, thus the post. :) So like you said, it's all good!

I'd be interested to see some other posts like this about other systems, such as AD&D vs. Labyrinth Lord (I think). I'm not looking to switch from C&C, but I'm still curious about the differences between some of these game systems. I think it's good for the Classic D&D community here.

Labyrinth Lord was an attempt to rebuild the Basic D&D rules (the one with the classes of dwarf, and elf) under the OGL. Proctor did a pretty good job of converting it, and it plays almost like CnC. The difference being that it doesn't mimic AD&D but D&D. The original rulebook, which you can get for free at RPGNow sans artwork, is a good introductions to the rules. Advanced Labyrinth Lord was an attempt to recreste the AD&D 1e. It was mildly successful IMO, but lacked a certain depth that you found in the original AD&D. It's available under the same conditions.

Cheers,
SF

leozelig
April 18th, 2013, 13:05
Labyrinth Lord has slight changes in XP progression due to copyright laws. There is more equipment available at different prices. For example plate mail is very expensive in LL but only 80 gp or something in Basic D&D, which only offers leather, chain mail, and plate mail (I think) as armor choices.

Otherwise, Labyrinth Lord is a very close representation of B/X D&D.

hawkwind
April 19th, 2013, 11:31
I would like to put a word in for Swords and Wizardry the 0e clone and point out that you could actually run it using the 3.5 rule set in fantasy grounds

sehmerus
April 19th, 2013, 16:00
Alot of people are unaware how much more Advanced that teh BECMI/RC rules system is. sure based on the CORE books you got your 8 basic Classes as well as 3-5 special classess that you have to progress into, However over all of the accessories (espcially the hollow world campaign setting) there was at the time of the Rules compendium over 30 classes. including rules for multi classing... want to have an elf that doesn't cast spells but fighter like a fighter? DONE... want a dwarf cleric... DONE want a Ranger... DONE How about a Orc, or even an orc Mage, or orc Shamman.... DONE DONE DONE. and Rules cyclopedia and Companion set added TONS of extra and more in depth equipment and Armor. including rules for making armor by the piece.
http://stockingthedungeon.blogspot.com/2011/12/class-options-in-becmi.html

and the weapon mastery rules are some of the best i have seen even in any other D&D version. the fact that if you use a weapon untrained its basically the same as using a club, but having proficiencies allowed you to damage as the weapon intended, and then mastering allows not only to do more damage but also to do nice little tricks with the weapons too. I loved this aspect of BECMI/RC that never showed up in other editions of D&D

dr_venture
April 19th, 2013, 18:02
I'm very interested to read about these other systems, but I wish folks would start new threads about it, then maybe detail them out a bit more. The info deserves to be seen at the root of the Classic D&D forum, and I'm thinking that most folks won't find it here in this thread that is labeled for C&C.

As I said previously, I'd love to see more details about all of these systems... for me, since I'm pretty well rooted in my chosen game system, I'm especially interested in being aware of which game materials and ideas can be adapted/applied to my game of choice. As classic D&D-oriented gamers, I think we have a pretty rich collection of materials to draw from, and I'm hoping this area of the forums can be a source of idea sharing for this kind of cross pollination.

S Ferguson
April 19th, 2013, 18:13
I'm very interested to read about these other systems, but I wish folks would start new threads about it, then maybe detail them out a bit more. The info deserves to be seen at the root of the Classic D&D forum, and I'm thinking that most folks won't find it here in this thread that is labeled for C&C.

As I said previously, I'd love to see more details about all of these systems... for me, since I'm pretty well rooted in my chosen game system, I'm especially interested in being aware of which game materials and ideas can be adapted/applied to my game of choice. As classic D&D-oriented gamers, I think we have a pretty rich collection of materials to draw from, and I'm hoping this area of the forums can be a source of idea sharing for this kind of cross pollination.

I think most things, if not all things, that would be discussed in this forum would apply to C&C. Perhaps not 199% (double or nothing) but darn close. The trouble is with the forums name, It's called "Classic D&D" not "Retro-Gaming" as it has seemed to become, and should probably have as a side moniker. ;)

hawkwind
April 19th, 2013, 20:14
If any one is interested in finding out more about Swords and Wizardry the rules can be found here http://www.d20swsrd.com/