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  1. #11
    dr_venture's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, yes - it's one of the old gripes I have about the ruleset. At least the ruleset is cheap, but it has definitely impacted my game.
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
    "Why is it every time we need to get somewhere, I get waylaid by jackassery?" - Dr. Thaddeus Venture
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  2. #12
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    Hmm... I may have to go about this the old fashioned way and recruit for a regular live game then.

    Any idea if this is based upon legal agreements, or just a ruleset quirk?

  3. #13
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    I believe it's legal agreements.

    To my mind the situation is fairly similar whether or not it's FG or face to face: if the players don't buy their own Player's Handbook, they're going to have to borrow yours or another player's copy. The price for a Player's Handbook in the real world is more than the price of either a PDF version of it, or the entire C&C ruleset in FG. Obviously, face to face, there's at least the option of handing books back and forth, but it's actually a little cheaper to actually fix in FG. Kinda. You get the idea.
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
    "Why is it every time we need to get somewhere, I get waylaid by jackassery?" - Dr. Thaddeus Venture
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  4. #14
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    yea, typically at least in my experience at the table, unless it's a major system like D&D or Pathfinder, only the folks running the game have a copy then the books is passed around the table as needed.

    But everyone's table is different

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_venture
    I feel the same way... fun, quick to learn, like classic AD&D but more logical. I can't believe more people don't know about it. There definitely seems to be a certain type of gamer - like you and I, whatever that means - that just really falls for C&C, yet other folks who are looking for old school apparently just aren't into it. It's kinda interesting.

    Anyway, glad you're having as much fun as I have with it.

    Oh, BTW, if you'd like my parsing of the d20 OGL spells into a C&C modules, here you go. It's mainly handy to have when converting D&D 3/3.5/OGL stuff - it's nice just having a FG-friendly copy of the existing spells in teh module, rather than having to convert them one-by-one into C&C.
    I think that, the more I play C&C, the more I find issues with the system and have come to dislike it.

    The 12/18 system seems good on the top, but once you start doing the math, things can get really bad for the PCs. As written, monster HD is added as a challenge level. This causes a myriad of issues...for example:

    A 8 HD Gorgon uses its petrification against a 6th level character. If the character has WIS as a prime, then he must roll a grand total of 20+ on the roll. Not terrible, because the player gets to add in his level...so he must roll a 14 (14+6 = 20 = success!).

    The problem comes when a player must do a check against a non-prime. Suppose the same Gorgon uses petrification against another 6th level player. This player does NOT have WIS as a prime. That player must roll a grand total of 26+ on his roll. That player gets to add his level in...but...still...he has to roll a natural 20 to succeed!!! That makes saving throws almost impossible unless the save is against your prime!

    This scales with level. Even 12th level characters are going to be in serious trouble against a monster of 14 HD. Their saving throws don't improve as they gain levels because monster abilities scale as well as player abilities. The 12th level character (max level unless you have a CKG) will still require a natural 20 to make a saving throw against a 14HD monster...it makes it particularly hard for the CK to create good encounters that won't end up in a TPK. A party of 12th level adventurers would get smashed by an Age Category 4 red dragon. The dragon is 25' long, but has an average of 81 HP, and an armor class of 30!!!!!! That's the equivalent of AC -10 in AD&D (or OSRIC). That's nuts! It'll do an average of 100 HP of damage when it uses it's breath weapon!!!! Even IF you make a saving throw (highly unlikely with how the saving throws scale), you'll still take 50 HP of damage. Good luck making it through that...

    C&C is OK, and many of the concepts are good, but the math inherent in the system is poorly designed. Just my 0.02. If I could only convince my group to switch away from it

  6. #16
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    I haven't brought any characters up to high level yet, so I haven't run into this stuff yet. Your examples do indeed seem quite lame. On the other hand, I have never run into a game system yet that didn't have some lame situations that arise from the math of the mechanics. The majority of the C&C mechanics are so straight forward, fast, and logical that I want to try to make it work better. Every time I've abandoned a system for a better one, I just wind up disappointed with something in the new system and switching again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I have been a bit concerned that the disparity between primes and non-primes seems pretty humungous. I've just been considering changing the Challenge Base for prime & non-prime attribute checks. I like that characters get a bump from primes & are especially good at some things, but it's kinda lame to be only really good at 1/3rd of your stats, no matter the scores.

    I think the solution is to just change the Challenge Base for attribute checks. To me it always seemed like the Prime checks were the most fun due to a reasonable chance of success, and the non-primes were kind-of "hail Marys". Perhaps non-primes should be more like a 14 and Primes an 10?

    The optional rule for having Secondary stats with a 'middle ground' Challenge Base definitely helps the situation, too, but even so, I think I'd prefer making all the rolls easier. To me, the bottom line is that I have no lack of ability to increase the challenge to characters - I'd prefer them to feel like it's worth taking chances with a reasonable chance of success rather than avoiding conflict due to fearing an untimely death - that's why people are cautious in the real world (and rightfully so, of course)... but in this case I don't want to model the real world.

    On the dragon example, it just sounds like AC and breath weapon damage need to be scaled to a reasonable level. I'd rather not have to do so, but if occasional nudging of stats works, I'm willing to do it to make an otherwise sleek and logical game more useful to me.

    I assume there must be other folks talking about this kind of C&C game mechanic issue - it'd be interesting to see if others have come up with house rules to weak the system to their tastes.
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
    "Why is it every time we need to get somewhere, I get waylaid by jackassery?" - Dr. Thaddeus Venture
    -- CA (Pacific time zone) --

  7. #17
    dr_venture's Avatar
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    Wait a sec, am I missing something? For the 6th level character - 14 non-prime stat - shouldn't it be:

    Challenge Base: 18 or better
    -6 for character's level
    -1 for stat bonus on a 14
    +8 for Gorgon's level

    So that's a base 19 or better to save, right? 90% chance of failure is still rather pathetic, tho. The character with the prime should have a target roll 6 better, so that would be a 13 or better for the character with the prime. Unless I'm missing something... which is quite possible!

    Having thought about it for a few minutes, I'd be inclined to keep the prime Challenge Base at 12, and make the non-prime 15, thus treating all non-prime stats like the optional "secondary" stats. A 15% difference is half as much as present, but it's a whole lot better than nothing!
    Last edited by dr_venture; February 10th, 2012 at 18:15.
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
    "Why is it every time we need to get somewhere, I get waylaid by jackassery?" - Dr. Thaddeus Venture
    -- CA (Pacific time zone) --

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_venture
    Wait a sec, am I missing something? For the 6th level character - 14 non-prime stat - shouldn't it be:

    Challenge Base: 18 or better
    -6 for character's level
    -1 for stat bonus on a 14
    +8 for Gorgon's level

    So that's a base 19 or better to save, right? 90% chance of failure is still rather pathetic, tho. The character with the prime should have a target roll 6 better, so that would be a 13 or better for the character with the prime. Unless I'm missing something... which is quite possible!

    Having thought about it for a few minutes, I'd be inclined to keep the prime Challenge Base at 12, and make the non-prime 15, thus treating all non-prime stats like the optional "secondary" stats. A 15% difference is half as much as present, but it's a whole lot better than nothing!
    If the PC has stat bonuses, they would give a higher % chance of success. My example didn't define a stat of 14, just that a 14 would be the target number to roll an a d20 (14+6 = 20).

    Here's how I have adjusted things and they are working (for now).

    15/18 split. CK doesn't use CLs unless the situation particularly dictates. For example...the CK doesn't have to figure out if a trap has a CL of 3 because it was set by a L3 Rogue...that's too much time for the CK...and as a CK, I don't want to have to figure out CLs for every little thing. So...with a 15/18 split, then CLs are only used if a situation dictates that it should be harder than normal.

    That might seem like a high number (15), but since I am not using CLs (generally), then it gives you reasonable numbers. A 1st level Rogue will have a 25% chance to do most things...even if they don't have a high value in their prime stats. In their non-prime stats, they have a 10% chance. These numbers aren't great for a L1 Rogue, but the Rogue will gain 5% each level. By 5th level, he has a 50% chance in prime skills and a 35% in others. Better than AD&D stats for most things...but not terribly high. By contrast, using a 12/18 system, the Rogue would have a 70% chance @ L5 with skills involving primes (if the CK didn't use CLs). All of these numbers assume no ability score bonuses and no racial bonuses (which all work in the players favor...as no race has negatives as described). That makes a L5 Rogue VERY talented at their skills...which I think is too much. When you add in mild ability bonuses and racial bonuses...you can have a character who succeeds at SIEGE checks 95% of the time when they reach L6.

    Now...it's just my personal opinion, but I don't think that someone should succeed 95% of the time @ L6.

    To counteract this, the CK is supposed to use CLs....but CLs end up screwing characters who are not using a prime for the check. But the CK then has to keep track of his base CL, when/how it's applied, etc...in order to provide some consistency throughout the game. Heaven forbid one of your players dies...and they have to re-roll a character and start from L1. If that happens, they'll never get to succeed at anything...because you'll have to add CLs to make things challenging for the higher level players...and the meager 1st level player will never succeed at anything.

    The scaling SIEGE system is, IMO, inherently flawed.


    That being said, it's also fairly easy to fix into something suitable. I've already mentioned the 15/18 split, which effectively nullifies the need for the CK to use CLs in most instances. Specific circumstances (e.g. that cliff is sheer and fairly smooth so it's harder to climb, you're trying to pick a lock while your allies are defending against a horde of orcs...it's your only escape route...so the stress makes it harder, etc) may dictate a change, but for the most part the 15/18 works good and scales with the player levels at a fairly decent rate.

    Another fix, for me, has been to change CLs when monsters use their special abilities. I use ½ HD as a CL. Thus...the 8 HD Gorgon only adds +4 as a CL. This does make higher HD creatures more challenging, but it doesn't totally nullify the party's chances when facing it!

    Using this method, and the 15/18 split, that same duo of 6th level characters would have to make a roll of 13 (if WIS is a prime) and 16 (if WIS is a non-prime) in order to successfully defend against the Gorgon. Both rolls are very possible, with the prime giving a 15% better chance of success.

    This has had grand effect in improving the playability of C&C for my group. It's much less work on the CK. It offers a fair and (relatively) balanced system for players. It also makes monsters more reasonable...players have a chance to survive

    I have several other issues with the game, but I've come to house-rule it into something I like and am comfortable with.
    Last edited by Urieal; February 10th, 2012 at 20:39.

  9. #19
    dr_venture's Avatar
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    I can see why you'd like to switch away - C&C is very much like AD&D, where low level character joining a high level group are pretty worthless. I don't mind that kind of dynamic - I'm just used to it after playing that way for so many years. Just different playing styles/preferences. I'm glad you have found a set of rules that make it work for you, and am definitely glad you brought it up in your original post - it's making me think about how I want to deal with those balances myself.
    "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." - John Shedd
    "Why is it every time we need to get somewhere, I get waylaid by jackassery?" - Dr. Thaddeus Venture
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  10. #20
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    My Goal was to do the tertiary approach in the castle keepers guide using 10/14/18. Basically you would select (standard non human) 2 primes, 3 secondary, and 1 tertiary. Humans getting 3 primes 2 Secondary and 1 tertiary.

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