Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Issues with Castles & Crusades

I have found that the 12/18 system, while nice, is too difficult on the high end, meaning the 18 is too hard to hit. If you are attempting to do something against someone with the same HD as your level (or less) you are almost guaranteed to succeed (or fail, depending on the situation). I am changing this to bases of 12 and 15.

Redundant Class Abilities
  1. One class has Scale. One class has Climb. They both do the same thing. Why are they called something different?
  2. One class has Birthright Mount. One has Divine Mount. They're basically the same thing. Why are they called something different?
  3. Many classes have multiple dead levels and then get several things all at the same level. Why not spread those things out a bit?
  4. C&C seems to use several 3.5 basic ideas but some have been greatly improved in Pathfinder. I will be using the more modern versions.
The "N" System
In my Castles & Crusades site I am rewriting basically all class abilities and one thing you will see a lot of is references to " N". What this means is that the N is a replaceable number that usually scales at various levels. For example, the Archer class gets an ability called Deadly Aim N. At various levels N is 1, then 2, then 3, etc. In the case of the Archer, the bonus from Deadly Aim is whatever N is at that time. The Knight also has an N ability, Fealty/Tithe. Knights have to give fealty to their Lord equal to 10% of all treasure earned/gained. In the case of Fealty, N scales from 1 to 5 and reduces they amount they are expected to pay by a percentage equal to N. Paladins have the same class "ability" but in their case it is due to tithing to their church.  Archers also have "Extra Attack (ranged) N" and in that case N is a number of extra attacks they get. If N is 3, they get 3 extra attacks.

More later...


  1. I've thought about using a 10/15 system. You can always adjust up with the CL but you cannot adjust downward, except by giving the character bonuses or creating negative CLs. In defense of the 12/18, 18s are consistent with older versions of D&D and their unfavorable saving throws for low-level characters, as well as the high percentage of failure for thieves. I haven't changed this because I have found that the 12/18 system to work pretty well in actual game play, despite my expectations to the contrary.

  2. A specific example of how I think the 12/18 system is a problem:

    I ran a game with some 6th level PC's. One was an illusionist. They faced some worgs, 4HD with P Prime. If the Illusionist casts ANY spell against a mental stat the worgs need base 18 (not prime) + 6 (pc level) - 4 (worg hd) = 20. No matter what the spell, as long as it targets a mental stat, the worg only succeeds 1 time in 20.

    An equivalent level monster with physical primes would only be 2 better, ie, it needs an 18, 19, or 20 to resist the spell- an 85% success rate for the spellcaster.

    By contrast, a 6th level PC (with a 2 ability mod) casting a 1st level illusion spell on a worg in 3.x has a

    10+1+2= DC13 to resist

    Worg in 3.x has +3 Will save, ie, 50% chance to resist.

    I don't have my 1E books at work but I'd be curious to run the same situation there and see what it looks like. I just dislike how almost certain it is.

  3. Agreed on the five different ways to say the same thing. Can't really see any point to that.
    As far as the 12-18 debate, I also agree that the 18 is nearly an impossible success. Which in the end comes back to bite the players more than the CK.

  4. I agree with your point on 12/18. As I said, I was thinking of 10/15 (to keep 5 points between them), but 12/15 also works (and maybe it works better because it maintains the 12).

    There are lots of little wonky things between classes in C&C. I have not been able to determine the rationale for experience points and level progression. There is no mathematical proportionality within or between XP tables. I was wondering if they based this on the new abilities gained by class? I don't know.

    At the same time, there are some things I personally like. I was not a fan of the bard class, but after comparing it to both AD&D and 3.5, I decided I liked it. I gave rangers some druid spells, bards some MU spells (and bards now use the ranger xp table) and paladins some cleric spells. It fits pretty well with my campaign setting and some of planning conversations I had with my players when I started (those conversations have guided much of my tweaking).