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Archive for March, 2012

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Joe Reviews The C&C Classic Monsters Manual

Castles & Crusades is a game that inspires nothing but warm feelings for me. Nicky and I have had many successful games of C&C, there has been much beer drunk and many inside jokes created with C&C as our basic reason for getting together with friends. So, when a new book comes out for C&C, I get it.

The newest book released came out just today: The Classic Monsters Manual. I am a sucker for monster books, especially OGL ones (mostly because if it’s OGL, I can convert it to Castles & Crusades pretty easily), and this one could not stay out of my hands.

In the beginning of the book is a very short article on running monsters with their own motivations and it succeeds rather well in a fairly short amount of space. In fact, I’d say that this primer is very much the heart and soul of the work. The monsters are meant to be a little different, and most certainly meant to be generally intelligent opposition. There’s a repeat of the “how to read the monster stat blocks” section in the Monsters and Treasure book, and then the monsters!

The Castles & Crusades Classic Monsters Manual has over 200 monsters, all of them with C&C statistics. About half of the monsters come from the Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games, which in turn contains a bunch of monsters that had only shown up previously in modules (Vegepygmies, for example). I happen to own Tome of Horrors, and so I can tell you that this book is not a reprint of it. Not every monster in Tome of Horrors is in Classic Monsters, and many (at least half) of the monsters are original creations, or at least original to this book. Of course, the utility of this book is pretty much restricted to people who use Castles and Crusades.

However, if you are like me and enjoy seeing all sorts of monsters, and mining ideas of them for yourself, you’re in for a treat. Assuming you are not interested in the creatures that have appeared previously let me illuminate some of the cooler original monsters for you. The Bendith y Mamau is a fae type creature that resides in a house to protect it from evil. They are easily insulted and wreak havoc on people and places which do insult them, often require greater offerings to appease them. That is one hell of an adventure seed right there.

Another example is the Chawl Witch, a creature that is really entertaining to a polyglot like me. They are basically language masters, able to understand and comprehend languages after only a few hours with them. They are always female, but reproduce with a male of any humanoid species. They lay eggs, and the eggs and young are coveted by wizards who want a servant/slave. Once again, an adventure seed that is not to be sneered at.

There are some really cool werecreatures in the book: werefoxes, werespiders, and werehounds. Each is given a description which includes a solid adventure seed like in the previous examples. Having devoured this book, I can say with authority that every single creature listed has an adventure seed in the description in which an entire night’s play can be thought up by a competent GM. There are some really fantastic ideas in here for using unusual creatures in unusual adventuring circumstances, as well as just some cool stuff to fight.

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Episode Three: Combat Part Deux

In this episode, we revisit combat (having addressed it in Season One: Episode Eleven). In this redux of combat, we discuss how not to let the PCs walk all over their adversaries, as well as how to avoid Total Party Kills. We talk a little about character death and setting stakes for it, too. We also talk a little about turn-based combat, how to alleviate boredom and a bunch of other stuff!

We really, really want some feedback about this episode, so please take a few moments to write an email, post on the Forums, “like” us on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, or leave a comment right here.

Episode 2-3!
And for reference, here’s Season One’s Episode Eleven.

Favorite Games of the Week

GURPS Mecha
Carcosa
Legendary Realms – Player’s Handbook

Currently Playing

We are currently playing Remnants! A fantastic game wherein we are to be the leaders of the resistance against the invaders from space!

However, we’re having some issues with the combat system, and if anyone wants to help us drop us a line!

We also played a Hunter: The Vigil one-shot on Nicky’s Birthday. It was awesome!

Announcements

Big thank you to everyone who wished Nicky a Happy Birthday!

RANDY! Nicky thanks you for GURPS Mecha!

Do you want to win ten dollars for DrivethruRPG? Guess which old-school module Joe is talking about around 12 minutes in. First person to email the correct answer wins a $10 gift certificate!

Shoutouts!

Bedrock Brennan and Rincewind1 started a spinoff of our thread at the RPGsite, and it can be found here.

Shoutout to Doug’s funny voice!

Joe mentions a great horror novel named Ghouls, by Edward Lee; and in his review of Carcosa he forgets the book A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay.

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“Dina’s Mambo” (Bio Ritmo)
“Hang on Little Tomato” (Pink Martini)
“The Color of Industry” (Radiation City)

Games Mentioned

Star Wars d20
Shard
Dresden Files RPG
Castles & Crusades
The Cursed Chateau
Scion
d20
Savage Worlds
Deadlands: Reloaded
Fate
Strands of Fate
Dogs in the Vineyard
Brushfire
Vampire: the Requiem

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Episode Two: Metagaming and Immersion

In this episode, Nicky and Joe talk about the difference between metagaming and immersion. We tend to focus on the mechanical side of the phenomena, but we give examples of games that facilitate either. Mostly, we’re giving you our perspective of the perennial debate!

We can be reached via email, at our Forums, on Facebook, or you can follow us on Twitter.

Episode Two: Metagaming and Immersion

Favorite Games of the Week

Promethean: The Created
The Shab-al-Hiri Roach
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition

Currently Playing

Nothing. We haven’t had a roleplaying session of Dresden and we hadn’t selected a new game by the time we recorded.

Announcements

Deadlands Classic was released at Origins 1996.

Everyone is welcome to join our bowling team.

Shoutouts!

Ali! You should totally listen to the show!

AL Bruno III! Your old RPG.net threads are fantastic. For our listeners the relevent threads are collected here. Enjoy the insanity.

The Forge can be found here. It’s a really neato community that has a ton of archived stuff on roleplaying theory.

Music Section

“Roll the Dice, Make my Day [Stick Jones Remix]” (Stick Jones)
“U Spin me Round [Remix]” (DJ Markski)
“Think About The Two Of Us” (Tim and Nicki Bluhm)
“Piano & String Epic Beat” (foxik0169)

Games Mentioned

Fate
GURPS 4th Edition
Dungeons & Dragons
Ravenloft
Shard
Scion
Savage Worlds
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition
Castles & Crusades
Deadlands Classic
Deadlands: Reloaded
Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering
Dogs in the Vineyard
World of Darkness
Wraith: The Oblivion
GURPS IOU
Gehenna
D&D Rules Cyclopedia
Demon: The Fallen
Laws of the Night
Dresden Files RPG
GURPS Black Ops
Strands of Fate
In Nomine
Sorcery & Super Science!
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Terra Primate
Cthulhutech

March 6, 2012 Uncategorized joewolz