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Castles & Crusades Codex Germania
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2018 14:21:05

"The Codex Germania unearths the mythological realms of the ancient Germans. From the murky forests of their beginnings rise the myths, the magic, gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes and legends of the ancient Germans, all brought to life for your Castles & Crusades game." Let me go on record as saying that 'The Codex Germania' is a big book for Castles & Crusades weighing in at 112 pages! That 112 is packed in wall to wall Germanic mythological goodness & its perfect for Halloween! With new PC classes such as the witch & variations on the slayer class not to mention the variety of horrid monsters waiting to chew on your PC?! But there's more here then simply that. Brian Young goes into the book's contents in the intro & it sets the tone for the entire book;

"This book allows both the Castle Keeps and the players to explore the breadth of early Germanic mythologies and culture.For the sake of history and religion, the pre-Christian Germans are covered because their imagination and colorful beliefs hadnot yet submitted to a European commonality. By the time of Christianization, the Germanic world largely lost it imaginative heritage of wondrous sagas about divine heroes, other worlds,supernatural creatures, and magic. This codex attempts to capture some of that essence and places it into the hands of gamers"

But does the 'The Codex Germania' deliver on its promise of mythological Germany rife with new monsters, PC classes, spells, & more?! Well the mythological & historical background is right on point with the beginning chapters; 'This chapter serves a twofold purpose in telling history. First, it will give a brief overview of early Germanic history in Europe, giving beginners in this field of study a basic understanding. Secondly, it gives the creation mythos from the early Germanic pagan religions as best as possible. Note, that due to the variations among the many tribes, those disparate but similar strands of myth among Germanic peoples do have a commonality and a link to the Nordic sources that came later.' The book here is really on point & gives the dungeon master an actual usable thumbnail view of ancient Germany's history & mythology. The second chapter in we get even more background focusing on the peoples & land itself after the first chapter with a an inter spacing of some mythological elements ; The many descendants of Tuisto dwell in many lands throughout Europa, from east to west and have large tribes often numbering a 100,000 or more members. The three groups of peoples have covered a wide territory over time, from the boundaries of the furthest south (Roman Empire and Spain) to Britannia to the west, Scandza to the North and the Black Sea to the east. In this section, the many tribal confederations and regions across Europe, from east to west, will be given a detail that joins both the mythical and historical into a unified perspective for game play. Germania, on the far side of the Rhine, was seen in Roman eyes as Germani Liberia (Free Germania) where the many tribes there were not under imperial control. Mythical places in the Germanic Otherworld will also be describedas best as information can be gathered from the limited sources. Key locations in Germania and other settled (and invaded) regions by Germanic tribes are detailed here for places that CKs can use in their games. The mythical locations in the Codex Nordica can be used to enhance those listed here by the CK." This sets everything up to come just as we've seen in The Codex Celtarum because we get a detailed history on the two ancient Germany's. Germania Inferior & Superior are brought to the forefront by Caesar Augustus; 'Caesar Augustus sought to have total control over all of Germania early in his reign before letting this wild and untamed part of Europe deluge the Empire. His designation was Germania Magna or ‘Great Germania’, but this was cut short after the fatal Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 C.E. It was deemed unrealistic that Germania would ever be completely in the Empire’s possession and so other strategies were employed to find means in which to incorporate this untamed land. The method of divide and conquer, which had been working well against the Greeks and Celts, was not so simple in the face of this newly encountered people.' You get a really nicely detailed semi mythological setting with lots of historical details & then the book jumps feet first into the mythological realms of Germanic mythology after detailing swaths of history on kings, tribes, & gobs of history. This material parells many of the Teutonic & Norse mythologies that I've seen over the years but its got a slightly different take here. Take for example 'ÆLFHÁM – Home of the Elves This magical world exists outside of the reach of Middangeard normally and is bound tightly to the tree of Irminsul, as it is filled with its constant magical energies. The elves that live here are whimsical and frivolous acting among each other, but they turn sinister and devious towards strangers (specifically humans) if they are interrupted. Fair beings, standing both short and tall, the ælf-kind are purely composed of magic. Their world is a large, wild forest-land filled with other magical beings and creatures that can be called faery. These ælves can glow with a white light from within in a heavenly manner if needed to banish away evil or dark beings keepingthis world untainted by the presence of darkness. Wēland the smith (or deor) is their king (Ylfcynig), who dwells in a simple forest smithy away from the hustle and bustle of the court and palace. In his stead, he has many stewards and chiefs that function for him while he creates wondrous items at his forge. Wēland’s crafts have been sought after by many across the worlds, and they have attempted many deceptive plots to do so. To outsiders, the myriad rulers of Ælfhám will appear lofty and arrogant in manner, but this is due to the immortals’ difference from mortals, and the possession of their great magic. The land is largely untamed and filled with wondrous sights and beings beyond all comparison (CK can refer to the Codex Celtarum for faery abilities and extra beings not in this particular codex). The inhabitants of this world choose to intrude on Middangeard often, becoming involved in the affairs of mortals and altering events to suit their own purposes. They do not, however, allow mortals to meddle in their business. Mortals are looked down upon by the ælf-kind for their crudeness, vulgarity, and lack of refinement. The goddess Frigge dwells here and is often seen riding in her chariot in the forests, surrounded by her faery entourage. It is wisest by mortals and invited strangers to never interrupt her ride. This world has never known the scourge of the giants or other invaders in its history because of the powerful enchantments possessed by its natives.' These are the Elves I grew up hearing & reading about with my German neighbors in my home town. Yes they have some of the qualities of the Tolkein Elves but these are the origins & their every bit as alien & weird. The realms of Fairy & the Germanic gods are not to be treated upon by mankind. The monster section folds neatly within the mythological places & realms of the gods starting with alp is a type of elf vampire & then finally ending with the Germanic dragons which we get solid guide line rules ala Beowulf. The Germanic dragons are nasty pieces of work & this might happen to your PC's. Chapter four In Wizardry & Enchantments goes into the magic PC classes, magicks, spells, & enchanted items of 'The Codex Germania'; 'There are many new character classes included that are different from the normal wizard and illusionist classes in that their approach to spell-casting and enchantments are not typical, the Erilaz or (rune master), and Wælcyrig/Halirúna or (witch). The many aspects of rune magic are detailed here and how they can be used in normal gaming. Runes in gaming have always been somewhat close to the ancient Migration Period attestation of runic magic and their later Viking parallels. This chapter will outline a system that is closer to those mentioned previously." Yes I'm skipping over the ring oaths because there's a ton of background with these which are for adventures & I'll go into this later. This chapter is very well done in my opinion & really sets 'The Codex Germania' apart in its approach to handling the whole of Germanic mythological magick in Castles & Crusades. And this brings me to Serve the Gods which really dives deeply into the Germanic Pagan & Druidic traditions. It dives deeply into the Germanic mythological pantheon from the creator gods to the gods of warfare to hearth & home. Sacred groves & funeral practices actually get a solid style of use for Pagan cleric PC classes here. Chapter six 'Skilled in Battlecraft' gives the PC martial classes something to use in the Germanic mythological world. We get more pseudo historical information on the Germanic warrior, further details of the ring oaths of a warrior, & more useful information on the martial affairs of Germanic warriors, soldiers, etc. Including historical information on women warriors of Germany. Deadly rules for ancient artillery & arrows along with the shield wall. Property, land, blood money, and more all used in ancient warfare in Germany. Then finally two new PC classes The Dragonslayer & the Wod or Germanic 'Fury' which is similar to Norse beserker but they have some of their own mythic or divine wrinkles. Both classes are very well done. The slayer & witch classes from the magic section are excellent foils for both of these classes & I can see using all of this to put together an adventuring party for ancient Germany. Finally we get to the Castle Keeper's information about ancient Germany, its rulers, & society. This is a very well laid out chapter & has critical information about the whole of running a campaign. Again its very well put together. 'The Codex Germania' is a solid & well put together product. I like how accessible it is & how well put together all of the information is in this book. I think that the 'The Codex Germania' is a solid five out of five.

Now for the Amazing Adventures! rpg dungeon master this is another in my mind essential book. Why?! Because of the fact that there is so much to pillage & use. The Wod, the Dragon slayer, the slayer class,the witch, & more make excellent foils for the Pulp adventuring of AA! But once again this is a solid case of using the Amazing Adventures companion & the Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters especially because of the Dragon Slayer class. The dragons & NPC witches of 'The Codex Germania' are solid evil & make excellent vile villains. They have motives, personalities, & out and out agendas that should they find their way to civilization would wreck havoc. The Monsterous Manual has a wide array of minor dragonic monsters that could also wreck havoc with the world of ancient Germany. The Wod could be used as the basis for a nasty PC class of fighter or adventurer. The use of 'The Codex Germania' for a World War two game is both intriguing & beyond the scope of one blog review & yes I will go into this more as my Amazing Adventures campaign continues! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More OSR Goodness Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Codex Germania
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Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2018 14:12:14

"Norv & Galv crawled along the guttural entrance to the former Roman temple, its gods long replaced by something much worse. 'Did you bring the torches?!', the voice quivered & it wasn't the rime cold or the slime under Galv's backside. Norv made his way to the ruin's gated remains which had been bent years before by something it hitting it from inside with great force. The candle light arched around the rusted remains & Norv held his hand up for silence. He took the ox oil from his pack & literally applied it but neither warrior saw the spent made from darkness as thick as a man's thigh crawl from right over their heads. The monster was another limb of the thing of darkness that lived in the ruins of the temple. The village chief would keep his half of the warriors bargain & his daughter. Norv's son would marry another & he would mourn his father. There were no time for screams & only the wet sucking sound of flesh then silence played in the aqueduct. But this was the price to pay whist messing in the darkness in the affairs of wizards & demons. ." There are a few OSR products & rpg products that use the Slav mythology & occult traditions as the basis for an rpg setting. The Codex Slavorum does exactly this & perhaps a bit more.

"The Codex Slavorum opens roads into the mythological realms of the ancient Slavs. Born in the shadow of Siberia their myths and magic, their gods, goddesses, monsters, heroes and legends offer an untouched wealth of material for your Castles & Crusades game.

New Classes! New spells! More monsters!

Bring the ancient Slavic worlds to life!"

I opted for the physical package & grabbed my order on Friday from the mail.The books are beautiful with the cover art striking with a Chrenobog demon being confronted by a Slavic wizard in the spirit realm. Drivethrurpg lists three books in the Mythos line for Castles & Crusades by Brian N. Young. Young presents the Slav spiritual & mythological world as easily accessible & fundamentally usable to the dungeon master ( no I'm not nor will I ever be a Castle Keeper, I'm a dungeon master as Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson were). I'm going to turn this book on its side because I'm planning on using this material in my campaigns. But I want you to see the quality of the layout & the black & white artwork.

Peter Bradley does a bang up job with his artwork. Opinions about the 'The Codex Slavorum' vary wildly from Amazon 3 star rating by Chrytal Cartwright . Then there is the five star rating on Good Reads by Winston Crutchfield.

Can't understand the hate nor the three star rating because I happen to be on the Crutchfield side of things. Here's why.

I'm really glad I spent the money to grab this book because the Slavic material is actually useful to me. Al of the OSR setting & campaign material is in the front of the book & the PC stuff is in the back with a solidly done index. Yes this book has an actual index enabling the reader to quickly access the section he or she needs. This layout is similar to the older Ars Magica rpg books. The quality of 'The Codex Slavorum' reminds me of those books. The setting here is pure Castles & Crusades Slavic world setting with a solid overview of both the Slavic/Russian 'real world' & the spiritual world. This includes a good array of monsters, spells, Gods, interactions, & low & behold a good damn solidly usable Slavic Shaman class! Growing up in a Polish neighborhood with Russians, Hungarians, & lots of Eastern Europeans the Slavic shaman & some of the mythical traditions of Eastern Europe make me twitchy with the traditional Dungeons & Dragons clerical classes. They don't mix well. In

The Codex Slavorum we finally get the mix of the Slavic myths & the spiritual realms with D&D style elements even though its Castles & Crusades. Volkhv & their ilk finally get their due & its well done. Among these folk your not going to find any flashy fireball wielders unless you want to get burnt at the stake. This is set during the 'Time of Legends ' & folks like Oleg are important NPC's. The artwork(not in the book btw) below illustrates the importance of the occult world against the world of man. There are some dark reasons for this. 'The Codex Slavorum' presents the all too real struggle of light vs darkness with the Slavic shades of blood red & dark mythic gore. This is an epic book & tool kit. Most folks think of the world of Slavic mythology being the world dragons, liches,a myriad of ghosts, spirits, etc. but its really the world of the vampire. The vampire of 'The Codex Slavorum' is not a monster to be taken lightly at all. This is a force of undeath at its worst & there is a PC vampire hunter class here to counter it. I have to say that there must be more then a few very dead vampire hunters. Sure they may be formidable but here the vampires are very dangerous indeed. These are the vampires of Slavic legend fueled by the gods of the underworld. Forget your cinematic vampires these are the horrors of legend & they make the vampires of "Flavenlost" look tame. The forces of darkness & horror are well represented in the ninety eight pages of the ' The Codex Slavorum'. But the forces of light have their due Eagle Knights, heroes of legend, the gods, Pagan priests, hunters of the supernatural, & more are also within these pages. The Slavic world of ' The Codex Slavorum' is a complex & dangerous world intertwined with the gods as well as native legendary knights. Mythic knights whose stories are as complex as any of the legends of Arthur & his band. There are as many versions of these stories as well all across the Slavic world. They have a very boiled down version of these knights that can be used as PC class. I was very pleased to see this. So what does all of this material in the ' The Codex Slavorum' mean for the Amazing Adventures dungeon master? Well many of the monsters & elements have been transcribed & filtered into The Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters. This isn't a slight on Jason Vey's work but when you want to have a party of adventurers meet the forces of the Slavic underworld head on. There's nothing like having the original source book in your hands to pull from in order to do it.Sure there's Wiki entries & internet what not but when you want your OSR source book to pull from when constructing then your going to want the ' The Codex Slavorum'. I've already gotten the question of 'how can an Amazing Adventures rpg demon hunter class & the vampire PC class coexist. The answer is simple. The vampire which was transcribed over to the Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters & the demons of Slavic lore are all under the umbrella of the gods of darkness. There is more then enough darkness across the planes for an army of demon hunters & vampire slayers besides the two classes work extremely well together. For the pulp/super hero gamer who wants a Slavic slant on their character's origins this is a must buy. Raiders & the like who are looking for far deeper depth on the artifacts & treasure that their going after this is the book that can give your PC's deeper grounds. Five out of five for me because of easy of use, utility, & a solid no BS approach to the Slavic mythology & material . Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want more original OSR content Please subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Codex Slavorum
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Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2018 12:01:54

"The Codex Celtarum contains a veritable host of gaming material. Built around the complete mythological cosmos of the Celts, in it you'll find new spells for your druid, cleric, and illusionist. New monsters, including mountains of fey. New magic items. For the very bold, there are new powers for your characters, allowing your characters to become fey! 190 new spells 90 gods and monsters from the Celtic mythos 150 powers for the fey monsters & characters (optional) The Druids." For the last two years I've been looking at the cover for Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum & pretty much wrote it off as yet another "elf games" source book for Castles & Crusades. Every time a Troll Lords sale would come up I look & think maybe?? Two things have occurred that changed my mind. One I'm actually running a Seige Engine powered game. Two I've got players who are nuts about all things Celtic. So I contacted (stalked) Troll Lord Games about the Mythos Bundle for Castles & Crusades.

When they didn't contact me right away I went ahead & bought the entire line of physical books. I loath & hate pdfs but love books at the table. Over the years I've seen various hog pog incarnations of pieces of Celtic mythology in many editions of Original Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 3.0, OSR etc.

There is a lot of material to cover & this book tackles the subject head on & goes right into the meat & patatoes of the material. Is this a book for the player or the dungeon master? The answer is both. This book clocks in at about a hundred & seventy six pages of very well researched material. Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum came out about five years ago & Troll Lords has expanded the Mythos line quite a bit. This is a book for the serious dungeon This book is for the dungeon master who wants to run an entire Castles & Crusades game within a mythological Celtic Iron age setting with Fey & all that goes with it. In one book you get all of the tools for doing this because your going to be placing all of those elements into the realm of the Fairy. This book was written by an academic who knows, eats, breathes, & lives his material. Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum encompasses the entire experience of playing within & without in the realm of Fairy & Fey. This book boils down all of the classic elements of Celtic mythology & legend into an actual playable supplement for Castles & Crusades. It does with professionalism, class, & its very well written. Brain Young is an academic who really gets into his mythological gaming material with wit & solid writing. The layout is solid, the writing is easy to get through, the material sparks the dungeon master's imagination. But is Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum

good for other Siege Engine products? Could this book be useful for say Amazing Adventures?!

The answer to this is yes! Much of the material here is straight up fantastic to adapt to a pulp setting & it easily lends itself to whole cloth idea. The Fey are legendary & very alien their own right. These are not weird Elves & lets play them, this is straight up epic mythological C&C material. This makes it unexpected & straight out of the box a surprise to player in a pulp game campaign. If you are going to use Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum with Amazing Adventures what are you going to need?Much of this material has been filtered after a fashion & adapted to the Amazing Adventures Companion by its author Jason Vey. With 190 new spells 90 gods and monsters from the Celtic mythos 150 powers for the fey monsters & characters (optional) The Druids all of these C&C elements can be ported over easily into other Troll Lord products including Amazing Adventures! rpg. I can actually see using Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum with the Victorious Rpg. Using Victorious or Amazing Adventures I can see a pulp investigative or heroic campaign using the Celtic mythological material as adventure fodder. The adventure elements within the Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum are very fresh & well presented. The book packs a lot into its one hundred & seventy five pages. But is the book worth its price of admission into the Celtic world of the Fey & Fairy? In a word yes! I think that Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum is not only a high quality book for Castles & Crusades but for any OSR or old school dungeon master. I give the Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum a solid five out of five.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitcery Blog Want more original OSR & old school content? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum
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5th Edition Role Playing -- Mystical Companions
by Luke Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2018 14:02:45

For TLDR, scroll to the bottom.

On initial inspection of this book, it offers a lot of new and tantelizing content. To a flexible and amenible Dungeon Master/Castle Keeper such as myself, it is exactly that.

However, it is stated in the Systems and Rules (Chapter 1) that it makes reference of the Wizards of the Coast's 3.0 SRD, as opposed to the core rulebooks of 5th Edition. Additionally, the writers make comment to the fact that from previous editions, the Druid's Animal Companion and the Paladin's mount were removed, and claimed to provide a way of returning those mechanisms. However, in the actual description of Advantages (which may as well be called Feats since they function the exact same way, and are even stated as only being gain-able when a player could take an ASI or feat) does not acknowledge this. I quote from the Animal Companion [General] advantage description: "You gain the ability to form loyal bonds with animals, allowing you to gain an animal companion in the same manner as a druid of the appropriate level." And yet, it was acknowledged earlier in the same chapter that this mechanic for druids no longer exists, and no alternative or replacement is provided. Fortunately, I am both familiar with and in possession of the necessary core books from v3.5, in order to better make sense of and rule fairly on what this might look like in a 5e game.

Additionally, it is apparent the majority of focus was spent on the animal familiars for each class, and the dragon rider paths in the final chapters, as the information for animal companions is scant other than general and by-class comparisons between familiars and animal companions (more than a tad redundant, unless a simplified summary in a sidebar were to be used) and the three advantages specifically pertaining to animal companions: Animal Companion [General], Companion Tricks [General] (which also makes references to rules regarding training and tricks which do not exist in 5e), and the Vermin Companion [General] (which is based off a creature-type distinction that no longer in 5e - Animals and Vermin alike are "Beasts").

Finally, as alluded with my comment on the Vermin Companion [General] advantage, the bestiary specifically and the book as a whole make use antiquated creature-types that are no longer used in 5e: Aberrations and Outsiders of older editions were combined into simply Aberrations, in addition to the aforementioned consolidation.

In summary, I appreciate that the publisher, Troll Lord Games, made the effort to convert the concepts herein from their core game rules (C&C) to the D&D 5e system, however the inattention to detail I find cumbersome. I sincerely hope that they take reviews and discussions on this distributor's (DriveThruRPG) website seriously enough to either:

  1. Publish an errata of corrections that would be free to those who've purchased the PDF here
  2. -or, better still- Publish an updated version of the book with the corrections included.

TLDR: All in all, the artwork and central concepts are too beautiful to call this work a waste of time and effort. The familiar-themed archetypes for each class, as well as the dragon-rider archetype per class is truly an intriguing and exciting concept. However, the cumbersome nature of making the included options viable in a 5e game should give DM's pause before purchasing, or implementing, this book. I myself am comfortable undertaking the task because of my deep love of creativity, and commitment to Capt Barbossa's view of the Pirate Code: "They're more like guidelines than actual rules." However, this material is hardly plug-and-play quality. Groundwork on the part of the DM will be mandatory.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
5th Edition Role Playing -- Mystical Companions
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Amazing Adventures!
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/27/2018 14:43:09

THOUGHTS: The PDF is pretty no frills. No clickable links in the table of contents, no PDF index. The spells list LOOKS like it's indexed and clickable, but it was sure unresponsive when I tried to click on anything.

The adventure doesn't quite work for me, especially the first act, as noted above. It feels like the editing could have been tighter, at the least, given the mix-up I noted. It also feels like a missed opportunity to provide pregenerated characters, and then have an adventure that's too low of level for them.

I've never played Castles & Crusades (bought a corebook from Troll Lord at a convention years ago), but it looks like it has the same high level math problem that a lot of d20 games do.

That said, the flexibility is amazing. Soooo many options for customization, including the multiclass variations and swapping out general abilities. All the extra little variations in magic (like Counterspells and Emergency Spells, as well as Dragon Lines and Places of Power) are really cool, too. All the optional rules that can be added to fit what you're wanting are more than welcome, and the game boasts almost complete compatibility with Castles & Crusades, so you can combine the two for all kinds of crazy action.

The bestiary selection is pretty small, but in a mostly realistic game, using mobsters and Nazis should be more common than fighting legions of monsters.

CONCLUSION: The author insists that this more than "just" a pulp game, but that's largely what the core book does, and I suspect it does it well. I'm a little leery of that high level math, with the way the bonuses escalate. That said, if that's not a concern for you, this is a ridiculously flexible game with loads of pulp archetypes to use as your base and a great toolbox for modifying them. The author has mentioned that a 5e-based version is in the works, and if it can combine that base with all the great options and features in this book (I love bounded accuracy and flatter math), that should be a great pulp game. For this edition, I'd run it without reservation...I'd just be keeping a close eye on high level play.

Also, it is worth noting that the Companion and the Book of Powers expand the game significantly, but this review doesn't cover those, just the core. I'll try to crack into them soon.

Full review is posted here: https://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2018/05/tommys-take-on-amazing-adventures.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Amazing Adventures!
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Castles & Crusades Codex Classicum
by Edward C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2018 22:46:25

Not a particularly good RPG resource, unfortunately.

First, it is 30 pages shorter than Celtarum. The author clearly had a great deal more interest in Celtic myth than Roman or Greek, and it shows in length, detail, and quality. It also wastes a fair few pages on a basic outline of the history of Rome and Greece. I buy a detailed setting resource to get details, not generic overviews I can find on Wikipedia. Celtarum focused on mythology, rather than history, making it a useful supplement for an RPG even if set elsewehere than the real world. The author's opinions on Caesar Augustus, on the other hand, aren't especially useful for a purely historical game, and utterly useless if I'd hoped to use the book to fluff up a corner of Airhde with a classical flair.

Monster section is nice, but is full of typos and left out information. For example, the Cynocephaly "Special" trait is "See Below;" all there is below is a reference to their natural abilities being found in "the Hound/Wolf 'Wilderways' as given in the Codex Celtarum," but a quick search of Celtarum shows nothing of the sort. So not only does this expect a reader to own two books to use, it's also obvious that nobody did a proper edit, both listing specific page numbers instead of a general pointer and making sure the actual reference existed.

There is no equipment section. Despite having a long sidebar on hoplites and gladiators, there is no information on how to represent these weapons or tactics in game.

The extra classes are rather hit or miss, and riddled with inconsistencies and errors. Class abilities are not always listed for a given level, sometimes are described in the vaguest of prose, and occasionally feature no mechanics at all. The Gladiator has d12 Hit Die listed in the text, then six lines down in the chart have a d10 Hit Die.

Between the low value information, frequent errors, and lack of mechanics, Codex Classicum feels very much rushed out, as if someone sat down and typed it out in a week or two to meet a deadline.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Codex Classicum
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Castles & Crusades Lost City of Gaxmoor Digital Maps
by david w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2018 06:19:02

A bit disappointing. There is NOT a map of the city in this set of Maps for the CITY OF GAXMOOR. Come on man.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Lost City of Gaxmoor Digital Maps
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Creator Reply:
David -- Our apologies! The city map was somehow omitted from this map pack. I am in the process of uploading a new PDF with the map included. Thanks for bringing this to our attention! ~ Tim
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing (Alternate Cover)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2018 13:19:04

It is often said that Castles & Crusades is the Rosetta Stone of Old School Gaming. It certainly is that, but there is a lot more going on here than just that. Castles & Crusades is very much a stripped down version of the basic 3.x SRD. As such there are lot of concepts that are modern including a one-roll mechanic for all sorts of situations. Though if that were all then there would be nothing separating this from say True20 or other "lite" d20 iterations. Castles & Crusades plays like good old fashioned D&D. The aesthetic here is 1st Ed. AD&D, with the simplicity of Basic era D&D. The concept is noble and one we see in many of the retro-clones. But where the clones attempt to use the OGL to make an older version of the rules, Castles & Crusades makes it's own rules and instead goes for the feel or nature of the game. So while you will see Thieve's abilities represented by percentage rolls in Basic Fantasy or OSRIC and as a skill in 3.x in C&C it will be a Dexterity check. Simple, elegant and easy. The Ability check, whether your abilities are Prime or Secondary, are a key element of C&C.

The Players Handbook is the first book you need for Castles & Crusades. At 140+ pages it is all about getting your character up and going. The abilities here are the same six you have always used and they are even generated by rolling 3d6 and assigning. If you have a different method that you liked back in the day OR if you have adopted some point by system from a new version I see no reason why it would not work here. I am a fan of 4d6, drop the lowest myself. The ability score modifications are a bit different than new OGL games, but are in fact much closer to older games. Bottom line is just pay attention to how many pluses that 18 gives you if you are used to playing newer games.

Next you will choose a class based on your abilities. Each class has a prime ability; one that is most associated with it. So fighters have strength, clerics wisdom, wizards intelligence and so on. Speaking of classes, all the "classics" are here and some new ones. So you have Assassins, Barbarians, Bards, Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Illusionists, Knights, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues and Wizards. There are some minor tweaks that make them different from other versions of the same class in another game, but nothing that made me scream "That's not right!" in fact in most cases I was more inclined to agree with what they did. For example I like the Barbarian for the first time ever. Each class has some special abilities and skills. In C&C it is assumed that if a character wants to do something that instead of a skill roll an ability check is made. There is Target Number, 12 for Primes (something you are good at) or an 18 for Secondary. You add your mods, any class or race based modifications and there you go. Simple. Skills are no longer of a list of things you can or can't do, but now potential to do or at least try anything. This is something we did back in the old days, but the newer twist here is that this is just the same as any d20 based roll. Be it skills or attack. So Rangers and Barbarians are good at tracking, wizards at arcane lore and so on. makes things pretty easy. So improvement over 3.x games, no tracking skill points. I have to add, that there is such a cool old-school vibe here that it is just like reading a book from the early 80s. Only with far better layout and art. As another aside, the art is fantastic. I love my old school games and wizards in pointy hats and all, but the wizard in C&C looks AWESOME. I would not mess with that guy, I don't care if he looks like a farmer or not.

Races are up next and all the usual suspects are here. Races and Classes are built in such away that customization is REALLY easy. If I wanted to play a Goblin here I bet I could rather easy. Every race gets two Prime stats. Typically you want one of these to correspond with your class. Humans get three allowing for their flexibility. All other races also get modifiers to abilities and/or special traits. While the modularity of 3.x is obvious, the feel is still more 1st ed. We end character creation on completing the character with persona, gods and alignment. Up next are some lists of equipment and rules on encumbrance. The rules are some of the easiest encumbrance rules I have seen. So far so good? Well we have by this point gotten through roughly a third of the book. Not too bad for 50 pages.

Magic and Spells take up the remaining bulk (65 pages) of the book. Not a surprise given four spell casting classes. Spells are listed alphabetically and range from 0-level cantrips to 9th level spells for each of the four classes. That is a major break from their old-school roots when only wizards had access to 9th level spells. The spell format itself is also closer to that of 3.x, though no XP penalties that I could see. The nest 20 or so pages deal with the Castle Keep (GM) of the game. This includes all sorts of advice on how to handle conflict, award XP and even how to set up an adventuring party. Good advice all around to be honest and enough to keep most groups going for a long time. There is also an appendix on multi-classing as an optional rule. I have not tried it yet, but it looks solid. Not as elegant as what you see in 3.x, but better than what we had in 1st or 2nd ed.

The Players Handbook is all most players will ever need and even some Castle Keepers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing (Alternate Cover)
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Engineering Castles
by Mixed S. .. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2018 12:02:10

A great little book about all the different kinds of castles that you might want to have in your world. It's a good mix of text and tables. It includes useful information about construction materials and what that might mean to both physical and magickal attackers, and it covers both castles based on the real-world as well as purely fictional principles (for instance, what might a demon lord use to construct a castle?).

A worthwhile read, and not a bad book to have handy at the gaming table for when your players stumble upon a castle that you hadn't planned on.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Engineering Castles
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A0 The Rising Knight -- Adventures for 5th Edition Rules
by Mark L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2017 16:13:07

I'm happy to see some content being created for 5E outside of the official sources made available by the original publisher.

This adventure is both complete and engaging, allowing the PCs to become familiar with the town in which the adventure is centered and the surrounding areas that will lead them to further adventures in later modules. As mentioned in one of the discussions, Hommlet comes to mind while reading over the characters and locations. I’m grateful that the level of detail isn’t nearly as granular as that module, though. There’s enough material to allow the PCs the freedom to explore nearly at will without need for the GM to steer them in a particular direction.

My one complaint would be the desire for better proofreading and editing. Consistent misuse of homophones indicates the writer and/or editor ensured the words remained the same throughout the test, but they are still incorrect. I’d welcome the opportunity to work up a list of changes or corrections whenever I read through this one again, or any of the subsequent adventures If I had a contact willing to accept them.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A0 The Rising Knight -- Adventures for 5th Edition Rules
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Creator Reply:
Hello Mark! Yes, we would welcome any proofreading corrections you may have. You can send it to productsupport (@) trolllord. com. Thanks!
Castles & Crusades: 100 Treasure Troves — Treasure Type 1
by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2017 08:09:11

6 Total Pages. Page 1 - Title, Author and Description page. Page 2-5 - A d100 type 1 treasure table. A decent listing of some nice type 1 teasures already laid out for you. Just toss the dice and point to the result and there you go. Baubles to Coins to weapons and a few magical items. It's a good spread with enough detail to give your players something good to oggle over especially the lower levels. Page 6 - Credits, contact and licensing. I got mine as part of a bundle for free but this table is worth a buck for any C&C CM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades: 100 Treasure Troves — Treasure Type 1
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Castles & Crusades Arms and Armor
by Tim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2017 13:18:42

A neuronphaser.com review.

Arms and Armor was updated during the Castles & Crusades "Three Sisters" (AKA core rulebooks) Kickstarter a couple years back (circa 2016), even though the cover pictured on this product page doesn't show it. What this means is that it is a COMPLETE reference for all mundane armors, helmets, shields, and weapons for the Castles & Crusades system, and with scads of pages of descriptive text noting physical features, measurements, and the history of each piece of gear, this is a useful reference for any OSR game, and probably most any D&D-derived system. There may be some historical inaccuracies -- I didn't note any, but that's not my field at all -- and you may see a lot of items with effectively the same stats, but any duplication in game stats is ignored when you have so much good detail on such a wide variety of items. In other words, the fluff is great, the stats are great, so anywhere you find duplication or superfluous distinctions can be ignored because the whole of the work is fantastic.

Opinion only, but I found a few stats wacky...but literally only a handful. And this opinion is almost strictly formed from having the same general damage notations for said weapons for YEARS. For example, the battle axe in Arms and Armor is rated at 1d6+1 damage and has a throwing range (albeit very short!), and the throwing axe is rated at 1d4 and has a slightly longer throwing range. These numbers are comparable to a shortsword and a dagger, respectively, and the low damage numbers on axes across the board suggests...I dunno. Maybe the writer has a problem with axes? Or maybe they were thinking of some weird critical hit rule that makes axes double their damage more often than swords...? I really don't know, but having played with battle axes dealing 1d8 damage for about 30-ish years just made this stand out, so I personally would take a look at things like that and consider them.

Now, as an off-hand mention, I'm planning to use this book in my Dungeon Crawl Classics games. In comparing the AC bonuses, the damage ratings, gear costs, and all that other stuff to the same in the DCC RPG rulebook, I found most things were a 1:1 match, and the few that weren't were rarely off by much. I quick skim of games like Swords & Wizardry suggests much the same. Point being: if you want to pick this book up and use it in your OSR game of choice, your conversion work is either non-existent or involves flipping a handful of numbers here or there, at most. That's hugely beneficial, and opens up hundreds of weapons, shields, armor, and helmets for any OSR game you care to play.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Arms and Armor
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Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing
by Keith G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2017 08:48:08

This is a great book (and system) for old and new players alike.

I recently (about 3 months ago) started up a "D&D Night" group at work. Myself and another we old greybeard players/GMs from the olden days and the others never played tabletop. They were all familiar with RPGs in the context of computers and consoles, but playing a tabletop, pen-and-paper RPG was new.

So in looking around, I wanted a rule set that was easy but still invoked the old school feelings. Most of my tenure was during the 2nd Edition days [mostly pre-Player's Option 2.5], with a smattering of AD&D 1st, BECMI D&D [where I cut my teeth initially], and some 3rd Edition. I originally though LL or OSCRIC to get really into the nitty gritty, but unless you were into that sort of thing back in the day, there is a bit a goofiness and complexity that may turn off the uninitiatied.

So I looked into C&C. It fit the bill perfectly. It plays like a lightweight AD&D 1st, mixed with some elements of 2nd, with the Seige Engine mechanics cribbed from 3rd's basic machanic. It's lightweight, plays to classic archetypes and mechanics to the point you can basically throw OD&D, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd materials at it with little thought or modification, and it works. Characters roll up quick, order of play is very straightfoward and a good deal of the rest can easily be roleplayed, ruled from the table, or house ruled in no time flat.

Although I have a soft spot for retro-clones and simulara (or amped up ones like DCC), C&C is an awesome fit for anyone wanting a simple, streamlined, yet classic D&D experience in the modern day.

In regards to this book, it is laid out well, covers everything it should, and not overburdened by too much. It is quite literally what I expect in the Player's Handbook. The art is of good quality and the quality of the PDF file is good as well. I was never a real fan of the faux parchment finish of a lot of RPG books, but since it is so ubiquitious, I will let that criticism slide.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing
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Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing
by Bruce M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 15:32:45

This is a great book with some great material. It is filled with excellent art and is very well written and put together. I highly recommend this book for both collectors and regular gamers alike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Domesday Book Issue VIII
by Matthew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2017 13:18:25

This is a fanzine for Castles & Crusades and it is 63 pages of fan created content including character classes, house rules, adventures and artwork.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Domesday Book Issue VIII
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