I really wish Troll Lord Games would put the Crusader Magazine / House Organ to bed already. Issue #22, which came out last December, even caused me to rant about it. I'll try to avoid the ranting this time.
Where shall I start? Perhaps the misguided attempt to take the magazine monthly? As the current issue is #24, that obviously was an impossible target. The funny thing is, the current issue feels as much filler as the last dozen have.
One improvement with the current issue is moving away from stapled binding to a glued binding. The cover is by Peter Bradley, and I generally like his work. It's nice and subdued this issue. It's also less cluttered with the table on contents inside, where it belongs. I'd link it, but I cant seem to find it on the Troll Lord's site (edit: found it, obviously).
Physically, the magazine is much improved. It's the filler I can't stand. What I want from Crusader, and what I haven't seen since it's earliest issues, is alternate rules for use with Castles & Crusades, a small adventure, creatures or magic items that ARE NOT ANOTHER SAMPLE from a soon to be released item. The last item is the worst of all fillers. I'm paying for something I'm expected to pay for again? Besides, it was already written, so it's just being thrown in as filler.
I guess this is an anti-filler rant without trying.
I look at an average issue of Signs & Portents from Mongoose, which is 100% house organ, and I find more that I could use in a C&C game at my table then I do in Crusader.
Issue 24 was a bit of a surprise when it arrived, as I thought my sub had run out. I suspect with this issue, it has.
At least there wasn't the usual guilt trip to try to raise subscriber numbers that Ward had been giving to his readers. That crap still has a bad taste in my mouth.
I really want to like the Crusader, but I can't. Even at $3.99 an issue it's a constant disappointment. None of this stops me from getting other stuff from the Trolls, but as far as the Crusader, this is my last one. Sadly, it wont be missed.
The Minotaur for Old-School Essentials
*Requirements:* Minimum STR 9, Minimum CON 9
*Prime Requisite:* STR and CON
*Hit Dice:* 1d10
*Maximum Level:* 8
*Armor:* Leather, including shield...