With Swords and Sorcery Style Gaming on My Mind, I'm About to Re-Read Crypts & Things
As nice as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperboria is as a game with a crapload of options and character classes, it doesn't really satisfy my sweet tooth for true Swords and Sorcery style gaming.
When I first got my copy of Crypts & Things last November (in PDF) I had just gotten married earlier in the month, just started a new supervisory position at work and had just commenced renovations at the house. I did a quick read of the rules and and didn't get to do the multi-part review I was hoping to get to. I wasn't running or playing in any games at the time either.
Now I've been GM'ing and playing again since the beginning of the year and I really have an itch for some Swords and Sorcery styled gaming. I think Crypts & Things is going to satisfy that urge for me. It doesn't hurt that the system is built off of Swords & Wizardry Core, a system I'm fairly comfortable with. Yes, I know all of the OSR games are fairly similar in set up, but some are just easier to run with than others.
Besides, Crypts & Things is much less cluttered than AS&SH (but I will be yoking classes from AS&SH as NPCs in other games, and possibly my ACKS campaign). The DCC ROG most certainly has a Swords & Sorcery feel, but I want to try a system that is lighter. That being said, the DCC RPG is the main factor in my renewed desire to try other S%S style gaming.
Here's a very nice list of what makes C&T different than vanilla S&W core (from page 4 of the C&T rulebook):
The Fighter has optional fighting styles, to add more options and fun and to differentiate between fighter characters.
Adds the Barbarian character class based off the version of the class originally published in White Dwarf 2 in 1977.
The Thief class., is a more martially-inclined version of the Thief, inspired by the Grey Mouser from Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories.
Adds the Magician class, which combines the spell lists of the Magic-User and Cleric, and then separates them into White/Grey and Black magic spell lists.
Higher Ability bonuses (+1 to +3) to highlight exceptional characters.
Removes the Cleric and Magic-user Class
No Elves, Dwarfs or Halflings..
No Turning the Undead either as a class ability or spell.
Life events. This takes the form of a simple table where characters roll a single D20 three times for starting characters to learn some of the events that occurred before they started adventuring and the benefits that they caused.
Rules systems A simple skill system based off the Saving Throw number. Used for class skills (such as the Thieves’ skills and Barbarian’s abilities) and other skills that the character may have picked up along the way.
Sanity rules. Wisdom is used as a measure of mental stability. This system is used for both taking mental damage for witnessing horror and for magicians casting Black Magic.
Altered damage rules. Hit points become a measure of exhaustion and fatigue – and are lost as a Magician casts spells. Constitution is used as a measure of physical health, and is lost once Hit points have been exhausted.
Back ground and Setting
Crypts & Things is based more upon the Sword and Sorcery works of Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber and Robert E Howard, than the more traditional Tolkienesque fantasy.
So, I'd say that all looks pretty good. I also have the introductory adventure Blood of the Dragon, which includes a small sandboxie setting. If all goes well, I may run this for a few session in September.
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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...