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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Questions (and Answers) as to Why I'm Going to Run Crypts & Things With My "Lapsed Gamers Group"


One of the players in my "Old Gaming Group" and very good friend of mine, sent me an email earlier tonight asking me why i chose Crypts & Things for the "Getting the Band Back Together" Sunday Morning Campaign.

The questions he asked were spot on, so I figured I'd share the questions (and answers)

Tony is asking the questions, and I'm the one providing the answers ;)

I have a soft spot for the 'dark' low magic fantasy worlds since during junior high / high school and college I was always reading novels such as Elric and F. Leiber stories as most of us were back then.

I know you talked about this on your blog a bit and again I think Crypts and Things is a great choice but I am curious why you didn't pick some of the other systems that I have read about on your blog.

Q - OSRIC - Was the main reason it too expensive for Chris and Barry to get into?  Is it a bit too complicated for a new player?   You gave me a copy of rules which I am thankful for but I never read it so I don't know much about the system but I planning on reading soon. 

A - OSRIC is AD&D 1e without Unearthed Arcana and the subsystems that no one really used. It's what i run on Saturday Nights - It's also a beast of a book to read (about 400 pages) - PDF is free, oversized pocket paperback is about 10 bucks ( think) plus shipping, but 400 pages is a lot of reading to expect for lapsed / returning / new gamers - smaller typset too.

Q - Pathfinder - Not old school like Bry wanted?  I don't own this but if I am correct it is based off of D&D 3.5 right?  So definitely not the D&D we grew up with but still D&D 3.5 is a cool system.  agreed?

A - It's a good system but very "crunchy" (heavy rules wise), much more crunchy than i enjoy these days. I would have loved it during my college years. The Beginner Box for Pathfinder is as crunchy as I'd ever go, but I feel more relaxed with the OSR games.

Q - Bry mentioned D&D 4.0.  I know you won't run that game and I don't like it either. Assume we both don't like it since it it too much like an MMO. I never played but with all of those rules a single combat must take forever (very much not like an MMO ironically).  I do own the books and I do like the fact that two players of the same class would be different because you select powers but it was way too 'crunchy' as I have heard you say in your blog. Is that the main reason you don't like 4? 

A - Combat as you have surmised is a horror. The crunch factor is huge, but the way the powers are set up, possibly not as bad as Pathfinder. But you need to use battlemaps and minis (some may say otherwise, but as written and designed, you do), and that's not how I roll. That, and "Healing Surges" still make no sense to me ;) If you want to listen to a podcast of actual 4e gameplay, try Drunks & Dragons - it's entertaining

Q - Adventurer Conqueror King - I don't own this one. why not this system?  Too difficult for a new player? Not enough like D&D for Bry?

A - ACKS is a fine system. I ran it over the spring / summer of last year. We used some classes from the beta version of the Companion, which were slightly broken (too powerful). I'd run it again, but as many of the classes / races seem setting specific, I'm waiting on the setting to flesh things out.

Q - Dungeon Crawl Classics?  - again I don't own.  curious why it didn't make the cut?

A - I love DCC. I had a blast running some session in the summer and fall. The book is HUGE! (nearly 500 pages) and  would have scared folks away. All that being said, I plan on converting some DCC RPG releases to C&T down the line. I think they'll fit really well.

Q - Savage worlds ? - I don't' own this either.  Not enough like D&D?

A - Definitely not like D&D. I don't fully "grok" the system. That being said, I'm dying to run some Soloman Kane ;)

Q - LofP - you gave me the rules and magic book. I have looked it over.  looks cool but a bit over the top horror which is not really the way we played back in the day so I can see why you didn't pick that.  right?

A - LotFP WF was tempting and the rules are available for free in PDF. That being said, I'd have had to have houseruled the shit out of it to get me where I want it, and that kinda defeats the purpose. Also, I think folks would have complained with the "only fighters ever increase in combat ability" part among others.

Q - Dark Dungeons - you gave me this book - I have not read it yet but again wondering why you didn't pick this?  looks cool.

A - No particular reason except it hasn't been on my radar recently. Well, and it suffers from being huge in page count, which is fine for active gamers, not great for lapsed gamers.

Q - Finally - Tunnels and Trolls. I have an 1986 paper back called.  'tunnels and trolls' the complete fantasy game rule book.  I think you gave this to me.  I know you like the system.  why not this one?  not D&D?

A - I love me some T&T. I really do. I want to run the game and I'm looking forward to the new edition releasing this spring. Not D&D, which is what folks wanted. T&T 5e is NOT the clearest set of RPG rules ever written. Not what i wanted to use to entice folks back to the Dark Side after 16 years of not gaming ;)

1 comment:

  1. Fun reading...everyone's preferences being what they are, I came to realize that the reason I end up favoring Pathfinder or Runequest is because I lean toward systems with crunchier mechanics because while I can always scale back the mechanic easily enough (and I do so regularly) it's more problematic to have to add things in to simpler systems (I've never been a fan of heavy house ruling). This has led me to situations where I want to run S&W or C&C and then before we know it we've added in skills and feats, and I'm wondering why we don't just play Pathfinder....or the reverse, where I'm running a crunch heavy system that doesn't scale back well at all like 4E, and find its lack of flexibility is equally problematic.

    So for your returning group why now S&W Complete? I have to check out Crypts & Things, though. I keep hearing good things about it. My understanding was C&T was further from D&D in the conventional sense, more aimed at sword & sorcery with the Tolkien surgically removed.

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