Is C&C a d20 game?

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
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Rhuvein
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Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Rhuvein »

From the Newbie Q2 thread.
Treebore wrote:
KeyIXTheHermit wrote: It's the best iteration of d20 I've ever seen.
I'll completely agree with that.
So . . I don’t know much about d20 games other than they are based on earlier versions.

And I played 3E very briefly.

So, my question is: Is C&C a d20 iteration?

My thought is no . . it’s an original game based on a fantastically original core mechanic to run the game . . the SIEGE ENGINE with elements of some d20 stuff and/or the SRD.

I have no problem with a d20 connection . . but just wonder if calling C&C an iteration of d20 is a stigma.

Am I splitting hairs or just plain wrong.

I welcome your thoughts!

:P
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Litzen Tallister »

The d20 System is part of the Open Gaming License, which was probably the biggest contribution 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons had on the field of tabletop role-playing games. As C&C continues to be "published under the Open Game License" it falls under the umbrella of the d20 system. I don't think being a d20 game is at all a stigma in that sense as many RPGs have made use of the OGL in their publishing, including Dungeon Crawl Classics and the Dresden Files RPG. The latter I have no idea how it manages to be under the OGL since it doesn't even use a d20, but this speaks to the opening of the gates the OGL provided for the gaming world.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

Its another D20 game because the mechanic is all based upon a D20 roll. IE combat, saves, attribute checks.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Arduin »

Treebore wrote:Its another D20 game because the mechanic is all based upon a D20 roll. IE combat, saves, attribute checks.
That isn't the definition of a "D20" game a la the Wizards OGL. Which is what is usually meant by a "D20" game.
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:Its another D20 game because the mechanic is all based upon a D20 roll. IE combat, saves, attribute checks.
That isn't the definition of a "D20" game a la the Wizards OGL. Which is what is usually meant by a "D20" game.
Maybe, but to me its always been the fact that the mechanic is all based around the D20, and got rid of percentile, etc...
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

I googled the definition of "iteration" before starting this reply. After reading the definition, I will say that I will not use that word in respect to C&C again. I think a better word would be "variant."

The OGL is in the back of the book, so that makes it a d20 game, yes, but I don't mean that it's a rip-off or in some way inferior. Just the opposite, Troll Lord Games did a great job of giving the d20 audience exactly what they wanted. How great? Well, now the new D&D 5e has cribbed notes from C&C and given us a new "simpler to learn and easier to play" version of the game.

And it's worked! Thanks to 5e coming out, I'm now even more in support of C&C. I missed the Kickstarter, but I fully intend to snatch up 6th printing when it's out. C&C won me over by being great, and D&D reinforced it by showing me that the only way they could compete again was by doing what C&C did years ago.

So, no, I was wrong. C&C is not an "iteration," at least not by definition. Maybe a "variant." I also like "alternative." :D

I get the impression that Rhuvein isn't a fan of d20, and neither am I. I like AD&D 2e and BECMI/Cyclopedia, but I didn't play them very much, because I felt that, although popular, they weren't very good, at least not compared to many other games.

Once 3e came out, I bought it, hated it, sold it, and swore never again. So C&C really had to overcome a great big negative modifier to win me over. I'd say -10 or so. But they did.

They rolled a Natural 20.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

KeyIXTheHermit wrote:
The OGL is in the back of the book, so that makes it a d20 game, yes, but I don't mean that it's a rip-off or in some way inferior. Just the opposite, Troll Lord Games did a great job of giving the d20 audience exactly what they wanted. How great? Well, now the new D&D 5e has cribbed notes from C&C and given us a new "simpler to learn and easier to play" version of the game.
The way I see it, C&C and Pathfinder fit on opposite ends of a spectrum, with Pathfinder being a more complex variant, and C&C being a simpler one.

I've played a few other simple d20 variants, and some have been good, but they held too closely to the standard mechanics and SRD, which caused problems with the game; chiefly that it was simpler because it was gutted, but the missing rules still were affected by other rules. In other words, they were simpler, but I still found myself running to the SRD to figure out how to do all the stuff that was left out.

C&C fixed all that by changing the core of the system. Unlike other simpler variants, going to the SRD won't help you here, so yes, in a way, you really are playing a brand new game.

As long as that OGL has to be printed on the last page, it's still officially an OGL game, but I will agree, at this point it's pretty much its own thing.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Arduin »

Treebore wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:Its another D20 game because the mechanic is all based upon a D20 roll. IE combat, saves, attribute checks.
That isn't the definition of a "D20" game a la the Wizards OGL. Which is what is usually meant by a "D20" game.
Maybe, but to me its always been the fact that the mechanic is all based around the D20, and got rid of percentile, etc...
The term "a D20 Game" was started with the D20 License. Before that we just called is Fantasy RPGs. I'm not saying what you consider as I have no idea about that or that it is the wrong way to think about it. Just what the term means to the gaming community at large.
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by ssfsx17 »

C&C is an OGL game, so can be placed in the same category as Green Ronin's True20. But it's not a "d20" game in the same sense that Arcana Evolved or Pathfinder are.

It's all just a bunch of semantics anyhow. Although my line of work requires me to be extremely specific about semantics, or else the world will explode.
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Daniel »

Saying pathfinder and C&C are both d20 games might be true on some level, but I can say with lots of experience in 3.X/Pathfinder that they are not the same.

They share some elements for sure. They have the same 6 attributes for example. But in my mind, I would not have added C&C on a list of d20 games I have played. 3.X, Pathfinder, BESM, Spycraft, Traveller20, Farscape RPG, or d20 Modern. While the subject matter was quite varied, they all still felt similar. But C&C does feel uniquely different.

C&C went on my "top ten" list almost from the start. It has a great feel and allows me to do what I wan to in an RPG environment.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:Its another D20 game because the mechanic is all based upon a D20 roll. IE combat, saves, attribute checks.
That isn't the definition of a "D20" game a la the Wizards OGL. Which is what is usually meant by a "D20" game.
Maybe, but to me its always been the fact that the mechanic is all based around the D20, and got rid of percentile, etc...
The term "a D20 Game" was started with the D20 License. Before that we just called is Fantasy RPGs. I'm not saying what you consider as I have no idea about that or that it is the wrong way to think about it. Just what the term means to the gaming community at large.
I understand that, but also consider, before 3E, all the mechanics were not based on the D20. In that regard, neither does C&C, since C&C uses a D10 for initiative.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

Daniel wrote: It has a great feel and allows me to do what I want to in an RPG environment.
Probably my single biggest reason for C&C remaining my number 1 preferred RPG for the last 10 years.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Snoring Rock »

I will not try to define D20 or argue why TLG publishes under the OGL. It just opens so nay cans of worms. I will say that TLG began as a 3rd party publisher of D20 material with the D20 logo on the front of ever publication. After some time, as the D20 movement matured, TLG looked to remove the things that make the game complicated. They removed feats and skills, and then simplified a few other things as well. C&C's roots are in D20. However, it's flavor is drawn from earlier editions (1e/2e).

Pick 5 spells at random from the PHB and go look up the same spells in 3.5 or Pathfinder. You will find almost exact language, word for word. Sometimes the trolls get a little too light on rules, so most of us go to the D20 SRD as a reference. The D20 mechanics (based on D20) for checks and apposed rolls for skills used a carefully crafted set of mathematics that increased with level. C&C rewound the clock and reworked the mechanic but left out the skill trees and feats. Usi8ng the d10 for initiative is throw back to AD&D. Nice touch. In so doing they had to fill in some blanks that came up. The siege engine was born. It handles all those things without feats and skills. The math is not all tied together so you can make changes without huge unintended negative consequences down the road.

Is C&C D20? Yes (by some definition of the use of the OGL). Does it have it's own mechanic and core? Yes. The siege engine is what makes C&C so different. It stands on its own. Take the siege engine out and you have a 3.5 game less the feats and skills and no way to resolve a lot of game situations. The siege engine, although not old-school, is the vehicle for injecting old-school feel back in the game. It is quick and the CK makes the decision. Tye CK makes the decision.....that is old-school.

The D20 era, if anything, because of the many rules, took some of the CK/DM power/story telling and gave it to the players. If anything, D20 games have more rules lawyers and discussion at the table over adjudication. Old-school lacks that. Those are my observations. It seems if you played D20 via 3.5/Pathfinder and come to C&C, you see the OGL element right way. If you come for AD&D 1e/2e, you see "those" similarities right away. It suits both if you like a rules-light game that plays on combat action that keeps moving and is "fast".

If you are hooked hard on the notion that multiple feats and skills trees equals fun, then this game may be difficult to understand.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Rigon »

I think I remember talking to Steve about this at a con many moons ago. Steve always described C&C as an OGL game and didn't like it to be called a D20 game. I think his explanation was that even though C&C was published under the OGL, it had it's own resolution mechanic and didn't have all the other crunchy stuff that makes up D20 games. That's why I call it an OGL game and not a D20 game.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by serleran »

C&C is a game borne from the OGL.

It is not a d20 system as being such would mean it adheres to the d20 license, which C&C does not.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Arduin »

serleran wrote:C&C is a game borne from the OGL.

It is not a d20 system as being such would mean it adheres to the d20 license, which C&C does not.
Thank you for the clarification.
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Then I shall replace my contentious comment with, "It is the best variation of OGL I have ever seen."

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Rhuvein »

Wow!

Thanks for all the great replies!

:P
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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

serleran wrote:C&C is a game borne from the OGL.

It is not a d20 system as being such would mean it adheres to the d20 license, which C&C does not.
I disagree, since the whole reason WOTC coined the term "D20 games" is because their nice brand new shiny D&D had all the mechanical rolls based on a D20. So since C&C has almost everything based on the D20, aside from Initiative, which I mentioned earlier, its very reasonable to call C&C a "D20 game" since it too has the D20 as its central resolution dice. So while all this talk about the licensing and OGL is well and good, and correct, it still ignores the reason for the origin of the term. So when you take into consideration WHY 3E was marketed as a "D20 game", then its rather obvious why C&C would be called one as well.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Traveller »

Tree, by your definition, Paranoia XP is a d20 game as all its die-rolling mechanics are based on a d20 roll. Yet Paranoia XP is not an open-licensed game and does not have an OGL somewhere in the book. So I would say you need to narrow your focus a bit. I'd say you'd want to add something about the OGL to your definition, except Mutants & Masterminds 3d Edition looks nothing like a d20 game, yet it uses a d20 for all its rolls, and also has an OGL.

You cannot classify games based upon the dice they use, just as you cannot classify games based upon the fact that some of the material is available for anyone to use. Hasbro/WotC defined a "d20 System" game as one that required the d20 Players Handbook to use, meaning it uses those basic mechanics without alteration. Games using only the OGL do not have that restriction. That freedom is what allows Castles & Crusades to take mechanics such as feats, skills, and attacks of opportunity, and chuck them into the dustbin.

However, I really think this discussion is a non-starter. Castles & Crusades is its own game. It doesn't matter whether it uses the OGL or whether it was created from an overdose of Dr. Pepper. It has enough differences from other games that it can't be cleanly classified as X or Y. Attempting to label it as X or Y is quite bluntly a waste of time.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by serleran »

Disagree all you like. Reality is another story.

A d20 game is anything that uses the d20 STL -- that is, the license that allows one to actually, legally, call it a d20 game. The license is, itself, called the d20 System Trademark License. It gives the publisher use of the d20 logo, use of terms like "d20 game" and so on.

One does not have to be adherent to the d20 STL to be an OGL game -- they are distinct licenses and provide for different things a publisher may want to achieve. The d20 STL was what one needed to mark their game "compatible" with other d20 games and products.

The OGL, for example, cannot be revoked... the STL can, and was, as far as I know (or recall and I could be wrong) when 4th edition was released.

If C&C were a d20 (STL) game, publication would have been forced to cease.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

I'll definitely disagree all I like. The license is not the end all be all to being called a D20 game. Simple as that.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Traveller wrote: You cannot classify games based upon the dice they use, just as you cannot classify games based upon the fact that some of the material is available for anyone to use. Hasbro/WotC defined a "d20 System" game as one that required the d20 Players Handbook to use, meaning it uses those basic mechanics without alteration. Games using only the OGL do not have that restriction. That freedom is what allows Castles & Crusades to take mechanics such as feats, skills, and attacks of opportunity, and chuck them into the dustbin.
Okay, I started this mess, and now I'm throwing my fat into the fire again. Here's what I think now (if you care):

The basic core of the game, minus the Siege Engine, comes from AD&D 1e. Side by side, these games are recognizably similar. Now, everyone here knows that this was intentional. C&C was intended as a stylistic throwback to AD&D 1e.

All of the TSR products that are part of the D&D family are the original D20 System. WotC's legal nomenclature notwithstanding, even 3e is a recognizable outgrowth from what came before (especially if you have the 2e "Combat & Tactics" book, from which most of the 3e combat stuff was taken).

To that end, I'll still contend that C&C is a D20 System game, in that it uses material intentionally taken from D&D, instead of creating its own system from the ground up. In this case, it was done on purpose as a reaction against 3e (citation needed; my understanding is that they were trying to make a simplified version of the game that hearkened back to the previous era). It's not bad-mouthing the game to note that it's derived from an earlier game, using material that they took from another game that they were legally allowed to use, and then added some ideas of their own into the mix. None of this is an attack.

However, by legal definition, if it went into a court, it appears is that the legal name for it is an OGL game. I admit, I tend to use the terms OGL and D20 somewhat interchangeably because, well, I'm not really hip to all the details of what exactly makes one what it is (this thread has helped a lot with that, thank you all).

So, while I still contend that it is a variant of D&D, specifically the first edition, I also now understand that it is legally an OGL game, and that this is not necessarily the same as D20 game. I also don't consider calling it a D20 game a pejorative, either.

My biggest sin was calling it an "iteration." By definition, I think that's the wrong word. I stand by "variant," however.

The term D20 System game, while possibly technically correct, is not legally correct. It implies certain legal requirements that are NOT a part of C&C. So, while it may have its basis in D20, it is NOT a D20 game in the legal sense of the term. I think it is important to make this distinction so that lawyers cannot take away our game.

It is, legally and by definition, an OGL game, however. This does mean it was derived from rules set forth by WotC, but can be considered it's own game under that definition. Whether or not it's actually derivative (e.g. uses spell names like Magic Missile), the OGL still permits it to be published as its own game, which cannot be revoked. Again, this is important, to all of us.

So, what have I learned? I have learned that the correct thing to say is, "Castles & Crusades is the best OGL variant I have ever seen." That is true and legally correct.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by Treebore »

All the Licensing does is restrict you to using and following the OGL. Anyone else, ANYONE, can call their game a D20 game when their mechanic is all based upon rolling a D20 for resolution. They simply cannot claim compatibility with WOTC's D20 game, or use any of their logo's, etc... because THAT is what is copyrighted. After all, game mechanics CANNOT be copyrighted or patented, as is specifically spelled out in US Copyright law. So any RPG, including Paranoia XP, can be called a "D20 based game", they just cannot infringe upon WOTC's copyrights as far as their marketing designs used. Plus I seem to recall WOTC cancelling any and all licensing for use of their D20 logo's. So anyone else doing any such marketing as a D20 based game will have to come up with their own designs. Or jump on the Pathfinder bandwagon, which many have done.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by serleran »

Use of the vulgar definition does not make it catholic.

Ha!

I had forgotten how fun disagreements here can be.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Treebore, I'm using the term D20 Game as a proper noun in this case. Perhaps I should say D20 System instead of just d20 game?

I'm speaking of the D20 System, like, for example, the Tri-Stat System, Cortex System, etc. I know that game rules cannot be copyrighted, but you're taking a heck of risk if you just crib the whole system and pass it off as your own. If I were to make my own game using the same core mechanic as Tri-Stat System, including calling the three stats "Mind, Body, and Soul," I would not be surprised if I still ran afoul of trademark law. Now, if I called them, "Mental, Physical, and Spiritual," I could probably get away with it, but people would probably still consider me a rip-off artist, because I'm clearly stealing ideas and not crediting them.

None of this is true with D20 System games, of course. Those games did not steal anything, because they were legally able to use the D20 System. Games like Everquest, Game of Thrones D20, Conan by Mongoose Publishing (which also made huge changes to the system, enough that I would call it its own game), Sovereign Stone D20, BESM D20, and so on. These are all other games from other companies using a recognizable house system called the D20 System (and, of course, there are many, many others).

Sure, lots of games can use a d20 for the core mechanic, like the recent Savage Kingdoms RPG, and say it's a d20 game, as it uses only a d20 for action resolution, but it is not a D20 System game, as it uses none of the rules from the WotC game in any fashion, and uses a totally different mechanic for resolution.

That's what I'm specifically referring to when I say D20 System.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

serleran wrote:
I had forgotten how fun disagreements here can be.
Glad you're enjoying yourself, Serleran! :lol:

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by serleran »

Shadowrun must be part of World of Darkness. It is a dice pool system, and therefore, subject to all terms and quantifiers of the same. The specific type of die in the pool is irrelevant.

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

serleran wrote:Shadowrun must be part of World of Darkness. It is a dice pool system, and therefore, subject to all terms and quantifiers of the same. The specific type of die in the pool is irrelevant.
I'll do you one better, Serleran: Sovereign Stone, before it was made into a d20 system game, was made using its own system. That same system was cleaned up, improved on, and became the Cortex System.

So, is Sovereign Stone (pre-D20) a Cortex System game or not?

It's like the old "Which came first, the chicken or the egg" conundrum!

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Re: Is C&C a d20 game?

Post by serleran »

Dark Conspiracy, originally, was a percentile game. It then was updated to a d20 mechanic for resolution, similar to Call of Cthulhu was. Therefore, every game is a d20 game as all games are percentile in one factor or other, being ratios of success and probabilities. This includes those which use no dice -- if there is a chance of failure, there is a probability, and that is a fraction; ergo: percentage.

d20 is truly the one system to rule them all.

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