C&C Monsters

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Renshai
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C&C Monsters

Post by Renshai »

Hello C&C fans. I've been reading through these and the older forums, trying to decide if a move over to C&C would be good for me or not.

I've played 3rd Edition since before it was released and our group was chosen as playtesters of the month at one point.

I have, as you may have surmised, gotten tired of 3rd Edition, mostly because of the insane amount of prep-time that it requires of the DM.

So, here I am. I've ordered the two main books and I've been looking over the C&C Condensed PDF since this morning. The two books get here on Monday.

So far, only one thing is holding me back from fully embracing the game. That one thing is the way that monsters appear to be handled. I hope this isn't taken as me coming in here and attacking the way it was designed, because that is not my intention.

One thing that I did like about 3rd Edition D&D is that monsters had ability scores like any other character. If they had a decent strength score they got a strength bonus to their attack and damage rolls. If they had a high Dex they had a better reflex save and higher initiative. I really liked this. Monsters felt as alive as the PCs did. I always hated that 1E and 2E monsters didn't follow this process.

Now, I find that C&C has, at least from what I am getting from the Condensed version, followed this same process. Monsters seem like lists of stats that don't follow any sort of system.

Why does an Ettin have an 18 armor class? Bugbears and Hill Giants are pretty strong, why don't they have an attack and damage bonus when using their weapons?

I also like that different moster types had different hit dice. But thats not a huge issue.

Does anyone else have this problem? Are there rules for monsters that have ability scores in Monsters and Treasures?

Thanks for your help,

Renshai

Death Slaad
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Post by Death Slaad »

Sorry to disapoint you, there are no such rules in C&C. To me as a DM, that is a huge benefit, as it allows me to create monsters on the fly.

(Choose HD Type, #Attacks, Dmg, Special Abilities, if it has some, and Mental or Physical Primes... finished.)

But I see your point, not everyone thinks the fewer stats a monster has the better. There is a AD&D supplement that has got a rather simple method of correcting this, for "Elite" Opponents at least. There are tables in that book that quickly allow you to generate Monster stats.

I think it was the High Level Campaing supplement of late AD&D 2nd Ed., I am currently nowhere near my books, so I can't say for sure. Or just use stats as you think might be appropriate.

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Post by Renshai »

I'm not really disappointed, really. C&C is a really solid rules system and so far this is the only issue that I have with it.

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Post by Death Slaad »

I just read the describtion of the CKG, and it states it will have just these rules and quite a few other rules I am currently working on for my campaing... if this book just had a release date, I could spare myself a lot of work...

Renshai
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Post by Renshai »

Oh, well that is good news then. I was reading over at Dragonsfoot that it had been put on the backburner.

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Post by BeZurKur »

Welcome to the boards, Renshai. Now to your question, like Death Slaad pointed out, there are no such rules as of yet -- although I'm getting really interested in the CKG. However, as it stands I don't see the benefit to having stats for monsters. I understand how it can help for the internal logic, but it is at the expense of simplicity. For me, it is enough to know that a Hill Giant or Bugbear is stronger than any human. The bonus to hit are abstracted into the Hit Dice stat. My concern with rules regarding C&C is always the slippery slope. I prefer to keep it simple and appreciate C&C's basic approach. I'm not suggesting turning a blind eye to it but to see it as a strength instead.

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Post by Renshai »

I totally understand the approach of keeping it simple. However, beyond internal consistency, the Hill Giant gets a bth equal to his hit dice, just as a fighter does. But a fighter gets his strength bonus to the roll. For me, that is where I look for a bonus based on their strength.

I suppose in that case you could simply rule that giants get +4 to hit and damage simply for being giants. Thats a simple fix.

Oh and thanks for the warm welcome!

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Post by PeelSeel2 »

No reason why you cant use the monsters from 3.0 if you like the stats. I know I frequently make Orcs, Giants, etc. beefier by using stats. I also use etools a lot. I just ignore the stuff I do not want.
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Post by Renshai »

Yeah, that is good advice. How well does it balance with the core C&C classes though?

I've another question. What if you wanted a kobold, gobling or some other creature to be "a cut above the rest" of this species? Are their rules for dealing with this, or do you simply just raise their hit dice?

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Post by Philotomy Jurament »

There are no hard-and-fast rules for "advancing" a monster. Just start with the base creature and add the HD or abilities that you want (e.g. I think Monsters & Treasure mentions giving a gnoll the spells of a 4th level wizard). Personally, I much prefer this approach over defined rules for advancing or modifying creatures. It's a lot faster, and the DM gets exactly the creature he wants.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

I've never felt the need to know what the actual stats of the monsters were. We're given the primes (physical or mental) of the critters and the mechanics for checks involving thoses dont require the actual defacto attribute number.

If I want to make a critter a "cut above the rest" I handle it in multiple ways, depending on what I'm trying to accomplish.

Is Mu'tog, the leader of the orc raiding party, a veteran of many attacks on the surrounding settlements? Let him specialize in his two-handed sword.

Is Teggim, the cunning kobold, a bit more lightfooted than his fellows? Give him a few rogue class abilities.

If you need a little more, then bump the HD up one or two as well.

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Post by Renshai »

Yes, that is an easy way to handle it. I suppose just adding whatever bonuses you want whenever you want them is the way to go. Its easy to adjudicate and easier to keep track of.

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Post by Renshai »

Quote:
We're given the primes (physical or mental) of the critters and the mechanics for checks involving thoses dont require the actual defacto attribute number.

This means that all monsters don't benefit from being really strong, really dextrous, or having a powerful personality. Those numbers aren't built into the system for the monster.

Does the average Hill Giant or Ogre not get a Strength bonus to a physical save and a human fighter with a 15 strength does? It just doesn't "feel" right to me for some reason.

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Post by DangerDwarf »

Also, there is one of the 2nd Edition "Options" books, I believe the "High Level Campaigns" book.

One of the few things I actually enjoyed from the whole "options" fiasco was the scaling of critters found in the book. It had suggestions for making scions and paragons of the various creatures from the MM's. You might take a look at that as well.

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BeZurKur
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Post by BeZurKur »

Renshai wrote:
I totally understand the approach of keeping it simple. However, beyond internal consistency, the Hill Giant gets a bth equal to his hit dice, just as a fighter does. But a fighter gets his strength bonus to the roll. For me, that is where I look for a bonus based on their strength.

Yes, but monster hit-dice and class levels represent different things. While they are both abstractions, the monster HD goes even further. Consider a hill giant against a 9th level human fighter. It is unlikely the giant has the finesse and skill of the human, yet he has the same bonus. The rationale is that the monsters bonus comes from his natural ferocity and strength. The same goes for its hit points. It receives 9d8 because of its mass; the fighter has 9d10 to represent skill and luck. That is why I wouldn't hesitate describing an arrow doing max damage to the giant as a direct shot to the sternum, but less likely to do so against the human fighter. While similiar, they are subtle differences to what they represent.
Renshai wrote:
I suppose in that case you could simply rule that giants get +4 to hit and damage simply for being giants. Thats a simple fix.

And you'll be in good company if you do. I'd suggest however upping the XP reward.

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Post by BeZurKur »

Renshai wrote:
Does the average Hill Giant or Ogre not get a Strength bonus to a physical save and a human fighter with a 15 strength does? It just doesn't "feel" right to me for some reason.

This was posted while I was responding. This is another case of HD being a further abstraction than the class levels. The idea is that monsters are not worthy of a full writeup like a PC or important NPC is, hence the deeper abstraction. Again, some people use the 3.5 stat line. C&C is simple enough so you can build it up as much as you like. Just be wary of the edge and fall.

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Post by Renshai »

Good points all, especially about the abstraction.

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Re: C&C Monsters

Post by Shadowslayer »

I'm kinda thinking that this:
Renshai wrote:
...is that monsters had ability scores like any other character. If they had a decent strength score they got a strength bonus to their attack and damage rolls. If they had a high Dex they had a better reflex save and higher initiative.

might be one of the reasons for this:
Renshai wrote:
I have, as you may have surmised, gotten tired of 3rd Edition, mostly because of the insane amount of prep-time that it requires of the DM.

One of the reasons I dig C&C is that they went back to old style stats for monsters and baddies. For the most part, if I want to give something a boost, I'll just increase the hit dice. That works good enough for me.

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Post by moriarty777 »

The one thing I'd like to add of course is, considering that the creature stats are an obvious abstraction, they also indicate what 'Primes' are used under Saves (typically Physical or Mental and somtimes both). Play up on those... there is nothing saying that Strength is just a +6 in terms of certain saves. Hell there is nothing to say it has to be just a +6 period. How about a +8 instead (due to relative size perhaps).

The funny but easy thing about abstractions are the abstract solutions!

The biggest thing about Castles & Crusades is that it seems to advocate simplicty and some decent common sense. Being no stranger to 3.x -- you could easily use that for a reference if wanting to take into account. Then again, I'm also fairly certain that, from a Player's perspective, they probably won't even notice.

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Post by Treebore »

Like I said, if I want monsters to have some kid of bonus I give it to them. If I want it to have a Con bonus I give it. If I want it to have a STR bonus I give it. Especially in the cases of Trolls and Giants.

I don't, and never, need a 3.5 MM book to tell me such things. I give what I need to in order to make the monster/NPC challenging.

I kind of follow a general guideline where I give a +1 bonus for every 3 HD of a Creature. Usually I just give it what I want it to have. Kind of like of "God complex". Its my world so it will Darn well be anyway I want it to be.
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Post by Maliki »

Renshai wrote:
Yeah, that is good advice. How well does it balance with the core C&C classes though?

I've another question. What if you wanted a kobold, gobling or some other creature to be "a cut above the rest" of this species? Are their rules for dealing with this, or do you simply just raise their hit dice?

Raising the HD is usually enough for me, everything resolves around its HD (HP, to hit rolls, saves).

As for monster stats, I really don't want a full set of stats, but I would have liked something like, "ogres get a +3 to damage due to their great strength".

I mostly like this for humanoids and as a houserule orcs & hobgoblins get +1 to damage, gnolls & bugbears get +2, ogres get +3, and giant get +4.
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Post by Renshai »

Maliki wrote:
Raising the HD is usually enough for me, everything resolves around its HD (HP, to hit rolls, saves).

As for monster stats, I really don't want a full set of stats, but I would have liked something like, "ogres get a +3 to damage due to their great strength".

I mostly like this for humanoids and as a houserule orcs & hobgoblins get +1 to damage, gnolls & bugbears get +2, ogres get +3, and giant get +4.

That is exactly the same logic I was planning to follow.

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Post by falrinth »

The issues raised in this thread are exactly why C&C suits my DMing (CKing). Like Treebore, I've always just taken my own initiative when applying bonuses/penalties to monsters. When I DMed 3rd Ed. and 3.5 I spent SO MUCH time referring to lists of rules that ultimately returned the same results I'd come up with on the spot. Such a waste of time, but I felt I had to bow to the rules because if this was what we were going to play, we may as well play it right.

So, for a DM like myself, when C&C came along and encouraged me to make up the modifiers on the spot it was so liberating!

I guess if I'd never DMed anything but 3rd Ed (not suggesting this of you, Renshai), then C&C might seem a little like an incomplete or haphazard system, but in operation it's the opposite. It's quick, versatile and logical.

Love my C&C!!!

Please excuse the gushing!
Welcome aboard Renshai! Hopefully you find C&C to your liking!

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Post by Renshai »

Thanks for the welcome, falrinth. I can understand your point. I haven't had a chance to play C&C yet (my books don't get here until tomorrow), but I do plan on spending next weekend playing with my son. He is currently running multiple characters in a 3.5 game using Goodman Games DCC modules. Its a bit too much for both of us to handle. Too may rules to track, feats, skill points, modifiers and the like, it just gets to be too much at some point.

I will admit that I am on the fence about the game and that part of me, after being so involved with D&D 3.x for so long C&C does feel "incomplete" next to it. I realize that this isn't the case, but it I guess its more like a case of "culture shock". I'm having a hard time leaving behind all of those extra rules because I was used to them for so long.

I come from a 1E background, having played through all the original modules in high school and later running a long lasting 2E Forgotten Realms game.

Actually, it was looking back at how much fun I had running my 2E game, how little prep-time it took to run a good game back then and the more free-form feel that got me to look at C&C.

Now, I've got some diehard 3.x fans in my group. Two of them are heavy tinkerers and love having all the extra little bits to customize their characters. I am trying to tell them that their character is made unique by his background and story, not by his feats and skills. As I am still having a hard time letting go of all that as well, I'm not sure how effective this argument will be.

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Post by serleran »

As the person mostly responsible for the monster write-ups, I can say this: it was decided that monsters do not require attribute scores in order to run them. Having such things are "nice" for other things, but seeing as the intention of a monster is to threaten and challenge the party... combat is the major focus. That said, I don't take offense to "there is no pattern" because there isn't supposed to be one. Monsters shouldn't be formulaic, as they then stop being "fantastic" and turn into a mathematical equation... all sense of "wonder" is lost if you know, and must follow, some preset scheme.

Anyway, there are ways to determine attribute scores for them. I have posted on it before. Others have posted on it before. The CKG is supposed to contain something on it, too.

Using D&D stats straight out will be problematic, as the numbers in D&D are nearly always higher, and the bonuses start earlier, and get higher. An 18 in d20 is a +4, for example, but only a +3 in C&C. So, if you decide to use the D&D scores, for anything 19, divide by 3, and add 12 (this means a 19 - 24 becomes an 20). Its not perfect and some ad hoc may be required.

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Post by Arten »

falrinth wrote:
The issues raised in this thread are exactly why C&C suits my DMing (CKing). Like Treebore, I've always just taken my own initiative when applying bonuses/penalties to monsters. When I DMed 3rd Ed. and 3.5 I spent SO MUCH time referring to lists of rules that ultimately returned the same results I'd come up with on the spot. Such a waste of time, but I felt I had to bow to the rules because if this was what we were going to play, we may as well play it right.

So, for a DM like myself, when C&C came along and encouraged me to make up the modifiers on the spot it was so liberating!

I guess if I'd never DMed anything but 3rd Ed (not suggesting this of you, Renshai), then C&C might seem a little like an incomplete or haphazard system, but in operation it's the opposite. It's quick, versatile and logical.

Love my C&C!!!

Please excuse the gushing!
Welcome aboard Renshai! Hopefully you find C&C to your liking!

I concur, Doctor!! (thumps chest) When I saw the C&C system I realized that I'd gotten burnt out on DM'ing because of trying to keep track of all the crunchies. Even though I feel kinda down that I've got all these books with tons of cool rules that I probably won't use now, I realized that our group never used them much anyway - just too much to keep track of for the players.

For me, the sheer volume of options began to smother my creative spark. Right before I saw C&C mentioned on some forums I was tinkering with removing feats from my game... something, anything to reduce the things I had to keep track of.

I realized that towards the end of using 3e, I had been just statting monsters with HP, AC, Bab and Damage, and maybe a special ability, and then the page # of the book it was in.

I'm looking forward to just adding HP or a bonus to damage or maybe a stomp attack and not feeling like I'm somehow messing up the CR system and the xp the players get.

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Post by Renshai »

Thanks to everyone for their input. It helped alot.

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Post by serleran »

Welcome to the Crusade.

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Post by Grazzt »

For one of my recent one-off games of C&C, I used ability scores for monsters (basically their 3.5 scores with a little bit of tweaking).

Worked quite well. Just gotta remember to add Str bonus on attack and damage rolls and Dex mod to Initiative checks (we use 1d20 + Dex). I just made a note in the monster's stat block (ala 3.x).... "Claw +4 melee (1d4+1)" for example.

Didnt add much work at all to prep time (and definitely wouldnt the next time since ive got several monsters with ability scores already statted out). No feats, no skills, etc...so prep time is not a problem.

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Post by baran_i_kanu »

serleran wrote:
As the person mostly responsible for the monster write-ups, I can say this: it was decided that monsters do not require attribute scores in order to run them. Having such things are "nice" for other things, but seeing as the intention of a monster is to threaten and challenge the party... combat is the major focus.

This is the thing I remind myself the most when I stat up an adventure.

Also the monsters, as listed, are AVERAGE members of their species.

Compare that to the average member of the human species, the 1d6 no level commoner or even the average 1st level fighter.

That really puts the power level of the listed monsters in perspective in terms of HD, saves, Ability checks, etc.

It also underscores how special and powerful the average adventurers (ie. the Heroes) and Important NPC's are.

Beowulf tore Grendel's arm off, not the 0 level servants nor the 1-3 level Fighters Heirot had in his hall.

Now if I want some special monster to challenge them (Leader, Boss, Champion, etc) then I will add on the Str Bonus to damage and other little fiddly bits.

But for the run of the mill monsters I personally don't want added bookwork for my game.

Just my two coppers.

dave

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