New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

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soullos
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New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by soullos »

I'm new to C&C. I got the free PDF of the Player's Handbook offered by Troll Lord Games (thank you!) as quarantine is in effect due to COVID-19. I've devoured the book and fell in love with the simplicity of the game. My mainstay is D&D 3.5, love it to bits. I don't have any nostalgia for earlier editions of D&D beyond passing knowledge of AD&D 2e being used for Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games, but C&C has a nice retro feel and simplicity I like very much and I can see where the inspiration comes from. It even has proper multiclassing!, none of that level dip nonsense 3.5 introduced back in the day that 5e didn't fix... >_>

So, I went crazy and got most of the main books and backed the third printing of the Castle Keeper Guide on Kickstarter, and I have a few questions related to magic items and monsters as I dive into M&T (I love how simple the monsters are, and wow some are deadly!).

1: Is there no Headband of Intellect? Every other Attribute gets a stat booster but the Headband of Int seems to be missing in the item lists. Seems like an obvious mistake, considering Manuals/Tomes and Ioun stones still exists for all 6 attributes.

2: Where in the books does it mention bonus types granted from magic items (enchantment bonus, natural armor bonus etc)? Because the game has 3.5 roots, I'm imagining the same bonus doesn't stack with itself. But where is that referenced in the C&C books themselves? I might've missed it. Also, the only mention of the Natural Armor bonus is from the Amulet of Natural Armor. Is that amulet suppose to exist in this game, seems like it missed the chopping block. Not even monsters get a natural armor bonus (which was all the rage with 3.5 monsters).

3: Is the Mantle of Spell Resistance that damn good!!?? SR 20 is pretty much immunity to all spells allowing SR, right? I know it's 200k, but still... O_o

4: Do Bracers of Deflection and Bracers of Armor stack? I'm leaning towards, no.

5: For Rogues and Assassin's, does Bracer of Armor impede their skill use on a bonus +3 or higher? (side note: I'm surprised they don't get Studded Leather as an armor they can wear normally).

6: For Making Poisons section near the end of the book in the second paragraph it says; "Further, the check is adjusted by cumulative penalties indicated in the parentheses in the tables below. Success indicates the poison is concocted successfully." But there are no parentheses in the table below, no penalties whatsoever either. What is it talking about? I'm confused. And furthermore, how long does it take to make one dose of a poison?

7: Not a question but I noticed some errors in the magic item tables. The Periapt of Wisdom listed on table 4.5D has the asterisk, *, next to it but the info listed there is only for 9 spells level consistent for Pearls of Power. Obviously this is a mistake and should follow the listings of prices similar to other stat boosters and a separate asterisk **.

Amulet of Health has the right listing for minimum and maximum gp value listed in Table 4.5A (4,000-36,000 gp) and the asterisk makes is easy to determine that for the +4 bonus (16,000). However, that is not the case for every other stat booster has 25,000 gp listed as the max value which would make is a +5 bonus, but stat boosters only boost a stat by +2, +4, or +6, so that's wrong. Belt of Giant Strength doesn't even list a value breakdown, just a range of 10,000-60,000 gp. But since there's 6 tiers of the belt, it's easy to assume 10k per tier, but even then, surprised that got missed (I'm starting to feel that the infamous proofing errors for TLG I've read online is not exaggerated, how did all these get missed!? After over a decade of publication and multiple printings!?).

Lastly, I wished each item description also listed its gp and xp value in their description instead of having to reference the tables all the time (which sadly has errors in it).

8: Now for some monster questions. What is the Intelligence of the Alkonost and Acephal monsters?

9: Does a Large monster have reach with their attacks? For example, the Aboleth has tentacle attacks. Do those tentacle attacks have 10ft reach or something? I'm guessing no, unless specified, but thought I'd ask.

10: For Initiative, it says the one with the higher Dex goes first in case of a tie. But monsters don't have Dex scores or any other attributes for that matter. So what happens when a fighter and a giant tie on Initiative, for example? Seems to be a strange omission considering how monsters are built. (how did that get missed 7 printings in for the PHB?)

11: Last but not least, if I want to convert magic items from D&D to C&C, what's better to use, 3.5 or AD&D 2e, as a baseline? Same with spells?

Ok, that's all for now (I found some minor editing mistakes, but I'll skip those for now). Despite my annoyance with the editing errors, I can't wait to get a C&C game going with my group. :D

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Captain_K
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by Captain_K »

First, WELCOME... you will really like it, its a great version of RPG... kind of old school kind of not.. but open to ease and story.. the CK gets to really run things... very little rule battling and number crunching... the community here is super helpful, but lately, a little absent.

Check out the Knight of the Crusade alternate site too. Free down loads there - you will get great stuff out of the Domesday Books too.

1) You know its missing, so make it. If you can type or write it on a sticky note, put it in the book.
2) I am not sure you will find detailed rules for stacking. Apply what works for your game, set up a few obvious ones most people do, 2 rings per body max, one suit of armor, one shield, one or two weapons, one cloak, etc. These are likely obvious, expand from there... if one suit of armor works.. how does natural armor under that work? stack? Your call. Just remember bloat and creep of pluses to hit and such. CnC at higher levels fighters always hit and the non-fighters can be much harder to hit anything in melee, so do not let AC get too high and similarly, do not let plus to hit get too high, so some rules are needed. Use that post it note, write in pencil, you may be revising your rules as you go... its OK, its your game now.

You can see how I would go from here. The books, especially older versions have lots of type-os... little post it notes to fix as you need. You can fix them as you think is right. This game is designed to be simple, make simple rules when you think they are missing. Logic is your frame to which you hang your fantasy.

Poison is kind of a mess, not laid out well, so you get to make your own logical system... in the end, its the "magic" for the assassin and the alchemist/herbalist.

Initiative, two ways to view, in 6 seconds everyone gets to act, live or die, the order is just how to resolve it. so two 1st level guys face to face can kill each other, attack, hit damage, both sides, then end of the round they both fall down dead. OR you can make it strictly in order, kill first, they do not get to act next... or only ties are true ties as in my first example. Your call, your game. Some folks add a + to initiative if DEX is a prime. Some use d10, I'm toying with 2d6 less DEX if a prime... then the numbers are half seconds within the 6 second round with many folks near the middle making for a fun melee AND more ties which resolve with no winner. So again, you make the call... PC always win ties OR DEX prime PCs win ties others loose. See how you can do this>

HOUSE RULES.. many folks have them, great sources of ideas.. you want mine.. shoot me a private message with your email and I'll shoot you some stuff via email.

By the way it all converts, just use logic and your base rules. A magic item is an idea that you set game mechanics to use, keep that in mind and how will it be used, abused, destroyed, "what the CK giveth, the CK taketh away"... when you no longer like what that darn item is doing to the game.

Cheers, and welcome.
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Lurker
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by Lurker »

First

Welcome . Like CK said, great community here, but it isn't as active here as it used to be. That said, with years and years of history here there is LOTS of ideas floating around that you can dig through and mine for all its goodness

For HRs, there are lots here, I have played for years under Rigon's GMing and I know his HRs, along with Tree's are chuck full of good rules and clarifications. I think Rig's is in his signature block, and Tree's rule are normally on the first page of any on line game her used to run.

I won't answer each of your questions, because the normal default of C&C covers most of what I would say any way - "What works best for your game, group & setting, What you and your players will enjoy most, is the right answer".

With that, if you notice a missing magic item you want to exist - like the int boosting head band - find something close to it and modify it as needed. Use inspiration from other rules and run with it.

For stacking, everyone has their own flavor. in their rules, some are very liberal, others very much less so. I tend to fall in the second camp, I prefer lower magic setting with Tolkien flavor, but that does not mean it is the 'right' view of the rules. If your setting is high magic then let thins stack and stack some more. Even for me, and being more restrictive, I will at the same time bend my own rules in some situations. a thief with even magic armor but facing higher level monsters and tougher fights that keeps getting beat up fight after fight and needs a little extra boost on their AC might benefit from that magic ring, where the fighter, with a high AC etc and is a tank in every fight , may not get the benefit that the thief does. Again the default of what is fun, and if the thief is at deaths door every other fight it isn't that fun.

SR is a powerful benefit. However, it depends on the target number of the SR kicking in. Plus there are monsters that have their own SR, so it will balance when that death knight shrugs off the spells the party fling at it.

I'll also echo what CK mentioned about creep on the bonuses and plusses, They can add up quickly so be careful about bloat. I have trouble with it myself, so you have to find your right balance for your game,

For monsters

Not sure on the exact monsters you mention. There is no 'by the book' for monster int outside the write up and implication. What are their primes Mental, physical, or both, If mental then they are as smart ofr smarter than the normal human, if not … well play it by ear as needed based on the write up.

For large monsters and reach, I -play my games as theater of the mind, so don't get that far down in the weeds, However, if it makes since that that giant with a club can smash someone 10, 15 ft away then do so.

Init I do the roll 10 (playing A&A I've gone with add dex) tie goes to highest dex, but I lean to the party going first unless it makes the narrative of the fight better to have the monsters be faster - either the monsters and described as small quick agile little buggers, or significantly stronger than the players.

Convert away. there is a little playing with numbers here and there but all in all it is easy to convers, at least old D&D, AD&D 1e / 2e - I don't have much from 3e or newer that I convert.

All that said

Welcome and enjoy
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soullos
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by soullos »

Thanks for the helpful replies. :D I've been scouring the forums for advice as I dive further into the rules. Lots of helpful advice and inspiration. :D It's unfortunate about all the errors, omissions and lack of clarifications on some things, but it's not a deal breaker. Most are easy to suss out and/or house rule. If or when a new printing is offered, I'll be sure to offer suggestions. :)

For the headband of intellect, if I roll a stat booster item on the random treasure tables, I'll ignore the exact item, and instead I'll roll a d6, reroll on 6, with each stat booster tied to a number, the headband being one of them. That way there's a chance to get any stat booster, minus the Belt of Giant Strength of course as that doesn't follow the +2/+4/+6 of the other stat boosters. :)

The Alkonost and Acephali monsters are in the 5th printing of M&T (from what I understand this printing now includes many of the monsters from the codex books, so maybe they're new for this printing?). Both of their saves are Physical.

For stacking, I'll probably just follow 3.5 style, the same bonus can't stack with itself unless it says it can (like the Primal Mark for the Skald). A bonus not defined with a type, will always stack unless it's from the same source. I want to run Forgotten Realms and high magic is my preference and fits the setting. My players love finding new, powerful loot. But I'll heed the advice here on making sure the bonuses don't get too crazy. :)

Shame about the poison rules. Guess none of the devs play assassins haha. Oh well. The general cost and effect are at least provided.

For initiative, I like the idea of defaulting to the player to go first in case of a tie in most situations. Keeps it simple. :)

Thanks again for the help. :D

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mmbutter
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by mmbutter »

It's a "rules lite" set of rules - the GM is encouraged to develop his own rules rather than having them all writen down in a set of books.

soullos
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by soullos »

mmbutter wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:00 pm
It's a "rules lite" set of rules - the GM is encouraged to develop his own rules rather than having them all writen down in a set of books.
Yep, I'm slowly getting into that mindset after so many years of 3.5 and other crunchy systems (even from 5e which is quite crunchy in many respects). Old habits die hard and all that. As much as I love D&D 3.5, I am loving the simplicity of C&C. It's very refreshing. I converted the Displacer Beast from 3.5 over into C&C and it was super easy to do. :D

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Captain_K
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by Captain_K »

Playing a cleric-assassin right now, have LOTS of cool poisons.. plant, animal, monster, etc. I harvest the CK makes up the rules for what that poison does, I use it till its gone... helps my arrows, spear, and daggers do more...

I got to crow for a minute.. FINALLY, at 7th level death stuck my first creature... a Frost Giant... in a cloud of butterflies (damn wand of wonder).. went in and removed his kidney in one bloody spear thrust.... and NO ONE saw it... all they found was me sitting on a dead giant.. covered in blood snacking on a fresh hot kidney pie!

So poison like so much else, is up to you and others.. serleran has a huge list of poisons.. again, shoot me a private message and I'll email you some stuff.
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maximus
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by maximus »

Welcome to the Crusade! As others have said, things aren't as active here as they used to be, but there still is a core group that checks in. I learned a ton on here just by searching around when I first started playing C&C. Rigon, Lurker, Treebore, and others were of great assistance as well. Have fun!

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maximus
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by maximus »

Captain_K wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:00 am

I got to crow for a minute.. FINALLY, at 7th level death stuck my first creature... a Frost Giant... in a cloud of butterflies (damn wand of wonder).. went in and removed his kidney in one bloody spear thrust.... and NO ONE saw it... all they found was me sitting on a dead giant.. covered in blood snacking on a fresh hot kidney pie!
Now that's cool!

soullos
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by soullos »

Captain_K wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:00 am
Playing a cleric-assassin right now, have LOTS of cool poisons.. plant, animal, monster, etc. I harvest the CK makes up the rules for what that poison does, I use it till its gone... helps my arrows, spear, and daggers do more...
Harvesting poisons is always handy and very cool. Cleric assassin sounds like a fun combo :D Is this the thread you might be referring to with the huge list of poisons from serleran? I found this going through old posts. :) Seems like a useful resource.
maximus wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:35 pm
Welcome to the Crusade! As others have said, things aren't as active here as they used to be, but there still is a core group that checks in. I learned a ton on here just by searching around when I first started playing C&C. Rigon, Lurker, Treebore, and others were of great assistance as well. Have fun!
Thank you. :) Yeah, these forums are jammed packed with great ideas and house rules. So much good stuff!

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Buttmonkey
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by Buttmonkey »

Monsters in C&C don't really have an intelligence stat like PCs, although there is a chart on page 11 of the 5th printing M&T that allows you to convert the intelligence descriptor in the monster stat blocks to an attribute value if you wish. Not all of the monsters' intelligence descriptors match the list. Just use what's in the monster stat block and go with it.

As to the two monsters asked about in the OP:

Alkonost are listed as being "very" intelligent. So play the monster as if it is very intelligent. "Very" doesn't appear in the conversion chart on page 11, but if someone put a gun to my head I would rule that "very" is equivalent to "high."

Acephali are listed as having "M" intelligence. I don't believe "M" is defined anywhere. Based on the monster description, I'd assume acephali have the same range of intelligence as humans, so intelligence will vary from imbecile to genius with most of the acephali being of average intelligence.
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

Post by jeffb »

There are many things in C&C that are left to the individual group/CK to determine, some are oversights,some are deliberate * The game is meant to work with various TSR editions of the game and is also fairly compatible with 3.0 (intentionally or not). It is probably safe to assume that experienced DMs are the target market, and therefore the potential CK is going to modify/interpret to taste based on past experience and desire. It's "anti-3.5".

The best headspace for being a CK is not "How do I do this?" but rather "How do I want to do this?" Like OD&D before it, C&C is a set of paints, not a set of instructions.


*Edit- it's not always clear which is which. I think The Trolls could do a better job with this.

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Captain_K
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Re: New to C&C, I have some Magic Item and Monster questions

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What a great summary!
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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