What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook - 7th Print Edition

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

TLG's Castle & Crusades Kickstarter Update

With just under a couple weeks left, the campaign is starting to heat up once again.  The first few days, the funding amounts grew by leaps and bounds unlocking a few stretch goals.  As it stands right now, this is where it stands:

$29,620 with 280 backers supporting the project.

That means (currently) that the average pledge amount is just over $105 per person.

While I love the game, I do view it as a bit of an uphill battle.  Some backers are undoubtedly the 'faithful fans' but it is encouraging that there are those who are coming to this particular campaign having heard of but not previously owning any of the material.  As I mentioned before, this is certainly something that is nice to see.

Castles & Crusades is a solid game and, why wouldn't it be given its foundations.  Of course, with the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons out on the horizon with release dates and prices confirmed, some gamers are curious (and more than a bit hopeful) that this new version will harken back to the 'good old days' of gaming.

Here's the truth of the matter and something I was lucky to learn back in 2006 around the same time I was looking and subsequently stumbled upon C&C.  Those golden days of gaming are really what you make of it.  It doesn't matter which system you choose to play or try to run as 'FUN' is the key.  For me, C&C fit the bill as it stepped away from the needless complexities that befell 3rd Edition D&D and the annoyances present in 2nd Edition AD&D.  It struck a balance *for me*.  In turn, I was able to present the sort of game that gave me the fun experiences I had when I first came across AD&D so many years prior.

Since then, I've come across other gems that share a common thread that I can relate with.  Swords & Wizardry and Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG are two other favorites of mine (and there are so many more out there).  Grab something have just have some fun with it.

Of course, since I am talking about the C&C Kicktarter, I should also point out what you are getting at this moment:

For the $99 pledge level, which is about $50 cheaper than the three books many are considering getting from Wizards of the Coast starting this August, you get the three core C&C books -- both in print and PDF.  Granted, the page count of the three books are not quite as extensive as what the new D&D books promise to be *but* the same classic 1st Edition AD&D books also don't come close either.  I don't think anyone will question the fantastic nature of this edition.  But I digress.

With current stretch goals unlocked, you get the three physical books and the PDFs to complement them -- two of which are going to be in full color (the PHB and M&T).  The plan is to do the CKG in full color as well but that stretch goals has not been unlocked... yet.  Along with the three books, three classic adventures that TLG published when they first started operations (years before C&C came about) are also included in print and signed by the respective authors.  These are 'The Fantastic Adventure', 'Vakhund', and 'Mortality of Green'.  I've run two of these before for C&C (using their d20 versions) and they were great fun to run -- I plan to do reviews of these in the coming days before TLG's campaign comes to an end.

It should be pointed out that 'The Fantastic Adventure' has never been published before for C&C and has been long out of print.  'Vakhund' appears to be also out of print but still available on RPG Now.

In an unusual move, TLG is also releasing the occasional hidden stretch goal in the form of different type of dice.  By the sounds of it, it seems like the idea is to release an entire set by the time the campaign ends and the final $45,000 color CKG stretch goal is unlocked.  But who knows... maybe they have other surprises in store.

Still, for $99, three hardcover books and their PDFs and three adventure modules and some dice (so far).  What's more interesting to me is the future stretch goals:

TLG is $320 short of unlocking a $30k stretch goal which is an electronic index of the three books.  Once 300 backers is attained, this same electronic index becomes a printed index companion for the books.  At $33k, another module is unlocked and this time it is 'Dzeebagd' which is the module that follows 'Vakhund' and both part of a trilogy.  While not revealed, it might be safe to bet that the third module will also be in an upcoming goal.  However, before that happens, the most impressive stretch goal of the project (in my opinion), is the planned 'Arms & Armor' book at $35k.  A free book for backers at the $99 level and above (like the other collector's modules) and the comparisons was a useful guide in the same vein as the classic Palladium book of Weapons and Armor.

As an added incentive to get to that $35,000 stretch goal, if reached by Friday by midnight (PST), a saddle stitched supplement for Epic Level Play will also be put together and given to backers at the $25 pledge level and up.  Some of this material is already in the CKG *but* it isn't in the PHB which only goes so far to detail advancement for the various classes.  Not every player will want to get teh CKG for this content but it might be nice to have and free is always a good thing.

Speaking of which, while there are several different pledge levels detailing different options.  A couple of the other popular ones are the $25 level where you get a hardcover and PDF copy of the PHB and the $45 which gets you the PHB and the M&T in hardcover and PDF.  The CKG, while expanding the game nicely, is something that many fans have gone on for years playing the game without.  $45 for two books and really everything you need to play the game (rules, monsters, and treasure) is a great deal given that it's still $5 less than the new D&D PHB will be selling for.  Not too shabby I think.  That said, you wouldn't automatically qualify for the extra modules and Arms book at the lower pledge but still gain other benefits from the campaign.  Of course, it should be worth noting that the campaign is also selling add-ons and TLG has stated that the combined total of your pledge is what counts in terms of what you quality for.  In other words, if you pledged at the $45 level but bought a $55 in add-ons, you qualify for the freebies given at the $99 level.

All around, this is starting to look pretty sweet!

If you want to check out the campaign, you can do so HERE.

(PS - By the time I finished writing this, the total climbed to $29,764 and increased by a couple of backers)