What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Immortal Figures: Gods of Olympus

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kickstart This: C&C Adventurers Backpack

Ending in under three days is the latest project being crowdfunded on Kickarter, the Adventurers Backpack for the Castles & Crusades RPG. But before I talk about this new book, I want to talk about an old classic -- the Unearthed Arcana for AD&D.

The Unearthed Arcana always held a special place on my gaming bookshelf, and given how I got started into AD&D, I've always viewed it as a great and special book. When I started gaming, I came a bit late to the party. TSR had just released second edition so the first books I cut my teeth on were the newer PHB and DMG.  A friend of mine had some D&D boxed sets so we mixed and mashed as necessary. The thing is that, this other book I saw had a class called the cavalier and another for the barbarian.  These were fantastic classes and why they weren't available in my copy of the Players Handbook was just weird and sadly disappointed.  In that single moment of discovery, the Unearthed Arcana became very important to me and my game.

Looking back now and knowing a bit how the Unearthed Arcana came about, I also understand why many first edition gamers took kindly to this book as well -- new classes, spells, and a few oddities.  It was just so much more material that, in one fell swoop, brought in a breath of fresh air to a game that had seen countless hours of adventure!

This is what the Adventurers Backpack could very well end up being for Castles & Crusades.

The first iteration of the Castles & Crusades game came out over ten years ago.  It was a white boxed set and contained three booklets. This was quickly followed by full length gaming books, a multitude of adventures and accessories, and small but dedicated and ever-growing fan base. Along with the Castle Keepers Guide that had been talked about for years but took at least five to finally materialize, the Adventurers Backpack was a project that had been talked about for what seems just as long.

A brief preview was released as a booklet in the Black Collector's Box set released at GenCon 2014 and it previewed 4 new classes, some new spells, and a selection of 'pre-packed' backpack lists to quickly equip characters.  The Kickstarter is funding a much larger book that builds upon this preview.  There are 13 new classes in all which are, class variants and complements to the current 13 core classes in the Players Handbook.  There will be, for instance, a Thief class which will have some different skills to make it standout from the Rogue class we already know and love.  There will be a different sort of ranger suited for a more 'urban' environment (the name of which is still being finalized).  Some new spells and non-derivative ones at that ... totally new spells which also build up and expand as the character advances in level.  Pre-generated equipment lists (aka 'backpacks') for all the classes, as well as some oddities and advice.  Due to special request, I would be fully prepared to see a section devoted to Pole-Arms too ... much like the Unearthed Arcana had.

Of course, being a Kickstarter, there is a bunch of other goals and loot to be had!

The book itself will be a full-colour hardcover in other to best complement the current, existing corebooks and Codex of Aihrde for Castles & Crusades.  At over 150 pages, it should make for a nice book to add to the gaming bookshelf.  Along with this, there are plans for a deck of Equipment Cards for reference and, upon reaching a particular strech-goal, this deck will be expanded up to 52 cards and double up as a deck of playing cards.  Poker anyone?? There are also bookmarks, additional free books and adventure modules (some already achieved and others being just around the corner) as well.

Depending on the pledge level, you can just go in at $1 and pick and choose a variety of add-ons providing a great chance to pick up a few things you may not already have.  There is a $20 PDF only level and a $40 level which gives the physical book and PDF.  The most popular is the $59 level.  At this level, you get the main book in physical and digital format, a deck of equipment cards, a nice dice pouch, and eligibility to a bunch of stretch goals (currently bookmarks and two modules).  Presently, the campaign is less than $1,800 for the next stretch goal which is a perfect bound copy of a book that combines the full PHB and Adventurers Backback in one volume!  There are a couple pledge levels higher though it is significantly more in comparison.  But, by pledging at $150 you get everything mentioned in the $59 level plus a nice, heavy duty canvas back pack, lapel pin, t-shirt, water bottle, and a digest version of the book as well.  That backpack looks GREAT!!

If you also like the TLG leather copies of their books, you have an option to get it hear as well, either as part of the highest tier or as a separate $50 add-on which is a pretty good deal IMO.

In any event, if your curious to know more, head on over HERE and check it out.  There is about 48 hours left to go and a few more stretch goals that would be nice to hit.  It is shaping up to be a great resource for fans of Castles & Crusades and with other projects constantly being wrapped up, this is looking like a great buy-in.