Castles & Crusades is basically a top-notch homebrew D&D variant, with a modern approach to the Old School aesthetic. It has all the AD&D classes, stats, and saving throws; in fact, it’s easy to convert primordial Gygax-era TSR modules to C&C on the fly, in realtime at your gaming table. But C&C is no retroclone; its fast-playing, low-prep SIEGE Engine uses a single unified task-resolution mechanic for nearly everything. It’s effortless to house-rule and to referee almost any situation on the spot. C&C fans talk with admiration about how the rules “just get out of the way.” Combat conjures an exciting Old-School feel without THAC0, negative Armor Class, or weird saves. If anything, it’s a retroclone of a hypothetical “AD&D 2.5″ — a loving and skillful streamlining of AD&D 2e.
1. CASTLES & CRUSADES ESSENTIALSThis resurrected, updated, and revamped Essentials collection provided everything you need for a complete Castles & Crusades campaign. There werefour titles in this offer’s Player’s Collection (retail value $55) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
- Players Handbook 7th Printing (retail price $20): The latest printing of the complete full-color rulebook, replacing the original offer’s 6th Printing.
- Arms & Armor (2016 version, retail $12): This updated and fully illustrated edition presents a huge range of weapons and armor from Europe’s early medieval period, all with complete C&C stats.
- After Winter’s Dark – A World of Aihrde Primer (retail $10): An exclusive introduction to the C&C campaign setting, available only in this offer and nowhere else.
- Character Reference Sheets (retail $12): New in this revived offer, these six custom character sheets present class-specific information for all 13 base C&C classes.
- Castle Keepers Guide (retail $36): The massive, indispensable 352-page gamemastering resource.
- Monsters & Treasure (retail $20): New in this revival, this is the primary monster manual and treasure trove for C&C.
- Classic Monsters (retail $20): C&C adaptations from fantasy roleplaying’s earliest sources, like Monster Manual II and the Fiend Folio.
- A01 Assault on Blacktooth Ridge (retail $7): An introductory foray, set in the region north and east of Aihrde’s civilized lands, against Rottenkip the Goblin King and his fearless ogres and trolls.
- Castle Keeper Combat Screens (retail $5): Reference panels and combat charts to help the beleaguered CK.
2. CASTLES & CRUSADES +2 [new]This all-new +2 companion presented many supplements that extend your Old-School, new-rules campaign in all directions. There were four titles in this offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $45):
- Mystical Companions (C&C version, retail $21): Every kind of magical familiar from homunculi to paladin mounts, from cats to hippos, plus rules for becoming a Dragon Rider. (Previously published as Book of Familiars.)
- Of Gods & Monsters (retail $10): The comprehensive guide to C&C‘s deities and demigods.
- Expanding Classes (retail $7): Multiclassing rules for all C&C base classes.
- Elemental Spells (retail $7): A big spellbook by TSR veteran James M. Ward (Gamma World).
Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to these two C&C offers’ designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop RPG creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.