June 21, 2010

If You Like Castles & Crusades So Much, Why the Hell are You Playing D&D 3.5?

I’m in an odd situation.  I am a huge fan of Castles & Crusades but I use D&D 3.5 for my ongoing Rappan Athuk campaign. Why? Well, mainly because it’s grandfathered in, so to speak.  I started the campaign before I discovered C&C and it would be a lot of work to convert.  It wouldn’t be that tough on me as a DM.  Converting D&D 3.x materials is rather easy and I could do it on the fly.  For monsters, one basically just eliminates the Skills and Feats, interpreting them as inherent abilities if need be.  However, converting 3.5 characters to C&C characters is another story. 

I have to admit, one of the fun aspects of D&D 3.5 is that it allows players to “get under the hood” and tweak their characters to their hearts’ content (that sounds dirty).  Since C&C doesn’t involve Feats or Skills, converting a character would either require dropping those things outright or negotiating some way to add them as special abilities for the character.  In other words, it sounds like a pain in the ass. 

On top of that, no one is clamoring to change systems.  My players are happy with D&D 3.5.  I read blog and forum posts about players and GMs pissing and moaning about one system or another, complaining that this or that is broken and I think, “Man, I’m lucky.”  My players say “Have dice. Will travel.”  We just sit down and play the game, we don’t bicker about the rule set.

And, really, I myself do like D&D 3.5.  It’s a bit complicated, but my group has the system down and we enjoy the hell out of it.  Hell, we’ve never had trouble with some of the much criticized rules.  (I still don’t understand the beef with the Grapple rules. We use them all the time without a problem.)  My main gripe with D&D 3.5 is that combat is damn slow.  For example, I’m enjoying the Showdown in the Upper Temple of Orcus we have going on now, but we’ve played three sessions of combat and still have at least one more to go (hopefully only one more, that’s my plan anyway). Still, even with that, we’ve had a hell of a campaign, full of blood, grit, and glory.

Anyhow, since I’ve been blabbing about C&C so much, I figured I’d best explain myself. 

(If you haven’t checked out C&C yourself, take a look at the Quick Start Rules.)
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