Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review & Commentary On the Free Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book by Stephen Chenault , & Robert Doyel

"Upon the Edge of Battle Lie the Spoils of Glory
Upon wind-swept battlefields, they seek their glory. With weapons of steel,
stout shields, and sorcery, they drive ever onward, seeking the grandeur of conflict
with creatures of terrible wrath or beasts of legend. In all hours of every day,
they gird themselves for war and struggle, to drive those evil beings of foul
intent to doom and oblivion. But before glory can be obtained, before
fame and riches can be won by these heroes of renown, they must face and
overcome those that would oppose them. Only then do the beasts yield the fruit
of their lives: Ancient scrolls, magic swords, shields of wonder, potions, rings,
wands, and untold wealth in coins, gems, and jewels.

What Lies Herein
Contained within this book is a wealth of information for the
Castle Keeper: 205 monsters, advice on roleplaying monsters, handling
combat with monsters, creating monsters, 200 unique treasures, rules for
awarding treasures and creating magic items."

This is the one hundred & seventy eight page bestiary & treasures book.
The free digital copy of  Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book is one of the earlier incarnations.This is because the paid version has the glossy pages & expanded font to be easier on old eyes such as mine.

Just in case you weren't paying attention Troll Lords announced a free digital copy of  Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book.  But what's actually in the Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book? Well step right into the deep end & let's take a look into this bestiary & treasure book. Clocking in at one hundred & forty five  pages the Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book has everything that a dungeon master needs to set up the monster side of the C&C adventure. A good solid sampling of all of the classic monsters are here.

There isn't a single devil or demon in this book but that's fine. What's here is solid old school because  C&C Monsters & Treasure debuts a new look, with more interior art, expanded index and some rules clarifications.  This is a solid investment for those dungeon masters who were in for the earlier incarnations of the Castles & Crusades games. But is it worth the download? Yes in a word. The monsters are with cleaned up stat blocks & a very easy to digest whole cloth approach to the monster itself. This sort of attention to detail is visible throughout the  Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book.
But what really sets it apart is the next section with the magic items & how Castles & Crusades handles the subject.  The majority of the treasure section is dedicated to magic items & even how to create or destroy them. This isn't an oversight on the part of the authors but along with the  magic items, there are also sentient items and how to destroy them. Plus there is  a section about other rewards, like lands, titles, services and the like which is very important for domain style games!

For the Castles & Crusades dungeon master (I'm sorry but I'm never calling them Castle Keepers. Every game master for me is a dungeon master trade marks & copy rights be damned!) the Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book is an absolutely essential book & I'm glad to have this earlier incarnation of it. Why?! Two reasons for me it shows the evolution of the various incarnations of the C&C game. For the second reason its a bit more complex. This is a striped down version of the Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book which means that in a pinch it can be brought to the fore for adventure design. This unto itself is reason enough for me to have a copy. Do I think that Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book is worth the down load? Well its sitting on my hard drive. The Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure book is a book that works for me at the table top level. 

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