Troll Lords and C&C

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Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Before I begin, I should state that I like and play C&C and have for years and plan to continue for years. And I have no idea how TLG sales are, they are probably great.

TLG has a history of using different systems to support their supplements and adventures, and continues this today by offering things like whatever Book of Familiars is called now for 5e.

There were products for d20, something called the Sword and Sorcery system I think, and of course C&C and now 5e. My guess is most of this stuff you could play in any D&D like system with a little effort, though accessories that are all feats/skills/classes of course are stickier to modern WoTC D&D.

Anyway, this brings me to the question: is C&C/SIEGE the product, or is TLG about the adventures and supplements?

Not questioning their dedication to SIEGE; we are seeing a 7th printing PHB, plus active support of AA, Victorious! and soon Metamorphosis Alpha it would appear.

Yet, looking at the Orr Report (fairly meaningless, but a data point) and seeing Roll20 has 19066 games and C&C has 39, it makes you wonder. If we are here for the Trolls, then it seems we'd play their stuff no matter the system. If we are here for C&C, well, it's probably not going away and we can still find (online at least) games readily. If C&C did go away we have AD&D, Adventures Dark and Deep, Swords and Wizardry, OD&D, D&D 5e, etc. all in print and available and ready to run the same adventures, and I imagine I'd find a way to keep in touch with the people I know from here if the forum disappeared.

In my admittedly limited data set, nearly all the C&C I play with other people is old modules published for other versions of D&D and not Troll Lord adventures.

For my part, I keep coming here for:
1. The forum and the people on it
2. The games I play with people in the forum
3. As part of my investment in C&C, which I enjoy playing and have more books than I need
4. Loyalty I have developed for the company and brand
5. Inertia.

Roughly in that order.

If the Trolls are to grow, maybe they need to hitch their wagon to someone else's system again like they did with d20. I have to think they have their reasons for or against based on that experience.
I like that we old school DMs are catered to, but we're going to buy less and less inevitably. I don't even have room in my house to put an additional PHB. No one really wants to play my various TLG settings and adventures I own, and I prefer to make up my own stuff anyway. I am comfortable running modules from other D&D games too, and haven't even gotten through those. So we are a pretty crappy market segment. We helped up to this point, but I gotta think we are less and less important, and that's OK.

Even this forum has probably become a bit of a burden; we don't see the company come here much anymore, as they have Facebook, they are trying to develop the Society to some degree, they are working shows, and they are trying to appeal to a different set of players.

If there was less satisfaction with 5e, I'd say C&C could evolve with it; just as 1-7th printing offered or offers a stripped down d20 (No feats, skills, precise conditions, tactical rules, prestige classes) the next C&C "Edition" could offer a stripped down 5e; it would pick up some of that defecting user base. But I think from what I've seen people mostly like 5e.

I don't really have a point exactly, except maybe to ponder my place in the lifecycle of the TLG product line. If I have a conclusion, I suppose it's that I wouldn't begrudge the Trolls removing focus from the C&C product in favor of greener pa$ture$. As long as they don't break into my house and take back my books. If they brought in more business with something like 5e adventures, it might even fund the C&C line.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

I stopped when I read your mention of C&C going away.

It will never go away, it's here forever whether anyone plays it or not.

TLG might go away or this forum, but never C&C.

And now, let me finish reading and digest your post.

:D
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

They are adapting their A series to 5E. I think they have done at least 3 of them now. No idea on how they sell.

As for doing a stripped down 5E, thats plausible, and I may very well even buy it. However, I think I would just end up stealing the few ideas I really like from 5E, and tack them on as house rules in my games. That said, it may be a good move to attract new customers. Which is always good for any company to do.

So I agree, TLG needs to do things to pull in new customers, and I am sure they have been beating their heads against the walls trying to figure out how to do just that. Converting their stuff to PAthfinder and 5E are probably a good start. That will likely lead to getting more people to look at what else they do. The problem is, people are invested in playing what they already play. They already own books, likely tons of them if they are into Pathfinder, they probably already have invested players. Thats all a LOT of inertia to fight against to get people to try new systems.

I fought it with myself when I quit 3E and switched to C&C. I had a HUGE investment in litarally hundreds of 3E books/modules from WOTC and all the 3rd party publishers. I wasn't willing to switch until I became fully convinced that I could still easily use not only all my 3E material, but all the 2E and earlier material I still owned, and still own to this day. That was the final realization I needed to try to make the switch. Then when I found out how much I liked the strength and versatility of the SIEGE system, thats when I decided to stick with it. Of course, my most seriously considered alternative was quitting gaming all together. So that helped too. My other most seriously considered alternative was the BF RPG.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

I'm really Jonesin' for A13 Aufstrag.

My dream would be to run the A series complete! These is enough there for years of gaming.

And for those who use other campaign worlds, the series could easily be placed into whichever one you wish.

:P
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

For the record, I have actually ran through and/or played in a lot of the Trolls C&C adventures. Between nwelte, Kayolan, Rhuvein, myself and a few others, I have easily ran or played in over half of their product line.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by serleran »

Pretty sure TLG does what it needs to do to do the things it wants. That is, if they need to make a 5e book to keep the lights on, they will. They do have standards, of course, and won't sink to a serleran level of whorish behavior.

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Treebore wrote:For the record, I have actually ran through and/or played in a lot of the Trolls C&C adventures. Between nwelte, Kayolan, Rhuvein, myself and a few others, I have easily ran or played in over half of their product line.
Yeah, I came in a little late. And my experiences are obviously not a real reflection of reality.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

serleran wrote:Pretty sure TLG does what it needs to do to do the things it wants. That is, if they need to make a 5e book to keep the lights on, they will. They do have standards, of course, and won't sink to a serleran level of whorish behavior.
I trust that's true.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

Aergraith wrote:
Treebore wrote:For the record, I have actually ran through and/or played in a lot of the Trolls C&C adventures. Between nwelte, Kayolan, Rhuvein, myself and a few others, I have easily ran or played in over half of their product line.
Yeah, I came in a little late. And my experiences are obviously not a real reflection of reality.
Stick around long enough, and you will get your chance. Like once the A series is wrapped up, I intend on running the whole thing again, with some modifications based upon my previous experiences with it. With the hoped for intention of making it even better than it is as written. Like with A1 I am going to blend in the Caves of Chaos from Keep on the Borderlands, and things like that.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Lurker »

Treebore wrote:
Aergraith wrote:
Treebore wrote:For the record, I have actually ran through and/or played in a lot of the Trolls C&C adventures. Between nwelte, Kayolan, Rhuvein, myself and a few others, I have easily ran or played in over half of their product line.
Yeah, I came in a little late. And my experiences are obviously not a real reflection of reality.
Stick around long enough, and you will get your chance. Like once the A series is wrapped up, I intend on running the whole thing again, with some modifications based upon my previous experiences with it. With the hoped for intention of making it even better than it is as written. Like with A1 I am going to blend in the Caves of Chaos from Keep on the Borderlands, and things like that.
Count me in ! But, is that before or after the Victorious game, Rig's Star Wars / Victorious game, the Ravenloft game you mentioned a while back, and the other game's you all have tempted me with !?!?!!? :lol:
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

Still digesting . .

but some thoughts.

We've always read that there are way more players/CKs out there than peeps that are on forums and/or other media.

Not sure if that means anything with regard to Aergraith's post, but just sayin'.

I really prefer this forum as opposed to FB or other online media. I like FB and am friend with boatloads of RPG'ers but hardly ever go there - especially as it relates to C&C. Mebbe, cause FB is so chaotic and doesn't seem to be a good way to relate/communicate with other C&C fans. Or I haven't customized it to do this better. Or I prolly don't have the time to try it.

FB used to be excellent, but has turned into a crap blasting, do everything to get U to add friends to the detriment of meaningful communications to same. Ad blasting sucks and so many other things that I never go there anymore.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by mmbutter »

Aergraith wrote:Yet, looking at the Orr Report (fairly meaningless, but a data point) and seeing Roll20 has 19066 games and C&C has 39, it makes you wonder.
The report for the first 3 quarters of 2016 for C&C on Fantasy Grounds was 1,960 games played. Extrapolating for the year, that would be about 2,600 games played.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.ph ... sy-Grounds

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Yeah, it's the not the same metric as Roll20, but interesting. (Roll20 is counting the "game" as the campaign, not the session.)

It's about 1% of the number of FG games for 5e, which is a better ratio than Roll20 shows (.2%), though since FG provides complete systems for many popular games, it makes sense that more people would play those systems.

The FG metric is probably a better one in some ways though, because by the Roll20 measure you could set up a game and never have players. Also a lot of people never bother to fill out the game system.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

Lurker wrote:
Treebore wrote:
Aergraith wrote:
Treebore wrote:For the record, I have actually ran through and/or played in a lot of the Trolls C&C adventures. Between nwelte, Kayolan, Rhuvein, myself and a few others, I have easily ran or played in over half of their product line.
Yeah, I came in a little late. And my experiences are obviously not a real reflection of reality.
Stick around long enough, and you will get your chance. Like once the A series is wrapped up, I intend on running the whole thing again, with some modifications based upon my previous experiences with it. With the hoped for intention of making it even better than it is as written. Like with A1 I am going to blend in the Caves of Chaos from Keep on the Borderlands, and things like that.
Count me in ! But, is that before or after the Victorious game, Rig's Star Wars / Victorious game, the Ravenloft game you mentioned a while back, and the other game's you all have tempted me with !?!?!!? :lol:
After. So hopefully, we will all be living long lives.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

Aergraith wrote: Also a lot of people never bother to fill out the game system.
True. I have ran several games using the same game set up. Such as my current Aces and Eights game is on its third game using the same set up/game name. I don't recall doing that with C&C though.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by finarvyn »

Lots to reply to here. Basically, I enjoy this forum because of the folks here and the atmosphere. I have loyalty to C&C (and its offshoot systems of Amazing Adventures, Victorious, and eventually Metamorphosis Alpha) but I also realize that this loyalty was built in part from the fact that a decade ago our choices were somewhat limited. I find that 5E is a lot better than anticipated (3E and 4E were bad, IMO) and this does tilt the equation somewhat since 5E seems to dominate the product market at most of my local game stores. Certainly 5E dominates the game play actually in the store. Finding C&C players is hard with the big boy back in the market.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by mmbutter »

Aergraith wrote:Yeah, it's the not the same metric as Roll20, but interesting. (Roll20 is counting the "game" as the campaign, not the session.)
At least 2 of those C&C games on Roll20 are mine. And I've never played it there (just tried it, found it was too hard to use and moved on). I just mine it as a resource for tokens and art that I use in my FG games.

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

mmbutter wrote:
Aergraith wrote:Yeah, it's the not the same metric as Roll20, but interesting. (Roll20 is counting the "game" as the campaign, not the session.)
At least 2 of those C&C games on Roll20 are mine. And I've never played it there (just tried it, found it was too hard to use and moved on). I just mine it as a resource for tokens and art that I use in my FG games.
:lol:

I am just the opposite, I find FG way too hard/complex to use, and find Roll 20 to be much easier.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rigon »

You're both wrong, MapTools is the best VTT out there.

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

Yeah, I much prefer Maptools over Roll20 ~ but I have been trying to get better on R20. Hmm, and I just created a game and didn't choose the system. Probably because it wasn't part of the setlup or I didn't see that.

Can't recall if MTs collects any game system stats on their website.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Rhuvein wrote: Can't recall if MTs collects any game system stats on their website.
I doubt it; it's free-form; there isn't really anything it can collect.

They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

FG has full system support baked in for several popular games, has excellent campaign/adventure management, nice 3d dice, but is expensive (not necessarily for the players), a windows app, the drawing tools are terrible, and it has a very peculiar window system built in that drives me bonkers. Pointing at things using the drawing tools sucks. As it's a desktop app the DM must resolve any firewall issues. Because the systems are built in, you can concentrate on building campaigns and adventures from inside the application. If you want to extend or support a new system, you need to jump through hoops to unpack their xml and scripts and modify them, not for the faint of heart. The dice macros are not much more than buttons you can drag rolls to and the modifier stack is kind of a pain, but since the sheets are so complete, you rarely need anything more. You can buy books and reference them in convenient hyperlinked format, and these links work everywhere. DMs can set up whole encounters and automatically populate them in the combat tracker and generate HP if they want, and modules are very convenient to run with full hyperlinking to stats, spells, monster entries, and drag and drop encounters. There is extensive C&C support available.

Roll20 is web-based, has voice/video chat (a little buggy), sounds/music, free and paid token/map libraries and search, ok drawing tools, and built in dice. It has some support for Hangouts if you use that. Depending on the feature set you may need to pledge financial support, but the free version is very usable. In some cases you can download and keep the assets you buy from the marketplace. It doesn't quite work the same in all browsers, and is a little glitchy sometimes. Pointing at things with the sonar thingy sucks. The roller macros are extraordinarily limited. There is sheet support from volunteers and the html/css/js source is on GitHub. You must be a Mentor($$) contributor however, to use the javascript API to extend your system. It has both fog of war and dynamic lighting support at certain levels of contribution. There is a character vault to save characters between campaigns. The dice roller uses true random entropy sources and has a page to verify that it's working correctly. There is a C&C character sheet.

MapTool is a java app, and occasionally this gives people trouble. Because it's a desktop app the DM must resolve any firewall issues. It's free and open-source. It has a rich macro language (but it's pretty frustrating to actually use). The entire system is token-based, meaning a token is what you will attach all scripts and behavior to, and that is not always really a natural thing. While the macro support is good and evolving, it's not something most people are comfortable jumping into. It has dynamic lighting, fog of war, and you can drag tokens straight to the map, even as a player, if the settings allow it. The drawing tools are good enough to make nice maps with textures and you can make varied line widths. You can make isometric maps in it now also. The spacebar pointer is the most convenient of the three for indicating things on the map (IMO). There is no built-in system support, but there are some campaigns people have developed that you can load. Most of these are poorly documented or require arcane knowledge to figure out. The more work the DM puts into the macros and properties the more enjoyable I find it to use, but there are tricks to get a lot out of the macros even if the DM doesn't do anything. There have been recent forks, but development of the core is still active. I have a set of C&C macros for it, as do several others. None of them implement a working sheet, though it's possible in the macro language.

Of the three, I generally choose Roll20 because I know everyone can probably connect to it, and it mostly works, and if I am lucky we don't need Skype or Discord, but I use them all.

They aren't the only VTTs either. I try to keep on top of them when they come out, but so far none have pulled ahead of these.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Omote »

I don't have much to add here at this point, except that I hope the Adventurer's Backpack adds some nice juice to the C&C games out there. I'm not sure if the point of that products is evocative enough to see a sizable upswing in C&C, but at my table I think this will entice a few more players back into the fold. A nice new set of rules (as long as it's not the level of 3E bloat), will win players back for me. I think a lot of the long lapses in Kickstarters put a damper on a lot of the long-term C&C players out there, but hopefully not many new players. The long turn-around time for KS, and the introduction of a simpler D&D system (5E) has probably taken a lot of the wind out of the sails of C&C. That being said, I'm pretty confident that the circle of players around my table will return with a few new products to up the ante (Adventurer's Backpack, Tome of the Unclean, and maybe the Oriental Adventures supplement and the Manual of the Planes should they ever see the light of day.

I think C&C still has a lot of staying power, it just needs to keep the ship straight and true on it's current promises. We all know that in a few years, D&D5E will decrease in popularity just like the previous editions over the past 17 years -- ebb and flow -- yet, the whole time C&C has maintained.

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Celticgamer »

Omote wrote:I don't have much to add here at this point, except that I hope the Adventurer's Backpack adds some nice juice to the C&C games out there. I'm not sure if the point of that products is evocative enough to see a sizable upswing in C&C, but at my table I think this will entice a few more players back into the fold. A nice new set of rules (as long as it's not the level of 3E bloat), will win players back for me. I think a lot of the long lapses in Kickstarters put a damper on a lot of the long-term C&C players out there, but hopefully not many new players. The long turn-around time for KS, and the introduction of a simpler D&D system (5E) has probably taken a lot of the wind out of the sails of C&C. That being said, I'm pretty confident that the circle of players around my table will return with a few new products to up the ante (Adventurer's Backpack, Tome of the Unclean, and maybe the Oriental Adventures supplement and the Manual of the Planes should they ever see the light of day.

I think C&C still has a lot of staying power, it just needs to keep the ship straight and true on it's current promises. We all know that in a few years, D&D5E will decrease in popularity just like the previous editions over the past 17 years -- ebb and flow -- yet, the whole time C&C has maintained.

~O
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

Celticgamer wrote:. Just give me a little over a year and the new Oriental Adventures will be reborn, and historically, culturally and mythologically accurate. Martial art rules, Ninja abilities and more that C & C has never had in its history as a game system....
Now that should add some new gamers to C&C!
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

A few weeks ago before our Sunday night game, I was sayin' that I would use C&C to run Star Frontiers, Metamorphosis Alpha, and some other game (which I can't recall at the moment).

Aergraith cracked me up by saying, "You can't use a game to run another game (or something to that effect).

Hehe, and now we might see MA for C&C or C&C for MA.

. . .

Looking forward to Oriental Adventurers C&C style.

:P
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Treebore »

Rhuvein wrote:A few weeks ago before our Sunday night game, I was sayin' that I would use C&C to run Star Frontiers, Metamorphosis Alpha, and some other game (which I can't recall at the moment).

Aergraith cracked me up by saying, "You can't use a game to run another game (or something to that effect).

Hehe, and now we might see MA for C&C or C&C for MA.

. . .

Looking forward to Oriental Adventurers C&C style.

:P

But C&C is the Rossetta Stone of gaming! Of course you can run just about anything else with C&C. The only exceptions I can think of are dice pool games such as L5R, Shadowrun and the Vampire story teller games, and FATE. At least not with some conversion work. I ran 2d6 Traveller using the SIEGE engine, and I think it did fine, especially after doing it for a few sessions and getting some kinks worked out.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

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Rhuvein
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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Rhuvein »

For sure, Tree.

The SIEGE engine is so powerful, but fantastically customizable as are the ruleset as written.

Your houserules really showcase how far a CK can go to make the game their own.

Rigon too and others.

What say you to that, Aergraith the naysayer???

:lol:
Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Rhuvein wrote: What say you to that, Aergraith the naysayer???
Impossible, absolutely can't be done. Completely absurd. Keep trying to pull that kind of caper and you'll have the RPG cops knocking down your door.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by Persimmon »

Some Asian-oriented stuff would be great. I liked the 1st edition Kara Tur boxed set, though it had its flaws. Didn't like when they tried to mash up Rokugan with Oriental Adventures. For me, keeping the cultures separate is key. I hated how they mixed up Japanese, Chinese, and Korean names and Romanization systems. But I am a professor of Asian history in my day job so it's a sore spot with me. And the original Oriental Adventures helped send me on my career path so it certainly wasn't all bad!

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Re: Troll Lords and C&C

Post by alcyone »

Persimmon wrote:Some Asian-oriented stuff would be great. I liked the 1st edition Kara Tur boxed set, though it had its flaws. Didn't like when they tried to mash up Rokugan with Oriental Adventures. For me, keeping the cultures separate is key. I hated how they mixed up Japanese, Chinese, and Korean names and Romanization systems. But I am a professor of Asian history in my day job so it's a sore spot with me. And the original Oriental Adventures helped send me on my career path so it certainly wasn't all bad!
I liked BRW Games "The Golden Scroll of Justice" but I don't use real world locales or straight up Earth history and legend in my games so I am not too picky about the details.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

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