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First time running C&C - the Rising Knight 
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Mist Elf

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 20
Post First time running C&C - the Rising Knight
Well, after owning the rulebooks for a couple of months, I finally sat down and ran C&C for my brother today. I ran him thru most of "The Rising Knight", and overall, we had a very good time.

His character (Soltair, a level 1 Half-elf (human lineage) Ranger) arrived in Malforten in responce to the bounty on Gritznak's head. Soon after heading to the Empty Flagon, the local tavern, he was met by Eryl the Hoskin and some others. Eryl explained the situation to him, and advised him to seek some companions to help him, as this situation was probably too much for a single ranger to handle. Soltair thanked him, and asked if any of the local militia members were competent archers. As it was, Eryl did have one who might go with him, a young man named Kane (thank you random name table!). So after meeting with Kane and Kiint the Leper (a local man who Eryl said would serve as a good guide in the wilderness), Soltair set out to find Gritznak and his lair.

Between Malforten and the temple where Gritznak was staying, the group encountered Pixies, old roads, strange blue lights on the horizon, areas of magical darkness, and a leopard intent on killing them. (incidentally, didn't find that one in the M&T book, so I used the mountain lion stats. Tough, but they beat it)

After about 4 days of travel, however, they did find some ruins to the east of the Drunderry river, and carefully proceeded within. The place was full of goblins, kobolds, and other beasts.
Highlights of the dungeon crawl include:

Rolling a natural 20 to hit a goblin in the first room (I houseruled nat 20 on to hit rolls= max damage, no need to roll), decapitating a goblin sitting playing dice. Said goblins head was later placed in a golden bowl in the same room.

Hearing more goblins arguing behind a door later on, and, since Soltair speaks the language, bluffing them into opening the door for him. "I want to say, in goblin, 'Quick! Let me in! Intruders are here!'"

Fighting 6 Kobolds in close quarters after collapsing a section of the floor and falling to the room below.

This encounter included my favorite SIEGE checks of the evening. One of the Kobolds threw a spear at Soltair, which missed. My brother quipped, "Can I catch it?", though he wasn't too serious about it. My responce was, "Sure, make a dex check." Dexterity is one of his primes, and he made the check. He wanted to know if he could, that round, use the spear to attack. He had already attacked that round, so I had him make another dex check to get a chance to attack a second time. He made that roll, so I had him roll to hit. That one was low, unfortunately, so he missed. Two things struck me about this, though. First, it was quick.. it's taken me more time to write this setion up than it did to make the ruling and make those three rolls. Second, it was cinimatic... Picture one Kobold hurling a spear at this ranger carrying a two handed sword... quicker than the eye can follow, the ranger lets go of the sword with his right hand, snatches the spear out of the air, and then thrusts it toward one of the other kobolds in the room, who narrowly twists out of the way to dodge... very cool.

Anyway, about half of the dungeon was explored before we had to call it a day.. total time for the session was about 6 hours, and that includes a bunch of joking and getting distracted. This was the longest session we have ever played of an RPG, and it went fairly smoothly. Overall I was very happy with it, though some things will need some work..
What worked ...

-Fast session, quite a lot was done

-First time I've really run a dungeon, and responce was good "Feels like the Legend of Zelda" That's high praise in my book.

-I felt free to change stats, encounters, rules, anything, on the fly. No worrying about "not playing by the rules" that tends to happen to me when playing 3.5

-Encumbrance system (through EVs) was easy to calculate and use. I normally disregard encumbrance, but payed more attention to it here, to see how well it worked. I was very please about how quick and easy it was to calculate.

-Quicker rules look up. We had a fairly small play area, so I couldn't set up my CK screen. Because of this, we had to look up rules every now and then. Unlike 3.5, however, most book browsing went very quickly.. I knew what I wanted, and where to find it.

-"F" word not used once. Didn't notice this one until later, but during our session, neither of us ever referred to Feats. They simply were not missed.
What didn't work ...

-Decided that CBs, as is, are still a bit high. I've seen some people talk houseruling to a 10/15 instead of 12/18. I will probably use that.

-Skills. Unlike feats, we did miss the use of some skills, though part of this was just the low chances of succeeding on non-prime tasks. I do plan on adding some sort of system eventually, though I'm not decided on what.

-Close calls. I was working on balancing encounters as we went, and overall it went well. However, there was one encounter (Gnoll Stable Master and 3 Goblins), that almost got Soltair killed. He was knocked unconscious twice, and only some quick potion use saved him. (I ignored the rule that magical healing takes a negative hp char to 0 hp.. things were going bad enough as it). Afterwards, my brother said that he lost interest during that battle (I could tell he was frustrated and angry), and said the module was harder than he expected. I blame my own inexperience for this more than anything, and I told him so.

-Open-ended module. My brother wasn't as happy with this as I expected, and it took some talk after the session to find out why. As he explained, he is used to video game plot structures, which tend to have more direction and focus than pen and paper. When confronted with the main village of Malforten, the number of things he could do and people he could talk to actually turned him off. As a result, he left town very quickly. The wilderness was better, and the dungeon even more so, I think. We grew up with video games, and he wanted more structure and clarity when choosing what to do. I'm not sure if I can describe this as well as I want, but I know exactly what he means about this. He would rather be thrust in the middle of a situation and make his choices than have to shape things on his own. (For example, our last 3.5 sessions involved him in a town taking part in an assassination. Someone wanted him to kill certain town members, for money. I think he understood that if he didn't do the job, his employer was likely to contact someone else.. in this way, it was a simple choice.. accept the job or not? And then, after the accepted it.. how do you plan on doing the job, and how do you plan to get away?) Because of this, we will probably not be continuing this module next time.

-Unclear house ruling. My bad on this.. I didn't explain a houseruling I made to him very clearly (the rule being that the challenge base for all Class Abilities is always 12, regardless of primes). Because of this, he allocated his stats in a way he didn't like. We went with the character as it was for this session, but we plan on changing it before we play again.
Overall

We had a good time, and he can see why I like the system. He is willing to work with me on houseruling it to the point that we both love it, and is excited about redoing his character (probably going to try for a multiclass Ranger/Assassin, he says).

And me? No doubt.. I'm sold on it. I don't plan on running 3.5 again.. I really didn't enjoy the experience, and it was more work than fun.. this one I had a lot of fun doing. Thank you to all who helped me in the last few days, and thanks especially to you, Treebore, for the advice and encouragement.. I plan on running another game next week, and look forward to it!


Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:14 am
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Maukling
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 5284
Location: East Texas
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I'm glad you had a chance to run it and had a good time.

You'll find how to tweak it to suit you better each time you play. Its such an easy system to accommodate your tastes.


Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:40 am
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 20660
Location: Arizona and St Louis
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This, for me, is one of the biggest reasons I love C&C.

"We had a good time, and he can see why I like the system. He is willing to work with me on houseruling it to the point that we both love it, and is excited about redoing his character (probably going to try for a multiclass Ranger/Assassin, he says)."

Glad things went so positive for you.

Interesting that your brother was bothered by the lack of structure. Maybe you just need to be a little bit morre explicit about the posssible options. Maybe have an NPC help him think and plan it out. Introduce/spell out the options that way.
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Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:01 am
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Lore Drake

Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 1102
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Nice session overall!

I may suggest, though, that when you allow a SIEGE check for something for which already there is a rule covering it (e.g. no more than one attack per round), there should be a "counterweight" to it if the check fails. For example, when the kobold threw the spear, and the ranger tried to grab it, you have done well to allow him to catch it and try to relaunch it back; but you should have put some penalty for the failed check; e.g. lose your next round, or a penalty next round etc. Otherwise, he would keep trying doing more than one attack per round, and you would be forced to either deny him the checks, or re-invent rules on the spot. I found that allowing something but at a possible negative cost, makes things more interesting, and puts a solid basis for rulings.

Cheers,

Antonio


Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:20 pm
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Mist Elf

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 20
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Quote:
rabindranath72 wrote:
Nice session overall!

I may suggest, though, that when you allow a SIEGE check for something for which already there is a rule covering it (e.g. no more than one attack per round), there should be a "counterweight" to it if the check fails. For example, when the kobold threw the spear, and the ranger tried to grab it, you have done well to allow him to catch it and try to relaunch it back; but you should have put some penalty for the failed check; e.g. lose your next round, or a penalty next round etc. Otherwise, he would keep trying doing more than one attack per round, and you would be forced to either deny him the checks, or re-invent rules on the spot. I found that allowing something but at a possible negative cost, makes things more interesting, and puts a solid basis for rulings.

Cheers,

Antonio



A good ruling, definately, and one I may end up using in the future. In this case, I really wanted him to suceed, for a few reasons.

First, this was one of the times he was thinking outside the normal, "roll to hit, roll for damage" round by round of combat. When he brought it up, he really seemed to be half-joking about the whole thing, but I wanted him to know that he can (and should!) feel free to try all sorts of manuevers during combat.

Secondly, and more important to me personally, this is one of those situations that the SIEGE mechanic worked for me personally. Honestly, I wouldn't even know how to run the same situation in 3.5, and I would have wanted to check to rulebooks to find out, and to make sure I was running it right. This is one of my personal shortcomings... if a system has a rule for a situation, I want to make sure I am using it, and using it correctly. This same situation in 3.5 would have cost me 20 or 30 minutes of rules searching, if I allowed it at all. Under C&C, I made a few quick rulings, play didn't stop, and I didn't feel like I was going against any forgotten rules at all!

That being said, if he were the type to try to use a dex check all the time to get additional attacks a round, I would of course penalize it one way or another... in the session we had, he didn't do it again. He just realized that with the weapon in hand, he really wanted to do some immediate damage with it!


Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:09 pm
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Lore Drake

Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 1523
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Sounds like a good start. I think you will find that C&C is easy to houserule, feats are something that I added, because my players liked the idea and it has worked well for us.

Rising Knight is a bit much for a single player, (even with two henchmen), with a well balanced party my group had a tough time.

Nice work on making the Siege Engine work for you, the deal with the spear was top notch, and really shows how flexible the system is.
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Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:46 pm
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