Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Castles Keeper Guide is Finally Here

When I discovered Castles & Crusades back in the neighborhood of 2007 I heard about the mystical Castle Keeper Guide. Intrigued, I placed an order for the C&C Player Handbook and Monsters & Treasure manual. While my books were en route I was hoping that the CKG would soon be available for purchase so as to round out the collection and so that I would have everything that I would need at my fingertips. After the books arrived and I had gotten some table time with them I realized that I didn't really need any more so-called core books. The game simply worked. And heck, I already had a shelf of older material with which I could plug any holes, both real and perceived. I don't have any personal insight but I'm suspecting that this played a big part in why it took as long as it did to get the CKG put together. It couldn't be yet another GM guide.

As the years reeled by the CKG percolated in the background. Questions were asked and were answered but it seemed like it was just back there bubbling. My personal opinion was that if the book came out then I'd check it out. The problem was that if you didn't visit their forums you wouldn't have a clue. But then the Trolls did something brilliant.

The Troll Lord guys jumped on social media where they opened up their doings and goings-ons on YouTube and Twitter. As a player and a fan I really liked that I could see the state of the project. I really appreciated that the Trolls had to juggle and re-prioritize projects to meet the needs of business reality. I can certainly relate. Their social media engagement kept me, well, engaged. Over the last year we watched their trials, triumphs, and tribulations. I respect them for that.

Now I'm waiting for my CKG to show up.


  1. I was really excited about the CKG about a year or so ago. I had so much faith in the Trolls that I followed the development of this book almost from the moment it was mentioned. And I kept following the development, and kept following... until I just kind of gave up and moved on. Now that it has been completed and is shipping I am not so sure i care anymore. I had my day with C&C, and still like the system a lot. But for various reasons and various other games I am having a hard time coming back to it. I am looking forward to reading reviews though. i hope for TLG this is a great book and gets them some good press. They need it.

    Also, you live in Wake Forest, and I live in North Raleigh (Exit 14 off I-540). Why the hell aren't we gaming together? :-)

  2. Great question! We're closing on a new house next week. Once the dust settles we're gonna have to!

    When I'm scratching my old time D&D-esque itch, whether I'm playing Swords & Wizardry or Lamentations of the Flame Princess I still find myself grabbing C&C's Monsters & Treasures book along with OSRIC and a few others. I really can't remember the last time I ran a pure title old style game.

    And if the multi-classing rules as found in the latest printing of the Player Handbook are any indication of quality then the CKG will be a great resource.

    There's one more reason why I look forward to the CKG. Fields of Battle.

    Great and epic battles are something that I really enjoy as part of the game and it goes back to my start in the hobby. Way back in the day we used to play The Battlesystem. TLG's Fields of Battle kicks Battlesystem butt. And since it uses the A/D&D "API" I've used it with Swords & Wizardry characters who were at the lead. I've tried other mass combat and found them to be okay and functional but not exciting. The quality of FoB keeps the flame alive.