Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasures 4th Printing revises monster XPs

The recent Troll Lord Games Kickstarter to produce the three core Castles & Crusades books in color has seen the release of the Monsters & Treasure book to backers, and with it there has been some revision of  XP awards for a number of the monsters as well as other attributes. While some of the revisions are small and inconsequential, some of them are quite large and will affect play a great deal. For example, the Achaierai has gone from an XP of 540+6 to 360+6 XP. The picture below shows the new 4th printing on the left and the previous printing on the right:

Monsters&TreasureAchierai OSRToday

Most of the changes are in the lowering of XP, but some go in the opposite direction, such as Djinnis, who go from  765+7 XP to 1305+7 XP:

Monster&TreasureDjinni OSRToday

That’s a massive increase in XP.

Part of the reason for these changes comes from streamlining monsters to actually follow the provided monster experience point table in the book. Castles & Crusades isn’t the only game that in the past hasn’t strictly used the monster experience tables to build the experience values of monsters, so this is a good thing overall. The revision of the book isn’t all bad though as some of the changes help drastically. In the old version of the book, calculating XP for dragons was complicated because XP wasn’t given and you had to refer back to the monster experience point table and do the work yourself. In the new book, actual XP values are provided for you ready to use, such as in this example for Blue Dragons:

Monsters&TreasuresDragon OSRToday

This color printing marks a watershed moment in Castles & Crusades‘ history, which prides itself as a system that promotes interoperability between printings of game products as a feature, and has never had more than one edition of the game.  This new version of Monsters & Treasure breaks this in the way that a revision to a player classes in a game doesn’t as a core element of the gameplay since 2005 and the first printing of the book has been the use of the XP values in the book to help Keepers create adventures as well as allow characters to level up. Of course, Keepers are free to continue whichever version of a product they use, but these changes to XP create a greater schism than simple errata, as it’s a major revision to how characters gain experience through play in the game.

This new color printing should have become a new edition of because of the massive changes to play that the revised XP versions bring, or the changes should at least should have been called out better in the text of the book; there’s no mention of the changes to XP or monsters in the text at all.

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  1. Jake Parker September 24, 2014
    • Teh Bagder September 25, 2014