You can now get the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook for Free with The Houseless God and other tales on DTRPG. Click here for details (opens in a new tab/window)
The image here shows the current state. The book is just a wall of text. I can play it, but no one else would put up with such a dense mass. The only concession to style are the fonts and font colour.
I am preparing solo rules for this game. If you would like to know when they are ready and get a discount on DriveThruRPG, there is a link at the end of this post.
So where is the project right now? I generally go through a few iterations.
- First Draft
- Edit/Second Draft
- Page Layout
I have been playing Castles and Crusades solo now for two weeks and the rules are working nicely. My playtest characters, or crash test dummy, is a 3rd level Paladin and he has had one near death experience so far…
Our Paladin is called Hancock and he arrived by ship to a Scandinavian-esque port. The people all seemed depressed and lethargic. There was a heavy guard presence on the dockside and loiters were being forced to move on heavy-handed. The journey had been through heavy winter storms, wind, snow, and lashing seas. The greeting on land was no warmer.
Hancock declined an offer from a well dressed and affluent looking fellow traveller to stay with them for his first night in port. He headed for some of the dockside drinking houses to get a feel for the place and it was soon apparent that the town was in a near famine state. It was the depths of winter, the towns fishing fleet had been decimated by battering storms and the meagre supplies from inland had been cut off by increased goblin attacks.
There is a mountain range several days hike north, that is several days hike during the summer. At this time you year no one would attempt to get there. Those mountains form a natural barrier to the great frozen wastes of the top of the world. The goblins were an added barrier between the people of Frostnoth and those wastes.
It also transpired that there used to be a force of warriors maintained by the local warlord who dealt with the ever present goblin risk and to pile misery upon misery the town was founded to support a gold mine a little further inland. That mine has been lost to the goblins. In other bad years the town had stocks of gold with which to secure food all winter.
Hancock considered this terrible situation. The thing that he could actually do something about was the gold mine. At the very least he could assess how strong the force of goblins was. It could be that a force of the town guard, a few volunteers and Hancock could recapture the gold mine.
Suitably equipped and with waypoints to follow Hancock set out to find the mine. He had a couple of encounters with goblins but they soon fell to his sword. When he found the mine, it wasn’t under the control of goblins, as he had been lead to believe. The guards on the palisade were heavily armed and armoured men.
Hancock took a direct approach and simply walked up to the gate. At first he was turned away but he managed to convince the guard to let him in.
The warlords men, who were supposed to be keeping the town safe were all here. The warlord himself was close to death, rambling and incoherent. He had frequent lucid moments and had ordered his men to protect the mine at all costs. So they had fortified the mine and were holding it. The old warlord could not be made to see the weakness in his plan, that the town was starving because he had cut off the supply of money they needed to buy food and supplies.
Castles and Crusades Solo – Whats Next?
That was the first solo session using the Solo Handbook. The Castles Crusades SIEGEengine works well, and the rules are creating an interesting and varied story.
When I set out I just had an opening scene in my mind’s eye of Hancock stood at the prow of a ship in a winter storm. Everything from that point on was inspired by the solo rules. Following on from that first session the rules have been tweaked and a second playtest session. I will tell you more about that in the next post.
In the plan at the top of this post I give a progression. Right now I am about to start step 5. Layout is on of the most exciting parts. It is where the solo handbook starts to take shape and you can imagine other people picking it up and playing it.
Solo Handbook Discount
I am hoping to have my Castles and Crusades Solo Handbook live on DriveThruRPG in May (2020). If you are interested, there is an offer below.