Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

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Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

I came across an interesting blog post that covered how you might insert AD&D psionics into a Castles & Crusades game, if you so wished.

https://wastedlandsfantasy.blogspot.com ... anced.html

Scroll down to the "Castles & Crusades" header about a third of the way down the page for the pertinent section.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Havard »

Tim Baker wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:41 am
I came across an interesting blog post that covered how you might insert AD&D psionics into a Castles & Crusades game, if you so wished.

https://wastedlandsfantasy.blogspot.com ... anced.html

Scroll down to the "Castles & Crusades" header about a third of the way down the page for the pertinent section.
Nice! Jason knows what he's talking about :)

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by paladinn »

Not sure if this thread is necro'd or not..

Jason mentions using the Mentalist class from Amazing Adventures as-is with C&C. I'm sure this would also be easy to adapt to D&D.

Has anyone had much experience with using the two games together? I'm rather fascinated with cross-genre games. I'm played C&C and have a copy of AA, but I've not yet gotten to mix and match.

Thoughts?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

paladinn wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:09 pm
Has anyone had much experience with using the two games together? I'm rather fascinated with cross-genre games. I'm played C&C and have a copy of AA, but I've not yet gotten to mix and match.
It's been a few years, but I used some of the options from AA to make my C&C game more heroic. However, I didn't mix and match classes, but instead drew material from AA for what was primarily a C&C game. The pulp feel of AA is a good fit for what I enjoy in my gaming, even if it's a fantasy setting.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by paladinn »

Tim Baker wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:02 am
paladinn wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:09 pm
Has anyone had much experience with using the two games together? I'm rather fascinated with cross-genre games. I'm played C&C and have a copy of AA, but I've not yet gotten to mix and match.
It's been a few years, but I used some of the options from AA to make my C&C game more heroic. However, I didn't mix and match classes, but instead drew material from AA for what was primarily a C&C game. The pulp feel of AA is a good fit for what I enjoy in my gaming, even if it's a fantasy setting.
Can you share any details, sir?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Angel Tarragon »

AD&D 1E Psionics or 2E?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:37 pm
AD&D 1E Psionics or 2E?
Based on the description in the blog post and my vague recollection of AD&D psionics, I believe it's referring to 1E. Here's the context. Please let us know if I'm mis-remembering.
Jason Vey wrote: There's almost zero usage of percentile dice by players in the C&C game--it truly uses a universal resolution mechanic. Converting the rolls to a SIEGE check, in this case, would see all percentages divided by 10, dropping fractions, and subtracting the result from 10. This would give the CL of a given check, which would be added to the level of the opponent, as normal.

For example, if the attack matrix gives a percentage of 35, dividing this by 10 would be 3.5. Dropping the fraction, you get 3, and subtracting 3 from 10 gives you 7. You'd have a CL 7 check, plus the level of the victim, quite a difficult check, in line with the 35% chance of success. On the other hand, if you have a 99% chance of success, dividing this by 10 is 9.9. Dropping fractions, it's 9, which subtracted from 10 is a CL 1 check.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

paladinn wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:44 pm
Can you share any details, sir?
I was terrible about keeping notes a few years ago. (I'm still not great at it, but I've improved.) Let me see if I can dig anything up to provide a bit more context around what we did. It'll likely be a little while, thanks to the Christmas holiday.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Angel Tarragon »

Tim Baker wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:51 pm
Based on the description in the blog post and my vague recollection of AD&D psionics, I believe it's referring to 1E. Here's the context. Please let us know if I'm mis-remembering.
Jason Vey wrote: There's almost zero usage of percentile dice by players in the C&C game--it truly uses a universal resolution mechanic. Converting the rolls to a SIEGE check, in this case, would see all percentages divided by 10, dropping fractions, and subtracting the result from 10. This would give the CL of a given check, which would be added to the level of the opponent, as normal.

For example, if the attack matrix gives a percentage of 35, dividing this by 10 would be 3.5. Dropping the fraction, you get 3, and subtracting 3 from 10 gives you 7. You'd have a CL 7 check, plus the level of the victim, quite a difficult check, in line with the 35% chance of success. On the other hand, if you have a 99% chance of success, dividing this by 10 is 9.9. Dropping fractions, it's 9, which subtracted from 10 is a CL 1 check.
That does appear to be right for 1E.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

paladinn wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:44 pm
Can you share any details, sir?
I went through Amazing Adventures and noted what we used from it. This might not be a perfect list, but it should give you a sense of the goodies that AA can provide for a heroic-feeling Castles & Crusades adventure.
  • Critical hits and fumbles, including the exploding damage dice on a crit.
  • Use a target of 15 and give prime attributes a +5, rather than using a target of 18 (12 for prime attributes). This is the equivalent of a +2-to-3 bonus, which makes a big difference at low levels of play.
  • Inclusion of Fate Points and their additional use found in the Amazing Adventures Companion.
  • Option for players to replace C&C class abilities with Generic Class Abilities found in AA and AA Companion.
I remembered using Advantages as well, but realized when looking through AA that these are found in the Castle Keeper's Guide.

So a couple of the house rules impacted character creation. Three affected regular play. It wasn't too much to keep track of the changes, although in hindsight I should've written them down. However, the players didn't know C&C or any of the Siege Engine games at all, so there was limited value in writing the house rules down for an adventure that would span just a few sessions.

I hope this is helpful.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by pawsplay »

Is that right? Normally each +1 on a d20 is equivalent to 5%, but maybe I missed something.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

pawsplay wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:06 am
Is that right? Normally each +1 on a d20 is equivalent to 5%, but maybe I missed something.
In C&C, you try to hit 18 as the target number for a non-prime attribute or 12 for a prime attribute.

In AA, you try to hit 15 as the target number, regardless of the attribute you're using. If you're using a prime attribute, you get a +5 bonus. This effectively makes the target numbers 15 for non-prime and 10 for prime. The difference between 10 in AA and 12 in C&C is the equivalent of a +2 bonus if you're using a prime attribute. And the difference between 15 in AA and 18 in C&C is the equivalent of a +3 bonus if you're using a non-prime attribute. So depending on which attribute you're using, it's 10-15% more likely that you'll succeed.

That 15% for non-prime attributes may not sound like a lot, but it often makes the difference between a 40% chance of success and a 25% chance, using a rough estimate that the PC has a +2 bonus from their attribute and level. That difference in the odds is enough where I've observed PCs more willing to give something a try, which impacts the feel of the game.

Other groups may not respond the same way. My players usually take a look at the odds before they'll give it a go.

Sorry my previous bullet point was too short to make this clear enough.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by pawsplay »

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:32 am
Tim Baker wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:51 pm
Based on the description in the blog post and my vague recollection of AD&D psionics, I believe it's referring to 1E. Here's the context. Please let us know if I'm mis-remembering.
Jason Vey wrote: There's almost zero usage of percentile dice by players in the C&C game--it truly uses a universal resolution mechanic. Converting the rolls to a SIEGE check, in this case, would see all percentages divided by 10, dropping fractions, and subtracting the result from 10. This would give the CL of a given check, which would be added to the level of the opponent, as normal.

For example, if the attack matrix gives a percentage of 35, dividing this by 10 would be 3.5. Dropping the fraction, you get 3, and subtracting 3 from 10 gives you 7. You'd have a CL 7 check, plus the level of the victim, quite a difficult check, in line with the 35% chance of success. On the other hand, if you have a 99% chance of success, dividing this by 10 is 9.9. Dropping fractions, it's 9, which subtracted from 10 is a CL 1 check.
That does appear to be right for 1E.
I keep re-reading this, and I think, shouldn't that be divide by 5?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

pawsplay wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:07 pm
I keep re-reading this, and I think, shouldn't that be divide by 5?
I think dividing by 10 is as-intended. In the AD&D psionics system, your chance for success is expressed as a percentage. In C&C, the challenge level (CL) of the check is roughly between 1 and 10. By dividing by 10 and then subtracting that number from 10, you get an increasing CL in increments of 1 as the percentage chance of success decreases. It's not going to exactly line up with the percentages, but if you wanted that, you could continue to use the AD&D system. This way, you get an easy rule-of-thumb to convert to a Siege check.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by pawsplay »

I'm not sure how different scaling is going to work. If you need a 7, that's a 70% chance. If you need a 14, that's a 35% chance. I guess my question is, why would you make this different instead of the same?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

In C&C, the CL is added to the target number, which is either 12 or 18, depending on whether you're using a prime attribute. So if we assume this is a 2nd level character performing a Siege check against a prime attribute with a +3 attribute bonus, then the character has a +2 (level) +3 (attribute) bonus of +5 total. They only need a 7 or higher on the d20 to hit their target number of 12. The CL adds to that difficulty. The CL 7 in the example brings this up to a 14 or higher. That's a 35% chance, which happens to match the percentage that was converted to. If the character had been 3rd level, then there would be a 40% chance of success. The intent isn't for it to line up precisely, but to give Castle Keepers a quick way to convert from AD&D to C&C.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by paladinn »

Tim Baker wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:40 am
paladinn wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:44 pm
Can you share any details, sir?
I went through Amazing Adventures and noted what we used from it. This might not be a perfect list, but it should give you a sense of the goodies that AA can provide for a heroic-feeling Castles & Crusades adventure.
  • Critical hits and fumbles, including the exploding damage dice on a crit.
  • Use a target of 15 and give prime attributes a +5, rather than using a target of 18 (12 for prime attributes). This is the equivalent of a +2-to-3 bonus, which makes a big difference at low levels of play.
  • Inclusion of Fate Points and their additional use found in the Amazing Adventures Companion.
  • Option for players to replace C&C class abilities with Generic Class Abilities found in AA and AA Companion.
I remembered using Advantages as well, but realized when looking through AA that these are found in the Castle Keeper's Guide.

So a couple of the house rules impacted character creation. Three affected regular play. It wasn't too much to keep track of the changes, although in hindsight I should've written them down. However, the players didn't know C&C or any of the Siege Engine games at all, so there was limited value in writing the house rules down for an adventure that would span just a few sessions.

I hope this is helpful.
Thank you sir!

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by paladinn »

Has anyone looked at the Basic Psionics Handbook? (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16 ... s-Handbook) It's much of AD&D-type psionics, scaled-back for a Basic/Classic type game. Pretty cool stuff!

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

paladinn wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:27 pm
Has anyone looked at the Basic Psionics Handbook? (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16 ... s-Handbook) It's much of AD&D-type psionics, scaled-back for a Basic/Classic type game. Pretty cool stuff!
I like Basic Psionics Handbook. You should be able to use it alongside C&C pretty easily. It wouldn't quite feel as natural to veteran C&C players as converting to the Siege Engine, though.

Here's a review of Basic Psionics Handbook, for anyone who wants more info: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/201 ... dbook.html

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by pawsplay »

Tim Baker wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:46 am
In C&C, the CL is added to the target number, which is either 12 or 18, depending on whether you're using a prime attribute. So if we assume this is a 2nd level character performing a Siege check against a prime attribute with a +3 attribute bonus, then the character has a +2 (level) +3 (attribute) bonus of +5 total. They only need a 7 or higher on the d20 to hit their target number of 12. The CL adds to that difficulty. The CL 7 in the example brings this up to a 14 or higher. That's a 35% chance, which happens to match the percentage that was converted to. If the character had been 3rd level, then there would be a 40% chance of success. The intent isn't for it to line up precisely, but to give Castle Keepers a quick way to convert from AD&D to C&C.
But why not use a quick way that preserves the math? This just seems like you are choosing to divide by the wrong number, for reasons. 1 out of 20 is exactly equivalent to 5%.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

pawsplay wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:08 am
But why not use a quick way that preserves the math? This just seems like you are choosing to divide by the wrong number, for reasons. 1 out of 20 is exactly equivalent to 5%.
For players familiar with C&C, they'll likely prefer using the Siege Engine for all checks, rather than inserting new mechanics (even if they're d20-based) for a single sub-system. It's one of the reasons C&C appeals to some groups, as opposed to playing AD&D—AD&D is filled with different mechanics for different needs. There's nothing right or wrong about either approach, but groups often come to prefer one over the other.

So rather than saying, "now pick up this d20 and roll X or higher—I've already calculated all of the bonuses and penalties for you," a C&C player would find it much more familiar to hear, "I need you to make a Wisdom check against CL 7."

I understand where you're coming from. And you're right: the math is cleaner the way you recommend. But it isn't using the Siege Engine, which pretty much everything in C&C utilizes. And I believe that's the point of the original blog post. You can absolutely drop AD&D psionics directly into C&C. But that won't feel the same as the rest of C&C, and this conversion provides an alternative that preserves an approximation of the difficulty.

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by pawsplay »

I'm not saying don't use the Siege Engine, I'm just saying, why don't you divide by 5 instead of 10 when making the conversions so the math is right?

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Re: Dropping AD&D psionics into your C&C game

Post by Tim Baker »

pawsplay wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:12 am
I'm not saying don't use the Siege Engine, I'm just saying, why don't you divide by 5 instead of 10 when making the conversions so the math is right?
The Siege Engine starts with a target number that is already unlikely to be as low as the lower range of what's possible with AD&D's percentage-based psionics tables. The standard range of CLs is 0 to 10, and with a CL 0, a character must roll a 12 or higher (after bonuses/penalties) on a d20 if they're using a primary attribute. Let's assume that they are, that they have a high intelligence (+2 bonus), and are a 1st-level character (+1 bonus). Now, they need to make a natural roll of 9 or higher on the d20 to succeed on a CL 0. So there's a 60% chance of success. That increases as the PC's level or attributes go up, but it's dramatically different from the 100% chance that led to this CL 0 using the above rule-of-thumb. I believe that's what you're struggling with—is that a fair assessment?

If so, then I understand where you're coming from. Perhaps you could better align the AD&D system with the Siege Engine if you used some averages regarding the level of play and made some assumptions around whether the PC was using a prime attribute and what their attribute bonus might be. You could then extend CLs into negative numbers to make the math fit. It would better align with the AD&D charts, but would feel a bit off, since the Siege Engine uses a CL range of 0-10. I believe this 0-10 range is why the blog post divided the percentile by 10. It produces a result that fits into the standard Siege Engine range.

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