What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook - 7th Print Edition

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weekend R&R: Codex Celtarum for C&C

This edition of the Weekend R&R is a bit late as is some of my general thoughts and material I share on this blog the past few days.  New position in the work place is taking its toll as I take the time to adjust to the new responsibilities.  I also partied quite a bit with some friends this weekend.  ;)

That said, I also got my softcover of the new C&C book, the 'Celtic Celtarum' and it's quite a nice addition to my gaming bookshelf.  The work is by Brian Young and the books comes in at 176 pages full of material just waiting to be injected into one's game.  So what does the book exactly consist of?

Well, in a very playful manner, the author of the book puts it thusly:

1. Once Upon a Time (History section)
2. In Lands Far Way (Covers the Setting)
3. There Lived a People (Faery races and monsters)
4. Great of Magic and Power (Magical abilities, items, and spells)
5. Strong of Feats and Deeds (Combat and warfare)
6. With Great Gods and Lords (Deity section)
7. Who have Mighty Names and Feats (CK section)

The first and second chapters is filled with great material to help a CK add depth to a celtic themed campaign and clearly demonstrates to love and knowledge the author has brought to this project.  You have a taste of history, myth, and culture and the chapters which follow help bring things to a more 'tangible' state for a campaign.  Of course we're talking about sections on creatures and magic and thankfully there is plenty to use.  Chapter 3 is 46 pages in length and chapter 4 is another 27 pages.  It should be noticed that players fond of Druids will be particularly pleased with the selection of spells though a handful of cleric and illusionist spells are also included.

The 5th Chapter is an interesting mix of fluff mixed with some game mechanics to spice up your game.  There are 20 assorted 'Cleasa' which is a different name for 'Adjuncts' which were introduced in the Castle Keeper's Guide which function as minor Feats from that other game.  There is a bit section on Tattoo magic and even a minor section of hit locations via called shots and potential critical hits.

The 6th Chapter focuses more on the gods and goddesses of Celtic mythology which is rich in the lore one would want to continue painting a vivid picture to help bring the campaign to life which will nicely complement the material already found in 'Of Gods & Monsters' fore C&C.

The 7th and what was originally the final chapter of the books covered a few notes on existing C&C classes and how they fit in this setting as well as introduces two celtic themed classes, the Woodwose (a sort of wildman class) and the Wolf Charmer (described as the Pied Pipers of wolf kind).  A section of names is also included for the benefit of your characters.

However, thanks to a popular kickstarter, there was an additional chapter put in.  This is bonus material which takes the book from 144 to 176 pages and is a bit of a hodge-podge of information such as metals and magic items, the Ogham alphabet, and additional historical and cultural information.

So, how does this book measure up?  Well, the only other gaming book that I have that comes to mind is from TSR's excellent historical reference series.  The Celts Campaign Sourcebook was certainly well put together but there is certainly something 'more' to this new offering.  I'll be perfectly honest, the Celts were never a big thing for me -- I was always more interested in the ancient lands of Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire though I do have a soft spot for Vikings.  Unlike the Celts, the Codex Celtarum leaves me with the desire to at least use *some* of the material and adapt it for my own campaign -- particularly when it comes to the Fey.  The Codex Celtarum certainly has some substance to it there's enough to pillage for your own game even if you are inclined to run a Celtic themed game.  The PDF version is available now for $19.59 and will carry a price of $27.99 for the hardcover copy of the book (once released).  You can buy the PDF HERE.

M