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posted by VacuumJockey Original SA post

So, fresh from my success with ACKS - I went out and got another D&D clone: Crypts and Things.

C&T is a sword-and-sorcererized version of Swords & Wizardry , which is itself a restatement of OD&D. C&T is more gritty and a lot less heroic than standard D&D, as outlined here:


Fighter has optional fighting styles, to add more fun and to differentiate between fighter characters.
Adds the Barbarian character class based off the version of the class originally published in White Dwarf 2 in 1977.
Adds the Thief class. This is a more martially inclined version of the Thief, inspired by the Grey Mouser from Fritz Leiber’s Lankamar stories.
Adds the Magician class, which combines the spell lists of the Magic-User and Cleric, and then separates them into White/Grey and Black magic spell lists.
Removes the Cleric and Magic-user Class
No Elves, Dwarfs or Halflings, Orcs, Goblins etc. Its all Serpent Men, Giant Apes, Primatives, creepy eldrich horrors all the way!
No Turning the Undead either as a class ability or spell.
Life events. This takes the form of a simple table where characters roll a single D20 three times for starting characters to learn some of the events that occurred before they started adventuring and the benefits that they caused.

Rules systems
A simple skill system based off the Saving Throw number. Used for class skills (such as the thieves skills and barbarians abilities) and other skills that the character may have picked up along the way.
Sanity rules. Wisdom is used as a measure of mental stability. This system is used for both taking mental damage for witnessing horror and for magicians casting Black Magic
Altered damage rules. Hit points become a measure of exhaustion and fatigue – and are lost as a Magician casts spells. Constitution used as a measure of physical damage, and is lost once Hit points have been exhausted.
Many of these rules come from Akrasia's campaign , and he is credited in the game.

Having given it a breezy read-through - I kinda like it. A cool touch is that backstabbing is not a thief move exclusively; anyone can backstab, if they get the opportunity. Conflating divine and arcane spells into 3 schools of magic also jives well with (much) of the source material.

It has its faults, though. For one, there's a surprising amount of typos in my pdf. I assume they'll issue a corrected pdf eventually, so that is perhaps a minor issue. A more serious issue would be the artwork, specifically the portrayal of women. I find d101's art direction to be at best misguided, and at worst, downright insulting!

Allow me to elaborate: See that chick on the cover? Notice anything? Yeah. You can't see her nipples. She's dressed! WTF kinda sword-and-sorcery RPG won't make with the cheesecake? To make matters worse, the [i]only[/] other piece of artwork featuring a woman has her fully dressed and suited for battle, in realistic, functional armor. Worse yet, she's not smiling submissively, she's not in high heels, and it is more than implied that she is is competent and capable. Epic fail.

So to sum up, I'd say that C&T is a very functional sword-and-sorcery RPG, and I'd like to take it out for a spin with my Lankhmar book, or maybe some of those terrible Conan D&D modules from the 80's. However, the horrible artwork degrades the game immensely, and so I can only recommend this game to die-hard old schoolers.