D&D General DCC goodness into your game of D&D

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think this is why 1st to 3rd edition are still played so much. Trying to balance DND is like trying to balance a bucket of water. it's just too much work for so little return. If fun is the goal then balance is just a speedbump that leaves everyone agonizing over what's wrong with the game. If balance is the goal then fun becomes secondary to fair.
Sort of? For some people balance is fun. Different preferences and all that. TSR D&D is not designed with balance in mind so it scratches a certain itch. 4E is incredibly well-balanced and scratches a different itch. 5E is somewhere in-between and scratches a third kind of itch. No idea on 3E as I never played it.
 

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nevin

Hero
3rd edition is the opposite of modern dnd. It's designers stated they had no intention of maintaining balance and that was the DM's job. They also told the players that it was up to the DM's what they allowed from splat books. I think what killed it end as a commercial product was players buying splat books and then being told they couldn't play ...(say the 1st level Barbarian with a 10hd warcat. My biggest fight ever with a player who was also a friend). Honestly I liked 3rd better than 3.5 but I had far less fights with players over stuff like that with 3.5 games. If you think of third as bowling, 3.5 painted the lines and then 5e put the kiddie rails up.

4th was an attempt to do something different.
 

Speaking of Luck, what do judges hand it out for?
I think I've been pretty stingy with it, only +1 for completing an adventure. The last one, though, I handed out 3 Luck to anyone who completed the adventure (People of the Pit).
Anyway I'm curious to hear how often do Judges give put Luck? Also, what do PCs need to do to get it?

Another thing, when picking monsters I usually use the Old School Essentials SRD. That should work, right?

In a campaign, I tend to be pretty sparing in handing out luck. Especially after my last one where I noticed that most PCs were just hoarding it to have high luck scores when I call for a luck check. That's when I introduced a monster that ate luck.

But generally speaking, I treat awarding luck like I do inspiration - do something daring and exciting, entertain the table, or otherwise evoke the style of game we're playing (in this case, it's anything that feels like it could be out of an Appendix N novel). But the bar is much higher for DCC luck than inspiration for me.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
That's when I introduced a monster that ate luck.
That’s awesome. I love that in old-school gaming the character sheet is not off limits. Draining levels, ability score damage, gear loss and damage, magic item destruction, etc. So many more interesting angles to introduce drama and tension than everything being limited to AC, HP, and conditions that last a round or two at most.
 

That’s awesome. I love that in old-school gaming the character sheet is not off limits. Draining levels, ability score damage, gear loss and damage, magic item destruction, etc. So many more interesting angles to introduce drama and tension than everything being limited to AC, HP, and conditions that last a round or two at most.
Seeing their shock when I answered whether or not the drain was permanent or not brought me a bit of fiendish glee, I'll admit.

Back in the day, I generally stayed clear of level-draining monsters...unless a PC really cheesed me off.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Speaking of Luck, what do judges hand it out for?
I think I've been pretty stingy with it, only +1 for completing an adventure. The last one, though, I handed out 3 Luck to anyone who completed the adventure (People of the Pit).
Anyway I'm curious to hear how often do Judges give put Luck? Also, what do PCs need to do to get it?

Another thing, when picking monsters I usually use the Old School Essentials SRD. That should work, right?
Key is: don't be predictable. That is: I wouldn't hand +1 Luck to everybody. This gives players the expectation they'll be given +1 Luck after each adventure.

Much better to foster an atmosphere where characters "use it while they still have it".

Give out a point of Luck whenever you feel a player did something great. Had their character do something clever, or funny or just outrageous. Especially when players put their characters on the line; taking actions that might not be smart or safe but will move the story!

If one character gets 3 Luck from one adventure to the next and another doesn't get any Luck... that's okay too!

Myself, I incorporated random Luck gains into the procedure of downtime carousing. DCC already had carousing tables, what I made was a companion table that answered the question "who did you party with?" that also frequently involves changes in the Luck score...

Here is (not for the first time) the link to Goodman Games forum with DCC carousing suggestions, including my own "Paramours" table:

 

CapnZapp

Legend
I hope that made sense, otherwise we'll discuss an example.
This post keep getting likes, so I was motivated to provide an example anyway :)

Let's say the party gets word a great caravan was ambushed by bandits in the mountain pass before reaching your city. The caravan is rumored to be laden with gold and other presents, because the Emir's bride-to-be, the unearthly beauty Princess Amara, it was her caravan. The heroes decide to track down any of the survivors, some of which apparently have reached the city for the rumors to spread.

Like in so many other role-playing games this sets of a number of skill checks. You want to bribe gate guards, ask around at the watch barracks, listen for rumors at the caravanserai where caravan guards get their next job, and of course let the gold flow at various taverns and houses of ill repute.

But what about being lucky enough to get directly to a credible lead, without first having to waste the day? And even if you have no connections with any guardsmen (like your friend the fighter might have), you might luck out on overhearing some relevant gossip, or (as happened in our campaign) simply happen to see a guards captain leaving his office unattended (so our thief could help himself to a bag of gold and some papers; none of this relevant to the investigation at hand).

This example is from "real" roleplaying. Not in the sense that you move figures on a battlemat, and your players trust you enough to not simply overwhelm and kill single heroes (in the city you need to spread out to get results that much faster). But still, small story vignettes aiming to kick-start the adventure (where the heroes ride out into the desert once they have enough intel to understand where they're going). Other use cases are for off-screen Carousing results (as I've said, I use Carousing to award luck and other ability points, in an attempt to explain why S&S heroes love wasting their hard-earned gold on that).

There are sooo many instances where I love that I don't have to come up with a skill you can check, when it is much more realistic that it is just pure happenstance whether you're in the right place at the right time. In other games you need to decide whether you gather information or track down neer-do-wells or whatever, and it can sometimes feel entirely arbitrary which skill to use or ask for.

I would love to have a Luck* statistic in every fantasy rpg! It really makes it easier and even inspires me as a GM! :)
*) or Chance, or Fate, Destiny... etc
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I really like and fully endorse the OP except for one aspect (and of course it's the aspect that's getting the most discussion): I very much dislike meta-bennie mechanics such as Luck in DCC or Inspiration in 5e D&D. Get rid of it, period.

I also agree that DCC as written is far too hard on its casters. That said, modern D&D is far too easy on them; and there's a good middle ground in there somewhere.
 

Voadam

Legend
I also agree that DCC as written is far too hard on its casters. That said, modern D&D is far too easy on them; and there's a good middle ground in there somewhere
I was pretty shocked there was no opportunity attack against casters in 5e, just disadvantage on the caster's attack roll if the caster uses a ranged attack roll spell while threatened. No impact for attack spells that use saves.

I was a fan of what I remember of the 4e mechanics where touch spells did not provoke opportunity attacks but ranged attacks/spells/powers did.
 

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