General DCC RPG thread

I am flying back from GaryCon. I played Weird Trails and Star Crawl Classics there (both DCC based). I find for a con game using preconstructed characters with all the needed tables copied and ready, DCC is very, very fun.

I have run a short campaign using it and I would say harder than other systems.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I finished reading it. Very good. How difficult is it to run? Seems like a lot of different systems with charts to reference in play.
It’s orders of magnitude easier to run than 5E. Have the casters use Purple Sorcerer to print out their spells. Use the reference booklet I linked above for the charts. It’s mostly crits and fumbles once you’re out of character creation and aside from spells. I would recommend using the dice chain more than the RAW suggests. Instead of +/-1 or 2 use +/-1d. Saves the look ups. DCC is very much a rulings not rules game, so it’s only as complicated as you want it to be.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The art is fantastic and the tone -- "hey, let's order some pizza and get our asses kicked/kicked some ass" -- is just wonderful.
Absolutely. It’s beer & pretzels play at it’s finest.
I'm kind of over how aggressive the funnel culture is and I think, after your players have played a few, it's probably OK to just start them with level 1 characters, especially given how many cool higher level adventures are gated behind the funnel process.
I kinda agree. I think it’s mostly a rite of passage thing. If a player can’t find the fun of a gonzo grindhouse funnel, they’re likely not going to enjoy DCC generally. But funnels are not the be-all-end-all of DCC.
For people just getting into DCC, note that Goodman has several de facto campaigns in addition to the individual modules. You have the Appalachian-inspired Shudder Mountain adventures, the Journey to the Center of Aerth hidden world adventures, the planetary fantasy of the Purple Planet and one could also daisy-chain together all their horror adventures. Lots of possibilities.
Yeah. There was a couple of articles about stringing together modules to form thematic adventure paths. I’ll have to track them down again.
 




overgeeked

B/X Known World
Very much less complicated than 5e. But I can see the tables being hard for new folks. Put page numbers in your character sheets for the referred tables. Also the printed references are great.
Exactly. You’ll always use that one crit table? Okay. Print it out. Cool. Now you never have to look anything up.

Objectively there’s a lot of charts and tables. But you don’t need all of them all the time. Each PC has one crit chart, likely several use the same one. There’s one fumble table. Spells just print out the ones you know and write in your mercurial magic. Done.

The hardest part would be looking up monster crits in real time. Purple Sorcerer or write down the monster crits in your stat block. Done. Or just pick one and use that.

It’s daunting because there’s a lot of stuff. And if you insist on running everything purely and strictly RAW you’re making things needlessly hard on yourself. Crack a beer, grab a slice of pizza, and throw some dice. It’s only as hard as you make it.
 

I’ve had basically the opposite experience. What were the sticking points for you?
I found the XP system poorly defined and the time between levels to be slower than I prefer. I also found that the implied tone worked better for one shots. Some mechanics like burning luck are much more fun in a one shot when you can nova and not spend a lot of game time recovering.

Tracking corruption for magic users is also not so fun in a longer campaign.

I also find it funny to claim DCC is easier than 5e since is is solidly built on the 3.0/3.5 foundation and you roll more dice more often and the criticals and fumbles are more work.

Spells not only have the success roll and saving throws but they also have all the normal D&D details added to the table.

Dice chain is not as intuitive as bonuses to the same D20.

I really like it and own most of the modules and settings that have been published, but I think it is way fiddler than 5e. 5e all the extra work is to create a character.

I certainly recommend trying it. In the weird frontiers (I think that was the final name, started at dark trails) game my cleric based character was floating 20 feet in the air striking the alien foes with the wrath of god after I burned most of my luck in the final big boss fight. That type of flavorful nova is not im the bones of 5e like DCC is.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I found the XP system poorly defined and the time between levels to be slower than I prefer. I also found that the implied tone worked better for one shots.
Yeah, gotta give you that. I'm not a fan of the XP system RAW. But it's trivial to work around. 2XP per encounter. Or complete one adventure, gain one level. Or complete as many adventures as your current level to advance to the next level. It's so simple to fix that it's a non-issue unless the judge is obsessed with playing RAW.
Some mechanics like burning luck are much more fun in a one shot when you can nova and not spend a lot of game time recovering.
Only thieves and halflings recover luck, RAW. So it's not something to worry about. The judge can award luck for adventuring, if they so choose. Recovering during downtime is fun. That's where most of the roleplaying and world interaction happens. At least in our games. I wouldn't want to skip that. But yes, DCC is a grittier game with longer recovery times. That's a feature, not a bug.
Tracking corruption for magic users is also not so fun in a longer campaign.
What's there to track? Either someone gains corruption or they didn't. Roll a nat 1 on a spell check, look at the spell, if it has corruption, roll 1d6. On a 1-3, you gain corruption or taint. Write down the specific corruption result. It should generally be a memorable thing to gain a second head growing out of your back with a different personality and a penchant for prophesy. It only happens what...2.5% of wizard or elf casts, at most. It's not frequent enough to be something to worry about "tracking" either way.
I also find it funny to claim DCC is easier than 5e since is is solidly built on the 3.0/3.5 foundation and you roll more dice more often and the criticals and fumbles are more work.
Because it is easier, by far. Everything that made 3E clunky and cumbersome is simply gone in DCC, those things are still present in 5E but toned down from 3E. So DCC is lighter in those same area because they don't exist in DCC. The three main culprits of bloat and difficulty of running D&D come from character builds, building monsters, and looking up the ridiculous rules for everything. 5E is better than 3E in that regard for ease of use...but compared to DCC, 5E is still bloated as all get out. So yep, crits and fumbles are "more work" than in 5E, but you're saving all that time from not having to worry about character builds, game balance, monster builds, or looking up the 500-word description of just exactly how stealth works, the action economy is simpler, etc. So yeah, DCC is orders of magnitude easier to run than 5E.
Spells not only have the success roll and saving throws but they also have all the normal D&D details added to the table.
If you think 5E spells are verbose, you're going to be shocked by the DCC spells. Yeah, absolutely. But they're also infinitely more fun. I'd much rather have a quick look up to see just what happened this time I successfully cast chill touch or flaming hands instead of casting it twice and knowing exactly what will happen forever every single time I cast the spell. DCC magic is...well, magical. 5E's magic is boring.
Dice chain is not as intuitive as bonuses to the same D20.
To each their own. I prefer the dice chain or dis/advantage to applying fiddly little bonuses. And Bobugbubilz save me from players +1 hunting.
I really like it and own most of the modules and settings that have been published, but I think it is way fiddler than 5e. 5e all the extra work is to create a character.
Making monsters, making balanced encounters, having players rules lawyer you, all the extra stuff 5E players expect that just aren't part of DCC play culture, like "original character" syndrome, "main character" syndrome, players being precious about their characters, integrating PC backstories into the world, players expecting to always win and freaking out if they don't even once, on and on and on. Running DCC for the first time after running 5E for nearly a decade was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders that I didn't know I was carrying. People talk about how awesome it is to not roll the dice once in a session, I have the same feeling about not having to crack the book to look up a rule or argue over it with a player. In DCC, if I don't know it off the top of my head, I make a ruling...and the players just go with it. Coming from 5E where every player will argue every call you make, it's amazing to no longer have to deal with that.
I certainly recommend trying it. In the weird frontiers (I think that was the final name, started at dark trails) game my cleric based character was floating 20 feet in the air striking the alien foes with the wrath of god after I burned most of my luck in the final big boss fight. That type of flavorful nova is not im the bones of 5e like DCC is.
Exactly. DCC is a weird, gonzo, pulpy action-adventure game with a solid sword & sorcery, weird fiction, horror, and science-fantasy vibe. It's old-school D&D cranked up to 11. All the juice, none of the rules bloat. It's wonderful.
 

Yeah, gotta give you that. I'm not a fan of the XP system RAW. But it's trivial to work around. 2XP per encounter. Or complete one adventure, gain one level. Or complete as many adventures as your current level to advance to the next level. It's so simple to fix that it's a non-issue unless the judge is obsessed with playing RAW.

Only thieves and halflings recover luck, RAW. So it's not something to worry about. The judge can award luck for adventuring, if they so choose. Recovering during downtime is fun. That's where most of the roleplaying and world interaction happens. At least in our games. I wouldn't want to skip that. But yes, DCC is a grittier game with longer recovery times. That's a feature, not a bug.

What's there to track? Either someone gains corruption or they didn't. Roll a nat 1 on a spell check, look at the spell, if it has corruption, roll 1d6. On a 1-3, you gain corruption or taint. Write down the specific corruption result. It should generally be a memorable thing to gain a second head growing out of your back with a different personality and a penchant for prophesy. It only happens what...2.5% of wizard or elf casts, at most. It's not frequent enough to be something to worry about "tracking" either way.

Because it is easier, by far. Everything that made 3E clunky and cumbersome is simply gone in DCC, those things are still present in 5E but toned down from 3E. So DCC is lighter in those same area because they don't exist in DCC. The three main culprits of bloat and difficulty of running D&D come from character builds, building monsters, and looking up the ridiculous rules for everything. 5E is better than 3E in that regard for ease of use...but compared to DCC, 5E is still bloated as all get out. So yep, crits and fumbles are "more work" than in 5E, but you're saving all that time from not having to worry about character builds, game balance, monster builds, or looking up the 500-word description of just exactly how stealth works, the action economy is simpler, etc. So yeah, DCC is orders of magnitude easier to run than 5E.

If you think 5E spells are verbose, you're going to be shocked by the DCC spells. Yeah, absolutely. But they're also infinitely more fun. I'd much rather have a quick look up to see just what happened this time I successfully cast chill touch or flaming hands instead of casting it twice and knowing exactly what will happen forever every single time I cast the spell. DCC magic is...well, magical. 5E's magic is boring.

To each their own. I prefer the dice chain or dis/advantage to bonuses.

Making monsters, making balanced encounters, having players rules lawyer you, all the extra stuff 5E players expect that just aren't part of DCC play culture, like "original character" syndrome, "main character" syndrome, players being precious about their characters, integrating PC backstories into the world, players expecting to always win and freaking out if they don't even once, on and on and on. Running DCC for the first time after running 5E for nearly a decade was like a weight was lifted from my shoulders that I didn't know I was carrying. People talk about how awesome it is to not roll the dice once in a session, I have the same feeling about not having to crack the book to look up a rule or argue over it with a player. In DCC, if I don't know it off the top of my head, I make a ruling...and the players just go with it. Coming from 5E where every player will argue every call you make, it's amazing to no longer have to deal with that.

Exactly. DCC is a weird, gonzo, pulpy action-adventure game with a solid sword & sorcery, weird fiction, horror, and science-fantasy vibe. It's old-school D&D cranked up to 11. All the juice, none of the rules bloat. It's wonderful.
I play Swords and Wizardry (0e D&D) and plenty of old school games. I don’t need to be told that games with fewer rules can be fun.

You asked me why I answered the way I did. You counter points do not echo with me, I honestly think that you are exaggerating the other way. I have sat at tables with experienced DCC players and had rules argued. One of the main DCC podcasts is on RAW. You handwaving RAW like it does not matter is not true for many, many players. I want to play RAW and then slowly change it over time to suit my group. But RAW has to hold together. In DCC’s case, the RAW rules are actually fairly solid.

I strongly recommend that people give DCC a shot. It is a fun flavour of D&D and I played 8 hours of DCC type games at GaryCon. I have played DCC at every GaryCon and 100% had a good experience.

That does not mean that I do not find it to be the greatest system for an ongoing campaign.
 

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