General DCC RPG thread

Is there a way to play this game without having to rely on a zillion random tables? Because that's one of the things that's turning me off from the game (race-as-class and the funnel are other things), but there seems to be things I find pretty interesting as well, like the deed die, the corruptive magic, and the godly favor die.
You could lift the the Deed Die mechanic and the corruption tables and use them in a 5e game. It would weaken spell casters and strengthen Fighters. This would probably be a good thing IMO.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Obviously.

My point was only that if you’re going to not engage with the features of the game that make it unique, there’s no real point to playing DCC RPG instead on any one of the hundred other OSR D&D-likes. You play DCC RPG because you like what it does that other games don’t. At least that’s me.
That's kind of ridiculous. People alter games all the time to get rid of things they don't like. DCC shouldn't fall apart just because you want to have a character with a background before they started out instead of one who managed to survive because of lucky die rolls.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Is there a way to play this game without having to rely on a zillion random tables? Because that's one of the things that's turning me off from the game (race-as-class and the funnel are other things), but there seems to be things I find pretty interesting as well, like the deed die, the corruptive magic, and the godly favor die.
If I were you, I would just convert the things you like about DCC into a game you already like. The actual game doesn't sound like it would be to your taste.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Start at first level, for one thing. While the DCC diehards may cry out in pain, you're not playing with them. If you're not up for the Looney Tunes splatterfest, the funnel can get to be pretty tiring, especially if you have players who come to the game with a more modern mindset that their character is important, rather than a disposable avatar to be replaced when they die, like in a roguelike videogame.

Otherwise, the random tables are 99% wizard spells. If your group isn't playing with one, the randomness largely goes away, except when things go catastrophically wrong for a cleric.
I honestly wouldn't play DCC if I came i to the game expecting to tell my character's story start to finish.
 


darjr

I crit!
If you don't want the spell charts consider this. Write down the option for 11 + the casters level for the spell table entry. Always use that.

The player has to roll 11 + the spells level or higher to cast it or they lose it. They get bad things on a roll of 1. You can either write down the misfire entry or roll it once when they get the spell and thats what they get on a misfire.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
I honestly wouldn't play DCC if I came i to the game expecting to tell my character's story start to finish.
I can't say I've ever seen a game that's expected your backstory to include anything but their, y'know, backstory. What happened before they went adventuring. I have seen very few players of any game actually try to tell their character's entire story in their backstory.
 


eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Start at first level, for one thing. While the DCC diehards may cry out in pain, you're not playing with them. If you're not up for the Looney Tunes splatterfest, the funnel can get to be pretty tiring, especially if you have players who come to the game with a more modern mindset that their character is important, rather than a disposable avatar to be replaced when they die, like in a roguelike videogame.

Otherwise, the random tables are 99% wizard spells. If your group isn't playing with one, the randomness largely goes away, except when things go catastrophically wrong for a cleric.
Agree. I play DCC all the time and I find the funnel to be tedious and skip them entirely virtually all the time.
 

Is there a way to play this game without having to rely on a zillion random tables? Because that's one of the things that's turning me off from the game (race-as-class and the funnel are other things), but there seems to be things I find pretty interesting as well, like the deed die, the corruptive magic, and the godly favor die.
DCC is very tolerant of mucking around with the mechanics. I removed the momentum die from spell duels for my campaign and it went fine. If a person wanted to just have criticals do extra damage, there's nothing stopping you. As for the spells, which are indeed tables, after tables, if you wanted to not use them, you could just to pick a single result from the table and just use spellcheck results of 1, 2-11, and everything 12 and up is that one result. You might want to scale back the bonuses to the check then, though.

DCC Dying Earth kinda has something like that, where Magicians essentially roll their spell check result when they learn a new spell.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
DCC is simultaneously one of the best experiences I have had in role-playing AND terribly bloated and confusing.

I LOVED the following, and I would dearly like to incorporate these things into more general D&D-y gaming.

* the funnel. Yes, it massively changed the way minmax-inclined players looked at their characters. This is the first mechanism I've seen able to truly wrest away the idea your character is mainly a bunch of numbers you operate and maximize.

* the way your character's fate is sometimes out of your hands, coupled with the... fluidity... of your character stats. Your character's ability scores aren't just something you assign when you create your character, and then keep full control over as these values slowly go ever upwards. No, your ability points can go up and also go down, semi-randomly during the adventure (and in-between, during downtime).

** In this regard it is important to realize ability modifiers are downplayed from +5 for a stat value of 20 (in D&D) to +3 for a stat value of 18. This is important, because it makes players more accommodating when some curse or magical effect robs you of a point of Dexterity or Intelligence or whatever. (It's less of a deal when the scale is +3 to -3 than when the scale is +5 to -5)
** Tied to this is also DCC's mechanism to roll under your actual score on a d20. (The rulebook only mentions this mechanism for Luck, but it is useful for all abilities)

* Talking about Luck; how I love to gamesmaster a rpg with a Luck (or Fate or Destiny) ability score! :) It makes my job soooo easy when I don't have to even try to justify why this or that roll is Athletics or Diplomacy or whatever when it really is just pure happenstance! (Just like some players argue Perception should be a core characteristic and not a mere skill) I would love to play a D&D with Luck as a 7th ability score! (fully integrated in the rules of course)
** What I don't think my players ever caught on to, is how Luck makes Thieves the best character class to play for downtime stories. You can basically boldly jump into almost any situation, confident that even if everything goes to naughty word, your Luck score will carry you out of any mess pretty much unscathed...! :)

So I'm dreaming of using a ruleset my players can actually read and comprehend (5E might not be perfect but it is streets ahead of DCC when it comes to the quality of the rules writing) but with a Luck mechanic and possibly the funnel concept as well.

The funnel itself is relatively easy. Just create four characters, don't hold back during the first adventures, and see which survive.

What you need, though, is random character generation. And for that to work, you probably need to scale back 5E's ability score bonuses (which, remember, were already significantly scaled back compared to 3rd Edition).

Fungible ability scores should be easy. Simply change your players' character ability scores in ways 5E never do! :)

The Luck attribute and its mechanism is the one thing that merits deliberation.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to bring over these aspects of DCC goodness into regular D&D games! :)

Zapp

PS. Here's my Reddit review reposted for more about my thoughts on the game:

https://www.reddit.com/r/dccrpg/comments/zqrjvw/my_review_of_the_dcc_ruleset_playtest_review/ said:
Generally, I (the Judge or Dungeon Master) had a very good time.

DCC absolutely teaches and invokes the Old School Mindset, and so it is a worthy candidate for any Dungeons & Dragons player looking to elevate their game above 5th Edition.

The funnel concept and the bare-bones chargen really help sending the message this isn't your regular D&D anymore.

However.

The rules are in places shoddily written, with inconsistencies, ambiguities and unclear passages happening way too often for a game that has been revised eight times already.

This is in part because the game developer (and his proponents, including some of you reading this) apparently conflates two things, one good and one very very bad:

  • leaving things up for the reader to decide can be good
  • leaving the reader wondering what is meant is never good

It's perfectly okay for a ruleset to state "here it's up to you the reader". Sometimes a set of rules is better off not overly specifying a rule.

But this needs to be clearly communicated.

Just leaving a poorly explained rule with the justification "it's better the rule doesn't clearly state one or the other" is extremely annoying. It's just wrong, full stop.

In each case where the designer intentionally wants to not make a decision, say so.

The rules still fails to clearly explain how Luck points work, how and when Spellburn can be used, how the Deed die interacts with multiple actions, and many more niggling details.

Soon someone will pop up to defend the rules with "its a GOOD THING each DM must decide for themselves".

But again, the rules should have clearly stated when any omission or ambiguity is intentional, rather than leaving the reader wondering what is meant.

Another major weakness of the rules is how overengineered the spellcasting is.

The basic idea is fine. Spellcasting is much too similar to technology in regular D&D. Things that work reliably, and give off reproducible effects, we call "tools", not "spells".

However, DCC increases the rules-load way too much by making everything variable. And by making each individual spell vary in its own individual way. This is nothing but clutter. The core idea was good, but somebody needed to rein in the writers.

Playing a game of D&D is already chaotic and unpredictable as it is. Adding a die roll to determine how effective any given spell is, is fine. Having to look up each and every spellcasting on a table that is unique to each spell, with results scattered all over the place (as opposed to a simple "higher is strictly better" scheme) is changing far too many variables at once.

Compared to regular D&D, adding randomness to just one or two factors, would go a long way to combating the feeling that magic is only a reliable tool, or technology. Adding randomness to essentially ALL factors just makes DCC magic a pain to use, with next to zero added benefit.

Unfortunately, these aspects of DCC mean my players won't want to play another campaign with these rules.

Avoid DCC if you and your group prefers clearly understandable rules and/or rules for magic that doesn't severely bog down gameplay.

That said, playing a campaign of DCC has really given me valuable OSR insight that I will be sure to carry with me into whatever comes next.

TL;DR: Dungeon Crawl Classics would profoundly gain by a 2nd Edition, where an experienced ttrpg editor is hired to clean up all the confusing rules passages, and to kill off the darlings in the spellcasting rules.
To the above I need to add that even if DCC had absolutely zero value for me (which it didn't) it would still be very valuable for the single fact it revitalized Goodman Games adventure output.

Compare the rote scenarios that was the original 3rd edition DCC adventures (and the abysmal 4E adventures) and you will realize the system has had a huge and profound impact on the writers' creativity. The DCC line adventures are excellent to the point it's even hard to fathom the earlier scenarios were part of the same line.

Just needed to add that "wildly inventive and cool adventures" is something I definitely forgot to mention in my review.

I should also add that a major source of character "fluidity" or stat fungibility is carousing events. Mentioning this mostly because my DCC experience was for a Sword & Sorcery game, and carousing was something I discovered from DCC fans - not the rulebook. (Carousing isn't part of the core rules; but the idea you gain and lose ability points throughout your adventures very much is part of the core DCC experience)

If you're intrigued, here's the Knights of the North carousing tables (supplemented by my own Paramours effects) to give you a hint of what I mean by gaining and losing ability points:

 



If anyone needs an elevator pitch for DCC, I had some success with this incredible image today:

image0.jpg
 

How do folks deal with XP and leveling up? Do you use the xp table in the book? Or do you some other method?

I've been trying to use the table in the book, but I think the threshold for hitting 3rd level and beyond is too low. I've been futzing with it. Below is my potential new XP table with the book recommendation listed in parenthesis.

1 0
2 50 (50)
3 150 (110)
4 250 (190)
5 400 (290)
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
How do folks deal with XP and leveling up? Do you use the xp table in the book? Or do you some other method?

I've been trying to use the table in the book, but I think the threshold for hitting 3rd level and beyond is too low. I've been futzing with it. Below is my potential new XP table with the book recommendation listed in parenthesis.

1 0
2 50 (50)
3 150 (110)
4 250 (190)
5 400 (290)
I had some reservations when I started playing, but I've come around. I just use the table as-is.

If you award 2 XP per encounter survived, as the Core Rulebook recommends, reaching 3rd level from 2nd takes surviving 30 encounters. While they vary pretty dramatically, the published adventures seem to average 12-15 encounters each. That means that if the characters hit and survive every encounter in the the adventure - which is by no means guaranteed - it would take 2-3 adventures for characters to go from 2nd to 3rd level. My weekly group typically made it through a module every 2-3 weeks (playing once a week for ~3 hours).

Obviously you can do whatever works for you and your group. But I never found the leveling to be TOO fast; on the contrary, it was nice to see the characters develop in what I felt was a reasonable time frame. And there are so many adventures, it's hard to play them all, and the relatively rapid advancement pace means we get to try more of them out. I even typically awarded 3 XP per encounter instead of 2, just to keep things moving.
 


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