Thursday, July 28, 2011

DCC review part 2

I do not feel inclined to play this system again. 

Starting with a handful of random names, numbers, backgrounds, even if allowed to customize each one, still inserts to much of a degree of randomness.  From a power-gaming perspective, there are effectively only two methods of character creation that should be followed.  Each player should create each of the four fundamental character types or each player should create multiple versions of what they want to play so that the survivors are most likely to cover standard party needs and be something the player wants to play.  I'm also not inclined to want to have a starting character (though proven to be indifferent in Hackmaster) trying to "run" with higher level characters - making the funnel just a mechanic for playing 0-level characters.

Both magic path systems provide interesting development options, but at a cost that is probably a little too steep at the outset and just irritating at higher levels.

Certainly having disapproval (or whatever the term is) of the divine spell casting path makes the cleric more interesting and not the standard heal-bot.  However, such limitations on spell-casting make an already underpowered caster even less effective when combined with the silly "turn everything opposed to you" mechanic.  If the mechanic were scaled back to a more limited target: undead, outsiders, beasts, etc. - it would make for a more directed (and possibly interesting) character and limit "wasted" turning attempts and reduce disapproval build-up.

Corruption of an arcane spell caster is a pretty common theme in media and makes some sense as it relates our generally perceived ideas of magical addiction.  However, using this type of rolled 1 mechanic is specifically punishing spell-casters.  Certainly, the ability to continue casting spells as long as you don't fail a roll is powerful, but so is being able to swing a sword or fire a bow indefinitely and there isn't much punishment for a thief or fighter rolling a 1 - saving dropping a weapon, getting it stuck or breaking a bow string.  To balance that playing field, why not have the weapon wielder remove a finger/toe/eye/ear leading to them being "freaks" in the same manner as the arcane casters eventually become?  I know, because magic is so powerful, but a one-eyed, hook-handed, peg-legged barkeep is a great NPC.

Luck dice are just an added complication that people will often forget about or misuse (cheat) because they don't fully understand the mechanic and/or if it does or does not apply to every character and does or does not apply to each roll.  I'm not saying dumb it down, but it seems there could be a more effective implementation of this type of "bonus".


  1. Have you looked at the rules since the beta? I believe the cleric's turning has been adjusted as you suggested.

    Some will enjoy the funnel aspect of character creation, others won't. I like the idea of not only randomness, but players having to be mindful of putting their favorite 0 level adventurers in danger, and if they survive, then one's emotional attachment becomes that much greater!

    What comes out the other side of this meat-grinder will probably be a hodge-podge cast of characters. Far more interesting and roleplay rich than the usual D&D party.

    As for luck dice, I sort of agree. What I'm doing as DM/Judge is to let characters spend their available luck until it's gone or they replenish it. I'm leaving the astrology business and constant +1's and -2's out.


  2. Honestly, no I haven't looked at the rules since right after doing the beta play test. I have since moved cities, changed jobs, changed houses several times and changed gaming groups and swapped out numerous players in the new gaming group, that wasn't very interested in play-testing or trying new systems to begin with. And to complicate this chaos, we're experiencing another fundamental player shift in our gaming group right now and we don't know what we'll end up playing or who will still be part of the group in a week when we meet up again.

    All that said, I'll take another look at the system and see how it looks for potential inclusion in the possible systems our new group incarnation might be interesting in playing - THANKS!!