Yep, another little house rule tweak that popped into my head for Dungeon Crawl Classics. It’s simple and can makes things a little more interesting.
Instead of the normal wizardly spell casting bonus of the character’s level, replace it with a Deed Die. Just look at the Fighter progression table to see what die type a wizard of equal level would get and there you go. This really underscores the chaotic nature of magic. That fifth level magic user rolls a one on the Deed Die and poorly on the d20. Well, tough luck.
Going along with the Deed Die theme, why not add in some Mighty Acts of the Arcane. Want a small side or special effect for that spell? GO FOR IT! And it works the same way as Mighty Deeds of Arms.
What about that Natural Twenty roll? For that the gets to roll and additional Deed Die and add that onto the total.
Now, this is just an idea and I haven’t play tested it and who knows somebody probably smarter and prettier than me has already thought of this idea. Heck, this idea will probably be tweaked and twisted a few times before it makes it to the table.
No, not the post apocalyptic game by FGU. I see how you could think that since Mutant Crawl Classics is just around the corner. Nope. This is a little rant about about the my recent running of DCC. Now most of the things I’m to talk about are going to be old hat to folks who have plenty of DCC play time under their belt. Hopefully, this might help someone new to the game to get the most fun out it. I’d also like to throw out a big thank you to all cool folks of the G+ Dungeon Crawl Classics Community. One way to judge a game is by the communities that form around it.
Let’s talk about the little things you should have. As the judge, you’ll need the rule book (of course duh). Just to keep you sanity go ahead and pick up the Reference Book over on Lulu. That thing is soo handy. Do you “need” the funky dice? Not really. You can use the normal polyhedrals or the Crawler’s Companion (more on that later). Plus a spare printer cartridge to print out character sheets, spell tables and whatever else you’ll think you will need. Other than that just use whatever normal mini’s, maps, and what have you that you would in any other game.
For players, the list is almost identical. However, if the players don’t want to invest in a rule book(even the PDf). They don’t want to get funky dice. Then encourage, bribe, and shake your finger at them like an angry nanny to get them to use the Crawler’s Companion. Hey if they’re going to look at their smart phones, at least let be something related to the game you are playing.
Now this is, what I think, is the most important thing. The mindset. As player be prepared to have characters die. Don’t fear it. Don’t whine. Embrace it. Your character will (probably) not be a perfect hero with wonderful stats. Your character will not be min-maxed to the perfect (insert whatever class here). And just because of all those things, still have a connection with the character.
As a judge, you should be used to player characters coming and basically flipping the table when it comes to your laid plans and plots. Guess what? In DCC, the game will do that too. Don’t avoid it. Jump right in and change the world and the plot as the dice may land. Adapt and be creative on the spot. I know that ain’t easy and chances are you just might make a silly on the spot decision. Don’t worry. Roll with it. Also don’t feel bad about killing characters. It happens. Also, try to beat into the player’s head that they can use Luck. Really, my players hung on to their Luck like it was gold. Heck, the dwarf died because he chose to take his chances with damage rather than burning some Luck. Really, a first level character’s chances of surviving a 100 foot fall are pretty damned slim. A few points of Luck would have totally avoided that.
Now, I said I’d talk more about Crawler’s Companion. And here’s that rant. Use every freaking tool you can from Purple Sorcerer Games. From the Companion. To the Zero Level Character generator. Have your players (or do it yourself) print out a Grimoire. You’ll be thankful. And as I said. Get the Reference Book and put some bookmarks in it for those special pages. Or even buy the PDF and the core book and print out those pages you need and create your own. There’s a lot charts and tables for DCC, keep the ones you need handy and keep the game moving.
To sum it up. Be prepared. And be prepared to improvise.
While our little group is going for a change of pace and doing a Savage Worlds Space Opera game. I’m already coming up with some ideas for that Mutant Crawl Classics game. So stay tuned for a few rants on both of those.
I don’t rant too much about Kickstarters unless it’s something that I’m really excited about. And this is one of them.
I absolutely love the Crawling Under a Broken Moon zines for DCC and getting updated versions of something of the stuff as well as some new stuff is just outright awesome. The only negative thing I can think of is that it doesn’t come out at the same time as Mutant Crawl Classics because I am so kitbashing those and already have a plan to start running MCC as soon as I can get my hands on it.
But anyway check the Kickstarter.
I don’t always post session summaries but this one had some good moments worth sharing. This was a by-the-seat-of-my-pants session. There were a few ideas in my head but I wanted things just to happen and see where the dice and the characters end up. The most valuable tools for this session were (of course) Vornheim, the Drunken Debauchery Table from Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea , Rory’s Story Cubes, and my own warped imagination.
The player characters finally have made it to the Great City of Garnax. Here’s the highlights.
The city is named after the Great Wizard Garnax who hasn’t been seen in over a century. His tower still floats over the city. The Shadow District is the poor section town and is in the shadow of the tower. The wealthy used to live there until someone mentioned that bad things might happen if the tower’s magic goes crazy and the whole thing falls out of the sky.
They learn the best place to buy “interesting” items is the Night Market. It’s where the normal market square is just at night. The Night Market is run by woman named Lady Vasha.
The Thieves’ Guild has a strong presence in the city. It is ran by the Halflings. They don’t crap from anybody.
The fighter with demonic intelligent magic sword is visited by an artisan who was commissioned to make a custom scabbard. The scabbard is fine work of art inscribed with demonic runes that say, “I’m with stupid.” The fighter later goes on to anger the commander of the city guard.
The Thief (who for some reason) was in charge of the party loot looses a bunch of gold in a back alley cockfight.
The party rescues Lady Cleopatra of Thrawl who has the disturbing habit of collect finger nails and then carving miniature portraits of herself in them. The party deals with some thugs and is later rewarded by the Halflings for taken out unsanctioned persons.
The wizard finds a mysterious map and a bakery on the sight of the an old alchemy lab that had a “minor” alchemical accident. The bakery makes low grade bread for the local jail and asylum.
At the Night Marker things get interesting. The dwarf tries to buy and sell recipes at the potions shop without any luck. The party doesn’t buy any potions. They don’t even pick up any in the “Discount Grab Bag Bin”. The party finally is granted an audience with Lady Vasha. After some initial haggling and a little divination on the side. Lady Vasha offers to hire them to find the Keys to the Tower of Garnax. She explains that many a skilled adventurer (and thief) has attempted to enter the tower and have never returned. She knows of powerful wizards who have attempted to gain entry. They too have been fatally unsuccessful. Her research has lead to believe there are “keys” needed to enter the tower. She wants to the PC’s to get her those keys. She sends them off to a blind elf cartographer who makes magical maps via spirit writing for a map to the location of the keys.
She brokers a little side deal with the party’s wizard. She can get grid of that corruption. The wizard jumps at the chance. (Yes, I played fast and loose with rules as written but it was fun). The good news. The PC wizard learned two new spells. Patron Bond and Invoke Patron. That patron of course is Sezrekan. And the corruption. Oh that was replaced with Patron Taint.
And where are the Keys to the Tower of Garnax….
Last session I threw this little beastie at the party at the finale of Doom of The Savage King. I stuck in the Jarl’s head. So here you go terrorize the PC’s with the Octobrain.
Octobrains are mysterious and ancient race bound to the forces of Chaos. They appear as a writhing mass of tentacles with the a brain at the center. Octobrains move by using their tentacles spring, usually towards a new host.
Init: +4; AC; 12; HD: 2d6; HP: 7; MV: 15’ (jumping); ACT: 1d20; SC: Fort: +1; Ref: +3; Will: +4
Atk: Face Hug: Make DC 3d6 Ref Save to avoid or it starts face hugging. On the following rounds make opposed Str Check against Octobrain (+2). If successful then the Octobrain has been removed. If fail then the Octobrain has pried open the character’s mouth, oozed inside their skull and begins absorbing the victim’s brain. The victim 1d5 Int damage each round. When the character reaches 0 Int then the character is dead and the Octobrain is in control and can access all of the dead character’s abilities. Attacks against a face-hugging Octobrain do half damage to the character it is attached to.
PSI Shriek (once per day) 30 foot radius centered on the Octobrain. Take 2d4 damage. DC 12 Will Save for half.
Brain Bolt: One Target, 30 feet, DC:12 Will Save or take 1d4+1 damage.