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 Post subject: Dungeon Crawl Classics Tournament
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:19 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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My group will be headed to GenCon next year. I've been reading posts on the GenCon forums about games that are recommended. One tournament that often comes up is the Dungeon Crawl Classics tournament. Everyone says that its the shiznit.

So, I came here.

I have a few questions. A lot of people say that the event sells out quickly. How quickly? Do I have to register on day one? Are you planning to expand the tournament?

Will the tournament be done as 4E for next year?

How many players?

I'm preparing my group for play in the tournament next year. I have a whole year to prep them for this. I've scored Crypt of the Devil Lich on ebay, and will be picking up any others that I can get my hands on.

If anyone is willing to share, I'd like to hear about tournament tactics that groups use (I'm interested in hearing from the teams that have made the finals). I'd like to hear from all of the finals groups. I'd especially like to hear from two teams - Mike Meanza/Josh O'Connor team and Clan Yeoman. I've looked on the Goodman Games "tournament" section, and these two teams kept coming up in the scores. The Mike Meanza/Josh O'Connor team placed 1st in year 1 and 2. Clan Yeoman placed 1st or 2nd in 3 out of the 4 years that this tournament has been running. Those teams must be doing something right. I've googled you guys and did a forum search, and know that you post here sometimes. So...whats yer secret? :)

From the tournament GMs - what do the finals teams do differently (or better) than everyone else?


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon Crawl Classics Tournament
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:28 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2696
Location: San Jose, CA
Hurst wrote:
My group will be headed to GenCon next year. I've been reading posts on the GenCon forums about games that are recommended. One tournament that often comes up is the Dungeon Crawl Classics tournament. Everyone says that its the shiznit.


Cool... I'm glad we come well recommended!

Hurst wrote:
I have a few questions. A lot of people say that the event sells out quickly. How quickly? Do I have to register on day one? Are you planning to expand the tournament?


All tickets usually sell out within 24 hours of preregistration opening. We are indeed looking to add more judges next year. One of the ways we've kept the tournament strong has been by hand-picking the best judges, and never growing beyond our ability to quality control the entire experience. With that in mind, we're looking at adding more tables, but only to the extent that we have enough solid judges.

Hurst wrote:
Will the tournament be done as 4E for next year?


Yes.

Hurst wrote:
How many players?


You mean table size or total tables? Table size is typically 4 players; total tables is typically 25+.

Hurst wrote:
I'm preparing my group for play in the tournament next year. I have a whole year to prep them for this. I've scored Crypt of the Devil Lich on ebay, and will be picking up any others that I can get my hands on.


Good idea. Experience with the past tournaments is the best way to prepare. At this point there are three in print (including DCC #30: Vault of the Dragon Kings and DCC #49: Palace in the Wastes), and we'll be publishing this year's tournament, Chronicle of the Fiend, by the end of the year.

One other good way to prepare is to actually participate in a local tournament using one of our modules. Many game stores run the modules for in-house tourneys. If you happen to be in Utah, The Dragons Keep in Provo, UT is running Vault of the Dragon Kings as a tournament next month. Check with your local stores... and even if they're not running one, you can suggest it.

Hurst wrote:
If anyone is willing to share, I'd like to hear about tournament tactics that groups use (I'm interested in hearing from the teams that have made the finals). I'd like to hear from all of the finals groups. I'd especially like to hear from two teams - Mike Meanza/Josh O'Connor team and Clan Yeoman. I've looked on the Goodman Games "tournament" section, and these two teams kept coming up in the scores. The Mike Meanza/Josh O'Connor team placed 1st in year 1 and 2. Clan Yeoman placed 1st or 2nd in 3 out of the 4 years that this tournament has been running. Those teams must be doing something right. I've googled you guys and did a forum search, and know that you post here sometimes. So...whats yer secret? :)

From the tournament GMs - what do the finals teams do differently (or better) than everyone else?


Good questions! There are a couple threads floating around here and on the DCC board from this year's tournament. Try bumping one of them to get some new eyes on the subject.

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:47 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 630
Greetings, Hurst!

Welcome to the boards! It looks like Joseph answered the bulk of your questions, so I'll just supply you with a few links:

This thread discusses the three tournaments in general:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=2150

This is the spoilers thread for Palace in the Waste:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 44&start=0

This thread has some info on how advancement works and tips for registering, which as you've noted is sometimes a pain:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=1340

This is a brief discussion of character selection strategy (and the hidden pitfalls and merits thereof):

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=948

Here are some anecdotes from Crypt of the Devil-Lich:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=215

Here is a big ol', meaty discussion of this year's tournament, Chronicle of the Fiend:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 68&start=0

This discusses some tournament rules for Vault of the Dragon King:

This thread discusses the tournament's "take 20" rule:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=859

Here is a non-tournament session through Crypt:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=874

Here is the pre-Vault FAQ:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=425

This thread goes on and on about how the Palace was designed...the writer's a hack:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... php?t=2531

Heh.

Reading the previous modules is always the best place to start, especially the most recent ones because we're evolving how it works.

Hope this helps, and I'll see you in Indy next year!

_________________
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:07 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:33 pm
Posts: 3
Jengenritz wrote:
Greetings, Hurst!

Welcome to the boards! It looks like Joseph answered the bulk of your questions, so I'll just supply you with a few links:

This thread discusses the three tournaments in general:


Thanks! Wow. There is a ton of information here. I'll pour through these links. Thanks for that!

I found a copy of Vault of the Dragon Kings at a local store today, so I now have 2 of the 4 tournament modules. I've read through Crypt of the Devil Lich....WOW! My group is going to love this.

I'd still like to hear from judges and tournament teams as well.

When are the levels typically announced?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:10 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 630
We get the Player's Pack out by late July/early August.

That contains the pregens (and their levels), Tournament Guidelines, and a FAQ, as well as the tournament name.

We've done something different every year with the pregens.

Year One (Crypt) had 6 pregens and 6-man teams.

Year Two (Vault) introduced a pool of 6 pregens from which a team of 4 was drawn.

Year Three (Palace) allowed you to carry found equipment over from one round to the next; in fact it was crucial.

Year Four (Chronicle) featured the pregens gaining levels between rounds; specifically 0/8/10.

Year Five...who knows? Well, we do, but we're not saying...yet!

_________________
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:43 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer
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Speaking as a final round judge, I won't disclose winning tactics. Speaking as a playtester, we use those winning tactics in playtesting to sharpen the scenarios to a fine edge. There are a few tricks i've seen that definitely make a difference, but you will need to pry them out of the players. But I will taunt you a little : If you can find out how "We flunked flank" made it to second place in round 3 two years ago having only 3 players, that might be a good tactical place to start. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Dungeon Crawl Classics Tournament
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:55 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:02 am
Posts: 538
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Hurst wrote:
So...whats yer secret? :)


Girl players. ;)

Hurst wrote:
The Mike Meanza/Josh O'Connor team placed 1st in year 1 and 2. Clan Yeoman placed 1st or 2nd in 3 out of the 4 years that this tournament has been running. Those teams must be doing something right.


I wouldn't just single us out. Just off the top of my head, here are a few more that you should ask for advice - Glen Eagles, We Flunked Flank (already mentioned in this thread, but worth repeating...plus, these guys are really cool), Fish in a Barrel, Simple Weapons, The Blood Kings (won the tournament this year)...I think you get the idea...there are lots of great groups out there . Any team with experience in the tournament could give you some good advice. I appreciate the nod though.

I'll reiterate what Joseph has already said - playing the DCC tournament modules is your best way to prepare for the tournament. Read the scoring, and know where points are typically assigned.


Other Tips (I'll probably regret this later) ;):

Pregens - know thyself.

Take time to study the characters. I'm a BIG dork when it comes to the tournament. I lay out an excel spreadsheet, with each character, side by side. You want to make sure that you have the bases covered in terms of the skillsets. Knowledge skills are largely overlooked by most people...don't be one of them. I've been playing D&D since I was 8 years old...but I'm not an encyclopedia. Sometimes I need a reminder on what creature weakness are. For that matter, the Goodman folks are pretty clever and often add templates to standard creatures...

Look carefully at their magic items. There will always be something useful. Use them sparingly (since they cost points)...but don't be afraid to use them. You can use A LOT of charges before it equals the point deduction that you suffer for a PC death. Keep that in mind.

Pregen Selection

Since Goodman Games (currently) provides 6 characters and you only play 4, that means that even the selection of PCs is strategic. Different teams will have different tactics. Ours is fairly consistent each year. It doesn't always work to our benefit...and some rounds we BARELY made it past encounters because of our choices. In any case, we generally go for this mix - thief, cleric, mage, warrior. That means we leave behind A LOT of the muscle...but it suits us fine. Thieves are essential in the DCC tournament. Don't leave home without one. The mage provides the surprise spells and area effect stuff that will get you out of tough situations. Clerics provide the healing (necessary, since you'll be taking more damage if you leave behind the muscle PCs) and turning. Lastly, the warrior provides your front to combat.

I would suggest matching the PC mix to what your team is most comfortable with.

Play the Pregens before the tournament.

It lets the players become more familiar with them. I generally make up a tournament-style adventure to get them accustomed to the PCs.

Timing!

Go quickly, but carefully. This is a difficult balance sometimes. Don't get bogged down in time-consuming combats. Having everyone rush in is not always the best tactic.

Pick Your Players Carefully

You've heard the phrase "too many cooks in the kitchen". Well, the same applies to tournament groups. TOo many leaders/type A personalities will hurt the group...even if they are the best players in the world.

Avoid Over-use of Magic Items in your regular campaign

I'm not sure if everyone feels this way. In our regular campaign, we're poor in magic items. The downside is that we often have to look up what the magic items do (prior to the tournament). The upside is that we're more likely to approach encounters a little differently...and I've always felt that was an advantage.

Combat Tactics

N'Haaz-aua mentioned We Flunked Flanks tanking tactic. Also, here are some general tactics - luring opponents into different rooms (used a lot this year), bottlenecking opponents (let's you fight less of them at once and you can provide your strongest warrior as the "front" man), using distance weapons to your advantage, using spells to weaken opponents before the warriors rush in, etc. Use the tactics that work best for each room. Use the terrain to your advantage. Don't neglect the benefit that cover can give you.

Adapt or Die

Yeah...like the dinosaurs. :) The Goodman team has managed to make enough changes each year that the teams have to respond a little differently each time. So...be adaptable.

4E will change everything

It probably doesn't need to be said, but 4E will definitely throw everyone for a loop, and it will take some time to adjust to the new system. Such being the case, new tactics are bound to show up. Read the rules carefully and look for creative loopholes (I know I will). ;)

Ummm...that's all I can think of right now. Hope that helps! See you next year at GenCon.




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Dark Oracle of Gaming


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:01 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:33 pm
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Thanks Fathead. I wasn't trying to single you out. I was hoping to hear from any of the finals teams. It's just that I wanted input from the "repeat" teams in particular.

We Flunked Flank - care to elaborate on your tanking tactic?

If any other teams are willing to add tactics, I'd like to hear it.

On a side note - I've read Vault of the Dragon Kings as well now. Great adventure. I'm surprised its taken me this long to look at the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. If these are anything like the rest of your stuff, sign me up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:58 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:07 pm
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Hurst wrote:
We Flunked Flank - care to elaborate on your tanking tactic?


It was more than just the tanking...


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