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 Post subject: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Is level 0 going to be a one adventure origin for characters that results in survivors becoming level 1?

Is there any magic available to level 0 characters? Can they make pacts or call upon higher powers as a mage or priest would do?

I know generally levelling is supposed to be slow and think that is great. Just curious how much need there will be for level 0 adventures and if there was a need for any that were not 'origin' type stories where the characters are fresh off the farm/boat/whatever.

Any input would be appreciated - trying to storyline a few low level adventures.


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 10:21 pm 
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My understanding is that level 0 is the origin story, so to speak. I think Joseph calls it the "Character Funnel" or something like that. Those PCs that survive the 0-level adventure become level 1 and get a class at that time. The character will still have a back story. That is where the PC's profession comes into play.

I don't think that magic is really available unless some sort of deal is struck between the PC and some sort of higher power. But that would be a great way to explain how one of the PCs becomes a wizard.

Harley or Joseph should be able to expand in this more.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 4:40 am 
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kataskicana wrote:
Is level 0 going to be a one adventure origin for characters that results in survivors becoming level 1?
That's the plan. It gives some interesting long-term characters, I'll tell you!

kataskicana wrote:
Is there any magic available to level 0 characters? Can they make pacts or call upon higher powers as a mage or priest would do?
Nope. Nothing. You're lucky to have a club or something similar to use as a weapon. Actually, if you live you should be happy.

kataskicana wrote:
I know generally levelling is supposed to be slow and think that is great. Just curious how much need there will be for level 0 adventures and if there was a need for any that were not 'origin' type stories where the characters are fresh off the farm/boat/whatever.
Depending upon how often you start new characters off, I think that 0-level adventures may be very important. If I start a campaign and every time it's the same adventure, players will get bored in a hurry. We need a whole pile of 0-level adventures since each gets used only once but is needed every time.

kataskicana wrote:
Any input would be appreciated - trying to storyline a few low level adventures.
Good luck, and please share what you come up with. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:30 am 
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dkeester wrote:
My understanding is that level 0 is the origin story, so to speak. I think Joseph calls it the "Character Funnel" or something like that. Those PCs that survive the 0-level adventure become level 1 and get a class at that time. The character will still have a back story. That is where the PC's profession comes into play.

I don't think that magic is really available unless some sort of deal is struck between the PC and some sort of higher power. But that would be a great way to explain how one of the PCs becomes a wizard.

Harley or Joseph should be able to expand in this more.


I'm not so sure that starting at level 0 will always be desirable. There should be quite a bit of time between level 0 and level 1 to maintain some sort of realism. It would be kind of dumb for know nothing peasants to get in a battle and the next day they suddenly have the ability to cast spells or climb walls like a ninja.

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Last edited by mshensley on Tue May 24, 2011 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:45 am 
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mshensley wrote:
dkeester wrote:
My understanding is that level 0 is the origin story, so to speak. I think Joseph calls it the "Character Funnel" or something like that. Those PCs that survive the 0-level adventure become level 1 and get a class at that time. The character will still have a back story. That is where the PC's profession comes into play.

I don't think that magic is really available unless some sort of deal is struck between the PC and some sort of higher power. But that would be a great way to explain how one of the PCs becomes a wizard.

Harley or Joseph should be able to expand in this more.


I'm not so sure that starting at level 0 will always be desirable. There should be quite a bit of time between level 0 and level 1 to maintain some sort of realism. It would be kind of dumb for no-nothing peasants to get in a battle and the next day they suddenly have the ability to cast spells or climb walls like a ninja.

Well, level up at my table never happened like in WoW (DING!), the characters had to spend a weeks with training. The 0 level characters of DCC RPG could be already at the end of their training, or you could use the well know plot device:

"Four years later you meet again in..."

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:55 am 
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mshensley wrote:
I'm not so sure that starting at level 0 will always be desirable. There should be quite a bit of time between level 0 and level 1 to maintain some sort of realism. It would be kind of dumb for no-nothing peasants to get in a battle and the next day they suddenly have the ability to cast spells or climb walls like a ninja.


It doesn't work for every character, and it's not something you would want to use every time, but in some cases the difference between level 0 and level 1 could mostly be a matter of confidence. Hunarr the blacksmith always had a pretty good natural ability at combat, for example, but that first time he went into a dungeon everything was happening so fast and he didn't know what to expect. Now that's he survived a dungeon and fights with its denizens, he realizes his potential and isn't a frightened noob anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:26 am 
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I like to think about level-0 as "inexperienced" and level-1 as "experienced." To me, you don't need to be a combat veteran to be level-1.

Now, above level-1 it's a little different. I like to think that it becomes progressively harder and harder to "work up the pyramid" as you try to become higher level. That's part of why I top-out character levels lower than many other DM's do.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:39 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I like to think about level-0 as "inexperienced" and level-1 as "experienced." To me, you don't need to be a combat veteran to be level-1.

Now, above level-1 it's a little different. I like to think that it becomes progressively harder and harder to "work up the pyramid" as you try to become higher level. That's part of why I top-out character levels lower than many other DM's do.


I tend to agree with this idea.

Also the outcome of the first adventure can also be used to explain 'why' or 'how' someone gains a certain class. For example, Roger the jeweler becomes a wizard because of a scroll that he found during the first adventure which allowed him to cast his first spell and he really enjoyed the power which that gave him.

I also think that most adventures in DCC should start with the 0-level adventure. Perhaps after the first adventure the GM decides to hand-wave levels 1-4 and start with level 5. I see the Character Funnel as one of the most important parts of the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 4:36 am 
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dkeester wrote:
Also the outcome of the first adventure can also be used to explain 'why' or 'how' someone gains a certain class. For example, Roger the jeweler becomes a wizard because of a scroll that he found during the first adventure which allowed him to cast his first spell and he really enjoyed the power which that gave him.
An excellent example. Most RPGs encourage you to look at a pile of stats and then build an optimal character around them, but that's not how a lot of fiction plays out.

Luke Skywalker didn't become a jedi because somebody thought he had the stats for it -- there's a backstory that seems random, a family heirloom that gets handed down, and an adventure sweeps him away from his comfortable life. His first adventure could be called "Escape from Tattooine" and maybe ends when he boards the Falcon and blasts off from Mos Eisley. Prior to that, he's certainly a 0-level dude.

dkeester wrote:
I also think that most adventures in DCC should start with the 0-level adventure. Perhaps after the first adventure the GM decides to hand-wave levels 1-4 and start with level 5. I see the Character Funnel as one of the most important parts of the game.
I agree. I'm not sure if it will become boring after a while, which is why I hope we get a flood of 0-level adventures to choose from, but the concept of a group of average guys getting caught up in something bigger than all of them ... and only a few survive to become heroes ... is what the DCC RPG is all about!

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 5:05 am 
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I like going from level 0 to 1 in one adventure. I don't think I would like to drag it out. I also think of it as that final step in a characters training before becoming a career adventurer. Kind of like in the movies when a bunch of soldiers straight out of boot camp make it through that first firefight. Now they are grunts.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:29 am 
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I'm quite looking forward to the DCC Rpg. I'm always nostalgic for that old scholl feel but don't really like retro clones since I have the original source material.

This promises to be a fun and new exploration of that old timey religion :D

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:54 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
but the concept of a group of average guys getting caught up in something bigger than all of them ... and only a few survive to become heroes ... is what the DCC RPG is all about!


Really? That's not what Appendix N is all about. In fact, most of Appendix N is about people who sought out adventure. What books in N are about people who get caught up in something bigger than them all?

Additionally, not all App N protagonists strive to become heroes.


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:37 am 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Really? That's not what Appendix N is all about. In fact, most of Appendix N is about people who sought out adventure. What books in N are about people who get caught up in something bigger than them all?

Additionally, not all App N protagonists strive to become heroes.

As it happens, I am mid-stream (so to speak) in The Moon Pool, and it's about a guy who's trying to find out what happened to a colleague, and the world opens up into something bigger and stranger from there...

Admittedly, that's only one example.

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Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:19 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Really? That's not what Appendix N is all about. In fact, most of Appendix N is about people who sought out adventure. What books in N are about people who get caught up in something bigger than them all?

Bilbo? The four hobbits of the Fellowship of the Ring? Lovecraft is also there in Appendix N, IIRC.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:49 pm 
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John Carter wasn't looking for Mars.
Corum was the last of an entire race of level 0s... thats a hardcore character funnel!


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:03 pm 
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I'll admit that there are also quite a few examples of heroes going on more adventures, but there are also quite a few of the kind I mentioned where common folk get swept away by the adventure.

I didn't mean to imply that all books in Appendix N start out the same way.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:20 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I agree. I'm not sure if it will become boring after a while, which is why I hope we get a flood of 0-level adventures to choose from, but the concept of a group of average guys getting caught up in something bigger than all of them ... and only a few survive to become heroes ... is what the DCC RPG is all about!


I've had so much fun running 0-level adventures that I may never do much more than that...

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:38 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that all books in Appendix N start out the same way.

And that wasn't my point either really. I'm just hoping the game doesn't "need" the 0-1 transition adventure.


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:14 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that all books in Appendix N start out the same way.

And that wasn't my point either really. I'm just hoping the game doesn't "need" the 0-1 transition adventure.


My playtest group "The DCC Expendables" (shameless plug :D ) didn't run the 0-level adventure. We started at level 5. We did that for the purposes of the playtest, but it is working out well.

The game can be started at any level. However, the 0-level adventure is basically a part of the character creation process.

"The final word, then, is the game. Read how and why the system is as it is, follow the parameters, and then cut portions as needed to maintain excitement." --E. Gary Gygax

There is still the golden rule of gaming. If you don't like a rule don't use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:38 am 
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mythfish wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
I agree. I'm not sure if it will become boring after a while, which is why I hope we get a flood of 0-level adventures to choose from, but the concept of a group of average guys getting caught up in something bigger than all of them ... and only a few survive to become heroes ... is what the DCC RPG is all about!
I've had so much fun running 0-level adventures that I may never do much more than that...

I'll admit that 0-level games have been a blast, but I think eventually players may get bored with them.

The problem is that 0-level adventures all sort-of resemble a Call of Cthulhu game, where insignificant investigators get bashed by extremely nasty badduns. I think that most fantasy gamers want to dish out some of the bashin' somewhere along the line, and to do that you need to level up so they can access spells and other cool stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:42 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
I'll admit that 0-level games have been a blast, but I think eventually players may get bored with them.

The problem is that 0-level adventures all sort-of resemble a Call of Cthulhu game, where insignificant investigators get bashed by extremely nasty badduns. I think that most fantasy gamers want to dish out some of the bashin' somewhere along the line, and to do that you need to level up so they can access spells and other cool stuff.

That's the sort of game that appeals to me. I'm all for dishing out hurt sometimes, but I much prefer having nobody characters with extremely limited resources who are forced to be creative to survive.

Still, I'm not saying I'd run a 0-level game every week or anything. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:56 pm 
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This sounds perfect! I really liked running the DCC adventure where level 0 pcs had to hunt down and slay a wounded minotaur using only cheap weapons that the local milita loaned them. The fact that they were avenging the death of a paladin was also great for planting further plot hooks in the future. It was alot fun with a system that was not meant to be played with level 0 characters (3.5 DnD) so I am sure it will be a blast with DCCRPG.

Being able to start from such humble beginings, and work your way up to being hero's of the realms sounds like a lot of fun. One suggestion that I have is that after the 0 level adventure is over, those that survive become level one, and those that don't roll up new level one pcs. However, those that survived get a little bit of an extra boon. For example, in the DnD version, players that lived and leveld their characters had a couple of extra skill points, and even some low level special abilities or an extra feat. Just offer something to serve as a little bit of an extra perk for those that survive their trial by fire!


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 5:12 am 
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moes1980 wrote:
...One suggestion that I have is that after the 0 level adventure is over, those that survive become level one, and those that don't roll up new level one pcs. However, those that survived get a little bit of an extra boon....

+1 on saves vs. fear springs to mind...

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Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:21 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
moes1980 wrote:
...One suggestion that I have is that after the 0 level adventure is over, those that survive become level one, and those that don't roll up new level one pcs. However, those that survived get a little bit of an extra boon....
+1 on saves vs. fear springs to mind...
While you could give some sort of extra, one could argue that advancing to 1st level is its own reward. Characters at 1st level get to choose a class with all of the benefits that come along with that class.

If some players have to re-roll a character funnel and start over at level-0 they don't get those advantages, so the system is already designed to deal with that issue. (Unless you are suggesting that even players whose level-0 characters all died should also get to start at 1st level....)

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Levelling from 0 to 1
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:33 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
If some players have to re-roll a character funnel and start over at level-0 they don't get those advantages, so the system is already designed to deal with that issue. (Unless you are suggesting that even players whose level-0 characters all died should also get to start at 1st level....)

It's fairly obvious that was what he was suggesting.

I suspect that mixed level parties will be as bad an idea in DCCRPG as they are in D&D 3.x and 4.


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