Selling DCC to my group

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Selling DCC to my group

Post by reverenddak » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:48 pm

I have a really-REALLY mixed group. Average age is late 20s-early 30s. Some experiences go back to 2e, some of their first games were 3x and even 4e. I've gotten them to play a couple one-shots for various games. They showed NO (none) interest in OSR. A little interest in Dragon Age & Gamma World. But they don't seem to have a problem with Call of Cthulhu.

I want to get them to beta test DCC with me. Any advice? I know NOT to mention "Old-school", that seems to turn them off for some reason, even though they loved Cthulhu. A couple of them are pretty much munchkin/power-gamer types (thus the appeal of 4e.) A couple are open for anything (they play in my Swords&Wizardry OSR game.)

For the most part they'll likely play whatever I want to play. But I would like to sell them on the game first, and hopefully share my enthusiasm for the game. None of them have been playing D&D as long as me, nor are they familiar with things like Appendix N. In fact none of them ever played "basic" or AD&D.

I'm thinking of mentioning that the game is "influenced" by Conan and HP Lovecraft (they're not going to know what a Lankhmar is or who's Stormbringer.) I'm not sure if variable spell results will be a selling point. And I'm not sure how to sell them on MDoA, though it should sound exciting except for the "funky" dice.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anything else?

Thanks ahead!
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:19 pm

Have you run any 3e or 4e DCC modules for them? If you did and they liked them, I can't think of a better jumping-on point of discussion -- "Hey, they made their own game for those things!"

If you're wanting to really test the game, maybe turn the knobs up to 11 and let them powergame it, and see where it breaks, and perhaps that will appeal to the need for oodles of power... Start them off at level 8 or something and test that end of the game, and if they like it, maybe they'll be up for trying from Level 0.


And is Call of Cthulhu (which I thought was timeless) really considered "old-school"? *checks his watch* Leaping Leng! -- I'm past 40!
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by reverenddak » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:19 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:If you're wanting to really test the game, maybe turn the knobs up to 11 and let them powergame it, and see where it breaks, and perhaps that will appeal to the need for oodles of power... Start them off at level 8 or something and test that end of the game, and if they like it, maybe they'll be up for trying from Level 0.
This is a BRILLIANT IDEA! omg. It just might work! Thanks!
GnomeBoy wrote:And is Call of Cthulhu (which I thought was timeless) really considered "old-school"? *checks his watch* Leaping Leng! -- I'm past 40!
Heh. It's "old-school" both technically and thematically in my book! btw, I turn 40 in 2 days!

Any other ideas?
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:35 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:If you're wanting to really test the game, maybe turn the knobs up to 11 and let them powergame it, and see where it breaks, and perhaps that will appeal to the need for oodles of power... Start them off at level 8 or something and test that end of the game, and if they like it, maybe they'll be up for trying from Level 0.
It is a great idea, but keep in mind that nothing has been developed for levels 6-10 at this point.

This means that the best you can do is a "more of the same" (more hit points, more spells, etc, but not new spells) unless you want to write your own material, in which case you aren't really playtesting DCC any more. :(
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:38 pm

finarvyn wrote:It is a great idea, but keep in mind that nothing has been developed for levels 6-10 at this point.
Ah. Right. Reality check. I forgot the beta only covers up to 5th Level. Still, make them fifth for their first game, as a one-shot, and then you can see what's possible with them...

reverenddak wrote:I turn 40 in 2 days!

Any other ideas?
Call it 20+, or "Epic" age...
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by Aplus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:13 pm

Just tell them you want to test a new game that you think looks cool. No need to go any further than that. The game speaks for itself, in my opinion. It doesn't matter how much you sell them on it beforehand, if they dislike it, then they dislike it.

In my experience, you can't convince someone to like something that they are naturally inclined to dislike. Probably the less you talk about it beforehand, the less chance there is for them to develop some prejudice against it, especially if you already played some OSR-type game that they didn't like.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by smathis » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:52 am

I'm planning on running my group through it at 5th level first. Then scaling back and trying it out at zero and 1st level. Half of my group has invested heavily in 4e. I'm not likely to get them to switch over solely to DCC. But the other half is really frustrated with 4e. At the very least, DCC will be an alternate system when I run for the group.

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:35 am

smathis wrote:I'm planning on running my group through it at 5th level first. Then scaling back and trying it out at zero and 1st level. Half of my group has invested heavily in 4e. I'm not likely to get them to switch over solely to DCC. But the other half is really frustrated with 4e. At the very least, DCC will be an alternate system when I run for the group.
Remember that you won't have the full range of spells for a 5th level wizard. The Beta rules only have first level spells.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by Melkor » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:47 am

I have a similar problem.

A couple of members of my gaming group will play anything - as long as it's fantasy, but one player
pretty much refuses to play anything but 3E/Pathfinder because of "all of the character options provided
by Feats."

Ironically, even though he always points to all of those options - he generally plays the same types of
characters and doesn't ever really explore those options.

It's difficult to get him to even look at a game like the DCC RPG (or Labyrinth Lord, or Swords & Wizardry)
when the character sheet seems "too basic," so I am not sure how I will get him on board for this. Might
be possible though, we did playtest C&C.

I know my entire group would love the style/spirit/feel that the DCC RPG is aiming for if they would simply
try it out.
'But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery.'

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by smathis » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:41 am

finarvyn wrote:Remember that you won't have the full range of spells for a 5th level wizard. The Beta rules only have first level spells.
GAK!!! Good point. Hmm... Maybe if I just loaded them up with 1st level spells...

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:56 am

I still think spell level should be ditched completely and just implied by the difficulty roll. A "1st level" spell fails and is lost on a 1-11, a "2nd level" spell fails on a 1-13. Other than that there's no real difference between the two spells. Let a 1st level wizard start the game with Wall of Force that fails on 1-17. If that's what he wants, why not?

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:36 am

Melkor wrote:...but one player pretty much refuses to play anything but 3E/Pathfinder because of "all of the character options provided
by Feats."
Have him list all those Feats he'd like to use, but doesn't have access to in DCC RPG. Then let him do those things via MDoA. Or if he's not a playing a fighter, let him do them the same as any other character would be able to do them...

Just because it's not written down as a Feat doesn't mean it's off the table...
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by Melkor » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:46 am

Thanks for the reply GnomeBoy - I'm not familiar with the acronym MDoA ?
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by Kruvil » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:51 am

Melkor wrote:Thanks for the reply GnomeBoy - I'm not familiar with the acronym MDoA ?
MDiA is Mighty Deeds of Arms (the warrior's big ability).

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by smathis » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:27 am

jmucchiello wrote:I still think spell level should be ditched completely and just implied by the difficulty roll. A "1st level" spell fails and is lost on a 1-11, a "2nd level" spell fails on a 1-13. Other than that there's no real difference between the two spells. Let a 1st level wizard start the game with Wall of Force that fails on 1-17. If that's what he wants, why not?
I completely agree here. Unless the effects of the spells are scaled better to represent a difference in potency based on level, it makes no sense to have spell levels.

Right now, the only difference between a 1st level spell and a 3rd level spell is that the 1st level spell is lost on a roll of 11 or lower and the 3rd level spell is lost on a roll of 15 or lower.

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:13 pm

Actually it also affect corruption, but the "1-11 lost, failure" could just as easily say "1-11 lost, failure, corruption roll penalty: -1, if necessary" and with that change, the level line on every spell disappears. Can't just change it to 1: corruption roll since it is a 1 on the die roll that cause corruption, not a result of 1. This is why I added "if necessary".

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by jasmith » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Melkor wrote:I have a similar problem.

A couple of members of my gaming group will play anything - as long as it's fantasy, but one player
pretty much refuses to play anything but 3E/Pathfinder because of "all of the character options provided
by Feats."

Ironically, even though he always points to all of those options - he generally plays the same types of
characters and doesn't ever really explore those options.

It's difficult to get him to even look at a game like the DCC RPG (or Labyrinth Lord, or Swords & Wizardry)
when the character sheet seems "too basic," so I am not sure how I will get him on board for this. Might
be possible though, we did playtest C&C.

I know my entire group would love the style/spirit/feel that the DCC RPG is aiming for if they would simply
try it out.
For me, the solution to this particular problem was simple, straightforward and effective.

I'm a dick about it.

I'm 43 years old and just don't have the time to prep and play more than one game a week. So, what time I do have, is bloody well going to be devoted to running what I really want to. I refuse to spend 8+ hours a week on a game I don't want to play.

1. Since I enjoy GMing far more than playing, I'm going to GM.

2. And it's going to be a game I want to run. There's only a handful of those.

That's it. You either play, or you don't. If a friend doesn't enjoy the same kind of games I do, then that's fine. I have a good friend who likes Larping. Not my cup of tea. I listen to his Vampire stories and enjoy doing so, because he's a great conversationalist. But I don't play with him and never will.

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:37 pm

I have to agree fundamentally with jasmith on this one. There are many potential players, few potential GM's. Being a GM is a lot more work than being a player. As such, the GM gets to pick the rules.

Play or don't. That's the choice you offer your group.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:05 pm

I play with 6 people, 5 of whom are good DMs. If they don't want to play, telling the to walk just makes them grumpy the next time I want to start something new. I'm also 43 and have zero time to find new players.

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by tovokas » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:23 pm

I think presenting DCC as a 'change of pace' experience is also a good strategy. I run a 4e campaign, and am actually a pretty big fan - but I love the idea of a 'brakes-off' alternative that captures the insane unpredictability and outrageousness of the gaming I enjoyed in the late 70's, but with a modern mechanic.

Unless you play with a group that can only entertain one system at a time, I believe DCC can sit comfortably as a nice complement to 'carefully balanced' systems like Pathfinder/4e.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by moes1980 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:12 pm

Well, my strategy is talk up all the cool stuff you can do as a way to compete with all those "options" in the other games. Fighters being able to do mighty deed of arms every attack, level one magic missles that have the potential to fire 5d10 magicic misslies that each do d10+caster level damage and have a range of 100 miles and don't need line of sight, or even know where the enemy is! (but you do need somethign that belonged to them). The fact that theives don't do an extra die of damage on back stab, but count as a crit if you can hit!. The fact that clerics don't have to memorize heal spells in their healing slots, and can heal several times a day while keeping their other spell slots open, mages arent a "one cast per day any more," and stuff like that. I am trying to stay away from calling it "old school" as well, and instead just calling it a new game where players have alot oppertunity to "shine." (I don't tell them about coruption points, gaining disfavor with your diety, or anything like that :P ). Oh, and they also seem to really like the rules for spell dualing.

that has gotten some players interest and i think its becuase they get the feeling that in DCC RPG you actually have more room for creativity and to make your character look awsome than you do in other games (but there are alot of chanches for your character to get really messed up to). They also seem to really like the funnel system. I tell them that its all random, but, you can chose to make 2-4 characters at level 0, and all those that survive level to level one, and you get to keep each one that lives. I am making it a rule that each pc that survives can either be kept in reserve, or the player can bring them along to adventure. If all your characters die, you come back at level one without the d4 hp kicker for surviving level 0 (thats my own house rule). They seem to like that and are now at least willing to give it a shot, after that, its up to my GMing skills and the game itself to see if they will like it.

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by finarvyn » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:38 am

smathis wrote:Right now, the only difference between a 1st level spell and a 3rd level spell is that the 1st level spell is lost on a roll of 11 or lower and the 3rd level spell is lost on a roll of 15 or lower.
I'm not sure I follow this reasoning. Do you mean to imply (for example) that a Magic Missile and Fireball are really the same thing, only you fail at Fireball more often?

Spells in DCC are like spells for any other RPG -- there is a weaker list at low levels and a stronger list at high levels. A 3rd level spell should knock your socks off, not just be harder to succeed, and I think that DCC does that. Some of this is just material not yet released to the public, as the only spells in the Beta rules are first level.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by jmucchiello » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:18 am

finarvyn wrote:Do you mean to imply (for example) that a Magic Missile and Fireball are really the same thing, only you fail at Fireball more often?
Level does 3 things in the rules as presented:
1) It limits who has access to the spell
2) It affect the chance of success in casting indirectly since 1st level spells succeed on a 12+ and 3rd level spells succeed on a 16+
3) It modifies the corruption roll.

What else is level used for?

If nothing else, get rid of #1, leave #2 as a means of implying spell level, and replace "level" with "corruption penalty" in the stat block. Just because some spells are more difficult than other it doesn't mean we need a concept of "levels". This is a new game. There's no reason "fireball" must be 3rd level. It can just sit next to all the other spells with its 1-15 lost, failure and corruption penalty -3 as the only clue to its power. Appendix N wizards don't talk about level this or rank that spells generally, why should the players?

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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by reverenddak » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:23 am

jmucchiello wrote:I play with 6 people, 5 of whom are good DMs. If they don't want to play, telling the to walk just makes them grumpy the next time I want to start something new. I'm also 43 and have zero time to find new players.
I'm in a similar situation. I live in a major metropolitan, and most of my friends are too "hip" to play D&D, while my regular gaming group is finicky, bratty and mostly under 30. I can only bully them so much to play with me.

At the monthly D&D club, I have a hard enough time already trying to fill my table to play OSR.

I turned 40 today.
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Re: Selling DCC to my group

Post by talmor » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:07 am

Wow, now I feel bad. I'm in 3 different gaming groups (run for 2, play in 1), I have people waiting to join two of my games, and I have another group that wants me to run for them.
'
I just told them "Hey, there's a really cool game coming out. It's like D&D, but with scary random magic and fighters who can really tear through their foes. Also, funky dice! Like THIS one (shows off my new D5)!"

Half of them said "OOh, cool!"

Half of them said "can't you just run a D&D game like you did back in blah blah blah"

"No, I'm running THIS game--I want to see if it's as awesome to play as it appears to be. If it doesn't work, we'll use something else."

As an aside, I find that the newer the player is to roleplaying, the more they find DCC interesting. Probably since they still think of a D8 as a "weird dice" so adding in a D3 or a D5 is just making things weirder--they aren't attached to the Holy 7.

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