Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

If it doesn't fit into a category above, then inscribe it here, O Mighty One...

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, michaelcurtis, finarvyn, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
User avatar
geordie racer
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:13 am
Location: Newcastle, England

Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by geordie racer » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:50 pm

Will there be time to sufficiently put the higher level game through it's paces before release?
Sean Wills

bholmes4
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by bholmes4 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:07 pm

Actually the more issues I see with this game the more I think they should focus on levels 1-5 with "expert" rules next year for 6-10. I know there are lots of things I want changed in this game but that doesn't mean I don't support it 100%. I have zero problem shelling out for two core books.

I just don't see how it can be released as it is right now without needing either a 2nd edition (which is just as good mind you) or major rules addendums down the line. There is AWESOME flavour here, dare I say brilliant ideas, but the mechanics right now are clunky to say the least, if not broken.

meinvt
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 pm
Location: Central Vermont

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by meinvt » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:39 am

bholmes4 wrote:Actually the more issues I see with this game the more I think they should focus on levels 1-5 with "expert" rules next year for 6-10. I know there are lots of things I want changed in this game but that doesn't mean I don't support it 100%. I have zero problem shelling out for two core books.
I'll agree that I'd be delighted to get a better honed and tested system that only runs levels 1-5 than getting something going to 10 just because people like the higher numbers. That is pretty much what Dragon Age did, and it hasn't gotten negative feedback on that element from what I can tell. Also, if the tone and setting are detailed enough for 1-5, folks who really want to go farther can likely fill in their own blanks in the meantime.

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2488
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:51 am

Well, no one actually has any rules for levels 6-10 yet. It's one of Joseph's plans, but as far as I know nothing has actually been written.
bholmes4 wrote:Actually the more issues I see with this game the more I think they should focus on levels 1-5 with "expert" rules next year for 6-10. I know there are lots of things I want changed in this game but that doesn't mean I don't support it 100%. I have zero problem shelling out for two core books.
I would be in favor of this. Iron out the design elements of Basic DCC that need to be figured out and don't try to crash 6-10 in before the deadline. That way there is some time to tinker with 6-10 in Advanced DCC, because if we hurry though the upper levels they may not get proper treatment.

Levels 0-5 were always Joseph's main vision anyway.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

Michael Pfaff
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:32 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Michael Pfaff » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:58 am

I agree with the levels 1-5 being fleshed out and fully operational sentiment. Especially if 6-10 isn't even in the beginnings of writing.

However, I've already plopped down $40 for a pre-order and I'm not sure if a Basic book with levels 1-5 is worth that.

Now, a Basic boxed set with (Zocchi) dice and maybe an adventure. Hellz yes, I'd do that for $40.

meinvt
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 pm
Location: Central Vermont

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by meinvt » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:19 am

Michael Pfaff wrote:I agree with the levels 1-5 being fleshed out and fully operational sentiment. Especially if 6-10 isn't even in the beginnings of writing.

However, I've already plopped down $40 for a pre-order and I'm not sure if a Basic book with levels 1-5 is worth that.
I have to say, I don't really get this. I mean, I understand you are expressing a common thought, but one I don't understand. The amount of pages in the book, and therefor information you buy will be the same. Joseph could take all the levels, divide the experience requirements by two and meter out the bonuses to spread them on a range from 1-10 instead of 1-5. Would that be more satisfying?

Sarcasm aside, the choice is between having more development and detail on levels 1-5 or less on those levels so that there is room to put in material on the higher levels. Personally, I'd rather focus on the base where most play will occur now and expand it with a later publication rather than get an initial product that covers all ten and then a supplement that covers all ten requiring you to flip between both books regardless of the level of your play.

bholmes4
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by bholmes4 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:29 pm

If pre-order people are upset that they didn't get levels 6-10, then maybe one of the perks can be that we are the beta (alpha?) testers for the "expert" rules.

I just look at, for instance, Magic Missile and see something that is so off in it's scaling (up to 55-280 damage at 10th level, while Fireball is harder to cast, you can save for half the damage, and it's maximum is 14-84) that I shudder to think what the entire spell list will look like if it's rushed out the door without feedback. That's not even touching some of the other major concerns people have.

There is so much potential with this game I'd hate to see it wasted (or at least require pages of Addendums after release and such).

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:26 pm

The level discussion spawned a couple of different threads. I will point you all to this one: http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 46&start=0.

I will also repost the start of the thread. I Gotta give you a teaser, right? :D Please pay attention to Joseph's comments on levels in the core book.
finarvyn wrote:This was on page 5 of the "10-level" thread and I was afraid that folks would miss it. I see this as significant because so many posters voiced an opinon and Joseph heard them. How many game companies are willing to do that? :D
goodmangames wrote:Wow. First of all, thanks for all the dialogue. This kind of constructive debate is great to read. It's always interesting to realize how an action can be perceived. I have what I think are good reasons for the "level decisions," but reading the comments here makes it obvious that there will be gamers who infer alternate causality to the decision...and that might not be good.

Based on the thread here, I'll focus on getting the full 10 levels into the core book. The beta rules are already with the editor so they'll only have 5 levels. Perhaps that's good; you can get your PCs to level 5 then pick up with 6-10 from the core book. :) I think the most important point made in this thread is that, "players shouldn't have to wait for the next book to level up." I don't want a group to reach level 6 after continuous exciting DCC RPG play, only to then realize they can't level up until the next annual comes out! On the flip side, I personally don't feel like I have enough high-level play experience in DCC RPG (yet...) to properly do up the "broader" 6-10 rules right. By that, I mean the non-mechanical rules - things like fighters building keeps and wizards facing off with their patrons to establish true dominance once and for all. So for levels 6-10, the core rules may focus strictly on mechanics and encourage the judge to develop his own higher level plots. Which we all did fine in 1974-1979, so I think that may be okay.

I do indeed intend to include a slower advancement rate. My original idea was that it would take at least a year of once-a-week play to reach level 5. On the flip side, I think some of the ideas on the other leveling thread are brilliant - specifically, the "mini-levels" are a great way to provide "morsels" to a different generation of gamers. I'm personally a fan of level titles, and I think the concept of these "mini-levels" might finally be a great way to integrate titles properly into the XP system. What if each class had three different titles per level, and those titles represented level sub-strata? A level 1 thief is a bravo, then a thug, then a robber; a level 2 thief is a murderer, then a fence, then a racketeer; and so on. Each title could confer one "bonus of choice" from the next level (choose hit points, attack mod, spell, save, whatever), and then the third and final advancement carries the rest of the "full level benefit." Again, too late to catch the beta, but definitely something to play with.

A couple other random points:

CONVERTING CHARACTERS / CHARACTER POWER LEVEL COMPARISONS (from AD&D, from 1E, from 3E, from C&C, etc.): I don't really know how hard the conversion will be, since I haven't personally tried. :) Personally I believe conversions from other 3E-derived systems will be roughly compatible, due to the fundamentally same "power scale" of many concepts: same 1 HD per level, same general range of attack bonuses and save bonuses per level, etc. But how the power scale of spells precisely compares...not sure. We'll find out when someone decides to do a lot of conversion. :)

MIGHTY DEEDS OF ARMS:
GnomeBoy wrote: I just want to check in on MDAs: You have to roll a three or better on your small die and you have to hit the thing that you're performing the maneuver against. As you level up, you're also probably going to be facing some stuff that's harder to hit than the stuff you fought at 0-level or 1st level. So even if your MDA roll becomes "easy" to make, you may not be hitting any more often (and maybe less). That might be slicker than an AD&D fighter (depending largely on your DM), but compared to 3e, I'm not so sure.
To confirm what GnomeBoy said, that is correct on Mighty Deeds of Arms: the warrior has to succeed in his basic attack roll, AND roll sufficiently high on his extra "small die." You guys are right that the odds of rolling high on the "small die" get a lot higher at high levels. But you also have to hit opponents with higher armor classes! What I like about the "small die" at higher levels is that it allows the fighter to score lots and lots of cool moves against weaker foes -- the level 5 warrior will indeed constantly succeed in his Mighty Deeds when fighting hordes of kobolds -- but it balances against the higher ACs of more difficult foes. Against an AC 24 dragon, the Mighty Deed is still only going to succeed every third or fourth attack.

The Free RPG Day module is at the printer now, and the beta rules are with the editor. It will be a lot easier for us all to talk after June 18, when we're all looking at the same rules set!

In the meantime, here's the cover for the Free RPG Day module. Full details going up on the web site tomorrow. It includes two adventures, both short and sweet: a level 0/1 adventure by me, and a level 5 module by Harley. Both are a lot of fun. And wait till you guys see the maps. We spent a lot of time thinking about the art direction there. Doug knocked them out of the park -- they take "illuminated map" to a whole new level...

Image
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

meinvt
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 pm
Location: Central Vermont

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by meinvt » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Thanks for posting that thread from well before many of us in this discussion were participants. It is obvious the only reason it is going to 10 is fan demand, so tough to argue with that. It does sound like the writing focus will be on 1-5, but with mechanical guidance up through 10.

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:41 pm

dkeester wrote:The level discussion spawned a couple of different threads. I will point you all to this one: http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... 46&start=0.

...

Oh, and the "10-level" thread which Marv mentions is here: http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... +10+levels

I should mention that Joseph's comments are from April of this year. So, he has already had a full two months of working on levels 6-10.

It boils down to this. We the players want 10 levels, so Joseph is giving them to us. He doesn't want to do more than one core book, so he wants levels 6-10 to go into the core book. I support these decisions. I will leave open the possibility that he may change his mind and do a "Basic" and an "Expert". However, it is not likely at this point. If he thinks he can do levels 6-10 well in the time remaining until publication, then I say go, man go!

Joseph has talked often on these forums about the "product structure" for DCCRPG. It will be ONE rule book with a metric butt-load of modules and an annual supplement which has adventures and optional rules.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:48 pm

meinvt wrote:Thanks for posting that thread from well before many of us in this discussion were participants. It is obvious the only reason it is going to 10 is fan demand, so tough to argue with that. It does sound like the writing focus will be on 1-5, but with mechanical guidance up through 10.
You're welcome. :) Thread necromancy is bound to happen. I have been guilty of it before. I just thought it appropriate to remind people of the historical context to this issue. This way we are all on the same page.

I am hoping that when Joseph updates the Beta document (sometime in early July? Yes, please?) that he will include 6-10 so that we can get a couple of months of playtesting on them.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

bholmes4
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by bholmes4 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:10 pm

Mainly it's the spells that worry me from level 6-10. The gameplay stuff will either change or not, but that is mainly across levels and not just a 6-10 thing.

I figure I'd rather see either no high level spells included, or just a few as examples and have them well thought out. The whole Magic Missile issue has been a big red flag to me that this area of the game may need a lot of work still. This is a prominent spell so what are the more obscure ones looking like?

goodmangames
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2703
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 12:41 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by goodmangames » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:35 pm

My intent is still to provide levels 6-10 in the core rulebook. So, before I get there, a little-known nugget of game business insight: having published an awful lot of adventure modules, I can tell you that low-level modules outsell high-level modules by an order of magnitude. In the d20 / 3E era, there was significantly higher demand for level 1-3 and 4-6 modules than for anything else. Now, nobody believes me when I say this, because what we always hear about in forums and online posts is, "I want more high level modules!" and "I want more epic level modules!" But what actually sells? Low level, low level, low level. Especially level 1 modules. It's what I call the "level pyramid"; draw a pyramid, and your low-level module sales are the bottom (wide and strong) and your high-level module sales are the top (much smaller!). If you go back and look at the 50+ modules I published for 3E, you'll start to see the trend in level ranges -- I inched upward but based on people "voting with their dollars" pulled it back and pumped out a lot of low-level modules.

In application to this conversation, my point is, even if DCC RPG "as published" includes rules for levels 6-10, I believe the majority of the play will still happen at lower levels. So the playtest burden is most significant at lower levels. Higher level play won't happen as often so any flaws in the rules are statistically less likely to "bust through" the seams. But at lower levels, rules flaws become rapidly revealed by the sheer number of people playing.

With that preamble, the biggest concern of higher-level play is the spells, as noted here. The main "polish" that the existing spells need is a good spreadsheet and a guy who likes to crunch numbers...I already have in my notes that I need to go back and normalize some of the mathematical results. However, that doesn't mean "make them the same." I am not an adherent of the more modern design philosophy that "every level X power should have the same mathematical output and just change the flavor text." Math is a part of game design, but just a part, and the play experience is most important of all. I acknowledge that magic missile may be too powerful now, compared to fireball, but when all is said and done, I intend to have some spells that are clearly "better" than others. Why? Well, a big part of the game is about finding and learning spells -- there should not be some assumption that just because a great spell exists, the character is able to have it. If magic missile is that much better than fireball, then you can be damn sure that the wizards who know magic missile will blast the bejeezus out of any up-and-coming apprentices who try to learn it. "Let the pyromancers have their pretty little fires, while we magician-archers maintain our superiority!" It should not be forgotten that the judge governs the acquisition of knowledge in this world. Quoting from page 140 of the beta rules:
1. Knowledge is scarce. There is no “encyclopedia of magic.” The internet doesn’t exist. Even the Gutenberg press does not exist! This is a medieval, feudal society without bookbinding technology. Knowledge is rare, and knowledge of spells and magic is even rarer. Obtaining that knowledge is as often as much a process of adventure than of reading. “Research” in the modern sense of going to a library with organized indices to retrieve certain books does not exist. Simply learning that a spell exists is a great accomplishment – much less learning how to cast it.
2. Wizards are jealous bastards. No offense, but it’s true. When knowledge is scarce, he with the most knowledge holds an advantage over his peers – and wizards want that advantage. Identifying, obtaining, and learning a spell represents a significant investment; no wizard gives away that investment for free. A wizard must pay some price to loosen the lips of those who would share with him.
3. The means are mysterious. Even when a wizard learns that a spell exists, and finds a source to teach him, the process of spellcasting may be beyond his grasp. Practice, practice, practice!
4. Obtaining magical knowledge should be part of the adventure. Finding new spells and magical knowledge should be a motivational goal for any wizard player.
I'm almost tempted to leave magic missile as it is, then note that only one wizard in the world knows the spell and all the rest are trying to steal it from him. :)
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com

bholmes4
Mighty-Thewed Reaver
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by bholmes4 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:44 pm

Thanks for this update/response. It alleviates a lot of my concern and I still love the vision for this game (even more so). Having wizards jealously guarding spells IS a good thing.

Magic Missile is a big one for most of us though simply because it's a bit of an icon. If it was Merkers Fantastic Spear of Light (and maybe if it wasn't a 1st level spell) I don't think we would mind as much.

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:10 pm

goodmangames wrote:My intent is still to provide levels 6-10 in the core rulebook. So, before I get there, a little-known nugget of game business insight: having published an awful lot of adventure modules, I can tell you that low-level modules outsell high-level modules by an order of magnitude. In the d20 / 3E era, there was significantly higher demand for level 1-3 and 4-6 modules than for anything else. Now, nobody believes me when I say this, because what we always hear about in forums and online posts is, "I want more high level modules!" and "I want more epic level modules!" But what actually sells? Low level, low level, low level. Especially level 1 modules. It's what I call the "level pyramid"; draw a pyramid, and your low-level module sales are the bottom (wide and strong) and your high-level module sales are the top (much smaller!). If you go back and look at the 50+ modules I published for 3E, you'll start to see the trend in level ranges -- I inched upward but based on people "voting with their dollars" pulled it back and pumped out a lot of low-level modules.

In application to this conversation, my point is, even if DCC RPG "as published" includes rules for levels 6-10, I believe the majority of the play will still happen at lower levels. So the playtest burden is most significant at lower levels. Higher level play won't happen as often so any flaws in the rules are statistically less likely to "bust through" the seams. But at lower levels, rules flaws become rapidly revealed by the sheer number of people playing.

With that preamble, the biggest concern of higher-level play is the spells, as noted here. The main "polish" that the existing spells need is a good spreadsheet and a guy who likes to crunch numbers...I already have in my notes that I need to go back and normalize some of the mathematical results. However, that doesn't mean "make them the same." I am not an adherent of the more modern design philosophy that "every level X power should have the same mathematical output and just change the flavor text." Math is a part of game design, but just a part, and the play experience is most important of all. I acknowledge that magic missile may be too powerful now, compared to fireball, but when all is said and done, I intend to have some spells that are clearly "better" than others. Why? Well, a big part of the game is about finding and learning spells -- there should not be some assumption that just because a great spell exists, the character is able to have it. If magic missile is that much better than fireball, then you can be damn sure that the wizards who know magic missile will blast the bejeezus out of any up-and-coming apprentices who try to learn it. "Let the pyromancers have their pretty little fires, while we magician-archers maintain our superiority!" It should not be forgotten that the judge governs the acquisition of knowledge in this world. Quoting from page 140 of the beta rules:
1. Knowledge is scarce. There is no “encyclopedia of magic.” The internet doesn’t exist. Even the Gutenberg press does not exist! This is a medieval, feudal society without bookbinding technology. Knowledge is rare, and knowledge of spells and magic is even rarer. Obtaining that knowledge is as often as much a process of adventure than of reading. “Research” in the modern sense of going to a library with organized indices to retrieve certain books does not exist. Simply learning that a spell exists is a great accomplishment – much less learning how to cast it.
2. Wizards are jealous bastards. No offense, but it’s true. When knowledge is scarce, he with the most knowledge holds an advantage over his peers – and wizards want that advantage. Identifying, obtaining, and learning a spell represents a significant investment; no wizard gives away that investment for free. A wizard must pay some price to loosen the lips of those who would share with him.
3. The means are mysterious. Even when a wizard learns that a spell exists, and finds a source to teach him, the process of spellcasting may be beyond his grasp. Practice, practice, practice!
4. Obtaining magical knowledge should be part of the adventure. Finding new spells and magical knowledge should be a motivational goal for any wizard player.
I'm almost tempted to leave magic missile as it is, then note that only one wizard in the world knows the spell and all the rest are trying to steal it from him. :)
I think this and your other posts on levels would make a great additions to Joe Mucchiello's unofficial FAQ.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2488
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:13 am

dkeester wrote:
meinvt wrote:Thanks for posting that thread from well before many of us in this discussion were participants.
I just thought it appropriate to remind people of the historical context to this issue. This way we are all on the same page.
Thanks for bringing this back up. I think we've had a huge influx of newcomers since early June and suspect that many of them haven't waded through all of the old threads. The historical perspective is important.
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

nanstreet
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:41 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by nanstreet » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:16 am

goodmangames wrote: I am not an adherent of the more modern design philosophy that "every level X power should have the same mathematical output and just change the flavor text." Math is a part of game design, but just a part, and the play experience is most important of all. I acknowledge that magic missile may be too powerful now, compared to fireball, but when all is said and done, I intend to have some spells that are clearly "better" than others. Why? Well, a big part of the game is about finding and learning spells -- there should not be some assumption that just because a great spell exists, the character is able to have it. If magic missile is that much better than fireball, then you can be damn sure that the wizards who know magic missile will blast the bejeezus out of any up-and-coming apprentices who try to learn it. "Let the pyromancers have their pretty little fires, while we magician-archers maintain our superiority!" It should not be forgotten that the judge governs the acquisition of knowledge in this world. Quoting from page 140 of the beta rules:
to leave magic missile as it is, then note that only one wizard in the world knows the spell and all the rest are trying to steal it from him. :)
I am concerned about the idea that some spells should be "better" than others. Too M:TG for me. I prefer spells to be "different" from each other. I agree that no precise math formula should be used, but eyeballing things should come into it, I think. I also think that Magic Missile is seen as a staple spell by most people with a D&D background, and that might color their expectations of what role the spell will serve in DCC, so they won't be expecting it to be the "Holy Grail" of spells in DCC. Perhaps if that is to be its function, it should be removed from the spell list so starting Wizard characters can't get it randomly. It sounds more like a treasure that should should be gained from adventuring.

meinvt
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 pm
Location: Central Vermont

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by meinvt » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am

M:TG is a great example actually. I remember playing heavily when it first came out, and the thing is, early on, the rarity concept actually did work. It was cool that you had a Mox and Lotus because they were clearly better, and only two cards in your deck.

Where it broke down was when people started using money to override the original game design.

So, I think the variable levels of power thing can be fun, thematic and very cool. The key is that you never want a common to be strictly better than an uncommon, nor an uncommon to be strictly better than a rare. Of course, thematic changes and wacky powers can also fit better into rares just because they are less generally useful.

Now, I see the spells you roll for at first level as commons, spells available in the core rulebook as uncommons, and spells added through supplements and adventures as rares.

Treated like this, things can work well. It does mean that the either Magic Missile should be toned down or moved off the random initial spell list though.

And, I want again to emphasize that I'd love to see a first level Counterspell of some sort, precisely because I love the spell duel concept so much and think they should be part of play right from level one.

jmucchiello
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:28 am

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:21 am

dkeester wrote:I think this and your other posts on levels would make a great additions to Joe Mucchiello's unofficial FAQ.
Already updated with a link to your message above quoting Joseph from the older thread. (See Classes Q.3 Why only 10 levels?)

Also, message me here if you really want to bring a thread to my attention. I try to read them all but I tend to skim over stuff that doesn't interest me. (At the moment that is the actual play reports, though I tend to read the followups to see what others found interesting. Also the thread of user created spells is currently on my ignore list because I don't want to nick any ideas from it. I'm sure there are others that I just ignore without noticing consciously.)

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 pm

finarvyn wrote:
dkeester wrote:
meinvt wrote:Thanks for posting that thread from well before many of us in this discussion were participants.
I just thought it appropriate to remind people of the historical context to this issue. This way we are all on the same page.
Thanks for bringing this back up. I think we've had a huge influx of newcomers since early June and suspect that many of them haven't waded through all of the old threads. The historical perspective is important.
Just pinch hitting for the Minister of Propaganda. :wink:

No one has time to wade through the backlog of threads. I certainly don't. So, rather than expect the newbies to have read the old stuff I just wanted to point them in the right direction.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:30 pm

jmucchiello wrote:
dkeester wrote:I think this and your other posts on levels would make a great additions to Joe Mucchiello's unofficial FAQ.
Already updated with a link to your message above quoting Joseph from the older thread. (See Classes Q.3 Why only 10 levels?)

Also, message me here if you really want to bring a thread to my attention. I try to read them all but I tend to skim over stuff that doesn't interest me. (At the moment that is the actual play reports, though I tend to read the followups to see what others found interesting. Also the thread of user created spells is currently on my ignore list because I don't want to nick any ideas from it. I'm sure there are others that I just ignore without noticing consciously.)
Understood. In the future I will PM with a link. 8)
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

goodmangames
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2703
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 12:41 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by goodmangames » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:49 pm

meinvt wrote:And, I want again to emphasize that I'd love to see a first level Counterspell of some sort, precisely because I love the spell duel concept so much and think they should be part of play right from level one.
I like that idea. :)
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com

Black Dougal
Deft-Handed Cutpurse
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 pm
FLGS: Total Escape Games, Broomfield CO
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Will there be playtesting at Levels 6 to 10 ?

Post by Black Dougal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:56 pm

meinvt wrote:M:TG is a great example actually. I remember playing heavily when it first came out, and the thing is, early on, the rarity concept actually did work. It was cool that you had a Mox and Lotus because they were clearly better, and only two cards in your deck.

Where it broke down was when people started using money to override the original game design.

So, I think the variable levels of power thing can be fun, thematic and very cool. The key is that you never want a common to be strictly better than an uncommon, nor an uncommon to be strictly better than a rare. Of course, thematic changes and wacky powers can also fit better into rares just because they are less generally useful.

Now, I see the spells you roll for at first level as commons, spells available in the core rulebook as uncommons, and spells added through supplements and adventures as rares.

Treated like this, things can work well. It does mean that the either Magic Missile should be toned down or moved off the random initial spell list though.

And, I want again to emphasize that I'd love to see a first level Counterspell of some sort, precisely because I love the spell duel concept so much and think they should be part of play right from level one.

I like the idea of having a Counterspell available. I will give this a +1. However, I hope that wizard duels are few and far between in DCC because it seems like very bad mojo for the wizards involved and any spectators. There is so much chance of spell failure and corruption that I can't imagine wizards would often get into spell vs. spell combat if they could avoid it by using something like a sword or dagger.

On the M:TG comparison...
I don't think it fits. If you look at what Joseph has written about magic and specifically how spells are learned and hoarded by wizards, it is obvious that every spell is "a rare" to use M:TG terminology.

I also don't like the idea that only one wizard in the world has Magic Missile (obviously it would have to be the wizard Gallstaff if there was only one) so I want it to stay in the spell list. Magic Missile is a staple of D&D-like games. Every wizard should have the chance to get it.

I also have a different perspective on what higher level spells mean. I do think that there should be a scale to the spells. A 2nd level spell should be more dangerous to cast and, if it is a combat spell, more dangerous to the target. However, It doesn't necessarily have to be more powerful than the 1st level spells. Think of the lower level spells, like Cantrip, as utility spells. They are go-to tools for the wizard because they are easy to cast and have great bang-for-your-buck value. The higher level spells should be more esoteric, more arcane, and more focused. They create more specific and specialized effects which is why they are harder to cast and thus higher level. The wizard has to do more work to make sure they come out correctly. The higher level spells should have more precision, not just more power. Or perhaps it is better to think of it like a professional artisan versus an amateur. Any amateur potter can shape clay into a bowl, but it takes years of practice and study to become a professional that creates art with clay. As the level of spell gets higher so should the level of artistry required to cast them. Low level spells are vulgar. High level spells are artwork.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
DCCRPG PC Death Toll: 25

DCCRPG Playtests: Tacticon 2010, GenghisCon 2011, Tacticon 2011, GenghisCon 2012
Member: The DCC Expendables (Denver, CO)

Doug may very well hold the dubious title of “most DCC RPG PCs lost during the course of convention play.”
--Harley Stroh

Post Reply

Return to “DCC RPG General”