JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

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JediOre
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JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by JediOre » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:39 pm

I ran my gang through The Lair of the White Salamander from DCC #29.

I enjoyed the playtest but struggled to keep the adventure from becoming a TPK. 0-level PCs are extremely weak!

My gang consisted of JediWife, Ragnar1965, and Nightwing.

Sadly, I'm not up for going into a detailed posting of the module, so I'm settling for having us post our thoughts on the DCC game itself and less about the fine adventure.

As the DM, I found the character creation fun. I didn't have a problem with the randomness of the tables, finding them an opportunity to spur creativity in the players. Trying to balance a 3.5 adventure written for first and second level characters for a group of 18 0-level characters was, to be honest, a bit harder than I expected it to be. In the end, JediWife had three characters, as did Ragnar1965. Nightwing had but two characters left.

As I mentioned above, concerning the creativity, having the players with little resources brought out the innovative ideas. Nightwing had his PC crumble part of his piece of chalk up and toss it into the eyes of a saber-toothed giant rat, causing the rat to be blinded for two rounds. In another room, Nightwing had another character use a large sack to capture a flying beast and then that character began to beat the creature against the wall. He also borrowed a hen from one of Ragnar1965's dead PCs and used it as bait to see what would happen if something touched pearls on an island by a crab idol.

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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by goodmangames » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:01 am

Great to hear about the 0-level ingenuity! The lack of resources definitely brings that out in the players. I love the use of crumbled chalk to blind a critter - I've run a lot of games with chalk and never seen that done. I also like the "sack-and-smash" move. I've seen that one a couple times...I ran a game two weekends ago involving an evil silver skull that can cast spells, and one of the players did a similar move. And his PC was 4th level!

As for the conversion, I typically give out at least 3 level 0 PCs for every level 1 PC just to run an equivalent level 1 module, so for something like Lair of the White Salamander, yeah, it would be tough. You'd probably need at least 20+ level 0 guys to survive that one intact!
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by finarvyn » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:00 am

Funny how things go full circle.

Back in "the day" we often played with small groups of 1-2 players, so we would hire a whole bunch of 1st level red-shirt flunkies (we hadn't heard of "0-level" back then) to help the characters make it through higher level adventures.

Of course, now those red-shirts are actual characters. :lol:
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by ragnar1965 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:42 am

Alright...here goes. First, let me say that this way of character creation has been on my mind for a long time. I kind of like the idea of 3d6x6 top to bottom. It makes for some interesting characters. I had a character with a 3 luck score lol. In true Star Trek fashion, we each had some red shirts. The more I thought about this after we finished the more charm I found in fighting to keep 2 or 3 of the characters alive and having no qualms at throwing the red shirts into the fire so to speak to help accomplish that goal :twisted: .

That being said, I didn't like the randomness of the rest of the character creation process. I like creating the back story of my characters and not having it handed to me. It reminds me too much of the adventures that railroad characters into a plot. While I didn't actually play 2nd edition, I did hear that 2nd edition was famous for that. I've always liked the control. That's why I have such an appreciation for 3.x. I am one who likes skills and feats. I like leveling my character. I like making the decisions that go along with that leveling, which is something that I sorely miss with Castles and Crusades (our current system). I know that mid to high level adventures got too cumbersome for the dungeon masters, which is why I agreed to start playing C&C. It just seems like this system waters that process down even more. That being said, Nightwing I believe is the exact opposite. I don't think he could care less about all of that. Give him a character with a big honkin' sword and a few coins to buy the necessary gear and turn him loose. I think Jediwife comes down somewhere in the middle.

As far as the actual playing goes...I didn't see that much difference. Of course, without being actual character classes, its hard to really see the mechanics. I would like to see the mechanics of being a cleric or wizard.

To Joseph Goodman let me say: even though this doesn't appear to be my cup of tea, I can still see the potential for people to really enjoy this. At first glance, I believe you've really come up with a good alternate system. I can see how it could appeal to many players, including Jediore and Nightwing in my own group. I'm hopeful that it all works out for you.
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by Nightwing » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:04 am

I liked the game overall. I found the luck factor interesting but the part about it affecting a 20 roll in the negative was not good. You should never be penalized for rolling a 20. Never. I did not mind starting out at such a low level but some of the occupations were pretty lame. Ditch digger? Farmer? Need to weed those out.

The game moved a bit faster in my eyes but I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the game itself. It did seem simpler which would be good for someone just starting out or like me who have not played for years and years.

The sense of danger was the best. In our other parties it seems we are pretty much Gods and we just hack and murder our way through a campaign. Like playing on God mode on a Nintendo This game made you think at least at 0 level or you were dead. I don't mind getting killed. Its just a game but it makes it a touch more real. So if crewman Johnson has to die he has to die. If he makes it to Lt. Johnson great.
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:58 pm

Nightwing wrote:...some of the occupations were pretty lame. Ditch digger? Farmer? Need to weed those out...
Farmers go on to world-shaping adventuring careers all the time!

...or is that just in a galaxy far, far away...?


Also, I liked your pun.
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by Nightwing » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:36 am

I remembered something else that goes with the luck. I like how it gets specific on the type of damage. Like a broken leg or fractured skull. That is cool.
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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by JediOre » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:54 pm

After reflection with both JediWife and the posts Ragnar1965 & Nightwing has made, I know of a few changes I'll be making when we attempt our next beta test, whenever that will be (hopefully in early September).

If we do another zero-level funnel, I'll leave it up to the player if they want to roll for their PC's occupation/race or allow them to select one they want to play. I know Joseph Goodman strongly encouraged us to do nothing but randomize the occupation/race for we will most likely find it enjoyable. However, that was not the case with my gaming group. Some liked it and some did not. Since it is a game, and by definition we are all suppose to enjoy a game, I see no problem in this. Keeping the roll 3d6 in order for abilities and a random luck augur, along with a random bit of equipment seems fine. It's the occupation/race selection that is the contentious point.

In truth, I would love to take my gang through another zero-level funnel, but this time allow each to decide whether they want to roll or select their PC's race/occupation. I think I would see a completely different approach to the adventure, for each would feel a bit more connected to their characters. I recall Ragnar1965 pointing out that he felt the PCs were more NPCs to him because he had little control or thought invested in the character.

Nightwing, I think you found the game to move faster due to the fact no one's PC could do much except fight feebly or run. I think it will take us two or three adventures, using different level PCs, to truly gain a feel of this game. I personally found our first go intriguing. There are lots of unanswered questions for me yet. I've read others accounts, but until we've attempted a group of, for example, 3rd level PCs, I really don't grasp all the elements of the game. I'm from Missouri, show me! :wink:

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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by smathis » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:06 am

JediOre wrote:If we do another zero-level funnel, I'll leave it up to the player if they want to roll for their PC's occupation/race or allow them to select one they want to play. I know Joseph Goodman strongly encouraged us to do nothing but randomize the occupation/race for we will most likely find it enjoyable. However, that was not the case with my gaming group. Some liked it and some did not. Since it is a game, and by definition we are all suppose to enjoy a game, I see no problem in this. Keeping the roll 3d6 in order for abilities and a random luck augur, along with a random bit of equipment seems fine. It's the occupation/race selection that is the contentious point.
At the very least, I hope to have players roll, say, 5-6 occupations and then assign 3 of them to a character of their choice. The randomness defied reason at some points -- like when one of my players got a Fortune Teller with a 17 Strength. Some people revel in that sort of thing. It challenges them to build a better, if eccentric, character. Others not so much. I'd rather leave it up to the player to decide if they want a Fortune Teller or Wizard Apprentice with 17 STR and INT+WIS below 9 or if they'd rather have a Blacksmith.

Some players will surprise you. And, IMO, those are the ones you want playing a brute Wizard's Apprentice. Other players will just complain about it.

I agree that the 3d6 in order, random birth augur and equipment is still very random.
JediOre wrote:There are lots of unanswered questions for me yet. I've read others accounts, but until we've attempted a group of, for example, 3rd level PCs, I really don't grasp all the elements of the game. I'm from Missouri, show me! :wink:
Yeah. A lot came out when we tried the 5th level game. DCC was a lot more fun in the 0-level funnel. There's nothing glaringly broken (outside of the spell charts, IMO) at the higher levels. But there are some nagging issues that seem less fun than they could/should be.

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Re: JediOre's gang attempted a funnel 0-level game

Post by Abchiptop » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:31 am

I don't have my book in front of me, but I believe the book days it's ok to pick your occupation if you have a back story in mind

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