Just some thoughts I've had in general, and I couldn't decide which thread to post to so I decided just to start a new one.
When I first heard about the DCC RPG, it was a few vague hints about a 3E-based game that sounded kind of "old school" in philosophy. When folks asked about it, I got the sense that no one quite had a handle on what made it special but most everyone agreed that if Goodman Games was developing it, it must be a good product. (That's kind of neat, actually, when you realize that people are supporting a game sight-unseen but based on excellent experiences with a game company. How many companies have that kind of customer loyalty?)
Anyway, as time has passed more details have slowly been seeping out onto the web and into my brain. Perhaps these basic ideas were out there from the onset and I was too dense to see them, perhaps the ideas were sort of a secret until Joseph has slowly been unveiling information. Either way, my perspective of this game has slowly been changing and evolving over the weeks.
And I'm even more intrigued than I was when I first heard rumor of this project months ago.
Early releases of character sheets look very OD&D-like with simple sheets with lots of space to make notes rather than lots of lines of numbers to crunch. Perhaps that skewed my thinking. Knowing that it had 3E elements in it (such as the 3-saving throw model) also made it sound familiar. Playtest reports on the internet mentioned standard character classes, races, and the like. Saying "it's based on Appendix N" is a starting point, but tends to lead me into the stereotypical "ah, so it's about Conan and Elric and other heroes like that, right?" Not so fast. Along the way we've gotten a look at some of the concepts behind the spellcasting system, and the fact that magic won't be as predictable as in most traditional RPG systems. And we've been hearing about critical hits and fumbles. And now we learn that monsters mostly will be non-traditional and de-emphasize standard generic creatures and that the usual won't be as predictable as one might expect.
In short, DCC appears to be a RPG philosophically designed to challenge the stereotypes. It's not going to be "like" any other game on the market, because from the onset Joseph appears to be looking at critical design questions and asking "why do we want to follow that pattern, and can we have some fun if we try this instead?" Perhaps this is the message that Joseph has been trying to convey all along, and that I've just been too attached my my old way of thinking to realize that what he's saying and what I'm hearing may not be from the same perspective.
As experienced gamers, we tend to "fill in the gaps" if there is something we don't know. If someone says "well, it's based on 3E" we immediately make a mental list of things that we know about 3E and file this game into certain design slots. Then we only half pay attention to certain details because we think we "know" that stuff already. As a teacher I can say that I see this in my students all of the time, and I can't believe how easy it is to fall into that trap.
Anyway, I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this other than to say that I’ve been trying to re-evaluate what I think I “know” about the DCC RPG and look at it from a fresh perspective. While it may capture the “old school” market it certainly doesn’t appear to be really patterned after any other RPG out there, either philosophically or mechanically. Sure, basic elements of traditional RPGs will be in there, things like hit points and armor class, but I suspect that when this journey is done the DCC RPG will play nothing like the others.
As I said, I’m even more intrigued the more I learn about the DCC RPG.