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 Post subject: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:00 pm 
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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. :D

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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: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:56 pm 
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Well said Finarvyn. You've been a strong voice in the forums here and I've read everything that you've posted. Most of your observations and comments come from an obvious place of both passion and experience, which I think is fairly representative of nearly everyone that would join a forum like this. But in your case, you're also quite loquacious and erudite. (How'd ya like them $.50 words?) Which makes you a very good representative (IMHO of course) of the silent majority. (of which I'm certainly one)

All in all though, I like what you've said and, like you, I also am very excited / eager to see what this game holds for us, the slavishly faithful. ;-)

I'm going to be playing a game that Harley's running here in Denver next month. I'll be sure to write a report and give all of you yet another view from the trenches of what a "non-stereotypical" game plays like.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Thanks for the thoughts, finarvyn. It is usually easiest to describe a new product "like" something the reader knows, which can backfire if the reader then concludes, sight-unseen, that the product is "exactly like" the parallel. I'm hoping enough people will realize "like" 3E doesn't mean "it is" 3E. All it will take is one playtest game, or a few page flips through the final book, to make most people realize this is 3E but not 3E!

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:31 am 
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maybe it would be clearer to say that it's based on d20

btw there are indeed a few things of 3ed that should be kept out of the DCC

1) iterative attacks
2) dual*multi-classing like there is no tomorrow
3) only 3 saving throws (this sound deeply wrong on so many levels....)
4) feats
5) skill points
6) feats
7) increasing abilities

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:24 am 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
maybe it would be clearer to say that it's based on d20

btw there are indeed a few things of 3ed that should be kept out of the DCC

1) iterative attacks
2) dual*multi-classing like there is no tomorrow
3) only 3 saving throws (this sound deeply wrong on so many levels....)
4) feats
5) skill points
6) feats
7) increasing abilities


I believe that they've already confirmed that iterative attacks and the 3 saving throws will be in the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:51 am 
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mshensley wrote:

I believe that they've already confirmed that iterative attacks and the 3 saving throws will be in the game.


I remembered 3 ST and was not sure on iterative attacks (I read on the mule abides of the use d20/d16 to use iterative attacks instead fo different rolls), but it seemed a good place to put also the 2 things that so far I don't like in DCC :)

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:38 am 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
there are indeed a few things of 3ed that should be kept out of the DCC

3) only 3 saving throws (this sound deeply wrong on so many levels....)

An interesting thought. I know that the playtest stuff we've seen suggests that the 3 saving throw system remains, but I'm curious (in a non-argumentative way 8) ) to hear what makes 3 saves so "wrong on so many levels."

I grew up on OD&D with all of those saving throws, and one thing that I disliked about the early saving throw mechanic is that I couldn't find any real pattern or rationalle for the way the charts were put together. I used 'em, but never really liked 'em.

When I first saw the 3E 3-save system I hated it becasue it wasn't like the one I had been using, but as time has passed I like it more and more. Now I use it in my OD&D games.
1. Instead of giving specific categories, the 3-save system is more general and this seems more useful. Sometimes I'd look at some situation in OD&D and have to wonder "well, is it a spell or a petrification becasue it kind of seems like both."
2. In general, the progression seems to make more sense to me. Fighters are better at fortitude, Thieves better at reflex. Magic-users at will.

Again, just curious as to what you're thinking. Is it just a matter of tradition, or do you have a different perspective on this?

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, 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


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:41 am 
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goodmangames wrote:
Thanks for the thoughts, finarvyn. It is usually easiest to describe a new product "like" something the reader knows, which can backfire if the reader then concludes, sight-unseen, that the product is "exactly like" the parallel. I'm hoping enough people will realize "like" 3E doesn't mean "it is" 3E. All it will take is one playtest game, or a few page flips through the final book, to make most people realize this is 3E but not 3E!

Clearly not, as I've come to realize. 8)

It will probably take some time for people to absorb this way of thinking, but in the long run I think the DCC RPG will collect a good audience. Lots of players looking for something but not knowing quite what they are looking to find. There are so many new variant games out there, but this one looks to be special in many ways. :D

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, 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


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
I read on the mule abides of the use d20/d16 to use iterative attacks instead fo different rolls

If you're rolling different dice but looking for the same number on each (?) it's surely going to speed things up though. I've played enough Tunnels and Trolls to know rolling a handful of dice in combat is FUN :)

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:54 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
When I first saw the 3E 3-save system I hated it becasue it wasn't like the one I had been using, but as time has passed I like it more and more. Now I use it in my OD&D games.
1. Instead of giving specific categories, the 3-save system is more general and this seems more useful. Sometimes I'd look at some situation in OD&D and have to wonder "well, is it a spell or a petrification becasue it kind of seems like both."
2. In general, the progression seems to make more sense to me. Fighters are better at fortitude, Thieves better at reflex. Magic-users at will.

Again, just curious as to what you're thinking. Is it just a matter of tradition, or do you have a different perspective on this?


I'll try to explain it

I had a different reaction to 3rd edition, I was an early adopter but then the problems kept piling up

just for my memory
the 3 ST are: reflex, fortitude, will
the 5 are: Paralyzation/poison/death; Petrification/Polymorph; Rod/Staff/Wand; Breath Weapon; Spell

I have a few arguments
1) 3 vs 5 makes less differentiation possible between the classes
2) the 5 categories while could be a little clarified offer a distinctive feel to the various dangers
3) the different rate of the ST for each classes makes thing more interesting
4) chart ST are better than a flat bonus to overcame a given DC

so in my opinion you should have more than 3 defenses to offer more differentiations both in the classes and in the feel of attacks, I could understand having different category to better clarify the less clear situations

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
When I first saw the 3E 3-save system I hated it becasue it wasn't like the one I had been using, but as time has passed I like it more and more. Now I use it in my OD&D games.
1. Instead of giving specific categories, the 3-save system is more general and this seems more useful. Sometimes I'd look at some situation in OD&D and have to wonder "well, is it a spell or a petrification becasue it kind of seems like both."
2. In general, the progression seems to make more sense to me. Fighters are better at fortitude, Thieves better at reflex. Magic-users at will.

Again, just curious as to what you're thinking. Is it just a matter of tradition, or do you have a different perspective on this?


I'll try to explain it

I had a different reaction to 3rd edition, I was an early adopter but then the problems kept piling up

just for my memory
the 3 ST are: reflex, fortitude, will
the 5 are: Paralyzation/poison/death; Petrification/Polymorph; Rod/Staff/Wand; Breath Weapon; Spell

I have a few arguments
1) 3 vs 5 makes less differentiation possible between the classes
2) the 5 categories while could be a little clarified offer a distinctive feel to the various dangers
3) the different rate of the ST for each classes makes thing more interesting
4) chart ST are better than a flat bonus to overcame a given DC

so in my opinion you should have more than 3 defenses to offer more differentiations both in the classes and in the feel of attacks, I could understand having different category to better clarify the less clear situations

Just a guess but maybe this differentiation is acheived through allocating different dice to different classes/levels for STs ?

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:12 pm 
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As for the three Saving Throws... Personally, I'd like them to 'double up' the stats required like (using 3e's stat system) Str+Con/2 = Fort bonus, Dex+Int/2 = Reflex and Wis+Cha/2 equals Will.


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
maybe it would be clearer to say that it's based on d20

btw there are indeed a few things of 3ed that should be kept out of the DCC

1) iterative attacks
2) dual*multi-classing like there is no tomorrow
3) only 3 saving throws (this sound deeply wrong on so many levels....)
4) feats
5) skill points
6) feats
7) increasing abilities


8 ) GM has to kick in for pizza...

Wait, no. That was a house rule. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:06 am 
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One philosophical difference Goodman seems to be going with is the lack of balance that seems to dominate today's rpgs (or at least rpg forums). If your 1st level PCs meet an ancient red dragon in the dungeon, its combats stats are not going to be adjusted to give the party a "fair" chance to defeat in combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:35 am 
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geordie racer wrote:
Just a guess but maybe this differentiation is acheived through allocating different dice to different classes/levels for STs ?


could be, but still...
since there are some overlapping areas in the 5 ST you can make more differentiations

e.g. PPD vs PP, RSW vs Spell or vs BW?

probably you are going to use fortitude both to PPD and PP so you loose the possibility to have a class strong vs PPD but not so strong vs PP

unless you base everything on the 3 ST and then make differentiation for specific case/classes

joela wrote:
One philosophical difference Goodman seems to be going with is the lack of balance that seems to dominate today's rpgs (or at least rpg forums). If your 1st level PCs meet an ancient red dragon in the dungeon, its combats stats are not going to be adjusted to give the party a "fair" chance to defeat in combat.


well this is more a style of play/suggestion, if a ruleset say that a "balanced" enconter is so and so you can always put out an unbalenced encounter like an ancient old red vs a 1st level party :)
or as in 1st edition you could let them encounter hatchlings....

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Delurking for a bit ...

I don't mind 3e saves, although lately I've been warming up to the idea of using each ability score as a save (I think this is in C&C?). A Str save would be done to avoid paralyzation, holds, etc., a Con save would be done to resist disease, fatigue, etc., and so on. Each class could still get it's own bonuses to saves, but saves would be a subset of an ability check as opposed to their own specially named thing (Fort, PPDM, etc.). I think a system like this would help differentiate classes while being intuitive and easy to understand.

I'm not sure what all the ability scores are for the DCC RPG, but a Luck save sounds like it could be a good "catch all" kind of save for when the DM doesn't know what would apply.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:44 pm 
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That was absolutely worth de-lurking for. Well done. :D

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
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: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Jonathan Moyer wrote:
I'm not sure what all the ability scores are for the DCC RPG, but a Luck save sounds like it could be a good "catch all" kind of save for when the DM doesn't know what would apply.

Agreed. The Luck abillity score should add an interesting wrinkle to the game. Again, it challenges the typical RPG stereotype. (I know that T&T has a luck stat, but offhand I can't think of any other RPGs with that feature.)

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, 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


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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Jonathan Moyer wrote:
I'm not sure what all the ability scores are for the DCC RPG, but a Luck save sounds like it could be a good "catch all" kind of save for when the DM doesn't know what would apply.


Maybe Luck just modifies the target number for the Save. If you keep pushing your luck, do you have to change dice type, making this harder ?

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 Post subject: Re: Challenging the stereotype
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:41 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
...I can't think of any other RPGs with that feature...

Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu (and maybe their Basic RPG System, as well -- can't recall).

Luck is a great "catch-all" stat, if I recall correctly from my CoC GMing days...

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
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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