Just a thought--how well do the DCC modules convert to older rules sets or to C&C? (Or should I post that question in a different part of the forum?)
This is covered on another thread somewhere, but since it keeps coming up I'll answer it again.
But in a slightly roundabout manner...
The reason DCC RPG uses 3E rules is twofold. First, I actually like the core of the 3E rules set. I think it's the most logical D&D system and easiest to grasp at its most fundamental level
. By that I mean, once you strip out AoO's and feats and skill points and prestige classes and templates and the overly complex monster stats system and a few other things, the basic engine of "roll high on a d20 and beat a number" is very simple and works for combat, spells, skills, and everything else. I like this rules engine. I'm employing it in a much simpler manner than 3E but the core engine is the same.
Second, the 3E system was, at one time, One System To Rule Them All. If you guys were following internet chatter back in 2000/2001, many of the message boards were lamenting the fact that other systems were rapidly being subsumed by d20. Where in 1999 there were many independent systems, by 2001 there was Cthulhu D20, Fading Suns D20, Vampire D20, Deadlands D20 -- every publisher jumped on the bandwagon and converted their core system to the D20 mechanic. For a 4-5 year period, every non-D20 product was marginalized by distributors, retailers, and, ultimately, consumers. The same system fragmentation which is now lamented is actually little more than a return to the pre-2000 market conditions. But we've now realized the benefits of "system unification" in terms of creating a common player base, and the arguments against it from 2000/2001 suddenly seem less important than the benefits we received from it. Wasn't it nice when EVERYBODY knew the basics of D&D?? And now, 10 years later, "everybody" still remembers
3E -- whether they've moved on to 4E, Castles & Crusades, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, or whatever it may be -- and that d20 mechanic still provides a common bridge. Therefore, I think there's value in speaking this common language.
So, to get back to your specific question, there are "fiddly bits" in each variant of 3E. What's the real difference between Pathfinder and 3.5? The "fiddly bits." Can you pick up a 3.5 DCC module and immediately play it in Pathfinder? Yes, instantly. You'll get some "fiddly bits" wrong (skill points, spells might function slightly differently, feats changed a bit, etc.) but the core game experience will translate well and a good DM will be able to play it just as well as he could play an ad hoc adventure that he cooked up the night before. It's similar with other 3E variants -- again, not perfect, but doable -- and I suspect it will be similar for DCC-RPG-to-Pathfinder-to-3.5-to-C&C-to-whatever. I certainly hope people play DCC RPG because they actually enjoy it. But in the event that one of the appeals is also a compatibility element, I think it will be "close enough."
Tavis Allison, one of the early DCC RPG playtesters, actually tried this. He recently ran Castle Zagyg, a C&C adventure, using DCC RPG rules. It went well. I expect there will be more such tests, as well. See the link below for his results:http://muleabides.wordpress.com/2010/12 ... nt-part-1/