Problems with the funnel

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Schmoe
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Problems with the funnel

Post by Schmoe » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:04 am

I've just started looking over the beta rules, but I don't particularly like the character funnel with the way it's presented in the rule book. I'd like to first say that I really like the idea. Given enough time, and a starting campaign, and a suitable adventure, it could be a really enjoyable way to start the game. However, I have two main concerns.

1. It doesn't cover starting at higher levels, whether due to replacement characters, one-shot adventures, tight schedules, lack of 0-level adventures, or any other reason.

2. It is presented as the only alternative. Some people may just be opposed to the funnel for any number of reasons. Not wanting to run/create multiple chars jumps out at me as one reason, not to mention the ludicrous logistics of marshalling 24 peons through a dungeon, but I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons. However, the way it is presented implies that people are fools for not using the funnel. I'd recommend dialing back the rhetoric a little and providing one or two alternatives.

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finarvyn
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Re: Problems with the funnel

Post by finarvyn » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:10 pm

Remember that the intent of the funnel is to provide a fun way to get a campaign started. Certainly if your intent is to go to higher level characters from the onset, the funnel won't work well for you.

Also, the rulebook is written with the notion that the people playing (and GM'ing) are experienced and not noobies. (There isn't a "what is an RPG" section, for example.) I would assume that an experienced GM would be familiar with more traditional ways to play the game and wouldn't need to have those explained.

Just my two coppers.
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!"
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Coleston the Cavalier
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Re: Problems with the funnel

Post by Coleston the Cavalier » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:40 pm

The funnel is one of the neatest things about DCC RPG, especially when you give it a chance. But I understand exactly what your concerns are - and that is one reason why BHP will be offering options for starting characters and lots and lots of little 0 level modules.

Most of those "24 peons" will die pretty quickly, so they aren't that big of a hassle for very long. ;)

The full set of rules does give some direction for creating characters at a higher level. :)
John Adams

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Coleston the Cavalier
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Re: Problems with the funnel

Post by Coleston the Cavalier » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:27 am

Coleston the Cavalier wrote:The full set of rules does give some direction for creating characters at a higher level. :)
Nope. I was wrong about that, although I do not have the last 1/4 of the text.


Part of the charm of DCC RPG is that "adventuring costs," and by third or fourth level, you are hard-pressed to find a magic-user that does not show the results of mercurial magic or corruption, a cleric that is not frustrated by his god's inattention or fickleness, a fight that does not show the scars of having taken a massive blow from a monsters or even a dwarf that has been radically altered by being exposed to hazards and elements from other dimensions.

DCC RPG is not like most modern rpgs in that the characters never become, perfect, pretty 175% completely competent monster slayers that could still win any beauty (handsome) pageant. That is just not going to happen with DCC RPG.

DCC RPG also has a much lower power curve than most rpgs (even OD&D for that matter). In most settings, characters fifth level and higher will be extremely sparse and almost always known region-wide. In addition, most monsters do not scale higher in hit dice (some do). Most more dangerous monsters come with more dangerous attacks. With DCC RPG, I can see almost no problem introducing a couple of zero level characters into a party of second, third, fourth or even fifth level characters. Sure, the leveled characters will potentially have few more points of bonus to there saving, skill and attack rolls and hit points, but even those characters are still highly susceptible to damage and death from ordinary dangers.

However, I can see the need for providing some "pre-played" characters for pick-up or con games. I think I can look into providing it. :)
John Adams

shadewest
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Re: Problems with the funnel

Post by shadewest » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:37 am

It's not too hard to make a higher level PC. Let your player roll 3-4 sets of ability scores and pick the one he likes best. Assume that's the one who survived the funnel. There are starting gold levels up to 3rd level in the equipment chapter. Above that, you really should be talking to your Judge anyway. This game does not take four books and a spreadsheet to make sure everything is cross-referenced and all your options have met their prerequisites, then moving on to purchasing gear, making sure it all optimizes. Roll and go!
...unless the judge rules otherwise.

Steven Thivierge
Playtester and additional design for:DCC RPG.

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finarvyn
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Re: Problems with the funnel

Post by finarvyn » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:28 am

shadewest wrote:It's not too hard to make a higher level PC. Let your player roll 3-4 sets of ability scores and pick the one he likes best. Assume that's the one who survived the funnel. There are starting gold levels up to 3rd level in the equipment chapter. Above that, you really should be talking to your Judge anyway. This game does not take four books and a spreadsheet to make sure everything is cross-referenced and all your options have met their prerequisites, then moving on to purchasing gear, making sure it all optimizes. Roll and go!
Exactly true. It's easy to "fake it" at highter levels should one choose to do so.
1. I assume that the original poster was just bummed that no "official" rules exist for this.
2. I figure that one or more 3PP will come up with their own variants for this in the near future, as publishers start to develop more and more high-level modules.

The key to me is that the core rulebook is just supposed to be a starting point and imagination and improvisation kicks in from there. That's really the way we did it in the 1970's. There wasn't a lot of product support in the old days so folks had to make things up. We have the advantage for DCC that you can make up things or take advantage of the wonderful product support that is building. Win-win. 8)
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

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