A Playtesters View

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ericphillips
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A Playtesters View

Post by ericphillips » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:10 pm

Last week I, a warrior, with my fellow dwarf, wizard and thief, rescued the kidnapped women and children of a village. There was fighting, blood, gore, magic and a lot of fun. Here are a few thought I have of DCC after playing.

First, some positives:

Old School Through Rose Colored Glasses
DCC defiantly has an old school feel, but saying it like a person talking about “the good ol’ days.” It’s not like it really was, but captured the way we remember it being. We loved weird crit tables, and lacking rules we loved making up our own rules to govern what we wanted to do.
A good example in the new crit and fumble rules and tables. They are descriptive and evocative, but easy and fast, something that used to be lacking (remember RoleMaster?).

The system of Mighty Deeds, and the skill system (or almost lack of one) keeps it open for players to try things. Very old school feel, but in the old days there was nothing to guide us to adjudicate the results, while DCC adds that on without adding difficulty.

Actually, the skill light thing is very popular today. Look at FUDGE where it suggest not eve making a list of rule. You’re a cop, if you can justify that a cop could do something, role to do it. No lists. So this is both old school and part of the modern “rules light” style of gaming. I remember Atlas Games having a similar “light skill” system back in the days of Over the Edge.

The mighty deed thing worls so well, I’ve already adapted it to my Mongoose Traveller game (to which I also added in the Doctor Who “yes..but” and “yes… and” rules). Makes Traveller a little more space opera and players love it.

Brings Back the Fun of Failure, the Power of Imagination, and Cool Descriptions
d20, despite being a well put together, but did two things that I felt made the game kind of lacking on heroic role playing.
First was the dropping of any kind of fumble mechanic. Failure can be fun. Certainly, you love it when the Orc spears himself, but it is also fun when you toss your sword and need to grab it. If you make the kill its all the more sweet because you overcame failure. That’s how it works in the movies!

Second, d20 had a habit of taking almost all the judgment calls. The conditions were very specific as to their effects, feats were exacting on how they worked. Mighty deeds lets you try just about anything, no feats needed. It also gives the GM room to make stuff up. Imagination, isn’t that what made RPGs fun?

Finally, description comes back. I love the fact that after a game I can describe the action after I roll a crit as “…I struck the creature in the chest... my sword penetrating to its spine which I managed to sever, and the beast fell dead.” Here you got description that make others want to check it out. In d20 it would be “…I rolled double damage and it died.” Big difference.

A Negative: Sorry, But I Have One
I do not like the rolls for thief abilities. In the old days they were percentile rolls, but I don’t think they should be that way here. The d20 + Mod vs. DC works great and is similar to the attack rolls. D&D used to be a bunch of rules and numerous exceptions where rules have very different mechanics, but that is not the “good old school” to me. So I recommend changing the thief abilities d20 rolls.

Wrapping Up
This is going to be a fun product. And I love the artwork. Very 1st Edition. Keep up the good work!

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Ravenheart87
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by Ravenheart87 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:13 am

ericphillips wrote: A Negative: Sorry, But I Have One
I do not like the rolls for thief abilities. In the old days they were percentile rolls, but I don’t think they should be that way here. The d20 + Mod vs. DC works great and is similar to the attack rolls. D&D used to be a bunch of rules and numerous exceptions where rules have very different mechanics, but that is not the “good old school” to me. So I recommend changing the thief abilities d20 rolls.
Joseph told us somewhere (too lazy to search the forums now), that the thief skills are going to be changed to d20 + modifier roll. So, it seems you're going to have nothing negative to say about the final product. :D
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finarvyn
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:45 am

Ravenheart87 wrote:
ericphillips wrote: A Negative: Sorry, But I Have One
I do not like the rolls for thief abilities. In the old days they were percentile rolls, but I don’t think they should be that way here. The d20 + Mod vs. DC works great and is similar to the attack rolls. D&D used to be a bunch of rules and numerous exceptions where rules have very different mechanics, but that is not the “good old school” to me. So I recommend changing the thief abilities d20 rolls.
Joseph told us somewhere (too lazy to search the forums now), that the thief skills are going to be changed to d20 + modifier roll. So, it seems you're going to have nothing negative to say about the final product. :D
Correct. There was quite a discusssion about this and the general feeling was that percentile dice were just a throwback to the "old days" but didn't really add anything positive to the game system. Joseph posted alternate d20 roll rules which should make it into the final version. 8)
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GnomeBoy
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:53 am

ericphillips wrote:Finally, description comes back. I love the fact that after a game I can describe the action after I roll a crit as “…I struck the creature in the chest... my sword penetrating to its spine which I managed to sever, and the beast fell dead.” Here you got description that make others want to check it out. In d20 it would be “…I rolled double damage and it died.” Big difference.
I could argue that you can always describe action as you like in accordance with the mechanical outcome, but if you're players aren't doing that, my argument probably won't change that fact...

But you can do it. 8)
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Black Dougal
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:22 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:
ericphillips wrote:Finally, description comes back. I love the fact that after a game I can describe the action after I roll a crit as “…I struck the creature in the chest... my sword penetrating to its spine which I managed to sever, and the beast fell dead.” Here you got description that make others want to check it out. In d20 it would be “…I rolled double damage and it died.” Big difference.
I could argue that you can always describe action as you like in accordance with the mechanical outcome, but if you're players aren't doing that, my argument probably won't change that fact...

But you can do it. 8)
True, it can be done, but it has been my experience that players in 3.x/PFRPG and 4e games don't do it. Even when they are Grognards who have been playing for decades they don't do it. I find that there is just something about the rules-lawyer bent of those games have that lends itself to mechanical, by-the-book descriptions rather than evocative ones.
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JediOre
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by JediOre » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:43 pm

finarvyn wrote: . . . the general feeling was that percentile dice were just a throwback to the "old days" but didn't really add anything positive to the game system.
As an opposing view, I think adding the percentile dice was a really nice nod to the "old days" and did add to the game. But that is just one man's opinion.

Black Dougal
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by Black Dougal » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:58 pm

JediOre wrote:
finarvyn wrote: . . . the general feeling was that percentile dice were just a throwback to the "old days" but didn't really add anything positive to the game system.
As an opposing view, I think adding the percentile dice was a really nice nod to the "old days" and did add to the game. But that is just one man's opinion.
I agree with you, the percentiles did add to the "retro" feel of the game. However, I do have to concede this one. Using a d20-based mechanic is more clean and consistent. It is also more simple, and I am a fan of the KISS principal.
"The Black Dougal" (formerly known as dkeester) -- DCCRPG Fan Boy since 2010
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smathis
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by smathis » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:18 am

JediOre wrote:
finarvyn wrote: . . . the general feeling was that percentile dice were just a throwback to the "old days" but didn't really add anything positive to the game system.
As an opposing view, I think adding the percentile dice was a really nice nod to the "old days" and did add to the game. But that is just one man's opinion.
I liked the percentiles. But my players felt the same way finarvyn's group did. So much so that it was a BIG negative for them.

Oh well. Can't win them all...

moes1980
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by moes1980 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:36 pm

To bad about losing the thief percentile system. Already get to roll d20's for attacks and saves and other skills all day long, I liked that thieves got special skills with a percentage chanch of success.

But, maybe the final rules will still be cool.....

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finarvyn
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by finarvyn » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:36 am

smathis wrote:I liked the percentiles. But my players felt the same way finarvyn's group did. So much so that it was a BIG negative for them.
To be clear, my group didn't care that much either way.

My "general feeling" comment was in reference to the posts on this board, not my own gaming group. In general folks posting here were more negative than positive towards using percentile dice for thief actions.
Marv / Finarvyn
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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."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

Abchiptop
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Re: A Playtesters View

Post by Abchiptop » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:16 am

Fwiw, thief skills are still percentile; they're just in 5% increments now : P

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