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