Goodman Games

Fan Forums
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:37 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:34 pm 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:23 pm
Posts: 3
Ok, I’ve been DMing DCC off and on with two different groups since July. I also played in a few playtests around free rpg day timeline. I love DCC and it has the right level of randomness, lack of complexity in the rules, and great classes/PC rules to be my go-to RPG even though its only in Beta, even over other systems I’ve tried like Swords & Wizardry, Lamentations, and Castles & Crusades. Since I’ve been using DCC as an all-weather RPG, rather than a playtest or one-off, I’ve come up with a number of issues and “needs” I keep having to address. Here are my comments and concerns, divided into general categories.

Note: just for some background, I’ve been playing with the updated thief/cleric errata, the Beta rules, and done a mixture of dungeons and crazy political/city happenings (escaping from executions, raiding towns, capturing slaves, etc. – my players unexpectedly gonzo about their Chaotic alignments). I currently have a Thief lv 2, Warrior lv 4, and Wizard lv 2 in the party who can regularly game. We've seen the deaths of numerous level 0s and 2 level 1 characters. House rules I use: shields splintered and Fort save or die at 0 or negative hp, succeed=stabilize and won’t die IF treated by end of the party’s combat (lv 0’s die automatically at 0 or negative hp).

Things that were frustrating and I had to change/adapt:
1. The names of ability scores. We have a mix of previous D&D players and players who’ve never played RPGs before. Also DCC is really similar to D&D. It’s just confusing given these two factors to reference non-standard ability score names, especially when the ‘new’ ability scores do exactly the same things. Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.
2. The character sheet. It’s simply not organized, and DCC is not S&W or B/X, there’s a ton of stuff to write down, like spell rolls, thief abilities, etc. Most of this info can be accommodated by boxes labeled Equipment or Special Abilities, but there needs to be room for different weapon attacks, temporary and permanent ability scores, and all the DCC unique awesomeness. I highly recommend the peoplethemwithmonsters advanced character sheet. It even has a space for Race, which I tell my players to use as a listing for Homeland, which comes into play in my game.
3. The overemphasis on Old-School play = playing with feeble mudfarmers who die constantly. I started my guys with the funnel, and it’s fun, but some things in the game don’t scale well once the characters are out of the funnel. For surviving and leveling, I give all of them full hp at first level. Also, I let everyone do 4d6 for ability scores, drop lowest, just like Gygax did. Otherwise many of their class abilities are really weak or often negative modifiers, which no one likes to see. There’s still PLENTY of weak ability scores (especially given the modest bonuses in DCC, which I love), like -2 intelligences and constitutions all over the place. I also let them add a flat +1 to permanent ability score of player’s choice when the character gains a new level. None of this creates ‘overpowered’ characters, but it does make long term play sustainable when they also get curses, etc. I really love “let the dice roll as they may” and the possibility of lots of player (and party) death, and without risk, RPGs are no fun. But D&D is about characters getting more powerful, let them actually do it. They’re the rockstars once they survive a couple levels, give them the moon and let them shoot for the sun. A warrior with -1 Strength gets old, let him do some muscle training as represented by a marginal ability score increase.
4. Mounted combat. Sorry, I use it. The first thing my players have always done is bought a horse when they get enough money. It carries stuff and helps them go faster. Horses are in all the literature and the movies. Why avoid it? My rules are +1 AC for the rider, double damage with spears/lances on a charge, Strength check or get knocked down when charged (the PCs have angered some local knights). Pack animals/work horses -2 to rider’s attack rolls. I’ve yanked some horse stats and prices from other games, but let’s get some DCC rules for them (and prices).
5. The weapon rules. The damages don’t make sense to me or my players. Why not always use a spear? Why ever use a battleaxe? This is a simple fix to the few categories that simply “don’t work”: battleaxes do 1d10 damage like two-handed swords (also I renamed handaxe to just axe, handaxe sounds like a lame boyscout hatchet), crossbows do 1d8 damage, but can only be fired every other round; spears do 1d6 damage but are thrown as javelins (javelins are replaced by spears basically). Further, I don’t lower initiative for two-handed weapons, giving up the protection of the spear is penalty enough and doesn’t make sense for weapons like polearms anyway. I think d16 for initiative is a fine alternative. Perhaps we could encourage some other weapons rules: polearms and spears +1 initiative, axes can also destroy shields on any critical, swords disarm opponents on criticals, bludgeoning does more damages to slimes and skeletons. This gives players a choice, rather than just forces them to choose the optimal weapon.

Things That Just Don’t Work That Well
1. Difficulty classes/changing target numbers. I’m sorry, this sucks. I know it’s the whole, it was great in 3E, the DM should just come up with a target number. If I wanted target numbers, I’d play Pathfinder. One of the reasons 1E/retroclones are so nice is that most of them dispense with this and have a flat number and the player’s power/ability succeeds. I’m tracking like 14 different things all at the same time constantly to make for a fun and exciting game for my players, I don’t want to figure out if a 13 on a Sneak check succeeds, or whether their saving throw worked. The player should just know based on what’s written on their character sheet. Spell checks and attack rolls are just fine, the players get those. I saw a good suggestion somewhere for a clear division between things that are rolled with a bonus, like attack rolls, and things like ‘skill’ checks that have a flat value. A d20 check is best, but should be flat. If it’s a rare situation where something is drastically more or less difficult, I can wing that (feel free to make a note about DM discretion or something in the book), but it’s just wasting my time to come up with all these annoying DCs/target numbers. FIX: rewrite all the Thief abilities to succeed on a 14+ or whatever based on the target numbers/DCs y’all have already created in those exhaustively long thief descriptions, obviously the Dex bonus or whatever will affect this, and the player can write that down. Rewrite the skill check section: Trained checks roll d20 and succeed on a 10+, untrained d10 succeed on 10+. I also need a standard Saving Throw, I’m using 10 right now, but I don’t want to consult pre-made adventures or a premade DM chart to figure out saving throw difficulties. Give me a number, and let’s avoiding the increasingly scaling DC problem of 3E too. I love the Will save v. Spell check mechanic right now, but all other saves are awkward compared to simply having a Fortitude save of 12+, so chuck the current spell save mechanic if necessary.
2. NPCs. Should I be using the same stats as PCs or not? I decided early to just use standard type stats, because the PCs have way too many moving pieces, and this works fine. A big problem though is NPC spells. I mean, I’m not going to crossreference a chart and make my players wait on me just because they convinced the local cleric to heal them for 100 gp. I’m going to roll a d8 for how many hp they get healed. I haven’t even attempted to use an evil wizard because that’s a nightmare. Fudging this kind of stuff is fine for now, but I think we need something like NPC classes/levels so I can quickly stat up humanoids and human villians. I mean, DCC’s motto is NPCs who are meant to be killed, right? I need some easy stats when the PCs decide to kill all the local constables or whatever. The FIX I’d suggest: a couple of pages of guidelines with NPC levels that don’t use all the charts the characters do. NPC warriors – HD d10, +1 attack/HD, saving throw guidelines; thieves – HDd6, a few main thief skills with numbers like 12+ sneak or whatever. Clerics & wizards need standard spell abilities that have all the info listed straight on the entry: Lv 3 NPC wizards cast Magic Missle on 11+, 1d4 missles doing d4+1 damage; Fireball 14+ plus, 3d6 damage to all in target, Ref save half. The bottom line is I need some charts to create NPCs of certain types and power levels with a few limited powers, all of which I will use in play (so only give NPC wizards like 4 spell abilities or something, that’s great). This would really help the game to have all there in the rulebook.
3. Having a individualized patron chart that I have to create. This is too much work, and the sample Patron included doesn’t work that well. A much better option would be to have a set chart for all patrons included in the Invoke Patron spell. Certain results should be like = 10-12. Patron summoned, but angry. Demands a sacrifice or will f*ck up PC, does not reward PC in any way. 13-15: Patron summoned, will help PC with a modest power or secret like restoring HP or a lost spell, but demands a gift or sacrifice – see Sacrifice to Patron table. I’ve fudge this currently, which is cool, but I’m going to run out of random ideas. I can’t always demand a virgin sacrifice within 7 days in return for restoring a spell. I think such a chart would give players a better sense of how to use a Patron as well.
4. The critical hits tables. I love them in most ways, but too many results simple result in more damage. The entries that involve more damage + something like blindness, knocking down, etc.
5. Having the signature effect of the MDoA all rolled up with the MDoA rules as it’s currently written. Basically, my warrior player never knows what’s going on. Maybe we’re just dense, but there’s a lot of stuff going on around the table. I’d suggest keeping the rules, but clarifying. Say, MDoA can do these sorts of things when (1) the player declares he’s attempting something specific he describes, (2) he rolls a 3+ on the Deed dice (I’m sorry it needs a clearly delineated name, let’s pick one), and (3) his combined attack roll hits the target. Warriors also have a Signature Move. This is like one of the results on the Disarm or Trip examples. If a warrior does not declare a specific action for his MDoA die, he attempts his Signature Move by default. Succeeds with the signature move as above. Right now, all the various effects of the MDoA are all rolled up together; it’s too much.

Suggestions for Things I’d Like to See to Make It a Better Product
1. Expanded equipment list for non-standard purchases. Hiring alchemists, buying horses, renting mercenaries, buying spyglasses, etc. Lots of modern, post-3E D&D type games have these now, and I’d love to not have to pull stuff out of other books. Much like the old DMGs used to have this stuff. Keep the current equipment list as a Standard Village purchases, because I like I can just be like: “here, this is the equipment you can buy in this standard village,” but I’d like some advanced options.
2. Obviously, an XP value chart. GP = XP works pretty well, as does goal based XP (say 500 for clearing a small area of monsters, or whatever). I also use a 100XP per monster HD divided by number of players & henchmen system, but this seems to advance the PCs alittle too fast and rewards killing for its own sake rather than smart play. Keep it simple though.
3. A good list of monsters. The current monster style is fine, but I need three more things if you’re really going to give me something different: (1) treasure – don’t make me cross reference a chart either, just put how much treasure the things has right in the entry (1d8 gp or whatever), and please include some Alchemical uses (goblin skulls are used to make poison potions by wizards or whatever, unicorn horns can resurrect the dead or restore 1d8 points of lost Charisma); (2) actually special attacks/weaknesses – monsters should be different from one another, and not just statistically, I want crocodiles with swallowing or drowning attacks, dragons with a soft underbelly, pixies with three or four taunting or charm type things. Not necessarily stuff in the old MMs, but new and actually effective special powers that make monsters truly unique and FUN to use. You’re already doing some of this, as I can see from the Basilisk entry, etc. but keep it up; (3) number encountered. Screw challenge ratings or whatever, those are boring and don’t force players to make intelligent decisions. Random numbers of goblins are fun. Let’s not get all Gygaxian naturalist with like: for 30 goblins there are 2 females who don’t do anything. But, the oh sh*t moment of players running into 35 goblins because I rolled really high on an encounter while their traveling can lead to all sorts of fun. ALSO: I don’t need a ton of monsters, but I need a good standard coverage (sorry James Raggi) like dragons, giants, faeries, sea monsters, centuars, and maybe some fish-men. You get the picture.
4. The assumption I’m going to love Mythos-themes in every adventure. I play CoC. But in DCC, I use a more warhammer-y and less eldritch-mysteries-y world. Not every adventure is going to end up with the summoning of dark gods or gigantic monsters or involve cultists and insane astrologists. Don’t remove the Mythos elements, but don’t assume that just because Clark Ashton Smith and RE Howard had some Mythos stuff means I want every DCC to be centered on that stuff (I’m looking at you Free RPG day adventure). Similarly, I don’t always want ancient eldritch hypertechnology in my adventures. This is more a word-to-the-wise. Having some rocking, challenging adventures just involving some giants or a dragon would be nice, and I would buy them. I look to old school adventures for their problem solving complexity and interesting scenarios, and the random potion charts. Weirdness is great, but don’t always make it unfathomable weirdness from beyond the stars. I think Joseph’s preview of the demon demanding payment from the baron to kick off an adventure is a great example – don’t just assume I always want tentacles in my RPGing.
5. Don’t give up on kingdom/stronghold rules please. Mass combat comes up earlier and more often for me, because I use lots of small dungeons rather than ye olde megadungeon. I’d pay some money for some simple mass combat rules combined with rules for followers when leveling up, and simple and fun rules (no minigames though please) for running strongholds or gaining lots of political/magical power. I already have mass combat rules I like a lot and are VERY simple, while still including some tactical choice by the players so it’s more of a game, but it’s always nice to have more. Working this in as a default for high-level play, along with some sample adventures would be perfect!


Many of these suggestions have been noted elsewhere in the forums. I want add my two cents and emphasize some of them. I think these are kinds of fixes that would also really separate DCC as a higher quality, must-buy product, distinguishing it from the number of other free retroclones out on the market. That being said, thanks for making an already great game!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:35 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
Thanks for the detailed reply! Here are some quick notes in response...

Longshanks wrote:
1. The names of ability scores. We have a mix of previous D&D players and players who’ve never played RPGs before. Also DCC is really similar to D&D. It’s just confusing given these two factors to reference non-standard ability score names, especially when the ‘new’ ability scores do exactly the same things. Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.


I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?

Longshanks wrote:
2. The character sheet. It’s simply not organized, and DCC is not S&W or B/X, there’s a ton of stuff to write down, like spell rolls, thief abilities, etc. Most of this info can be accommodated by boxes labeled Equipment or Special Abilities, but there needs to be room for different weapon attacks, temporary and permanent ability scores, and all the DCC unique awesomeness. I highly recommend the peoplethemwithmonsters advanced character sheet. It even has a space for Race, which I tell my players to use as a listing for Homeland, which comes into play in my game.


There are eight different character sheets, one per class and one for 0-level characters. The class-specific ones have specific entries for each ability. Have you used those? (They are at the end of the beta rules.) They typically accommodate everything in my games but if you're using these and still missing things, let me know what's missing.

Longshanks wrote:
3. The overemphasis on Old-School play = playing with feeble mudfarmers who die constantly. I started my guys with the funnel, and it’s fun, but some things in the game don’t scale well once the characters are out of the funnel. ...


Go for it. I would categorize this under "house rules." I wrote the game with the assumption that most judges would be experienced GMs and adjust as needed to fit their style -- this is fine.

Longshanks wrote:
4. Mounted combat. Sorry, I use it. The first thing my players have always done is bought a horse when they get enough money. It carries stuff and helps them go faster. Horses are in all the literature and the movies. Why avoid it? My rules are +1 AC for the rider, double damage with spears/lances on a charge, Strength check or get knocked down when charged (the PCs have angered some local knights). Pack animals/work horses -2 to rider’s attack rolls. I’ve yanked some horse stats and prices from other games, but let’s get some DCC rules for them (and prices).


This will be part of the final rules.

Longshanks wrote:
5. The weapon rules. The damages don’t make sense to me or my players. Why not always use a spear? Why ever use a battleaxe? This is a simple fix to the few categories that simply “don’t work”: battleaxes do 1d10 damage like two-handed swords (also I renamed handaxe to just axe, handaxe sounds like a lame boyscout hatchet), crossbows do 1d8 damage, but can only be fired every other round; spears do 1d6 damage but are thrown as javelins (javelins are replaced by spears basically). Further, I don’t lower initiative for two-handed weapons, giving up the protection of the spear is penalty enough and doesn’t make sense for weapons like polearms anyway. I think d16 for initiative is a fine alternative. Perhaps we could encourage some other weapons rules: polearms and spears +1 initiative, axes can also destroy shields on any critical, swords disarm opponents on criticals, bludgeoning does more damages to slimes and skeletons. This gives players a choice, rather than just forces them to choose the optimal weapon.


Two-handed weapons using d16 for initiative is part of the final rules (that was a great idea). I played with the idea of really customizing a lot more of the weapons, including using funky damage dice for some (d5, d7, etc.). I go back and forth on making the weapons too specific. There was a time back in my younger years where I really liked very specific weapon definitions (remember the basic D&D boxed set with all the pole arm stats? was that the green box?) but nowadays I prefer something more simple.

Longshanks wrote:
1. Difficulty classes/changing target numbers. I’m sorry, this sucks. I know it’s the whole, it was great in 3E, the DM should just come up with a target number. If I wanted target numbers, I’d play Pathfinder. One of the reasons 1E/retroclones are so nice is that most of them dispense with this and have a flat number and the player’s power/ability succeeds....


Addressing this in two parts...

Skill checks / ability checks: These have only a few tiers of DC - 10, 15, 20. I've tried to make this more explicit in the final rules writeup. (There's also a DC 5 tier but that's for really simple stuff - doesn't come up much.) That may not have come across as well in the beta. I also like the idea of d10 for untrained checks and have incorporated that into the final rules as written

Saving throws: I do believe these should vary, but in the basic 10-20 range (nothing crazy-high like in 3E/4E). Maybe I need to give more examples?

Longshanks wrote:
2. NPCs. Should I be using the same stats as PCs or not? I decided early to just use standard type stats, because the PCs have way too many moving pieces, and this works fine.


Quoting from the final manuscript...

Quote:
Monsters Don’t Play By The Rules
Why should they? Conan never knew what manner of foul beast he would face, nor whether his sword would overcome its sorcery: he feared no creature of flesh, but was justifiably terrified by the supernatural. Monsters and magic are not bound by the same laws that govern mortals. The creatures that follow demonstrate examples of this fact; and you should heed it in your own creature and encounter designs.


...and...

Quote:
Men and Magicians
The fantasy world is populated primarily by men of medieval ranks: serfs and peasants, journeymen and master craftsmen, men-at-arms and knights, and dukes, earls, kings, and other nobles. Among these many mundane inhabitants are some with special abilities. Here are sample Men you can use to populate your world.
As noted previously, “monsters break the rules” – and that applies to Men, as well. When sending your players to face a magician or warrior, you need not spend the time to create a complicated leveled-up player character according to the class rules. Make it fast and make it interesting!


Then there are some sample stats. What I've done is even simpler than what you describe. I don't think there needs to be much "class structure" in the NPC stats. OD&D didn't "level" NPCs at all. It worked in 1974...

Longshanks wrote:
3. Having a individualized patron chart that I have to create. This is too much work, and the sample Patron included doesn’t work that well. A much better option would be to have a set chart for all patrons included in the Invoke Patron spell. Certain results should be like = 10-12. Patron summoned, but angry. Demands a sacrifice or will <b>f*ck</b> up PC, does not reward PC in any way. 13-15: Patron summoned, will help PC with a modest power or secret like restoring HP or a lost spell, but demands a gift or sacrifice – see Sacrifice to Patron table. I’ve fudge this currently, which is cool, but I’m going to run out of random ideas. I can’t always demand a virgin sacrifice within 7 days in return for restoring a spell. I think such a chart would give players a better sense of how to use a Patron as well.


Why didn't I think of that? :) There will be many more patron tables in the final manuscript (there are 5-6 in there as of now), but the idea of a generic table is also a good idea.

Longshanks wrote:
4. The critical hits tables. I love them in most ways, but too many results simple result in more damage. The entries that involve more damage + something like blindness, knocking down, etc.


When fighting monsters, I think it's fun for the PCs to do damage, since effects like blindness or deafness aren't as lasting (the monster's going to die in a couple rounds anyway).

But when you see the monster critical hit tables, you will find more excitement along the lines you note above. :) There are specialized tables for dragons, demons, un-dead, and giants, then a generic monster one as well. Here's an excerpt (again quoting unedited text that's not spell checked or otherwise publication-ready)...

Quote:
Crit Table U: Un-dead
Roll Result
1 or less Unnatural boils sprout spontaneously around the wound. These are extremely painful to the touch, and automatically inflict 1 point of damage in any round where the character exerts himself physically (such as running, jumping, and of course fighting). They can only be healed with magical healing.
2 The cold touch of un-death spreads across the wound. +1d4 damage and PC gets the chills, chattering his teeth noisily until magically healed.
3 The numbness of death spreads around the wounded area. +1d4 damage and the PC slowly loses sensation. On the next round, he must make a Fort save against DC 2. Failure means he is paralyzed. This first save is easy, but he must make another save against DC 3 on the next round, then against DC 4, then DC 5, and so on. If he makes every save to DC 20, he shakes off the numbness and is unaffected. But if a single save is failed, the PC is paralyzed – not “stiff” but simply insensitive to any sensation, and completely numb and unable to move. The paralysis can be cured by any magical healing.
4 The horrifying visage of life after death infects the PC’s thoughts as the un-dead leers in his eyes with its attack. The PC must make a DC 15 Fort save or be shaken and unable to move or attack for the next 1d4 rounds.
5 The character is cursed from beyond the grave! Depending on his actions and the intelligence of the un-dead creature, the curse may have specific terms associated with the wishes of the un-dead (judge’s discretion; see Appendix C). Alternately, the curse causes a -1 penalty to Luck and all dice rolls until lifted.
6 The wound blackens immediately and a horrid infection from beyond the grave begins to spread. The character must make a DC 10 Fort save or temporarily lose 1d4 Stamina. The infection continues to attack each day, forcing another DC 10 Fort save or loss of another 1d4 Stamina each morning until the infection is magically expunged. The character does not heal while infected.
7 Supernatural frost spreads out from the wound in a lacy web, causing +1d8 damage and intense pain. The frost dissipates on the next round but until the next full moon, the PC takes an extra 1 point of damage from all cold-based attacks.
8 Necrotic energies leap from the un-dead in a sizzling flash, enervating the character. The PC loses 2d4 Stamina temporarily.
9 Faced with the very real prospect of unnatural un-death, the PC becomes unhinged. He immediately loses 1d4 Personality and goes temporarily insane, behaving erratically and strangely until the next new moon. The controlling player must make a percentile roll before any action, and on 01-10 the character makes an insane action (as determined by the judge) instead of what was intended. On 11-00 the intended action occurs.
10 The visage of rotting un-death brings the horror of the grave to the character’s thoughts. He must make a DC 16 Fort save or be shaken with fear, unable to attack or do anything except quake in fear for 1d4 rounds.
11 Strange electrical sparks leap from the attacking un-dead, causing an additional +1d10 damage.
12 The attack is imbued with some unnatural remnant of un-dead slumber. The character must make a DC 16 Fort save or fall asleep, instantly and deeply. He will not awaken for 1d7 hours or until shaken violently.
13 The attack is infused with powerful necromantic energies which cause the character’s skin to flake and rot! His flesh begins to fall off in large chunks, exposing the muscle and bone below. This is extremely painful and debilitating. The character loses an extra 1d8 hit points and 1 point of Personality immediately, and again every morning thereafter as his flesh slowly rots. He dies when his Personality reaches 0. The rot can be arrested only by powerful magical healing.
14 The strike of un-death saps the PC’s energy. The character temporarily loses 1d4 Str and must make a DC 12 Fort save or lose an additional 1d4 Str.
15 Strange spectral energies arc to the PC’s body, making him temporarily incorporeal for 1d4 rounds. The PC is translucent and cannot grasp physical objects. He cannot speak, make noise, attack, or be seen in bright light. He can fly at his normal movement rate and can pass through solid objects at half speed. He is considered un-dead while incorporeal. There is a 1% chance the transition is permanent.
16 A disgusting grave rot immediately spreads around the wound, causing an additional 2d6 damage and forcing a DC 16 Fort save. Failure on the save causes additional temporary loss of 1d4 Stamina. The rot gets progressively worse, forcing another save each morning against loss of another 1d4 Stamina, until magically cured.
17 The brief brush with death affects the PCs’ memory. He loses all memory of the last 24 hours and must make a DC 16 Fort save or also lose memories of the past 1d7 days.
18 The blow smashes against the PC’s temple and gives him a glance of his own moment of death sometime in the future. This brush with death paralyzes the PC with fear for 1d6 rounds.
19 The wound immediately turns a deep yellow color and a dizzying madness infects the character. He temporarily loses 1d6 Intelligence and 1d6 Personality.
20 The wound takes the shape of an unholy mark. The character takes an additional 1d6 damage and is marked. Un-dead creatures are attracted to the PC from miles around. He cannot hide from un-dead, and they relentlessly hound him. The mark can only be removed by a blessing, holy cleansing, exorcism, or the like.
21 The character’s soul is scarred by un-death. He permanently loses 1 point of Luck.
22 The wound erupts in a disgusting infestation of maggots. They cause +2d6 damage plus an ongoing 1d6 damage per round until the wound is healed via magical means.
23 The un-dead’s intensely concentrated aura of unholiness infects the PC with an unholy aura. Any magical blessings or similar effects are automatically cancelled, and the character takes 1d4 points of temporary Personality loss.
24 Grave rot! The wound bubbles and festers like a thing not from this earth. The rot causes an additional +1d12 damage and 1d6 Strength loss immediately, and the wound will not heal naturally. The damage and Strength loss can only be recovered via magical healing.
25 In a supernatural display, flesh melts away from the wound, revealing the bones beneath and causing additional +1d6 damage and 1 point of Stamina loss. Each round thereafter, the radius of melted flesh expands, causing an additional +1d6 damage 1 point of Stamina loss. The melting flesh continues to expand until the PC dies. It can only be suspended via magical healing with a spell check of 20 or greater.
26 Death rattle! The stench of un-death chokes the character, who collapses in a fit of gagging that slowly begins to suffocate him. He must make a DC 20 Fort save or lose 1d4 points of Stamina. If he fails the Fort save, he must make another save on the next round. If that fails, he takes additional Stamina damage and must make another save. The pattern continues until he makes a save or dies.
27 The un-dead creature sucks life force from the character. The PC loses an additional +1d20 damage, and the un-dead creature heals that same amount (not to exceed its original total hit points).
28 The wizening. The character immediately ages 1d20 years. If the result is 15 or more, he permanently loses 1 point of Strength, Agility, and Stamina as his body weakens.
29 The end is always dust: the wounded area crumbles to dust, inflicting an extra +2d12 damage and permanently disfiguring the character. He loses the use of that arm, leg, hand, or whatever area was struck. On the following round, the area adjacent to the wound in turn crumbles to dust, inflicting an additional 1d6 damage. The radius of dust transformation continues to expand, inflicting an additional 1d6 damage each round, until the character is dead. The transformation to dust can only be stopped by very powerful magic.
30+ Un-death seeks un-death: in a flash of thick black smoke, the un-dead creature expends some of the necromantic energies that sustain itself to transform the PC into un-death. The un-dead attacker automatically loses 1d6 hit points, and may be killed as a result. The PC collapses in a state of apparent death, only to arise 1d6 rounds later as an undead creature under the control of the judge. Roll 1d8 to determine the type of creature that arises: (1-4) zombie, (5-6) skeleton, (7) ghoul, (8) ghost.


Longshanks wrote:
5. Having the signature effect of the MDoA all rolled up with the MDoA rules as it’s currently written. Basically, my warrior player never knows what’s going on. Maybe we’re just dense, but there’s a lot of stuff going on around the table. I’d suggest keeping the rules, but clarifying. Say, MDoA can do these sorts of things when (1) the player declares he’s attempting something specific he describes, (2) he rolls a 3+ on the Deed dice (I’m sorry it needs a clearly delineated name, let’s pick one), and (3) his combined attack roll hits the target. Warriors also have a Signature Move. This is like one of the results on the Disarm or Trip examples. If a warrior does not declare a specific action for his MDoA die, he attempts his Signature Move by default. Succeeds with the signature move as above. Right now, all the various effects of the MDoA are all rolled up together; it’s too much.


Hmmm...I may be missing something here. Typically when using a MDoA, the warrior would declare, "I'm attempting a disarm!" or "I try to shove him into the river with my attack!" Then that action becomes the MDoA. What am I missing?

I like the term Deed Dice.

Longshanks wrote:
1. Expanded equipment list for non-standard purchases. Hiring alchemists, buying horses, renting mercenaries, buying spyglasses, etc. Lots of modern, post-3E D&D type games have these now, and I’d love to not have to pull stuff out of other books. Much like the old DMGs used to have this stuff. Keep the current equipment list as a Standard Village purchases, because I like I can just be like: “here, this is the equipment you can buy in this standard village,” but I’d like some advanced options.


I have to say "maybe" to this - agreed that it's good to have but I'd like those things to be mysterious, rare, and loosely defined, and most of us have lots of reference for this as well.

Longshanks wrote:
2. Obviously, an XP value chart. GP = XP works pretty well, as does goal based XP (say 500 for clearing a small area of monsters, or whatever). I also use a 100XP per monster HD divided by number of players & henchmen system, but this seems to advance the PCs alittle too fast and rewards killing for its own sake rather than smart play. Keep it simple though.


I originally had a fairly complex XP system but I am now leaning toward a very, very simple system. I've seen a couple iterations of it suggested (including one version suggested by someone these boards). There is a strong appeal in the traditional "lots of calculations and fiddly bits" system but I had to ask myself - do I really enjoy that? In short, no; for years I've played with a more ad hoc system in my own games, and frankly this game is about simplicity. I am now leaning toward something really, really simple -- like, PCs get a certain amount of XP based on how difficult an encounter was to overcome, and there's a pretty finite scale (like, 3 or 5 options).

Longshanks wrote:
3. A good list of monsters. The current monster style is fine, but I need three more things if you’re really going to give me something different: (1) treasure – don’t make me cross reference a chart either, just put how much treasure the things has right in the entry (1d8 gp or whatever), and please include some Alchemical uses (goblin skulls are used to make poison potions by wizards or whatever, unicorn horns can resurrect the dead or restore 1d8 points of lost Charisma); (2) actually special attacks/weaknesses – monsters should be different from one another, and not just statistically, I want crocodiles with swallowing or drowning attacks, dragons with a soft underbelly, pixies with three or four taunting or charm type things. Not necessarily stuff in the old MMs, but new and actually effective special powers that make monsters truly unique and FUN to use. You’re already doing some of this, as I can see from the Basilisk entry, etc. but keep it up; (3) number encountered. Screw challenge ratings or whatever, those are boring and don’t force players to make intelligent decisions. Random numbers of goblins are fun. Let’s not get all Gygaxian naturalist with like: for 30 goblins there are 2 females who don’t do anything. But, the oh sh*t moment of players running into 35 goblins because I rolled really high on an encounter while their traveling can lead to all sorts of fun. ALSO: I don’t need a ton of monsters, but I need a good standard coverage (sorry James Raggi) like dragons, giants, faeries, sea monsters, centuars, and maybe some fish-men. You get the picture.


There are a lot of monsters in the core rules. They are designed to provide a baseline. None of them appear in the modules -- every module is primarily composed of new creatures, since encountering the unknown is part of the game. This will give you many more options to choose from.

The stats don't have "number encountered" - I leave that up to the judge - but there are plenty of encouragements in the verbiage to mix it up quite a bit, and suggestions on how to do so.

Longshanks wrote:
4. The assumption I’m going to love Mythos-themes in every adventure. I play CoC. But in DCC, I use a more warhammer-y and less eldritch-mysteries-y world. Not every adventure is going to end up with the summoning of dark gods or gigantic monsters or involve cultists and insane astrologists. Don’t remove the Mythos elements, but don’t assume that just because Clark Ashton Smith and RE Howard had some Mythos stuff means I want every DCC to be centered on that stuff (I’m looking at you Free RPG day adventure). Similarly, I don’t always want ancient eldritch hypertechnology in my adventures. This is more a word-to-the-wise. Having some rocking, challenging adventures just involving some giants or a dragon would be nice, and I would buy them. I look to old school adventures for their problem solving complexity and interesting scenarios, and the random potion charts. Weirdness is great, but don’t always make it unfathomable weirdness from beyond the stars. I think Joseph’s preview of the demon demanding payment from the baron to kick off an adventure is a great example – don’t just assume I always want tentacles in my RPGing.


This one's a fine line. Gygax mentioned a certain set of authors he considered most influential on D&D: "the most immediate influence ... were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt." One of the missions of DCC RPG is to design a game built around the literature of Appendix N, and the "core" of that canon insofar as it influences D&D is those important authors.

As you may have noticed from the first lineup of modules, there will be a distinctly Appendix N flavor to the DCC RPG adventures. Right now there is nothing else like this on the market. There are plenty of "old school" type modules but most of them follow the "D&D conventions" versus the pulpier vibe of Appendix N.

Eventually the modules may transition to a more "traditional" old-school D&D approach, similar to what you noted above and perhaps more like what the 3E DCC modules were like. Maybe. :)

Longshanks wrote:
5. Don’t give up on kingdom/stronghold rules please. Mass combat comes up earlier and more often for me, because I use lots of small dungeons rather than ye olde megadungeon. I’d pay some money for some simple mass combat rules combined with rules for followers when leveling up, and simple and fun rules (no minigames though please) for running strongholds or gaining lots of political/magical power. I already have mass combat rules I like a lot and are VERY simple, while still including some tactical choice by the players so it’s more of a game, but it’s always nice to have more. Working this in as a default for high-level play, along with some sample adventures would be perfect!


Not part of the core rulebook but I agree, it's something that should be included at some point.

Longshanks wrote:
Many of these suggestions have been noted elsewhere in the forums. I want add my two cents and emphasize some of them. I think these are kinds of fixes that would also really separate DCC as a higher quality, must-buy product, distinguishing it from the number of other free retroclones out on the market. That being said, thanks for making an already great game!


Glad you like it so far. Hopefully the final rules won't disappoint. :)

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:57 am 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:23 pm
Posts: 3
First off, let me say I really appreciate your detailed (and quick!) feedback. Most of what I heard in response to my questions is exactly what I was hoping: in the released book most of these issues are addressed. On to some of the responses...

Quote:
There are eight different character sheets, one per class and one for 0-level characters. The class-specific ones have specific entries for each ability. Have you used those? (They are at the end of the beta rules.) They typically accommodate everything in my games but if you're using these and still missing things, let me know what's missing.


The only thing the basic character sheets lack, in my mind, is room for the reduced ability scores that occur because of spellburn, luck expenditures, (curses I put in the game) etc. I also like, personally, the linear format for writing down individual weapon info rather than sticking it in the amorphous box, but that's just a style choice. I do think having some set boxes for the modified/reduced ability scores in DCC would be strictly better based on my players' frustrations though.

Quote:
I wrote the game with the assumption that most judges would be experienced GMs and adjust as needed to fit their style -- this is fine.


Rock on. I would suggest a box to this effect so my players who don't own any D&D books can go out and buy one book to rule them all, and have some idea where this very common particular house rule came from. I don't think listing every house rule fits in this category, but 4d6, drop lowest, seems a rule of such provenance you might want to mention it. FWIW.

Quote:
Two-handed weapons using d16 for initiative is part of the final rules (that was a great idea). I played with the idea of really customizing a lot more of the weapons, including using funky damage dice for some (d5, d7, etc.). I go back and forth on making the weapons too specific. There was a time back in my younger years where I really liked very specific weapon definitions (remember the basic D&D boxed set with all the pole arm stats? was that the green box?) but nowadays I prefer something more simple.


I understand, and I think you could go either: (1) undifferentiated weapons, with 1d6/1d8/1d10 for weapon size or something, or (2) differentiated but no glaring "this weapon is strictly better than that weapon" deficiencies. The problem now is really the battle axe, which is much slower and does the same damage as the longsword. I would fix the crossbow to distinguish it myself, but it's not necessary. I think a few, simple weapon category rules would be a happy medium between very fiddly and very basic (spears/polearms have some trick, swords some trick, etc.), but a weapon chart in the final game that has the right basic damage listed is all I really need (i.e. battleaxes do 1d10 or 1d12 damage, let's say).

Quote:
Skill checks / ability checks: These have only a few tiers of DC - 10, 15, 20. I've tried to make this more explicit in the final rules writeup. (There's also a DC 5 tier but that's for really simple stuff - doesn't come up much.) That may not have come across as well in the beta. I also like the idea of d10 for untrained checks and have incorporated that into the final rules as written


This is what I'm saying: I don't want to look up DC's while I'm DMing. Ever. It's not fun. But I want the skill/thief checks to be appropriately challenging within the game's power scale. There are two solutions to this: (1) a written on the character sheet target number, e.g. level 1 neutral thieves have Sneak 12+ (this is the old D&D way, hence the percentage rolls), or (2) a default DC that I can remember for all skill checks, another default for all thief skills, and a third for all saving throws. I can handle 2-3 numbers.

I've figured this out for my game, but having that clearly written down as a Default DC helps (and would reassure me ;)). Most of the time I don't care about factoring in every little part of a DC, I just need a quick DC that challenges the PC just enough and to keep moving on. In the rare situation where the PC is attempting something 'crazy', I can handle adding some number to the default DC. Having this also leads to two other advantages: (1) it reinforces that DCs shouldn't 'scale' as the PCs level, since there is one default DC to rule them all for all time, (2) PCs do more of the work, since they know the DC for any given save or thief check themselves, and everyone can get excited and cheer when they make a save vs. death (again, I can fix this in my own game by telling them beforehand what the DC is, but a set number encourages this).

Quote:
Saving throws: I do believe these should vary, but in the basic 10-20 range (nothing crazy-high like in 3E/4E). Maybe I need to give more examples?


No, more examples isn't the issue I'm having with them. See above. Just give me a default. Fact is, and I think you probably notice this too when DMing (I hope), 90-95% of saving throws are made at one DC when you're just coming up with that number. If there's a save in a written product like an adventure, sure, I use a different DC. But a default saving throw would help me out. Just list the default save right there in the saving throw section (and the skill section, and the Thief writeup): Characters need a 12 on a saving throw to succeed. The DM can modify this number in extraordinary situations or when it is otherwise warranted, but most saving throws will succeed on a 12 plus. Listing numerous DCs for saves, skills, etc leads us down a bad road that I think caused alot of us to leave the 3E-style. Namely, no use of player (rather than character) skills, scaling DCs, etc. Having a default number gets us back to the more fun style of: you only have a few things you can skill check, you know how hard it is to do those things, since they're your character's special abilities (this includes ditchdigging skills now, which is awesome), and for everything else, you (the player) needs to come up with a solution.

Quote:
Then there are some sample stats. What I've done is even simpler than what you describe. I don't think there needs to be much "class structure" in the NPC stats. OD&D didn't "level" NPCs at all. It worked in 1974..


Awesome sauce. This is what I was hoping for. As long as you give me a good smattering of Guard/Knight/King, Alchemist/Wizard, etc. I don't need no sticking charts.

Quote:
But when you see the monster critical hit tables, you will find more excitement along the lines you note above. There are specialized tables for dragons, demons, un-dead, and giants, then a generic monster one as well.


Again, awesome. Worries assuaged.

Quote:
Hmmm...I may be missing something here. Typically when using a MDoA, the warrior would declare, "I'm attempting a disarm!" or "I try to shove him into the river with my attack!" Then that action becomes the MDoA. What am I missing?


This stems from a discussion I was reading elsewhere on the forum, as well as my play experience. You describe the basic MDoA and how its supposed to work. A simple and elegant system. However, what happens when a player doesn't declare anything and still uses his Deed die (I'm rolling with it :P ) so he has a better chance of hitting whatever it is (since the Deed die adds to his attack roll)? Nothing happens, right? He just hits or misses. Why not let the warrior have a Signature Move based on the MDoA tables in the book, like Trip or whatever, and if his MDoA succeeds he by default does all his damage or whatever AND his signature move on a 3+ on the Deed die.

This also avoids the unfortunate side-effect of the current MDoA tables: limiting, rather than encouraging creativity. You definitely note that this are only MDoA examples, not meant to be limitations. However, having such an exhaustive list might have the opposite result, because it creates the impression MDoA's are constrained. Make this a Signature Move section, let the Warrior pick one thing from the table as his "signature move" for those undeclared MDoA's. You can also include a note in the Signature Move section that these are ALSO examples of some MDoA's. Otherwise, I would remove the sample MDoA's altogether. I think you're MDoA rules are clear enough (it does something that doesn't increase damage like tripping, nuff said), encourage creativity, and the examples just muddy the waters.

Quote:
I have to say "maybe" to this - agreed that it's good to have but I'd like those things to be mysterious, rare, and loosely defined, and most of us have lots of reference for this as well.


Well, chucking things like hiring an alchemist or whatever is totally fine. But having some reference in the main book for all those constantly purchased items and services would really useful. You know, costs for wagons, inn rooms, donkeys and horses,basic henchmen (like the heroes used to be!), etc. Doesn't have to be long, and it should be dungeoneering or adventuring focused, rather than describing an overall economy, but would be nice.

Quote:
There is a strong appeal in the traditional "lots of calculations and fiddly bits" system but I had to ask myself - do I really enjoy that? In short, no; for years I've played with a more ad hoc system in my own games, and frankly this game is about simplicity. I am now leaning toward something really, really simple -- like, PCs get a certain amount of XP based on how difficult an encounter was to overcome, and there's a pretty finite scale (like, 3 or 5 options).


YES please! That's exactly what I'm looking for. Lump experience with a few finite options (you succeeded at the objective AND avoided having to committ goblin genocide, you get the high reward!). I can toss to the PCs a few 10 XP rping awards just fine without anything else.

Quote:
There are a lot of monsters in the core rules. They are designed to provide a baseline. None of them appear in the modules -- every module is primarily composed of new creatures, since encountering the unknown is part of the game. This will give you many more options to choose from.... The stats don't have "number encountered" - I leave that up to the judge - but there are plenty of encouragements in the verbiage to mix it up quite a bit, and suggestions on how to do so.


This is great, but I'd say alittle insufficient. There's a million monster books out there. All I'm really looking for is something where the number 1 thing the PCs care about concerning monsters is addressed: the treasure. And I don't mean just some gold or gems, which I can easily come up with, but I'd love to see some neat things included. Ex: Basilisks' tails can be sold for 500 gp each to an alchemist, who often make love potions out of them. The mane of a chimera is highly valued by princes and fashion-conscious courts, worth at least 1000 gp. Additionally, the mane frightens peasants and small children. These of course would ultimately be suggestions, but having some of this included in the core book helps DMs think: Oh neat, a built-in plot hook, I had just had them fight a chimera cuz it looked cool.

Additionally, sure it would be great if there were some more unique powers and defenses to reinforce monsters weirdness. Ex: the chimera can be poisoned and dies if attacked by lead weapons or has a piece of lead thrown down its fire-breathing mouth. That way the core rulebook encourages clever players to do something different from charing in and hacking through everything.

This is a better product, wishlist kind of request, not a: it's broken, please fix request.

Quote:
Eventually the modules may transition to a more "traditional" old-school D&D approach, similar to what you noted above and perhaps more like what the 3E DCC modules were like. Maybe.


Sounds perfect. Just wanted to put my voice out there that you will have customers who will use DCC RPG in a Cthulu-lite manner.

Thanks again Joseph, this is an awesome game that we've been having a blast with. I just want to help iron out some kinks and put some suggestions out there that have occurred to me. It sounds like the final rules are exactly the cure to what ails me!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:21 am 
Offline
Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:05 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Central Vermont
goodmangames wrote:
I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?


I am fine with the ability scores as named. Reaction to this probably will vary depending on whether you come from a D&D/expecting a D&D variant background or whether you like to dabble in a wide range of RPG types.

goodmangames wrote:
Two-handed weapons using d16 for initiative is part of the final rules (that was a great idea). I played with the idea of really customizing a lot more of the weapons, including using funky damage dice for some (d5, d7, etc.). I go back and forth on making the weapons too specific. There was a time back in my younger years where I really liked very specific weapon definitions (remember the basic D&D boxed set with all the pole arm stats? was that the green box?) but nowadays I prefer something more simple.


Weapon powers is one thing almost every player "min-maxes". It is just too important and obvious not to. So, having pitchforks be more powerful than a short sword or battle axes clearly inferior to a longsword will result in folks just not using the other weapon. Personally, I'd like to see extremely simple damage groupings with the possibility of special advantages for certain weapons. Like:

Polearms let you attack over/around an ally. Crossbows get +2 on initiative but take a round to reload. Get +1 AC until the start of your next turn against a foe you hit with a battle axe. Foe must make a Fort save vs. the amount of damage you did when you hit with a war hammer or be knocked down. As long as it can be tracked by the player it is fine.

goodmangames wrote:
Skill checks / ability checks: These have only a few tiers of DC - 10, 15, 20. I've tried to make this more explicit in the final rules writeup. (There's also a DC 5 tier but that's for really simple stuff - doesn't come up much.) That may not have come across as well in the beta. I also like the idea of d10 for untrained checks and have incorporated that into the final rules as written


I still think the recommended DCs can be a bit high. I want it to actually be possible for a group to traverse a narrow ledge without someone falling, and even at DC 5 for that sort of thing the odds are still against a typical party succeeding without at least one missed check.

goodmangames wrote:
Longshanks wrote:
2. Obviously, an XP value chart. GP = XP works pretty well, as does goal based XP (say 500 for clearing a small area of monsters, or whatever). I also use a 100XP per monster HD divided by number of players & henchmen system, but this seems to advance the PCs alittle too fast and rewards killing for its own sake rather than smart play. Keep it simple though.


I originally had a fairly complex XP system but I am now leaning toward a very, very simple system. I've seen a couple iterations of it suggested (including one version suggested by someone these boards). There is a strong appeal in the traditional "lots of calculations and fiddly bits" system but I had to ask myself - do I really enjoy that? In short, no; for years I've played with a more ad hoc system in my own games, and frankly this game is about simplicity. I am now leaning toward something really, really simple -- like, PCs get a certain amount of XP based on how difficult an encounter was to overcome, and there's a pretty finite scale (like, 3 or 5 options).


I like the idea of something simple, but also of giving XP for treasure value as well as defeating monsters and traps. I like the idea of something gut simple like total value of treasure found (excluding magic) plus 10 per hit point of monster defeated divided by total number characters (with henchmen and hirelings counting as half characters). Also some standard quest rewards so you can play a paladin and seek damsels in distress instead of wealth. Traps, locks and obstacles don't get their own billing, but hopefully are overcome in other pursuits.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:52 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:50 am
Posts: 307
Location: West Suburbs of Chicago
meinvt wrote:
I like the idea of something simple, but also of giving XP for treasure value as well as defeating monsters and traps. I like the idea of something gut simple like total value of treasure found (excluding magic) plus 10 per hit point of monster defeated divided by total number characters (with henchmen and hirelings counting as half characters). Also some standard quest rewards so you can play a paladin and seek damsels in distress instead of wealth. Traps, locks and obstacles don't get their own billing, but hopefully are overcome in other pursuits.


I wanted to address this as I am one of the ones working with Joseph on the new XP system (at least one of the variants that he noted above). I am not going to go into more detail, because Joseph kept it general... but I am going to bring up a couple of things that came up in the thread. I am just pointing them out for discussion purposes.

First of all, I am 100% against GP=XP. :) Just getting that out there.

Characters should get XP for their actions, not for what they find. When you start to get into a model where GP=XP, then you have to start to design an XP system around many assumptions. That means that we now have to come up with stated rules, that a given campaign must generate X GP for a character to level up in a timely manner.

That means in a Monty Haul campaign, character level up far faster than in a low money or dark campaign. Because of that wide variant, why even have an XP table at all? Because unless your campaign is 'official' on treasure given the XP values are fairly worthless.

So my proposal to Joseph was based on a challenge/encounter XP system. It was easily scale-able to control how fast or slow characters could level up. In the example email, it took approximately 30 seconds to calculate XP for a series of encounters. :)

I am not saying it is the end all of systems, but it provides a system that will scale well across all campaign styles and should be usable by most DM's.

As a side point, it handles XP for for parties made up of various character levels fairly well. Very little book work for the DM.

Andy

*EDIT - Fixed some serious abuses of the English language*

_________________
Andy
Blood Kings
2007 & 2008 DCC Tourney Champion


Last edited by Hamakto on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:11 pm 
Offline
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:23 pm
Posts: 3
Quote:
So my proposal to Joseph was based on a challenge/encounter XP system. It was easily scale-able to control how fast or slow characters could level up. In some of the examples, I put in the email it took approximately 30 seconds to calculate XP for a series of encounters.


This sounds good with a caveat. I hope it doesn't involve getting into calculating CR ratings or assuming 'balanced' encounters. I hoping what you're talking about is something like rough estimate of total HD overcome + some rough extra XP if the monsters had some especially tough features (dragons, spell-casters, or whatever). Maybe with an option for simple, generous XP awards for overcoming difficult challenges or clever thinking (rewards those thief types or good mappers, let's say)? So, for example, stealing the mcguffin in a clever way is worth more or the same XP as defeating its guardians and then running off with the mcguffin.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:29 pm 
Offline
Hard-Bitten Adventurer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Travelling the Otherworld
Hamakto wrote:
First of all, I am 100% against GP=XP. :) Just getting that out there.

Characters should get XP for their actions, not for what they find.

Absolutly! I have always played that characters can get some XP from spending their loot, but never for just finding it (OK with one exception but this may not be the place to list All my house rules eh!).

If we are basing DCC on Appendix N then it seems to me that an episodic game is the right thing to do. That to me implies a certain amount of down time, where the characters go on Drunken binges and or expensive periods of study which leave them nearly broke and ready to go dungeoneering again. (Channeling Fritz Leiber here of course)

_________________
{Standard Disclaimer} If it was mentioned already and I missed it, please put this down to my advanced age and senility rather than discourtesy!
My DCC spell work page is here https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1x_NmKhGbZLBukbWH78qR-38ebmMULEIbz1vt64YaILM


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:50 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
This is a great post, Longshanks. Thanks!

I'd like to open a discussion on some of the points in the OP and then continue on in a separate post with the points that have been raised since. This is all great feedback, btw.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to share it with the community.

Longshanks wrote:
1. The names of ability scores. ... Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.


Actually, I'm cool with going back. It's not a key issue for me with DCC but I have no qualms about the traditional 6 abilities. IMO, Luck isn't a very good attribute. It tries to do too many things. So, really, the traditional 6 are being squashed down into 5. And I think Personality is just odd as a result -- encompassing both Wisdom and Charisma but only kinda-sorta...

I could keep it or leave it, giving me the alignment of Ambivalent on this issue. If a significant number of people feel strongly one way or the other, you won't be hearing much out of me. But it's good feedback to have in any case.


Longshanks wrote:
2. The character sheet. It’s simply not organized, and DCC is not S&W or B/X, there’s a ton of stuff to write down, like spell rolls, thief abilities, etc. Most of this info can be accommodated by boxes labeled Equipment or Special Abilities, but there needs to be room for different weapon attacks, temporary and permanent ability scores, and all the DCC unique awesomeness. I highly recommend the peoplethemwithmonsters advanced character sheet. It even has a space for Race, which I tell my players to use as a listing for Homeland, which comes into play in my game.


Thanks for the heads up. Yes, DCC needs a nicer character sheet. No doubt. The current one looks very simplistic and it's pretty questionable from a functional standpoint, as you state.

Longshanks wrote:
3. The overemphasis on Old-School play = playing with feeble mudfarmers who die constantly. I started my guys with the funnel, and it’s fun, but some things in the game don’t scale well once the characters are out of the funnel. For surviving and leveling, I give all of them full hp at first level. Also, I let everyone do 4d6 for ability scores, drop lowest, just like Gygax did. Otherwise many of their class abilities are really weak or often negative modifiers, which no one likes to see. There’s still PLENTY of weak ability scores (especially given the modest bonuses in DCC, which I love), like -2 intelligences and constitutions all over the place. I also let them add a flat +1 to permanent ability score of player’s choice when the character gains a new level. None of this creates ‘overpowered’ characters, but it does make long term play sustainable when they also get curses, etc. I really love “let the dice roll as they may” and the possibility of lots of player (and party) death, and without risk, RPGs are no fun. But D&D is about characters getting more powerful, let them actually do it. They’re the rockstars once they survive a couple levels, give them the moon and let them shoot for the sun. A warrior with -1 Strength gets old, let him do some muscle training as represented by a marginal ability score increase.


This is one of those "I Told You So" issues that I keep getting smacked down on -- yet it keeps coming up. DCC should learn from the missteps and experiences of its forebears. Not repeat them ad nauseam as part of some old-school machismo.

I don't think DCC needs to have ability increases and an alternate means of stat generation baked in. RAW is fine, IMO. But I do think there needs to be a variant or two mentioned in the book. Because these two issues will be the first to be house-ruled. That much is clear at this point.

Longshanks wrote:
4. Mounted combat. Sorry, I use it. The first thing my players have always done is bought a horse when they get enough money. It carries stuff and helps them go faster. Horses are in all the literature and the movies. Why avoid it? My rules are +1 AC for the rider, double damage with spears/lances on a charge, Strength check or get knocked down when charged (the PCs have angered some local knights). Pack animals/work horses -2 to rider’s attack rolls. I’ve yanked some horse stats and prices from other games, but let’s get some DCC rules for them (and prices).


Mounted combat rules would be nice. FWIW, Joseph could copy-paste what you just posted here and he's got instant Mounted Combat rules. No reason I can think of to not have them.

Longshanks wrote:
5. The weapon rules. The damages don’t make sense to me or my players. Why not always use a spear? Why ever use a battleaxe? This is a simple fix to the few categories that simply “don’t work”: battleaxes do 1d10 damage like two-handed swords (also I renamed handaxe to just axe, handaxe sounds like a lame boyscout hatchet), crossbows do 1d8 damage, but can only be fired every other round; spears do 1d6 damage but are thrown as javelins (javelins are replaced by spears basically). Further, I don’t lower initiative for two-handed weapons, giving up the protection of the spear is penalty enough and doesn’t make sense for weapons like polearms anyway. I think d16 for initiative is a fine alternative. Perhaps we could encourage some other weapons rules: polearms and spears +1 initiative, axes can also destroy shields on any critical, swords disarm opponents on criticals, bludgeoning does more damages to slimes and skeletons. This gives players a choice, rather than just forces them to choose the optimal weapon.


Yeah, the weapons are a little odd. I'd prefer a 2d6 for crossbow (firing every other round) and a 2d4 for hand crossbow (firing every other round as well). Other than that, I'd prefer for DCC to crib a bit from Lamentation of the Flame Princess' equipment list. It's one of the things Raggi really got right, IMO. There seems to be a good deal of variance for variance's sake in the Beta equipment list. But no real mechanical meat behind those variances. Why distinguish between a Battle Axe and a Broadsword if they both do 1d10 damage? At some point, it's just flavor, IMO.

I too like the 1d16 for initiative with two-handed weapons.


Longshanks wrote:
1. Difficulty classes/changing target numbers. I’m sorry, this sucks. I know it’s the whole, it was great in 3E, the DM should just come up with a target number. If I wanted target numbers, I’d play Pathfinder. One of the reasons 1E/retroclones are so nice is that most of them dispense with this and have a flat number and the player’s power/ability succeeds. I’m tracking like 14 different things all at the same time constantly to make for a fun and exciting game for my players, I don’t want to figure out if a 13 on a Sneak check succeeds, or whether their saving throw worked. The player should just know based on what’s written on their character sheet. Spell checks and attack rolls are just fine, the players get those. I saw a good suggestion somewhere for a clear division between things that are rolled with a bonus, like attack rolls, and things like ‘skill’ checks that have a flat value. A d20 check is best, but should be flat. If it’s a rare situation where something is drastically more or less difficult, I can wing that (feel free to make a note about DM discretion or something in the book), but it’s just wasting my time to come up with all these annoying DCs/target numbers. FIX: rewrite all the Thief abilities to succeed on a 14+ or whatever based on the target numbers/DCs y’all have already created in those exhaustively long thief descriptions, obviously the Dex bonus or whatever will affect this, and the player can write that down. Rewrite the skill check section: Trained checks roll d20 and succeed on a 10+, untrained d10 succeed on 10+. I also need a standard Saving Throw, I’m using 10 right now, but I don’t want to consult pre-made adventures or a premade DM chart to figure out saving throw difficulties. Give me a number, and let’s avoiding the increasingly scaling DC problem of 3E too. I love the Will save v. Spell check mechanic right now, but all other saves are awkward compared to simply having a Fortitude save of 12+, so chuck the current spell save mechanic if necessary.


Skills are just an odd thing, IMO. On one hand, I could go completely abstract with it. Like Target20 or C&C. Or even LotFP. Skills in LotFP are so nice.

Then again, I really like meinvt's suggestion on using Target DC's based on situation, the requirements of who needs to roll and the consequences of passing/failing. It's really nice.

But not mutually exclusive, IMO.

Longshanks wrote:
2. NPCs. Should I be using the same stats as PCs or not? I decided early to just use standard type stats, because the PCs have way too many moving pieces, and this works fine. A big problem though is NPC spells. I mean, I’m not going to crossreference a chart and make my players wait on me just because they convinced the local cleric to heal them for 100 gp. I’m going to roll a d8 for how many hp they get healed. I haven’t even attempted to use an evil wizard because that’s a nightmare. Fudging this kind of stuff is fine for now, but I think we need something like NPC classes/levels so I can quickly stat up humanoids and human villians. I mean, DCC’s motto is NPCs who are meant to be killed, right? I need some easy stats when the PCs decide to kill all the local constables or whatever. The FIX I’d suggest: a couple of pages of guidelines with NPC levels that don’t use all the charts the characters do. NPC warriors – HD d10, +1 attack/HD, saving throw guidelines; thieves – HDd6, a few main thief skills with numbers like 12+ sneak or whatever. Clerics & wizards need standard spell abilities that have all the info listed straight on the entry: Lv 3 NPC wizards cast Magic Missle on 11+, 1d4 missles doing d4+1 damage; Fireball 14+ plus, 3d6 damage to all in target, Ref save half. The bottom line is I need some charts to create NPCs of certain types and power levels with a few limited powers, all of which I will use in play (so only give NPC wizards like 4 spell abilities or something, that’s great). This would really help the game to have all there in the rulebook.


I agree. NPCs need clarification. Some more simplified Skill system would help, IMO. Your suggestion for handling NPC spells is nice.

Longshanks wrote:
5. Having the signature effect of the MDoA all rolled up with the MDoA rules as it’s currently written. Basically, my warrior player never knows what’s going on. Maybe we’re just dense, but there’s a lot of stuff going on around the table. I’d suggest keeping the rules, but clarifying. Say, MDoA can do these sorts of things when (1) the player declares he’s attempting something specific he describes, (2) he rolls a 3+ on the Deed dice (I’m sorry it needs a clearly delineated name, let’s pick one), and (3) his combined attack roll hits the target. Warriors also have a Signature Move. This is like one of the results on the Disarm or Trip examples. If a warrior does not declare a specific action for his MDoA die, he attempts his Signature Move by default. Succeeds with the signature move as above. Right now, all the various effects of the MDoA are all rolled up together; it’s too much.


I like the Signature Move idea. Maybe as the Fighter progresses he can take additional Signature Moves...

Longshanks wrote:
1. Expanded equipment list for non-standard purchases. Hiring alchemists, buying horses, renting mercenaries, buying spyglasses, etc. Lots of modern, post-3E D&D type games have these now, and I’d love to not have to pull stuff out of other books. Much like the old DMGs used to have this stuff. Keep the current equipment list as a Standard Village purchases, because I like I can just be like: “here, this is the equipment you can buy in this standard village,” but I’d like some advanced options.


Yup. Another thing that LotFP did nicely, IMO. Would be great to see a similar functionality in DCC.

Longshanks wrote:
2. Obviously, an XP value chart. GP = XP works pretty well, as does goal based XP (say 500 for clearing a small area of monsters, or whatever). I also use a 100XP per monster HD divided by number of players & henchmen system, but this seems to advance the PCs a little too fast and rewards killing for its own sake rather than smart play. Keep it simple though.


I'm not a fan of XP for gold. Others have already made the points I'd make in that regard. But some sort of advancement system is key, IMO.

Longshanks wrote:
3. A good list of monsters. The current monster style is fine, but I need three more things if you’re really going to give me something different: (1) treasure – don’t make me cross reference a chart either, just put how much treasure the things has right in the entry (1d8 gp or whatever), and please include some Alchemical uses (goblin skulls are used to make poison potions by wizards or whatever, unicorn horns can resurrect the dead or restore 1d8 points of lost Charisma); (2) actually special attacks/weaknesses – monsters should be different from one another, and not just statistically, I want crocodiles with swallowing or drowning attacks, dragons with a soft underbelly, pixies with three or four taunting or charm type things. Not necessarily stuff in the old MMs, but new and actually effective special powers that make monsters truly unique and FUN to use. You’re already doing some of this, as I can see from the Basilisk entry, etc. but keep it up; (3) number encountered. Screw challenge ratings or whatever, those are boring and don’t force players to make intelligent decisions. Random numbers of goblins are fun. Let’s not get all Gygaxian naturalist with like: for 30 goblins there are 2 females who don’t do anything. But, the oh sh*t moment of players running into 35 goblins because I rolled really high on an encounter while their traveling can lead to all sorts of fun. ALSO: I don’t need a ton of monsters, but I need a good standard coverage (sorry James Raggi) like dragons, giants, faeries, sea monsters, centuars, and maybe some fish-men. You get the picture.


I love the suggestion for Alchemical uses for monsters. As well as the suggestion for treasure and random opposition. Standard coverage is pretty important to me, as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:07 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
goodmangames wrote:
I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?


Ambivalent, as I said in my last post. I think Personality is weird because the name of it doesn't convey what Charisma + Wisdom has come to signify. But, that said, I think nothing much is lost in terms of rules application. The other two... your call. I neither greatly like nor dislike the new names.

goodmangames wrote:
There are eight different character sheets, one per class and one for 0-level characters. The class-specific ones have specific entries for each ability. Have you used those? (They are at the end of the beta rules.) They typically accommodate everything in my games but if you're using these and still missing things, let me know what's missing.


Nice. Sounds like a good accommodation to the different classes.

I don't have any character sheets at the end of my copy of the Beta. Was that added later?

goodmangames wrote:
Longshanks wrote:
4. Mounted combat. Sorry, I use it. The first thing my players have always done is bought a horse when they get enough money. It carries stuff and helps them go faster. Horses are in all the literature and the movies. Why avoid it? My rules are +1 AC for the rider, double damage with spears/lances on a charge, Strength check or get knocked down when charged (the PCs have angered some local knights). Pack animals/work horses -2 to rider’s attack rolls. I’ve yanked some horse stats and prices from other games, but let’s get some DCC rules for them (and prices).


This will be part of the final rules.


Yay!

goodmangames wrote:
Two-handed weapons using d16 for initiative is part of the final rules (that was a great idea). I played with the idea of really customizing a lot more of the weapons, including using funky damage dice for some (d5, d7, etc.). I go back and forth on making the weapons too specific. There was a time back in my younger years where I really liked very specific weapon definitions (remember the basic D&D boxed set with all the pole arm stats? was that the green box?) but nowadays I prefer something more simple.


Simpler is better, IMO.

goodmangames wrote:
Skill checks / ability checks: These have only a few tiers of DC - 10, 15, 20. I've tried to make this more explicit in the final rules writeup. (There's also a DC 5 tier but that's for really simple stuff - doesn't come up much.) That may not have come across as well in the beta. I also like the idea of d10 for untrained checks and have incorporated that into the final rules as written

Saving throws: I do believe these should vary, but in the basic 10-20 range (nothing crazy-high like in 3E/4E). Maybe I need to give more examples?


Glad to hear d10 untrained made it in. Not sure about the standard DC things. It's pretty... standard. But I could see something like meinvt's sort-of "story based" DC chart being useful.

goodmangames wrote:
Why didn't I think of that? :) There will be many more patron tables in the final manuscript (there are 5-6 in there as of now), but the idea of a generic table is also a good idea.


Generic patron would be a good thing.

goodmangames wrote:
When fighting monsters, I think it's fun for the PCs to do damage, since effects like blindness or deafness aren't as lasting (the monster's going to die in a couple rounds anyway).


The problem we ran into with the 5th level playtest were a couple of situations where the Thief rolled a crit, then rolled on the table and the total damage was just way disappointing. Like 3+ die rolls for 4 points of damage. Maybe throwing in something like... Rolling a crit the character does max damage on their weapon die and then whatever else they roll on the crit table...

goodmangames wrote:
I originally had a fairly complex XP system but I am now leaning toward a very, very simple system. I've seen a couple iterations of it suggested (including one version suggested by someone these boards). There is a strong appeal in the traditional "lots of calculations and fiddly bits" system but I had to ask myself - do I really enjoy that? In short, no; for years I've played with a more ad hoc system in my own games, and frankly this game is about simplicity. I am now leaning toward something really, really simple -- like, PCs get a certain amount of XP based on how difficult an encounter was to overcome, and there's a pretty finite scale (like, 3 or 5 options).


Simpler is better, IMO.

goodmangames wrote:
There are a lot of monsters in the core rules. They are designed to provide a baseline. None of them appear in the modules -- every module is primarily composed of new creatures, since encountering the unknown is part of the game. This will give you many more options to choose from.


Cool. Sounds good.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:15 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
meinvt wrote:
Polearms let you attack over/around an ally.
Crossbows get +2 on initiative but take a round to reload.
Get +1 AC until the start of your next turn against a foe you hit with a battle axe.
Foe must make a Fort save vs. the amount of damage you did when you hit with a war hammer or be knocked down.
As long as it can be tracked by the player it is fine.


These are the sorts of things that really differentiate weapons, IMO.

I've always wanted a retroclone to differentiate weapon dice by class, not weapon. So no matter what a Wizard attacked with... he'd do 1d4 points of damage. And no matter what a Thief used, he'd do 1d8. Clerics would do 1d6. And Fighters would do 1d10. Et cetera.

Then have the weapons themselves differentiated by easy, one-line "effects" from using them. Of course, it would require "training" to use the weapon "effects" but there ya go.

So a Wizard attacking with a Warhammer would do 1d4 damage. While a Dwarf or a Fighter would do 1d10 and get the extra benefit of possibly knocking the opponent over.

It's a bit divergent from standard D&D. But better, IMO, because it accounts more for Fighting skill and also gives the classes something else to level on. By 10th level, maybe a Fighter is doing 3d8 damage...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:18 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
Hamakto wrote:
So my proposal to Joseph was based on a challenge/encounter XP system. It was easily scale-able to control how fast or slow characters could level up. In the example email, it took approximately 30 seconds to calculate XP for a series of encounters. :)

I am not saying it is the end all of systems, but it provides a system that will scale well across all campaign styles and should be usable by most DM's.

As a side point, it handles XP for for parties made up of various character levels fairly well. Very little book work for the DM.

Andy


This sounds like an elegant XP system, Andy. I wouldn't mind getting a looksee at some point. It sounds like exactly what I would hope would be in DCC. Especially the "30 seconds", "scales well across styles" and "handles various character levels".

Hopefully, Joseph is giving this consideration...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:17 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
longshanks wrote:
The only thing the basic character sheets lack, in my mind, is room for the reduced ability scores that occur because of spellburn, luck expenditures, (curses I put in the game) etc. I also like, personally, the linear format for writing down individual weapon info rather than sticking it in the amorphous box, but that's just a style choice. I do think having some set boxes for the modified/reduced ability scores in DCC would be strictly better based on my players' frustrations though.


smathis wrote:
I don't have any character sheets at the end of my copy of the Beta. Was that added later?


Hmm...something weird is going on here. The beta rules include 8 pages of character sheets at the end. The character sheet for the wizard actually includes slashes in the three physical scores to record reduced ability scores, and the halfling sheet includes a similar mechanism for Luck. I think it's a good idea to use these on all ability scores, now that you mention, but first...It sounds like some people didn't get the character sheets in their downloads? What am I missing here?

Thanks,
Joseph

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:34 pm 
Offline
Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
goodmangames wrote:
Hmm...something weird is going on here. The beta rules include 8 pages of character sheets at the end. The character sheet for the wizard actually includes slashes in the three physical scores to record reduced ability scores, and the halfling sheet includes a similar mechanism for Luck. I think it's a good idea to use these on all ability scores, now that you mention, but first...It sounds like some people didn't get the character sheets in their downloads? What am I missing here?

Thanks,
Joseph


It appears that there are two different beta files. The one I had is called DCCRPG-Beta-DRAFT053011.pdf. I went back to the site and downloaded what was there. It's called DCCRPGBeta060811.pdf.

The June 8th beta has character sheets in it. The May 30th one does not. Not sure how I got one over the other.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:25 pm 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
OK, glad to know it's sorted out. Maybe the wrong file got posted at one point then corrected...or something. Anyway, glad to know it's sorted out.

Back to the original point - good call on the character sheets having "slashes" for all ability scores!

_________________
Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:17 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:50 am
Posts: 307
Location: West Suburbs of Chicago
Longshanks wrote:
Quote:
So my proposal to Joseph was based on a challenge/encounter XP system. It was easily scale-able to control how fast or slow characters could level up. In some of the examples, I put in the email it took approximately 30 seconds to calculate XP for a series of encounters.


This sounds good with a caveat. I hope it doesn't involve getting into calculating CR ratings or assuming 'balanced' encounters. I hoping what you're talking about is something like rough estimate of total HD overcome + some rough extra XP if the monsters had some especially tough features (dragons, spell-casters, or whatever). Maybe with an option for simple, generous XP awards for overcoming difficult challenges or clever thinking (rewards those thief types or good mappers, let's say)? So, for example, stealing the mcguffin in a clever way is worth more or the same XP as defeating its guardians and then running off with the mcguffin.


It is even simpler than that. Monster HD? What is that?

Part of the problem with prior versions of DnD have been how to equate a monster to specific XP values (example: CR ratings did not work in 3e). This gets especially interesting in DCC RPG modules. Because each module has unique creatures with totally unique powers and abilities. How do you design a rating system for monsters where nothing is built using a model? The answer is you don't!

More to come... (IF and I say IF, Joseph uses this model as written and does not extensively change it.)

_________________
Andy
Blood Kings
2007 & 2008 DCC Tourney Champion


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:08 am 
Offline
Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:41 am
Posts: 70
goodmangames wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply! Here are some quick notes in response...

Longshanks wrote:
1. The names of ability scores. We have a mix of previous D&D players and players who’ve never played RPGs before. Also DCC is really similar to D&D. It’s just confusing given these two factors to reference non-standard ability score names, especially when the ‘new’ ability scores do exactly the same things. Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.


I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?


I like the names of the abilities. The only criticism I have is that STRength and STAmina have nearly the same abbreviation. Using Constitution or Enderance for Stamina would make sure each stat started with a different letter, and then they could even be shortened down to one letter abbreviations. (I don't see it as that big of a deal, but thought I'd point it out).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:19 am 
Offline
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:50 am
Posts: 307
Location: West Suburbs of Chicago
nanstreet wrote:
goodmangames wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply! Here are some quick notes in response...

Longshanks wrote:
1. The names of ability scores. We have a mix of previous D&D players and players who’ve never played RPGs before. Also DCC is really similar to D&D. It’s just confusing given these two factors to reference non-standard ability score names, especially when the ‘new’ ability scores do exactly the same things. Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.


I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?


I like the names of the abilities. The only criticism I have is that STRength and STAmina have nearly the same abbreviation. Using Constitution or Enderance for Stamina would make sure each stat started with a different letter, and then they could even be shortened down to one letter abbreviations. (I don't see it as that big of a deal, but thought I'd point it out).


I personally like the different names for the reason that Joseph mentioned. By keeping different names, you immediately promote that you are NOT playing DnD. :) It is a subtle reminder because I convert AGL to DEX in my head, but I will eventually think of AGL as AGL.

The point about STR and STA starting with the same two characters is a good point. But from a game point on view, what is the best name for the ability. Stamina, Endurance, Constitution? What provides at a glance the feeling of what you use the ability the most for?

In most campaigns, you make checks against this stat for Endurance or Stamina checks (swimming, running, etc). There are a few other ones, but that is the most common. The Constitution aspect (saves and hit point bonus) are more of a level up aspect and not related to something that is done during an adventure. So I would like to see it stay as STA or END (if having two abilities that start with an S will be an issue).

_________________
Andy
Blood Kings
2007 & 2008 DCC Tourney Champion


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:02 pm 
Offline
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 779
Actually constitution is the most accurate name for them. Both stamina and endurance sound like parts of a fatigue subsystem, caused by slapping two phonebooks together at arms length for an hour to simulate 10 minutes of swinging a sword in full armor.

Constitution does not have the sound of something that you could expend to do something or lose via "damage".

"I spend 4 stamina to run for 10 uninterrupted minutes." Sounds like RPG talk.
"I spend 4 endurance to run for 10 uninterrupted minutes." Sounds like RPG talk.
"I spend 4 constitution to run for 10 uninterrupted minutes." Sounds like bad RPG talk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:37 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
Posts: 2263
Location: Chicago suburbs
Great feedback, Longshanks, and some really nice ideas!

goodmangames wrote:
Longshanks wrote:
1. The names of ability scores. We have a mix of previous D&D players and players who’ve never played RPGs before. Also DCC is really similar to D&D. It’s just confusing given these two factors to reference non-standard ability score names, especially when the ‘new’ ability scores do exactly the same things. Change it back to Dex, Con, and Charisma please – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; change for its own sake is stupid, etc.


I originally changed the terms so it would be clear to players that they are in a different game. I still think Personality should be different because it's effectively Charisma+Wisdom. But as to Dex/Agi and Con/Stam, I could go either way in terms of keeping them or changing back. What does everyone think?

Personally, I'd rather stick to the older names as much as possible. Having played D&D since 1975, my brain seems "wired" to Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma (in that order!) and it slows me down to convert back and forth. For my home-made character cards I tend to use the old names because my players are also more familar with them. Essentially I tell them that Wisdom has become Luck and they are fine with it.

It's not a deal-breaker, of course, but I'll probably continue to use SILCDC in my home game no matter what the rulebook uses.

_________________
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Problems and Suggestions after Weeks of Play (Long)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:01 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:04 pm
Posts: 757
Location: Los Angeles
These are my suggestions based on some of the things I've read here, and ones that come up elsewhere:

re: Ability terms. I'm finding myself using the original names more often than not. I confuse new players when I say Dex when I mean Agility, etc. Not a deal breaker though.

re: Character Sheets. I'd like character sheet to be a bit more comprehensive for character creation. With step-by-step instruction with page number references. More space for weapon modifier detail breakdowns (Str Mod, Level Mod, Proficiency Mod, etc.) The Trail of Cthulhu charsheet is a good example.

re: Mounted Combat. Including simple, basic rules for mounted combat and movement is just a good idea. It should be included.

re: Weapons. Simplify the damage types BUT expand on their "special" use. The main difference between weapons should be just damage, speed & range. Polearms with a slightly expanded range in exchange for speed works. Heavy Weapons with a slightly expanded damage in exchange for speed also works. Using the classic Long Sword as the baseline, and modify everything by a step or two from there.

re: Ability Checks/Difficulty: I'm a fan of one base number, 10 is good, and add or subtract circumstantial modifiers to indicate difficulty. We currently use it for AC, and one of the few innovations of 4e that I liked was turning the old 3x saves into Defenses (Ala Star Wars Saga Edition) shows that this worked in a surprising way. Simple modifiers, such as Hard +2, Easy -2, Really hard +5, Really easy -5, +10, -10, etc.

re: Monsters/NPCs. I'm don't really care if there are example monsters, but there should AT-LEAST be rules or tips on creating monsters and the appropriate XP/Challenge Ratings for said monsters. And tips/tricks on converting monsters from "Other games" to DCC. NPCs should definitely have the same stat format of monsters, they're designed for the short term, so they should only have powers/spells/abilities needed for a few rounds or turns. I think it'd also be OK to expand the monster stat format a little bit more.

re: Patrons. It'd be a good idea to just use a generic one, instead of including a "few" specific one, and having to make up the rest. Maybe I'm lazy, but having a generic reference is better than none.

re: Might Deeds of Arms. I still prefer Class Die over Deed Die, every class should get use of one. I also think that the "7" MDoA can and should be consolidated into one chart of examples, instead of 7 charts. It gives the impression that there are only 7 MDoA, instead of them being examples, mentioning 7 general categories adds to the confusion. I do like Longshanks idea of having a "Signature Move"... that's pretty brilliant, and I'm copying it.

re: Experience Points. I'm in full support of a simple XP. I personally like XP per HD (see below) plus XP per GP, it's about as simple as you can get, and most of us are used to it.

re: Hit Dice/Challenge Level. I don't see the problem with HD or CL to determine things like XP and to have a general "impression" of monster difficulty. In AD&D they broke monsters down to 10 levels, I think it's pretty brilliant, simple and it has always worked. It's no different that arbitrarily determining XP based on "actual" challenge. Giving monsters a "Level" gives a "general" idea of difficulty. The game is all about quantifying subjective things, what's the big deal about quantifying monster's "level". A monster's level doesn't have to be tied to HD, it should be tied to it's relative power compared to PC levels. Just give monsters levels, and XP based on that level. Same thing should work and apply to traps and other obstacles. Challenge Ratings are one of GOOD innovations of 3x. The DCC game assumes mortals (limited to Level 10.) So anything beyond that is pretty much god-like and un-fight-able (toe to toe). Call of Cthulhu RPG keeps this in mind, why can't DCC?

re: Skills: Ditch em'. Give circumstantial modifiers based on Occupation and Class. Picking a lock? Give a Thief a Class Die, and don't allow other classes to do it. It makes perfect sense to me if a Wizard has to spend all hours studying spells, Clerics pray to their gods, and Warriors have to work out and practice their sword work every morning. I like that a thief is and should be the only "class" that can pick pockets, locks and disable traps, etc. Period. There is no need for classes if everyone can "do everything".

re: Kingdom/Strongholds. I don't think they relate to the type of play DCC is trying to portray. I'm sure some Advanced DCC or Unearthed DCC can and will include this kind of stuff, I'm not personally interested.

_________________
Reverend Dakota Jesus Ultimak, S.S.M.o.t.S.M.S., D.M.

(Dungeon) Master In Chief of Crawl! fanzine. - http://www.crawlfanzine.com/

"[...] there is no doubt that Dungeons and Dragons and its imitators are right out of the pit of hell." - William Schnoebelen, Straight talk on Dungeons & Dragons


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group