Hi bholmes4. Thanks for reading. Clarifications to follow.
Player C really, really did not like the Cleric. Mostly because he rolled poorly on spellcasting, felt the Cleric spell list was pretty vanilla and felt the spell check penalty was punitive compared to what Wizards got.
I think Clerics need spell like Invoke Patron and Patron Bond. When I was skimming the rules I saw the DM example about the Frog Demon Patron and assumed it was for the cleric. When I read the rules I was shocked it was for the wizard (though that's cool as well). I guess you could use Divine Intervention for this purpose but they do need something at this point to spice them up.
I disagreed strongly with Player C about the Cleric. But I'm not playtesting to hoist (or really voice) my opinions. I felt Player C was having a bad night and projecting his poor dice rolling onto the system.
I think Divine Aid needs a chart. And I'll pitch the chart I put together
. Because the benefit doesn't measure up to the cost. The examples in the book are weak -- considering it's effectively a 10th level spell. And it needs a broader range of effects that aren't just "fail" or "you got it".
Player C raised an interesting point about Attack Dice. It might be good to expand that mechanic and allow the Cleric some sort of nerfed Attack die to use on casting and attacks. Something like 1d3-1, increasing to 1d4-1 then 1d5-1, etc. Something that doesn't mess up the Warrior's schtick but allows the Cleric a little more of a fightery feel.
But, overall, I felt strongly that Player C was disgruntled. I didn't see that many issues with the Cleric in play.
The Halfling, however. You'd think getting 2d16 for two attacks would be a good thing. But not so much. Not at all, in fact. It made me wish DCC had a d18, believe it or not.
All felt pretty strongly that Luck offered a poor value for its expenditure. They unanimously requested that it be its own thing.
What do you mean, make it like hit points instead of an ability score?
They wanted Luck to be more like Karma Points in FASERIP or Hero Points in other games. Part of it was they didn't see it as a viable ability. It wasn't tied into saves and they thought rolling on it for "Listening" as it says in the beta rules was silly. Their Lucky Rolls only came up a couple of times. And the Lucky Rolls were one of those things that was just weird to keep track of. Like the slew of bonuses in 4e. They kept forgetting about them and to adjust them up and down when their Luck went up and down. Just having Lucky Rolls be a straight +1 would make the system much better, IMO. And it would stifle the disconnect between something called a "Lucky Roll" actually giving a negative more often than not.
I'm of two minds on Luck. On one hand, I wouldn't mind if it was more like a Hero Point mechanic. On the other, I wouldn't mind if it remained a stat. But I think a couple of things should happen if it remains a stat. First, the rules need more things for Luck to do. akb108 gives some great examples of more things Luck can do here.
Second, I think the payout for a permanent burn of Luck needs to be better OR burning Luck shouldn't be permanent. Maybe a character can recover 1/2 their new level in Luck when they gain a level (rounded down). It would allow higher level characters to spend more Luck and be more heroic. It wouldn't intrude on the Halfling and Thief's schtick. And it wouldn't require a change to how Luck is used.
As it stands, Luck is just odd. Not bad. Just odd.
Player C wanted an Attack Die for the Cleric. He felt left behind by the characters that got two action dice and by the Wizard's mojo.
Speaking of action dice, does it slow the pace much with these extra actions? Probably not an issue with these guys since they enjoy 4e but from your perspective..
No, not at all. I rolled up the Ape's attacks (2d20) easily enough. It was quite fast. I didn't break up the actions into "your first action is a d20 and your second is a d14" though. I let the players assign the die they wanted to an action. Then they rolled them both at the same time. It was very streamlined. Not a problem at all.
Player B pointed out that the way the spells scaled was insane. When I told him they were all "1st level" spells he about choked on his beer. He used several spells and the effects he got from them were pretty out there. Like slaying 4 creatures with one shot. Or putting a squad of hobgoblins to sleep for a day.
Thanks for confirming this. I had similar issues in my play test with a lucky elf and his Invoke Patron spell and a wizard with Magic Missile. Some spells are really, really out of whack and with so many ways to get bonuses (mercurial, luck, spell burn, halflings, levels, etc.) it needs some adjustments or limitations.
Yeah. The spells are one of those things where I saw the charts and was skeptical. Because the math was so obviously off. Especially considering the Scorching Ray (a 2nd level spell) we were able to see. But I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because, you know, it's random
. I was skeptical but wasn't sure if it would be all that bad.
This was the one thing that was far, far worse than I'd imagined. It's pretty crazy. Broken even.
Monsters by-the-book are really boring. Very AD&D swing-hit/miss, swing-hit/miss. I'm a good DM and even I had a hard time spicing up the encounters. Combats were a bit of a slog, especially the Ape. I think DCC could benefit by borrowing some 4e-isms for their monsters.
What do you mean by 4e-isms? I suspect you mean something like in WFRP 3rd edition where monsters all have at least one or two cool powers/effects. Maybe Goblins have a bonus to hit if they outnumber their foes and have a "latch and bite" attack where they cling to your leg reducing AC by 2, the zombie might cause disease on a crit, on a fumble his arm falls off and can spew blinding bile once every 5 turns. There's more to it than that but you get the point.
Exactly. That sort of thing. Nothing whacky. Just a small little blurb of something to help each monster feel more unique. It doesn't have to be an exhaustive sort of thing. But given the small monster list, it should be pretty easy to throw something together. I like that "latch and bite" thing for Goblins. Classic.
That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. To make the Ape more interesting, I gave him a bonus to hit and increased his damage die to d14 when he was "bloodied". That helped some. Gave him kind of a "frenzy". But prior to that, some of the players seemed like they were nodding off.
Spells need to be audited by spell level. As it stands, I can't see any arcane spellcaster casting anything except Magic Missile until it is lost. The scaling of spell effects is way out of whack.
Agree 100%. I simple can't believe this is the intention (how boring) but that is exactly what will happen in most games.
Yeah. This is the most broken thing in the Beta rules, IMO.
Mercurial Magic is hard to keep track of. We forgot about it more than once.
I think it needs a much greater % chance to have "no change, cast as normal". I intend to make it at least 50% that their is no change. That way they are that much more special and hopefully easier to remember.
This was just an observation. The Elf player had his spell charts all printed out. And then Mercurial Magic on a separate sheet. So he forgot about Mercurial Magic 50% of the time. Just keeping those effects on the same page as the spell chart would help. Also, it should be easier to get a "casts normally" result on the table. I think the Mercurial Magic chart goes a little overboard on some things. I think it should be more "special" and cool. Not as much silly (as in "toadstools pop up all around you") or crazy overpowering (as in "casts with a d30").
DCC at 5th level felt odd at times. It was like it's this really cool kinda-old-school game. And then you call out for a Fortitude save. The dissonance was palpable.
The 3e base for this game pokes its head out way too much. I really wish they had of use Basic as their base and modernized some things. That said, about the saves specifically, is it just the names reminding you of d20 that seemed odd, or do you think they lose their "mystery" when presented as Reflex/Fortitude/Will? For me it's a bit of both. Having come from older editions I kind of liked them at first but now I want something that meets half-way.
I agree on all points. I wish DCC would've "modernized" Labyrinth Lord instead of tossing 3e into the wayback machine. The Reflex/Fortitude/Will saves seemed odd when they came up. Like I had somehow tacked those onto a really cool old-school fantasy game just because.
I'm sure this is something I'll get used to. Reflex/Fort/Will are not
a deal-breaker for me. But it is a little bit of an immersion killer for me. I'd almost rather see saves based on ability modifiers, like in C&C. It's kind of a downer to see these cool new attributes like Personality and Luck and then discover that the traditional triad of Strength, Agility and Stamina/Constitution matter a little more because they're tied to saving throws.
After these playtests, I'd classify my concerns with the ruleset as such in order of importance (for me).
- Getting the spell charts back in line with their level
- Giving Divine Aid a chart
- Giving Luck more stuff to do, like akb108 suggests. And making Lucky Roll a straight +1
- Making the monsters more unique and less of a bland stat block
- Tweaking Mercurial Magic
- Having a faster recovery of hit points post-encounter. Either 50% of hit points lost in encounter or mtnjeff's Dutch Courage.
- Using your stat increase per level
- Giving Spells a "fail effect" besides "you fail". I've called these "fizzle effects" in my communications to Joseph.
- Getting rid of % Thief skills
- Finding more applications of Attack/Class die for different classes
- Using jmuchiello's "d10 for non-class/occupation 'skill' roll"
- Allowing some classes (The Cleric and Thief come to mind) the ability to do more damage with one specific weapon. Or maybe a situation where they can add their Class Die to damage but not to hit.
- Making saves a per stat thing. Like in C&C.
- Getting a d18 in the game
That's not a bad list, IMO. As I've said, DCC seems almost
there. It's close to being a home-run, IMO. So, so close.