2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimoire

DCC has inspired many folks to produce their own supplements and adventures for the game. This is the place for discussion of all 3PP products for DCC RPG.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Hoplitenomad » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:20 am

For those of us lucky enough to download, which full fledged character are you hoping to see?
HN

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by ragboy » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:43 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Hoplitenomad wrote:I had the same problem yesterday, but as I was writing customer support I tried it one more time and it went through fine.
AFAICT, and this includes checking the spam filter, RPGNow never actually sent the emails in my case. Or, they disappeared into the InterWeb. NSA? :shock:
You are in Canadia. Maybe RPGNow is sharing data with the government and they decided you have too much RPG stuff.
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Spoofer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:54 pm

Spoofer wrote:Unfortunately, I get the following message:
"The requested source file could not be found. Please contact us and let us know about this error."K.
Yeah. It works now!!! Thanks.

:D :D :D

(... an hour later ...)

I have read throgh the adventure, and I have some mixed feelings about it. Mostly happy, with a bit of sadness mixed in. I will explain.

First, the adventure is wonderful. From the cool bad guys and the tough moral choices all the way to the excellent production quality, everything is very good.

Here is what I really like:
  • There are three really, really cool encounters in the adventure.
    One of those encounters will start, and then never end! (It may lead to a whole campaign to end it.)
    But here is the kicker... that encounter may never even start, depending on the actions of the party. I love that.
    The layout of the page, the sidebars, the sense of humor, the use of fonts and text size.
So the adventure gets a 10 out 10.

However, like I said, my feelings are mixed. As soon as I finished downloading the pdf, I immediately flipped to the pre-generated characters. The cool character classes has been the biggest attraction for me. I was really looking forward to stuff like this (quoted from the blog)...
The Hunter is a master at infiltration and sabotage and has a nifty little MacGuyver sort of ability that is one of my favorites in the game.
and this....
With "Leech", the Half-Breed gets the one power that everyone is most interested in -- the half-vampire power. The Half-Breed gets a limited capacity to heal herself by drinking blood from a living human and a nerfed sort of immunity to some mortal concerns.
Instead, what I found was this...
Mighty Deeds!
and this...
Cast from a scroll: d20
I feel like I ordered a whiskey and was served lemonade. :?

What happened? I know you mentioned that in playtests, players were overwhelmed by the quantity of special abilities that a class had, and tended to not use most of their abilities. But I feel like there is nothing really special or different from the DCC characters. The pdf says that the characters are abridged versions. Does that mean that an actual 4th level character will have abilities beyond those listed on the pre-gen sheets?

As is, I feel like the very cool wizard and cleric classes with their very cool spell casting abilities have been sacrificed and the equivalent level of coolness has not been gained.

Please tell me I am wrong. I want to love the character classes as much as I love the adventure. Where is that nifty little MacGuyver sort of ability and the ability to drink blood to heal? Those abilities sound like they would be fun to play. Sure, maybe those particular abilities did not work out in the long run, but you replaced them with an equivalent level of coolness, right? I just don't feel that after reading the characters' abilities. If there was jsut one more line on each character sheet describing one cool ability like drinking blood to heal, then I would be in love head-over-heels.

So in the end, I am mostly happy and just a little bit sad. I really enjoyed the adventure a lot, and I am really looking forward to buying the books when they come out. Thanks for putting together this sample and sharing it. If this is representative of what is to come, then it is going to be awesome.

Kevin

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:31 am

http://punverse.blogspot.ca/2013/06/tra ... tures.html

Noticed this this morning; thought you might be interested.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:35 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:http://punverse.blogspot.ca/2013/06/tra ... tures.html

Noticed this this morning; thought you might be interested.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll repost/reblog that in LoP.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by grald_the_hunter » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:11 am

I haven't finished reading the adventure yet (although I'm liking it thus far except for the occasional typo), but like Kevin I skipped to the pregens, and I had a similar feeling about them. I thought it was maybe because we weren't getting full disclosure about all of the class abilities, and it was just me, but they did seem awfully boring, and, even worse, there didn't seem to be a lot of space between the different classes.

smathis, maybe tell us we're wrong and that there's still awesomeness in the class abilities?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:27 am

Spoofer wrote:
I have read throgh the adventure, and I have some mixed feelings about it. Mostly happy, with a bit of sadness mixed in. I will explain.

First, the adventure is wonderful. From the cool bad guys and the tough moral choices all the way to the excellent production quality, everything is very good.

Here is what I really like:
  • There are three really, really cool encounters in the adventure.
    One of those encounters will start, and then never end! (It may lead to a whole campaign to end it.)
    But here is the kicker... that encounter may never even start, depending on the actions of the party. I love that.
    The layout of the page, the sidebars, the sense of humor, the use of fonts and text size.
So the adventure gets a 10 out 10.
Thanks, Kevin. That's high praise, I appreciate it.
Spoofer wrote: What happened? I know you mentioned that in playtests, players were overwhelmed by the quantity of special abilities that a class had, and tended to not use most of their abilities. But I feel like there is nothing really special or different from the DCC characters. The pdf says that the characters are abridged versions. Does that mean that an actual 4th level character will have abilities beyond those listed on the pre-gen sheets?

As is, I feel like the very cool wizard and cleric classes with their very cool spell casting abilities have been sacrificed and the equivalent level of coolness has not been gained.

Please tell me I am wrong. I want to love the character classes as much as I love the adventure. Where is that nifty little MacGuyver sort of ability and the ability to drink blood to heal? Those abilities sound like they would be fun to play. Sure, maybe those particular abilities did not work out in the long run, but you replaced them with an equivalent level of coolness, right? I just don't feel that after reading the characters' abilities. If there was jsut one more line on each character sheet describing one cool ability like drinking blood to heal, then I would be in love head-over-heels.

So in the end, I am mostly happy and just a little bit sad. I really enjoyed the adventure a lot, and I am really looking forward to buying the books when they come out. Thanks for putting together this sample and sharing it. If this is representative of what is to come, then it is going to be awesome.

Kevin
The one class in the Intro Adventure that is closest to the classes in the book is the Valiant. The pre-gens are abridged and intended for people who are just trying things on for size. The Hunter DOES have a cool little MacGuyver ability. Leech is still available to the Half-Breed. I didn't put those in the pre-gens because I didn't want to have to expand the "Rules" section too greatly. The abilities that have been excised were removed because they would've required more reprinting or amending of the rules.

I wasn't in love with how the pre-gens turned out but they all have relevant upgrades for characters at 4th level. Many of them spent their upgrades in Armor Class, Initiative or Skill bumps. One spent a bump on Wealth, IIRC.

So they're analogous to the real thing, missing 1-2 abilities each and being upgraded by someone who really didn't want to spend that many upgrades on powers.

To have included all the class abilities for all the pregens, I would've had to expand the rules section to about 15-20 pages (including charts and all). And some of the abilities wouldn't make sense in the context of a single adventure.

Hopefully, The Winter Home is enough to make you want more that will be coming soon in the first book.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:38 am

grald_the_hunter wrote:I haven't finished reading the adventure yet (although I'm liking it thus far except for the occasional typo), but like Kevin I skipped to the pregens, and I had a similar feeling about them. I thought it was maybe because we weren't getting full disclosure about all of the class abilities, and it was just me, but they did seem awfully boring, and, even worse, there didn't seem to be a lot of space between the different classes.

smathis, maybe tell us we're wrong and that there's still awesomeness in the class abilities?
There's a lot of awesomeness in the class abilities.

I admit that the pre-gens turned out a little vanilla. But there are fundamental rules in the first book that weren't included in the Winter Home. For example...
Prepared For Anything: The Hunter can permanently increase her Base ruin by +1 to retroactively have something planned or prepared for an eventuality -- like having a backup crucifix in her boot. Or having a wooden stake up her sleeve. Or having a locket on a silver chain around her neck. The only requirement is that the explanation for the retroactive editing be cool and that the Judge be generally okay with it. This class feature cannot be upgraded.
That's directly from TATG. But describing what Ruin is, how it works, the difference between a permanent and temporary increase and what that means during a game would have required more space than the Intro Adventure allotted.

The intention was to whet people's appetite for what was to come with TATG, provide a solid adventure to support TATG once it's released and give everyone a feel for what TATG was about. Not so much from a rules perspective but from a genre, atmosphere, etc. perspective. Soon enough, the real character classes will be available for use with the Winter Home. It should be going into layout by mid-July.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Hoplitenomad » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:04 am

Well, it whetted my appetite and I am awaiting the full TATG.

HN

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:11 am

Hoplitenomad wrote:Well, it whetted my appetite and I am awaiting the full TATG.

HN
Cool.

EDIT: Once I'm done with the draft and moved into editing/proofreading/layout, I'm going to be going through and doing some blogposts. I'll make sure to revisit the character classes to explain how they are different, if they are different and why.

I'll also revisit each classes' capabilities and what they're expected to be good at and not good at.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:24 am

Hoplitenomad wrote:For those of us lucky enough to download, which full fledged character are you hoping to see?
HN
My favorites have changed over time. Most recently, my favorite classes were the Exotic and the Survivor. But now, the two favorites of mine are the Half-Breed and the Scoundrel. The Scoundrel is a lot of fun to play. A swashbuckler of the Errol Flynn variety.
Last edited by smathis on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:36 am

Spoofer wrote:If there was jsut one more line on each character sheet describing one cool ability like drinking blood to heal, then I would be in love head-over-heels.
I think this is a great suggestion. What I can try to do is revisit the pre-gens when we go through another round of edits. Because it's a PDF I can update the file and everyone who has already downloaded it would be able to download the updated file for free.

If there's anyway I can follow through on that "one cool ability" thing without expanding the rules text in the front, I will do so.

Thanks for the feedback, Kevin.

Scott

EDIT: the next round of edits would also be focused on making a print/softcover version available as well.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:39 am

I have had a chance to see some of the draft material, and, while I can't say anything specific, the classes are cool.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Spoofer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:24 pm

Thanks for the explanation about the pre-gen characters. That was exactly the sort of explantion I hoping for. Now I have high hopes again for the classes. And then I read this...
Prepared For Anything: The Hunter can permanently increase her Base ruin by +1 to retroactively have something planned or prepared for an eventuality -- like having a backup crucifix in her boot. Or having a wooden stake up her sleeve. Or having a locket on a silver chain around her neck. The only requirement is that the explanation for the retroactive editing be cool and that the Judge be generally okay with it. This class feature cannot be upgraded.
Now that is awesome!!! I love it. :D :D :D

Oh man, I really want to read the full character class descriptions now more than ever. Thanks again for sharing.

Kevin

P.S. I really want to get some of this awesomeness into the pre-gens before running the adventure for my RPG group. I have been saying great things about TA. :D For the purposes of the one shot adventure only, with the caveat that this is a fudge:

Once during this adventure, the Hunter can declare that she has just the item that is needed -- like having a backup crucifix in her boot, Or having a wooden stake up her sleeve. Or having a locket on a silver chain around her neck. The only requirement is that the explanation for the retroactive editing be cool and that the Judge be generally okay with it.

Now, what to do with the other characters...

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:39 pm

Spoofer wrote:Thanks for the explanation about the pre-gen characters. That was exactly the sort of explantion I hoping for. Now I have high hopes again for the classes. And then I read this...
Prepared For Anything: The Hunter can permanently increase her Base ruin by +1 to retroactively have something planned or prepared for an eventuality -- like having a backup crucifix in her boot. Or having a wooden stake up her sleeve. Or having a locket on a silver chain around her neck. The only requirement is that the explanation for the retroactive editing be cool and that the Judge be generally okay with it. This class feature cannot be upgraded.
Now that is awesome!!! I love it. :D :D :D

Oh man, I really want to read the full character class descriptions now more than ever. Thanks again for sharing.

Kevin

P.S. I really want to get some of this awesomeness into the pre-gens before running the adventure for my RPG group. I have been saying great things about TA. :D For the purposes of the one shot adventure only, with the caveat that this is a fudge:

Once during this adventure, the Hunter can declare that she has just the item that is needed -- like having a backup crucifix in her boot, Or having a wooden stake up her sleeve. Or having a locket on a silver chain around her neck. The only requirement is that the explanation for the retroactive editing be cool and that the Judge be generally okay with it.

Now, what to do with the other characters...
Hi Kevin:
Thanks for the response. When are you planning on running Winter Home? I'd be happy to email you some updated pre-gens. I'm planning on updating them in the PDF too. But I could probably email them to you beforehand.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:17 pm

smathis wrote: Hi Kevin:
Thanks for the response. When are you planning on running Winter Home? I'd be happy to email you some updated pre-gens. I'm planning on updating them in the PDF too. But I could probably email them to you beforehand.
Hey Kevin:
Check your email.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Spoofer » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:18 am

Wow! Thanks a lot. I got the revised characters. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I am going to ask the group to drop everything and play this. :)

Kevin

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:46 am

Spoofer wrote:Wow! Thanks a lot. I got the revised characters. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I am going to ask the group to drop everything and play this. :)

Kevin
Cool. I hope your group has fun.

For everyone else, the updated pregens will be available when the PDF goes through its next round of edits. That'll be about a week from now. Possibly sooner.

If anyone wants them sooner than that, PM me.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:20 pm

It will be back soon.

I updated The Winter Home tonight and RPGNow/DriveThruRPG promptly spell-mishapped all over it.

Currently, The Winter Home is "inactive". Why? I don't know. I was just uploading the new PDF with the updated pre-gens.

I guess this is a great trial run for the first book. Not sure why I'm having such troubles with RPGNow, though.

Here's hoping their support gets on it soon.

More info and a picture of Christopher Lee enacting how I feel right now on the blog (http://landofphantoms.blogspot.com/2013 ... t-now.html)

If any of you online publishing vets have any kung fu secrets, please PM them to me.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Deadstop » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:46 am

Omigosh, you made the "cooler version" pregens even cooler by giving them actual descriptions! You are awesome!

Would it be greedy to ask for a female version of the Hunter and a male version of the Valiant in the next update?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:55 am

Deadstop wrote:Omigosh, you made the "cooler version" pregens even cooler by giving them actual descriptions! You are awesome!

Would it be greedy to ask for a female version of the Hunter and a male version of the Valiant in the next update?
Not greedy at all. I'll see what I can do.

And re: those descriptions. That area has been something I was working on as the last piece of the first book. It took around a month or so to nail down and we've affectionately called it the "mad-lib" section of the character sheet.

All those descriptors are generated by tables. These tables are typically split out by gender and/or alignment. So there are charts for Lawful Males, Chaotic females, etc.

The whole process takes about 7 or 8 minutes to roll through. But at the end of it, you have a pretty good idea of who the character is, what he looks like, what he likes to do, why he's concerned with monsters and some basics about both what makes him heroic and what fuels his decision making process.

It's pretty straight-forward and one of the cooler things about TATG.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:35 am

smathis wrote:...and we've affectionately called it the "mad-lib" section of the character sheet...
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by grald_the_hunter » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:34 pm

*SPOILERS, POTENTIAL PLAYERS DON'T READ*

Just finished reading the adventure this morning and I love it! Not too sure on the lethality of camping outside, though - seems a bit . . . sudden. I think if I ran it I would give the PCs a lot of hints throughout the night - "you're getting cold, dangerously so . . . "

Anyway, now I have tons of questions about TATG:

1) Will there be new crit tables for certain types of monsters (vampires, golems)? What about PC classes? (I'm not sure it's really necessary to have new tables, but I'm curious)

2) Will spellcasting work the same as in DCCRPG (i.e. the spell roll, possible pacts with outer beings)?

3) Will there still be an "un-dead" classification for monsters, or would more specific categories (mummies, vampires) be more appropriate?

4) How come every PC doesn't just load up on holy water, silver, and/or crosses? Or are they supposed to?

5) Will there be a 0-level adventure in TA (please say yes)? I'm curious to see how the funnel works in TA vs. DCCRPG.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:09 pm

grald_the_hunter wrote:*SPOILERS, POTENTIAL PLAYERS DON'T READ*

Just finished reading the adventure this morning and I love it! Not too sure on the lethality of camping outside, though - seems a bit . . . sudden. I think if I ran it I would give the PCs a lot of hints throughout the night - "you're getting cold, dangerously so . . . "
That's a good idea if the party decides they'd rather stay overnight outdoors instead of going into the house. I usually tell groups the truth. It's winter. It's Transylvania. Outdoors can go as low as -30 degrees Celsius or -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's just not a good idea to go camping in that sort of weather.
grald_the_hunter wrote: 1) Will there be new crit tables for certain types of monsters (vampires, golems)? What about PC classes? (I'm not sure it's really necessary to have new tables, but I'm curious)
No new crit tables for Monsters or PCs (not necessary).

But there are new Melee and Missile fumble tables (because there's no armor in TATG).

And there are new crit AND fumble tables for Firearms. One of the worst entries on the Firearms Fumble table will be very familiar to fans of Tucker and Dale Versus Evil -- which is a great movie, btw.
grald_the_hunter wrote: 2) Will spellcasting work the same as in DCCRPG (i.e. the spell roll, possible pacts with outer beings)?
Yes... and no. Real deal spellcasting isn't fully in until the third book (The Transylvanian Grimoire). There are three rituals in the first book -- to get the Polymaths off the ground floor.

The spell mechanics are roughly the same. Roll spellcheck. Yadda yadda. All familiar. But things are a little different, depending on if you're casting a Ritual or one of the other spells. Patron Bond and Invoke Patron are alive and well. Hardcore TATGers will probably be using that like crazy in their games until the Grimoire is completed.

The Transylvanian Grimoire will have its own Corruption and Mercurial Magic tables. More genre appropriate. Those are already done. Maybe I can justify a quick magical primer between the 1st and 2nd book or something? Something that costs what the Intro Adventure does, except includes some items that are already done from the third book?
grald_the_hunter wrote: 3) Will there still be an "un-dead" classification for monsters, or would more specific categories (mummies, vampires) be more appropriate?
It's Hammer Horror. So there are vampires, etc. There are roughly a half-dozen types of vampires.
grald_the_hunter wrote: 4) How come every PC doesn't just load up on holy water, silver, and/or crosses? Or are they supposed to?
Those items aren't always available. And they're not cheap. There's a table for "going shopping" in the first book. Because there aren't any magic item shoppes or stores that sell holy water by the jug, there's no guarantee that it will be available -- nor that it will be affordable. But a group that spends all their time trying to collect silver, crosses and holy water isn't going to be doing much Investigating. And no Investigating is probably worse than going into a place with one bottle of holy water and one cross.
grald_the_hunter wrote:5) Will there be a 0-level adventure in TA (please say yes)? I'm curious to see how the funnel works in TA vs. DCCRPG.
Yes. It's called "Horror on Starkweather Mountain". There's a hunchback and a very familiar foe in it who likes to play with lightning and dead things.

In play, I've found the funnel works similarly to DCC RPG. 0-Levels in TATG are slightly harder to kill. This is on purpose so that players can have 2 characters each, instead of 4. Fatality rates are fairly consistent, however. Most TATG funnels end with half of the 0-Levels dead. Players seem to have a little bit more invested in the 0-Levels in TATG. Mostly because there's slightly more background to them. I remember one player being unhappy that his wealthy college girl with a drinking problem fell down a pit and died. Something about that drinking problem thing made him really like her.

Much like DCC RPG, the most unlikely parties emerge from the funnel. I remember one guy who had this beefcake big game hunter guy with like a 17 Strength. That guy died because another player fumbled with a musket shot and accidentally hit him in the back of the head. The player's other character made it out of the funnel -- an illiterate Itinerant Clergyman, which was an odd combination to say the least. He had some fun making up random "biblical verses" off the top of his head, acting like he could really read.

Good times.

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