How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

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How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by Wolfskin1982 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:51 pm

Hey, I just stumbled onto this game, bought the book and all that jazz. I was a little surprised to see so much for it already, it really great, but I saw how there are quite a few classes that CRAWL! put out. So, like my title says, are these classes well balanced? I am honestly curious as some, without having looked at them yet myself, sound down right awesome. Thanks for your time.

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Re: How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by ragboy » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:46 am

Balance in the context of DCC, I've found, becomes very campaign specific (as in your game, your group) very quickly. So, the answer to your question is probably -- maybe? Or, they can be -- depends on how you use them and how much focus you put on the concept of balance.

My advice, since you're just getting into it, is use the Core classes for a while and figure out what you like and don't like. Then introduce additional classes if you feel like its necessary. That should have been the first line in the Core book: Use this first and THEN tinker.

For my game, everyone levels into the core classes (though I'm slowly doing away with demi-humans) and then, through the course of their lives may take on aspects of other classes (including those in Crawl). For a simplified example, a warrior that discovers a magical sword dedicated to a god finds that he may become a "chosen defender" of that god and eventually takes on aspects of a paladin-like character -- if he accepts this (learns new Mighty Deeds, can call upon the god for boons, spells, and the like in dicey situations, etc). Or a thief that spends a lot of time in the wilderness may find his skills more adapted to a "scout" rather than a "city thief" or "dungeon thief."

It requires a semi-persistent campaign world (and at least a core group of persistent players) and a bit more work by the Judge to envision individual characters' roles in the world... paid dividends in my games, though.

And overall, I think the concept of balance is fairly arbitrary. A warrior that bashes everything with his sword, never uses mighty deeds, ignores the "supernatural" aspects of the world, in my opinion, shouldn't be balanced with the warrior that thinks through combats, heavily uses mighty deeds, seeks to increase his standing in the mortal and supernatural world, etc. The first one levels up just the same, but doesn't "grow." The second one finds a different benefit (and, of course the cost of treating with the supernatural) at every turn.
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Re: How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by cjoepar » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:37 am

ragboy wrote: My advice, since you're just getting into it, is use the Core classes for a while and figure out what you like and don't like. Then introduce additional classes if you feel like its necessary.
It's hard to imagine better advice than this.

For me and my group, there hasn't been any interest in going beyond the core classes. There's plenty of room for flexibility within the classes presented in the book, and pretty much any other "new" class out there can be played just by using the core classes and role playing better, instead of trying to create new rules for them.

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Re: How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by Skars » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:48 pm

I have used the Gnome without any problems. Players haven't chosen the others yet.

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Re: How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by Crimsontree » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:35 pm

I've used the Ranger, Paladin & Orc/Barbarian classes at low levels with no problem.

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Re: How balanced are the Crawl! classes?

Post by Zargon » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:53 pm

It would seem to me that the classes in DCC are to balance as the pieces of a chess board are to equality. The wild card though is the person playing the class. Just as the person you're playing a chess match against determines the degree of difficulty of your opposition. Therefore it is through the players, and judgment of the gm by which these imbalances effect play for better or worse . Which I think may go along with what Ragboy was pointing out in the last paragraph of his post.

So far I have seen players portray each of the core classes. Additionally there is now a Gnome, Ranger, and Paladin (all Crawl VI), and a Barbarian (see DAMN issue 1 on rpgnow). These last four are exceptional examples because of course they haven't had the game play testing that the core classes have seen. It goes without saying that this means they're the most prone to effecting game play in ways that may most challenge the judge to maintain the order and flow of his or her world, overall suitability, and the exchange of roles among players. But of course it's also possible that different individual players all inhabiting the same class in a group may achieve that same world of chaos.

I would advise sticking with the core classes so that you can get a taste for Dungeon Crawl Classics as it was prepared by the chef, before reaching for all the spices on the shelf. But if you feel it needs a little more pepper go ahead and throw in that Barbarian and tell them that Godric sent you. 8)
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