Just the basics

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foot land-raker
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Just the basics

Post by foot land-raker » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:11 pm

Hey All -

I have managed to secure the interest of my players in DCCRPG and a gaming session is soon to follow. However, none of us have ever played before. We usually game once a month. So here is my question: What is the absolute bare minimum my players and I need to know before we enter the zero-level funnel? Can you point me to specific sections of the rule book that we MUST read to play our 0-level funnel game? Once we play this game we'll have a month to really internalize the rest of the rules, but I want to get underway ASAP while interest is high.
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Re: Just the basics

Post by finarvyn » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:29 am

A tricky question. I get from your post that you and your group play RPGs, but not which ones. I'll assume "general knowledge" and we can work from there.

First of all, while the book looks thick keep in mind that this is illusionary. Pages 129-303 (175 pages) are devoted to individual spells and are mostly charts that you don't look at until you need them. Another couple of blocks of pages (pp. 322-356 and 394-434; 76 pages) are patrons and monsters. That's 250 or more pages (more than half the rulebook) that aren't really "rules" at all, and there is also a lot of artwork. The DCC RPG doesn't really have many rules at all, especially when compared to Pathfinder and other popular RPGs.

Now to a few specifics. Try these:

1. Page 10 is worth a quick skim. It has philosophy.

2. Page 12 is important. It gives the "core mechanic" and explains how this game is different from 3E/d20 RPGs that you might have encountered before.

3. Pages 16 through 23 give the guts of character creation. I will assume that you will start with the "character funnel" concept, so most of the rest of the rulebook isn't that important until you finish an adventure or two. Once you advance to 1st level, there is another layer of stuff you need.

4. Pages 78-82 has some general info about combat, fumbles, and critical hits. There are several critical hit charts, but for a first game you only need the one on page 82. (Monsters have their own crit chart, but you could "fake it" by using the same chart for everyone.)

5. As a GM/Judge, you will probably be interested in reading a few other parts. Starting with page 314-15 "Wizard spells" the rulebook explains some about the philosophy of spellcasting. Page 358 "Magic Here and Magic There" talks about spell checks. Pages 360-61 discusses Luck. Page 378 discusses the philosophy of monsters (e.g. "The Minotaur" isn't the same as "a minotaur").

Take the PDF and print off those pages. That's a nice 21-page "quick start" rules set. 8)
Marv / Finarvyn
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Re: Just the basics

Post by foot land-raker » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:25 am

finarvyn wrote:A tricky question. I get from your post that you and your group play RPGs, but not which ones. I'll assume "general knowledge" and we can work from there.

...

3. Pages 16 through 23 give the guts of character creation. I will assume that you will start with the "character funnel" concept, so most of the rest of the rulebook isn't that important until you finish an adventure or two. Once you advance to 1st level, there is another layer of stuff you need...
The group as a whole has played a tiny bit of AD&D, a little more 2nd Edition AD&d, some 4th Edition D&D, and tons of 3rd/3.5 D&D/Pathfinder. Some of the players have also spent time dabbling with Shadowrun and Mage: The Ascension. I am have also played some old Traveller and MERP.

...

Yes. I am looking for just enough information for us to do the funnel and buy us some time to really dig into the mechanics for 1st level and beyond. I'm huge fan of WGPRN and Spellburn has given me the bug.
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Re: Just the basics

Post by Harley Stroh » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:33 pm

Go with this:
http://basementsanddrakes.com/dcc/files ... tsheet.pdf

and this:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2qlP_V ... JMTzg/edit

With your experience, you should be able to fudge the rest.

//H
The lucky guy who got to write some Dungeon Crawl Classics.

DCC Resource thread: character sheets, judge tools, and the world's fastest 0-level party creator.

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Re: Just the basics

Post by foot land-raker » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:39 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:Go with this:
http://basementsanddrakes.com/dcc/files ... tsheet.pdf

and this:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2qlP_V ... JMTzg/edit

With your experience, you should be able to fudge the rest.

//H
Thanks Harley! These are going to be super helpful for me and my players. I am planning on using Sailors for our funnel. Do you feel it is necessary for PCs to level to level 1 in order to complete the module? How did you do it in play tests/previous runs?
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Re: Just the basics

Post by Maxwell Luther » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:40 pm

foot land-raker wrote: I am planning on using Sailors for our funnel. Do you feel it is necessary for PCs to level to level 1 in order to complete the module? How did you do it in play tests/previous runs?
I have never kept track of experience for 0-Level characters. If they survive the adventure, they make level 1. And I haven't had a TPK yet.

The reason I do this is because I don't want to break up the flow of the funnel by having the players counting XP for characters (who more than likely won't last out the thing, anyway). I prefer to keep them moving along quickly and keep them under pressure and absolutely terrified to the point that they are unable to properly plan out which characters they will use as funnel fodder (a very meta-gamey aspect of the funnel), must act quickly to survive, fear death around every corner, and, because they know there is know there is no reaching level 1 if they sit back and let the rest of the party get butchered, will inevitably do something heroic in spite of themselves. Stopping to count XP and then level up characters does nothing but hinder the frenetic roller-coaster ride I think a funnel should be.

But, I run my games not as your typical GM/referee, but as a ancient orator, bellowing a mighty saga of legendary times and heroes, prodding the players mercilessly to keep them from over-planning and shouting challenges at the timid until the pressure breaks them and drives them to mad heroics. So, your mileage may vary...

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Re: Just the basics

Post by Harley Stroh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:07 pm

Thanks Harley! These are going to be super helpful for me and my players. I am planning on using Sailors for our funnel. Do you feel it is necessary for PCs to level to level 1 in order to complete the module? How did you do it in play tests/previous runs?
Not necessary, but I have read LOTS of play reports of repeated TPKs by folks that didn't level PCs.

So much will depend on your players ... are they super cautious, and have they picked up some of the clues / tools to use against the final encounters? Then they should be fine.

But if they charge the ending, hoping that things work out, it often gets ugly.

I wish I had better advice. As written, it was intended for PCs to emerge from the depths and rise to their new calling ... but man, I've heard of lots of TPKs.

//H
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DCC Resource thread: character sheets, judge tools, and the world's fastest 0-level party creator.

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Re: Just the basics

Post by finarvyn » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:58 am

Harley Stroh wrote:As written, it was intended for PCs to emerge from the depths and rise to their new calling ... but man, I've heard of lots of TPKs.
The problem is that zeroes die so easily. No matter how easy the module is designed, if there are encounters there will be deaths with just a few unlucky dice rolls. Higher level characters tend to be more resilliant, both in terms of damage taken and resources they can use to avoid damage taken, but zeroes just die. :lol:
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; 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

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Re: Just the basics

Post by Maxwell Luther » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:19 am

finarvyn wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote:As written, it was intended for PCs to emerge from the depths and rise to their new calling ... but man, I've heard of lots of TPKs.
The problem is that zeroes die so easily. No matter how easy the module is designed, if there are encounters there will be deaths with just a few unlucky dice rolls. Higher level characters tend to be more resilliant, both in terms of damage taken and resources they can use to avoid damage taken, but zeroes just die. :lol:
This is very true, but a good funnel adventure will, at some point during the middle of the module, will have a set of prisoners, sacrificial victims, wandering idiots, etc. that you can use to replenish your ranks, if needs be.

SotSS, in particular has [Spoilers]a group of villagers hanging upside down in one of the towers as well as a horde of sacrificial victims being led up the ziggeraut[/spoilers]. In fact, it is that latter group that must be appropriately motivated to prevent a TPK, although I had one group that [Spoilers]disguised themselves as the bad guys and helped push their fellow villagers into the lava just so they could get close enough to the Shaman to kill him off without having to deal with a horde of beastmen first. The bastards.[/spoilers]

So, if you fear a TPK, and the adventure doesn't already include them, you should just insert some extra schmoes along the way...
Last edited by Maxwell Luther on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Just the basics

Post by AJClark » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:54 am

Having played some DDC with some guys who were primarily Pathfinder players I would make sure to stress to them the difference between the two. If they go in playing DCC like they would with a PF character then a TPK is likely. At least that's been my experience.

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