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 Post subject: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:39 pm 
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What It Is, And What It Isn’t

What if Gygax and Arneson had access to the Open Game License when they created D&D? What if they spent their time adapting thirty years of game design principles to their stated inspirations -- rather than creating the building blocks from scratch? What if someone were to attempt just that: to immerse himself in the game’s inspirations and re-envision the output using modern game design principles?

That, in short, is the goal of the Dungeon Crawl Classics role playing game: to create a modern RPG that reflects D&D’s origin-point concepts with decades-later rules editions. For many years I have been a fan of old-school gaming, the history of TSR, and the lore of Appendix N, as reflected in many of the products I’ve published. When Dungeon Crawl Classics #1 appeared on shelves way back in 2003, Goodman Games and Kenzer & Company were the only publishers of “old-school” products. Over the eight years since, the “Old School Renaissance” has blossomed, and now a host of high-quality product lines and thriving communities offer “old-school” products. A subject of some controversy has been the proliferation and originality of “retro-clones”: is it enough to simply re-hash the past? Where my DCC modules once did just that -- dwell in a rosy-toned version of early-era D&D game style and art direction -- the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game goes much further. This is not a retro-clone: this is a re-imagining.

There is a lot to cover regarding DCC RPG, and in the next eleven months we’ll cover all of it. But let’s start with the basics. For those of you who have not read the various con reports and blog commentaries over the last year, this diary entry may be your first exposure to the game. Therefore, for this first designer’s diary, I’d like to establish the record on a couple basic facts. Here’s what the DCC RPG is, and is not:

It is not a retro-clone.

It is an OGL game.

It uses a rules engine derived from the 3E d20 system.

It is not compatible with 1970s/1980s D&D rules.

It plays like a 1970s OD&D session.

It is generally compatible with other d20-derived systems.

It does not include complexities like attacks of opportunity, prestige classes, feats, or skill points.

It does not utilize miniatures or a grid-based combat system.

It utilizes races as classes -- you can be a warrior, or an elf.

It utilizes six ability scores, including one called Luck.

It is built on the assumption that some characters will die.

It is built on the assumption that the strongest characters will provide long-term campaigns.

It is built for low-level, mid-level, and high-level play.

It does not require that you start at 0-level (though doing so is fun).

It does not use the traditional D&D spell system associated with memorizing spells.

It uses spellcasting rules influenced by the foundational authors of swords & sorcery.

It uses a Vancian magic system…if you use the term “Vancian” to mean “based on a reading of Vance’s original works,” not “what D&D does.”

It is grounded in the fundamentals of Appendix N.

It is a proud descendant of a long tradition.

It is an opportunity to showcase outstanding art in a classic fantasy style.

It is lots of fun to play.

It primarily uses the conventional dice suite: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Most combat and spell checks are resolved with a d20 roll.

It also utilizes Zocchi dice. All of them. Including the d5, d7 and d24.

It is, in my humble opinion, a version of what D&D could have been, if the early pioneers had access to an existing, robust rules engine to which to adapt their Appendix N inspirations, instead of dedicating their energies to building the foundational blocks from scratch.

It is, as Harley described it early on, “pre-D&D swords & sorcery.”

That’s all for now. Next time: more on, pre-D&D swords & sorcery -- or, Brought to You by Appendix N…

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Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:34 am 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:44 am
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Enough talk. Release the playtest rules! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:41 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:09 pm
Posts: 178
This sounds very promising.

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:08 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 45
So could I play out my Pathfinder adventure paths using these rules? Or my big boxed 'City of Brass' set with it? I think that's what it says, am I right?


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:29 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Y'know all those thing Ogrepuppy has said when he's been excited about stuff that's coming out?

Insert all of those right here, right now, for me... :mrgreen:

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:50 am 
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
A friend of mine just linked me to this, and I must say; it sounds excellent. I shall definitely be following the development of this, and would love to play test it.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:44 am
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dar wrote:
So could I play out my Pathfinder adventure paths using these rules? Or my big boxed 'City of Brass' set with it? I think that's what it says, am I right?


It does?

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:58 pm
Posts: 10
Congrats on the annoucement, looking forward to this.

And, beautiful cover art.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:27 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
What It Is, And What It Isn’t

It is not compatible with 1970s/1980s D&D rules.

It plays like a 1970s OD&D session.

It is generally compatible with other d20-derived systems.


Wow - those bullets are fairly astounding to me... a retro-game that is not a retro-clone, going it's own way here in 2011.

Best of luck with this project, I'll be watching it closely, and really looking forward to hearing how pulp fantasy and swords & sorcery roots are playing into the game design.

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Dreams in the Lich House


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 45
joela wrote:
dar wrote:
So could I play out my Pathfinder adventure paths using these rules? Or my big boxed 'City of Brass' set with it? I think that's what it says, am I right?


It does?


Doesn't it?

OK, maybe I'm reading to much into the 'It is a d20 game'. It would be cool if it was.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Will there be a demo game run at Garycon? :D

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"Bighara RULES!" -Ogrepuppy


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:02 am
Posts: 1788
Location: On the run.
joela wrote:
dar wrote:
So could I play out my Pathfinder adventure paths using these rules? Or my big boxed 'City of Brass' set with it? I think that's what it says, am I right?


It does?


Games closest to 3.x are the easiest, in terms of raw rules (ala ascending AC, defenses, how much damage does that spear do, etc). So yes, with a little prep your City of Bronze could be run with the DCC RPG (and would be a hoot to play, as well).

But in terms of macro game play, BECMI conversions are incredibly simple, even though the mechanics are – technically – incompatible. (“What do you mean I don’t have a THAC0?! A 20 AC is good?!”) An experienced DM who has played both BECMI and 3.x could probably run a conversion with no more than “on sight” prep.

(In fact I’m temped to run a “straight” Keep on the Borderlands adventure under the DCC rules at a con this spring.)

Of all the iterations of D&D, I think 4e would be the hardest conversion. Many of the core mechanics of 4e are lost in translation.

//H

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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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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:02 am
Posts: 1788
Location: On the run.
bighara wrote:
Will there be a demo game run at Garycon? :D


Multiples. And I can't wait.

//H

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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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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:09 pm
Posts: 45
I like what I hear.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:43 am
Posts: 23
I'm really excited about this. I have a gaming group together right now that, by all indications, would love to give the DCC RPG a whirl. The open beta rules can't get here soon enough! Why wait 6 months? Let's see an alpha version now! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
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Nice to see a specifc manifesto like this, Joseph. Makes some of my speculation posts obsolete, but very good nonetheless. 8)

I think this game has some great possibilites and can't wait to play it.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Location: Chicago suburbs
Darn double-post. :oops:

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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


Last edited by finarvyn on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:02 pm
Posts: 15
Location: London
:shock: This Looks So Good Can't wait :D

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Streamlining is good. If the loss of flavorful skills is the cost to avoid cherry picked feats and PRCs, I'll take it. Sometimes I regret not cutting my loses after seeing 3E's Sword & Fist.

And I'm really hoping for less Priest = Band Aid. Nothing wrong with Crusaders killing monsters in the dungeon, but leave the stitching up to time, potions and primitive chirurgery.

I might have preordered, but some unknown variables made me hold off.

* Approximate Page count is important. I'm not expecting 400 pages for $35, but 96 pages would be too small.
* Want to make sure this won't be a bare bones Base Book followed separate Player & GM books like WW does.

The playtest material will probably answer my concerns.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Location: the Towers of Carcosa
GnomeBoy wrote:
Y'know all those thing Ogrepuppy has said when he's been excited about stuff that's coming out?

Insert all of those right here, right now, for me... :mrgreen:


That's because secretly...

...we're the same person.

_________________
Enigma-Judge Narzill Tanntos (armorer Cleric of Amun Tor 4); Strength 15; Agility 10; Stamina 14; Personality 14; Intelligence 8; Luck 16; Neutral; AC 16 (banded mail); HP 24; missing three fingers from left hand.

Please, call me Master Jenks while we're in the Sign of the Three Rats flophouse.

"Will somebody please call all the ambulances?"


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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dar wrote:
I think that's what it says, am I right?


I hope you are. :D

Lemme start praying: O Great Cthulhu, hear my supplication...


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Dude, preordered sight-unseen.

Hopefully you'll

a) let me play test now that I've preordered,

and b) give the preorder customers a copy of the PDF before the dead tree version hits dirt.

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE--?!?

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:43 am
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
Dude, preordered sight-unseen.

Hopefully you'll

a) let me play test now that I've preordered,

and b) give the preorder customers a copy of the PDF before the dead tree version hits dirt.

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE--?!?

:D

The moment I see that those who pre-order the book receive access to playtesting material as well as a .pdf copy of the finished product once its ready to go, I'll grab my wallet. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:
Y'know all those thing Ogrepuppy has said when he's been excited about stuff that's coming out?

Insert all of those right here, right now, for me... :mrgreen:

That's because secretly...

...we're the same person.

Oily Carp! That wasn't supposed to be revealed until the Ragnarok of December 2012!

I really should keep in touch with my own intentions better...

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:54 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Location: the Towers of Carcosa
GnomeBoy wrote:
Oily Carp! That wasn't supposed to be revealed until the Ragnarok of December 2012!

I really should keep in touch with my own intentions better...


Whoops. I guess I should have talked to me first before spilling the beans to me. About us.

_________________
Enigma-Judge Narzill Tanntos (armorer Cleric of Amun Tor 4); Strength 15; Agility 10; Stamina 14; Personality 14; Intelligence 8; Luck 16; Neutral; AC 16 (banded mail); HP 24; missing three fingers from left hand.

Please, call me Master Jenks while we're in the Sign of the Three Rats flophouse.

"Will somebody please call all the ambulances?"


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