Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:54 am

I believe that the plan is to have a single, complete, "one and done" rulebook.

This doesn't mean that there couldn't be later supplements done by GG or by other companies, since Joseph said it would be a licensed OGL game. Indeed, certain "common" classes like Ranger aren't going to be a part of the rules, so others may house-rule some of this in a hurry.

If it's not common to the Appendix N literature, it's not likely to be in the RPG.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by maasenstodt » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:18 am

goodmangames wrote:
JediOre wrote:How many pre-orders do you have so far Joseph?
Quite a few! Keep 'em coming and maybe I'll have to cook up some kind of reward. :)
Agghhhh! I couldn't help myself... my pre-order is in as well. 8)

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by goodmangames » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:54 am

brogan_a wrote:Is this book the equivalent to a PHB? Or will it have everything the DMG and MM would have? I am quite willing to fork over the 40.00 to pre-order it, I just want to know what to expect. Thanks!
It's PHB + DMG + MM.

The modern RPG industry sustains itself by publishing splatbooks. In some ways, I think this detracts from the game. After a few years, the "point of entry" is lost in "rule book bloat" -- new players feel overwhelmed by having so many options and so much complexity to grasp before they're on par with the existing players. And the rules complexity just expands exponentially as all these loopholes and special rules interact with each other.

I read an interesting statistic a couple years ago, where at a certain point (I think it was in late 2008 or early 2009) somebody calculated that the OD&D movement had now published more written words than everything TSR ever published for AD&D. I need to dig up that link. It was interesting not only in that so many fans had created so much material online (in between OSRIC and Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord and the many other retro clones, plus all the old-school style modules, plus the myriad blog posts, and so on)...but also the contrast between early AD&D and the modern WotC publishing schedule. You didn't have to keep up with much from TSR in the early days -- maybe one hardback a year, and of course lots of modules from which you could pick and choose. Well, I like that model. It keeps it simple. DCC RPG will be supported by a lot of adventure modules. And maybe one rules expansion a year, if that. Think of it as an "annual," that will contain whatever cool rules ideas came up in the prior year. There's room for OGL/licensed support, and I'm sure some of the licensed products will contain lots of good ideas as well. But I'd like to sustain a model where the point of entry is simple, the complexity never becomes overwhelming, and the game is supported by tons of evocative adventures that encourage campaigns founded in the roots of swords & sorcery.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:58 am

goodmangames wrote:After a few years, the "point of entry" is lost in "rule book bloat" -- new players feel overwhelmed by having so many options and so much complexity to grasp before they're on par with the existing players.
Yes! This is exactly the problem with modern RPG systems!
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by JediOre » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:03 am

If ever a movement will need the 21st century equivalent of Dragon Magazine, this will!

Castles & Crusades has the Crusaders magazine.

Joseph, if you folks haven't been thinking about it, you should be. Perhaps start thinking about a bi-annual or quarterly magazine?

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by mr baron » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:09 am

I agree with the rules bloat comments. Unfortunately, I think for most companies, they need to continue to publish on a regular basis, otherwise they will not be in business. Gaming has turned from hobby to business, and the result is a revenue model that needs continuous releases. As much as I like Pathfinder, I am concerned that in several years, we are going to be buried with books.

With that said, I like the idea of an annual which includes the best ideas over the course of the year, most of which are optional rules. I think producing lots of adventures, campaign books, magazines and longer adventure paths are perfect, as they usually do not create rules bloat.

Is there an estimated page count on this book?

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:50 pm

JediOre wrote:If ever a movement will need the 21st century equivalent of Dragon Magazine, this will!

Castles & Crusades has the Crusaders magazine.

Joseph, if you folks haven't been thinking about it, you should be. Perhaps start thinking about a bi-annual or quarterly magazine?
There's no reason why "Level Up" has to be a 4E-only-content magazine. Just expand the horizon and allow for articles of all GG product lines to be submitted. 8)
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by mgillham » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:35 pm

goodmangames wrote:
mgillham wrote:Just wondering, is there any incentive for pre-ordering now (free pdf, reduced price, whatever), almost a year before release? If not, I'll hold fire until November.
The incentive is that you can be super-cool like the rest of the guys who pre-ordered. :) No, nothing really at the moment, although down the road I might cook up something. I like to encourage enthusiasm. :)
Ah well, in that case where's my credit card? Wouldn't want to pass up an opportunity to be uber-cool.

8)

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by goodmangames » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:45 pm

mr baron wrote:Is there an estimated page count on this book?
Somewhere between 1 and 300. :)

Seriously, though, it will be a reasonably-sized hardback. I'm trying to keep the player section small -- something that a gamer can pick up in an afternoon of light reading. Hopefully 64 pages or less for the PHB equivalent, not including spell descriptions. The spell descriptions are lengthy because each spell has an associated table, so we're probably looking at another 60 pages or so of spells. Then the DMG+MM equivalent will probably be in the 96 page range. So it will probably end up as a normal-length hardback in the 200-256 page range.

And did I mention the art? There's a LOT of art. Many pages will be graphically like The Dungeon Alphabet (which was a test run for the layout I'd like to use in DCC RPG).
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Roman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:38 pm

Couldn't resist preordering.

I have always enjoyed reading the DCC modules, their premises, but I just don't enjoy running 3e, 3.5e, or 4e, and I'm not fond of how these systems play at the table.

I *did* enjoy the modules published for C&C, as I preferred that system to those just mentioned, and I'm looking forward to what "old school" looks like from a Goodman Games system design perspective.

Just a thought--how well do the DCC modules convert to older rules sets or to C&C? (Or should I post that question in a different part of the forum?)
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Roman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:40 pm

finarvyn wrote:
goodmangames wrote:After a few years, the "point of entry" is lost in "rule book bloat" -- new players feel overwhelmed by having so many options and so much complexity to grasp before they're on par with the existing players.
Yes! This is exactly the problem with modern RPG systems!
I enthusiastically agree.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Roman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:42 pm

finarvyn wrote:
JediOre wrote:If ever a movement will need the 21st century equivalent of Dragon Magazine, this will!

Castles & Crusades has the Crusaders magazine.

Joseph, if you folks haven't been thinking about it, you should be. Perhaps start thinking about a bi-annual or quarterly magazine?
There's no reason why "Level Up" has to be a 4E-only-content magazine. Just expand the horizon and allow for articles of all GG product lines to be submitted. 8)
Personally, not being a fan of 4e, I'd prefer a magazine solely oriented toward DCC RPG, even if it was only an electronic publication.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by jeffb » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:42 pm

goodmangames wrote: the point of entry is simple, the complexity never becomes overwhelming, and the game is supported by tons of evocative adventures that encourage campaigns founded in the roots of swords & sorcery.
Bless you :lol:

After reading this thread, I am SOOO looking forward to this game.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Roman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:48 pm

goodmangames wrote: It does not utilize miniatures or a grid-based combat system.
*Weeps openly* ... Thank you! THANK YOU!!! OH YEA VERILY, THE GAMING GODS HAVE ANSWERED MY PRAYERS!
goodmangames wrote: It is grounded in the fundamentals of Appendix N.
One of the reasons I've already preordered.
goodmangames wrote:
It is a proud descendant of a long tradition.
DAMN proud!
goodmangames wrote: It also utilizes Zocchi dice. All of them. Including the d5, d7 and d24.
Yay! I love weird dice! I still have my little critical hit chart that came with the first d30 I every bought!
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by joela » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:03 pm

goodmangames wrote:DCC RPG will be supported by a lot of adventure modules. And maybe one rules expansion a year, if that. Think of it as an "annual," that will contain whatever cool rules ideas came up in the prior year. There's room for OGL/licensed support, and I'm sure some of the licensed products will contain lots of good ideas as well. But I'd like to sustain a model where the point of entry is simple, the complexity never becomes overwhelming, and the game is supported by tons of evocative adventures that encourage campaigns founded in the roots of swords & sorcery.
+1. Will Goodman Games offer subscriptions to said adventures like a certain other adventure mods-focused company (just saying....)? :wink:
What do you mean no?

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by DCCfan » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:02 am

I like the idea of an annual and lots of adventures to choose from. I loved 3E but after not gaming for awhile (my gaming group broke up) I find myself not wanting to dig out all those books to get started again. When I was playing it didn't seem overwhelming. However after being removed from the game for a year I look back at all those books and think to myself... Do I really need all this to play!
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Arayis » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:52 am

goodmangames wrote:
JediOre wrote:How many pre-orders do you have so far Joseph?
Quite a few! Keep 'em coming and maybe I'll have to cook up some kind of reward. :)
Reward you say... Now were cooking! Preorder done! :wink:

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by goodmangames » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:37 am

Roman wrote:Just a thought--how well do the DCC modules convert to older rules sets or to C&C? (Or should I post that question in a different part of the forum?)
This is covered on another thread somewhere, but since it keeps coming up I'll answer it again. :) But in a slightly roundabout manner...

The reason DCC RPG uses 3E rules is twofold. First, I actually like the core of the 3E rules set. I think it's the most logical D&D system and easiest to grasp at its most fundamental level. By that I mean, once you strip out AoO's and feats and skill points and prestige classes and templates and the overly complex monster stats system and a few other things, the basic engine of "roll high on a d20 and beat a number" is very simple and works for combat, spells, skills, and everything else. I like this rules engine. I'm employing it in a much simpler manner than 3E but the core engine is the same.

Second, the 3E system was, at one time, One System To Rule Them All. If you guys were following internet chatter back in 2000/2001, many of the message boards were lamenting the fact that other systems were rapidly being subsumed by d20. Where in 1999 there were many independent systems, by 2001 there was Cthulhu D20, Fading Suns D20, Vampire D20, Deadlands D20 -- every publisher jumped on the bandwagon and converted their core system to the D20 mechanic. For a 4-5 year period, every non-D20 product was marginalized by distributors, retailers, and, ultimately, consumers. The same system fragmentation which is now lamented is actually little more than a return to the pre-2000 market conditions. But we've now realized the benefits of "system unification" in terms of creating a common player base, and the arguments against it from 2000/2001 suddenly seem less important than the benefits we received from it. Wasn't it nice when EVERYBODY knew the basics of D&D?? And now, 10 years later, "everybody" still remembers 3E -- whether they've moved on to 4E, Castles & Crusades, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, or whatever it may be -- and that d20 mechanic still provides a common bridge. Therefore, I think there's value in speaking this common language.

So, to get back to your specific question, there are "fiddly bits" in each variant of 3E. What's the real difference between Pathfinder and 3.5? The "fiddly bits." Can you pick up a 3.5 DCC module and immediately play it in Pathfinder? Yes, instantly. You'll get some "fiddly bits" wrong (skill points, spells might function slightly differently, feats changed a bit, etc.) but the core game experience will translate well and a good DM will be able to play it just as well as he could play an ad hoc adventure that he cooked up the night before. It's similar with other 3E variants -- again, not perfect, but doable -- and I suspect it will be similar for DCC-RPG-to-Pathfinder-to-3.5-to-C&C-to-whatever. I certainly hope people play DCC RPG because they actually enjoy it. But in the event that one of the appeals is also a compatibility element, I think it will be "close enough."

Tavis Allison, one of the early DCC RPG playtesters, actually tried this. He recently ran Castle Zagyg, a C&C adventure, using DCC RPG rules. It went well. I expect there will be more such tests, as well. See the link below for his results:

http://muleabides.wordpress.com/2010/12 ... nt-part-1/
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:20 pm

DCCfan wrote:I like the idea of an annual and lots of adventures to choose from. I loved 3E but after not gaming for awhile (my gaming group broke up) I find myself not wanting to dig out all those books to get started again. When I was playing it didn't seem overwhelming. However after being removed from the game for a year I look back at all those books and think to myself... Do I really need all this to play!
I've been my group's DM for the past 2+ years -- I typically restrict myself to the three Core books and one supplemental book (plus a module, if I'm running a module). This keeps my game bag from destroying my shoulder, and reduces the amount of page-flipping I need to do during play. Rotating through the supplemental material brings variety; I have now 18 books beyond the Core, and haven't worked with them all yet... But I'm very happy to just stick with the Core books.
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Roman » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:37 pm

goodmangames wrote: Tavis Allison, one of the early DCC RPG playtesters, actually tried this. He recently ran Castle Zagyg, a C&C adventure, using DCC RPG rules. It went well. I expect there will be more such tests, as well. See the link below for his results:

http://muleabides.wordpress.com/2010/12 ... nt-part-1/
Well I, for one, would love to playtest the DCC RPG rules using Goodman Games' older, already-printed DCC modules.

(Patiently, if eagerly, watching :shock: this space for more on playtesting the DCC RPG.)

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by xredjasonx » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:40 am

I'm baaaack! And wow, really looking forward to this one! Preorder coming promptly, next paycheck!

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:57 am

xredjasonx wrote:I'm baaaack! And wow, really looking forward to this one! Preorder coming promptly, next paycheck!
Welcome back. Your avatar is strangely familiar...
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Zend, Grave Digger, L • AC 9, 3 hp • R-1, F0, W1 • S14 A6 S9 P13 I13 L6
Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by Harley Stroh » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:18 pm

xredjasonx wrote:I'm baaaack! And wow, really looking forward to this one! Preorder coming promptly, next paycheck!
Welcome back, Red! Good to see you, sir!

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by UHF » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:25 am

I've played AD&D since it first came out. And I'm a 4e fan. I missed the 3.x generation for a variety of reasons. Today, I feel that the learning curve too steep. DCC RPG may solve that.

One thing that I've noticed is that many of the people who really were angry with the older editions had issues with players creating dominating characters. Optimized out of recognition, instant killers, or wizards of doom. Even as a 4e fan, I think this is a shame because really... magic feels more magical in other D&D. I really do miss that.

You could provide some balance options. (Note: I said options.) Just sub out the usual broken spells with kinder gentler versions... if the players want that option in their game.

Pathfinder went the route of beefing up the martial classes to try and compensate. I'm saying that you could provide an option to do the opposite, and weaken the spell casters. (Namely certain specific spells.)

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Re: Designer's Blog #1: What It Is, And What It Isn't

Post by finarvyn » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:38 pm

UHF wrote:You could provide some balance options. (Note: I said options.) Just sub out the usual broken spells with kinder gentler versions... if the players want that option in their game.

Pathfinder went the route of beefing up the martial classes to try and compensate. I'm saying that you could provide an option to do the opposite, and weaken the spell casters. (Namely certain specific spells.)
I've put some of this into the "house rule" category. If there are spells that I don't like for one reason or another, I just "fix" them or get rid of them altogether.

Too many gamers have this strange notion that if it's in the book it can't be changed. I've tinkered with rules for decades and the RPG-police have yet to break down my door.

Gotta go. Someone's knocking. :P
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