Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

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Ken Winland
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Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by Ken Winland » Tue May 03, 2011 7:18 pm

Howdy!

Does Goodman Games have any plans to go back to the "classic" graphics of the original 3.5 D&D DCC (the ones that resembled the AD&D mods from the later 70s)? Perhaps for the DCC RPG material?

The 4th edition DCC (#54 on up?) just do NOT seem to be anywhere near as nostalgic, nor exciting...

Ken

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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed May 04, 2011 5:56 am

The first few module covers have been revealed, and the cover of the rule book is on the main page of the site. Here's a link to a thread with the covers...

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/vie ... =60&t=9295

You also may want to check out this section of the boards for discussion directly related to the new RPG: http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=60
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Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
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Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by finarvyn » Thu May 05, 2011 4:40 pm

An interesting point. The early DCC modules had a very "old school" look, then the 4E ones tended to be more modern in appearance. While the preview images of the DCC RPG modules look pretty darned spiffy, they have diverged a little in look from the early DCC ones.

I'm not sure which is "better" (early DCC or preview DCC RPG, but not 4E) but they are certainly different.
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu May 05, 2011 5:34 pm

The DCC RPG is not a D&D spin-off in the same way that the early DCC modules were -- I like the look of both in part for conveying what they are...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com

Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
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
Dejah, Ropemaker, C • AC 10, 2 hp • R0, F1, W-1 • S8 A12 S15 P7 I11 L7

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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by finarvyn » Tue May 17, 2011 2:29 am

GnomeBoy wrote:The DCC RPG is not a D&D spin-off in the same way that the early DCC modules were -- I like the look of both in part for conveying what they are...
I've recently pulled out my box of old dusty "monochrome" AD&D modules from TSR and it's amazing how their look compares to modern modules.

1. They are so thin. At first I thought I only had the covers for a couple, so I had to check and the pages were still inside. Many of them are only 16 pages long!

2. They have a simple layout -- basic artwork on the cover, basic map, mostly text inside.

I'm not sure I want to return to exactly this model, but it's worth looking at. The problem may be that today's modern gamer seems to want more flash, even if he's trying to "retro" his game. Hopefuly the new DCC modules will copy the overall style of the older modules, but with more flash on the cover.

Just my two coppers.
Marv / Finarvyn
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by jmucchiello » Tue May 17, 2011 4:46 pm

finarvyn wrote:I've recently pulled out my box of old dusty "monochrome" AD&D modules from TSR and it's amazing how their look compares to modern modules.

1. They are so thin. At first I thought I only had the covers for a couple, so I had to check and the pages were still inside. Many of them are only 16 pages long!
Welcome to 1979. G1 and G2 are only 8 pages each, right? It's funny I remember having this exact same revelation around 2002-3 when I was looking for something old school to bring into 3e. Why was hard to remember how slim some of those things are? I mean, I guess we just didn't think about it when we first thumbed through those adventures.
2. They have a simple layout -- basic artwork on the cover, basic map, mostly text inside.
I'd actually like to see something like Tomb of Horrors. Half the book is lean streamlined adventure. Half is visual artwork intended for the players to see. Of course, it was 50/50 in S1 because it was intended as a puzzle dungeon. But having 4-8 pages of player handouts would be cool.

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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by finarvyn » Tue May 17, 2011 4:49 pm

jmucchiello wrote:
2. They have a simple layout -- basic artwork on the cover, basic map, mostly text inside.
I'd actually like to see something like Tomb of Horrors. Half the book is lean streamlined adventure. Half is visual artwork intended for the players to see.
Oh, that would be awesome and it's a fantastic suggestion! Can you imagine a new ToH-style killer-dungeon for DCC? Makes me shiver just to think abut it!
Marv / Finarvyn
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by goodmangames » Tue May 17, 2011 9:01 pm

It is inspiring to read about your "re-discovery" of thin modules. :) I also love them. The adventures for DCC RPG will be similarly thin.

In 3E, a module that could be played in 2-3 sessions took about 20,000 words of text, which is 32 pages in print. The stat blocks were long, every little thing had a stat block (including traps and NPCs), and there was usually an appendix or two with the new monsters or magic items.

In 4E, the stat blocks got even longer, and the game got even slower, such that 32 pages took longer to play but provided even less in terms "meat" or plot.

In DCC RPG, the stat blocks are usually 2-3 lines long and there aren't that many of them; I'm ditching the appendices (when every creature in every encounter is unique, it's kinda pointless to compile them all again at the end...); and there's just a lot less "miscellaneous stuff" required compared to more recent editions.

Meaning, in practical terms, a module that typically plays in about 2 sessions takes only 10,000 words or roughly 16 pages in print. This same module would be around 3 sessions in third edition (because combat takes longer) and much longer in 4E.

So when you first check out the DCC RPG modules, you'll have the same comment - "It's so thin!" Not much reading required, easy to jump right in, and good for several sessions at only 16 pages.

Right now I'm also toying with even shorter, one-session modules as well. They're fun to run at cons and I think would be great for one-shots, too. I will do at least one module that actually consists of two 8-page adventures, each good for about one session.

And the best part is you can roll up a character in about 10 minutes...you don't even need pregens for a one-shot!

Here's to a return of the 16-page module...
Joseph Goodman
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by geordie racer » Wed May 18, 2011 3:23 am

Pleased to hear it!

Slow combat and bloated statblocks were two of the reasons I steered clear of 3e. Instead I DM'ed stuff like T&T's Rat On A Stick, which if memory serves me right, was a 10 level dungeon in 30 pages.
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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by nanstreet » Wed May 18, 2011 7:54 am

goodmangames wrote:In DCC RPG, the stat blocks are usually 2-3 lines long and there aren't that many of them;
Excellent. Makes me want to check out DCC modules for this reason alone. Those 3e and 4e wall-o-text stat blocks are so offputting, I don't think I own any modules at all based on those systems. I loved how easy it was to read the early D&D monsters, and how easy it was when writing my own adventures to just scribble in a few lines all the relavent information on a creature.

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Re: Going back to the "classic" DCC module look...?

Post by finarvyn » Thu May 19, 2011 5:03 pm

goodmangames wrote:In 3E, a module that could be played in 2-3 sessions took about 20,000 words of text, which is 32 pages in print. The stat blocks were long, every little thing had a stat block (including traps and NPCs), and there was usually an appendix or two with the new monsters or magic items.

In 4E, the stat blocks got even longer, and the game got even slower, such that 32 pages took longer to play but provided even less in terms "meat" or plot.
Joseph, as usual you've hit the nail square on the head! A module doesn't have to be big in order to be fun. The early TSR monochrome modules were short. The old Judges Guild modules were short. Heck, there were some awesome module-style adventures in Dragon Magazine and they weren't too long.

The big problem with new modules is the stat-blocks. What happens is pages are filled up with minutia and this artificially bloats a module's length and page count, which translates into a more expensive module.

Many of the books in Appendix N were collections of short stories, which means short adventures. Having a bunch of short modules certainly would match the style of the DCC RPG! :D
Marv / Finarvyn
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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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