Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Impressions of Dungeon Crawl Classics

I have been slowly working my way through Dungeon Crawl Classics between changing diapers and starring into the mid-distance while I beg my 3 month old son to fall asleep. I'm about 75 pages in and wanted to record some of my impressions so far.

  • I like the idea of a 0-level character without class as a starting point. When I was cobbling together a basic fantasy RPG a while back, toyed with this very idea, although I never thought to give each player four such characters with the intention of killing of most of them by the end of the session. The character funnel seems like a cool idea, but it may quickly loose its appeal when a higher level character dies and is replaced with cannon fodder midway through a campaign.
  • I'm a big fan of the experience point system. I haven't gotten to the part that explains how to calculate experience rewarded to players, but I'm loving that all of the numbers involved are very low. One of the very first things I thought when I saw my first D&D rule book was that the experience points for each level could be divided 100 and be much easier to manage.
  • One of the things I like about Savage Worlds is that every single mechanic in the game is intended to be fun. DCC is the same way, but with the mechanics rooted in old-school games. Rolling for a warrior's attack bonus every round is a great example. Although I haven't gotten to it yet, the rules for magic seem to be very fun, rather than the book keeping of other games.
  •  Demi-humans seem to be much, much more powerful than the human counterparts.One would need to make good use of the random occupation chart to keep things under control.
  • I don't know how one could run this game without multiple copies of the game book or both the physical book and a PDF. There are plenty of good resources online, but the long spell descriptions, various crit tables and other stuff makes it seem impossible to play the game without printing out pages upon pages of reference sheets for each character. Maybe I'm over thinking this, but I don't want to have to slow down play to look up every spell, crit table or rule for a class when the players could do that for me.

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