Sunday, July 29, 2012

DCC thoughts - Now that I have played a bit

Alright, last time I wrote about my love of DCC I had not actually played yet. Now I have. Not a ton mind you, but played I have. To be specific I have run DCC three times (once in person, twice online), and played once online.

And now, some random blatherings:

Ability Checks

Well, this is a d20 game with no skills, so I find myself calling for a lot of ability checks. This is partly a practice thing but I'm not especially consistent yet about which scores and what DCs. If you don't know, "skill checks" in DCC are made with a d20 if you are reasonably trained (by occupation or class) or d10 if you are not. I like ability checks over skill checks because it is less rulesy but I'm not positive that I prefer it over the flat die rolls for things like listening in pre-d20 D&D. I do very much like it for thieving abilities though. DCC offers an excellent thief system if you ask me (thieves have a list of skills that they get bonuses in by level).

Saving Throws

DCC uses the modern three save system. This has pluses and minuses. I like it because, well, there is something a little funny for having people save against breath weapons or whatever every time they are dodging something. So, selecting which save is easy and non-arbitrary, the DM needs to determine if the character is able to dodge, and whether it is a physical or mental effect. Easily covers any scenario. It gets finicky with DCs though and rapidly leads to DC escalation. Someone out there in the OSR blogosphere (I don't remember who, sorry) wrote about how save or die is not such a big deal in OSR games because in the traditional saving throw system your odds always get better over time, whereas there is a DC arms race in modern games. This is potentially problematic.

Combat

Mighty deeds of arms are fantastic. Fighters (and dwarves) get to do cool things but there is not a lot of looking in the book needed (remember that the mighty deeds in the books are intended as examples, not as rules). Having the critical and fumble tables right in front of you is a MUST.

Magic

Awesome, but very table heavy. Like the criticals and fumbles, having your spell tables at hand is necessary.  The rules themselves work well and are relatively non-complicated. There is a fair amount of up-front work require of wizards.


And as a final note, I have been collecting the Goodman Games adventures as they come out. So far they are excellent. Some people don't like published adventures ("I can do better myself!") - I was of that camp as a kid - but as an adult, I love collecting modules, and these are first rate!

1 comment:

Brendan said...

Interestingly, the D&D Next skill system, as it stands now, is almost identical to the DCC skill system. Your background gives a few bonuses to appropriate skills, but everything is just an ability score check. The only real difference is the untrained is a d10 rule from DCC.