Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Desire for Options

It has been fascinating to watch the birth of Dungeon Crawl Classics. The game has been enthusiastically received by its fan base, and well, the game is fantastic. Goodman Games has a series of modules lined up (a few are out already) as do a few other publishers. There is a fanzine, and at least one setting kickstarter. Goodman Games has a decent listing of these projects here. Not to mention the blogs and forum posts.

The thing that has been really interesting for me was the desire for among the fans of the game for character options. From what I have been seeing, many of the projects (other than the modules) are providing options, and people got straight to work the forums creating alternate classes, skill systems, new spells, etc.

I think I have gone on the record as loathing too many options. DCC has 7 very distinct classes, and that seems like plenty to me. In fact characters within the same class have lots of opportunity to be very different from each other (more on this later). I think the skill system is fine (it is basically the AD&D secondary skill system). There are lots of spells already (they take up at least half the book). I certainly don't begrudge anyone the right to play DCC however they like, to tinker, to add, to subtract, to completely change. In fact the game is somewhat unusual in that tinkering and house-ruling is given official blessing in the rulebook.

The seemingly massive desire to add options to what is theoretically an OSR game has made me stop and think. That desire for options that creates the rules-bloat of 3e and Pathfinder, the baroque eclecticism of 2e, is present in the OSR as well.

Where does it come from?

Upcoming I will have my thoughts on the hidden character options of DCC.

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