Friday, June 10, 2011

DCC Miner for Hire

Playing with DCC beta rules tonight, making a character. Certainly a quick process - took maybe 10 minutes or so. Here's the character in question ...

Dwarven Miner

Strength 12 [+0]
Agility 9 [+0]
Stamina 8 [-1]
Personality 7 [-1]
Intelligence 14 [+1]
Luck 11 [+0] Affects mounted attack rolls

Reflex +0
Willpower -1
Fortitude -1

Languages: Common, dwarf

Hit Points: 2
Attack: +0
Money: 6 cp
XP: -100

Pick (as club, 1d4 damage), lantern, large sack, chalk, rations (day), torches (5)

Wow - this dude is sooooo not seeing 1st level. Still, imagine if he did make it - and I think that's the point!

Image by Tony DiTerlizzi - one of my all-time faves.


  1. Thanks for the reminder of why I hate 3d6 in order and the kind of random character it produces.

    Now in fairness 3d6 in order isn't so bad when its something like OD&D, Holmes or White Box where stats don't matter but for a game that uses B/X style stats, well yuck.

    With the current system what I think people will do is not bother naming the characters and use the weakest as fodder, keeping the ones closest to what they want in reserve as much as possible. This won't always work of course but it seems the best strategy.

    Now a version of this system with 4d6 drop one arrange as desired or Hill Cantons L0 system and 1 d6 Hit Die would be OK. Still kind of scary but playable.

    I think (assuming 1 guy was the intent) allow max on the dice at L0 and roll the L1 die (or just give Greyhawk Average) or give it max if larger than a D6. Its about a 4 or 5 point kicker which isn't too bad all things considered and I like the symmetry.

    I also kind of like the gear system though I'd throw in a couple of minor extra items, maybe a knife and a bowl and mug or the like. Basically stuff everybody has. Hey you never know it could come in handy.

  2. Wow - this dude is sooooo not seeing 1st level. Still, imagine if he did make it - and I think that's the point!

    I think that is the point -- and it's a pretty good one, in my opinion. Lots of people seem to misinterpreting the high lethality of DCC RPG wrt 0-level characters as evidence that it's either a parody game or drunk on gamer machismo. I don't think either is the case. Rather, my feeling is that the "character funnel" (which is a terrible name) is intended to create interesting PCs through play rather than by conscious design beforehand.

    I don't know about you, but I'd never create that dwarf miner to play if given the choice. However, I'd love to play such a character if he was the sole survivor of my four 0-level PCs, whether it was by dint of good play or sheer luck. That'd, in my view, make him far more interesting than a character with more conventionally decent scores whose background I created beforehand.

    I think, ultimately, the character funnel will appeal to players who like to be surprised, even in character generation and who delight in the oracular power of dice. It's not for everyone, certainly, but I find it very nifty myself.

  3. A tiny nitpick: Bombo should know another language in addition to Common and Dwarf because of his Intelligence bonus (+1). Demihumans with Int of 8 or higher automatically know Common and their racial language.

    (This is all fresh in my head because I made my 4 funnel characters last night.)

  4. 5Stone - I'm guessing this game concept is not one that you would enjoy, though I'm sure you could houserule things to make it align more to modern sensibilities about character survival.

    James - Agree. I have a penchant for odd characters and surprises, so this game works for me on that level. I also like the idea of a different play experience, as a group throws these characters over and over again at a dungeon in hopes a character finally making it through. Hails back to the hobby in its earliest form.

    Blizack - Yeah, I wasn't sure on that one. I also wasn't sure if my dwarf miner got any dwarf abilities, since dwarf is a class rather than race in this game, and my 0-level character doesn't technically have a class yet. I need to read the rules in more depth, though, so the answers are probably there and I just haven't found them yet.

  5. 3d6 in order or
    4d6 drop the lowest in order is playable

    if and only if you allow opportunities
    to increase ability scores during game play

    a low ability score justifies a character pursuing the unsteady life of an adventurer after a modest level of success at his previous profession.

    Low STRENGTH does not have to imply the character is a weakling, but could reflect a prior shoulder or back injury.

    Low DEXTERITY is not necessarily a lack of coordination, but could represent vertigo, knee injury or absence of economy of motion.

    Low CONSTITUTION could represent a respiratory disease such as asthma or would simulate the lack of emotional fortitude from either phobia or post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Low INTELLIGENCE does not have to imply that a character is a simpleton; it may merely represent illiteracy or overzealous superstition.

    Low WISDOM could signify a character struggling with the familiar problems of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.) and is not necessarily a lack of insight or perception.

    Low CHARISMA does not have to imply that a character is ugly or deformed; it could represent lack of etiquette or an overbearing ego (think of Dr. Cox or Dr. House on the popular TV shows).

  6. Matt - The question of whether 0-level demihumans start with the demihuman racial abilities was something not discussed in the DCC beta. Goodman has stated on the forums that this was an oversight and that they should have them at the start of play.

    The beta's already a lot different from the playtest I played in at the beginning of the year, and from the forums, it's already looking like there will be some substantial changes from the beta to the final published version. Pretty cool to see it take shape.

  7. Blizack - Sounds reasonable and makes sense. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

    Clovis - I like the concept there!


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