Sunday, December 23, 2012

Of Wizards and Warriors in DCC

So, I haven't been abducted by aliens, joined a cult, or had my own private Mayan meltdown. I've been working my ass off. I found a job as a temp driver with FedEx and I've been working all the hours they will give me in hopes of impressing them enough to keep me. Now, as we approach the end of their "peak time" I am waiting to find out if I was impressive enough.

During my hiatus I downloaded the free pdf of Delving Deeper. I am quite impressed. It does what it set out to do, and does so beautifully. If LBB-style play is something you desire, definitely give it a look.

However, as I read it and marveled at the power of its simplicity, my mind kept wandering back to DCC. You see, DCC fulfills two of my most heart-felt desires:

  • Magic is unpredictable. Truly unpredictable. There are a slew of games that require some sort of spell check roll to successfully cast a spell. DCC turns that concept up to 11. Each spell has its own unique casting table. Where the "unpredicability" before was simply does-it-work-or-not, with DCC the result and effectiveness are inextricably bound together. Where there may be fairly static fumbles/criticals on the casting roll, DCC's casting roll is on a sliding scale. Catastrophe at one end, dizzying success at the other, with all other results in between. Variable, random, and undeniably exciting.
  • Warriors are the kings of the fight. No other class fights as good as the fighter. Fighters are truly deadly and not to be trifled with. They have variable to-hit bonuses and damage bonuses that scale with level. At first level their bonus is d3, so each turn they may enjoy a bonus to hit and damage (one roll determines both) of +1 to +3, plus STR bonus, if applicable. At 4th level the bonus has increased to d6, and by 10th, it is d10+4. So, your 10th level fighter will have, on average, a +9.5 to hit and damage, plus STR and/or magical bonuses. Sure, it could be a +5, but it could also be a +14. What really separates Warriors, though, are the Critical Tables. This is another concept where DCC takes a tried-and-true idea and cranks it to 11. Each class has its own crit table. Warriors (and dwarves who roll on the warrior tables, just not with quite as much potential for devastation) have three tables that they progress through as they gain levels. Additionally, Warriors roll increasingly better dice on their increasingly more lethal crit tables as they gain levels. Oh, and one more thing, their potential for crits goes up as they gain levels. It starts at 19-20, and tops out at 17-20 at 9th level.
Of course, there's much more to the game than this. It is incredibly easy to find all manner of reviews and breakdowns of the rules. This is just two of the things that DCC takes to another level, and I am very happy with how it was done.

Now, I'm going to do a post on Wizards' spells. It was some crap I was writing for this post and realized it needed to be its own thing. So, let's proceed, shall we?

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