Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DCC Tables

A lot has been made about all the tables in DCC. The opinions vary from bleakly negative to wildly positive. I figured I would toss my 2 coppers into the pot.

On first blush, I thought they looked like great fun. The "over the top" aspect looked like it could bring some laughs, not to mention some moments of genuine relief when an insanely high roll turns a disaster into a victory. Of course, it can go the other way, too, but that's the stuff of high drama.

Then, I started thinking about it. There is a table for almost everything. That can lead to a lot of table look-ups, which has the potential to slow a game down. Adding to that is the fact that most of the high drama moments I mentioned could having the energy sapped from them by a drawn-out table sequence (Spell Duels, I'm looking at you).

Now, I'm sure I've left you with the impression that I'm no longer a fan of all the tables. For a brief moment that was true. I had started buying in to all the nay-sayers and my own apprehension. I had another epiphany, though. The tables are used in relatively small doses. For example, every single spell has its own casting table. That comes up to over 220 pages, just for the Wizard spells. There are 5 pages of critical hit tables just for characters. The thing that I realized is that very few of the tables are actually necessary at any given time. A Wizard character is only going to know a small handful of spells. A character is only going to need one critical hit table at a time, and most of the classes will only ever need one critical table. Once that realization had dawned on me, I was off to the races with DCC.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I printed out the reference sheets from People Them with Monsters. I finally printed them out, with a twist. I found some blue paper laying around and printed the cover on that. It gave  it a certain old school vibe of its own, printed in grayscale on a sheet of solid color. I also printed What to Roll, which I used for my back cover.

I also did a mod on this limited edition cover to use as a cover for my spell tables booklet. If I ever do run the game, especially on a regular basis, I'll have a copy of the Tables for the players, plus one for my quick reference. The spell tables will be mine. The players will learn the extents of their spells through trial-and-error.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mongoose Legend

I was meandering around the net this morning and stumbled across some mention of Legend. It is Mongoose's open-source version of RuneQuest. Mongoose did not renew their license for RQ after RQ2, instead opting to do their own thing with it. It is really cool that they went open-source with it. The coolest thing, though, is that the core book is available for $1 at DriveThru RPG. I snapped that up when I first read about it. I even had it printed. Then I promptly forgot all about it. Until this morning.

In a nutshell, if you like RQ, you will likely enjoy Legend as well. Sure, there may be some points of friction, but it is still the same basic percentile system purring away under the hood. I'm no authority on RQ. It was the equivalent of an Epic Quest for me and my buddy John to cobble together enough hand-written notes and photocopied pages to play D&D. We weren't about to abandon all that hard-won loot for another system.

In later years I wanted to try RQ. A roommate I had at one time had the 2nd edition rules and we tried to make up characters. By the time he got to the part about me being able to join a guild and take out a student loan (which is exactly how his description hit me), I was glassy eyed. This was when my gaming circle was into AD&D and had been for years. We could go from "Hey, let's play D&D" to a finished party of 1st level wanna-be's in no time. So, that flirtation with RQ was short.

Then, Avalon Hill came out with RQ3. Little known secret: My gaming career started with Avalon Hill wargames. Tobruk was an early favorite, along with Tactics II and Blitzkrieg. Anyway, I liked the look of the blurb on the box, and I was an Avalon Hill fanboy. Unfortunately, my group was D&D or die, so RQ3 never really got any traction. I bought a lot of the supplements (because that's what I do), and I really liked the feel of the game. It seemed to me to be very clunky (based solely on reading), but I broke it out every now and then to see if my perceptions had changed. I thought Glorantha was really interesting, even though there were a few things that offended my sensibilities. I'm not sure if the things were "true" Glorantha, or part of Avalon Hill's take on it. Either way, by and large, I loved it as something to read and feel inspired by.

Which brings me back to Legend. As you may glean from this rambling monologue, I have wanted to like RuneQuest for a long time. So far I am happy with Legend. I haven't gotten very far into re-reading the pdf, but I like what I'm seeing. Plus, the pdf is produced in digest format, which I love. The cover (as seen at the top of this post) is very sublimated, which makes reading the game in public much more "stealthy". The core book is complete in and of itself. At least it is sold that way. It is well-supported, however, with several supplements (available in pdf, though not for $1, they are still reasonably priced). There is also a fairly active forum, located here.

For a slim buck, this is worth a look, especially if you're curious about RQ.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Massive Dice

I finally decided to order some dice for DCC. I only ordered d14s and d30s. I can "split" the d14 for a d7. I know I can simulate the d30 with a d10 and d6 as an "adder", but I didn't want to. I didn't get the d16 or d24 because I was worried they may look too similar to other dice (maybe I over-thought that one). Anyway, I ordered them Sunday and they arrived yesterday. That is freakishly fast. Oh, and they are HUGE.

Here are a couple of pics, one alongside a d20 and d10, in front of my DCC tome, you know, for perspective. The other is my dice box with the new boulders occupying almost 20% of the box.

I love being a game geek. A lot has made of nostalgia. This whole DCC experience has really taken me back, right down to having to mail order things I want for the game. This is so awesome and I am loving it.