After reading both Jeff and Michael's recent posts about playing Goodman Games's upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG at GaryCon III, I am more convinced than ever about two things. First, I need to get my butt to GaryCon one of these days, though the expense and logistics of it make it difficult. Second, the DCC RPG is going to surprise a lot of people with how well designed and fun it is.
I know a lot of people (who haven't actually played the game) have expressed skepticism about the DCC RPG, especially given its use of Zocchi dice and lots of random charts. To date, though, I haven't read a single negative play report of the game. There have been criticisms and concerns, yes, as you'll read even in Jeff and Michael's posts, but pretty much everyone who's sat down at a table and played the DCC RPG seems to have had a great time doing so.
Is it possible the game is too complex? Sure. Is it possible that it's not very newbie friendly? Of course. But so what? I've mentioned before that a lot of people these days are way too quick to associate "old school" with "rules lite," when there's no necessary connection between the two. Likewise, despite the fact that old schoolers are, on the whole, not as obsessed with universal mechanics as are other roleplayers, why should it be a problem the DCC RPG uses lots of individualized charts for spells and other in-game effects? Again, charts are very old school. Ditto for the "funny" dice. Let's not forget that, in 1974, anything but a D6 would have been considered unusual.
I can't predict the future and, even if I could, I'm not sure I'd be able to say that the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG heralds a second Golden Age. More than likely, it'll be yet another quirky, imaginative game that finds and develops a lasting niche for itself, but that won't appeal to everyone, even those who self-identify as old schoolers. In that respect, I don't see it as any different than HackMaster or Castles & Crusades, except that Goodman Games has an established track record of supporting and promoting its products in a way that very few smaller RPG companies do. That alone gives the DCC RPG a leg up over other neo-old school games.
Will I pick it up? I honestly can't say. I'll admit that I'm very intrigued by it. Just about everything that critics have been citing as its negatives I find to be positives, right down to the use of the Zocchi dice. My only reservation is that I'm already playing OD&D and don't really need another fantasy RPG. I've already got one that I like and have tons of others -- Stormbringer, RuneQuest, DragonQuest, Chivalry and Sorcery -- that I'd love to play and won't likely ever get the chance to do so. Would one more hurt? Probably not, particularly when it's a game that likely has ideas and rules in it I can easily pilfer for importation into my OD&D campaign.
So I don't know what I'll do except keep a close eye on this game as it develops. The more I hear, the more I find myself considering grabbing a copy when it's released later this year.