Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DCC RPG Playtest Files Available for Download

As announced earlier in the week, Goodman Games has released the playtest files for its upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classic Roleplaying Game. You can get the PDF here. I should note that these files are not the full DCC RPG. They are enough to play the game for the purposes of playtesting the game, but they are not everything that will appear in the final release. Monsters and spells, for example, are much smaller in number in these files than they will be in the full game.

My quick impression: the game is gorgeous, with some of the best neo-old school art I've seen in years. In fact, I might be willing to say that it's one of the nicest looking RPG products of any type produced in a while. Seriously, the art is really, really good. Like it or dislike it, Goodman clearly gets the old school esthetic like few others and the DCC RPG shows that in spades.

The game system itself is a lot less complex than I'd expected it to be. It's main turn-off for some might be the preponderance of tables, since, for example, every spell requires its own unique table to adjudicate its effects. Likewise, critical hit tables are divided by class, so there are several of those, too. Again, this will either intrigue or repulse depending on one's own tastes. Not having played it, I find myself intrigued by the conventional wisdom-defying boldness of this design choice, but the proof will be in the playing.

In general, though, the DCC RPG looks like it'll be, at the very least, a much talked about game, since its design and presentation are a direct challenge to the trends in the industry for the last decade or more. I suspect it's a game about which there will be little middle ground in terms of reaction: one will either love it or hate it. At the moment, I tend toward the former; time will tell whether that tendency solidifies or not.

85 comments:

  1. Reading through it right now. I'm a fan of 4e simplicity, but this may be the kind of controlled chaos I need to try an old school game.

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  2. It does look good from a game standpoint- I'd personally prefer MUCH less art. I love old school art, but most of it I found not to my tastes. The "funny" game mechanic related pieces and Holloway picture of the 0 level "butcher,baker, and candlestick maker" were the only things that really grabbed my attention in a good way. The overabundance of art makes for a cluttered presentation-the book as a whole is pretty gaudy looking IMO.

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  3. I totally agree with you on the art. Peter Mullen's work is especially good, but it's all pretty amazing.

    My only concern is that there isn't anything about random encounters or dungeon stocking. I'm hoping that's just because it's a beta version, but the text in the monster section makes me worry.

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  4. My only concern is that there isn't anything about random encounters or dungeon stocking. I'm hoping that's just because it's a beta version, but the text in the monster section makes me worry.

    I suspect that's because it's the playtest, but it'd worth asking on the Goodman forums about this.

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  5. The overabundance of art makes for a cluttered presentation-the book as a whole is pretty gaudy looking IMO.

    That's a reasonable reaction, I think. I'm not a huge lover of over-abundant art in RPGs myself, but I was so blown away by how much old school art there is in DCC RPG that I wasn't bothered by it. In fact, I welcomed it.

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  6. The game system itself is utterly not to my taste, but I will agree with you, James, that this is one beautiful looking project. In particular, Mullen has really outdone himself.

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  7. I must say I'm intrigued. We often use effect tables in our game (death & dying for eg.) so having varying effects on criticals and especially spells is really interesting. Our players are currently 4-6 level so we were about to recruit henchmen and run a side-adventure with them. Savage Worlds was bandied about, but maybe we can try these rules instead.

    Even if we weren't to use these rules, I think I'd still grab the crit and fumble tables.

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  8. I have yet to look through the rules carefully, but I must agree about the art -- it's wonderful and evocative!

    And I was pleased to see that the DCCRPG was dedicated to Jim Roslof.

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  9. Lots of gorgeous artwork. The actual layout is still a bit rough. I hope they make the tables look nicer and add a bit more space between the columns of text.

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  10. just looked threw it and i must say, way too much art. it is almost like the art is hiding the rules. a lot of the art just isn't that good also. i was hoping for the art work to be a little more refined.

    their spells seem a little complicated also. i wonder how they do in a game. too much rolling of dice for me.

    i'm not a big chart person so all the charts didn't sit well with me.

    one thing is true tho. if you like all that stuff you will probably like the game. if not it wont be for you. i don't think their will be any middle ground on it.

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  11. From what I have read it seems like a fun game. What I like most about it so far is that it seems like you could read the rules, once, and master most of what is going on. Even better, you could explain the rules to a new player while he is rolling up his 0-level characters and convey that same level of mastery by the time he is done. So the game seems to lend itself very well to quick pick up games.

    I don't mind all the tables but I do think they will eventually wear pretty thin. After a few games it seems like you will be familiar enough with them that they won't seem novel any longer. Inevitably I see more and more tables being created to account for this as supplements are released and the combats becoming an exercise in page and book flipping.

    I was disappointed in the monster section though. I thought one of the big selling points to the game was going to be when you ran into a creature the players would have no idea what it was or how to handle it. This doesn't seem the case with the monsters in the beta at least. For the most part they are all the same monsters we've been fighting for years with the same abilities. Yes, the rules of the game are new so maybe you don't know exactly how the basilisk gaze works mechanically but you still know it has one.

    Despite the fact that the game assumes the "Judge" has the knowledge to build and stock a dungeon (it explicitly states this) I can't help but feel like there is a heavy dependence on pre-published adventures. I can't quite explain why this is the case, and I don't think it's bad I like pre-published adventurers, but I do still feel it. Something about the way the level progression works, especially including the deadliness of 0 level I believe is the root of it. Since the game flat out states that many 0-level characters will die and many after that level as well it's hard to picture exaclty how a Judge would stock a dungeon. If the game assumes death is rampant it makes it difficult to determine when a dungeon is too hard, too easy, or just right. Pre-published adventures will no doubt illuminate this but I can't help but feel they will be required to fully enjoy the game. Which again, is fine by me, I just did not think this would be the case.

    I like the simplicity of alignment and the way it is used in spells. I also like the idea that your alignment will effect your character throughout his career both mechanically and spiritually (for lack of a better term). In fact I may start doing something like this in my 3E games. Of course it didn't take long for "Cthulhu" to be mentioned by name. I guess baking Lovecraft into every RPG is required now for some reason.

    I'll read the entire manuscript over the weekend. All in all it looks like a fun dungeon crawling game.

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  12. As a DM who has a group of power gaming munchkin players who revel in dying in droves (they refuse to run away). This looks like a fun break from our current game to just build a bunch of low levels and pray they survive. The Funneling part is intriguing and accurate. I am enjoying reading this quite a bit.

    This does not feel like you could run some massive, epic, far reaching campaign from these rules but providing a "Dungeon of Death" and let the PC's run in and loot the place silly. I get the feel of a Dungeon Keeper type gameplay from this where the PCs are the heroes and the DM is stacking monsters in their way :D

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  13. Darn it looks good enough for me to part with the funds to pick up the full version.

    It actually reminds me of a variation of the game as played back in the olden days, they've succeeded in that regard.

    0-level nobodies clawing their way to the middle appeals as well.

    The magic system while familiar is still just different enough to make the game different. Each spell is customized, there can be fumbles and worse along with a range of effects. Magic looks wild and dangerous it's not generic push-button magi-tech. Would you really want to stand next to a guy you met at the local pub shooting fire out of his hands?

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  14. Nonunfied XP tables. Bleh, those gotta go. Too much of a Pain in the Butt keeping track of what level an elf gets a level vs a cleric. 3.x had it right to standardize and I'm going to go with that. First house rule done!

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  15. I've only done a quick skim but it's obvious somebody is a fan of Rolemaster! I will definitely be picking up the final prodcut!

    As for the art, it is very cool. I especially like the homages to some of the original TSR art. As to the amount, I wouldn't get my panties in a bind about it until the final release. I'm guessing they're using the demo to showcase the kick-ass artwork.

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  16. I was download number 2356.

    The cartoons are great. My favorite feature of DCCRPG is the plethora of character record sheets at the back, each designed to accommodate a particular class or race. Very old school!

    I presume the final version will refine the placement of the art. Wow, Goodman went hog-wild on the artwork, including a smorgasbord of old-school homages.

    I was leery of DCCRPG because of the d20 mechanics (which i'm no fan of), but having looked at the beta, I really want to play-test this game!

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  17. It definitely has some clever ideas; I was particularly surprised at how they actually made good use of the Zocchi dice with action dice, and I also liked the idea of the Fighter Deeds; really presented a new way of doing maneuvers. Still, I don't think this game holds much interest for me to actually buy and run, but I wouldn't mind trying it out in someone else's game.

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  18. Read it last night and was disapointed. Didn't get why thiefs get different % chance on skill based on alignment ( why not just pick a career path), didn't understand why halflings get a skill bonus to stealth skill and not just a hide in shadows move silently % chance, don't like the warrior extra dice instead of a flat attack bonus, the deeds system was not my cup of tea, the way clerics heal their own alignment better ( well Jim's cleric is lawful so I guess I better be lawful), or the luck mechanic. All easily house ruled.

    Magic system though is the reason I will buy the game and house rule it into regular dnd.

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  19. Well, all I can say is wow. So far it has exceeded my expectations, and I've been lurking on the DCC RPG forums for some time now.

    Artwise, I'm stoked - quantity and quality wise.

    Rulewise - wow. I thought I'd find the d20 legacy irksome, but the rules as a whole just make me want to roll with it.

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  20. So after another read I still like it and think a one off game or multiple session dungeon delve would be fun. It doesn't seem to me like a long term campaign system but it also doesn't seem to try to be, so that's fine.

    I still don't feel like I have an answer to my primary question about who will play this game. I'm not sure who the game is targeted at. No one who enjoys 4E is even going to entertain playing this, no way. This is definitely an "old guy" RPG which I am both proud and sorry to say.

    One question: how can Goodman declare "critical hit and fumble descriptions" as intellectual property? Seems a bit of a stretch to me.

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  21. Hummm really not convinced about the D20 DC mechanic.
    I think I would play it, but won't buy it to run a game of my own.
    Might leech the magic system though.

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  22. Goodman can declare all he wants, just pickup the old Rolemaster crit charts and he won't have a leg to stand on.

    Don't like the % stuff with the rogues, that just seems so wonky. I remember that from 1/2E but I was glad to get rid of it and standardize on one die for everything.


    Personally this is a good BETA and I'm looking it as such.

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  23. I never thought I'd say this about a game book, but it's got too much art! The art is generally pretty good, and does a good job of capturing an old school aesthetic, but there's just way too much of it -- I find it a little overwhelming.

    I really, really want to like this game, but the weird dice are a huge turn-off for me. I don't own any of them and have no intention of buying any. Sure, I know for most of them, there are inelegant work-arounds, but what about the d30?

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  24. @cibet - I don't know about that. I very much enjoy 4E, but am excited as hell about this. Enjoying 4E is not mutually exclusive with enjoying other types/styles of gaming.

    I haven't had a chance to really give this a good solid read at all, (because I'm at work) but what I've seen so far, and what I've read here and on the DCC forums has me really excited. I have a feeling me and another friend are going to "inflict" this on our gaming group very soon. I have a feeling they won't mind one bit.

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  25. Love the spell system, this is the true heir to 1e ad&d. This is the 2nd edition I've waited 20 years for.

    It boggles my mind people are saying there's too much art.

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  26. It boggles my mind people are saying there's too much art.

    It's an odd criticism, to be sure, especially when old school stuff is so often criticized for having too little art.

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  27. Or sub-par art, which you won't find in DCCRPG

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  28. Joseph Goodman has been very receptive to feedback given so far in the pre-Beta discussions on the DCC forum, so anyone with opinions and ideas, now's your chance....

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  29. Granted, I may be a little biased because I do art for the retro-gaming community, but how can there be "too much" art? More art means there's more cool images to peruse while reading over the rules. It's as if some of you are suggesting that Goodman had to make a decision on whether to put ALL the rules in the book and leave out some of the art or just went, "Wow, I've got so much cool art, I'm gonna leave out some of the text/rules to squeeze it all in." Goodman has used so many various artists in this book that even if you don't like a particular artist' style, there's plenty more that have to strike your fancy amongst the rest.

    Every D&D based book from the game's inception has had a decent amount of artwork in them. To me, it seems that Goodman was gracious in providing this much artwork to go along with the text (purchasing art for publishing isn't cheap.) Art fires the imagination and suggest ideas in a visual way that some, who may not be as imaginative as others, can grasp and get ideas from. Also, at the end of the day, I've always found it interesting to see another artist' interpretation of a classic monster, setting or situation in a gaming world.

    Saying there's too much art is like winning the lottery and griping about having to pay the taxes on it. It's there for you to enjoy and to enhance the reading experience of the rules in the book. I think J. Goodman has done an excellent job at doing just that.

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  30. Yeesh. Sorry for disliking too much art. I'd rather see less art, like say the Moldvay/Cook rulebooks. A few pictures here and there, but I cannot stand rulebooks with art all over the place- ESPECIALLY if I don't care for it cos it can totally ruin my own imagination/perception of the game(C&C/Peter Bradley, I'm looking at you).

    This book has alot of art I don't care for- so I'd rather see much less of it. Not to mention it messes with the layout. How hard is that to understand?

    If it was full of 3E DungeonPunk, I bet most of you would be changing your tune.

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  31. I also find the "too much art" complaint a little odd. But I'm willing to bet that it won't seem that way once the complete text is added.

    I'm very excited to try this Beta out in a playtest session. I haven't been this excited about a new rules set for a long time, and a large part of that is the magic system. Charts are fun, you can just print them out no problem.

    The Zocchi dice might be a bit of a sticking point, since I'm not likely to want to buy more than one set, and if they're needed frequently I could see it getting annoying passing them around.

    I have no idea whether this will appeal to "new school" players or not, but I'd like to *think* it will, given that its mechanics are a little more systematized than the typical Old School game.

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  32. This book has alot of art I don't care for

    Would you be willing to cite an example?

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  33. So far from what I have seen, I like this more and more. It uses a basic system and has a charts and tables system for it's mechanics that is easy to use and understand. In my opinion it needs some better utility and presentation (especially for each spell having it's own list). Maybe in a GM screen?

    I was skeptical and admittedly critical of the tone of the artwork defining the feel of the game outright, but after seeing the beta, I have a better understanding of how it all fits togather. (BTW Cthulhu as a Neutral god??)
    Oh well, pencil me in for this one. BTW I like the abundant art!

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  34. i am starting to wonder if people love the art and how much their is just because it has art from people that did the old art for tsr. when i started reading it i thought i was gonna be reading rules, but it seemed like i got an art book instead.

    i agree with litrtrdnck. if this was wizards of the cost people would be having a fit because their is so much art in it.

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  35. Well, lost me on page 6 ("The Core Mechanic"). But I'm not the target audience since I already have my 1e stuff.

    Other turn offs are the broken alignment system (we tried Law, Neutral, Chaos and it don't work - either add Good and Evil - or use just them with Neutral - or scrap alignment); Luck as an ability (very bad idea) and the other coy ability names; 3 saving throw categories; critical hits (I'm not 13 any more, so that's SEVEN PAGES I would literally never even read); skill system (are we seriously still pretending that a DC of 20 is something only heroes can do; yeah, and any lucky peasant); decimal coinage (deary deary me); armour encumbrance (actually MORE complex than AD&D's system!); combat resolution too complex; wildly over complicated spell descriptions (basically, a nice idea looking for a game but this is the wrong game); dog-headed kobolds (these were stupid when DCSIII drew them and they're still stupid now); OGL (have some bloody backbone).

    Obviously, if I was looking for a new game I'd probably overlooks some of these.

    I did like some of the ideas in the magic system, but they're too over-wrought for a game that's supposed to be harking back to fast-paced adventuring "like it used to be". Initiative also looks interesting; the mercurial magic idea is nice too but actually underplayed; and I'm a big fan of race-as-class, so it's not all bad.

    The artwork is very nice. Given that I'm not interested in the game, I'd vote for chucking the rules out and just having the artwork!

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  36. Examples from the first 50 pages, James-
    Page 9,10,13,21,22,23,29,30,31,32,39,44 (not up to EO's usual standards), 46, 47, 49.

    Of course it has nothing to do with the game itself, which I'm excited about, but aesthetically I'm disappointed in this Beta (and mind you I'm well aware its a BETA and likely will get some changes). S&W: Complete is a much better looking book for my tastes- it has ample art but never beats you over the head with it.

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  37. @cibet - I'm not an expert in the OGL. However, I believe it is the verbage of the crits and fumbles that is Goodman's intellectual property. You can make all the crit and fumble tables you want, as long as the result's verbage is different from Goodman's. The overall mechanical result (i.e. numbers)can still be the same.

    At least that is my layman's understanding of the OGL.

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  38. I like the art. As someone who started playing d&d with the release of 3.5 and then pathfinder, the art helps me understand the type of game and game play the rules are trying to support.

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  39. Initial look through seems that they have added an awful lot of complexity via tables for random results and all the cutsey weird dice. Not sure if this makes the game better or if the randomness is just designed to keep peoples interest longer before they move on.

    I'm not sure why Goodman just didn't design their own system like a d24 or something like that rather than going OGL. If it is for compatibility reasons 3e players will not care about this because it undercuts the character generation that players like and it's obviously not Oe/ADD compatible.

    The magic system is interesting but seems awfully gimmicky. If you want complexity use Ars Magica or even Spell Law. This just seems like it will turn into a magic sub-game, a la everything outside of fighting in Shadowrun 2e

    The art is generally good but causes lots of issues that make the layout look awful. I suspect this is only because the final layout is still a work in progress and Goodman wanted to include as much as possible in the beta.

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  40. I think I was download 60 or something. So far the game seems well thought out and designed but there are a ton of things that make me go meh,

    The tone of the game is too "agro" as if it was trying to be edgy and dark and invoke Slatanic Panik or something. Not my style. The L0 rules tone was also flat odious reminding me a satire of High Gygaxian

    The spell system is too complex and JMO the roll for each spell defeats the entire simplicity of the older system where what you do with it is the decision, not how much stat damage should I take or can I risk a 40% failure rate. If I wanted that I'd play something else

    As for the art, no offense to any of the excellent artists here, its something I could care less about. I buy games for mechanics not art or stories. A nice cover and a piece or two if needed is fine. Its well done buts its too "stoner" and dark for my taste.

    I did kind of like the idea of just adding L0 stuff to L1 as a kicker. That was a DOH! idea I just never thought off

    The deeds were pretty cool as well

    Lastly the Zocchihedrons, just no. Its a clever mechanic and all but I am not going to buy a set of specialty dice made by just one company to play a game. And yes I eventually had to buy some back in the day but that was than and this is now.

    However the game does have a few ideas worth stealing and I suspect some will like it. I'd even try it, yes even L0 more so thats something.

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  41. I was hopeful, but i'm becoming more luke warm as I continue reading. Are crit and fumble charts really necessary when PC's start out with a handful of hp' and start at level 0?. I'm sure i'll find one or two things I like about i but so far I think Basic Fantasy does a much better job of taking 3E trimming it down to it's bare essentials, plus it's much more modular. I think the art i the only thing I really like so far.

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  42. I read the back cover and hated the rejection of the concept of "hero" ala LotFP. It deliberately discourages the ideas of nobility, self-sacrifice for the benefit of others, honor, etc. Better to be non-committal philosophically, and let DMs create the tone they want. Game designers are trying to give their games a nihilistic bent, which I think is a mistake.

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  43. I think the book looks great, and with all the work put into it thus far, I think there's reason to think that the final product will be even better.

    Had I not already played the game, I might be inclined to view all of the tables as problematic. I've never been a fan of chart heavy games. However, my experience in playing DCCRPG is that the spells tables are no more a drag on the game than 1E spells.

    I think my gaming group is going to participate in the beta by using these rules to play The Keep on the Borderlands. We're starting this weekend, and both of us who gave the game a spin this past Sunday are really excited about it.

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  44. I agree with the "too much art!" crowd. There is so much filler art that I was bored of scrolling by the time I got through the classes section. Some of it is clever, other not so much, but it's the quantity that gets to me.

    Honestly, for all the hype about how the game was going back to the roots, more appendix N than D&D per se, I expected something different from this. From what I read so far it can be described as 3.x with 90% of the complexity stripped out, rebuilt along the lines of B/X, and then with a big bunch of charts to remind you of Rolemaster.

    I also found the alignments bizarre. Cthulhu is your neutral? Not in any game I run. It irks me that Ahriman is namechecked for chaos but Ahura Mazda gets left out of Law. But the lowest point is that we get a lecture about how there are "no generic monsters" followed by an uninspired and short monster list - if you want to ram that point home give us an example and skip the lecture.

    It doesn't seem like a terrible game or anything, but at this point it really doesn't seem necessary at all. I can't see why one would pick it over their preferred iteration of D&D.

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  45. After the reading the rules, I too have mixed feelings about the game. I see lots of neat ideas but also lots of stuff that seems to add unnecesary complexity, and concepts that seem very 'new school' for what I thought was supposed to be an 'old school' RPG. Also, way too many charts, even discounting the separate spell charts. When I have to check one chart and then roll a die and reference a second chart, being sure to subtract the difference between...zzzzzz. Huh, what? Sorry, I dozed off there. Maybe it would play better than it reads.

    The funny dice don't bother me, though. Frankly, D&D players complaining about 'funny dice' amuses me, considering our hobby was built on funny dice. But whatever. I like the idea of using different dice to resolve iterative attacks. Seems like it would be a lot faster to roll a d20, a d18 and a d16, adding the same modifier to each, then roll three separate d20s, adding three different sets of modifiers.

    I also like the Deeds system for warriors--that's bloody inspired, imo, though I can do without the results charts for them. Halflings as luck charms is a neat idea, too. But super dual-wielding halfings? Where does that come from? I guess I missed that in the source literature.

    The magic system seems way too gimicky and complicated. After streamling combat, why would I want to slow everything down with wizard duels and constant chart referencing? And does the game really need five or six (probably more in the final version) critical hit tables? Why not a single consolidated critical hit chart, with different classes rolling different sized dice to determine results (i.e. wizards roll a d6, warriors a d20, dwarves a d16, etc.). Or even chuck the critical hit chart all together.

    Also, since this is a d20 inspired game (at least partially), why use percentiles for Thief abilities? Why not use the same unifying mechanic that the game uses for just about everything else?

    All that said, though, I see enough good ideas to steal and cobble together into my own Frankenstein's monster of a house rules set, so I will still probably pick it up when it comes out.

    Ed Green

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  46. @THOMAS

    I don't think it discourages the ideas of nobility, self-sacrifice, honor, etc, purely for nihilism's sake. It is seeking to emulate a genre (sword and sorcery), whose protagonists tend not to lean towards nobility, et al.

    From another point of view - comparing it to D&D (which is the only game it can be fairly compared to), no matter what the intent of the DM or players, things inevitably end up like the picture on p. 58 (DCC RPG Beta). Or take a look at the cover of the PHB - the party is not destroying the evil idol - they're looting its eyes while moving corpses and divying loot.

    Old D&D and it's sources of inspiration are far more mercenary in bent. That the DCC RPG goes out of its way to declare its intent is to be lauded - you won't buy it by mistake if it doesn't suit your taste.

    @ Wayne Rossi

    Cthulhu neutral - absolutely. Chthulhu is about as neutral as they come - removed and indifferent to man, in all likelihood to have existed well before the very concept of Law and Chaos.

    His followers are another story - they're Chaotic for sure - likely to commit all kinds of abominable acts to attract his attention/gain power.

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  47. Sure, not purely for nihilism's sake, but the section on alignment demonstrates that good/evil are merely ideas or opinions. This makes all ethical ideals baseless, including valuing life and respecting others. The cosmology chosen in the alignment section leads to nihilism, which leads to the mercenary spirit, contra honor, nobility, heroism. Honor and nobility become opinions without base, no more intrinsically good than dishonor and evil. That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default.

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  48. @THOMAS

    Oh I absolutely agree with you in terms of the games outlook, I couldn't agree more. My point was that the game is specifically trying to remain faithful to a genre, which is predisposed to this world view.

    Take an extreme example - imagine someone released an RPG that paid "homage" to the works of Disney(TM)(C)(R), and specifically stated such every opportunity, wearing it's heart firmly on its sleeve...

    I think it's perfectly valid for me to say "Well, you know I'm not a fan of saccharine sweet morality, and cheesy family friendly type stuff, so this is not a game for me."

    I don't think it's valid to say "Hey I read the intro and hated the rejection of the concept of real world morality and life. It deliberately discourages the gritty real-world truths of compromise, failure, greed, etc. Better to be non-committal philosophically, and let DMs create the tone they want."

    UNLESS - the game had set itself out to be generic.

    I think the issue here is that DCC RPG is not a Retro Clone of Dungeons and Dragons, it is it's own thing. LotFP /is/ a Retro Clone, so I guess the point could be argued there, but with so many clones available, it's easy enough to move on to another, if the moral bent is not to taste. But again with LotFP, it, too is trying to return to some extent to the Appendix N inspirations for the game, which, for the most part would not be to your taste.

    I don't have a problem with noble ideals and notions of self-sacrifice for the common good etc. However I must admit that it comes as a bit of a relief when notions of heroism are set aside in a D&D style game. In my experience, this type of game typically reverts to a very mercenary style of play, where most Players are simply out for lucre/experience to further their PCs. The cheesy ad campaigns will spout "You are the HERO!", but the reality is usually - you are the gang of powerful thugs and misfits looting and pillaging, paying little more than lip service to notions of gallantry or heroism for the chance to score loot and kill monsters.

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  49. What I don't get is that if this game is supposed to be D&D before D&D and based in Swords and Sorcery literature, then why is all the art trying so hard to look like old school D&D? The cover art seems more inline with that goal but all the interior art, especially the redrawn clone D&D pictures work against this whole idea. Overall, this entire product seems really confused.

    Why make the combat simpler, the magic harder, the races classes, the thief abilities percentile in a d20 base system, the super complex crits and fumbles? It's just all over the map.

    This game is going to be an entirely different thing from beta to release, just watch.

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  50. As far as the implied anti-hero setting mentioned above, this is all the DMs realm of choice.

    The mechanics do not support this anti-hero aspect at all, aside from the alignment system, which is lifted straight from D&D despite what the designers may say about Moorcock or Poul, and shares the same ambiguities which led Gygax to incorporate additional axises into it.

    In short, the alignment system should indicate where you stand in conflict between good and evil, not your moral leanings.

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  51. I love the artwork and am sure that the finished product will have a great layout.

    I just had quick look at some of the rules and so far like what I see.

    Only thing I really dislike are the Zocchi dice.

    Many of the previous posters seem to forget that these are only the Beta version rules. A lot can change until the final rules set.

    And there is a huge difference between just reading the rules and playing them.

    Look at the 3rd ed. grapple rules. Less than 1/2 a page and easy to read, but the application makes DMs sweat since 3rd ed came around.

    So go out and play the game and see what works and what not. Describe what did not work and why. Post your idea how to improve the rule in question.

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  52. The cascading spell effects are a HUGE misstep in their present form: you need to read down the entire table for EVERY spell effect, i.e. if you cast Chill Touch and roll a 30, tell me - quick - how much damage your touch does. Go ahead, figure it out.

    Big screwup. If they're gonna learn from WotC, they should borrow the good stuff: clean, quick table lookup. WotC's new monster stat blocks are exemplary info design; DCCRPG's spell tables are rubbish.

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  53. The Degenerate Elite said...

    "What I don't get is that if this game is supposed to be D&D before D&D and based in Swords and Sorcery literature, then why is all the art trying so hard to look like old school D&D?"

    "Why make the combat simpler, the magic harder, the races classes, the thief abilities percentile in a d20 base system, the super complex crits and fumbles? It's just all over the map."

    Like me, I think they are trying to figure out who this game is for. I don't think anyone really knows who is supposed to buy and play DCC. I think it is a question that has not been answered yet but will be one way or another by the time it is released.

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  54. I think this game, and LotFP, are both trying to make their games more unambiguously conformed to the nihilistic sorts of literary inspirations (e.g. Lovecraft). In other words, they are "purging" so to speak other works from Appendix N (Tolkien).

    AD&D was less committed to this nihilism than these two newer games.

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  56. Outside of Tolkien and maybe Three Hearts & Three Lions I think you would have a hard time finding an Appendix N world where Good and Evil are treated as supernatural 'factions' at odds as seems to be the case of Law and Chaos (ala Moorcock) in DCC. DCC seems to be emulating certain aspects of Appendix N rather than the lot of them in any case.

    There is incidentally nothing stopping acts of heroism in an uncaring world unless the very idea of heroism hinges on being 'cosmically' right for you, rather than doing what you believe is Right.
    Somehow this very same complaint always seems to crop up when one side of the fence interprets 'Sword & Sorcery' to mean Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and Conan and the other side reads it as Lord of the Rings.

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  57. @ THOMAS

    > AD&D was less committed to this nihilism
    > than these two newer games.

    Yes, it certainly wasn't overt, but I'd have to say there were still traces of it there (PHB cover, and other illustrations for example), not to mention the Thief and Assassin class. I think more importantly, typical gameplay tends to revert to a very mercenary style, much to the distress of the party Paladin.

    But again, DCC is not D&D, not even a retro clone. I think you could argue the point with LotFP, which is a Clone, but I don't think you can with DCC. It's kind of like criticising RuneQuest for being all about Glorantha and not generic like D&D - you're accusing it of failing to do something it was trying very hard not to do.

    @ Uffish

    > There is incidentally nothing stopping acts of
    > heroism in an uncaring world unless the very idea
    > of heroism hinges on being 'cosmically' right for
    > you, rather than doing what you believe is Right.

    I'd agree, although it's a hard grind going against the grain of a system that is 'diametrically opposed' to this, which I think would be THOMAS' main concern.

    Yes Law and Chaos are a big tip of the hat to Moorcock, and truth be told I'd rather there be no alignments at all in any game. I've come to accept that it's something that one has to suffer when playing D&D or similar.

    > Somehow this very same complaint always seems to
    > crop up when one side of the fence interprets
    > 'Sword & Sorcery' to mean Fafhrd and the Grey
    > Mouser and Conan and the other side reads it as
    > Lord of the Rings.

    I couldn't agree more - but let those who stick with their interpretation and make no bones about what they're doing have fun in their corner. If they're not claiming to be generic and all things to all people, why criticize them for not doing so?

    [rant]
    I think Tolkien gets misrepresented terribly. Most peoples view of Tolkien comes from childhood memories of reading LotR or the movies. It is generally regarded as a very black and white good vs evil epic fantasy where the good guys win. What is generally forgotten is the aching melancholy and sense of loss that permeates the text. Yes there is strong christian Good vs Evil present, but it is not all clear cut and black and white - there is more than enough room for the grey failings of man - Boromir, Denethor, Saruman, Theoden. Good wins, but at a terrible cost - Frodo a shellshocked husk of a hobbit, Bilbo a sad recovering ring junky. I think it's this grounding in 'reality' for want of a better expression that makes true heroism shine. I'd take the LotR true grit any day over Moorcocks sensationalist eternal champion hoo ha anyday.
    [/rant]

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  60. @THOMAS

    "That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default."

    The strangest and most disturbing thing about your comments is the easy equivalence between the moral universe in the GAME and the moral universe of REAL LIFE?

    Is this really what we're all doing here? Is this how we're playing games? As dry runs for what we'd do in real life?

    When we play chess should we just go "Oh wait, white player, why are we even fighting?" and shake hands instead of playing?

    When we play WW2 games, can we only ever play the allies?

    What the hell? What planet are you from?

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  61. Zak. Its a necessary part of most religious and ethical traditions to mind how you think.

    People who adhere to these beliefs can certainly play RPG's but its incumbent on them to mind how they play

    Games like RPGs require a bit of extra vigilance as they take you deeper into the dark places in your mind , far deeper than the antiseptic and detached act of moving chips around a board.

    Roleplaying evil and 'wallowing' in it isn't spiritually healthy.

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  62. Art is always matter of taste, but it should be noted that the cloned "Old School" art was drawn by the same artist as the originals, 30 years later. When I first encountered this game, I was also a little put off by the "You're No Hero," copy. Now that I've played it a bit, I'll say that nothing prevents you from being a hero, or discourages it any more than OD&D and AD&D did

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  63. "Better to be non-committal philosophically and let DMs create the tone they want. Game designers are trying to give their games a nihilistic bent, which I think is a mistake."--THOMAS

    If, when you say "better" and "mistake", you mean with regard to marketing, sales and financial success, then I disagree. It seems to me that the majority of the most financially successful RPGs are philosophically commital in some way. And I see a huge market for nihilism of all sorts out there.

    But if, when you say "better" and "mistake", you're making personal value judgements, then I somewhat agree.


    "Cthulhu neutral - absolutely. Cthulhu is about as neutral as they come - removed and indifferent to Man, in all likelihood to have existed well before the very concepts of Law and Chaos. His followers are another story - they're Chaotic for sure - likely to commit all kinds of abominable acts to attract his attention/gain power."--maxam

    Exactly.


    "The cosmology chosen in the alignment section leads to nihilism, which leads to the mercenary spirit, contra honor, nobility, heroism. Honor and nobility become opinions without base, no more intrinsically good than dishonor and evil. That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default."--THOMAS

    In the real world, I agree. But, in games, it can be fun to play nihilistic, mercenary, and even evil characters.


    "...imagine someone released an RPG that paid 'homage' to the works of Disney(TM)(C)(R), and specifically stated such at every opportunity, wearing it's heart firmly on its sleeve... I think it's perfectly valid for me to say 'Well, you know I'm not a fan of saccharine sweet morality, and cheesy family friendly type stuff, so this is not a game for me.'"--maxam

    Just to let everybody know, not all Disney stuff is like that. In particular, I recommend Mulan.


    "I think this game and LotFP are both trying to make their games more unambiguously conformed to the nihilistic sorts of literary inspirations (e.g. Lovecraft)."--THOMAS

    In the case of LotFP, that's true only with regard to the game's implied setting, not how characters are expected to act in that setting. And, in fact, the LotFP modules actually tend to punish characters who act nihilistically.


    "There is incidentally nothing stopping acts of heroism in an uncaring world unless the very idea of heroism hinges on being 'cosmically' right for you, rather than doing what you believe is Right."--Uffish

    Exactly.


    "I'd take the LotR true grit over Moorcock's sensationalist eternal champion hoo ha any day."--maxam

    Me too!


    "Is this really what we're all doing here? Is this how we're playing games? As dry runs for what we'd do in real life?"--Zak S

    Some people, yes. Others just try to play how they imagine that they, personally, would really act in the game world if it was really real. And others play to explore ways of thinking and acting that differ from their own. And still others just explore dungeons. And every one of those approaches, and every other approach that results in the participants having fun, is a good and valid way to play these games.

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  64. @5stonegames

    If the idea of whatever moral/ethical/religious system you are allegedly describing truly descends to the level of "you have to watch what kind of character you play in a game" then I feel that says a lot more about the limitations of the moral/ethical/religious system you think you are describing than it does about the limitations of the game.

    If you are good because you refuse to consider what bad is like...

    Well that's a can of philosophical worms that I don't think anybody should dump all over somebody's game just because they happen to have it writhing around in their own head.

    They should just come out and say: "I think it's morally/ethically/religiously bad to do things in games you wouldn't do in real life" and have a conversation about THAT rather than picking on recent releases and assuming everyone listening already knows about and agrees with this bizarre underlying assumption.

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  65. "If you are good because you refuse to consider what bad is like..."--Zak S

    That's, at best, a total misunderstanding of, or, at worst, an intentional, assholish, straw-man misrepresentation of, what people like THOMAS think.

    They don't think it's bad merely to consider what bad is like. They just think it's bad to imagine acting bad and it being okay. That's all.


    "They should just come out and say: 'I think it's morally/ethically/religiously bad to do things in games you wouldn't do in real life' and have a conversation about THAT..."--Zak S

    I agree.


    "...this bizarre underlying assumption."--Zak S

    That underlying assumption may seem bizarre to you, but it's the way most people thought until very recently. And it's the way many religious people and social conservatives still think.

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  66. @Ed Dove

    Then they should say "Hi, I'm a socially and/or religiously conservative person in the English-speaking world in 2011 and want you to listen to me talk anyway, let's have a conversation about all the hundred of thousands of items of beef with modern games that this position implies" not "Y'know what's wrong with this here game that James put out..."

    In classical rhetoric that's called "begging the question" and it slows any useful conversation down to a crawl.

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  67. @Zak S To quote Jim Raggi, "I'm going to call great hairy bullshit on this one." Why should "they" have to define themselves to you before expressing their opinions? Do you do that for anybody? If so, I've never seen it. And I know I sure don't do it. And I can't remember ever conversing with anybody else who ever did either. So, "great hairy bullshit".

    I wish you'd stop trying to stifle further expression of things you don't like by ridiculing anybody who thinks those things. Such narrow-minded bullying is a waste of your intellectual brilliance -- especially when all you do is just slap together some straw-man misrepresentations of their positions. That's just pathetic.

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  68. I read through the playtest, and so far I'm not a fan. The game feels very much like it's trying to emulate D&D and not its sources.

    The "race-classes" of Elf/Dwarf/Halfling weren't a major part of Appendix N and can be dropped entirely. Focus on humans, have a page of optional PDF material for folks who must go Tolkienesque.

    Lose Law/Chaos - especially since they're just "Good" and "Evil" renamed, if Law gets angels and Chaos gets demons.

    Why is Cleric even a class? It can be handled entirely by broadening the spell selection of wizards - lots of Appendix N spellcasters were capable of healing and holding dark powers at bay. The fact that both wizards and clerics use patrons also suggests that the best course of action is to combine the classes. The "Clerics heal their own alignment best" will prove to stifle party creation, and is yet another reason to remove alignment.

    The tables for Deeds were incredibly specific and didn't appear much easier to use than those same maneuvers in 3.5.

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  69. @Ed Dove

    I sure as hell do define myself when I make comments. Everybody who can click a mouse button knows I write a blog called "playing D&D with porn stars" and work in the adult industry in Los Angeles and anybody with access to google can see my gigantic degenerate decadent urban elitist anarchist resume and interviews where I yammer on about it and if anybody wants to write off anything I say on account of my profoundly obvious intellectual biases, fine.

    If you represent some point of view that's equally extreme in the opposite direction, then help us all out by saying that up front. If I click THOMAS I see nothing. Who is Thomas? Thomas could say "Well, I'm a born again" or " Hey, I'm a pretty conservative guy, but...."there's no shame in that. And its intelligent and thoughtful and helpful to realize that it's germane to the discussion.

    If there's a point to talking to other human being about your ideas, then there's a point to being clear about where they come from and obfuscating that is, at best, laziness.

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  70. @Zak S Do I understand correctly that you think just having your blog and being relatively easy to find out about online counts as defining yourself to others before you express yourself to them, not just on your blog and in I Hit It With My Axe episodes, but anywhere?

    And, while I agree that it'd certainly be considerate and helpful if people did explain, to the best of their understanding, at least what they see as the main reason why they think what they do before they go on and on about the specifics of what they think -- do you really believe that people have some sort of obligation to do so? And that, if they're not 'famous' like you are, then they're, at best, lazy if they don't do so at the beginning of every conversation with strangers?

    Please be assured that all my questions are sincere, not rhetorical. Right now, I'm really just trying to find out if I understand what you're saying so I can figure out how I should respond.

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  71. @ed dove

    I am totally identifiable in these little fracases online 'cause my name is clickable when I comment.

    And in real life, the clicky link is unnecessary since most people know where the guy with the green hair and tattooed hands is coming from.

    And, yeah, I think, in general, if you are articulating an extreme position then you don't just drop in on one discussion of one of the zillion things in ordinary life you object to and expect to be taken seriously or be understood.

    I'm not going to pop over to homphobia.com and say "gee this -particular- antigay rant really sucks" and so, likewise, I wouldn't expect mr. THOMAS to suddenly appear here in the modern gaming scene and say "This -particular- game is bad because it does not uphold a heroic ideal" without explaining where he's coming from.

    It wastes time. Like I said, it;s a classic rhetorical fallacy: begging the question.

    Right there:
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/begquest.html

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  72. "More generally, an argument begs the question when it assumes any controversial point not conceded by the other side."

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  73. @Zak S Okay. So you really do think that your blog somehow makes you special. That, just because people can go there to find out about you, that means you shouldn't be expected to introduce yourself before you make comments elsewhere -- even though that's what you expect people without blogs to do. And that's exactly the sort of privileged attitude that I'd expect someone who has a blog might have.

    And so you also think that you're way more well-known than you really are. And that's exactly the sort of conceited attitude that I'd expect someone who has a blog and a webshow, and who works as a performer in Hollywood, might have.

    So your attitude really is as privileged and conceited as what you said before made me suspect it might be. That's good to know. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.

    "I'm not going to pop over to homphobia.com and say 'gee this -particular- antigay rant really sucks' and so, likewise, I wouldn't expect mr. THOMAS to suddenly appear here in the modern gaming scene and say 'This -particular- game is bad because it does not uphold a heroic ideal' without explaining where he's coming from."--Zak S

    That makes sense. But it's also not what THOMAS did.

    What he actually did was just say that he, personally, just him, "hated the rejection of the concept of 'hero'", compared that (mistakenly, I think) to LotFP, explained why he feels the way he does, said that he thinks that something -- the game, its marketing, maybe both -- would be "better" if the game was noncommital rather than prescriptive in philosophy and tone, and added that, I think for marketing reasons, he thinks it's a "mistake" for game designers to make their games nihilistic. Not what I'd call "extreme" positions. Just common opinions. Though I do wish that he'd explained them more clearly than he did. But, then, he did explain his views more clearly in later posts -- in which the most "extreme" thing he ever said was "That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default." Again, a pretty common opinion.

    So I don't understand why your panties got all up in a wad over it.

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  75. @Ed Dove

    No, Ed. I would be "conceited" if I thought I was somehow different than everyone else and I don't.

    If I make an extreme statement, it is within anyone's power to INSTANTLY find out the point of view that statement is coming from. This is true of ANYBODY who has their name attached to anything they have been doing for a long time. Anybody with a blog or a real name they use.

    Introducing myself beforehand is NOT necessary because if I don't I am--unlike THOMAS--not -entirely denying the people listening the possibility of doing that.-

    So if you're going to make extreme statements either:

    A) have a track record people can look at (I do, this doesn't make me special.)

    or

    B) say what the extreme point of view you have up front is.

    That's not some special rule for me, that's pretty much an accepted rule of any debate: state your assumptions up front, or at least have them checkable.

    As for his extreme positions, it is hidden in the statement:

    "That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default."

    Because this implies the following extreme belief the fact that this cosmology stinks IN REAL LIFE means it also stinks IN A FICTION.

    Again: he's begging the question. He's assuming a controversial premise without addressing it. I said that already, you ignored it.

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  76. Ed, I've just finished going back and forth between Thomas's comments and the original text he's commenting on. Part of the time he does what you say he does, and part of the time he does what Zak says he does.

    For example, the back cover text of DCCRPG says more or less exactly what Thomas says it does:

    "You're no hero.

    "You're a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets.

    "You seek gold and glory, winning it with sword and spell, caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished. There are treasures to be won deep underneath, and you shall have them.

    "Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past await you: turn the page..."

    So yes, the back cover rejects the concept of hero, but the game itself does not, contrary to his second post.

    Thomas wrote "...the section on alignment demonstrates that good/evil are merely ideas or opinions," but I'm looking at the text right now and it says nothing of the sort. On the contrary, it says the cosmos itself is organized around a great cosmic struggle of law versus chaos, that law and chaos represent objectively existing cosmic forces, and that a man's choice of alignment "will become increasingly important as you become more powerful." This is the opposite of what Thomas says about the game.

    Worse, the section on Law says "Lawful characters believe fundamentally in unity and prioritize the values of mankind: order, authority, loyalty, and charity. They support organized institutions and 'do what is right.' They have a moral conscience which points them toward the appropriate action." This contradicts the back cover and Thomas's entire point, making it clear that not only can you play a hero in DCCRPG, the heroic perspective is not just an idea but actually represents one of the sides in a great cosmic battle.

    Thomas has over-reached in his comments and fallen prey to the Procrustean fallacy of twisting the subject to fit the argument about nihilism he wanted to have. DCCRPG encourages a far wider range of play than Thomas said it does, and so does LOTFPWFRPGGH. Zak was right to take him to task for it, regardless of whether you approve of the way he went about it.

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  77. Sorry, that should be LOTFPWFRPGE, not LOTFPWFRPGGH.

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  78. I like the artwork and the concept, but the execution is not quite there. Too much table cross referencing for my taste, and requiring the nonstandard Zocchi dice is an obstacle as they are not readily available at retail, at least in my experience.

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  79. "I would be 'conceited' if I thought I was somehow different than everyone else and I don't."--Zak S

    You don't? I'm sorry I misunderstood you again. I thought you said that you are different from anybody who doesn't have a blog, like you do, or isn't famous, like you are.

    So you don't think either of those things?


    "If I make an extreme statement, it is within anyone's power to INSTANTLY find out the point of view that statement is coming from. This is true of ANYBODY who has their name attached to anything they have been doing for a long time. Anybody with a blog or a real name they use. Introducing myself beforehand is NOT necessary because if I don't I am--unlike THOMAS--not -entirely denying the people listening the possibility of doing that.-"--Zak S

    All that's true. But it still seems to me like you're saying that everybody who has a blog, like you do, and everybody who's famous, like you are, deserves certain privileges that people who don't have blogs and aren't famous don't. Or, stated inversely, that people who don't have blogs and aren't famous have obligations that people, like you, who do have blogs or are famous don't. And, either way, that's a privileged attitude. Am I still misunderstanding you?


    "So if you're going to make extreme statements either:

    A) have a track record people can look at (I do, this doesn't make me special.)

    or

    B) say what the extreme point of view you have up front is."
    --ZakS


    While it would be nice if people did do that, the problem I see with expecting people to do that is that it expects them to first recognize that both the statement they're going to make and the point of view they're basing it on are extreme. And almost nobody can do that. It requires the ability to assess oneself objectively -- a feat that's at least very difficult, and arguably impossible. So it's just not a reasonable expectation to place on anybody because most people can't do it.


    "That's not some special rule for me, that's pretty much an accepted rule of any debate: state your assumptions up front, or at least have them checkable."--Zak S

    Those very limited rules of debate are very different from your expectation that people should either have blogs, become famous, or recognize the extremity of their positions and explain them up front before saying anything else.

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  80. "As for his extreme positions, it is hidden in the statement:

    'That cosmology stinks, and it is too bad that it is accepted by default.'

    Because this implies the following extreme belief the fact that this cosmology stinks IN REAL LIFE means it also stinks IN A FICTION."
    --Zak S


    It's "hidden" there, huh? Hmmm...

    First, even though that's how I interpreted it too, I don't think that's the only reasonable interpretation. I think, given just that statement alone, the person could just as likely be saying merely that having that cosmology as the default cosmology of a game prevents them from enjoying playing that game. That's all. Nothing extreme or in any way judgmental of others. Just a bit of information that game designers might find useful to know.

    Second, even the interpretation we share isn't extreme. That is, at least the "this cosmology stinks IN REAL LIFE means it also stinks IN A FICTION" version of it isn't. It's just a common, narrow-minded opinion. Much more likely an unexamined assumption on the part of anybody who holds it, not an indication of any conscious, let alone articulated, philosophy. Worth pointing out to try to get them to examine their assumptions and consciously articulate their philosophy. But no cause for raising any sort of alarm. And, even more so, no cause for insulting, berating and ridiculing a person who probably just hasn't yet given much thought to why they think and feel the way they do about things.


    "Again: he's begging the question. He's assuming a controversial premise without addressing it. I said that already, you ignored it."--Zak S

    First, I didn't ignore it. I just didn't realize you expected me to say anything about it. Now that I know you do, I will...

    Second, even though the premise we think he's assuming seems controversial to you -- and if, by "controversial", you mean merely not almost universally accepted, then I'd agree -- I'd be very surprised if he thought it was controversial. And it's just not reasonable to expect him to see himself, his feelings, his assumptions, his beliefs, his opinions and his thoughts through your eyes and warn you about himself before he says anything else.

    When you think someone has begged the question, then it's your responsibility to ask them the question.

    And it's your responibility to ask them the question in a way that's intended to actually solicit their honest answer to the question too -- not in any way that's intended to shame them, or intimidate them, or otherwise affect their answer.

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  81. You said it:

    "It's just a common, narrow-minded opinion."

    There's no defense for that, ever, no matter how common it is. Unless the dude's 12.

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  82. @Rick Marshall Thanks for fact-checking THOMAS! If I hadn't been so busy acting as Mr. 'Being Right Doesn't Justify Being An Ass', I might've thought of doing that myself.


    "Thomas wrote '...the section on alignment demonstrates that good/evil are merely ideas or opinions,' but I'm looking at the text right now and it says nothing of the sort. On the contrary, it says the cosmos itself is organized around a great cosmic struggle of law versus chaos, that law and chaos represent objectively existing cosmic forces, and that a man's choice of alignment 'will become increasingly important as you become more powerful.' This is the opposite of what Thomas says about the game.

    "Worse, the section on Law says 'Lawful characters believe fundamentally in unity and prioritize the values of mankind: order, authority, loyalty, and charity. They support organized institutions and 'do what is right.' They have a moral conscience which points them toward the appropriate action.' This contradicts the back cover and Thomas's entire point, making it clear that not only can you play a hero in DCCRPG, the heroic perspective is not just an idea but actually represents one of the sides in a great cosmic battle.

    "Thomas has over-reached in his comments and fallen prey to the Procrustean fallacy of twisting the subject to fit the argument about nihilism he wanted to have. DCCRPG encourages a far wider range of play than Thomas said it does, and so does LOTFPWFRPGGH. Zak was right to take him to task for it, regardless of whether you approve of the way he went about it."
    --Rick Marshall


    Excellent work! Again, I think everything you've said here is correct. And I really apprectiate how you've said it too.

    Now, in light of the fact that THOMAS completely misrepresented the facts (oh, okay, I'll come right out and say it -- he lied), I'm done defending him.

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  83. "You said it: 'It's just a common, narrow-minded opinion.' There's no defense for that, ever, no matter how common it is. Unless the dude's 12."--Zak S

    I agree. Even though I don't think it's extreme, I do think it's indefensible.

    But how do we know that THOMAS isn't 12?

    Heck -- how do we know that anybody we haven't met in person isn't 12?

    Everything online can be fabricated.

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  84. To all those whining that this game 'requires' Zocchian dice.

    Uh. No. Go re-read pp 9-10 of the 1e AD&D DMG. Seriously. You need math help badly. Read it until you grok it.

    Here's the breakdown of what DCC says it requires in the way of dice rolls, and how to achieve them w/o Zocchi dice:
    d3 - ROUND_UP[1d6/2]
    d5 - ROUND_UP[1d10/2]
    d7 - REROLL_HIGHEST(d8)
    d14 - d7 + d4(even, +0; odd, +7)
    d16 - d8 + d4(even, +0; odd, +8)
    d24 - d12 + d4(even, +0; odd, +12)
    d30 - d10 + d6(1-2, +0; 3-4, +10; 5-6, +20)

    Or, you could read the paragraph that immediately follows the one that says the game uses Zocchi dice and use the relatively simpler guidelines given there. The results are statistically the SAME - flat distributions of results.

    Seriously, this sort of stuff has been in the game for 30 years and now that someone comes along and implements actual mechanics that frequently call upon you to use them you complain? Really? How absurd.

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  85. lulz, the special dice are not something I have or will get. And J random's explaination makes my head hurt more than THACO +/- other AD&Disms.

    I love AD&D btw.

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