Monday, November 1, 2010

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

I'd meant to draw this to everyone's attention last week, but, as was typical throughout October, I was distracted by other things and it slipped my mind until Joe Bloch reminded me of it. Over at Cyclopeatron, there's a post describing an in-store playest of Goodman Games's upcoming (scheduled for late 2011 release, I believe) Dungeon Crawl Classics Roleplaying Game with Joseph Goodman.

I have to admit that, until now, I was unclear on just what the purpose of the DCC RPG was and what niche Goodman intends it to fill. Fortunately, the Cyclopeatron post answers some of that, the most intriguing part being the following:
According to Joe, his personal motivation behind DCC is to offer an RPG that can, as closely as possible, emulate all of the books presented in the Appendix N of the original AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. Joe said he is systematically reading every book in Appendix N in order to formulate the game mechanics for DCC. One specific example of this is turning. Joe replaced the traditional cleric’s turn undead ability with a more general turn unholy in order to more closely mirror turning as envisioned Poul Anderson and Lord Dunsany. Another example is the totally revamped magic system where the success and/or side-effects of spellcasting can be unpredictable:
That alone piques my interest, but I'll need to know more before I stand up and cheer just yet. One of the fascinating things about D&D is that, while its inspirations are clear, it was never designed to emulate those inspirations in a slavish way, which is why, "Vancian" spellcasting no more faithfully mirrors what we see in The Dying Earth than does the alignment system map perfectly onto Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions version of the same. So, it'll be fascinating to see exactly how Goodman uses the early hobby's literary inspirations to create a new fantasy RPG.


  1. I can't into details and things change over time throughout the playtest. But if it doesn't succeed it won't be for a lack of trying. The Appendix N is vibe has been in everything I gotten so far. I think the DCC RPG is going to be very distinct and develop a solid fan base once released.

    If you wants more hands on experience come to Erie Days of Gaming in two weeks where I will be running a playtest session Saturday Evening*.

    It about a 3 hour drive from Toronto.

    Note it currently says I am running a Ruins of Ramat using Swords & Wizardry Saturday Evening. I am in the process of trying to correct that.

  2. That is certainly very ambitious! And it could be just the thing to make DCC stand out from the crowd of simulacra - which it will probably need to do; as things stand now, anyone wanting to play some old fashioned D&D have plenty of options, many of them even free.

    I'll be watching this one with great interest.

  3. My store hosted one of the playtests. I completely enjoyed running Level 0 characters & while I am interested in how the classes will work, I'm not in a huge hurry to level up. Thats how much fun we had. I can say that as of right now, the rules emulate a gritty sword & sorcery game in the vein of Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser or Conan very, very well. I know the Magic system will let you burn attribute points to improve your roll & that feels very appropriate to the genre, IMHO.

  4. It sounds like a huge leap of faith...

    I know that Joe "understands" the market because of his obvious involvement, but I don't feel as if I'm as disconnected as to completely miss seeing where this might "fit in". Let's just say I'm a little skeptical on how it will sell.

    That aside, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I've instituted some of the lists that James has posted regarding some of the risks of using magic, and while it's a bit too much for some players, those who really enjoy the grit of the older novels (Appendix 'N') completely took to it.

    I'm very intrigued to see what he comes up with. And like others, I wish him lots of luck.

  5. The magic system, at least, sounds awesome.