Portal Under the Stars – DCCRPG Play Report
I was one of the fortunate few that picked up this adventure for free on Free RPG day. The DCC adventure starter now sells for $5 on rpgnow (The Doug Kovacs maps alone are pretty much worth the price), but I’ve been waiting to break this out for about a year. Since pouring over the PDF of the Core Rulebook I was eager to GM a game and put these new rules to the test. We only had two other players for this initial run, but being veteran players, we decided to have them roll up four 1st level characters each. Not exactly a textbook example, but it was fun to roll up a bunch of guys and see how many would survive.
The party was made up of the following: A dwarven miner, a dwarven rat-catcher, two farmers, an outlaw, an astrologer, an herbalist, and a jester. From there we leveled them up and ended up with one cleric, one wizard, two thieves, two dwarves (of course) and two fighters. Not a bad mix. Character generation was pretty quick, even leveling up didn’t take very long at all. They rolled their paltry amount of gold and copper coins, bought what they could, and then set off to the Portal.
I don’t want to reveal any spoilers about the adventure, but it was filled with pretty deadly traps and some fairly challenging combat. I think the mortality rate would have been higher for 12-16 o-level characters than it was for 8 1st-level characters, but even with that, 3 adventurers (including the cleric! doh!) met their end before the adventure was over. One of the warriors rolled really well on his hit points and ended up with 17 on first level (+2 Stamina bonus per level). Unfortunately that means he was always up front, and ended up dying before it was all over. The most mediocre guys survived just fine. I think one big lesson we learned from this was if you like a character, don’t have him go through the door first. Also, if you’ve got farm animals, see if you can convince them to go down the hallway in front of you; Better the chicken or donkey get blown up than your cleric.
I hope to run this at least once more before running it at GeekOut 2012. If you’re near the Asheville area and want to give DCCRPG a try, sign up at warhorn for my 10 AM or 6 PM game. Slots are going to go quick, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Some friends will be running some Pathfinder Society scenarios, and there should be a bunch of great stuff going on, and it is completely free to attend. RPG tables will be at one of the ballrooms in the Renaissance Hotel downtown (swanky!), so come by and roll up some Zero level peasants for a chance at becoming an adventurer about which bards will sing endless epics! Or at least you’ll have some good DCCRPG war stories.