Putting the Fun in the Character Funnel of DCCRPG
I had the pleasure of GMing a zero-level DCCRPG session for most of the Skyland Games regulars on last Wednesday, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had playing RPGs, period. The picture attached to this post probably appears to be a complete non sequitur, but it will make sense in moment. I created my very own zero-level adventure, The Tower of Crowan the Conjuror, since some of the guys had already played Portal to the Stars. We’ll probably release it in one form or another soon, but it’s currently being revised and polished up a bit. Minor spoilers ahead:
When you roll up a zero-level character in DCCRPG, you start with an occupation or day job, some kind of primitive weapon (say, a pitchfork), and some type of trade goods, as bartering is very typical and coin money somewhat scarce. One of our guys rolled up a farmer with a pitchfork and a hen. In one particular encounter, the party happens upon a cockatrice. If you aren’t familiar with the creature, it’s essentially a demon rooster that can turn people into stone.
Our quick-thinking, intrepid farmer turned his chicken around and offered the business end of Pamela (the chicken) as a distraction. This was the most ingenious use of trade goods I had ever heard of, so as a good GM, I let it play out. With the cockatrice “distracted,” one of the other PCs landed a solid hit on the creature, killing it, but also turning Pamela to stone. The farmer put Pamela in a bag and attempted to use her as a bludgeoning weapon later in the game, but she was never as effective as her first game interaction. There were a lot of other great moments that evening, but that one was particularly hilarious.
The fact that your PCs start with so little allows them to come up with some incredible uses for their limited gear. It also leads to some really memorable stories. Starting out with 5d12 copper, 1d4 hit points, and a chicken may not sound like its going to be fun, but believe me, it is not to be skipped! I’m interested to see what other 3rd party developers come up with for DCCRPG. Purple Sorcerer is coming out with what look to be some very cool adventures for DCCRPG, not to mention some really cool tools to generate characters quickly, or virtually roll some of the weird dice you may not own yet. Thick Skull Adventures is coming out with Attack of the Frawgs! which looks to be a cool old-school scenario as well. Goodman Games has a good round up of all the 3rd party developers towards the bottom of the page here, as well as the new Fan-zine, CRAWL!
I’m really looking forward to running Portal Under the Stars on Saturday for GeekOut 2012. If you live anywhere near the Asheville area and want to get some gaming in on Saturday, sign up and at the Warhorn, and come on down! See you there!
PS – All the submissions are in for the One Page Dungeon Contest, and there were 107 entries! Best of all? You can download all 81 MB of them from the contest page. Free dungeons for all!