Posts Tagged ‘DCC RPG’

DCC RPG Annual Vol. 1 Review

November 22, 2019 Comments off
18 Personality, 2 HP

It has been almost a year since we have published anything on this blog. Life can get busy, but I have a particularly adorable excuse. My wife and I have wanted to adopt for years, and in October 2018 we got the call. We’ve spent the majority of this last year learning how to be parents. It has been amazing to see this little zero level gain new skills and bring such joy to so many people. Now that we have mastered parenting (ha!), we both wanted to get back to creative pursuits and hobbies.

While I may have not blogged about RPGs, I certainly haven’t stopped playing them or buying stuff! Just counting Goodman Games kickstarters that have shipped since I last posted we have had MCC, DCC Lankhmar, and most recently the DCC Annual Vol. 1. I’ve decided to try and catch up in reverse chronological order, so we’ll start with the Annual.

For those of us die hard DCC fans, the “Annual” had been talked about in hushed tones on the now defunct G+ (RIP) since at least 2013, if not earlier. The years went by and still no Annual. Was the gongfarmer’s almanac the annual? No, that was community-created content. The Annual would be from the core Goodman Games writers. It eventually became synonymous for things that would be nice to have, but would not likely see the light of day; the vaporware of RPGs.

Then in late October of 2018, the kickstarter for the Annual was launched. I backed at the foil level. Due to a shipping/fulfillment snafu, I only received my physical copy recently. I had skimmed the PDF version, but didn’t do a deep dive until recently. The tome weighs in at 208 pages.

The chapter numbers mirror the core book, which seems confusing and unnecessary. While the first section is a welcome addition expanding the official material on the pantheon of gods just mentioned by name in the core book, starting on Chapter 5 seems like on odd choice. It would be one thing if this was a direct expansion of the core book and you could plug these sections in to the original, but since they are two separate volumes it just makes navigating the Annual a bit weird.

That said, the contents of the strangely numbered chapters are pretty excellent. Chapter 5 provides background information for several of the gods mentioned in the cleric section of the core book such as Cadixtat, Justicia, Shul and Malotoch, however it does not detail all of them. It does provide some satisfying backstory for those included, as well as several Lay on Hands manifestations to add some more flavor to the next healing attempt. Most provide a few deity-specific divine favors and titles for the first five PC levels. Each entry also includes specific disapproval tables, and spells for levels 1, 3 and 5 called canticles.

Chapter 6 extends the Quests & Journeys chapter of the core book by quite a bit. Included is a fairly detailed table of 24 mini-adventures that could be run in between larger quests. This is followed by several pages detailing a lost utopian land of Mu. While not providing a specific adventure, it provides descriptions of the inhabitants, crystal technology, and interesting places upon which a judge could launch any number of quests.

Chapter 7 is labeled Judge’s Rules like the core book, but is a collection of more patrons for wizards and elves. Several of these I recognize from specific adventures, while others may be new or just unfamiliar to me. Each entry includes some background information, invoke patron results, patron taint, spellburn results and patron spells for level 1, 2 and 3.

As in the core book, Chapter 8 is dedicated to Magic Items. This includes a very detailed section on crafting magic rings with a vast number of tables to ensure each ring created would be unique. The next section describes patron weapons which is a process (and tables!) that describes imprisoning a PC in an item for angering their patron. This curse always has a condition upon which it may be lifted. It also has rules for wielding patron weapons, and a mechanic in which a patron weapon could exert its will on the wielder and dominate the bearer. There is also a table of magical books and a few that have detailed descriptions of magical effects from reading them. My favorite part of this chapter is the named swords section. It dedicates an entire page to each sword. Half of the page is a detailed illustration, the other half is a lengthy backstory and list of powers.

The last main chapter provides options for making monsters more memorable. There are several long entries of individual creatures, but also sections which include tables to make what could be mundane creatures into something unique. This includes tables for randomizing bugs, reptiles, constructs, giants, therianthropes (were-creatures) and general mutations. The chapter concludes with a section on monstrous patronage. This allows a judge to provide some supernatural aide for monsters similar to PCs invoking their patrons. This could be fun if used sparingly, and would be pretty terrifying on the player side of the table the first time it is used.

The book closes with Appendix M – Moustaches. This is a hilarious group of rules and tables about moustaches culminating in the moustache duel. “But sometimes things get ugly, and then folks with a ‘stache must have a clash.”

I think it is great this book finally went into production. It is an excellent collection of details and tables to expand DCC, without feeling like it is adding complicated sub-systems or dreaded rules-bloat. I would recommend it for fans of DCC who want to add a bit flavor and detail to their PCs, monsters, magic items and moustaches.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Fun with the Three Fates in DCCRPG

May 2, 2016 1 comment

A few months ago we ran some fourth level pregens through the awesome Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure “The 13th Skull” while taking a week off from our regularly scheduled D&D game. Someone had to be the cleric and so I pulled a Neutral priestess and using just the Core book as inspiration chose “The Three Fates” as her patron. Thus was born the legend of Sister Aramella…

Her background occupation was fortune-teller and she had a tarot deck as one of her pieces of equipment. We had a printed copy of the Deck of Many Things, so I grabbed that and whenever someone questioned Sister Aramella or wanted me to cast a spell, I pulled a card and wove that into my role-play.

We faced an enemy: I pulled a card – “Death” – and said “Well this does not look good…” It was a great hook and the spell Second Sight got the most use out of any previous DCC game because I’d pass the deck to the GM and he’d arrange for me to pull a card and let me interpret it as I saw fit. “Oh you’d like healing?” Pull out the Skull and “Sorry, the Fates decree that you might not survive the day. We’ll see.” Botched a spell? Pull out the Idiot card and cry that my actions have upset the Triplicate Goddess.


One of the things I would like to add more of to my own DCC games are additional patrons, and additional spells or effects like I described. The 2015 Gongfarmer’s Almanac (available at the Google+ DCC community for free and now in an omnibus addition) has a whole slew of new patrons and even a great chart for additional daily effects expanding upon the birth augur in the core rulebook.

What sort of props have you added in to your DCC games? What kind of patrons or additional effects would you like to see? Comments are open!

So many great systems – so little time – pt.1

December 6, 2011 2 comments

I’m a big fan of RPGs of many different stripes. I also have the great fortune of usually being able to game once, if not twice a week. Even still, there are game systems out there that I would really love to try, but due to ongoing campaigns, or scheduling conflicts I just can’t find the time. Some I even supported as kickstarter projects, but haven’t been able to dedicate more time than just a cursory read.

This week we’ll be doing a series of articles game systems that I would love to play. One day. If you’ve played them and enjoyed them, let us know in the comments below!

First up, Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: The guys at Goodman games have been making RPGs and modules for 3.5 and 4e for years. DCC RPG is an interesting combination of a throwback aesthetic, but with new and innovative mechanics. Its essentially like basic DnD with your Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Thief, and class/races Elf, Dwarf and Halfling. One of the more controversial additions is the level-0 character “funnel.” Every player starts with 2-4 0-level characters, and which ever survive the first adventure graduate to being a full-fledged 1st level character. There are really interesting magic mechanics for wizards and clerics, and the warrior has a cool mechanic called “mighty deeds.” The beta book (free download) is packed with awesome retro artwork from Doug Kovacs, Jeff Easley, and Erol Otus among others. If you haven’t downloaded it, do yourself a favor and check it out now! I’ve got my copy on pre-order for its pending release in Feb. 2012.

Tomorrow: Leverage RPG

Categories: DnD, Reviews, RPGs Tags: ,

Game Science Dice – 12 piece set – Review

November 9, 2011 1 comment

The 12-piece set, in sapphire blue

I purchased the GameScience Precision 12 piece dice set with one goal in mind. I wanted the funky shaped dice for Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta. The DCC RPG beta merits its own review which will come at a later date (spoiler alert: I pre-ordered my copy, release date Feb. 2012). There was plenty of discussion on the forums about the weird d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d30 as being unnecessary and raising the buy-in to play in this new system. I’m not going to rehash the debate here, but my first attraction to D&D when I was a kid was the crazy shaped dice that looked nothing like the regular six-siders I was used to in other games. The idea of shapes that were “too weird” even for RPG fans just made me want them more.

Not that I don’t understand the other side of the story. Especially after they arrived.

I did a bit of research on Zocchi dice in general, and watched the videos from GenCon from a few years ago. I was sold. I love dice in general, and figured I might as well own a Cadillac set of dice with edges so precise they could almost hurt your hand if picked up carelessly. One thing you should be aware of, and something that was not made at all clear on their site, while these dice aren’t tumble-sanded and rounded off unevenly, they do have pretty significant plastic nubs or craters where the die is cut off from the mold. According to Mr. Zocchi that doesn’t matter as the uniform edges give you equal access to all surfaces of the dice. Which may be true, but damned if they aren’t ugly.

Big dings or nubbins

A regular 7-piece RPG set will run you $6.25 + $4 shipping, uninked. If, like me, you want the 12-piece set, shipped and inked, you’re looking at $37. Thats a lot of money for dice to not be 100% satisfied. That being said, the dice do have a vivid sapphire-blue color to them, and they certainly have a unique feel. One unadvertised feature was that the d14 also has days of the week on it. They are uninked, and a bit hard to read unless you’re in really good light, but if you needed to randomize which day of the week it is, you’ve got your die. Something that surprised me was the difference in color between the two d10s. The rest of the set is a deep, rich blue, but the tens d10 is a bit more of a sky blue. I could understand the difference in color if they were numbered the same, as we often rolled two regular d10s back in the day and just called which color die was the 10s place before a roll was thrown; but since its specially numbered as the tens place already, why the difference in color? Maybe I’m just getting a bit nit-picky, but at $37, can you blame me? The other thing I didn’t really like is that the d24 is essentially a d6, with 4 sides on each side of the d6. Its strange that they didn’t raise center vertex on each side to give them a more uniform shape, rather than 6 sides with 4 sides on each. Its kind of hard to describe unless you hold one in your hand and give it a roll.

All and all I do enjoy the set. It seems to me that for the money, the manufacturer should take a bit more care about the size of the spurs left on the die before they leave the factory, but if that were to drive up the price any further, no one would be them. Buyer beware.

Sky blue on the left, Sapphire on the right