On DCC RPG: The Play and Rules

I know everyone has moved on to ACKS, but we're still thoroughly play-testing DCC over here, so here are my observations of actual play, along with player comments.

What follows is a long list of thoughts coming up during play and play-testing:

Major Issues:
  • Fumbles! Apparently if you are a fighter, who's job is fighting and killing things in armor, then not only will you fumble much more then the other classes (because you are attacking more) but your fumbles are more severe because you are in heavy armor.
  • The thought of a fifth level fighter rolling a 1 on his attack die, bothers me even with the addition of damage. The fact that average on a d7 is 4 with the chance of it being 1 for a fifth level fighter still seems low. Also, what happens at level 8? 10? Is the fighter capping out rolling a d12? That's some pretty wild variance for the guy who's supposedly best at fighting.
  • Why would you *ever* *ever* spend luck before a roll.
  • As cool as I think this system is, the extreme randomness of character creation + funnel, and the lack of player control over their character (from corruptions, etc.) make for fun one-offs, but cause serious misgivings about using the system for campaign play. Is anyone running a six month campaign with this? How is that working out? Did you have any spell-casters reach mid levels that used spells?
  • Characters are effectively invulnerable after hitting level 1. First, they have to be reduced to 0 hit points. Then they have to be ignored by every party member for a number of rounds equal to their level. Then, they *still* have a better than average chance of being alive. It makes it feel a little cartoonish at times - the opposite of old school/deadly.
  • The "Be creative with deeds" and "Here are a list of specific effects for specific kind of deeds" are directly at odds. One reason I enjoy old school games is that I'm not going to get into rules arguments with players about the 'rules' and I'm certainly not going to reference an effects table for a character ability during play. Should I just photocopy this section and hand it out to the player, so they can tell me the effect of the deed?
Things that are Confusing:
  • Why would you ever not declare a deed?
  • Spells in the beta document make no sense. Can you learn a spell between levels? How many can you prepare? Each once?
  • Luck? So having the birth-sign makes you bad at something? Until you earn enough luck to be good at it? If thieves and halflings always regenerate luck and they gain 1 or 2 per session, how do they not end up with luck totals in the 30+
  • Why are there no options for druid ranger types? No animal friendship? No animal companions? I play with a lot of girls, so these things are deal-breakers.
  • The character sheets are not labeled as to class
  • There is a discrepancy between the cleric turn unholy and character sheet regarding the application of the luck modifier.
  • The differences between weapons (mace? warhammer?) seem pointless. Either make them all do 1d6, or do some pathfinder style weapon balancing.
  • There are a ton of edge case, specific rules, that are interesting but difficult to keep straight after years of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Some clarification or collection of these would be useful. I am refering to Strength less than 5, 2-handers having an initiative penalty. 
Minor Issues:
  • It's unclear from the beta how experience points are acquired.
  • Over a campaign you will see a lot of repetition in the mercurial magic table.
  • How can the spell fumble table options for 'rain' not include frogs?
  • "Chapter: FIve"
  • "suffering a. -1" (Page 98, result 0)
  • "Attack" on the fighter character sheet should read "attack die" or some such to indicate that it's a variable amount.
 Again, I know the above seems negative, but we did have a lot of fun playing.


  1. Please tell me you have submitted this to Goodman. I really want their game to be good, and they can use this feedback!

  2. Did you ever give the game a play in its final version? I'm really excited about getting DCC to the table.


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