Dungeon Crawl Classics
|Dungeon Crawl Classics The Roleplaying Game|
|RPG published by
|Rule System||Modified 3e|
|Authors||Joseph Goodman, Michael Curtis, Harley Stroh, Dieter Zimmerman|
Dungeon Crawl Classics is a Weird Fantasy roleplaying game which is (very loosely) based on 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons, published by Goodman Games. Created for highly lethal OSR styled play, DCC is infamous for it's 0th level character funnels and trying to get you to buy another set of dice on top of the standard set for D&D derived roleplaying games.
How To Play
Gameplay starts out very similarly to 3rd Edition, however there are a couple wrinkles to the formula...
- Race-As-Class - Just like B/X, demihuman characters are classes unto themselves, often broadly mapping onto human equivalents. Dwarves are Warrior-like, but with some unique skills which make up for their slower attack progression. Elves similarly correspond with Wizards, but with higher HP and a weakness to iron. Halflings are stealthy like Thieves, but with slower movement and shareable luck.
- The Stats - Ability Scores in this game are Strength, Agility, Stamina, Personality, Intelligence, and Luck. Personality is Charisma and Wisdom wrapped into one stat, while Luck affects a random aspect of your character determined by their birth-sign (ie, a character who rolls a clover auger gains their luck modifier when searching for secret doors on top of their efforts), can be burned by all characters for a bonus to rolling, and is regenerated only by Thieves and Halflings.
- The Dice Chain - Where those funky die come in. Certain modifiers may cause a character to roll a d16 or a d24 instead of the usual d20. For example, a fifth level warrior gains a second attack which uses a d14, while the first attack uses a d20.
- Divine Spellcasting - Clerics no longer have a hard limit on how many times they can cast a day. Rather, every time they critically fail a spell check, they roll on their deity's disapproval table, and his range of critical failure expands by 1. This simulates begging a busy and probably uncaring deity for help, and maybe getting an answer.
- Arcane Spellcasting - Wizards don't get a hard limit either, but instead take terrible risks with each spell check, chancing mutation and corruption or just misfire. They can also "spellburn", taking ability damage to empower their spells, representing drawing their own blood or their patron taking a part of their soul or whatever. This can result in max-powered spells on first level, but then after annihilating that army the wizard won't do shit for a week and has to be carried everywhere.
Most infamous amongst the DCC gameplay loop is the 0th-Level character funnel. Essentially, Judges are encouraged to have their players roll up four 0th-level characters using old school rules: 3d6 for each stat, 1d4+STA HP, and d100 to determine starting Occupation, which gives the player access to one weapon and one piece of equipment. Characters can range in ability from comparable to a B/X level 1 character to complete trash. Then the GM sends this mob of 12-28 characters into a meatgrinder dungeon. The low health, low equipment, and lack of class skills for these characters means that they'll be slaughtered in droves, leaving only the luckiest and most capable of the cannon fodder to become Adventurers.
The core rulebook comes with an adventurer funnel, and Goodman Games is constantly releasing new ones, either themselves or through third parties. These range the gamut from "Venture into Evil Stonehenge" to "being kidnapped by Antwomen".
Kickstarted in 2016 and released the following year, Mutant Crawl Classics is the Gamma World to DCC's D&D. It plays essentially the same, but focuses on tribes of humans (and mutants and manimals) surviving the post apocalypse and bringing back relics of the old world. Also, deities are actually AI controlled satellites.