Friday, March 21, 2014

Thinking of Perk Buy for DCC Characters

My presupposition, of course, is that if it's not broken then there is no need to fix it. I think that mixing and matching of skill sets is against the spirit of vanilla DCC - in which humans are humans and everybody has their niche.  All the easy old skool niches are covered, and any of the weird ones can get squooshed into the pre-existing class.  The Barbarian DEATHRAGEFURY is a little gauche, if you ask me, but I think it could be admirable done with a regular old Mighty Deed.  Same for Paladin shit (just be a cleric already - they get swords), and rangers are available with gnomes and bards in Crawl (maybe it was number 6).

Some folks don't like to play that way.  I offer you a link somewhere to see a list of a bunch of DCC Character Classes that might get you closer to where you want to be.  Go read it - I'll wait.  There, that's a lot of classes to think about, and I bet a good couple of handfuls have sprung up since that thing started to collect cobwebs on the internweb pipes.  Okay, thanks for coming.  I hope you stumble here again, sometime.

A selection of races that are, on the face of it, better than ELF or HALFLING

...

Eh?  What's that you say?  You want a Merman Warrior or an Elven Cleric or a Minotaur Thief?  Something like the original DCC classes but MOAR cool?

Allow me to scrutinize you askance, sir or madam or whatever, as it seems that what you want is all the cool stuff from DCC in addition to feats and perks and shit from 3.75 edition or whatever the Hel it is.  No offense, but why do you need all these lists?  Couldn't you just say "I'm a Dwarf essentially, but instead of stonework skills and gold-smell I have fangs and tree-travel" and have you a Mok?  Couldn't you and the other players and your DM just be like "Cool - eff it, I like it, let's play!"?

No - you persist in your need for a firm framework so everything is 'fair'.

Hmm. Alright.  You sure you don't want to just use DCC as a reference book and continue to play d20 or Pathfinder or whatever the kids play these days?  There are a vast number of modules that you can kludge into any form you want.  You could even use the DCC as a loose framework!

No?

Alright. Let's see what we can bubblegum-and-tape together, shall we? Essentially, you take some base character class that exists already and plop down some things and take some things away.  (except maybe the Wizard - the Wizard can already be weird enough to provide an almost infinite variation  DONT FUCK WITH THE WIZARD is a good rule of thumb)

I'm of the opinion that halflings are great in DCC mechanically, but sort of tedious for RP.  Dwarfs, also.  Elfs, ick.  Now, I'm getting back into Clerics after groking ASE and Petty Gods and all that good stuff, and so that leaves Warriors and Thieves.  Understanding the general DCC philosophy of open access to all the abilities at the start, as opposed to incremental improvements at levelling, blow a good wide selection of the things you want your character to do, right from the get-go, blow it all over the place.  If you want mighty deeds and spells, I say (hear me on this), just play a demigod and have all the powers and play some other game, already.  You will notice that elves are fighty and have full access to the spell list - but they got a neat limitations/mechanical problem to work around vis a vis iron problems.  I take this as a model - get a spare framework of stuff, drop something good on it, and then to even it out drop a problem to work around in play.  Clerics and Wizards already have this in spades.  It's my opinion that Deity Disapproval and Corruptions are good things - NAY GREAT THINGS - because it tacks on something weird and fun to roleplay through and drive your character with aside from all the KILL SHIT GET TREASURE RINSE REPEAT

So mighty deeds AND spells - Not in my campaign, bub, but maybe your 3.5 friendly Judge will allow it for a HJ or something.  Or, if you want mighty deeds and spells, then maybe mighty deeds on a ten sided die roll of 10, and a 1 or 2 is a critical fumble (this is a combat tumble mechanic for a Jester class).  Also, you get a limited selection of spells chosen by me, or the corruption range is like 1-8 instead of 1 or 2.  I mean, if you get greedy you need to pay a price, yeah?  My very own Deep One Hybrid class, which to my knowledge is a mere exercise in page layout and thinking about these mechanics which no one has ever actually played, has stealth skills and magic from cleric list and wizard list, and also the Innsmouth Look which is a sort of Tax.  The healing in water thing is a limitation - gotta get back to the ocean, or a murky pond, or whatever, Fishman...

Column A - Fun stuff

1) Luck mechanics (gain, regenerate, trade)
2) Attacks (claws, bites, squirts of insect semen, whatever (note - just seeing if you're paying attention))
3) Movement stuff (flight, levitation, tireless running, leap, swim, climb)
4) shape changing
5) a single spell, or a level of spells
6) wonky adventuring senses (gold smell, infravision, super duper hearing, spot-a-secret)
7) fun miscellaneous mechanics (tracking, bard song, monk type stuff from 1st ed.)
8) any of the perks from, say +Scott Mathis's Transylvanian Adventures

For Column A, a wide range of fun powers, feats, whatever - a jillion jillion sources could inform your choices.  Mutant Futures, Gamma World, Psionics, Robotics Charts,

Column B - Trade Offs

1) Any kind of corruption, minor, permanent, roleplayable
2) madness of any kind, things that compel a player to RP a thing
3) obligations (religious, ethical, whatever e.g. don't eat meat, never kill except in self-defense)
4) slow healing
5) limited but high number of hit points (I think GW did this with robots and androids)
6) any number of drawbacks mutations
7) for bigger awesome powers, the bigger kinds of permanent corruption
8) Decrease the Hit Die

I don't like to play GURPS much anymore, but I did as a kid, and I think you could take a couple of rules o thumb from the GURPS chargen process to design your class.  Forget about the stats and crap and just think about what kind of stuff you could have with a smorgasbord of GURPS books and, say, 50 points of Perks and Drawbacks.  Sky's practically the limit, here!

My opinion, though, is that you don't need any rules of thumb for this, you can kinda eyeball it and agree informally with the Judge on what is fair.  We've done it (me and Evan and the Mok).  Just remember the basic philosophy to get the whole gamut up front without any of the bullshit leveling mechanics other systems offer (let's be Frank shall we Frank, you want the perks to try we all know it, Frank, you want all teh Perks at Level 1).  "I'm  a fighter with four arms so 2 attacks per round, lots of Hit Points, and my skin is green and I have tusks!"  (A Thark)  "Okay, Thark - you can't wear armor better than AC 12 and your Agility and Personality can never be more than 12, either.  You're very big and you take up a whole rank in the dungeon rank and file by yourself, and you sure can't squeeze through any trapdoors."  Fair?  I think so.

this Thark and his mates are going to cut you, Homes
One really cool thing about a good number of the DCC module authors is thay they offer you ways to redo a funnel full of wonky weird character options when your regular party bites it.  +Daniel Bishop and +Jon Marr, in particular.  I can think of three different modules by Daniel that have weird races to play as just casually strewn about the text.  Just like regular humans plus X, minus Y.  Here is one - by the by - it's worth the price of entry just for the extra patrons, but the Moon Men are cool, too.

What are you doing, there, just reading?  Plumb the skeezy depths of the internet and give this dog some hunting room - I think this dog can hunt, I really do.

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