Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Review of the DCC RPG system

I’ve been playing the DCC RPG beta-test since June 2011, and decided to codify my thoughts on the system for you.  As an old-school D&D player, I was not exactly prepared to like this system.  I really liked first edition (I started playing in junior high in the 80’s), and have refused to go all the way to 4th; I’m not a fan of rules lawyers and complication.  I believe the system should support the story, and the rule are there to prevent fights and favoritism by the judge.

In the beginning, I did not like playing multiple characters.  I found the Cuisinart of the zero level character slaughter left me a bit cold.  I did not like the randomness of the character generation, as it takes the player away from having a personal interest in the characters.  This was frustrating for me, as part of why I play is to have a vested interest in the character.  That having been said, the game has been fun.  We have almost finished Idylls of the Rat King (not my first time through this one, but it is always a good time).  I’m sure the DM has not played it strictly as written, he rarely does.    The character I was stuck with after the zero level slaughter has proven to be interesting, but not a fleshed out as I am accustomed (I do tend to Munchkin out a bit).  It is a nice diversion, but not engrossing.  Not being personally invested in the character has allowed me a bit of freedom to be bold with play; to do things I might not otherwise do, to act with a sense of abandon, without concern for the safety of the character.   Quite a difference from my real life, and a welcome respite.

They system itself is straight forward, if one is playing a fighter.  The magic system has been a bit cumbersome, just watching others play it.  Play goes much faster than WotC play, in that there aren’t as many bonuses to add up.  As a fan of THACO (go ahead, boo and hiss), this has been much faster than what the WotC rule became.  I no longer have to endure the verbal diatribe of a character’s abilities to find out if the roll was successful.  You know what I mean: roll a 12, plus strength, plus this ability, plus that skill, plus that the age your granny was when she first met your granddad, plus the date of your first ice cream cone, plus … all to realize that the monster you are attacking has immunity to your weapon, and the whole process was a phenomenal waste of time.  Now it’s just a die or two, add a quick modifier, and you are there. 

A word on the new dice:  With my past in mathematics, I understand and embrace the new dice.  They do add to the random factor, and provide an enhanced level of nuance to dice rolls and character abilities.  The quality of the dice produced leaves something to be desired.  The manufacturer has left too much sprue on, causing the dice to be unbalanced and requiring modification to correct which could also lead to reduced randomization (did I mention I used to work in injection molding and quality control?).

I like this system, and am a new convert.  I am hoping that the rules allow for more epic play, not just the quick and dirty afternoon that they seem to provide.  I am sure that this system could be used to provide this kind of storytelling, as well as quick modules.    I am looking forward to using this system to introduce my grandchildren to the joy of RPG.

Happy Gaming, Mikki

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