"Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it."
In our uncaring, hyperborean waste, divine healing doesn’t exist. However, characters can cry out for a blessing prior to a battle, offering up sacrifices in the hopes of currying a god’s favor. With a successful spellcheck the character is granted bonus hit dice to distribute to amongst allies as they choose.
Actual bonus hit points are not determined until battle is joined. The hit points are temporary and any remaining points are lost at the end of the battle.
The whims of the god & the PCs' goals ...
Failure and worse!
Any character can beseech a god, rolling a 1d10 + Personality modifier. War bands can improve their odds by offering up sacrifices, which can be in blood, treasure, or both.
Sheep or cow
Enemy warlord or champion
Enemy emperor or god-king
Many characters learn certain illicit skills that serve them well as reavers. What you favor is initially determined by what you are good at. At 0-level, pick one skill for each point of ability score modifier in Agility, Personality, or Intelligence.
Climb sheer surfaces
Hide in shadows
Disable / Set Trap
Read Lost Languages
Ambush (formerly Backstab)
Bluff (formerly Disguise self)
Skill Bonus by level
The conceit of the DCC game is that the PCs are liberated by their 0-level adventure. They shake free of the shackles of their former, humble lives, and set out for the wider world as Adventurers.
This presupposes a certain sort of world, where survival is viable for small groups of wanderers, I.e. our usual RPG settings. But DCC is home to thousand insane worlds, some less welcoming than others.
The Village falls in with the latter. A place where rival bands hope to enslave you, unknown monsters lurk in the dark forests and mist-shrouded moors, and magic is baleful and strange.
The size of the village is finite, and every member of the hamlet is a potential PC. And so, when you lose three characters to your 0-level adventure, your pitiful hamlet is now bereft of its baker, gong farmer, and armorer.
Rather than abandoning kith and kin when you hit first level, you return home in the hopes of using those bloodied treasures to some advantage. We root our PCs in a sense of place, with the shared goal of survival.
Cap the levels at 5, start off every PC as a warrior with handful of thief skills, and hide magic in the ruins crushed beneath a hyperborean glacier. Beowulf meets Viking Crawl, and the first 10 pages of every Conan comic reboot. We'll see if I can get anyone to play.
You’re no hero.
You’re are a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen,
a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets ...
… and your Village's only hope for survival.
target="_blank"This instructs the browser to open a new tab, outside of the Gather.Town frame, sending the viewer directly to your publisher page on DriveThruRPG. If you are using Blogger/Blogspot, Google makes this easy. When you enter a link, a window will pop up, asking if you'd like the link to open a new page. Obviously: Yes! DriveThru RPG! Doom of the Savage Kings. ==== The raw text code for the above can be found and copy/pasted from here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17dNUH2PzKYxw2fIe5XAtH9eFgLvW00RDhQCe3TcMGrM/edit?usp=sharing ==== Through the Gather.Town interface, the above post would look like this, with all of the links opening into new windows:
This is no-one's fault: From the outset of our hobby, every PC and every NPC was depicted through the same lens. So it should come as no surprise that, 20 years later, every bartender is a retired fighter with the HP of a dragon, every village elder is secretly a powerful wizard, and every PC need a special hook to stand apart / above the crowd.
This is a consequence of our wargaming history. Our first PCs were Heroes advanced from Fighting Men. But per Appendix N, we should be looking at Character as Class.
Conan is not simply a level 6 Warrior. He's The Warrior. When he enters the tavern, people notice. When he fights, people die. There are other mercenaries, reavers and barbarians in the world, and many of these NPCs might threaten him in a fight, but there's only one Conan. Translated to the tabletop, only PCs have the capacity to become a Warrior. One hundred NPCs might train their entire lives, but no matter how deadly they become, they will never have the suite of abilities of the Warrior. It's not a job title, it's a destiny.
Other classes should be no different. PC Clerics aren't simply priests; they are holy men with the ability to work miracles. Fantasy Popes shouldn't be able to cast spells or heal, but the party Cleric can. You are the sole living instrument of a god. Followers flock wherever you wander, lords tremble in your presence, kings have you assassinated. You're not playing Friar Tuck, you're playing Jesus.
As a Wizard, you aren't the village elder. You're Merlin. Sure, per Appendix N, evil sorcerers exist to blast your PCs with a spell (or three), but just one Wizard has traded his soul to a devil in exchange for the ability to twist reality to his whim. Even if you wanted to retired to village elder-dom, devils and demons will be beating down your tower door with contracts in hand.
And even the Thief. Whereas cutpurses work the bazars, catburglers prowl the nights, safe crackers do their magic, and assassins stew their poisons, you alone have mastery of each discipline. There is no treasure that can't be stolen, no secret that can't be revealed, no regent safe from your blade.
Extrapolated to world design it becomes clear that PCs are an explicit threat to the social order. An avalanche of plot hooks follow, simply in response to characters being Appendix N PCs. Overlords despise you; exiled kings and queens are desperate to hire you. Like Beowulf, you are the only one capable of slaying monsters. Like Merlin, you decide who sits on the throne.
Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. Character as Class.
|Wendy kicking ass. She's playing a bar bar bar bar bear eee ann|
|Wendy's PC has now become a pillar of flame. She died.|
- Beset by a veritable tide of bristling black spiders, Zero the Dwarf leaped into their midst. The tide washed over him, the rest of the PCs bolted, and Zero was never seen again.
- Parlaying with brigands atop a cliff, Zero Mk II decided to break off negotiations with a magic missile cast at melee range. Zero lost initiative and the brigands charged, pitching Zero to his rocky doom some 50' below.
- Deep beneath the brigand's ruined tower, Jazee the Slave opted to take a stand against a horde of oncoming brigands, with predictable results.