Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wizard Spells in Dungeon Crawl Classics



I'm really trying not to mod the shit out of DCC, which is hard because I love tinkering with rules (which should be obvious from reading this blog or any of my previous blogs).

However, a particular aspect of the magic system rubs me the wrong way and it has to go.

Wizards in DCC have a very limited number of spells they are allowed to know. As in, a level one Wizard could have books with 500 spells in them, but can only cast four of them. Not four in a day and the next day can study and switch them out. No, they know the same four spells forever, unchanging. Those other 496 spells collect dust, never to be used.

How does that make sense? How does that go with Appendix N which DCC constantly trumpets the virtues of?

Screw all that. It isn't fun. The Wizard already has a pretty crappy lot in life; spells have a good chance of hurting them (temporarily or permanently), patron bonding is arguably more hurtful than helpful, they have few hit points and armor makes it harder to cast spells. On top of all that, they can never learn new spells?

It's almost like the rule is a mistake, but apparently it's made it through four printings and the official DCC forums say it's for real.

Furthermore, the rules say a Wizard can not cast spells higher than their level chart indicates. So a level one or two Wizard can not cast spells higher than level 1.  A level three Wizard can not cast spells higher than level 2.

But later on in the magic section it says spells of higher level CAN be cast, but it is more dangerous. It doesn't say exactly how or why it's more dangerous, but I have to assume it's because the Spell Check is higher and the Wizard being of lower level doesn't have as good of a bonus to cast as a higher level Wizard would.

Not only that, but non-magic characters can cast magic, albeit with mandatory Luck burning, but still. If a Warrior can cast a spell at all, then a first level Wizard should be able to cast a 5th level spell (with all the associated penalties).

So, here is my very simple rule change.

A Wizard character can know any number of spells. The number they can memorize is equal to the number indicated on the Wizard chart in the class description. So a level one Wizard can memorize four spells, regardless of the level of those spells. A level two Wizard can memorize 5 spells, and so on.

Spells that are available to be memorized must be researched and a check roll must be made, as is written in the rules. A character isn't just automatically going to have access to a spell just because they have a grimoire or scroll in their possession.

When a Wizard character successfully checks to learn a spell that is in their possession, it goes into their pool of available spells to choose from. If the check fails, they must wait until they reach the next level of experience before attempting to learn the spell again.

Example:
So a level one Wizard has their normal four starting spells from level 1. In the course of an adventure they find a spell book with two level 2 spells in it. For brevity, we'll assume that the adventure ends with the Wizard making it to a town or other safe area to rest for an indefinite amount of time. During this down time, the Wizard studies the spell book and attempts to learn the two spells contained within. The fail the attempt at learning the first spell, but succeed in learning the second spell. 
Now, the first level Wizard can memorize a total of four spells per day, but has five spells to choose from. The fifth spell being a level two spell means it is more difficult to cast, and therefore more dangerous to the Wizard, but gives them another spell casting option.

Man, I think that is a simple rule change. Yeah, it's more like DnD, but it also makes sense.

 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Strathos map using Hex Kit

The new DCC campaign (campaign in the loose sense of the term) now has a map!

I made it using Hex Kit. After spending about a year looking at various map creation tools like Hexographer, Campaign Cartographer, and others, I found Hex Kit and it makes the most sense for me and what I want to do.

I can easily make a map, I can make it abstract, I can add to it later, I can make it in layers, I can add labels and Fog of War, it's super cost effective, and it looks good! This image was exported as a .png, then I added a filter to make it look grittier, and turned it into a jpeg. Normally, it would be more brighter without the filter.

The village is where the player's Zero level characters are from. The Telescope Tower is the location of their first adventure (Tower of the Stargazer by Lamentations of the Flame Princess, with a play report here), and the Portal is the location of their next adventure (Portal Under the Stars by Goodman Games, in case you're wondering).


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hobgoblin DCC character class!

Holy smokes! This is not the hobgoblin you were expecting. In fact, it isn't a hobgoblin at all in the classical Dungeons and Dragons sense.

See, I feel like the DnD hobgoblin, in all it iterations, wasn't much like the hobgoblins from mythology. That being said, making a class identical to mythology isn't up my alley, as there are different interpretations and legends. So I came up with a backstory I like, and stole ideas from others, and built the class off of one made by someone much better at this than me.

I originally wanted to include the Moss Dwarf class from the EXCELLENT Wormskin volume 1, which you should buy both the .pdf and dead tree version. And then when you realize how great it is, buy the next 5 volumes.

Anyway, the Moss Dwarf has too clumsy a name for me, and I'm not using the Dolmenwood setting, and I'm using DCC RPG not Basic DnD, and so on...

So I adapted the Moss Dwarf for DCC RPG and for my game!

Since Wormskin is awesome and I respect its creators, I'm not going to reprint anything found in that product. That would not be cool at all.

Hobgoblin class for Dungeon Crawl Classics

So you're a...

Hobgoblin!

Booyah! The hobgoblins of Strathos are short, squat humanoids with brown wrinkly skin, often covered with moss, mold, fungus, and lichens. They typically forgo wearing clothes apart from a loin cloth, and never cut or crop their hair or beards, which are also tangled with creeping plants, and maybe a bird's nest or two. Hobgoblins live for centuries; when they die, their bodies quickly rot away like fallen tree trunks, forming a rich compost. Hobgoblins prefer to live in the darkest parts of the forest or underground in shallow, natural caves.

Here is what you can do...

You can see in the dark! Up to 60 feet.

You can speak the Hobgoblin language, which is squelchy and wet and dank sounding.

You as a Hobgoblin can attempt to identify animals, monsters, or other beings native to Strathos as a Trained Skill.

You are invulnerable to harmful fungal poisons/infections and spores.

You are, however, vulnerable to metal. You suffer a -1 penalty to hit your opponent when wielding a metal weapon, and a -1 penalty to Armor Class (AC) when wearing metal armor. Hobgoblins do make their own armor out of plant and animal materials, and weapons of wood and stone.

At first level, roll on the Talent Tree table to determine your hobgoblin Talent. Talents can be thought of as natural magical powers innate to Hobgoblins. Each Talent Tree has a total of four Ranks before it is mastered. The talent you roll at first level is permanent and cannot be changed. At each subsequent level, you have the choice of rolling again on the Talent Tree table to start an additional Talent Tree at Rank One, or you may increase a currently known Talent Tree by one Rank. 


Level
Attack Bonus
Crit Die/Table
Action Dice
Reflex
Fortitude
Willpower
1
+1
D6/III
d20
+1
+1
+1
2
+1
D6/III
d20
+1
+1
+1
3
+2
D8/III
d20
+1
+2
+1
4
+2
D8/III
d20
+2
+2
+2
5
+3
D10/III
d20
+2
+3
+2
6
+3
D10/III
d20+d14
+2
+4
+2
7
+4
D12/III
d20+d16
+3
+4
+3
8
+5
D12/III
d20+d20
+3
+5
+3
9
+6
D14/III
d20+d20
+3
+5
+3
10
+7
D14/III
d20+d20
+4
+6
+4

 
The Talent list is the same as that found in Wormskin, with nary a change at all, so I will not show that here. The main difference is that Talents are rolled every time you go up a level, which gives a DCC character the opportunity to have many minor powers, or master one or two Talent Trees with a couple of minor powers from other trees.

Now if only I could find some mini's to represent them.