Tonight I rolled up 4 level 0 characters for Dungeon Crawl Classics. What a laugh!
It really did take me back to the days when I had a red Moldvay book and no players. Laying on the carpet in front of the fire, rolling up fighters and thieves, and laboriously filling out my exercise book. It was loads of fun rolling 3d6 in order for stats, there’s a kind of primal thrill in that (I still loathe how those numbers rarely actually mean anything in the game! True 20 sorted this out a while back, but it’s the sacred cow that simply will not die)
The stats themselves are a decent riff on the classic 6. Wisdom is jettisoned in favour of luck (which tells you everything you ever need to know about the authors background and gaming philosophy).
I like how it’s not a blind slave to the Old School, how it’s ok to have saves called fortitude, reflex and will. I like ascending AC.
The best thing is that the four characters in the picture took no more than 10 minutes combined. Of course they’re not even level 1 yet, they don’t have a class. What they do have is potential, and there’s nothing wasted on those cards. A parsnip farmer? With a hen and an empty chest? What’s his deal? A chaotic merchant with a dagger and more hard cash than the other three put together? An unlucky soldier with a holy symbol she can barely lift? The only ‘ordinary’ character is a dwarven blacksmith who’s strong and has hit points.
Within the first couple of encounters some of these guys will die. Two have a single hit point. But I already have a favourite, and he will be using the other three as ablative armour. Getting to level 1 will be an achievement.
Just great fun. Recommended.