I’ve been a very busy gamer indeed over the past few months. This year has seen some big changes to my weekly schedule, and all for the better.
First of all, I’ve gotten a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics going over G+ which is really fun. I recruited three players from UK Roleplayers, Richard, Martin and Nick. Never played with these guys before, just had conversations on fora. Obviously a bit apprehensive about how it would all go, but I needn’t have worried.
We used the character generator from Purple Sorceror to give each player a pool of four villagers to start with. You get a surprising amount of characterisation out of six stats, an occupation and a belonging. It felt like the kind of characters you get from Warhammer but without all the setting baggage that goes with it. (Note, I like all that setting stuff, but it can be intimidating to a new campaign).
I had read through the rules on PDF pretty thoroughly, enough to know that the only rules you need for 0 level would probably fit on 10 pages. The rest would come in if we got that far.
We played Sailors on the Starless Sea, and I think it’s fair to say we got the real deadly pulp fantasy experience. The first PC died within 15 minutes with his first die roll (ha!) and others soon followed. The guys had plenty of respect for the adventure, but were happy to throw caution to the wind where needed. In fact, the beastman enemies died just as swiftly as the pcs, so it seemed a level playing field from a deadliness point of view.
The guys did a marvellous job of bringing their index card sized characters to life. Even those who succumbed to various death traps or axes had something to remember them by. The adventure itself hit all the right notes for me. Even the bits the party missed out on can be easily recycled into future adventures. Out of 12 starting characters, only 4 survived, and they are now fully rounded characters, with personalities, and most important, a shared history (of loss!)
It may have taken 6-8 hours of play, but we’ve ended up with a party of first level characters that I know really well, and they know each other. They’re much more precious to the players as a result.
We’re now a couple of sessions into People of the Pit, and even with the addition of another layer of rules, the flow of the game is really sweet. It’s old fashioned exploration and bickering, with occasional explosive combat. I’m loving the feel of GMing it. It’s easy to make a ruling, and the players are really responding to the situations put in front of them. As we go we’re filling in little bits of the world setting, a god here, a guild there. That’s fun.
I’m loving our DCC game, and it is absolutely delivering the feel and atmosphere I was hoping for. Is it old school? I suppose so, but all the really sweet bits have come from the players rather than any charts or tables. Actually, that’s not true. The charts and tables have been a really good springboard for the imagination. When your only possession is a … (Roll)…. Goose, then I defy you to not bring that into play somehow.
So yeah, good times, with good players and good tools for the job. Highly recommended.