Thursday, May 1, 2014

DCC Donnerstag: Level 1/2, Part 1

Before we get this thing started, I'd like to acknowledge that this is an idea that I'm half stealing from +Doug Kovacs. Often times, in our late-night con games, Doug will run (or facilitate the running of) what would otherwise be called zero-level funnel games, but Doug allows the players to beef up their 0s slightly with a few more hit points, usually a d6 or so. Since 0s are typically disposable characters, this allows most players to approach a huge game of tons of players with only one PC and survive at least some of the challenges thrown at them. Being one of the guys who occasionally works with Doug on these games, it makes a ton of sense to me: instead of each player controlling 2-4 characters, all of which I'd have to keep track of, each player is only controlling 1, which means I can just identify the player with the character and be done with it. This is why I assume that +David Baity always carries around condoms ready to be filling with gasoline at a moment's notice.

Anyway, Doug's 1/2-level characters, I feel, could work great in other circumstances, with just a little modification. Thus, I began modifying. Here's how it works.

The 1/2 Level Funnel

You do not start with multiple PCs. You start with one 1/2 level character, somewhere in strength between a largely-incompetent 0 and full-on 1st level character. This means you'll have some of the benefits of the class you choose, but not all of them. Before you roll anything, pick the class you want to play. Now, roll out 3d6 in order 3 times. Pick the set of stats which best fits the character class you said you want to play. Live with it. If you said "Warrior" and you rolled out stats that would be "more optimal" for a Wizard, a Cleric and a Thief, you're SOL buddy. Leave your metagame at home. Tack on the normal profession and Birth Augur stuff (or the substitution preferred by your gaming group) and round it out with the class info below. Done. Now begin gaming.

Warrior

The 1/2 level Warrior has 1d10 hit points, +1 to attack and damage, +1 to Fortitude saves and may burn a point of Luck to make a Mighty Deed of Arms.

Cleric

The 1/2 level Cleric has 1d6 hit points, +1 to Will saves, knows 1 spell (his level counts as "0" for casting these spells) and may Spellburn for 2 points to perform his Lay On Hands power (again, his level counts as "0" for the spell check and the points Spellburned do not count toward this roll).

Wizard

The 1/2 level Wizard has 1d4 hit points, +1 to Will saves, knows 2 spells (his level counts as "0" for casting these spells) and may Spellburn as normal; however, whenever the 1/2 level Wizard Spellburns, he immediately takes corruption. He may not burn Luck to ignore this Corruption.

Thief

The 1/2 level Thief has 1d4 hit points, +1 to Reflex saves and may use all of the Thief skills but gains no alignment- and level-based bonus (Ability Score bonuses still apply) and may still Backstab (but gains no extra bonus to do so). The 1/2 level Thief still may spend Luck points as normal, but his Luck die is a d3.

Next time, we'll look at 1/2 level demihumans and making the transition to 1st level from 1/2th. (1/2th? 1/2st? 1/2nd?)