Thursday, May 8, 2014

DCC Donnerstag: Level 1/2 Part 2, the Demihumaning!

Last week, I gave you the "core four" classes stated as 1/2 levels, and this week, it's demihumans' turn. The point of the 1/2 level is to run a DCC funnel with fewer characters that have better aptitudes than normal zeroes, but aren't quite as capable as full-on level one adventurers. Without further ado, here's how the 1/2 level demihumans stack up.

Dwarf

The 1/2 level dwarf has 1d8 hit points, +1 to Fortitude and Will saves, +1 to attack and damage, the normal dwarf-y senses (infravision, subterranean senses, ability to smell gold, etc.), may burn a point of Luck to make a Mighty Deed of Arms. The dwarf does not get any ability to perform a shield bash at this level.

Elf

The 1/2 level elf has 1d4 hit points, +1 to Reflex and Will, the normal elf-y senses (infravision, detection of secret stuff, etc.) and may cast Invoke Patron and Patron Bond; he may Spellburn when he casts these spells, but if he does so, he immediately takes Patron Taint. He may not burn Luck to reduce or prevent this Taint.

Halfling

The 1/2 level halfling has 1d4 hit points, +1 to Reflex and Fortitude, halfling-ish senses (infravision and... I don't know... always knowing which way it is to the nearest kitchen or pub?), may fight with two weapons as normal (i.e., as if he had a 16 Agility) and may spend Luck both normally on himself and on the actions of his allies; this Luck expenditure is never doubled (it is always at a one point for one bonus basis).*

*There has been some debate as to how much of a bonus the normal halfling's +2 from Luck expenditures extends to his ability to spend Luck on his allies' behalf. Some folks (myself included) said it should only be +1, since the language of the text states that this extra bonus applies to the halfling's use of Luck, not his expenditure of Luck to improve the an ally's rolls. +Joseph Goodman has gone on record on the Goodman Games forums stating that yes, indeed, the hafling's +2 Luck effect does apply to Luck spent on another's behalf. 

Experience and Level 1/2

In a normal funnel, the advantage that players have over their environment is twofold: first, they have the brains of several players trained on the concept of overcoming the environment and monsters that the Judge presents them with and second, they have pretty solid numbers, so that if some few (or some many) zeroes die, the players can still overcome the challenges presented them with smart play. The experience system of DCC is tuned toward this concept. For the 1/2 level funnel, though, there are fewer characters (probably) and each one has a higher degree of capabilities. Since most 1/2 level classes are more survivable than 0 level characters, I don't believe that the numbers issue would be too terribly off-kilter against the PCs (even if their overall HP total is much lower) and, further, they are much better able to dish out punishment to enemies and overcome challenges than your average, run-of-the-mill 0, even if their Ability Scores aren't tip-top. As such, I'd place the experience points needed to hit level 1 at the same place for a 1/2 level character as for a zero: 10. That doesn't feel too punishing.