10 January 2011
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: Initial Thoughts
I received an e-mail message from Goodman Games last week (they seem to arrive every so often) which included a brief blurb describing their forthcoming 'Dungeon Crawl Classics' RPG . A quick visit to their forum uncovered this summary post:
Of most interest to me was the following item: "It uses a Vancian magic system…if you use the term “Vancian” to mean “based on a reading of Vance’s original works,” not “what D&D does.”" I am genuinely intrigued to see what the DCC RPG magic system looks like based on this comment alone!
Overall, though, it's not clear what niche this game is intended to fill. It explicitly is not another 'retro-clone' (which certainly is not something that the hobby needs now). Castles & Crusades already fills the 'd20-lite-system-that-is-old-school' niche. Hackmaster is another 'new' old-school D&D-ish game. DCCRPG (yikes -- what an unpleasant acronym) clearly intends to take D&D's roots in earlier 'swords & sorcery' fiction (Howard, Vance, Leiber, et al.) seriously (hence the 'Appendix N' reference). That's intriguing, but I'm not sure how much demand there is for such a game (and, in my own case, I suspect that the forthcoming Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea will satisfy this particular demand).
The 'old school' segment of the hobby looks pretty crowded now (all the retro-clones, C&C, Hackmaster, etc.), and promises to become even more crowded in the new year, with AS&SH, the re-release of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, and now DCCRPG scheduled to appear.
A surfeit of options surely is to be preferred over a paucity of options. But I already have too many great games sitting on my bookcase to play. I'll certainly try to keep an open mind about DCCRPG and look at it when it comes out. Heck, I'll probably get a copy just to be able to sit down and read through the 'Vancian' magic system.
But I must confess that I don't feel especially excited about the DCCRPG.
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