First and foremost, I would encourage everyone to attend Free RPG Day this weekend at your local game shop. It is an important event for our hobby and it is great way to try out new games and help find new players for the games that you love. You can visit the Free RPG Day 2011 site for information about what games are available and what local stores are participating.
I want to highlight one of the products that you should ask for (or try out if the store is running games). The Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game Adventure Starter is an introduction to the upcoming DCC RPG game by Goodman Games. In case you haven’t been keeping up, Dungeon Crawl Classics, the venerable line of throwback style adventures, is getting its own rules system. The game is branded as “Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery.”
The DCC RPG Adventure Starter is a book for the GM. It gives a brief introduction to the new rules and contains two adventures. The adventures are about 4-5 pages long, one is for starting/low-level characters and one is for 5th level characters. They are complete with stories, traps, critters, and awesome maps! If you can get in on the low level game at your local game store ( called The Portal Under the Stars) I highly recommend it. The adventure suggests playing 15-20 level 0 characters. That is CHARACTERS, not players. Each player should run 2-3 characters each. That should tell you the type of carnage you will be experiencing! In other words, you might not want to get too attached to your fledgling farm-boy until he has a couple levels of training under his belt. To get started, you will need to download a copy of the DCC RPG beta rules which are now available on the Goodman Games website.
In addition to the Free RPG Day adventures, I also dove into the beta rules. Here are my initial thoughts on the game:
I’ll tell you, when they first announced this product, I though it would be just another OGL mash-up. Similar to what Pathfinder did, take D&D 3E and make it better in their own special way. But, this is WAY different. Do to use an analogy say D&D 3E is a 2011 Ford Mustang. Goodman Games stripped this car down, used the 3E engine, put only the necessary parts back in, created a whole bunch of custom parts, and slapped a cherry 1964 Mustang body back on top. Yes this game looks old school, with the layout and artwork all in synch. But more importantly, it actually feels like old School D&D. It has that familiar friend feeling to it, with something you vaguely know and remember.
Now, I am not going to give you a blow-by-blow of all the changes and additions to the game. It is still in Beta, there are A LOT, and it will not be out until November. As I mentioned above, go to their website and get the DCC RPG beta rules. They are following the extremely successful model that Paizo launched Pathfinder with. They are allowing you, the fans, to get your hands into this, play it, and give feedback to make the game better. And I encourage you to do so. And it all starts this weekend at the Free RPG Day.
Let us know (and more importantly Goodman Games know) what you think!