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Interesting Game

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I ran a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics a while back, which is an OGL game inspired by 1e AD&D (and a bit more on the lethal side). They had an interesting mechanism for starting the game, which is that all of the characters start at level 0 (as commoners basically) and each player actually starts the game with four characters.

    The reason you start the game with four characters is that your level 0 peasants are expected to die horribly. In the first session, for example, you may grab your pitchforks or whatever is at hand and decide to go check out that old haunted tower on the hill to see why there have been noises coming from it at night. Whichever character you have that survive this brave but foolhardy expedition attains level 1 and then becomes your actual PC for the rest of the campaign.
    Ireth likes this.
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    That sounds neat!
  3. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    Sounds interesting.
    Whats a 0 level get for hp? half a d8? d6 or a full d8?
    A mage could actually do better this way, get the first roll as a commoner rather then a mage.(if it's not the half a d8)

    I think it would have to be assumed the path they chose would be in there history. A thief would be sinnister and untrustworthy and have "noticed" how to do little things, the cleric would be devout already, the bard would have song prior, and so on. They wouldn't have vast experience in it, but would have basic knowledge to build on.

    One problem, the most likely ones to survive is the stronger or quicker. So warrior and thief might overwhelm the party. Someone with high int or wis would not have much in the way to stay alive. The thief would survive with missle weapons, the warrior can smash his way through, the mage with no spells would be hard to stay alive. So the second skill would be the survival. So you get a mage with high str or Dex.

    That would also increase hp for first level characters. Sinc at first level they would a thier class hit points plus the 0-level hps. 1st level fighter would be d10+ 1/2 d8(at worst). The 1st level mage hp could be as high as 8 (4+4). The DM could cut that back though and make the first level a half hit dice addition to make the complete 1hd. Best situation: mage would be 4+2(1/2hd) still better then the traditional, but the barbarian would be 10 (4+6) rather then a possible 12.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

    I don't find a game like this so interesting for I don't see a point in running a game that will purposely kill the PCs for no good reason besides "Hey, we can kill your characters!". It's a fake warning, otherwise the remaining PCs would keep dying like flies in the next sessions—and in this case you should just keep creating new characters after your main PC dies. A vicious circle.

    If the point is having a single PC, then create a single PC, if it's having a random PC, then let the dices determine it. If it's have the characters starting as commoners, then just do it. The hassle of creating three extra characters that will suffer a mandatory death for something that won't add to the game seems… pointless.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    People in the group were skeptical, but it worked out really well.

    Every commoner has 1d4 HP, and a background occupation that determines a piece of gear and can give them some help in the dungeon, but it's not much. It's not really a fake threshold, because the differences between level 0 and 1 are pretty important, so if you live to move beyond your commoner status, you're going to have a much higher chance of surviving next time (though the game is fairly lethal throughout, as a rule). In other words, the difference between having absolutely no experience exploring a dungeon and fighting monsters and having done it and lived through it at least once isn't minor.

    Character creation is very fast at level 0, so there's no real hassle to it. The fun thing was seeing which characters survived, and how the players take on the role of that character moving forward.

    Death isn't mandatory, either. It's not handed down from on high or anything. All four of your characters might live. It's just that the odds are against it. You could lose just two, you may lose all of them. You're just a bunch of lowly peasants who are in way over your heads.
  6. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

    That seems pretty cool. You could make each of the four characters in such a way that they could end up a different class, then 'let the dungeon decide' what class to play. Or not. Regardless, it sounds like a fun way to play.
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    If I played a game like that, I'd try making one character from each race just for fun.
  8. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

    Heh... that reminds me of the humorous sci-fi game Paranoia. Each player gets a "6-pack" of clones, because it's expected that characters will die quite often.
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