“When wizards make war the earth trembles,
the sky screams, and reality buckles.”
I’ve voiced my irritation over the DCC spell duel rules multiple times in the past, and stated that it’s the most likely thing I’ll rewrite eventually. Well, that eventually is now.
The root of the problem here is that my group recently transitioned to high level play: the casters at my table are fourth to sixth level, most with additional action dice for multiple spells. This has resulted in combat rounds (and a lot of the non-combat activities as well) turning into a slog through spell result tables, causing the flow of the game to grind to a halt. Add to that the fact that a single spell duel frequently derails the session into a game of counting momentum, checking multiple tables and comparing matrices, effectively distancing everyone but the casting wizard from what is going on in game, and you’ll probably understand why I’ve started to look for ways to speed up the process.
It should be added that I like the idea of counterspelling, spell duels and even phlogiston disturbances. I’m just not happy with how the core rules present and execute this activity, and thus decided to hack the rules for myself.
Have a look at the alternate rules below, and tell me what you think!
DCC – Alternate Counterspell Rules
Illustration by the ever artistic Danny Prescott.
“They walk the floes, never stop.
They are cold meat, blood of ice.
They die, we eat.
Always less, herds never grow.”
– Geskarr, northern barbarian
This week’s article on KitN was communally created on the DCC RPG Facebook group (link here). It continues the frosty theme of recent weeks, as the north is covered in snow and it is easy to imagine great herds of frozen beasts walking in the soft blizzard.
Big thanks to bygrinstow for his contribution to this piece (check out his monstrous blog here and his Night Soil #0 zine here)!
DCC Monster – Ice Auroch
“Ha, well, someone ‘as to do it.
Shovel what you keep putting out.
They call us gongfarmers.
Us, we’re the heroes
Yous ju’s don’ know it.”
This is an absolutely shameless marketing post: If you haven’t already, do check out bygrinstow‘s Night Soil zine. It’s full of excellent stuff for all you DCC gongfarmers: magic, monsters and a ton of various discoveries. Bygrinstow is a friend of KitN, and we’ve collaborated on a number of DCC articles in the past year.
You’ll find the zine and the relevant blog though the below links.
Night Soil zine #1
CHECK OUT ZINE
GO TO BLOG
“Each winter, inevitably, the snow elves come. Descending from the freezing mountains like an insidious creeping avalanche, their raiders prey upon the rural settlers of the foothills, ravaging their towns and stealing what they can before disappearing into the cold snow.”
Continuing our series of articles to fit the local weather patterns, here are the snow elves, and it’s -30 Celsius outside. I’m very happily writing this while sitting next to a roaring fireplace, but the obvious downside is that I’m not leaving the house anytime soon.
Snow elves are actually the result of multiple unfortunate rolls: my Monday group fumbled a random encounter check while traveling in the winter, had to roll twice on the encounter table, both of these rolls resulting in the same notation of “Bandits!”. Weather and misfortune conspired to created the wretched elven race, and they’ve been a stable in my campaign world ever since. This article ties in nicely with the previous week’s description of Lady Wyel.
Finally, I’d like to welcome our new art contributor into the Lance! Justell’s illustration caught my eye recently, and she was kind enough to join the growing ranks of our creative family. Have a look at her bio entry for more information and links.
DCC Race – Snow Elves
Illustration: Justell Vonk – “Festive”; ink on paper, A4.
KitN has recently been joined by a masterful artist of magnificent skill and imagination. Here’s what she wanted to tell you about herself:
“Justell Vonk is an artist who brings monsters and creatures from the woods of her subconscious to life on paper.
She is currently working only with traditional media – mostly black ink and paper.
Her visions are folkore and fantasy inspired scenes, often humorous and creepy at the same time.”
For more info please have a look at her artist page and online store!
AMP & JV
Justell Vonk Art
Justell Vonk Art on Etsy
“Formally under the Elfland court, Lady Wyel lives in the cold north of the Elflands.
Her touch is frozen, her hand is cold.”
The Cold Lady of the Elflands was a necessity for our campaign, and I’m absolutely joyful as Antti joins us as a writer on the blog.
There’s a civil war going on in the Elflands, the Old King is tired and harassed. And Lady Wyel wants her share.
AT & AMP
DCC Patron – Lady Wyel of the Cold
“Ho ho hoo!”
– Jolly Old St. Nicholas of Yule Mountain
Just too late for the holidays, it’s the patron we all remember growing up: jolly ole Saint Nicholas!
He is fairly unique in that none of his abilities can be used on the caster themselves and that he requires a character be generous to stay in his good graces. It should add some fun dynamics to any game that chooses to employ him.
This is the second patron I’ve written, and I hope to add a few more to the list before too long.
Season’s farewells and happy adventuring out there!
DCC Patron – Saint Nicholas