“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.
The below is the first of what will hopefully be a series of spells/patrons. It’s certainty one to spice up a spell list if nothing else. A few notes on the spell and it’s usage:
Should a player select this one for use the Judge will now need to at least make an attempt to keep track of where enemies died. This can be tricky to recall at times but is only a minor piece of paperwork to keep up with unless you’re running massive battles.
Secondly, if your players are even vaguely creative then at least one of them will just start carrying corpses around with them to just as bombs. This is typically fine, there is little more distressing to a new town your adventurers might visit than them literally walking in smelling like death.
Last of all the spell does not mention a size restriction on corpses, this was left vague intentionally as detailing out a size chart and relative damage for each size is 0% fun. Some basic rule ideas to adjust for this are to lower/increase the die the chain 1-3 steps pending the creatures size. This should be enough to stop the wizard from attempting to use rat corpses as hand grenades and but may encourage them to drag that mammoth they slew around for a little bit.
Until next time!
DCC Spell – Xul’s Carrion Calamity
Illustration by the ogre-slaying Joni Kesti.
“Did’ja see the wizzard up in tha pub las’ night? ‘E musta been one of the most powerful wizzards ever! E’ summoned shadows right there, an’ set Alexei’s hair on fire by snappin’ his fingers!”
I’m not a big fan of how the small magics available to arcane practitioners have been handled in Dungeon Crawl Classics. Cantrip seems awkwardly rigid, and Ventriloquism is so situational that I’ve never even come across a circumstance where it’d have been even prospectively useful.
Magic trick is my attempt to remedy that. From now on I’ll allow anyone unfortunate enough to learn Cantrip or Ventriloquism to pick between those two and Magic trick, and we’ll see how that goes. PDF below, as usual.
DCC Spell – Magic trick
“The life of the common folk of the north is everywhere similar due to the simple imperative of survival through the bitter winter. Loptir offers succor to his followers, warmth and comfort to all who are in need.” Continue reading “Loptir, Lord of Flame”
“Worlds exist, this we know. And between them, something else.
A non-space, limitless and incomprehensible. Not a dimension, but the lack of it.
In that unfathomable realm, things float. And watch. And wait.”
This weeks article is a double whammy: an eldritch, existential, ectoplasmic patron from beyond, and a magic item to introduce it to your adventures. Continue reading “A Thing from the Between-Spaces”
“We went to the tower in the east woods las’ week. Y’know, the one they say was abandoned by a wizard a few years back? Figured it was time to see if anythin’ was left be’ind by the freak who used ta live there.
Was a bad move of course. Never meddle in the affairs o’ wizzards, as they say. Barely made it ‘alfway up the steps when somethin’ attacked us. Looked like a buncha severed limbs, like ‘ands an’ feet and stuff, smelled like it too.
We ran, of course. No point in risking a fight wit’ that sorta magic. Is pitch black, that is.”
I’ve previously posted the class details for necromancers (available here). The document mentions a variant spell, Breathe Un-life. And here are the details, for your perusal.
DCC spell – Breathe Un-Life
Illustration by the grossed-out Joni Kesti.
“Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, Sasquatch…these names refer to things seldom seen and often feared. Their forms and colorations are as varied as the names used to describe them. Giant creatures that often live in isolated wilderness, but sometimes come into conflict with civilization. Even when in contact they are often described with a timidity that belies creatures of their size and strength, but woe to the person who corners such a beast for they are also capable of a primal ferocity that can shake the earth.
Despite these creatures being a phenomenon the world over, they seldom crop up in conjunction with gaming. This is a real shame. The complex tapestry of legends, folklore, and tall tales that is easily available on the subject can easily be mined for rich details. They also represent something easily identifiable by the players in the general sense, while still being unknown in the specific sense.”
Bob Brinkman, “A Field Guide to Giant Man-Apes” Continue reading “A Field Guide to Giant Man-Apes”