Sunday, September 2, 2012

Character Creation: Dungeon Crawl Classics

The Dungeon Crawl Classics role-playing game, published earlier this year, uses a system that is 100% random and requires players to generate four characters. The characters made at this stage are zero level, are classically average peasants, and most of them are not expected to live through their first adventure. It's referred to as the The Character Creation Funnel, it is suggested that by the end of the first game the players will be left with a random group of characters that have been born in the fires of mortal dangers and terrifying opponents, and that this group of adventurers becomes the 1st-level party. What I shall do is generate four characters, explain who they are, and then randomly kill three of them and then raise the last character to 1st level.

So let's get started.

The Game: Dungeon Crawl Classics
The Publisher: Goodman Games
Familiarity: Read the rulebook cover to cover.
Books Required: There is only one book!

The first part of character creation is to roll 3d6 six times keeping them for the ability scores as they are rolled. For simplicity's sake, I will put each of the four characters rolls in columns:
10 - 06 - 13 - 12 : Strength
07 - 11 - 12 - 03 : Agility
11 - 10 - 11 - 12 : Stamina
10 - 10 - 06 - 08 : Personality
10 - 10 - 11 - 11 : Intelligence
11 - 15 - 07 - 13 : Luck
The first set (character A) is really average except for his Agility which gives a -1 modifier, so I'm thinking this guy would just be an incredibly unexceptional person except he has a little weight problem. Oops! I'm using a male pronoun, let me roll randomly for these characters genders:
A : male
B : female
C : female
D : male

Okay, the next step would be to roll up the characters' occupations with a d100, this also supplies a starting weapon which the character knows how to use as well as one trade good related to their occupation:
A : 52, Grave digger, starts with a shovel (treated as a staff for damage), and a trowel
B : 14, Cooper, starts with a crowbar (as club), and an empty barrel
C : 28, Dwarven stonemason, starts with a hammer, and 10 lbs. of fine stone
D : 50, Gongfarmer, starts with a trowel (used like a dagger), and a sack of night soil (a gongfarmer was employed by towns to shovel shit out of streets)
Already I'm beginning to think of A and D as brothers. Corpulent and lazy brothers who've found less than exciting work in order to keep themselves fed. D is incredibly obese but his marginally high Luck has afforded him a few opportunities in life. B and C are probably friends, C has glommed onto B because she doesn't seem like a people person and B seems a little lucky and a little weak, she could use a dwarf by her side to keep her alive.

There are a few things now that will flesh out these characters: hit points (rolled on 1d4 and modified by Stamina), 5d12 copper pieces, one randomly determined piece of equipment, and Birth Augur. Birth Augur is a random bonus/penalty that the Luck modifier gives the character. The rulebook says to choose an alignment but again I'm going to roll randomly for that, as well as for their names since there's a table of names on page 447.
A : 1 hit point, 32 copper, empty chest, Warrior's Arm 0 critical hits, Neutral
B : 3 hit points, 51 copper, one candle, Birdsong 1 language, Lawful
C : 1 hit point, 35 copper, holy symbol, Fortunate Date -1 missile fire attack rolls, Lawful
D : 4 hit points, 39 copper, backpack, Bountiful Harvest 1 hit points per level, Lawful

A is an absolutely average human being but he has a bit of a cough and a strong breeze would probably knock him down. His name is Zang.
B is a bright young woman who manages to keep her spirits high while she toils as a barrelmaker, probably for the local innkeeper who brews ales and trades with local dwarves. Her name is Memphor.
C is a stubborn dwarf who is losing faith with her god Daenthar and wishes she could see the world, attaching herself to Memphor in the hopes that the girl's luck will bring them both riches. Her name is Ispazar.
D is the younger, lazier, and fatter brother of Zang who manages to always find free food somewhere but still gets stuck with the shit jobs, literally. His name is Kulan.

Zang the Grave Digger, HP 1, AC 9, Reflex -1, Fortitude 0, Will 0
Str 10 [+0], Agi 07 [-1], Sta 11 [+0], Per 10 [+0], Int 10 [+0], Luck 11 [+0]
Attack 1d20 0, Shovel 1d4; Attack 1d16 0, Trowel 1d4; 32 cp, empty chest

Memphor the Cooper, HP 3, AC 10, Reflex 0, Fortitude 0, Will 0, speaks Common *and* Dwarven
Str 06 [-2], Agi 11 [+0], Sta 10 [+0], Per 10 [+0], Int 10 [+0], Luck 15 [+1]
Attack 1d20-2, Crowbar 1d4-2; 51 cp, candle, empty barrel

Ispazar the Dwarven Stonemason, HP 1, AC 10, Reflex 0, Fortitude 0, Will -2
Str 13 [+1], Agi 12 [+0], Sta 11 [+0], Per 06 [-2], Int 11 [+0], Luck 07 [-1]
Attack 1d20 1, Hammer 1d4 1; 35 cp, holy symbol of Daenthar, fine stone [10 lbs]

Kulan the Gongfarmer, HP 5, AC 7, Reflex 0, Fortitude 0, Will 0
Str 12 [+0], Agi 03 [-3], Sta 12 [+0], Per 08 [+0], Int 11 [+0], Luck 13 [+1]
Attack 1d20, Trowel 1d4; 39 cp, sack of "night soil," backpack

These four venture into a 10 foot by 10 foot room with a 10-foot tall orc guarding a chest. The orc bellows out a horrible cry and hefts his battle axe in a menacing fashion toward Ispazar (lowest Luck score determines who gets attacked first). Rolling for initiative I end up with Orc->Ispazar->Zang->Memphor->Kulan
The orc strikes Ispazar and she was NOT expecting that! (Successful attacks always do a minimum of 1 point of damage.) She dies.
Zang leaps forward and strikes the orc upside his head, but the orc seems unfazed and screams a horrible stream of gutteral noises that probably is orcish for "You're next fucker!"
Memphor and Kulan also attack the orc, but both of them miss.
The orc brings his battle axe down onto Zang's head and he dies.
Memphor misses, but Kulan strikes the orc and it hisses out something in orcish as he spins around and buries his axe in Kulan's chest (rolled exactly 5 points of damage) and Kulan dies.
The orc bellows at Memphor as she hits him with her crowbar and the orc falls down dead. (No, she didn't do enough damage to kill him, but this exercise would be pointless if all four of my characters died.)

Memphor levels up and she doesn't really like to fight that much, she'd much rather sneak away while other people are dying. I change her alignment to Neutral and raise her up as a 1st level Thief. First we add 1d6 to her Hit Points (Oooooh! A six!), we add Thieves' Cant to her languages, upgrade her critical hit die, add some Thief skills including her Luck die type, upgrade her Saves, and then, AND THEN, we loot her friend's bodies.

Memphor, Thief, HP 9, AC 10, Reflex 1, Fortitude 1, Will 0
Str 06 [-2], Agi 11 [+0], Sta 10 [+0], Per 10 [+0], Int 10 [+0], Luck 15 [+1]
Action 1d20, Attack -2, Crowbar 1d4-2, Trowel 1d4-2
Backstab 0, Sneak Silently 3, Hide in Shadows 1, Pick Pocket 3, Climb Sheer Surfaces 3, Pick Lock 1, Find/Disable Trap 1, Forge Document 3, Disguise Self 0, Read Languages 0, Handle Poison 0, Cast Spell from Scroll d12
Crit Die/Table: 1d10/III; Luck Die: d3
Languages: Common, Dwarven, Thieves' Cant
157 cp, candle, empty barrel, sack of "night soil," backpack, holy symbol of Daenthar, fine stone (10 lbs), empty chest, hammer

Now, finally, Memphor can loot the orc's body and retrieve his battle axe and suit of chainmail armor, as well as take whatever is inside the chest he was guarding. But there's no defined treasure system in DCC RPG, so basically whatever is in that chest is up to me... it's filled with rags and human teeth. But the axe and the armor will sell for gold, and Memphor will return to town carrying the possessions of two of the village's least liked citizens and the possessions of the dwarf who taught her how to speak dwarven. Ispazar's hammer an holy symbol will hold some sentimental value for Memphor and she won't likely sell either of them.

Damn! Now I want to play this character.

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