Sunday, June 19, 2011

DCC RPG - The Obituary, Memorial, Graveyard

Not sure what to call this idea.

The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG balances character creation not through complexity and trade-offs but through a funnel. What is a funnel? Each player makes multiple 0-level characters (2-4) and runs them all concurrently through the adventure. Those that survive get to take a class level. Those that died ...

Well, that is where my idea comes in. There is very little upfront investment in character creation in DCC RPG. You randomly roll about 10 things, make no choices beyond name/sex/appearance, and then promptly see most of your characters die in the first adventure.

In order to capitalize on that wasted potential, I want to create a memorial for dead 0-level characters. I had this flash after reading a DM talk about "another notch on your DM's screen". My first idea was to literally put notches in my DM screen. The problem is that there are no details to go along with it; just like the dead 0-level characters, it is nothing more than a number.

My second idea was to have players fill in some information on a post-it note and attach them to the outside of my screen. That way the players are constantly forced to look at their own dead characters (albeit ones that were not particularly meaningful to them). This might still be a good idea.

My third idea was to have the players write the characters' names and means of death on a blank DM's screen or large piece of paper. There would be no rhyme or reason to the order; the first dead could start in the top left corner or could write the details in huge letters right across the center. This generated the scene where a player writes his character's obituary in the middle of another character's name (like inside an "O") to find room.

It makes more sense to use the post-it note idea for a particularly deadly dungeon and keep track of which 1+ level PCs die within (to amp up the mocking factor) while using the paper for the otherwise "nameless" 0-level deaths.

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