Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Dungeon Crawl Classics Rpg System As NPC Generator & Old School Adventure Plot Point Creator For Your Old School Campaigns

I love getting the most out of my rpg books and this includes the massive DCC rule book, now DCC claims to be a part of the OSR movement. But could it be used to generate some really nasty opponents for other OSR games and perhaps some guidelines for exciting adventures? Here's how.

There are more then a few uses for the Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg system at the table besides the usual ones that have been talked about. Let's talk about the funnel system which is at the heart of the PC system of DCC for a moment. Try and imagine that your actually the person whose going through some horrendous PC funnel for a moment, you've just watched friends or even countless strangers die for a moment. This is going to leave some terrible scares on your mind and whip you around in all kinds of ways. Because of the way the game is set up every single adventurer is going to go through this process. This is going to create some really twisted folks who are in the same profession as your PC's.

In other words the same process that creates incredible adventurers and outlaws is going to create tyrants, twisted wizards, murderous and psychopathic cut throats, whacked out space adventurers, and post apocalyptic ass hats just waiting to slit your PC's throats. And that's really the way the gods like it. The gods are involved in chess games of fate and chance and adventurers are the pieces, so this creates all kinds of opportunities to cause misdeeds  for characters. Each and every NPC is motivated to get ahead in the world of Dungeon Crawl Classics, the clerical and magic systems are rife with this meta plot point.
The DCC game is a perfect add on for something like OD&D or AD&D when you need a reaver, outlaw, or other personality that will cause your adventurers all kinds of headaches. Yes those same awesome PC creation tools can be adapted very easily to suit your motivations as a DM. Because of the class level scale differences in OSR games NPC's are going to be tough,dangerous, and deadly opponents. They'll be moved across the infinite planes by the gods who want to see their favorites used in contests of adventure, myth, and legend. The funnel system ensures that only the strongest, most ruthless, and nasty survive. In regular 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and original Dungeons & Dragons terms we call these folks villains. Now if only there was a set of guidelines that made things almost like a Hollywood block buster action film that you could apply for your old school adventures?
Well Open Culture bless their hearts this morning released 10 Tips From Billy Wilder on How to Write a Good Screenplay. 

These are also very good guidelines for writing & creating old school adventures in the Hollywood tradition. Let me show them to you to save time.
1: The audience is fickle.

2: Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.

3: Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.

4: Know where you’re going.

5: The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.

6: If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.

7: A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.

8: In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.

9: The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.

10: The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then — that’s it. Don’t hang around.

All of these of course are perfect for creating, running, and DMing your own  old school adventure.  By adding in those twisted & weird NPC's from another cosmos your well on your way to having fellow  adventurers your players are sure to loath and be talking about for years to come. But what about those weird dice conventions? Ignore them and use your favorite edition or retroclone as base then deal with the level issue as needed.
But surely DCC is a fantasy based sword & sorcery game, there isn't a chance in Hell of one of those characters popping into a science fantasy world. Well the stories of Elric had and have that character popping up in everything from post apocalyptic wastelands to dream lands and lots of other places mentioned in Appendix N. So if its good enough for Michael Moorcock then it might also work in your old school adventures.
Keep those dice rolling.

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