Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why Just Mighty Deeds?

The warrior and dwarf are probably my favorite classes in DCC and it’s simply because of the Mighty Deed. It eliminates all the silly calculations of which feats to take and basically just gives you all of them, as long as you get a 3+ on your deed die. This totally makes you feel like a badass, especially when your deed die starts getting more sides.

So, I thought about it and realized, why can’t all the classes be this fun? I want to roll funky dice and I want to come up with awesome narrative descriptions of the actions all the classes do. So with that, I came up with the following ideas for Deeds for every class which replace or modify some of their class abilities.

Wily Deeds of Guile

Thieves can spend Luck willy-nilly and almost always end up making those close misses. They have a lot of awesome skills. One thing I never understood was why my alignment limits what skills I can excel at. No other class is limited nearly as much as the Thief. So my solution is that Thieves get a Deed Die. It operates very similarly to the Warrior’s in that they describe what they’re doing, roll their Action Die and the Deed Die. If the test succeeds and the Deed Die is 3+, they succeed with their grand description. Most of the time, this would be a skill test with the thief’s normal skills, but it could be an attack roll if it’s a backstab.
So what does this look like in practice? Let’s say the party is trying to infiltrate a castle and there are guards patrolling the parapets. The Thief’s player might say "I’m going to scale the wall, sneak up on one of the guards when he’s out of sight and backstab him." She rolls a d20 + Deed Die. Since this includes the Backstab, it counts as both a Skill Test and an Attack Roll. She gets a 16 and 4. Success! Her attack roll is 20 (16 +4), a hit, and she rolls her d10 for dagger backstab damage. If she rolled a 16 and 2, she successfully scaled the wall but didn’t see the opening to get onto the parapet and sneak up to the guard. So she's now clinging to the top of the wall next to the parapet.

Holy Deeds of the Worthy

DCC does a great job of making Clerics much more playable. By completely separating the healing from the spells and making the Cleric question whether he should try to failed healing again, it makes it a much more interesting character to play. One thing, I’ve always felt about Clerics is that there should be more effect when they are attempting to use their deity’s powers to help those who could directly oppose its will. Holy Deeds replaces the Cleric’s bonus to spell checks with a Deed Die. The Cleric's player now provides a description of how they beg their deity to prove the target is worthy of their power. In order to succeed with targeting someone with a different alignment of their deity with a beneficial spell, they need to roll a 1+Alignment Shift.
So how does this work exactly? A Lawful Cleric wants to heal a Chaotic ally (why are they friends exactly?). He first explains how he begs his deity to grant the blessing to his friend who the deity may find a heretic. He then performs his spell check + deed die. He would need to not only succeed at his Spell Check but roll a 3 (1+2 shifts in alignment) or higher. If he were targeting a neutral ally, he’d only need a 2+. If the target were also Lawful, he always succeeds as long as the spell check succeeds.

Uncanny Deeds of Sorcery

Wizards and Elves have a large portion of the DCC rulebook dedicated to them. Not only is about half of the magic chapter theirs but they have sections on Spellburning, Patrons, and Familiars. One could say they are a little overpowered but they also have a risk of several injuring themselves or the entire party. Spellburning is a risky proposition which could leave you very vulnerable in the hopes of creating a devastating spell effect. I propose modifying Spellburning to be a deed die bonus instead of a specific selection of points. Each time they cast a spell, they announce whether they are using a Deed die. If they do, they lose the result on the Deed Die in Spellburn regardless of whether their spell succeeds.
This achieves four things:
  • It makes Spellburning more fitting with the theme of uncontrolled magic.
  • It removes a meta-gaming aspect of calculating the amount of spellburn you do to avoid dropping your Stat modifiers.
  • It prevents players from spellburning their characters down to nothing at the end of a dungeon which is often a problem at convention games and one-shots.
  • It continues to make magic dangerous at high levels due to the possibility of high results.

So, what do the new class stat blocks look like?

Thieves

Level
Attack
Crit Die / Table
Action Dice
Ref
Fort
Will
Skill Check Bonus
(Deed Die)
Luck Die
1
+0
1d10/II
1d20
+1
+1
+0
+d3
d3
2
+1
1d12/II
1d20
+1
+1
+0
+d4
d4
3
+2
1d14/II
1d20
+2
+1
+1
+d5
d5
4
+2
1d16/II
1d20
+2
+2
+1
+d6
d6
5
+3
1d20/II
1d20
+3
+2
+1
+d7
d7
6
+4
1d24/II
1d20+1d14
+4
+2
+2
+d8
d8
7
+5
1d30/II
1d20+1d16
+4
+3
+2
+d10+1
d10
8
+5
1d30+2/II
1d20+1d20
+5
+3
+2
+d10+2
d12
9
+6
1d30+4/II
1d20+1d20
+5
+3
+3
+d10+3
d14
10
+7
1d30+6/II
1d20+1d20
+6
+4
+3
+d10+4
d16

Clerics

Level
Attack
Crit Die / Table
Action Dice
Ref
Fort
Will
Spell Check Bonus
(Deed Die)
Spells Known by Level
1
2
3
4
5
1
+0
1d8/III
1d20
+0
+1
+1
+d3
4
2
+1
1d8/III
1d20
+0
+1
+1
+d4
5
3
+2
1d10/III
1d20
+1
+1
+2
+d5
5
3
4
+2
1d10/III
1d20
+1
+2
+2
+d6
6
4
5
+3
1d12/III
1d20
+1
+2
+3
+d7
6
5
2
6
+4
1d12/III
1d20+1d14
+2
+2
+4
+d8
7
5
3
7
+5
1d14/III
1d20+1d16
+2
+3
+4
+d10+1
7
6
4
1
8
+5
1d14/III
1d20+1d20
+2
+3
+5
+d10+2
8
6
5
2
9
+6
1d16/III
1d20+1d20
+3
+3
+5
+d10+3
8
7
5
3
1
10
+7
1d16/III
1d20+1d20
+3
+4
+6
+d10+4
9
7
6
4
2

Wizards

Level
Attack
Crit Die / Table
Action Dice
Known Spells
Max Spell Level
Spell Check Bonus
(Deed Die)
Ref
Fort
Will
1
+0
1d6/I
1d20
4
1
+d3
+1
+0
+1
2
+1
1d6/I
1d20
5
1
+d4
+1
+0
+1
3
+1
1d8/I
1d20
6
2
+d5
+1
+1
+2
4
+1
1d8/I
1d20
7
2
+d6
+2
+1
+2
5
+2
1d10/I
1d20+1d14
8
3
+d7
+2
+1
+3
6
+2
1d10/I
1d20+1d16
9
3
+d8
+2
+2
+4
7
+3
1d12/I
1d20+1d20
10
4
+d10+1
+3
+2
+4
8
+3
1d12/I
1d20+1d20
12
4
+d10+2
+3
+2
+5
9
+4
1d14/I
1d20+1d20
14
5
+d10+3
+3
+3
+5
10
+4
1d14/I
1d20+1d20+1d14
16
5
+d10+4
+4
+3
+6


2 comments:

  1. So, if I understand this right, you're suggesting that each class uses a Deed Die when they're doing the thing they're best at?

    For warriors, it's attacking and dealing damage, for thieves it's using their skills, for clerics it's healing, and for wizards it's spellburn?

    I could see how this saves on bookkeeping on thieves, and injects even more randomness into the game. I think if I were using this idea, I'd let thieves just use their Luck Die to determine their skill bonus. This would give them a chance at a bigger bonus, but also make the result less assured at high levels.

    Also, I think if I were using this, I'd have clerics roll their Die instead of using class level to decide the bonus for turning undead, as well as for healing.

    I really like the idea that spellburn becomes random. I think for wizards I'd also have them roll their Die to determine their spellcasting bonus, which would also make their magic a little stronger, but also a little chancier, than clerical magic.

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    Replies
    1. Essentially, yes. You've got it right. I did each one for various reasons though.
      Thief: I feel the Thief is too clunky of a class. They shouldn't be pigeonholed into excelling at particular skills because of their alignment. The solution is a Deed die that is rolled to give them a bonus on their Thief Skill checks. If the Deed Die is high enough, the GM can let them stack on a series of Thief-like actions achieving an amazing feat.

      Clerics: The only thing that bothers me about clerics is that gods might allow someone they consider Unholy to benefit from their magic so easily. There is no ramifications for doing it. So the narrative description from the Cleric is how they are justifying to their god and the success of the deed die is determined by the difference in alignment. It does replace their level bonus as you suggest.

      Wizards: Yeah, the deed die replaces them picking how many points to spellburn. This does restrict they could possibly spellburn at one time but I don't think that's a bad thing. I'd be reluctant to use the die as their level bonus for spells as well as that would mean they're rolling two deed dies instead of one when they spellburn. It could be managed though.

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