Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Giveaway Winners!

 Here are the winners! Thanks to everyone who re-shared and re-posted my giveaway!


Crawl Issue #5  - +Jonathan Perkel
Crawl Issue #6 - +Gabriel Meister
Crawl Issue #7 - +Mark Craddock
Crawl Issue #9 - +Christopher Potter


Please email me at rymooreATchannel-zeroDOTnet with your address where you would like the issue shipped and the email address that +Dak Ultimak can send the PDF to.  

Merry Dungeon Crawling Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Channel Zero Christmas Giveaway



I have a problem. I have a terrible memory.  When I go to gaming conventions I buy lots of cool stuff. Sometimes, I already own the cool stuff I buy. This year at North Texas RPG Con, I bought every issue Crawl Fanzine that I didn't own. Or so I thought. As you can see from the picture above I now have two copies of a few issues.  My bad memory is your gain.  As a Christmas present to the DCC community, I am giving away all my extra copies! Post a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Crawl #5,6 ,7 or 9!  I'll pick 4 random winners on December 23rd.


UPDATE(12/20)
  • I'll draw the names sometime around 8pm on the 23rd. 
  • International shipping is fine.  DCC needs to be spread around he world!
  • +Dak Ultimak has offered PDFs of each issue as well. Thanks Dak!
  • Thanks to +Erik Tenkar for the repost.  Welcome Tavern Patrons!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tower of the Black Pearl

Last week, the intrepid reavers of my DCC game finished Tower of the Black Pearl, an excellent adventure by +Harley Stroh and +Daniel Bishop.  Highlights of the game included:
  • The Halfling Burglar scaling the tower, being nearly killed by flying daggers, and falling from the tower.  
  • The Paladin rolling a natural 20 to catch the Halfling and laying on hands to save his life. 
  • The players realizing they couldn't hurt the animated fetishes, catching them in bags and tossing them off the top of the tower.
  • Not one, not two, but three characters, bowing down and swearing fealty to Sezrakan!
  • Some very wet, very angry, animated fetishes blocking their escape path from the flooding tower.
  • Emerging from the tower into a raging hurricane caused by the Wizard's mercurial magic.
The characters managed to escape the tower but their boat did not survive the hurricane.  They have washed up onshore, battered and bruised, far from their home.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Adapting the DCC Core Classes to a Post Apocalypse setting

In my last post about my DCC Thundarr game, I wrote about post-apocalypse archetypes. In this post I'm adapting the DCC core classes. Guns are more common in this setting so all classes are trained in firearms

Warrior
The warrior needs little adaptation. A warrior can perform Mighty Deeds with firearms: shooting a weapon out of an enemy's hand, shooting them in the kneecap, shooting near a target to distract them, etc.

 Wizard
In the world of Thundarr, Wizards are known as Cyber-sorcerers. Their magic is a result of Super Science! Each wizard has a cyber implant that is the source of their magic.  For example, a wizard might have a cybernetic eye.  Magic Missile would be a laser that fired from the eye.  The eye could scan an item to perform Detect Magic. Patrons alter those that bond with them. The patron may infest the Wizard with nanites or implant a device in their brain. Spellburn and corruption often result in the wizard becoming more machine-like.  (Look for a future entry on PA spellburn and corruption!)

 +Tim Callahan's excellent Technomancer class in Crawljammer #2 expands this idea to an entire class. 


Thief 
Thieves become Scavengers, digging through ancient ruins (and other people's stuff) looking for artifacts of the lost age. Scavs may backstab with a firearm if the target in unaware. Silent weapons are a Scavs best friend.  Pick Lock, Find Trap, and Disable Trap work on their hi-tech equivalents. Forge Document can create imitation keycards and ID badges to access strongholds of the ancients. A Scav can use the Read Spell from Scroll to use arcane cyber-sorcery from ancient machines.


Cleric
Fantasy-style gods aren't a good fit for a post apocalypse setting. So where do Clerics get their abilities?  Here are three different ideas.

Techno-Cleric (Law): The cleric's abilities come from Techno-devices.  Lay on Hands is a med-kit.  Turn Unholy is an emitter that drives away certain kinds of creatures. Each spell can be its own item or a combined item. A special environment suit might contain all the cleric's abilities. Disapproval functions as normal, representing the Techno-Clerics need to repair and maintain their gear. Lawful clerics are usually part of an organization working to restore civilization.  (See my Archetypes post for some examples.)

Cultist: (Neutral): The Cultists abilities come from studying the secrets of the Great Old Ones. They are uncaring of their followers. Disapproval means the Cultist has attracted their attention.

Cyber-Priest (Chaos): Cyber-priests are altered by powerful patrons to be their servants. The Cyber-Priests abilities come from nanites, brain implants, genetic modifications, and mutations that their patron has bestowed on them. The Cyber-Hive from issues Two and Four of Crawling Under a Broken Moon is a great example a Cyber-Priest patron. A Cyber-Priest may automatically choose Patron Bond and Invoke Patron as part of their starting spells.

Halfling
Halflings are a new race of tree dwelling mutants called Minks. Part monkey and part squirrel, they have prehensile tails and live by scavenging among the ruins. Minks employ their prehensile tail when two-weapon fighting.

Elf
Elves are a unique race known as Sorcerers. Sorcerers appear human but are either a new race of mutants, aliens from another planet, or dimensional travelers. They employ magic without the need to resort to demonic pacts or super science. Sorcerers never bond patrons or spell burn. As a result, they never suffer from corruption.  A Sorcerer may choose to spell burn or bond with a patron. This removes their immunity to corruption.


Dwarf
The cataclysm that destroyed the world didn't happen overnight.  During the fall, great underground vaults were built. Many survivors retreated below ground. After a thousand years, these "Vault Dwellers" bear little resemblance to their human ancestors. Vault Dwellers can detect hidden caches of technology. Vault Dwellers have a tradition of self defense. They replace sword and board with martial arts. The Vault Dweller may make an martial arts attack with their off head using the rules for shield bashes. They may also choose to forgo the extra attack and instead dodge incoming attacks. This adds their deed die to their AC for one round.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recent Gaming

This post was supposed to go up a while back. Thanksgiving and illness got in the way, so it's a little late!
This week A few weeks ago, I ran Call of Cthulhu for my regular gaming group. The intrepid Delta Green monster hunters headed to San Antonio to investigate an earthquake. The earthquake was predicted by a madman, who then escaped from police custody. The team did well gathering all the clues and following all the leads. They stumbled a little (argued a lot) when planning the infiltration of the cult. We ended the session with the investigators ready to sneak onto the cultists compound and find out what is going on.  I'm running Delta Green adventure "Aftershock," which is free over at the Delta Green site.

Last week, The week after, I ran Dark Heresy for my online group. I used Tattered Fates, the first adventure of the Haarlock Legacy.  The adventure started with the characters captured and stripped of all their cool techno gear. I thought this would be a neat survival-horror setup. The players would be forced to scavenge and improvise. Unfortunately, the Dark Heresy rules broke down on the side of the road. Again. The final dramatic escape scene ended up taking way too long. No one could hurt anyone with their crappy scavenged guns. I swear if we weren't 5 years into this campaign I'd adapt Dark Heresy to the Call of Cthulhu rules. The adaptation wouldn't even be that hard. The two systems are almost the same in the first place.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Converting between editions of Runequest

There are many different editions of Runequest. I started playing Runequest back in high school. The GM used a combination of Chaosium's 2nd edition and Avalon Hill's 3rd edition. I didn't realize this till I purchased the Avalon Hill rules myself. I tried to run a Runequest game using the same combination of 2nd and 3rd edition a few years ago. It didn't work for me or my players. I didn't try and run Runequest again until years later. I purchased the Mongoose Runequest II rulebook at a convention. I liked what they had done with the system so I started up a campaign. I have a page for it over on Epic Words.


Mongoose Runequest II (RQ2) uses slightly different stats from original Runequest.  Here are my notes on how I convert between the systems. RQ2 and Runequest 6 use similar stats so these conversion notes should work for RQ 6 as well.

I don't get detailed with my conversions. I convert the combat statistics and magic. Anything else can be done on the fly.  If an NPC has a skill that doesn't exist in the new system, simply give them an equivalent skill.

Converting Combat Stats
The base stats of STR, CON, SIZ, INT, POW, DEX, and CHA all remain the same.  Use these stats to compute the creatures Combat Actions, Damage Modifier and Strike Rank according to the tables in the RQ2 rulebook. Armor, hit points, and locations hit points all remain the same.

Original Runequest had a separate skill for each weapon. RQ2 uses combat styles. The creatures highest combat skill can be their combat style.

The Evade skill replaces Defense. I use DEX x3 for a starting Evade and then adjust it up or down.

The Brawn, Resilience, and Persistence skills replace the function of the resistance table. Brawn is used for contests of STR. Resilience resists physical hazards like poison and disease. Persistence is for defending against magic. I use STR x 3 for Brawn, Con x 3 for Endurance and, Pow x 3 for Willpower.  I adjust these up or down slightly depending on the type of NPC.

Converting Magic
Magic is more difficult. There are many types of magic in Runequest. For common magic, I don't convert the spells directly. I give the NPC a common magic skill of Pow x 3 and use the spells as written in RQ2. There are a few spells that don't exist in RQ2. I simply ignore it or swap it for a different spell.

Divine Magic relies on the Lore and Pact Skills. For a one shot NPC, I don't worry about the Pact skill. I use INT X3 for the Lore skill. If the NPC is a priest or a runelord, I would build them from scratch as a new NPC rather than try to convert them. 

I don't know of any original Runequest supplements that have a sorcerer or dragon mystic. If you need to convert one, I would build them up as a new NPC.

Friday, November 14, 2014

In the Grim Darkness of the 41st Millenium there is only Grim Darkness

I've been playing 40k for as long as I've been playing D&D. I saw the Rogue Trader book at a game store in 1987. I begged my parents to buy it for me. I got it the book for Christmas that year.  They did and it was all over after that.  I've played every edition of 40k. I now own 5 armies: Orks, Tyranids, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and Eldar. The Orks are my favorite. That army is so large it should probably counts as two.

Back in 2008, my brother, who lives in Oklahoma, and I were playing a game of 40k. We started talking about getting all the Oklahoma and Texas 40k players we knew and play a big 40k game.  I suggested I host a tournament!  And so we did.

Yes that does say "fist" instead of first. Eight people showed up to battle it out over two days.  Everyone had a blast!  So we did it again!
  And Again!
And Again! 

In 2013 we moved it to February, with everyone having kids it was too close to the holidays.

 And now we've been doing it for 6 years. I didn't think it would last this long, but it's the reason we all still play 40k.  Everyone spends all year working on their armies and playing in order to prep for the tourney.  The tourney is a mini-convention now.  Everyone arrives on Friday and we play RPGs or boardgames all day. On Saturday, we play 40k all day and then  more boardgames that night. On Sunday the final two games of 40k are played and everyone packs up and heads home.  A lot of beer is involved.

At some point it grew from 8 people to 10 people, with a few players coming from even further away than Oklahoma. Some players suggested that we might have to move the tourney to a game store if it got too much bigger.  I reminded them that a game store would probably frown on the coolers of beer and multiple bottles of whiskey that go along with our tourney.

This years tourney is already set and I'm planning to playtest my Thundarr DCC game on anyone who shows up on Friday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bundle of Holding Old School Revival +2


Have you seen this weeks Bundle of Holding?    All kinds of cool OSR retro gaming stuff in the bag!   I snapped it up right away.  The Labyrinth Lord books and Dyson's Delves are worth the price alone.  I haven't had a chance to look through it all yet but the Lesserton and Mor sandbox looks nifty.   Check it out!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Converting D&D to Runequest

I had planned to switch my weekly face to face game from Star Wars Edge of the Empire back to Swords and Wizardry this week. We had put S&W on hold to try out Edge of the Empire for a bit this summer. One of the players has been joining us remotely, and she asked if we could put them both on hold till January when she would be back in town and could play in person.  Absolutely!  I then solicited the other players for what games they would like to play from now till January.

We have a long running Call of Cthulhu Delta Green game. I looked at my campaign notebook the other night and the first session was dated 10/10/2007.  Seven years! That was an immediate suggestion for our next game.  Two of the players also put forward the idea of picking up our Runequest game that had wrapped up last year.  I wasn't too sure about that. Runequest is a lot of work.  The rules we use are mismash of  Mongoose's Runequest and RQII  as well as my own house rules. My plan was to move the campaign over to Griffin Mountain, but it was going to take time to get that started.  

Then I remembered one of the best adventures we'd played was "Hellpits of Nighfang" by Jennell  Jaquays. It's a neat Runequest dungeon crawl like some of the older D&D adventures. I'm a big fan of the S-Series adventures from TSR. I thought, what if I converted White Plume Mountain to Runequest and run it as a one off dungeon crawl?  Stats for Runequest versions of the iconic weapons were already forming in my brain!  I did some searching around and found there are a wealth of resources for converting AD&D to Runequest.

First I found this article that someone had written on the web a while back - Converting AD&D to Runequest.    (If you know who wrote this great article, let me know so I can give them credit.) The article was written by Bryan Malone, thanks to Matt Miller for letting me know.

Next I went over to the BRP site and found Classic Fantasy, which is a full conversion of D&D to BRP. This book translates most of the AD&D spells over to Runequest, which makes it a great resource.  (BRP or Basic Roleplaying is Chaosium's generic roleplaying system based on Runequest and Call of Cthulhu.)

Digging a little deeper on  BRP site I found a conversions of the Monster Manual and Monster Manual 2 to BRP stats! Now we're cooking!

Finally, going back to the original source material itself, All the Worlds Monsters Vol 3 has a section on converting AD&D to original Runequest.

These are all for converting D&D to original Runequest and the BRP Runequest clones, which is slightly different from Mongoose RQ/Legend/Runequest 6. (There are almost as many RQ clones as their are D&D clones.)  It's not hard to covert between versions of Runequest though. Somewhere I've got my notes from  converting Hellpits of Nightfang from original Runequest to Mongoose Runequest.  I'll post my conversion notes as soon as I find them.

So now I'm excited to start converting White Plume Mountain over to Runequest! I'll post the conversion  here once I run it. There must be some kind of Rune Spirit going around right now. Over at Dispatches from Kickassistan, +Adam Muszkiewicz just started a Runequest 6 game as well.

(BTW you can get all the old Mongoose RQ sourcebooks for $1 each from Drive-Thru RPG. It's a bargain!) 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shameless Self-Promotion and Free Stuff


This week +Reid San Filippo released Issue #4 of Crawling Under a Broken Moon. Everyone should run out and buy it right now! It's an awesome issue containing 3 patrons for post-apocalyspe DCC games including Kizz, the intergalactic god of Rock and Roll.  It also has my first ever published work: the Solar Saber! I'm certain it will be a valuable collector's item.

To celebrate, I'm giving away issue #1 and #4 of the zine!  To enter simply shoot me an email (rymoore AT channel-zero DOT net) or comment on this post, or however you want to let me know.  I'll gather up the entries this Sunday at 9pm CST and roll an appropriate sided die to determine the winner. Shipping is on me, and as long as UPS or Fedex can get it there, international is fine.

UPDATE:  The man himself, +Reid San Filippo has offered to send PDFs of both issues as well!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Post Apocalypse Archetypes for DCC


I'm working on  a campaign guide for my Thundarr style post apocalypse DCC game. In this post, I'm adapting the post-apocalypse archetypes  I wrote up a few months ago. In a future post I'll be adapting the Core DCC classes to my PA setting.

The Barbarian
"Lords of Light!"
Likes: freedom, sorcerers, Moks, catch phrases
Dislikes: wizards, technology, slavery
Barbarians are the inheritors of the broken world. The old world is gone and the barbarians are forging a new one.  Wizards, monsters, sorcery, and super science aren't going to stand in their way. Barbarians distrust technology and hate wizards.
 
The Barbarian class from Issue #1 of D.AM.N fits perfectly with the idea of a Thundarr-style character. The Barbaric acts feature brings it to life:  Jumping from horseback, tackling groups of mooks, knocking down the ceiling, etc. The warrior core class could also easily be used but I think the Barbarian is a better fit.

The Sorcerer/Sorceress
"Bullheaded Barbarian!"
Likes: barbarians, restoring civilization, puns, explaining things
Dislikes: wizards, slavery
Sorcerers are able to work magic much like the wizards.Unlike the wizards, Sorcerers steer clear of the corrupting influence of demons and techno-magical devices and are able to maintain their sanity. They are few in number but do what they can to assist those who fight the wizards.

Sorcerers are an unique race. They appear human but are either a new race of mutants, aliens from another planet, or dimensional travelers. Sorcerers function as the Elf class from the core rules. Sorcerers strive to keep their magic pure. As long as a Sorcerer never Spell burns, bonds a patron, or uses techno-magic, they never suffer from corruption.

The Mok
"RRAWARARRRA!"
Likes: food, barbarians, friends, throwing things.
Dislikes: slavery, wizards, fire, water, flying
Moks are a primitive race of super strong Lion-men that have emerged since the cataclysm. They are firmly allied with the Barbarians against the wizards.

Rather than writeup a whole new class for Moks, I use the Mutant class from CUBM #2.  Moks always get the Hybridization feline mutation and a random Physiology mutation.

The Ranger 
"One Riot. One Ranger."
Likes: the rule of law, survivor communities, guns
Dislikes: raiders, mutant monsters
Part sheriff, part scout, part sniper.  The Rangers are the descendants of a group of Army Rangers that survived the cataclysm.  The Rangers keep tabs on the raiders, wizards, and monsters of the wasteland and protect the survivor communities. They get along well with the Barbarians and the Road Warriors. (The Ranger is one of my favorite archetypes. They show up in a lot of post-apocalypse settings. All the way back to the Desert Rangers in Wasteland.)

The Ranger class from Crawl #6 works great in a PA setting.  A PA Ranger is trained in firearms. Rather than specializing in either bow or two-weapon fighting though, the PA Ranger is either a gunslinger or a sniper.  Gunslingers employ pistols and small guns, while Snipers prefer large rifles.  Rangers use their guns when performing mighty deeds.

The Brotherhood Scout
"I wouldn't touch that."
Likes: high tech weapons, The Brotherhood, tech caches
Dislikes: raiders, those who misuse technology
The Brotherhood are the last remnants of the old world military.  Their scouts roam the wasteland looking for caches of ancient technology. Scouts escort Scribes acting as bodyguards and guides.  The Rangers and the Brotherhood know about each other. Individuals of the two groups often cooperate, but the groups as a whole are at odds.  As the last remnants of the military, the Brotherhood thinks the Rangers should join them.  What the Rangers think of this idea is not very polite.

The Brotherhood scout uses the Thief class from the core rulebook. They gain training in firearms and energy weapons . The Scout can "backstab" with a gun if the target is unaware.  In the far future there aren't many scrolls, but there are technological devices.  The  "cast spell from scroll" skill becomes "use techno-magical device."  The Halfing could also be used for the Brotherhood scout with the only adaptation being that they are trained in firearms and energy weapons.  Their two-weapon fighting ability can be used with pistols.

The Brotherhood Scribe
"I'll encourage people to name their non-ugly children after you."
Likes: old books, data caches, The Brotherhood
Dislikes: book burning, apocalyptic cults
Scribes seek out old libraries and data banks in order to preserve knowledge.They are experts in old world tech and often assist survivor communities. A scribe is normally partnered with a scout for missions.
The Technologist from CUBM #1 makes a great Brotherhood Scribe with no adaptations at all. 

The Road Warrior
"And the Road Warrior? That was the last we ever saw of him."
Likes: cars, kids, dogs
Dislikes: raider gangs
The Road Warriors roam the wasteland in souped up muscle cars dispensing wasteland justice. No one knows where the Road Warriors come from or why they do what they do. They don't seem to communicate or even interact with one another. One thing is sure, no raider gang wants to see a V-8 Interceptor on the horizon.

I heard a rumor that there might be a Road Warrior class in an upcoming issue of CUBM, which would be awesome. In the meantime, Road Warriors use the Warrior class from the DCC core book.  They are trained in firearms and start the game with some kind of vehicle. (CrawlJammer #1 has rules for vehicles.) They receive all the normal bonuses from their deed die but can only perform mighty deeds with their vehicle.
The Road Warriors have a secret.  If you want to know the secret click here.

The Vault Dweller
"Do you know were I can find a water chip?"
Likes: Being safe in their vault
Dislikes: Anything outside the vault
Vault Dwellers live in giant underground complexes meant to keep the remnants of humanity safe until the world was ready for them to emerge. The problem is the world may never be safe again. A vault dweller has either left their vault in search of something or left voluntarily seeking a life outside the vault.

A lot of different classes could be a good fit for a Vault Dweller archetype, depending on what their job was before they left the vault. A Vault soldier would be the warrior class. A Vault scientist would be a Technologist.  An even more interesting idea though is to adapt the dwarf into a Vault Dweller.  Having lived their whole life underground the Vault Dwellers have adapted to that environment and gain all the racial abilities of the Dwarf.  Instead of detecting gold and gems, Vault Dwellers can detect hidden technology caches.  Vault Dwellers have a keen survival instinct. They replace the Dwarf's sword and board ability with Dodge. Vault Dwellers may attempt to dodge one incoming attack per turn by rolling their deed die and adding it to their AC. All Vault Dwellers are trained in firearms.

The Morrow Project Sleeper
"This is not what I expected."
In the early 1970s, a billionaire who was either very smart or very crazy predicted the coming cataclysm. He gathered up small groups of like minded people, trained them, and froze them in cryo-stasis in underground bunkers. After the cataclysm, the sleepers would emerge and  assist the survivors in rebuilding. No plan survives contact with a worldwide cataclysm. Many of the stasis chambers malfunctioned and only a few Morrow Project teams survived. The world of 3094 is not what the few surviving sleepers were expecting. Morrow Project team members are highly skilled and combat trained. If their bunker survived intact them may even have access to modern era gear.  ( The Morrow Project setting is cool. I never played it but I ruthlessly plundered it's treasures for my post apocalypse games.)

Morrow Project sleepers use the Cleric class. Rather than their abilities deriving from a divine entity , all of their class abilities come from technological devices. They are able to "lay on hands by using their med-kit. Each of their spells comes from a different piece of tech. Disapproval represents the technology breaking down or needing more supplies. The sleeper must spend time repairing their tech or seeking out a Morrow Project cache and replace their gear. The Paladin class from Crawl #6 could be used with the same adaptations to represent a Morrow Project soldier. All Morrow Project characters are trained in firearms.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dark Heresy House Rules


A few months back I split my 6 player Dark Heresy game into two groups. Scheduling became too difficult and the Dark Heresy system was too cumbersome with that many players.  One of the groups decided to switch to Dungeon Crawl Classics, the other group stuck with Dark Heresy.  This week the Dark Heresy group finally got together to continue the campaign.  Since I needed a way to explain their separation fro the rest of the group, I stared the story "in media res."   In other words, I threw them in a pit with no gear. 

Here are the Inquisition Acolytes who are now fighting for their survival in the Grim Dark of the 41st millennium. 

Ferus Metalus -  Tech Priest from the Lathe Worlds. Slowly replacing his organic parts to become closer to the Omnissah.  (I like how he used the fake 40k latin to make a name.)

Cal  Fodder -  Void Born Adeptus Arbite. Arbites are pretty much the Judges from Judge Dredd.  

I've written before that I'm not a huge fan of the Dark Heresy rules, while I am huge fan of the (somewhat over the top) setting.  Here's my collection of house rules that I use when running Dark Heresy.   If you don't want to read them right now here's a handy link with a PDF.

Dark Heresy House Rules
The Dark Heresy combat rules are terrible.  I use my own house rules for combat in order to speed things up.  If more detailed rules are needed, I  use the rules from the "Only War" rulebook.

Roll 1d10 plus your agility bonus for initiative.  You agility bonus is the "tens" digit of your agility score.



Command is a very useful skill in combat. 
A character with the command skill can make a command skill roll on their turn to:
Swap initiative order with someone
Give someone an initiative bonus

There are a ridiculous number of modifiers for shooting in Dark Heresy, ignore all of them except these.  
If other modifiers are needed I'll ask you what your skill is and tell you if you hit or missed. 

If you are shooting a single shot you get +10 BS.
If you take a half action to aim add +10 BS
If your gun has a laser sight Add  +10 BS
If your gun is Accurate add +10 BS
This means that if you aren't a "combat" guy you should shoot single shots cause you will get somewhere from +20 to +40 to your BS.
You CAN take a full action to aim for +20 BS.  That means you can only fire every other round. It's usually better to just aim for a half action.

If you fire on Semi-Auto roll under your BS, you score an extra hit for every 20 points you make the roll by.
For example if your BS is a 45, you hit once if you roll less than a 45, twice if you roll less than a 25, and 3 times if you roll a 5 or less. Aiming, laser sights, and accurate guns don't help semi-auto. 

If you fire on Full auto roll under your BS -10.  You score an extra hit for every 10 points you make the roll by.  For example, if your BS is a 45, you score a hit if you roll 35 or less, two hits at 25 or less, three at 15 or less, and 4 at 5 or less.  Aiming, laser sights, and accurate guns don't help full-auto either. 

A full auto weapon may suppress. To suppress someone, fire a full auto burst, if you roll under your BS, they must roll under their WP.  If they fail they are pinned. If they succeed, they may act but could hit by your suppression. 

The rules for cover in Dark Heresy are also nutty. This is how cover works.  If you are in cover you may roll your dodge to avoid incoming fire.  If you are not in cover, you may roll dodge to dive for cover or go prone. If for some reason, your don't want to dive for cover or fall prone, you can't dodge. No one can dodge a bullet, let alone rocket powered boltguns and laser beams. 

I don't use hit locations. If it matters where someone is hit I will roll the hit location with my super-nifty hit location die and not their weird table. When bad guys attack you it will always hit your body unless I tell you otherwise.  You may try to shoot a specific location at -20 BS.  

Two-weapon fighting, swift attack, and lightning attack each have their own set of needlessly complicated rules.  Seriously, Two-weapon fighting is an entire page on it's own.  Just don't even bother with these unless you have the appropriate talent for each of these attacks. If you have one of these talents make sure you know how they work.

Overwatch is also needlessly complicated. On your turn you can go on overwatch.  If someone shows up before your next turn, you can shoot them.  (There how hard is that.)  

If you roll a "10" when you roll for damage, you have scored a crit. Roll a 1d5 for how bad the crit is and let me know what you rolled and what kind of weapon your are using. 

There are no modifiers for fighting in melee that you need to worry about.  If there are I'll let you know what they are at the time.  You can use pistols in melee, but you can't aim and you don't get any bonuses for being at point blank range. You can either dodge or parry a melee attack but not both.  You can dodge a pistol in melee.  If you are outside the melee, you can shoot single shots into a melee at -20 BS. You can fire semi-auto and full-auto into melee if you want but you pretty much have no idea who you will hit.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Through Blood and Ice


Through blood and ice, nine brave peons have crawled their way out of +Michael Curtis's Frozen in Time!

Twenty brave souls ventured in to the smoky tunnels.

One fell down the glacier and died before even entering a tunnel.
One was eaten by the bore worms in the tunnels.
One was killed by Robbie the Robot.
One was neatly disintegrated by an exploding blaster rifle.
Three were messily slain by the owl bear.
And the T-Rex ate the last four.

The survivors emerged, changed, no longer hapless peons, but adventurers!

Honor Geldrake - Halfling Burglar
Cedrick the Lame - Paladin
Drake Choasquake - Wizard
Milton Undermount - Dwarven Cleric
Albion Ravensbane - Dwarven Warrior

Joined by their battle hardened henchman:
Seraphim Clashdrake the Herbalist
Rage Lonetalon the Locksmith
Reginald Coloredbritches the Halfling Dyer
Curse Mistbatter the Wainwright

Awesome names provided by the Seventh Sanctum Extreme Fantasy name generator.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welcome to the Band!




In DCC, a group of adventurers is called a Band  rather than a party.  After the completion of the current adventure one of your surviving peons becomes Level 1 and a full adventurer.  Any other surviving peons remain level 0 and become your henchman.  They can also be used as a replacement character should your primary character die. A replacement peon will always be one level behind the rest of the group, so if your main PC dies at level 3, your replacement peon will be level 2. 

Choose one of the classes below for your character.  Elves, dwarves, and halfings can use either their racial core book class or one of the optional classes for their race. 

DCC Core rulebook classes

The core classes start in the DCC core book on page 27.  I've noted the stats below that help each class.  All classes benefit from Stamina and Luck. Strength benefits all melee fighters. When you generate the hit points for level one you add them to your peons current HP.   (It helps a little!)  

Cleric
Clerics can cast magic spells, lay on hands, and turn unholy.  DCC clerics don't have healing spells. All healing is covered by the lay on hands ability.  Clerics must choose a god that matches their alignment. There is a list of gods on the core book on page 32.  You can choose one of these or make up your own. Personality is the most important stat for a cleric.

Thief
Thieves have the ability to backstab, sneak, hide, pick pockets, climb, pick locks, find traps, disable traps, forge documents, read languages, handle poison, and use magic scrolls.  Unlike other classes, Thieves can slowly recover any luck they burn during an adventure.  Agility is the most useful stat for thieves. Int and Per also factor into some thief skills.  

Warrior
Warriors are the fighting class. They have the best attack bonus and hit points.  Warriors also have the ability to perform "Mighty Deeds of Arms." When a warrior attacks they can perform special maneuvers. This can be anything from tripping your opponent to swinging from a chandelier.  Warriors need Str and Stm. 

Wizard
Wizards are the primary spell casting class. In addition to spellcasting, Wizards can gain power by forming a bond with a powerful supernatural entity. Wizards can also burn STR, STM, and AGI to increase their spellcasting. If you are considering playing a wizard look over the Magic chapter in the Core rulebook. There's more involved with being a wizard than other classes.  The primary stat for Wizards is INT.

Dwarf
Dwarves are similar to warriors and can perform Mighty Deeds. In addition, Dwarves are skilled at fighting with a sword and shield, and get a bonus "shield-bash" attack.  STR and STM are important for Dwarves. 

Elf
Elves are a "sword-mages", with skills of both a warrior and a wizard.  They don't have the warrior's Mighty Deed ability but they have all the spell casting abilities of a wizard.  In addition, Elves commonly form bonds with supernatural creatures and automatically gain the patron bond and invoke patron spells.  The only stat that's not important for a elf is PER. 

Halflings
"Rolling Balls of Ninja Fury"  Halflings are masters of two-weapon fighting and can sneak and hide like a thief.  In addition, Halflings are lucky for the whole party.  A Halfling can burn their own luck to help out others. Halflings also regain their luck slowly over time like a thief.   AGI and STR are important for halflings as is Luck. 

Human Optional Classes
This first set of classes are from Crawl #6. (The Gnome is also in this issue but we aren't using it.)

Bard
Bards have limited spellcasting ability, can grant bonuses using their bardic talents, and can use bardic lore to gain uncommon knowledge. Bards are also decent fighters. INT and PER are important for bards. 

Paladin
Paladins are a more combat oriented version of the cleric.  They have a limited ability to cast Cleric spells, can lay on hands, instill bravery in their companions, and cause fear in their foes.  Paladins must choose a deity. PER is important for Paladins.  

Ranger
Rangers are a variation the Warrior Class.  They specialize in either two-weapon fighting or archery. They can use Mighty Deeds like a warrior based on their chosen specialization.  Rangers also gain a number of wilderness skills.  AGI ,STR, and PER  are important for a ranger 

Barbarian - From DAMN #1. 
This class is a variant of the warrior in the spirit of Conan. Barbarians have more HP but tend to wear lighter armor.   Barbarians can perform feats of daring,endurance, and physical prowess know as Barbaric acts.  (Just think, "What would Conan do?") Barbarians also cause enemies to attack them rather than other party members in battle.  STR and END are important for a barbarian. 

Other Races Optional Classes
These classes are from Crawl #10 

Dwarven Priest
A combination of the Dwarf and the Cleric.  The Dwarven priest has all the abilities of the cleric (magic, lay on hands, turn undead)  as well as the ability perform deeds of arms starting at third level.  They cannot shield bash like the core rulebook dwarf.  PER and STR are important for a dwarven cleric. 

Elven Rouge
An Elven Rogue is a thief-mage rather than the sword-mage like the core elven class.  They gain all the thief skills but do not gain the ability to regenerate luck like a thief. The elven rouge has the same magical ability of the core rulebook elf.  

Halfling Burglar
A halfling burglar is a full halfing thief rather than the "sneaky warrior" of the core book halfling. They receive all the same skills as a thief.  They retain the two weapon fighting and luck abilities of the core halfling class.

Halfling Champion
A halfling who has chosen a more martial path.  Halfling champions have the two weapon fighting and luck of the core halflings. Additionally, they are able to use Mighty Deeds like a warrior.  They can also use their luck to allow other members of the band to perform a mighty deed. 





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Friday, October 3, 2014

DCC Level 1 Sandbox

There are so many great level 1 DCC adventures that I can't decide which one I want to use in my current game. Instead, I decided to go semi-sandbox style and let the players choose.  They will hear the following rumors and pick one to follow-up on. If they decide not to follow any of these leads and wander off randomly then the group is obviously perfect agents of Chaos......

"A nearby village is plagued by strange worms that drain the blood from their victims."

"The fabled Black Tower of the mad wizard Sezrekan is only accessible one night a decade.  Tomorrow is that night."

"I can tell you where the legendary Cave of Secrets is located. Those who enter can have any question answered. It also is rumored to contain great treasure."

"A great rift has opened up in the ground. Horrid man-apes are emerging and attacking nearby villages."

"I will sell you a map to the the tomb of the legendary king of the mountain tribes.  The tomb is said to contain the king's magic artifacts."

"Strange men have been emerging from a mist that springs up out of nowhere and attacking local farms. They left something behind after their last attack."

Which one would you pick?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cool New Logo and Layout

I'm lucky enough that one of my regular players is a Graphics Designer.  She made me these awesome logos for the blog.  All of which are way better than the glowing green "Channel Zero" that I made in a photoshop knock-off in 2002.   My favorites are the paint splatter one and the one right below it. Then she went and outdid herself and updated my whole site!  Now it no longer looks like it was deigned by a high-school freshman.  Thanks +tiffany bryan!  Enjoy the new layout everyone!



Monday, September 29, 2014

Stick Her in the Closet

As a GM you always have to expect the unexpected. One time though,  my regular D&D group nearly derailed my campaign by simply using the spell "Gentle Repose"

The campaign was set in Monte Cook's Ptolus. The players had gone to capture one of the big bad guys of the campaign, Navanna Vladaam.  I don't even remember why they wanted to capture her now. I only remember that the plan was for her to be captured, give up some info, and then escape and continue being a bad guy.  Of course, they didn't capture her, they killed her.  From my memory, it went something like this:

Me: "Well she's dead. Now what?"
Cleric: "I can raise her."
Me: "That will take a while, are you sure you want to do it right here? You are in her house and just had a big loud fight."
Cleric: "I know!  I'll Gentle Repose her! We can raise her later."  (Gentle Repose allows you to preserve a dead body for a period of time so it can be raised later. )

Time passes....

Me: " Okay you are back in your hideout, you want to raise her now?"
Ranger: "Nah, then we'd have to keep her prisoner and she could escape.  Let's just keep her Gentle Reposed until it runs out then we'll raise her.  Stick her in the closet."
Me: "........"


And so, my big bad evil guy ended up being in the closet of their hideout for a while. They did eventually raise her and get the info they wanted. By that point, I had already transferred everything she was supposed to do to a new BBEG, as you do.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Ammo Stash for DCC Firearms

One of the biggest headaches in RPGs that employ firearms is tracking ammo.  In my modern campaigns like Delta Green.  I assume everyone has access to plenty of ammo. I don't worry about them running out unless they really start pumping out the lead or it suits the story.  In post-apocalypse games ammo is very scarce and a valuable commodity. I hate having to track every single bullet though.

Way back in 2011, +Jeremy Deram wrote a great article on his blog about tracking charges for magic items.  He expanded it into a full article in Fight On! #14.  I highly recommended both. I'm  using Jeremy's system for magic items in my Swords and Wizardry games, but I wanted something similar to track ammo for my Crawling Under a Broken Moon campaign.  I'm fine with tracking how much ammo is currently in a gun but tracking how much and what kinds of ammo the players carry around gets a little fiddly. Combining Jeremy's idea with the descending dice method in DCC I came up with the Ammo Stash.

The Ammo Stash

Each character has an ammo stash that represents the extra ammo for all of their guns. The stash is rated from 1d2 to 1d30.  If you aren't familiar with the DCC dice they go like this:
D30 - D24 - D20 - D16 -D14- D12 -D10 -D8 - D7- D5-D6- D4 - D3 - D2


Each time the character reloads one of their guns, they roll the die. If it comes up a "1" then the die drops down to the next lower die type. A character with a D30 stash has a lot of ammo. One with a D6 stash better be pretty choosy about who he shoots.  I like this because it lets me make ammo rare or plentiful without the  having to track how much ammo the players are carrying.  It also means I don't have to track a lot of different kinds of ammo for various weapons.  I can give out ammo as a reward by simply upgrading their current ammo die.  The player could also trade away some of their ammo by downgrading their die.  Players can even reload each others guns if they like. Post-Apocalypse games tend to be more cutthroat though. If a GM wanted a little more detail, they could assign an Ammo Stash die for each weapon the player has owns. This method can work equally as well for other OSR games that use firearms like Mutant Future.
The amount of dice in DCC allows for a lot of different stash sizes. If using the DCC funky sided dice aren't to your taste simply use Jeremy's Red-Yellow-Green system as written. Assign the ammo stash a die and a color and away you go!

Update: Charlie White over at Intwischa wrote a similar house rule back in 2011.  He even gets into the math as to why it works. Be sure and check it out as well.

For Reference:

DCC Firearm Rules  - Crawl #8
Swords and Wizardry Firearm Rules - Hack Fanzine
DCC Post Apocalypse Setting - Crawling Under a Broken Moon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My D&D Part Two


Picking up from part one.  I  discovered AD&D and from then on that's all my friends and I played.   We happily merged AD&D and Basic.  We ignored things we didn't like or seemed not fun, like weapon speed and encumbrance.  I ran all the classics: Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, Lost Caverns of Tsjocath, the entire Giants- Drow-Demonweb campaign, Temple of Elemental Evil,  and even some Dragonlance.

During this time I discovered other games.  I remember playing Star Frontiers and Marvel Super Heroes a lot.  In high school I joined game club at the local community college and suddenly every game was opened up. If there was an RPG published in the 80's, I played it.  For some reason, and I don't remember why anymore, I lost interest in D&D.  I really got into Rolemaster and Runequest.  I think I must have been searching for more complicated rules.

In Runequest, I was a player in an epic Glorantha campaign,  but as a GM my go to fantasy game became Rolemaster.  I started my Rolemaster campaign in Middle Earth. After a while though, I wanted that D&D "feel".   I had the characters magically transported to the Forgotten Realms and converted the Curse of the Azure Bonds adventure to Rolemaster.  I don't remember it being that hard. I think there must have been D&D to Rolemaster conversion rules in one of the books.  Looking back, I think Rolemaster was intended to be used as a D&D rule replacement. After that I only used D&D conversions. I converted the entire Ruins of Undermountain campaign and the Night Below campaign. Somewhere in there was another run through Tsjocanth as well.

When I went on to college, I lost touch with my Runequest GM but I still wanted to play. I recruited my friends and we played a Runequest game that lasted almost my entire college years.  I still have a lot of notes and characters sheets from that game. (Including, unknown to me at the time of course, my future wife's character.)

I still wanted to play D&D though. I wanted my new players to experience those great old D&D adventures.  I picked 2nd Edition D&D at a used bookstore. I wasn't impressed. I thought about converting the adventures to Runequest, but that seemed like a  lot of work.  I fell back on my old friend Rolemaster, except by this time, I had tired of it's complexity.  I created aof mash up of the two games.  The characters were created using AD&D and I used the combat system from Rolemaster.  I had a single sheet of rules that I wrote up that told how to compute your Rolemaster combat stats using the AD&D stats.  It was actually pretty easy.  The magic system didn't quite fit, but no one seemed to care.  I ran my former Runequest players through the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign and everyone had a blast. 

Unfortunately, that was the end of D&D for me for a quite some time. The D&D/Rolemaster game ended sometime in 1994. I didn't play D&D again until 3rd Edition came out in 2000.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Greatest Table of Contents Ever Written

From the Tesladyne Industries Field Guide based on the Atomic Robo comics by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.  


Friday, September 12, 2014

Star Wars Edge of the Empire Guide to Starship Combat

This week my regular face to face group continued our Star Wars Edge of the Empire game. The crew got into their first real ship to ship combat.   They have been in combat before, but the first time was against a small cloud car that posed no challenge and the other two times they were running away from an imperial cruiser.  This time it was their YT- 2400 vs a Firespray patrol craft.  In my campaign all ships are named after heavy metal band or songs. The crew's ship is the Queenryche, and the Firespray was called "Fire Woman."   The Firespray didn't last long. It got one good shot in before the 'Ryche blew it out of the sky.

Edge of the Empire has a lot of options for players during ship combat.  The rules aren't complicated but there is a lot to them.  I made this cheat sheet for my players to use.  Here's a link to the pdf if you find it useful for your game.

Guide to Starship Combat
A crew member on a ship may take 1 action and one maneuver per round.   A crew member can suffer 2 strain to take a second maneuver.  
A ship can only perform one Pilot-only maneuver per round.  The ship can suffer two strain to perform a second Pilot Only Maneuver.  Ships cannot perform 3 Pilot Only maneuvers in one round. 
Ranges: Long -> Medium -> Short -> Close 

Maneuvers
Maneuvers do not require a skill check unless otherwise noted. 
Pilot Only Maneuvers
Accelerate/Decelerate: Increase or Decrease the ships speed by 1.  

Fly/Drive:  Change the distance between the ship and something else.  This assumes you are dog-fighting other ships or closing on a object.  If you want to run away or pursue another ship see actions below. 
     Speed 1:  Move around close range for 1 maneuver.  Move from short to close or close to short for 2 maneuvers.
     Speed 2-4 :  Move from short to close or close to short for 1 maneuver.   Move from medium to close or close to medium for 2 maneuvers. 
     Speed 5-6:   Move from medium to close or close to medium for 1 maneuver. 
     
Evasive Maneuvers:  Must be going at least speed 3.  Upgrade the difficulty of attacks on the ship by 1. Also upgrades all attacks made by the ship by 1.  

Stay on Target: Must be going at least speed 3.  Upgrade the skill pool of attacks made by the ship by 1.  Also upgrades all attacks made on the ship by 1.  

Punch It:  Ship immediately goes to max speed.   Ship suffers one strain for each point of speed gained. 

Any Crew Maneuvers
Angle Deflector Shields:  reassign one point of defense from one zone to another. 

Actions
Actions always require a skill roll.
Pilot Only Actions
Gain the Advantage:   Roll Piloting. Difficulty based on relative speeds.  Cancels out the penalty of your ships evasive maneuvers and the benefit your targets.   If both ships execute this action it is a competitive check. 

Run Away/Chase Down:  Pilots roll a competitive check against each other.  Difficulty is based on terrain and speed.   Winner closes or moves away based on the results.  The higher your speed the more distance you can close/catch-up.

 Any Crew Actions
Damage Control: Mechanics Check. Difficulty depends on how damaged the ship is. Recover one point of ship strain, one point of hull damage, or attempt to fix a critical hit.  Hull trauma can only be fixed once per battle.  Every 2 extra successes fixes an additional hull trauma or strain.  

Shoot the Guns:   Roll Gunnery.  Difficulty depends on targets speed and size.  

Plot Course: Roll Avg(2) Astrogation or Hard(3) Perception.  Each success removes one setback die from the pilots die pool due to terrain. 

Copilot: Average(2) pilot check.  Each success downgrades the pilots next check by 1 difficulty. 

Jamming:   Average(2) computers check.  Block enemy com system.  On a successful roll, enemy ship must make an Avg computers check to use its comms. Difficulty increases by one for every 2 successes on the jamming roll. An additional target can be affected for each advantage. 

Boost Shields: Hard (3) Mechanics Check.  Boost 1 zones shield by 1 point.  Ship suffers 1 strain.  Lasts a number of rounds equal to the successes rolled.  

Manual Repairs: Hard (3) Athletics Check.  Muscle some starship plating over some ship damage to fix hull trauma or hold a breaker open to help with strain.  Same as damage control otherwise. 

Fire Discipline: Hard(3) Leadership or Disciple check. Grants a boost die to the next character making an attack.  Every 2 success adds the bonus to another character. May spend 3 advantage to add 1 system strain to all damage inflicted by the ship for one round. 

Scan the Enemy: Hard(3) Perception check.   Learn the enemy ships game stats.  2 advantage gives the current system strain and hull trauma.

Slice the Enemy:  Hard (3) computers check Hack the enemy ship.  Success lowers a shield on the target by 1. Last for rounds equal to successes rolled.  Triumph will disable a weapons system.  2 advantage will inflict one strain. 

"Spoof" missiles:  Average(2) Computers or Hard(3) Vigilance  Upgrades the difficulty of all missile attacks on the ship by 1.   Every 2 advantage upgrades the difficulty again.  Last 1 round.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DCC Campaign Intro

I'm still recovering from Dragoncon, which was awesome, but I don't have the energy yet for a real blog entry.   So today you get the campaign intro I sent out to my players of my DCC game.  Feel free to copy, borrow, or steal from it if you like. 


"You’re no hero.
You’re an adventurer:
a reaver,
a cutpurse,
a heathen-slayer,
a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets.
You seek gold and glory,
winning it with sword and spell,
caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished.
There are treasures to be won deep underneath,
and you shall have them.."

Dungeon Crawl Classics is not D&D even though it may feel the same in some ways.  DCC is more Conan the Barbarian and less Lord of the Rings.

The Funnel

The first adventure is called a "funnel."  Each of player will have 4 level zero peons.  The goal is to get one peon all the way through the funnel adventure and become a level one adventurer. This is important to remember when playing the first adventure, if one of the peons has a good stat, the others make good "meat shields"   Each level zero peon will start with an occupation, a weapon, and a trade good.  The occupation is your only skill.  If the character can logically know about something based on their occupation, it may be useful. The weapon and the trade good are all the gear they have to start with, guard them well, and loot the gear off your dead companions. They don't need it anymore.  One final note, Elf, dwarf and halfing are classes not races.  The peons will have random races but only a peon of a specific race can level up to a class of that race.  If you REALLY want to play a specific race, let me know and I'll make sure you have at least a few peons of that race.

Funky Dice

DCC uses more than the standard set of dice.  All of the following dice are used:d3 – d4 – d5 – d6 – d7 – d8 – d10 – d12 – d14 – d16 – d20 – d24 – d30

You can simulate the funky dice with other dice, you can scour the Internet for actual funky dice, or you can use the "Crawler's Companion" App. It's available on Iphone and Android or directly on this webpage.   http://purplesorcerer.com/crawler/crawler.htm  I highly recommend it.  It does a lot more than just roll your dice.

Luck

Luck is an important stat.  Unlucky character find themselves the target of random attacks.  Lucky characters get bonuses to their rolls.  If a peons has a high luck he's worth trying to keep alive.  Luck can be "burned" to add to a die roll or avoid a bad roll.  Each point of luck burned is an extra +1 on a roll.  Burned luck can be regained but it's rare. Luck can be restored by role playing your alignment and completing quests that match your alignment.  Thieves and Halflings can do lots of cool things with luck at level 1 and above.

Alignment

There are only three: Law, Chaos, and Neutrality.  These represent your alignment to the greater powers of the universe. Good and evil are moral choices and are usually situational. Pick whatever alignment feels right. Page 24 of the core book has an explanation of the alignments. Just remember in DCC, Cthulhu is neutral.

Episodic Campaign

The campaign will focus on adventuring to the exclusion of everything else. We won't roleplay visiting cities, buying gear, selling loot or overland travel unless it's important to the adventure. Between each adventure, time will pass and the characters can buy equipment if it makes sense.  The characters are more concerned with getting the loot than hanging on to it. Just like Conan, the adventurers tend to blow a lot of it on debauchery between adventures.  If a character has a plan for his/her loot, let me know and we'll come up with something.  At some point, the characters interests will start driving the campaign. Finding a new spell, a powerful magic item, or a fabled treasure will be come more important than loot.

Being an Adventurer
"No,what he didn't like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk." Rincewind, from the Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Adventurers are not common and are seen as somewhat insane by normal people. In the DCC world, most folks don't go much beyond 20 miles of their home village and wilderness travel is extremely deadly. Anyone who roams the world going to places where monsters live for gold and glory is just plain nuts.  The characters aren't likely to meet other adventurers. If they did the other adventurers would probably try to kill them and take their stuff.  The best source of magic items is dead adventurers after all.

Magic

Magic is deadly and corrupting. Look at the picture on page 117 of the Core Rulebook to see what can happen to a wizard over time.  It never ends well. Gods and Patrons will give you great power at an even greater cost. Magic items are rare, unique, and often have drawbacks. Except for a few unique cases, you won't be able to buy magic. You might be able to buy information on where a powerful magic item resides though....

Death, Dying and multiple characters

Dying is easy in DCC. The characters have very few hit points. There is a small chance that a level 1 or higher adventurer can survive a killing blow but the character may end horribly maimed.  The level zero peons will drop like flies. If more than one of your peons manages to make it through the funnel, all of them can level up to level 1. Only one can be played at a time though. You can choose which one you want to play each session. If a character dies one of the others can replace them. There aren't any high level clerics to run back to for a raise dead.   If your last character dies, you can roll up a new one starting at one level below everyone else.  There is a way to bring someone back from the dead but it requires going on a quest.