"You’re no hero.
You’re an adventurer:
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.