We played using the Dungeon Crawl Classics ruleset. I gave them the option to start at level 0 to 3. The group decided to pick 3rd level. Had they decided to start with level 0 to 2, I would have run Sailors on the Starless Sea for them. With level 3 I went for Death Frost Doom.
The group rolled up their stats completely in order. Then they rolled occupations and luck modifier. The group consisted of:
- Liva the Cutthroat, 3rd level chaotic thief
- Gelis the Exile, 3rd level chaotic dwarf
- Gromph the Exile, 3rd level chaotic dwarf
- Rasmus the Chronicler, 3rd level neutral cleric of the White Worm.
Gromph was the unlucky one. His initial luck score meant that he resisted poison with -1 penalty.
Without going into too much detail, the highlights of the adventure were:
- Liva feeling totally spooked in the graveyard and around the cabin, but being her most competent self down in the crypts.
- Gelis playing first harpsichord and then pipe-organ. She was not very talented at the first one, and very deadly for the group at the second one.
- Rasmus deciding his mission to be de-secrating the temple of an apparent rival of his god. Which led him to cast a blessing at a fountain of unholy water - and it actually turned the water back to real unspoiled water (result from the spell check).
- Gromph using his shield to sled down the mountain ahead of the pursuers.
All in all, what I think of DCC:
- My players didn't like the Luck burn (one of them being down zero at the end of the adventure), but personally, I like it. It reminds me of Fighting Fantasy.
- As I suspected, I don't like all the tables and constant need to look things up. Even though the results were pretty amazing.
- I don't care for the strange dice (d5, d7, d14, d16 and d24) at all.
- The neat mechanics for deeds and luck didn't play such a big role. Something I didn't expect.
- Rolling d20 plus a modifier feels strange... I know it is part of OGL, but in 3E it was always like: skill rating + attribute modifier. Now it is only a rating (thief skills) plus d20. Feels flat.
- The spell check mechanic and spell failure mechanic of the cleric were as much fun as I expected. Especially since the cleric went for a divine intervention in the end. Purely fantastic. The game really shines here. Side note: Again, the awesome seems to be with spellcasters. So not really an improvement over similar games.
- I really like the way experience is handled. It frees the referee from handing out too much treasure, and also from too much balancing efforts. With DCC, if I made the encounter too difficult, the player characters just need to flee successfully and I'll be handing out 4 XP.