Dungeon Crawl Classics Agenda and Advice

Dungeon Crawl Classics is inspired by the literature that inspired the original Dungeons & Dragons. DCC is an homage to the play style of 1974. It’s a game of fantastical adventure, players skill, and collaborative world building.

The Character is Dead, Long Live the Campaign

You will lose characters. Yet without the risk of losing characters, their accomplishments are hollow. If you find yourself without a character, roll up some new ones, and I’ll introduce them straight away; We are all here to play the game, not listen to others playing the game.

We are at the table to play to find out what happens. We will explore the wending paths of story set in a world unlike ours.

As a Judge, I will strive for consistency in adjudicating the game. I am playing the game to challenge the players (and characters); I want to see them succeed, but I also will strive to challenge them.


Taking a page from Dungeon World, my agenda for judging a DCC game is to:

  • Portray a fantastic world
  • Fill the characters’ lives with adventure
  • Play to find out what happens

Some Advice from a Novice DCC Judge

Low-level characters are fragile. Spend your resources on recruiting some hirelings. There’s strength in numbers. These hirelings will serve both as a buffer to the “main characters” and as a pool of potential replacements.

Magic is unpredictable. This is the greatest deviation from original D&D. Unlike D&D, you need to roll to cast your spell. If you have a poor roll, you’ll lose the spell without effect. The higher your roll, the greater the degree of success and potency of your spell.

Engage the world by asking questions. Test your assumptions about the situation; Ask questions and check with the Judge if this assumption holds true. Ask questions about what your characters are experiencing. When you do engage with the world, state your intentions and any precautions.

Additional Advice from other Sources

Some of the player’s advice from Matt Finch’s Old School Primer (a free PDF)

  1. View the entire area you’ve mapped out as the battleground; don’t plan on taking on monsters in a single room. They may try to outflank you by running down corridors. Establish rendezvous points where the party can fall back to a secure defensive position.
  2. Scout ahead, and try to avoid wandering monsters which don’t carry much treasure. You’re in the dungeon to find the treasure-rich lairs. Trying to kill every monster you meet will weaken the party before you find the rich monsters.
  3. Don’t assume you can defeat any monster you encounter.
  4. Keep some sort of map, even if it’s just a flow chart. If you get lost, you can end up in real trouble – especially in a dungeon where wandering monster rolls are made frequently.
  5. Ask lots of questions about what you see. Look up. Ask about unusual stonework. Test floors before stepping.
  6. Protect the magic-user. He’s your nuke.
  7. Hire some cannon fodder. Don’t let the cannon fodder start to view you as a weak source of treasure.
  8. Spears can usually reach past your first rank of fighters, so a phalanx of hirelings works well.
  9. Check in with the grizzled one-armed guy in the tavern before each foray; he may have suddenly remembered more details about the area.

Why I am a Tabletop RPG Cheerleader

This evening and yesterday evening, I spent quite a bit of time preparing an informational website to help GenCon attendees engage with Games on Demand.

At this point, there is more work to do. Most of work is in other peoples hands.

I still have to write some procedures. And complete a few technical chores (eg Cross-referencing games and times). So of course I’m writing this blog post.

I do all of this because I am passionate about gaming.

Gaming has strengthened and enriched many of my friendships and created an opening for many more.

Tabletop gaming is a powerful social activity with a dose of mental calisthenics. Powerful in that I am sitting around a table interacting with other people in a shared imagined space. Returning to the land of make-believe, where as I child I would delve. It is a place of learning, exploration, and creativity.

I can both game and metagame because I am fortunate. My resources are abundant:

  • Spare time
  • Education
  • Adequate Income

I dwell in the upper echelons of Maslow’s hierarchy and relative to the world, the upper echelons of income and wealth.

So I do what I can to help ease the barriers of other people participating in this grand hobby of mine. Which has meant that I have had the privilege of interacting with a lot of people.

And I do my best to interact with each person as a unique individual. For the most part the people have been more similar than different – See: Not all that diverse.

So I am wondering how I can step beyond being a cheerleader to being an evangelist – To help show lots of different people why tabletop RPGs are awesome. To bring them into the larger community and help them find their group.

I want to increase diversity in tabletop gaming. People with baggage, privileges, and challenges so different from mine. I want creations in the larger gaming community that make me smile, think, empathize, and squirm.

I don’t need the larger gaming community to be comfortable nor echoing through a like-minded room. Because in this diversity, I can grow and see what this grand hobby of mine can do for me.