That’s Advanced Dungeon Crawl Classics (ADCC) – credit for the acronym goes to Ryan Colby.
A while back I posted my take on the Ranger for DCC, inspired by Crawl! Fanzine #6, which also featured DCC versions of the paladin, bard, and gnome. I’ve actually had someone just start playing a ranger in my game, and I’m already seeing some problems. I’m not sure that the problems are with my own design (though they could be). The thing is, the ranger as a separate class is really dependent on the style of play to have value at the table. If there’s lots of dungeon crawling going on and the monsters don’t fit the favored enemy, then the class seems like it kind of sucks compared to the others.
More than that, though, DCC has really brought me around to seeing the simple elegance of the four basic classes for humans (it’s also really brought me around on race as class, as I’ve mentioned before). And it occurred to me last Friday morning, as I was pouring my coffee and about to leave for work, that there’s a simpler way to add rangers, paladins, barbarians and the like to DCC with more mechanics than just role-playing but less than a separate class. And that way is through my most favorite of DCC rules, the Mighty Deed of Arms.
Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.
Today I’d like to discuss the classes that should be available to player characters. So how do we begin? Well let’s start with my “keep it simple” concept.
The simplest way to do that is to just allow all the classes available to a d20 Pathfinder campaign. “All the classes?” I hear you ask. “Even the Gunslinger?!” you quickly follow. Well… No. We can’t allow all the classes. Some just flat-out don’t work. Not if we’re trying to create the atmosphere presented in REH’s stories.
I first looked at the Hyborian Age d20 Campaign Site for inspiration. It seems like they’re using standard 3E D&D (not Pathfinder) as a base. Apparently they chose the “Everyone gets to play whatever they want” method. Thankfully they left out the Paladin (because in absolutely no possible way does that belong in the Hyborian Age) as an option but they did add a few other classes to the mix.
After I posted my randomly generated city map, my buddy Bryan and I had an exchange about why I think Vornheim is better than the random city charts in the 3E DMG. Basically, I think it comes down to a philosophical difference: Vornheim is designed to help you come up with an answer you need when your players put you on the spot, whereas the 3E DMG tables were designed to be used ahead of time to give you info that there was a good chance you’d never need. As Bry put it, “Knowing there are four 1st level clerics, two 2nd level clerics and one 4th level cleric really wasn’t all that important.” It also helps that Vornheim is basically system-neutral, despite having some old-school compatible stats listed in a few spots.
However, he got me thinking about this a bit more, and I realized that sometimes it might be helpful to quickly determine who the biggest fish is in a given pond. Once you know who that is, you’ve probably got a good sense of who else might be kicking around beneath them.
So presented here is the first of my random tables designed to determine who the toughest character of a certain type is in an area, this one covering warriors. The definition of an “area” is whatever you need it to be.
Roll 2d20, use one to determine who they areand the other to determine how tough they are:
How Tough is the Toughest Warrior-Type Person in the Area?