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.
At the top of my very, very short list of non-core classes that should always be a part of D&D sits the ranger. I dig rangers, and I say that as someone who has only played the class a couple times over decades of role-playing and never with a particularly long-lived character. My appreciation for the class actually comes from my perspective as a DM. Since I view the class as something of a midway point between fighter and thief, I think simply playing either of those classes and just calling the PC a ranger doesn’t really get it right. I’ve also been lucky to have some great ranger players over the years, which certainly biases my opinion in their favor.
Issue #6 of the awesome Crawl! Fanzine presents a few new classes for the DCC RPG from potential versions voted on by members of the Goodman Games forums. There’s some really good stuff in there, but in the DIY spirit of the OSR I’m putting together my own take on the ranger class for my game. Here are the versions of the ranger that were in the running:
Raskal’s version was the winner and was the only one I had read before starting to formulate my own take; not surprisingly some of the tweaks and additions I thought of are similar to parts of some of the other proposed versions (we’re all drawing inspiration from a shared legacy). I’m mixing and matching some other’s stuff with my own, and primarily drawing from Raskal’s version. They all deserve full credit for their creations.
Hit Points: A ranger gains 1d8 hit points at each level.
Weapon Training: As Raskal’s version.
Combat Path: At 1st level, rangers must choose one of these two options:
Archer: Archers suffer no penalty to missile fire at medium range, and only receive a -2 modifier at long range. They ignore the 50% chance to hit an ally when firing into melee.
Two-Weapon Fighter: Two-weapon fighters dual wield melee weapons as though their Agility was a 16. The two weapons can be of equal size.
Wilderness Skills: As Raskal’s version.
Favored Enemy: At 1st level, rangers must choose a type of monster as their favored enemy. How specific or broad the definition of the favored enemy is left to the player and judge to determine. When attacking the favored enemy, the ranger’s action die is improved by one step and has a critical threat range of 20-24. In addition, the ranger uses an improved crit die and crit table versus the favored enemy, as noted below.
Healing Herbs: Rangers have the ability to heal wounds using natural herbs and saps, which they often carry with them. Using this ability takes 1 turn and functions as the cleric’s Lay on Hands ability per the “Adjacent” column for all targets.
If a ranger rolls a natural 1 when healing, they have inadvertently poisoned the patient. The target of the healing must make a Fortitude save versus DC 20 minus the ranger’s level. If the save is successful, the patient only temporarily loses one point of Stamina. If the save fails, the unfortunate soul permanently loses 1d6 Stamina.
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?