Friday, 14 August 2015

OD&D + 0-Level Characters

A present to myself arrived on the doorstep today: the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. I will probably do a review of it at some point (what I've read so far is awesome), but one aspect that inspired me is the handling of 0-level characters. I like the idea of a dozen or so peasant mates banding together to explore a dungeon: 

*Hiccup!* "Barry, ai heard therz sum treshurez in this here dungin!" 

A few hours/days/weeks later most are dead. Shit, that escalated quickly.

Anyway, my Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers mini-campaign is winding down. I'm running a published adventure at the moment, and my Xamboola adventure has been successfully playtested. I'm kind of itching for something different. Earlier this year I ran an OD&D one-shot which turned into The Black Ruins. I'm a huge fan of OD&D. Although I was born over a decade after its release, I adore the ruleset. It's simple, malleable, and includes all the bits of D&D that I like. The other day I drew a map of an imagined city called Styro which is basically...I don't know...it's weird. But the idea of a classless game - or at least a looser definition of class - has been sitting with me recently, and DCC's 0-level characters has got the juices going a bit further. I've been considering running an OD&D hexcrawl/megadungeon game, where characters start off as worthless peons, and through adventure begin to hone their skills further. Each character would begin at 0 level, and...


  • I'd probably use my Sandboxing tables to generate a prior profession, or use the DCC tables for ideas.
  • Begin with1d3 hit points. 
  • Gain a level at the conclusion of the first adventure and choose a class. Classes will be assumed to be fighting-man, cleric, or magic-user (probably human only). Additional class options are my OD&D Thief and Berserker (see my downloads section). Also, players can describe what sort of character they want, and I can create a template from that (I'm working on a Mentalist at the moment).
  • Instead of gaining another hit die, 1st level characters would then roll 1d6 for hit points. If the total exceeded their 0-level total, they keep the higher. Otherwise they gain 1 extra hit point. Thus, a 1st level character could have anywhere between 2-6 hit points.
Oh, and I'd get players to roll at least 2-4 characters. I've been mapping out the first level of the Styro underworld too. I'm kind of excited for where this eventuates. More to come.