On Tuesday night I was able to play in my first Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game. Carl Bussler of Flagons and Dragons fame is the Judge of the game and we have several fine Google+ acquaintances playing. We are playing Sailors on the Starless Sea. If you don’t want spoilers you might want to skip this post. I do not intend to go into extreme detail, but I cannot guarantee no spoilers at all.
We are playing via Google Hangouts for voice and video. We are making light use of Tabletop Forge. We use it primarily for some overview maps and to handle our dice rolling. I have toyed with Tabletop Forge a bit on my own, but this is my first actual game with it. It seemed to work very well for our needs and its integration with Google+ is what makes it the perfect tool.
We had four of our five players for our game this week. We had a timely start and soon we were off to investigate some ruins to the south of Honningstad, the town we were based out of. Each player had three 0-level characters, save for the youngest player who we had agreed the session before could have four characters going into it. We are a generous group!
Our characters were the winners of a lottery, well, that is what we were told. Some of the unlucky characters were a bit skeptical and some of the others thought their fortunes changing.
The task was to travel south to investigate some troubles that were believed to be originating from Talonsgate Ruins. Our lucky (or is that unlucky) lottery winners head south to find out what they can about events.
My characters were Tanor the Healer, Sogan the Unlucky, a dwarven miner and Cam the Quick, an orphan. The group of twelve reach the ruins and one of the group circles the ruins and finds what might offer a way into the ruined keep without using the main gates.
We reach the area of tumbled boulders and begin to carefully make our way up. A loose boulder is knocked loose and sends a boulder cascading down the hill. Unfortunately the boulder manages to hit three of the party, sending them to their deaths! Taron the healer was no more along with two other party members.
In many games of the day, a death is disappointing, especially when it happens in the very first encounter. It simply wasn’t the case in this game. It was great fun as the dice fell the way they may and I lost one character and another player lost two of their three characters – in the first encounter! It was great fun!
We managed to move the massive boulder off of the dead and retrieve the valuables from the dead – save for the breakables!
From there we moved on with exploring an opening the movement of the boulder had opened. We found a door with a pentagram on it which spooked all of us. So we did not try to enter the keep through that portal, but moved up to the opening in the keep wall.
We explored several areas in the keep proper. At one point two of the characters decided to retrieve a pony we had left outside the keep to help open a door. So Cam the Quick and another character headed out the front gate of the keep. A portcullis came crashing down killing one character outright and wounding Cam the Quick.
We retreated quickly from that and back into the keep. We went to a ruined tower and explored that area as well. We encountered an ichor of some sort which began attacking our party. After several rounds of combat we finally managed to kill it.
This brought us to the end of the evening, we will be continuing next week.
My initial actual play impression of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is very positive. There has been something very liberating with running characters with completely random stats through an adventure. Knowing that there is a good chance a character might die is also a nice change. Looking forward to our next session as we see who survives to actually move on to being heroes!
If you are looking for something with an old school feel, but not quite with old school mechanics – take a look at Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. It is a very solid offering from Goodman Games, my only regret is it took me so long to check it out!