Forgive me, I know not what I do...

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Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by Blackthicket » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:41 am

Just started playing DCC after many, many years of D&D...

After a zero level character survives a funnel adventure (or two) and makes it to first level...let's say an elf...and they are still in the middle of nowhere or stuck on a ship or something, do they automatically move to 1st level? they have any spells available right away? I know the Elf automatically gets invoke patron and patron bond...but others? How about a character that becomes a wizard?

How do you handle this? Am I missing something in the book?


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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:53 am

I let them level immediately, others do not.

Information about how wizards and elves learn spells can be found in the judge's section of the book. Sorry I don't have it in front of me, so I cannot supply the page number, but it takes 1 week to potentially learn a 1st level wizard spell, followed by an Intelligence check (DC 11 for 1st level spells). If the roll is failed, that spell cannot be learned by the wizard/elf until a level is gained.

See also ... ls-on.html

Clerics gain their spells from their gods, IMHO and IMC through a version of spontaneous election, and thus have their spells available right away.
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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by cjoepar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:11 am

Hello and welcome to DCC!

There are a number of ways you can handle this, none of them really right or wrong, just whatever suits your idea of how it should happen best. Here are a few thoughts:

1. Some people do not record experience for zero level characters, choosing instead to just level up whoever survives the funnel. So in that case, presumably, after the funnel adventure, the characters are in a position to advance and learn new skills back in civilized lands. Some people even choose to insert a big break in time at this point in the campaign, in order to give the characters a realistic period to transition from a zero level peasant to a first level hero.

2. When I design funnels, I like to put a natural resting point at or near to where I expect the party to have accumulated the 10 xp's to kick a level. This gives them a foothold to internalize the things they have learned and helps to explain the transition. Perhaps the party finds an old library with lots of tomes on all sorts of subjects that is in a place where the party will discover it just as they are reaching 10 xp's, or just before then. The party can then spend a few days recuperating and learning enough to justify the transition into character classes.

3. Some people have suggested that the characters may have some items with latent magical qualities that act as a catalyst for the transition. The character who picked up a short sword during the adventure and who decides to become a warrior may find that the item magically imparts a sudden understanding of what he needs to know to become a 1st level warrior, and then returns to a dormant, non-magical state. Meanwhile, the characters who transition to a Wizard and Elf discover that they have suddenly had an epiphany, and the spell book they have been carrying around with them for a few years suddenly makes sense as they've unlocked the code to understanding it. The fellow who has been carrying around a good luck charm since he was a child suddenly has an awakening moment where he realizes it is the holy symbol for a forgotten deity, and he becomes a cleric. If you spend some time thinking about it, you can probably come up with several similar ideas of your own.

As far as how starting spells are acquired, I usually put the formulae for a couple somewhere in the funnel and those can be the spells the character starts with. I typically do not give a first level Wizard or Elf their full compliment of initial spells, leaving a few slots open. Filling those empty slots has become a great impetus for the next couple of adventures, and the ones they do find are treasured even more because of their rarity.

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by JediOre » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:33 am

For me and my gang, its a game first and foremost.

Once one of the 0-level characters reaches ten experience points we level him right then and there. The excitement of it is part of the fun. All the rest of the 0-levels now have someone to hide behind until another "comes of age."

One of my gang even does a good impression of the sound effect that occurs when Mario becomes Super Mario when he gets the mushroom. All smile and suggest what the character should become.

We don't strive to be "realistic," we strive for fun.

That's how we role! :)

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by Skyscraper » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:48 pm

I arrange it so that the PCs will level up when the first adventure is finished, after a few gaming sessions.

Then, there is down time between the two adventures for the PCs, and they learn their new class during that down time.

When we start the next session, it is assumed that a few years have passed.
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Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by Blackthicket » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Lots of great ideas....I was thinking too hard about it. @ cjoepar...#3 makes a lot of sense to me. I think I'll just have fun with it and come up with something that fits our small band of gamers. Thanks for all of your excellent information!

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by smathis » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:27 pm

Transylvanian Adventures has an In-Between Adventures thing that I use to explain the lapse of time between the end of the funnel and the emergence of a 1st level character. Works out pretty well.

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by DM Cojo » Sat May 03, 2014 3:12 pm

I have them level up when they hit 10xp, even if the adventure (or session) is not yet done. If any others are close (within one or two xp) then I let them do it too, to save time. I give them all their spells and abilities on the spot when they turn 1st level, but I don't have the wizards and elves roll their mercurial magic effects until after the first time they try to cast the spell.

I know a lot of people like to level the survivors up at the end of the adventure, and this works great for some of them. But other adventures (like Sailors) seem nearly impossible to complete if the party stays at zero level.

I am in the process of creating some cheatsheets (flowcharts, tables, etc) to allow players to quickly level from zero to one...which is especially useful for new players, or someone leveling to a class they haven't played in a while.

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by finarvyn » Sat May 03, 2014 5:20 pm

Personally, I try not to let "realism" get in the way of a good adventure. This doesn't mean that I totally throw logic out the window, only that I tend not to stress about things like pinning down exact weight and mass and time quantities and other stuff like that.

One of the things I don't worry about is the logic of how they gain those nifty abilities. When it's time to level up, you get to use it. I don't bother with training or learning or whatever, I just give it to you. The flip side, however, is that I don't usually stress over XP much and so I tell them when they level up. Not usually during an adventure, but whenever it feels right to me.

Just my two coppers.
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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by Clangador » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:32 am

I'd let them level up as soon as they have enough exp. It's just a game.

I'm not a wizard but I play one in DCC...

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Re: Forgive me, I know not what I do...

Post by ragboy » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:01 am

Similar to others here, everyone levels up immediately upon reaching 10 xp.

For wizards, I contrive the entire universe to allow them to have their starting spells immediately -- since normally my PCs level up in the middle of an adventure. So, I don't use RAW for learning those initial spells. Any spells found later, they have to spend the time (and possibly money and help from their patron) to learn new spells.

My contrivances usually run in this direction:

- If there's a Black Grimoire in the group, it's a no brainer. The character has been snatching reads from the grimoire during downtime and they understand the number of spells they would normally get at 1st level. Should that character not find additional spells during his or her adventuring career, that grimoire becomes a source of either information to find another spell, the ability to experiment with magic in general to "discover" another spell, or the spell is there and they can try to understand it.

- There's usually some bit or bob found during the adventure that bestows the necessary spells on the new wizard -- they find some artifact, interact with some entity, or otherwise, the "spark" is started in the new wizard's mind.

- For elves, I take the tact that they've actually been studying magic all their lives -- it's inherent to their nature. Only a select few elves "get it," however. Everything sort of "clicks' for the 0-level elf glassblower after interacting with some otherworldly situation.

So, yeah, I'm a softy in this regard, but I also don't want the poor player with a wizard PC to essentially be a 0-level wizard for the rest of an adventure (and probably get killed) before he or she can sit down in a library and study their initial spells for weeks.

I stick to RAW for Patron Bond, however. They know the spell, but it still takes a week to cast the ritual, and it's likely nerfed until they complete some task for their new master (adventure hooks).
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