my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

For DCC RPG rules discussion. Includes rules questions and ideas, new rules suggestions, homebrews and hacks, conversions to other systems, and everything else rules-related.

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, michaelcurtis, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

Thought I'd share what I've been doing, since it's been a while.

Adapting the dying earth of DarkSun to DCC, I made elves the Sorcerer kings/queens, and primary defilers of the world through their magic. Wizards also use defiler magic, but are outlawed by the elves.

There are no clerics. For healing, I let hit points (which are abstract, not wounds) regenerate at d3*level/turn of rest; warriors/dwarves regen at d4*level.

You don't die at 0 hit points. Instead, you start taking wounds. (Which very well might kill you.) I have a d12 that has random hit locations, so unless it's clear from the attack what was hit, I randomize it. You have to make a Fortitude save at DC of whatever the negative hit points you're at from the hit or die; if you live you're Wounded in that particular location. (At table, I had a character get wounded in the leg, so now he's -5'/round movement and cannot run. This became a problem when they had to flee a town that was being overrun by shambling dead.) Assuming the body can be recovered, normal roll the body over rules would apply.

AC = your Agility score. You get a Dodge roll (Reflex save) for every attack that you're aware of and can react to (provided you're not flanked; haven't tested that part at table yet). The DC is equal to the to-hit roll of the hit. If you dodge, no hit. If you fail, burn hit points... OR, if you're wearing armor, and the hit was in a location with armor, you can choose to burn a piece of armor. Armor can take a certain amount of hits before it's destroyed, and can be repaired, etc. Basically this is the Shields (& helmets) Will Be Splintered rule from CRAWL!. Armor still has the standard armor check penalties for skills and also weight for movement. I will apply the armor check penalty to the Dodge roll.

Psionics: this is the big one. I was going to use the cleric powers and give them randomly to people but it just didn't work right. So I flipped through the AD&D PHB and Eldritch Wizardry and took some inspiration from there, and custom built my own system. There are 14 Powers: Detect Aura/thoughts, Mind over Body (endurance, holding breath, etc), Influence (others), Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Medium (spirits/etc), Sacrifice (healing others with your life force), Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis, Equilibrium (flight, float, etc), Telepathy, Teleportation, Projection (astral/ethereal), Mind over Matter (meld into stone, pull out guy's heart, etc). You spend a hit point to activate a power, unlike defiler magic this is preserver and doesn't harm the environment. d20 roll (modified by Personality bonus), 1-10: failure, +1 self doubt (like deity disapproval, basically); 11-13 success, minimal; 14-16 success, good; 17-18 success, strong; 19-20 success, heroic; 21-22 success, divine; 23+ success, infinite.

Minimal success is basically the effect lasts 1d4 turns, affects 1d4 HD, goes d4*10', you can ask d4 questions, read d4 thoughts, etc. Good success is 2d4, strong is 3d5, heroic is 4d6, divine is 5d7 plus 1 permanent Luck, and infinite is 6d10 plus d3 permanent Luck. The more targets / area you affect, the shorter the duration, though.

I gave people psychic/psionic powers based on their personality modifiers summed with Luck modifiers. I also did it on the absolute value, so even somebody with negative modifiers would have access to the powers, they just probably wouldn't be very good at using them. I might not do it that way again, since I only had one player end up with no psychic powers. However, given that there's no clerics, maybe it's a good idea to be liberal with the psychic powers.
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

I've been reading Kill Six Billion Demons so I decided to use demons as patrons. (This may be rather Melnibonean too, which fits Appendix N.) All patrons. And basically you can't learn any magic without one. I have one wizard at my table and he got a book filled with blank pages, inhabited by a demon that wants him to scribe his secrets in blood (spell effect and perhaps power level will be tied to the blood and / or components used, naturally). There's only been a couple days in game time that have elapsed and he's yet to learn any spells. This is probably vastly different from his experience as a player but I rather dig it. I plan on rewarding him with some very powerful effects... but the demon is (of course) tempting him with that power to continue to corrupt/destroy the world. When he starts area-effect sucking hit points from his party to do things, how he and they react to that will be FUN.
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

I've taken to using notecards. This has worked really well so far. I put my monsters on notecards, and my PCs. At the start of the session I have them roll initiative for the day, then I put them in order. We stay in this order throughout the session or game day. It's sped up that part of the game quite a bit, I very much like it.

Also, this forces me to think about trying to make the monsters random and weird and different before each game session. I'm using Barrowmaze, but totally customized monsters. For example... taking inspiration from NetHack, I've made skeletal dead much more fearsome than, say, shambling dead (ravenous zombies). I mean, if I saw a zombie I'd be afraid, but I'd be a hell of a lot more afraid of a pile of animated bones! Immune to piercing, half damage from everything else but bludgeons, too. For players armed only with spears and stuff, skeletal dead are... challenging.

Also, some of them can mind blast in a 30' cone. :twisted:
User avatar
finarvyn
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2502
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
FLGS: Fair Game
Location: Chicago suburbs
Contact:

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by finarvyn »

Nice stuff. Thanks for posting this! 8)
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

I skimmed back through RECG the other day and one of Raggi's paragraphs struck me, about making Monsters like honest-to-God MONSTERS, and for regular enemies just use animals, vermin, etc.

And you know what we don't see enough of? FUNGUS AND OOZES AND SLIMES AND GELATINOUS CUBES AND STUFF. You know in a corrupted dying world dungeon environment this stuff would be all over the place, right? Right. Can't wait to sic the Purple Mold on the party.

I'm not entirely clear on the difference between mold, slime, ooze, and pudding, though. Anyone have any ideas?
User avatar
Raven_Crowking
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 2998
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:41 am
FLGS: The Sword & Board
Contact:

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by Raven_Crowking »

beermotor wrote:I'm not entirely clear on the difference between mold, slime, ooze, and pudding, though. Anyone have any ideas?
You can eat a pudding. You can eat pink slime at certain fast food joints, but I don't recommend it.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
Golgothmog
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by Golgothmog »

beermotor wrote:And you know what we don't see enough of? FUNGUS AND OOZES AND SLIMES AND GELATINOUS CUBES AND STUFF. You know in a corrupted dying world dungeon environment this stuff would be all over the place, right? Right. Can't wait to sic the Purple Mold on the party.

I'm not entirely clear on the difference between mold, slime, ooze, and pudding, though. Anyone have any ideas?
I'm a big fan of amorphous monstrosities.
To my way of thinking Jellies and Puddings are like the creature in The Blob or Caltiki, The Immortal Monster... a mobile, semi-translucent mass that can squeeze through tight gaps... dissolves organic materials and some inorganic ones (different colors denote how widely corrosive/omnivorous they are). They can shoot out pseudopods to grab prey. Like primitive shoggoths that operate purely on instinct and grow larger as they consume more food.
If subdivided or shocked with enough electricity they'll multiply.

Slimes and oozes are less mobile, sessile even, and don't blob up... might look like a wet floor wall or dripping goop... kinda like less muscular puddings.
Stephen King's story 'The Raft' is kind of how I picture a slime/ooze working... the one in that story lives like a layer of scum on top of a small lake, and though it is mobile it cannot mass up to reach more than a few inches above the water (and uses flashes of color to hypnotize prey).

Molds are molds... carpets of corrosive fungus that release clouds of toxic spores when tampered with. The 'Blood Rust' in Spacemaster X-7 is how I picture an aggressive mold.

Counter to most rules I don't think melee weapons should do any of them much harm at all... but I'd set the vulnerabilities to fire for molds, cold on puddings/jellies (might not kill them but freezes them to paralysis), and electricity on slimes/oozes (fire makes them faster and cold slows them... but neither kills them).

I use slimes/oozes and molds as environmental hazards... like traps that need to be wandered into.
Puddings and jellies are active monsters that will be tougher to avoid.
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

I concur with everything you said. Sounds great. I especially like slimes/oozes being inflammable... that's probably the first thing players would try to do upon encountering a slime/ooze.
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

Also mining Kill Six Billion Demons for ideas. Because it's awesome.
User avatar
Stretch
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:15 am

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by Stretch »

From the g+ group for fans of the ASE. I found the computerized cube. If you have any kind of tech in your world how can u not throw this at your players.

Computerized Cube

When a gelatinous cube engulfs a robot, it can not fully digest the robot. If the robot cannot escape the cube, over time the superconducting nature of the cube (immune to lightning, recall) causes a strange merger to take place. The robot's mind merges with the ooze nature of the cube to produce a new creature, the computerized cube. When encountered, the appearance is that of a robot frame floating in mid-air, with electric pulses and bits of wire and circuitry flowing through it.

Computerized Cube
AC 8,
6 HD
Move 6"
Attacks for 2d4/paralysis plus 1d6 electric shock
Ranged attack: plasma cannon
save F5.
Computerized cubes retain some of the robot's intelligence. They often seek to add additional technological items to themselves to augment their powers. Most retain the single-minded aggressiveness of their cube nature, but others may have larger plans in mind.?s
-Stretch
If you survive a crucible you grow the stronger for it. - Arrow.
User avatar
GnomeBoy
Tyrant Master (Administrator)
Posts: 3818
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:46 pm
FLGS: Bizarro World
Location: Left Coast, USA
Contact:

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by GnomeBoy »

Stretch wrote:When a gelatinous cube engulfs a robot...
I love that. So. Much.
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com - The Home of Inner Ham
User avatar
beermotor
Cold-Hearted Immortal
Posts: 1222
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: my Athas/DarkSun DCC system hack

Post by beermotor »

Haha... that is pretty awesome. Creating it in Lego (we use minifigs) will be ... challenging!
Post Reply

Return to “Rules discussion”