Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

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Judge Andy
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Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Judge Andy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:38 am

Hey DCC community,

I just ran The Portal Under the Stars yesterday and now I'm looking for a level 1 adventure module to continue our game next week. After the level 0 funnel experience with 16 PCs (10 of which survived) I'd really like every player to continue with just one PC. The other survivors of the funnel will be kept as reserve characters, of course, but I'm looking for an adventure suited to a party of 4 to 5 level 1 PCs.

Do you have any suggestions? Many of the Goodman Games level 1 adventures seem to be written for a larger number of PCs. So I assume it is expected that you continue playing with multiple PCs per player even after the level 0 funnel? Are all of you playing that way?

I'm grateful for any suggestions!

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Fenris Ulfhamr
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Fenris Ulfhamr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:07 am

Sailors on the Starless Sea is wonderful, and perfectly suitable for level 0-1 or mixed groups.
Dragora's Dungeon is awesome too, but can be deadly for inexperienced players.

Smilin' Lyle crushed like a bug...
Mr. Hammon (l) gongfarmer
Str14(+1) Agi13(+1) Sta16(+2) Per11(0) Int13(+1) Luc15(+1) AC11 HP1/6 Trowel+1(1d4+1) Spd30 Init1 R1 F2 W1 Flask(3 cp), gloves, Thieves' tools(25 gp), Awl, Chain10' 41cp (W+1) Common, Law
Brother Mordecai (l) beadle
Str14(+1) Agi8(-1) Sta8(-1) Per15(+1) Int8(-1) Luc12(0) AC9 HP3 Staff+1(1d4+1) Spd30 Init-1 R-1 F-1 W1 Flask, Holy Symbol, gloves(3pair), Razor, Scissors, 88cp (Turn unholy+1) Common
Mack Littles slain by a creature most "fowl"...

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:19 am

To some degree, the number of characters should (IMHO) affect how the players approach the challenges they face, rather than defining what challenges they face.

That said, you may consider the following excellent level 1 adventures. Consider this an inclusive, rather than an exclusive, list:

Doom of the Savage Kings
Well of the Worm
Intrigue at the Court of Chaos
The One Who Watches From Below
Dragora's Dungeon
Chaos Rising (Elzemon and the Blood-Drinking Box)
The Wizardarium of Calabraxis
Sepulcher of the Mountain God
Through the Cotillion of Hours
The Black Goat
The Folk of Osmon
The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad
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.

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Judge Andy
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Judge Andy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks for the recommendations! So you'd say it doesn't matter too much what the modules say about party size?

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:29 am

Judge Andy wrote:Thanks for the recommendations! So you'd say it doesn't matter too much what the modules say about party size?
I don't think it matters.

IMHO, "party size" is "you need this many PCs to approach the material in a certain way". DCC isn't balanced like Pathfinder or WotC versions of D&D. Two groups of 2nd level PCs, for instance, can vary widely in what they can do, and by the time you reach 6th level this is even more pronounced.

Most of the games I run are in the 4-5 PC range, and the players do just fine using the standard modules. If you like, they can take a 0-level hireling or two. You can also use adventures like Through the Cotillion of Hours to give them chance to turn back time and take a second go (with some foreknowledge) at an adventure. When I ran a conversion of James Raggi's Death Frost Doom in DCC, the PCs ended up using time travel twice in order to bring events to a satisfying conclusion. Only the PCs remembered all versions of events, which means the PCs who were abandoned to ghouls the first time around remembered that when time was turned back.

Remember what is suggested in the core rulebook - even if there is a TPK, that doesn't mean the adventure is over. You can always pick up the action as the PCs try to escape Hell!
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.

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Judge Andy
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Judge Andy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:42 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on this topic! I'm new to old school gaming, so I guess I overestimated the importance of balance here.

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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:30 pm

Judge Andy wrote:Thanks for your thoughts on this topic! I'm new to old school gaming, so I guess I overestimated the importance of balance here.
You are very welcome!
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.

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Judge Andy
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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by Judge Andy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:04 am

I've decided to run Well of the Worm next. According to reviews it's a less deadly module, so I think it fits well for a party new to DCC!

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Re: Level 1 adventure for 4-5 PCs

Post by NJPDX » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:36 pm

Judge Andy wrote:I've decided to run Well of the Worm next. According to reviews it's a less deadly module, so I think it fits well for a party new to DCC!
Don't be afraid to kill characters, death is very much a part of the game (particularly in the funnel and at low levels). Part of learning to become a good player is learning to be cautious because of hard lessons learnt; I've found that a "let the kids touch the hot stove" approach definitely sharpens wits and puts people on their toes. Just remember to be impartial and let them do the heavy lifting by being overly greedy, brash or foolhardy to earn those deaths.

Depending on how many players you have might also consider letting them control more than 1 character early on (main character and henchman/hireling).

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