Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is the Default Campaign Type for the DCC RPG "Episodic"?

Back during my early days of gaming, we didn't worry much about the "where and why" that got our party to the adventure location - the adventure itself was the thing.

No sandbox, no plot hooks, no threads leading from one adventure to the next. Most times, not even a bar scene. Usually, you were told your motivation with your destination around the corner and went at it.

DCC RPG adventures seem to expect a similar style of play to my eyes - cut to the chase and hop right into the action.

How does it play out in your DCC campaigns?

How different is it from the expectations you have of other OSR styled campaigns?


  1. Given how deadly DCC RPG is supposed to be, a campaign with a long-running storyline would be hard to run. What's the point of developing all of that "backstory" if your character stands a good chance of dying. First you've got the 0-level funneling system. Second, characters above 5th level are supposed to be very rare. Third, the DCC adventures I've seen can be brutal.

    DCC RPG pretty much meets and exceeds my expectations.

    1. It's not 'backstory' if it's what happens in play. It's just 'what has happened'. The few sessions of DCC RPG that I've run have been 'episodic'. It felt like the right style, but I don't see why it couldn't be more 'organic' - it's not like oD&D (or Swords & Wizardry) have that much more in the way of rules to support out-of-dungeon activities, but plenty of people seem to run that as an 'organic' sandbox.

  2. DCC works perfectly well for organic play, IMHO and IME.

  3. I concur with those saying "organic" play works well. I think the modules are just modules, not a statement on how to play. I actually think that it is nice that they are self-contained and can therefore be dropped in to an existing campaign without loads of tweaking to make them fit. To be honest I think the guidance in the rule book are specifically aimed at campaign sandbox play. They general proviso of anything is possible for characters doesn't make sense in episodic play.

  4. Whenever I'm trying out a new rules set with my players I generally treat it as a series of one shots that become episodic in nature until we either decide to settle on this one or move onto the next one. Ordinarily though, even with a killer RPG I've found that most of my players enjoy some kind of continuity even if the cast of characters is constantly rotating.

  5. Howdy,

    there’s nothing wrong with episodic campaigns but bleeding out, recovering the body, burning luck, using all PCs that survived funnel, henchmen and guard dogs should help PCs survive in a sandbox campaign.

    If those aren’t enough to keep the party alive in a sandbox, then party could be part of some faction, like in X-COM: Enemy Unknown or
    http://dungeonofsigns.blogspot.fi/2013/04/thoughts-regarding-character-mortality.html and
    especially http://dungeonofsigns.blogspot.fi/2013/04/further-thoughts-on-older-edition-of.html.

    At least some deity disapprovals (a quest to heal the crippled) support non-episodic campaign where the quest can’t be easily resolved between adventures.

    Episodes come in handy between funnel and 1st-level to explain the time characters spent training.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I have a FOLLOW-UP adventure to my "The Tainted Forest near Thorum" (Crawl #4) in the hands of an editor right now. I cannot say more yet, but the two adventure should make a nice mini-campaign, as the first module was already kind of a "sandbox" area...


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition