April 30, 2012

Experience Changes

I run Dungeon Crawl Classics for Ig. It runs like D&D with some of the nastier bits of WFRP bolted on, and so is awesome. The full rules were released this month, and one particular change has just caught my eye.

The beta rules used pretty classic experience tables, each class leveling up at different levels. Elves with their built-in multiclassing required the highest totals to level up, while thieves needed the lowest. Monster stats included space for experience, but no values. I originally assumed this was copy-protection on Goodman Game's part, keeping the system from being feature complete. Or maybe some OGL nonsense, I know XP tables fall under its purview. In practice it didn't matter, I used Labyrinth Lord for XP values, since both systems use hit dice and are relatively interchangeable. Now that the commercial product is out there in the wild we have an answer. DCC uses a greatly simplified system for level advancement, in fact they get rid of individual experience points for monsters entirely!

They've replaced it with something with far less granularity, but I can't say I really mind. Gone are the quadruple (and higher!) digit experience requirements. No longer do the classes level up at different rates. The whole number system has been reduced by a factor of 10. Encounters provide XP in a range based on the difficulty of the fight, 0 thru 4 as written. PCs can also gain XP for spending gold in class-appropriate ways, such as cashing in on training, creating new spells, etc. I don't mind tossing out that bit of bookkeeping, if XP doesn't have any meaning outside of indicating when to level up I see no need to leave vast sums lying around on a character sheet.

It makes me curious in what state DCC was in when the beta rolled out. Was the experience system still in flux? There are sections of those rules that are not vestigial but outright nonexistent in the commercial version. I'm sure I'll find more interesting tidbits when my physical copy shows up.

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