Dungeon Crawl Classics

Your sword hangs weakly by your side in nerveless fingers, its blade coated with slick black ichor which stinks of pitch and tar. Your breath is short, catching, your dented and scuffed helmet stifling and hot. Through a narrow visor you watch as the beast paces, in one mighty paw holding a bloodied arm, torn from a torso like a piece of mutton. Behind you Copernicus mutters frantically, words of power tumbling from his lips as he desperately incants a spell of healing, his voice drowned out by the pained cries of Davron, sobbing as he clutches at the stump of his shoulder. It's hopeless, yet you must press on. Safety is just on the other side of the beast - safety, a warm fire, and a good nights rest. Hefting your blade, you steady your breathing, widening your stance. The beast will charge soon, pawing at the ground like a bull. You have one chance to strike - one chance to survive - one chance to save your fellows. With a roar the beast pounces, claws outstretched. Your moment has arrived…


The World that Was

To the far west of the mainland, across a vast ocean viscous with storm and wave, lies the forbidden continent - Arlonde. In ages past this savage land was conquered by our forefathers, led to victory by the God-King and his Royal Lion's Guard. A great city was founded on the eastern coast where the God-King first stepped foot onto Arlonde, the city of Arkenstone, a sprawling scape of unbridled prosperity, edifice to his majesty and might. For an age Arlonde was ruled, but behind the veneer of glory a darkness welled. The God-King, lustful for power and immortality, channeled a dark ritual to awaken a slumbering Old One from the beginning of time itself. Soul-hungry demons had been unleashed into the lands of Arlonde, feasting on the ripe and terrified peoples. Those without a soul a cursed to become insane and violent, seeking to replace their own stolen souls with that of the still-living. Arlonde and Arkenstone were abandoned, the peoples who escaped the God-King's folly fleeing east to the relative safety of their ancestral home.

Generations have passed since the time of the Folly, and deep within the heart of Holy Knight Sir Ostra, scion of the God-King, stirs the obsession to retake his sire's fabled city. Accompanied by a crusade of loyalists, Sir Ostra braved the ocean west, reclaiming Arkenstone from the horde of unsightly beasts which until now had made the city their own. Sending word of his victory, and emboldened by his glory, others have followed in his stead - adventurers, vagabonds, criminals, knights, exiles, merchants and more. For in the lands of Arlonde, any man, whether they be noble or beggar, may find their fortune…

If they can survive…

The Foolhardy and Brave

The Lost and the Damned

In the Grip of Angels

A Record of Trials and Tribulations

The Land of Arlonde & The City of Arkenstone

The Gains, both Ill-Gotten and Hard-Fought

Basic Equipment List

Musings of the Loremaster

On Level 0 Characters and Starting the Game

  • Characters who survive the first Adventure automatically gain 1 Level and may choose a Class. If by fate or fortune a Player completes the first Adventure with two or more Characters alive and well, they should pick their favourite to advance to Level 1 - the others will remain in the City. When a Player's Character dies, they may pick from one of their other survivors (immediately advancing them to Level 1 and choosing a Class), or roll a new Level 0 Character.
  • When a Player's Character dies, they will need to roll a new Level 0 Character (or several, depending on the situation). It may at first seem unfair or unbalanced to join a party of higher-leveled Players, but remember that they too will fall and have to make new Level 0 Characters. It's a cycle.

On Experience and Levelling

  • We wont be using the standard Experience System from the Rulebook. Instead we will be using an old method of Gold Spent = Experience. This tends towards Players being smarter about how they their money, as well as investing it in things like property, retainers and the like. Please note that the total gold required to go up a level resets at every level, and that you may only go up a single level at any given time no matter how much you spend (any gold spent in excess is held in a reserve of sorts until you return from your next adventure, at which time you may increase your level).
    • Level 1 : 100 Gold
    • Level 2 : 500 Gold
    • Level 3 : 1,100 Gold
    • Level 4 : 1,900 Gold
    • Level 5 : 2,900 Gold
    • Level 6 : 4,100 Gold
    • Level 7 : 5,500 Gold
    • Level 8 : 7,100 Gold
    • Level 9 : 8,900 Gold
    • Level 10 : 10,900 Gold
  • In addition to the usual bonuses a Character receives when advancing in levels, they may add 1 to any Ability Score they choose each level. The Ability Score total may not exceed 18, and they may not pick the same Ability Score two levels in a row.

On Death and Dying

  • When a Character is reduced to 0 Hit Points, they collapse and are considered out of action. A Character can remain at 0 Hit Points while down for rounds equal to their Level, after which they may make Save Checks against Death (DC15) each round to stay alive. If a Save Check against Death is failed, the Character has died. This Check is a Save based on Fortitude or Willpower - Character's choice.
  • Players may roll a d20 once every round they are on 0 HP. On a Natural 20 they return to their feet on 1 wound, but may take no further actions.
  • The Save Check against Death is always affected by your Luck Ability, and you may Burn Luck as normal for this Check. Note that a Natural 20 on this Check allows the Character to return to their feet with 1 Hit Point.
  • If a character is downed (on 0 HP), they can be immediately killed by a Coup de Grace. A Coup de Grace is always rolled against the downed Character's AC, minus their Agility Modifier and/or Shield AC Bonus (only your basic armour can protect you when you're downed).
  • Dead Characters can be resurrected, but the costs are simply exorbitant. First the body has to be recoverable, mostly intact. Second, a temple or parish will need to preserve the body until the ritual could be performed (cost equal to Character Level in Gold per day). Third, the cost of resurrection will need to be paid (cost equal to Character Level x2000 in Gold). Lastly, the other Players may need to adventure for certain components required to assist in the resurrection.

On Skills and their Requirements

  • Typically DCC doesn't include options for improving Skills. I'll be taking a note out of some old AD&D and B/X books, and allow the Players to purchase Skills with Gold or acquire them through use. Becoming trained in a Skill allows you to roll it on a d20 instead of a d10.
  • Purchasing Skills: First, you'll need to find someone who has the particular skill you wish to train in, and who is at least one rank in that skill higher than yourself (e.g. only a Journeyman or higher could train a Novice or an Apprentice). Second, you'll need to pay them for their time. It costs 10 Gold per day and requires 30 days to become trained in a skill (so a total of 300 Gold). These days do not have to be done in sequential order, as the life of an adventurer is often lacking a strict schedule. As long as you complete your 30 days, you gain the skill. You can always keep training to get better. As before you will need to find and pay someone to teach you. A Skill may be improved up to +5, at which time you are considered a Master. The cost for training up skills is as follows:
    • +0 Novice: 300 Gold, 30 Days
    • +1 Apprentice: 600 Gold, 30 Days
    • +2 Journeyman: 900 Gold, 30 Days
    • +3 Professional:1200 Gold, 30 Days
    • +4 Expert: 1500 Gold, 30 Days
    • +5 Master: 1800 Gold, 30 Days
  • Acquiring Skills Through Use: Players will need to succeed and fail a number of times on a skill check in order to acquire a skill naturally. 5 Successes and 4 Failures are required, after which the Player in question may begin rolling the skill in question on a d20 instead of a d10. Don't try fishing for skill checks - remember that failure has a consequence. Skills can be improved like above in this method using the following:
    • +0 Novice: 5 Success, 4 Failure
    • +1 Apprentice: 6 Success, 5 Failure
    • +2 Journeyman: 7 Success, 6 Failure
    • +3 Professional: 8 Success, 7 Failure
    • +4 Expert: 9 Success, 8 Failure
    • +5 Master: 10 Success, 9 Failure
  • Skills should be both general and specific; Climbing, or Swimming are good general skills. A specific skill would be something like Bind Wounds, Decipher Runes, Hunting, Tracking, or Making Camp. Talk with the GM about your ideas for skills. Wises are skills related to specific knowledge, so Protean-wise would grant you knowledge specific to Proteans including their nature, culture and history.
    • General Skill Examples: Climbing, Balancing, Swimming, Lifting, Throwing
    • Specific Skill Examples: Appraise, Bind Wounds, Decipher, Hunt, Track, Make Camp, Tie knots, Smith, Carpentry
    • Wise Skill Examples: Race-wise, Creature-wise

On Weapons, Armour and Other

  • Every-day tools or weapons you come across or can purchase are of common quality, conferring no additional bonus. +1 Equipment is nominally that which is made by Dwarven hands, or at least an incredibly skilled artisan or bespoke in fitting, and costs ten times the typical cost. +2 Equipment is not only is crafted by an expert, but must also be crafted from unique metals, ores or other rare substances, and will cost whatever it takes you to locate the forging-materials, as well as the artisan's time (one-hundred times the typical cost). Any equipment above +2 is considerably rare, and the knowledge of how to forge it has been lost long, long ago or is trapped behind arcane riddles and instructions in unspeakable tongues. Such items can be found in the lost dungeons and vaults of Arlonde, but all will be fiercely guarded by foul beasts and fiendish traps…
  • One might be able to infuse weapons with magical properties by adding esoteric and rare monster components to the forging process. An example might by a mace made from dragon bone (a +2 Weapon), infused with Alghoul teeth (providing a paralysing attack modifier).

On Travel Times, Distance Covered and Making Camp

  • The Map of Arlonde is constructed using hexes which are 8 miles across (vertices to vertices). On average a man walking at a brisk pace and evenly encumbered can cross three (3) hexes per day or about 24 miles.
  • A man on horseback can double this distance at a canter, or triple it at a gallop. If at a gallop the horse must make Fort Saves every day with ascending difficulty starting at DC10/DC12/DC15/DC18/DC20. Failure forces the horse to move at a canter for the following day, and Critical Failures (Natural 1) causes the horse to expire.
  • For every three (3) hexes crossed a random encounter is rolled, with increased chance of occurrence depending on the type terrain being crossed.
  • Every night which camp is made requires a Camp Check, with ascending difficulty depending on the type of terrain being camped upon. Failure of a Camp Check typically results in an ambush or encounter of sorts to occur. Please note that the HP typically regained for sleeping is lost should a Camp Check be failed.

On Zocchi/Precision Dice

  • Dungeon Crawl Classics uses unique dice known as Zocchi or Precision Dice. They include non-standard dice such as d7, d14, d16, d24, and d30. Since these dice are incredibly hard to come by, we'll use the below table to make these rolls.
    • d30: d20 + d4 (1-2=0, 3-4=10)
    • d24: d20 + d10 (1-2=0, 3-4=1, 5-6=2, 7-8=3, 9-10=4)
    • d20: d20
    • d16: d12 + d10 (1-2=0, 3-4=1, 5-6=2, 7-8=3, 9-10=4)
    • d14: d12 + d6 (1-2=0, 3-4=1, 5-6=2)
    • d12: d12
    • d10: d10
    • d8: d8
    • d7: d8 (re-roll results of 8)
    • d6: d6
    • d5: d10 / 2
    • d4: d4
    • d3: d6 / 2

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