Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Pandas, Pirates, Players, and Funnels

If you’ve been following the discussion on pandapirate.net, there is some discussion of my post on initial adventures forthe Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.  Paiji wrote:

Certes, mais j'ai l'impression qu'il s'éloigne un peu de l'esprit du jeu.
Si j'ai bien compris, il prévoit à l'avance de lier sa première aventure (son entonnoir) aux suivantes et de fournir des opportunités logiques pour que ses persos, arrivés au niveau 1, choisissent leurs carrières (notamment pour les jeteurs de sorts). Ca me parait dévier de l'idée que je trouve assez amusante de tirer 4 persos niveau 0 complétement au hasard, de les jeter dans une aventure et de voir lequel survit et arrive au niveau 1.
On perd le petit coté Highlander/Koh Lantah et, à mon goût, c'est dommage.
Après, faut voir comment tout ça est mis en place.

As far as I can tell, given the limitations of Google translation and the fact that I am sadly not bilingual (or multi-lingual), Paiji is concerned that my observations go against the spirit of the game.  Specifically, he seems to believe that the idea of seeding the adventure area to prep for 1st level characters is antithetical to the idea of throwing four 0-lvl nobodies per player into the funnel and seeing who comes out.

Not so!

Providing the means for religious experience doesn’t mean that any survivor will be a cleric, nor does seeding the area with potential spell knowledge or patrons mean that any survivor will be a wizard.  What it does mean is that, if some survivor should end up being a cleric or a wizard, that decision will make sense.

Likewise, the idea that the characters then have a chance to see how their schlubs have grown, and to discover a new facet of the original funnel – that some of their initial assumptions and understanding were wrong – is pure Appendix N.  It is also good game structure, and need not assume anything about who survives, or what class they will be.

What I am suggesting is meant to deepen the funnel experience, not to subvert it.

Hopefully, completion of When Cowled Men Creep and Beachhead (two 0-level funnels utilizing the theories in the original post) will make what I mean more clear to those who read and/or play through them.


  1. Thanks for your answer ! I'm the one who linked to your (excellent) post. Someone on the forum pointed Paiji to this post if he wants to comment.

    Now I'll be waiting for When Cowled Men Creep and Beachhead.

  2. Thank you for your kind words.

    Paiji expressed some wonderment over my awareness of his post. Suffice it to say that Blogger lets you know where traffic to your blog is coming from, and I often check those links to see if there is something I should be aware of.

    This is doubly true now that I am actively hunting for cool DCC RPG blogs and threads.

  3. Tell us more about beachhead that sounds great

    1. It is pretty common in Appendix N fiction for modern people to become involved with the fantastic. That is, after all, the norm for Merritt, Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is not uncommon for several other authors on the list.

      Beachhead is intended as a 0-lvl funnel for modern characters, who get involved in something they would (probably) rather not.