While running DCC RPG the other night, there was a good-sized chunk of time when I had my DCC core book, Expert D&D (for wilderness and reaction rules), and Crawl! #5 (for the wandering monster tables) open at the same time, along with scratch paper for hit points . . . and my DCC book was open in two places, combat and monsters. Too much!
The combat I was refereeing was already pretty robust: 5 PCs (1/player), their 4 retainers, and 16 acolytes. It was also my first time running DCC post-funnel, and (I believe) everyone else’s first time playing characters above level zero.
That’s not a situation where I want to be awash in books and stuff.
Conan needs not your art and spells
The DCC core book is massive — in the neighborhood of 470 pages long. If you mush it all together, something like 100 pages of that is artwork. Which is awesome! Another 200 pages or so are devoted to spells. Also awesome! These are two of my favorite things about DCC.
But the book being such a beast really ups my handling time at the table, particularly since I don’t have much experience running the game. It’s just too damned big to navigate quickly and comfortably in the heat of the moment.
By Crom, a mere 18 pages!
I realized after game night that I don’t need most of what’s in the book from moment to moment, though, which got me thinking about the PDF.
I went through my PDF copy and noted all the pages I needed at the table, and there were 18 of them. In 18 pages, I can cover (page references come from the 4th printing, and are the number printed on the page, not the “page” in the PDF):
- Skills, 66 & 67
- Combat, 77-79
- Damage, healing, Luck, other combat stuff, 93-96
- Magic and spellburn, 106-108
- Corruption, 116
- Deity disapproval, 122
- Retainers, 310
- XP, 359
- Luck, 360 & 361
I printed out those pages, hole-punched them, and slapped them in a binder. Now I can reference the 4% of the book I need often without having to deal with the other 96%.
I’ll still bring my book so we can all use it, of course (plus two copies of the awesome DCC RPG Reference Booklet, one of the most useful books on my Lulu recommendation list), and there’s stuff I’ll need periodically or occasionally which I didn’t bother printing out. But where it counts, this approach has streamlined things a lot.
I can’t wait to use my “booklet version” of DCC at our next session!