Dying Earth D&D

DCC Dying Earth is both a sourcebook and a setting for the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role-Playing Game that offers a portal to the singular world of The Dying Earth novels by Jack Vance. Officially licensed by his estate, the Kickstarter will launch later in 2020 and the product will release in 2021...!

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finarvyn
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Dying Earth D&D

Post by finarvyn »

On the twitch tonight, solomanii mentioned that he has run a Dying Earth campaign for years using D&D rules. I don't want something that would make the DCC Dying Earth obsolete or unneeded, but I'd love to see if anyone has done anything like this.

I know that some of the characters got AD&D treatment back in the 80's in the "Giants in the Earth" series of articles. (Cugel is in Dragon #26, Iucounu is in Dragon #29.) I've also seen Dying Earth spells written for D&D, but I'm not sure which edition of the rules were intended for these spells.

I mean, the DCC DE kickstart won't be filled for a year. I need something to tide me over. :wink:
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by Bobjester »

I wrote some "Vancian" spells for OD&D for Footprints #25.

Look for the article named Colledician Magic Vol I.

I have no idea if they really are as "Vancian" as they should be, except for their basic outlandishness and Vancian naming conventions.
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by finarvyn »

Bobjester wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:51 pm I wrote some "Vancian" spells for OD&D for Footprints #25.

Look for the article named Colledician Magic Vol I.

I have no idea if they really are as "Vancian" as they should be, except for their basic outlandishness and Vancian naming conventions.
Awesome! I downloaded Footprints 25 a few days ago but haven't gotten around to it. Your article just moved it to the top of my list! 8)
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
"Misinterpreting the rules is a shared memory for many of us"
-- Joseph Goodman
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by King of Elfland »

You could certainly check out the Hyperborea game by North Wind Adventures. They're in the midst of kickstarting their 3rd edition. The rules are essentially 1e AD&D with a heavy does of Vance, Smith, Lovecraft, Howard, etc. There are stats for Oon (Planet of Adventure series) etc. I'm planning on freely cribbing from DCC for Hyperborea & vice versa.
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by finarvyn »

King of Elfland wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:20 pmYou could certainly check out the Hyperborea game by North Wind Adventures. They're in the midst of kickstarting their 3rd edition. The rules are essentially 1e AD&D with a heavy does of Vance, Smith, Lovecraft, Howard, etc. There are stats for Oon (Planet of Adventure series) etc. I'm planning on freely cribbing from DCC for Hyperborea & vice versa.
I have a 1E version of this. Excellent game!
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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11 (over 11 years of SPAM bustin'!)
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
"Misinterpreting the rules is a shared memory for many of us"
-- Joseph Goodman
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by dustle »

King of Elfland wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:20 pm You could certainly check out the Hyperborea game by North Wind Adventures. They're in the midst of kickstarting their 3rd edition. The rules are essentially 1e AD&D with a heavy does of Vance, Smith, Lovecraft, Howard, etc. There are stats for Oon (Planet of Adventure series) etc. I'm planning on freely cribbing from DCC for Hyperborea & vice versa.
Yes, Hyperborea is pretty cool. I'm more of a Basic guy myself, and I don't need all of the specialized classes for instance, but it really takes what works about 1E and makes it into something unique.

Have you looked at Adventures Dark and Deep? Not nearly as cool as Hyperborea, because Hyperborea makes it all into a cohesive game world, but it's kind of an interesting thought exercise. The premise is basically, "What if Gary Gygax had been in charge of creating 2E?" The creator uses interviews with Gygax, Unearthed Arcana, Castles & Crusades, etc. to put together an idea of what it might have looked like. Still pretty firmly 1E but with some interesting takes on 2E stuff without all the bloat.
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by King of Elfland »

dustle wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:44 amYes, Hyperborea is pretty cool. I'm more of a Basic guy myself, and I don't need all of the specialized classes for instance, but it really takes what works about 1E and makes it into something unique.

Have you looked at Adventures Dark and Deep? Not nearly as cool as Hyperborea, because Hyperborea makes it all into a cohesive game world, but it's kind of an interesting thought exercise. The premise is basically, "What if Gary Gygax had been in charge of creating 2E?" The creator uses interviews with Gygax, Unearthed Arcana, Castles & Crusades, etc. to put together an idea of what it might have looked like. Still pretty firmly 1E but with some interesting takes on 2E stuff without all the bloat.
Not much interest in ADD. Second edition turned me away from D&D in the first place or rather turned me back to 1e and B/X. I had never even heard of the OSR until I stumbled across Castles & Crusades in late 2016. So now I generally bounce between retroclones of AD&D & B/X.

My AD&D equivalent is a mash-up of the original, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Hyperborea & Castles & Crusades. Then, for B/X it's OSE, with a bit of DCC.

DCC is more its own thing for now. I have one player who has only played that and doesn't really want to try much else. But I've only judged/DMed DCC so I'd love the chance to play. I love the feel of DCC, though all the tables can slow things down a bit. Once we play more I assume that will get faster.

Finally, it's funny how you referenced descending AC. I used to hate even the notion of ascending AC. After all, THACO is not difficult. Just subtract the AC you're trying to hit from your THACO. But I've found ascending AC a bit quicker, especially with new players. So I'm slowly coming around to it, even in my retroclone games. Swords & Wizardry & OSE both use it as options and it's default in C&C. So I totally get your notion of borrowing from all over to create what you want.
Last edited by finarvyn on Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed the quote
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by dustle »

King of Elfland wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:13 amFinally, it's funny how you referenced descending AC. I used to hate even the notion of ascending AC. After all, THACO is not difficult. Just subtract the AC you're trying to hit from your THACO. But I've found ascending AC a bit quicker, especially with new players. So I'm slowly coming around to it, even in my retroclone games. Swords & Wizardry & OSE both use it as options and it's default in C&C. So I totally get your notion of borrowing from all over to create what you want.
My players all got descending AC pretty quickly. I think THAC0 and tables (though pretty straightforward) make it more confusing than it needs to be. Like even in Hyperborea, an unarmored human's AC is 10, right (vs. 9 in B/X), so it's just "roll 1d20 + ATK bonus + AC," with a total of 20 always being the magic number for a hit (in B/X it's 19). Once I told them it's just a target number that you can calculate with simple addition instead of subtraction, they got it right away.

Also, to clarify, I never liked 2E much myself, and I look at ADD more as an interesting thought exercise than as a fun game to play, so I think we're pretty much on the same page.

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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by dustle »

Also, though, I'm pretty open with information at my table. Roll in the open, but I'll tell you before you roll what you need to hit a monster, and I'll tell you before I roll what I need for a monster to hit you. If you want to figure out the monster's AC and ATK bonus based on that, go right ahead.
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by finarvyn »

dustle wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:39 am Also, though, I'm pretty open with information at my table. Roll in the open, but I'll tell you before you roll what you need to hit a monster, and I'll tell you before I roll what I need for a monster to hit you. If you want to figure out the monster's AC and ATK bonus based on that, go right ahead.
First time they encounter a monster I keep its AC a secret. After a couple of rounds they start to bracket the to-hit number by figuring out what numbers hit and which ones miss, so the second time they encounter the same type monster I just give them the AC number. Keeps things interesting early on, makes things run faster later on. Win-win. 8)
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
"Misinterpreting the rules is a shared memory for many of us"
-- Joseph Goodman
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by King of Elfland »

I never give the AC out; just let them roll. Usually they can figure it out pretty quickly anyhow. Of course now that I've got a brand new gamer, he's in the dark about everything. Still hasn't mastered what the different dice are or what they're used for. We just point and say "Roll this one."
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by finarvyn »

Newcomers are the best, because my old tricks seem new to them. This can make the whole campaign awesome!

When I get a newbie I always have a short chat with the veterans to have them give the newbie a chance to experience stuff before they just jump in. I remember one game where one veteran and some newbs found some treasure and the veteran said, "oh, I know what this does" and totally ruined the fun for everyone else. (The item was an IOUN stone, which is ironic as this is a Dying Earth thread.) Just something to ponder.
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
"Misinterpreting the rules is a shared memory for many of us"
-- Joseph Goodman
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by King of Elfland »

Luckily that's my family group so only my brother has played much, and only very infrequently since the 80s. So it's pretty new for all of them. But I totally hear where you're coming from.
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Re: Dying Earth D&D

Post by baophrat »

An excellent special edition of the Graal magazine was published in France in 1990. With a complete system of vancian magic adapted to the AD&D rules. This issue also features a campaign on the Tschai cycle. If you know people who can read French...


http://vance.jack.free.fr/graal.html
Ar gwir c'hoarierien a daol diñsoù !
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