Monday, July 30, 2012

No One Wants to Save the World

Before running DCC #67 Sailors on the Starless Sea, I had never run a module. All of my prior twelve years gaming was spent playing material I wrote. Looking back, the tendency was towards epic, save-the-world type stories. For all of the fun we had, no one actually ever saved the world. The scope of these campaigns was simply too big for teenagers with short attention spans to ever finish.

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has offered my groups a completely different style of play thus far. Every campaign I've run has been a series of episodic adventures where the only real constant is the PCs. This is partially a time consideration. One of my groups plays on a very erratic schedule which makes extended stories harder to maintain.The other reason is that, after nearly a dozen years of never finishing these epic campaigns, I find smaller scales quests to be more enjoyable simply because you can them through to completion with more consistency.

Really, it comes down to the fact that "save the world" is not a good motivation for most players. How many players actually care about the world beyond the immediate situation presented by the GM? Even if the campaign ends with an adventure where the entire fate of the world hangs in the balance, this can never be a starting point. The road to that climax will be marked by several smaller adventures where the players are motivated by the prospect of finding powerful magic items, hoards of wealth, becoming stronger, gaining prestige within an organization, etc.


  1. I was recently introduced to DCC in june...and honestly I enjoyed it more than almost any other rpg game I've tried including DnD 4e.We played Sailors of a Starless Sea and i had multiple characters survive the funnel...which was amazing.And the DM was engaging and a good storyteller.Which contributed to the flow of game play and how easily we all picked it up(sorry rambling).Anyway I was really looking forward to more adventures..but it fell through..So now I'm stuck wanting to play this awesome game but i cant find another DM who is hosting.(which is surprising since i live in NYC).I've tried various forums,Meetup, and several game shops including Compleat Strategist and 20sided.But no luck.I'm hoping you could advice me or give me another resource to explore in hopes of finding a game in NYC.

    Also i just found your blog and i saw your orc...I didnt get a chance to look through it all but would it kinda be like the Elf,Dwarf,Halfling races which have predetermined classes and if so what would the orc be? is it like your own variant on the warrior class or something else entirely like a berserker or something.

    1. Heh, I am 99% sure I am the DM that ran the game. Did you play at the Compleat Strategist? Does your name begin with a V? If so, send an email to gazrax at gmail dot com. I wanted to keep going with that but I never heard back from the other players. One of my home games is in pretty bad need of players at the moment. If you're still looking, we could meet and talk about getting you into that campaign.