Since I last talked about the DCC RPG campaign I’m in, both of my characters died.
Rom the Gypsy, a halfling of some repute, drank a goblet of wine at a strange ghostly feast and joined the ghosts at said feast. This was after resisting until the last moment eating any of the food. Other characters ate the food and suffered no ill effects, so Rom drank the wine and failed the saving throw. The end.
The only saving grace is that ALL the characters would die fighting some monsters on a staircase in an extra-dimensional space. TPK. Roll up new characters.
Yet I’m happy with my new characters: a thief named Rannock, and an elf named Absalom who’s patron is the King of Elfland. Others players rolled up a cleric, another elf, and a dwarf. We now have no warriors, so we have to be careful. Fortunately, we have two clerics.
After exploring a bit in a botanical garden in the center of a massive mansion, we came upon a fountain with three or four gargoyles spouting water from their mouths. At the bottom of the pool, of course, there was gold and silver coins. On character, with a 10 foot pole, sensing a trap, prodded the waters.
That’s when a clear pseudopodium rose from the pool and attacked.
It took quite bit to bring this thing (water weird? slime? blob?) down. Absalom blasted the monster twice with magic missile, rolling high (20-23 result), summoning 1d4+2 missiles each doing 1d6 + 1 damage. I rolled 17 points of damage each time, with the last hit destroying the creature.
Magic Missile is such an iconic spell, and DCC RPG made it even better. Like in previous versions, Magic Missiles never miss their target unless blocked by certain magic. Yet in DCC RPG, the higher the spell check, the more potent the Magic Missile.
Had I rolled at 24-27 (which would be hard to do at Absalom’s level, but not impossible had he done spellburn and the like), Absalom would have launched a single 4d12 damage missile up to a 1000 feet.
The highest result (32+) allows the caster to throw 3d4+2 missiles doing 1d10 + caster level damage up to 100 miles to a single target, provide the caster has specific knowledge or a memento (hair, fingernail, blood) of the target.
That being said, however, not all elves or wizards might want magic missile as a spell, as it can have serious drawbacks. Absalom could have rolled a 12-13, which does only a single point of damage. Or failed his spellcheck and lost the spell for the day.
Or rolled the dreaded “1.” Here’s where things get bad, really bad, because you have to roll 1d6 again, modified by luck. Nasty things like corruption, patron taint, and misfires can happen. Your characters hands can turn color, or a force stone will forever orbit his head, causing damage to all who come near. A misfire can cause an explosion, or the missiles ricochet back on the caster.
It’s results like these which make a player think twice about running a wizard or an elf. And you don’t dare run a wizard or an elf with a negative luck modifier unless you want a fast descent into corruption whenever you roll a natural 1.
Absalom has an Intelligence 15 (+1 modifier to spell checks) and a Luck 15 (+1 modifier to corruption rolls, depending if the spell entry says you can. Rolling on the actual corruptions tables always brings a bad result. Fortunately, you can burn a point of Luck to avoid the corruption result, no matter what corruption table you roll on.
You can’t, however, burn a Luck point to avoid a misfire…
With DCC RPG magic missile, you get a misfire on a 4+. Below that you get corruption. At times, I think I’d rather get corruption and be able to cancel that corruption with a Luck Point than inflict a misfire on my party…