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  1. #1

    Dungeon Crawl Classics - the funnel in FG?

    I'm doing some brainstorming/plotting/planning here for a DCC game. Anyone ran a funnel game yet using FG?

    If so, how do you handle:

    The number of active characters per player? (i.e. do you round-robin each character as they die off? Or does the player control all of the characters simultaneously at once and they're all "on the board"?)

    If the latter, how do you manage all of those PC icons and minis? I've got a large group (average 6-8 players) so I can't imagine having multiples of them for a combat session even if it's only 2 characters per player).

  2. #2
    JohnD's Avatar
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    A player can have control of more than one character at a time. Just throw them all into the CT and let the relevant player act when the time comes.
    DMing since 1979. Ultimate License holder.

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    Thanks for 7+ years of gaming via FG my friends (2e / 3.5e / Rolemaster Classic / Castles & Crusades / Pathfinder / Savage Worlds / 5e).

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  3. #3
    Oh, I know they can. But it makes me wonder how cluttered a map / CT will be filled with player 1 / character X actions... it's one thing to throw a horde of NPCs at the PCs, I'm just curious what it's like to throw a horde of PCs at the NPCs. I'm curious how it played out in other people's encounters.

  4. #4
    leozelig's Avatar
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    Funnels are tough. I have run them a couple different ways, and I wrote a little blog post with some of my insights (linked under my avatar).

    If the CT is crowded, you can drop only one zero per player into the CT and let each player run all of their zeroes on his/her turn - typically, the zero with the highest init bonus. This requires some re-shuffling if the zero in the CT dies.

    In hindsight, I would probably lean towards rolling unique initiatives for each zero. You can drop NPC attacks on map tokens or portraits, or hold Ctrl and click a map token to target. Too much scrolling up and down the tracker is not fun at all.

    You might consider assigning tokens by player and not PC so you know how many zeroes each player has left. The portraits at the top of the desktop are not grouped by player, and ideally you want to share the love when zeroes start dropping.

    Last thing... I don’t know any shortcuts for running a combat with lots of NPCs (Portal and Sailors come to mind). Space constraints will often limit how many attacks the NPCs can make. Double-clicking the attack line without worrying about targeting can be faster sometimes - the player can tell you the AC easily enough.

    I hope some of this helps. I think your group will appreciate FG more at level 1 and beyond!

  5. #5
    Thank you. Appreciate the perspective. I have run large combats before but still with only so many players. Other than the occasional companion or familiar it's always been a ratio of one player to one PC. I hate skipping the funnel because I like the idea of it. But I don't want my players frustrated because nobody knows what's going on. I'm still thinking about it... if anybody else has any other experience, let me know...

  6. #6
    OK, I think I've got this planned out. We'll see how this works:

    I'm going to Portal Under the Stars as a funnel this way:

    I've got 30 0-level NPCs already built (thank you, Purple Dragon PC generator)... Each player will take one randomly. The remainder of them will be villagers/peasants lurking in the background as the party advances, standing just outside the immediate dangerous area. As each PC dies (inevitably), the player picks a new one (one who finally got the cojones to advance forward and join the forwarding team). The old (now deceased) character can be looted as needed so the party will eventually have a stockpile of useful gear.

    Foreseeable disadvantages: fewer attacks per round by PCs in combat (only the number of players, not 2-3x). Fewer resources at the beginning...

    Advantage: less clutter on the battlemaps...

    What do you think, folks? Anything I'm not seeing?

  7. #7
    leozelig's Avatar
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    That reminds me of the funnel tournaments (or whatever you call them) that Goodman Games ran at some conventions a few years ago, which I thought were a cool idea. I'd say it's definitely worth a try. If your players are new to Fantasy Grounds, trying to manage more than 1 character sheet at a time could definitely be overwhelming.

  8. #8
    So, very successful session for tonight. The party only made it halfway through the dungeon so far but they only had 2 character casualties. Our game went for 2 hours. And my regular party was even shorter than normal so I only had four players so only 4 characters at a time. The round-robin worked well with pre gen's. The two characters who replaced the two casualties were able to be played with in one round of game time . If you know the reference, think of it as a French comedic play where one character walks off stage and the next character walks on. The two casualties were looted appropriately, and we had a moment of silence at the end of the session to honor them.

  9. #9
    Would it be possible to do a mini character sheet like savage worlds has available? Ikael implemented one he might be willing to answer some questions to help.
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    leozelig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baufrin View Post
    Would it be possible to do a mini character sheet like savage worlds has available? Ikael implemented one he might be willing to answer some questions to help.
    I have thought about that, and it’s definitely possible. I struggle with what you would include on the mini sheet and whether it’s worth the extra effort to exclude a few fields and a couple tabs.

    For a funnel sheet, you could drop the Class and Attack (i.e. base attack bonus, always 0) fields from the Main tab, eliminate tabs for Skills, Notes, and probably Abilities, and remove the Magic and maybe Powers sections from the Actions tab. The Weapons section could possibly move to the Main or Inventory tab, allowing the Actions tab to disappear. Languages could possibly get bumped to the Main tab or just left off the mini sheet. Essentially, you are eliminating a few tabs, but I don’t think the char sheet dimensions could get much smaller without making more cuts (perhaps speed, initiative, temp hp). I could look closer at the 3.5 mini sheet since that is closer to DCC, but so far the mini sheet has seemed low-yield for a 1- or 2-session funnel.

    If anyone has other ideas about what a mini sheet would look like, I am certainly open to working on this.

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