So I’m dreaming of starting a Caves of Chaos campaign only using the Moldvay Basic set. I’ve printed the rules and put them in a nice notebook with page protectors. And I’ve started rereading everything again, trying not to assume anything.
Man there is a lot of magic in these simple books…
There is a sense of death throughout the book. Several times it talks about rolling up a new character and just continuing on with the game. “Nor is the game “lost” when an unlucky player’s character dies, since the player may simply ‘roll up’ a new character and continue playing.” Later in the Expert book it talks about party balance issues since “new player characters will be entering the game, either to replace those that have died or to bring new players into the campaign”.
Death is assumed, not a threat.
We’ve lost that in modern D&D. Whether because character creation is too complex or because our sense of attachment is too deep, no one “has fun” when their character dies.
Where is the sense of adventure if there is no serious threat? Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classic brings that imminent death aspect back front and center. Not only are the adventures lethal but the game is designed to force players to accept death. Starting a DCC campaign means running through a funnel – everyone gets 4 zero level characters and you hope one makes it out alive to becomes a full fledged adventurer.
And that is why I love DCC.