Dude, what if you glued 3.5 and Basic together? It would be totally awesome!

posted by Capfalcon Original SA post

Dungeon Crawl Classics - Part 1 - Dude, what if you glued 3.5 and Basic together? It would be totally awesome!

After RulebookHeavily dared someone on #BadWrongFun, it fell to me to review this book. To make matters extra fun, I'm going in cold. That's right. I've barely looked at this book before.

Full disclosure: I'm not doing this just because RulebookHeavily dared or because I feel like being entertaining on the internet. I've always believed that the a great way to learn is to dissect really, really bad examples. And since I'm in the Fantasy Heartbreaker design competition, this should help beat into my head good design practices. Alright, with that out of the way, let's get started.

Now, the first ten pages are pictures. I'm not going to post all of them, but here's the best

Well, the art direction isn't too bad. I mean, they're not going to be showing up in an art gallery any time soon, but they're really fun and make me want to crawl around some dungeons.

Huh, this is starting out kind of good. Maybe RulebookHeavily doesn't know what he's talking about...

Oh. Page 10. That was the sound of my optimism shattering, folks. I'm sure it would lose something in a summery, so have a bunch of quotes.

This Fucking Book posted:

Abandon all presumptions, ye who enter here.
Turn the pages of this tome only should you
meet these qualifications:

That you are a fantasy enthusiast of imaginative mind, familiar with the
customs of role playing, understanding the history and significance of the
Elder Gods Gygax and Arneson and their cohorts Bledsaw, Holmes, Kask,
Kuntz, Mentzer, and Moldvay, and knowledgeable of the role of “judge” and the
practice of “adventure.”

Right, because if you don't already know what the game is about, we're sure as hell not going to tell you.

This Fucking Book posted:

That you are in possession of the implements of role playing; namely, graph
paper and an assortment of polyhedrons, including but not limited to d4,
d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20; that you know the works of the great mage Zocchi
and are prepared to exercise d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24, d30, or d% should they need
to be deployed; and, although you may possess metal figurines and erasable mats
for purposes of enjoyment, you understand their role as optional visualizers not

...Really? A d7? A d14? A d24? I haven't even heard of those before. Why the fuck would you ever make a game that needs dice that even your target audience doesn't have? I bet it doesn't even need them. It probably just picked them so it could be weird.

This Fucking Book posted:

That you understand and appreciate certain visual hieroglyphs derived from
denizens of the higher planes whose deific identities among mortals are
rendered, in the Common tongue: Otus, Easley, Roslof, Holloway, Caldwell,
Trampier, and Dee.

Ok, out of all of those, the only one that looks remotely good is Jeff Easly. (Clyde Caldwell doesn't count because, while talented, he draws more softcore than the most fantasy artist I've seen combined.)

Look. DCC. I get it. You're a nostalgia product. It's ok. There's nothing wrong with that. But, come on. Don't pick people who are only well known because they drew for Dungeons and Dragons back when you were a kid. If you do, at least pick some of the better artists, as opposed to the ones that drew the iconic stuff that everyone remembers and doesn't care is horrible.

This Fucking Book posted:

That you should be appreciative of a life of fantastic adventure and
escapades, and acknowledge that a dungeon crawl facilitates the judging of
a game focused thereon, but in no way excludes broader adventures in the
wilderness, at court, on the outer planes, or on the sea, air, or other places.
That you apprehend the fantasy pandect recorded in Appendix N with
reverence and delight, acknowledging its defining place in creating this

So I need to swear to enjoy a subset of books and never try to emulate newer fiction, because

This Fucking Book posted:

That you are prepared to pledge, with right hand upon your little brown
books, that you shall uphold the honor of the hobby of role playing to all
comers, whether young or old.

Ok, I was just joking with the last quote, but really? Saying you are actually supposed to swear an oath? To defend the "honor" of Role Playing Games against the filthy Norms?

This Fucking Book posted:

If these conditions are not met, then replace this book upon the shelf and flee
with great celerity, for a bane befalls the heretical beholder of that which lies

Well, at least you've got the pretentious vocabulary down.

This Fucking Book posted:

Should you meet these qualifications, be aware that you are indoctrinated into
the order of Dungeon Crawl Classics and will find kind fellows of similar
sentiment also within this order. You may proceed in good health.

Thank you for your permission. I will now decide if I actually WANT anything to do with this now that you've said I can continue reading.

Now, I'm going to be generous here, and assume that this was all meant tongue-in-cheek. Still, that doesn't change the fact that was one of the most pretentious things I've read in a game that I am supposed to want to play. Why not stick some of your recommendations into the index and let me just read the game and decide what I want to do with it?

In short, I think I now hate RulesbookHeavily.

NEXT TIME: Characters! OR "Each player generates at least two, and possibly as many as four, 0-level characters."

I can hardly wait.

CHAPTER 1: The Character Creation Funnel OR Gygaxian Selection

posted by Capfalcon Original SA post

Dungeon Crawl Classics - Part 2 - CHAPTER 1: The Character Creation Funnel OR Gygaxian Selection

So, it throws you right into it with the outline for character creation.

1. Roll ability scores.
2. Determine 0-level occupation. (Yeah, you've gotta earn that first level, Peasant.)
3. Choose an alignment.
4. Purchase equipment.
5. Attempt to survive your first dungeon. If you survive and reach 10 XP, you advance to 1st level. At this point, you choose a class.
6. Based on the class chosen, you may know some spells.

You know what? I'm going to say that this isn't horrible. I find it pretty ass backwards, but it could be fun to goof off with one night and send hordes of peasants to their deaths in the Orc Caves or whatever.

Wait, hordes? Yeah, that's because everyone is supposed to make two to four characters. The survivors have been deemed worthy of becoming a Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/etc. ...Isn't Elf a class in this? So, you can be a level 0 person and then you get to take your first level in Elf? Hm. I'll need to keep an eye out for this as I keep reading.

The Character Creation Funnel

The Character Creation Funnel posted:

Some role playing games codify “game balance” in an
abundance of character options. The DCC RPG takes an
anachronistic approach to this concept by pursuing an
even playing field through randomization rather than complexity.
The character creation steps that follow generate a
play style unlike anything you have experienced in the last
twenty-odd years – provided you follow the steps precisely.
Omit any element, and you’ll find that the process does
not work.

So, rather than make options in the game comparable, we're just going to make giant tables and let God the GM sort them out. It's nice to know that so much thought was put into it.

Next is a reference for what to do for the "Funky Dice" that you don't have, assuming that you have the normal set of d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and Percentile dice. Next, it explains that when they ask you to increase the size of the die, they want you to move to the next largest die. I... guess that might count as a reason for why they want you to use so many stupid dice? Maybe?

Yeah, yeah. You know the drill: 3d6 in order. But wait, what's this?


You do not roll more dice and drop the lowest die, you do
not use a point-based buy system, and you do not assign
ability scores in any order other than that defined above.

...Well, thanks for telling me that I'm DOIN' IT WRONG. Again. I think I'm going to need to keep a running tally. I'm feeling nice, so I'll count that whole introduction as 1 DOIN' IT WRONG.

Anyway, it's got the standard 6 attributes.

Strength, Dexterity Agility, Constitution Stamina, Intellegence, Charisma Personality, and Wisdom ...Luck? Wait a second.


Luck: “Right place, right time;” favor of the gods, good
fortune, or hard-to-define talent. Players would be well
advised to understand the goals of gods and demons that
shape the world around them, for they are but pawns in a
cosmic struggle, and their luck on this mortal plane can be
influenced by the eternal conflict that rages around them.

Huh. That's different. I guess clerics use luck now?

Anyway, you roll a (damnable) d30 on an ODDLY SIZED TABLE to see what you get to add your Luck modifier to (i.e. Attack Rolls, Healing, Turning Checks, Critical Hit Tables, etc.) Some of those are a whole lot more useful than others, but them's the breaks. In addition, you can lower your luck score in order to get a bonus on a roll. That's actually kind of nice. It's like action points, if you rolled to get the number of action points you get for the rest of your life. So... it's not that much like Action Points.

Also, Luck can be used to hammer people for acting against their alignment. However, you can "swear an oath to a patron of their newly desired alignment may find the change easier" because you can never have too many sticks to hit the players with as the GM, I guess.

Also, Theives and Halflings get to regain spent luck as a class feature.

Saving Throws and Language
These are the completely functional and non-mockable. Saves are Foritude, Reflex, and Willpower, and everyone knows common and their demihuman language. Boooring.

Level 0 and Occupation
Everyone starts with 1d4+STM HP, a random piece of equpiment from Table 3-4, and a random occupation (which determines your starting weapons and other equipment). So, I'll skip ahead 52ish pages. What do you know? It's an ODDLY SHAPED TABLE that needs a d24. Also of note is that this table is almost depressingly mundane. I was able to guess 21 of the 24 things that would show up on it. The guesses I missed were Sunrod (heresy, I know), bedroll, and Masterwork tools. The correct answers were Mirror, Flask, and an Empty Chest.

Moving on to occupation, I'm glad to see that they finally had the good sense to use a d100 table. And, you only get demihumans at level 0 if you roll them on the table, roughly a 30% chance.

Now, I'm sure I'm not the only one here, but it's really, REALLY bugging me that you don't get to pick your occupation based off of your stats. Why would you be an "Elven Sage" is you have the intelligence score of a rock? IF you are a strong person, why don't you at least get to roll on a table that says, "If Strength is your highest attribute, roll here." Ugh.

Most of the equipment is the random assortment of goods you'd expect a wandering horde of nobodies to travel with, such as deer pelts, parchment and pen, side of beef, etc. Oddly, all the people that start with money as their starting equpiment start with a static value. ALL halfling moneylenders have 5gp, 10sp, and 200cp. ALL Merchants have 4 gp, 14 sp, and 27 cp. If you're going to commit to randomness being the watchword, you should at least be consistent with it, no?

Ah, Alignment. The best implemented and acceptable subsystem in Dunge- bwahahaha. Ok, seriously now. It's alignment, what do you expect? They rolled it back to Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic. And people bitched when they made it Lawful Good, Good, Neutral, Evil, and Chaotic Evil. People are weird. Anyway, now they talk about how you're a pawn in the larger game of gods and drops some H.P. Lovecraft references.

Also, if you're neutral, instead of being bros with Angels (if you're Lawful) or Demons and Devils (If you're Chaotic, which I imagine is causing some Planescape fans to develop a nervous tic), you're aligned with extraplanar zombies.

So, next is the REAL adventuring classes, which I'll cover next time.


NEXT TIME: Chapter 1, Part 2, or "Why is Cthulhu opposed to BOTH Perversions of Nature AND regular animals?"

CHAPTER 1: Part 2 OR Why is Cthulhu opposed to BOTH Perversions of Nature AND regular animals?

posted by Capfalcon Original SA post

Dungeon Crawl Classics - Chapter 1, Part 2 OR "Why is Cthulhu opposed to BOTH Perversions of Nature AND regular animals?"

First up is the Cleric! Good ol' reliable cleric. Starts out with the traditional"Step one: Pick your divine sugar daddy who will make it rain with divine blessings if you do what he wants." Next, it states, again, that Lawful is Good, Chaos is Evil, and Neutral is Cthulhu.

One of these things is not like the other.

Yep. Cthulhu himself is in here, which, between this and Cthulhutech, just goes to show you what happens when you have a horrible agent.

Anyway, Weapons are by god, because we wouldn't want Cthulhu to get angry with us for killing heathens in the wrong way. Other equipment that Clerics tend to carry is divine relics that tend to boost caster levels. Assuming that this is in any way similar to 3.5, I'm sure this will be perfectly balanced and not at all stupidly powerful. Cleric spells are idol spells, since apparently wizards use divine patrons too. In order to cast a spell, you 1d20 + your Charisma Personality modifier (Which I found the table for, by the way. 3 is a -3, 4-5 is a -2, 6-8 is a -1, 9-12 is +0, 13-15 is +1, 16-17 is a +2, and 18 is a +3) + your caster level (I just knew the caster level bonuses wasn't going to be obviously breakable).

Passing means you cast the spell, and failure means you get that much closer to a roll on the Table of Punishments! Hey! It's a normal, d20 sized chart! What do you kn- Huh. You have to roll a d4 for the number you rolled on the die. So, if you rolled a 1 (autofailure, sucker!), you roll 1d4. So, I guess it counts as a funny sized table?. If you were trying to do your Moses impression and failed at parting a sea with... oh, let's say a 13, you'd roll 13d4. Now, you would think that, since this is supposed to make it more difficult to roll higher numbers. But, of course, that makes too much sense. But, that's all the way in the magic section. We'll have to wait until then.

The more failures you get, the higher your chance of rolling on the Table O' Punishment. But, if you make some sacrifices, you can get your offenses wiped clean. I have this mental image of a cleric slipping his god a bribe. It's actually kind of interesting. Clerics can now turn unholy creatures. The creatures that are unholy varies by alignment. Lawful gods consider "Un-dead, demons, devils, chaotic extraplanar creatures, monsters (e.g., basilisk or medusa), Chaos Primes (Evil Autobots?), chaotic humanoids (e.g., orcs), and chaotic dragons" unholy. Chaotic gods consider "Angels, paladins, lawful dragons, Lords of Law, Lawful Primes, and Law-aligned humanoids (e.g., goblins)" unholy. And Neutral gods yet again win the "Authors really didn't think this through too well" award, since they consider both Natural and Unnatural beasts to be unholy.

The gods themselves aren't really that interesting, since they just throw down a list of them, what team they're on alignment they are, and a phrase describing them, like "Shul, God of the Moon" or, I kid you not, "Justicia, goddess of justice and mercy."

Well, let's finish up the cleric with some more interesting things. Each level, from 1 to 5, has its own title based on what alignment you are. For instance, a level 1, Lawful cleric is an Acolyte, while at level 5, he becomes a Father. Neutral level five clerics are Druids, which, yet again, goes so well with Cthulhu. Actually, scratch that. A Druid of Cthulhu sounds great. "You wanna polute this place? Fine. I'll sic the deep ones on you."

Next up is the Thief! Now, before we get too far, let's play a game. See if you can find what is missing from the following paragraph.


Weapon training: A thief is trained in these
weapons: blackjack, blowgun, crossbow, dagger,
dart, garrote, longsword, short sword, sling, and
staff. Thieves are careful in their choice of armor,
as it affects the use of their skills.

If you guessed "actually saying what armor they can use," you're right! And with such a wonderful start, let's continue. All Lawful thieves belong to organized crime and guilds, Chaotic thieves are their own man, and Neutral thieves are "Double Agents."

Hm. The Neutral thief is oddly specific. I've decide I'm going to start keeping a tally of the times when Neutral is really weird. I think we're at three so far, not counting any I might have forgotten from the previous posts.

All thieves know the thieves cant, even the ones who don't belong to any organizations. You will get murdered if you teach it to anyone who isn't a thief. This causes me to wonder. Aren't most adventurers thieves of some kind? More along the mugging/breaking and entering as opposed to a picking pockets and picking locks kind, but still...

And... the rest of the class is skills and their unique Luck mechanic. The skills are pretty run of the mill (sneaking, picking locks, poison, etc), so let's take a look at Luck mechanics. They're pretty simple, but make luck MUCH more powerful for the thief. Instead of a 1 to 1 rate of spending, Thieves get a +2 for every point of luck they spend. In addition, while everyone else permanently burns their luck when they use it, thieves get back points equal to their level every night. That sounds pretty huge, if you ask me. I'm not complaining, mind, but it's one of the first things I would mention for the thief chapter, as opposed to almost last.

Next is the Warrior! They get d12 hit die! He knows all the Weapons! He's likely to only get +2 to hit more than the thief and cleric! Wait, what? Yep. You see, the Warrior rolls a die to see what he gets to add to hit. And then he rolls his to hit die.

They also get "Do something Cool" as a class skill. Yep, throwing dirt into the face is back with a vengeance. But, to my shock, you also get a surprisingly decent chart of things that your deeds can do. Of course, they're not sure things, and you have to roll on more tables to see how well you did, but I'll take what I can get. Lastly, Fighters get better crit tables than everyone else (These are hilarious and , just you wait.)

A bit of fluff follows, detailing a few knightly orders to which your fighter that your fighter could belong. Order of the Dragon likes slaying dragons. The "Enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady." They run around and defend women from bad stuff. One could say that they're some form of White Knights. Eh? Eh? ...They can't all be gold.

WIZARDS! They cast spells! ...And that's about it. Seriously. Spells come from patrons that you can bug to try and get yourself out of a jam. Some sample patrons are :


• Bobugbubilz, demon lord of amphibians
• Azi Dahaka, demon prince of storms and waste
• The King of Elfland, fey ruler of the lands beyond
• Sezrekan the Elder, the wickedest of sorcerers
• The Three Fates, who control the fate of all men
and gods to see that the world reaches its destiny
• Yddgrrl, the World Root
• Obitu-Que, Lord of the Five, pit fiend and balor
• Ithha, prince of elemental wind

I'm glad to see that the Elf King of Elven homeland of Elfland wasn't feeling too creative. The others actually sound kind of neat, though. I'd probably pick Yddgrrl just for the fun of trying to say it around the table. Oh, and at level 5 you get to start casting two spells a round. Probably should have mentioned that.

Dwarves! A dwarf is a worse fighter that can see in the dark. They get a 1d10 hit die, the Might Deeds at Arms, and the variable to hit bonus. However, dwarfs know how to hit people with a shield! They get to smack a fool with their shield every round. Also, dwarfs can smell gold and gems. They can smell a single coin within 40 feet of it. I'm glad we at least moved the Jewish stereotypes onto the short yet bad-ass warriors instead of tricky and cowardly Gnomes.

Elves! To put it bluntly, elves are OP. Elves are wizards who know how to fight decently. Thieves and clerics pull past them in the hitting things department around level 8 or so, but it doesn't really matter by then since Elves get their best spells by then. They're allergic to iron, because of their fey nature. But it's ok, since they just lose a hit point every day they wear armor. And if that sounds like too much trouble, they get free mithral (which is like iron but lighter and better) equipment at level one. They can see in the dark and are immune to sleep (number one cause of wandering monster death, I've heard) and paralysis.

Hobbits Halflings! Seriously, the intro basically says, "You're from the Shire, but you end up adventuring for some reason. Interestingly, the alignment section for halflings mentions that "Chaotic and Evil halflings are extremely rare." So, is evil seperate from chaos, or was that a typo?

While everyone can dual wield, the Halfling is the only one who should even bother unless they have a godly Dexterity Agility, since they just have to use a d16 instead of a d12. They can see in the dark and get luck back like a rogue. However, they can spend their luck on other people's behalf. I now picture halflings being strapped to adventurer's backs so they provide luck for the party.

Gnomes! ...are apparently monsters and do not show up in the classes. They will be missed.

So, final tally for the book so far:


Next time: Chapter 2: Skills OR Adventurers in GM Bullshitting.

CHAPTER 2: Skills OR Adventurers in GM Bullshitting + CHAPTER 3: Equipment OR Your One Stop Dungeoncrawling Shop

posted by Capfalcon Original SA post

Man, after reading some of these last entries, Dungeon Crawl Classics just seems kind of boring in comparison.

But, don't think you're getting off that easy, because it's time for...


CHAPTER 2: Skills OR Adventurers in GM Bullshitting.

This chapter is, counting the completely black Chapter page with three lines of white text, a full page picture of adventurers doing adventurey things, and two pictures that take up about a quarter of a page, four pages long. This chapter is a page and a half long. We will not be that fortunate again.

Now, I'm sure some people like the whole "Convince your DM that your plan is actually quite well thought out and you deserve big pluses to your rolls" approach, and, to a point, I think it's just fine. It's just that this version of it is really harsh, i.e. if you are deemed to be "unskilled" in the task, you roll a d10 instead of a d20. Now, I understand the desire to have strong niche protection. Hell, I've participated in the fighter VS GOD wizard/CoDzilla flame wars. But, this just seems punitive for rolling the "wrong" background.

The rest of it is lifted from later editions of the World's Most Famous Fantasy RPG Dungeons and Dragons. There's DCs in increments of 5, with DC 10 being average. There's the opposed skill checks. And... that's it. Wait a second. No rules on taking 10 or 20? What's the point of saying DC 10 is average if you can't take 10? Now, a skilled person fails the check half the time! That is not simple! That's half the point of it!

Also, I think this bit deserves to be quoted:


DC 10 tasks are a man’s deed. The weak and unskilled
could not likely achieve these tasks. Example: kicking
down a door, scaling a stone wall, or hearing the approach
of a cautious footpad.

Now, after some of these past games, I'm sure this barely registers, but it's worth pointing out.

Hm. That was pretty short. Let's try the next chapter.

Chapter 3: Equipment OR Your One Stop Dungeoncrawling Shop

Peasants are poor as shit farmers, getting a mere 5d12 copper. And yes, they have electrum pieces too. I think you get kicked out of the OSR if your game doesn't have them. Apparently, iron is like anti-magic dust, so it messes up your spells. But only Wizard/Elf spells. Which is especially weird since both Clerics and Wizards have to have patrons, so now the difference between Arcane and Divine magic is even vaguer.

A few interesting quirks of the equipment:
Crossbows are straight better than normal bows (Cost less and longer range)
People with two handed weapons roll a lower die for initiative (a d16, if you must know. Another "roll the weird die because" thing.)
A spear is the best one handed weapon. Cheap, does 1d8 damage, and deals double damage to mounted charges.
A silver tipped arrows cost 50 silver pieces.

Also, we have our first hint of the horrors to come. Each armor has a fumble die, with the heavier armor coming with larger dice. This does not bode well.

Finally, we have some HILARIOUS comics, covering such fresh topics as "Why does Female Armor cover less but give the same bonuses" and "A lot of people don't use encumbrance, and it looks really silly if you think about it."

And that's it! Two chapters in a whole 2 pages of text and 2.5 of tables. At this rate the book will be over in... oh god I have 400 pages left.

At least there's a lot of artwork?

Next time: I hope you guys like tables.

CHAPTER 4: Combat! OR we have a table for that!

posted by Capfalcon Original SA post

Syrg Sapphire posted:

To anyone who has this feeling - go look at my contributions and see how I reduce two completely insane systems into a bunch of dry text breakdowns and the occasional image.

Then feel infinitely better about yourself.

Well, if you insist.

I guess that means it's time for more


Chapter 4 - Combat! Or, we have a table for that!

Welcome back. I'm sure you missed me.

Now, we're getting down to the nitty gritty. They roll through initiative (surprise round then initiative order), time keeping (each action in combat is a 10 second round, and each combat is a turn (which is 10 minutes for... some reason)), and encounter crafting (figure it out yourself, noob! You're DOIN' IT WRONG).

I'm glad we've got such an approachable game that will really welcome new people into the hobby! Anyway, turning the page we get...

Ok, I know last time I was a bit critical of their sources of humor last time, but this one actually made me chuckle.

The next few pages are how armor works, attack rolls, etc. Basically it's just like 3.5.

And we finally get to fumbles. Gloriously horrible fumbles. The bane of all fighters since... well... ever, I guess.

But, these aren't your daddy's fumbles! This ODDLY SHAPED TABLE (1 through 16, natch) of fumbles manage to make it even worse for fighters! That's right! In addition to the normal "Extra attacks = Extra chances to fumble," iterative attacks use smaller dice (such as 1d16 and a 1d12). So, your more likely to fumble than ever before! And wait, that's not all! Remember the "fumble dice" that were attached to the armor section? Well, guess who's going to be wearing the armor with the biggest fumble dice?

I know caster supremacy is apparently a feature for some people, but couldn't we have at least driven a stake through fumble's heart and buried it upside down at the crossroads?

Some of the choice fumbles include:

"Your armor seizes up and you can't move for 1d3 rounds" (...does this make sense for any armor that isn't plate mail? No, no it does not.)
"Your weapon breaks." (A good ol' fuck you stand by)
"Attack an adjacent ally" (Well, at least you're not fucking yourself ) over...
"You hit yourself so hard you fall on your back and cannot get up until you make an Dex Adj check of DC 10." (Since this one requires a high fumble result, it can only be reached by dwarves and warriors. Wait, what? Did you become an old granny when I wasn't looking? Just... I don't... )

Of course, we have fumble's less retarded cousin, the Critical Hit. Roll a Nat 20 and you get to roll on the tables to see how awesome you are. Also, since iterative attacks are on d12s and d16s, you can't crit on those. Because that would be silly, I guess?

Just in case you thought we were out of "fuck you" territory, one of the crit results for level 0 characters and wizards ends up disarming you, because you hit them too hard. Also, your nat 20 can just straight up miss if you are thief or an elf.

The first few tables are kinda bog standard (fluffy description, minor to moderate handicap, an extra die of damage)

The fighter ODDLY SHAPED TABLEs (all four of 'em), though... they make it almost worthwhile. They are as fuck.

Breaking skulls (and doing int damage), puncturing lungs (and removing half of their remaining hp), disemboweling (Die in 1d6 rounds), frontal lobotomy (vegetable time!), and hitting their chest so hard their heart explodes (...they die, what do you expect?)

And the final, best result:

"Foe decapitated with a single strike. You are Death incarnate. Continue to make attacks against any foes within 10’ until you miss."

The rest of the chapter is pretty bog standard (or already covered, I.E. burning luck), with one notable exception in the form of Spell Duels. And boy, is it an exception. The rules for them (not counting the charts and tables and such) are about five pages long. Now, they really try and make it sound complicated and grand, but it could have probably been shortened to about a paragraph. Here, I'm going to try it.

When someone casts a spell, someone later in the initiative order can try and counterspell it. This takes up their normal action. Both people cast their spell (with the counterspeller picking an appropriate counterspell) and compare the results to the table.

...That really wasn't so hard, was it?

Oh, one more thing. If both people get the same result, something wacky happens, because magic is unpredictable and wacky. So, go roll on the wacky magic mishap table.

Two paragraphs. My bad.

The wacky magic table is actually scary enough that I know that I never want to counter a spell, just so I don't have to deal with it. Random aging, plane shifts, summoning random demons, etc. I imagine there's a whole bunch of wizards who have just agreed that they won't teach their apprentices how to counterspell, because it's really just a dick move to pull when one of the results is DEMONIC INVASION.

That pretty much wraps up the Combat chapter.

Next time - What do you mean Chapter 5 is about half of the 500 page book?

Bonus prize for anyone who guesses what the chapter is about without cracking open the book.

Also, the updated tally: