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Running a 0-level funnel for DCC RPG on Fantasy Grounds

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The 0-level funnel is one of the unique features of DCC RPG character creation. Players set off on the adventure with multiple 0-level peasants and end up with 1 or 2 (in theory) heroes by the end of the expedition. Hosting a funnel is no easy task, even with Fantasy Grounds, so I thought I would share a few tips from my own experience. Feel free to add your own in the comments...

So many zeroes...
Character creation can be fairly quick for an experienced FG user. On the other hand, many funnel participants are new to both FG and DCC RPG. This can really take the fun out of your fun-nel. (Yeah, sorry about that.) One solution is to create a bunch of pregens for players to select when they login. I have even toyed with the idea of having a 0-level draft with the draft order determined by a dice roll-off! Of course, some judges might want to avoid the extra prep time, so for them, I suggest hosting a "session 0" to shore up character creation before setting off on the adventure. I have asked players to send me their 0-level character sheets from Purple Sorcerer with the intention of preparing them myself before the game, but this never seems to pan out for one reason or another. The ruleset now has the /funnel chat command, so you can generate up to 24 zeroes in a few seconds by typing ‘/funnel 24’, or however many you need. If someone needs to replenish mid-adventure, type ‘/funnel 2 leozelig’ to deal 2 char sheets to the player with username leozelig.

Where are the funky dice?!
If you’re running a funnel on FG, chances are you might have some first-timers - for DCC, FG, or both! If a Chaos Lord did not put you up to this, then give yourself a pat on the back. New players and judges often have trouble finding the Zocchi dice (d5, d7, etc). These are arranged according to the standard dice workaround in the core rules, but if that isn’t intuitive enough, drag each funky die to a hotkey and suggest your players do the same. Most rolls originate on the char sheet so you need only click a box, but you never know when things will go off the rails in a funnel! As an alternative, grab the ‘Grouped Zocchi Dice’ extension, which adds a Fate die to the desktop and stores ALL of the Zocchi dice under its custom dice menu.

Whose playing what now?
Prepare a unique portrait for each player. I cropped images of Hugh and the gang from product images on the Goodman Games website. Assign the same portrait to every character sheet for that player. You will appreciate this tip more as a judge when you see 15+ portraits across the top of your desktop and realize they are not sorted in any particular order.

Combat tracker madness
When zeroes and NPCs start piling up in the combat tracker, things get pretty confusing, and game play slows down. I have seen a few house rules for combat in funnels. I ask each player to roll one initiative using their best modifier, with all zeroes for that player acting on the same initiative count. In this case, you really only need to drop the initiative-rolling zero for each player in the combat tracker, but this does require some shuffling if that zero is killed. Another option is to drop all PCs to the tracker but only roll initiative with one PC per player. This allows the judge access to all PCs for targeting and dropping tokens to the map.

As with PCs, be wary of dropping a bunch of NPCs into the tracker. Some funnels will pit you against 20+ enemies, so consider dropping only one of each unique monster into the tracker for a theater of mind game. This requires some old-fashioned bookkeeping (and perhaps some hand-waving) by the judge but might save time in the end. If you choose to hammer things out mano a mano, remember that you can drop attacks and damage onto PC portraits and tokens without targeting, which is usually easier than scanning up and down the combat tracker for your desired target.

Don't forget about the party sheet
The party sheet can be quite useful in a funnel, possibly even more than the combat tracker. I like to target the zero with the lowest luck score when bad things happen, especially early in the adventure, and the party sheet allows you to quickly scan everyone's ability scores. I also check the list of occupations when determining whether anyone can make a trained skill check or considering what exactly to reveal about a room or object. The hit point bar is probably less useful when everyone has 1-4 hp, but that is visible as well. Plan on spending a little time at the beginning dropping everyone in there - it's well worth it in my opinion. Oh, and don't forget to clear the dead ones!

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Updated December 20th, 2021 at 19:27 by leozelig



  1. GunnarGreybeard's Avatar
    I like that concept, the 0-level funnel but I can see it would be a nightmare, either in FG or FtF.
  2. Wizards Ghost's Avatar
    Was running 'Under a starless Sea' funnel with 12 PC and 25 NPC in the combat tracker (last fight).
    Still it worked fine on FGU.

    PC#s are very quick made, making them is fun and brings often a good laughter. So, grab a pitchfork and a chicken and go out fighting for your life

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