How to Run a DCC RPG Tournament Funnel
The DCC RPG tournament funnel differs from the typical character funnel in several notable ways. It is not intended to function as an adventure through which players will run multiple characters, hoping to level-up the survivors at the end of play. The tournament funnel’s primary purpose is to provide an ready format for competitive play, and to give new players a taste of playing in the DCC RPG system.
Tournament Funnel Rules and Format
The DCC RPG tournament funnel is designed for 8-10 players, each running a single level-0 PC. The tournament is played for a pre-designated amount of time. Players are scored in the tournament as follows: for each encounter survived, stamp the player’s character sheet once with the “I Survived!” stamp, or simply make a large check mark with a blue pen. Unless otherwise noted in the adventure text, an encounter is defined as any time in which initiative is rolled to begin a combat. This includes inter-party combat.
When a PC dies, likewise stamp that player’s character sheet with the “Dead” stamp, or make a large red “X” with an appropriate pen. As each PC dies, the controlling player taps out of the game, and a new player rotates into the game with a brand new PC. Players who tap out of the tournament are welcome to re-enter at anytime with a fresh PC when another seat at the table opens up. Remind players to hang onto their character sheets for later event scoring at the end of the tournament.
At the end of the event, the players with character sheets that show the most encounters survived stamps will be ranked, and the top three numerical survival totals will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively. Any ties will be settled by a d20 dice-off between the tying players, with the player losing the dice-off falling back to the next placement in ranking.
Tournament Funnel Logistics
Use a team of judges — When run as an event at a convention or friendly local game store, the tournament funnel can be challenging to facilitate for a single judge. Even with a single table of players, having an extra volunteer on hand to manage the line of incoming players and to dole out fresh character sheets will help the event run much more smoothly. If there are multiple tables, consider having a team of co-judges, with one judge per table plus a floating judge who ensures that rulings between tables are adjudicated as consistently as possible.
Make the event special — It’s not really a tournament unless there are prizes to win! Aside from the usual DCC swag sent out for Road Crew games, trophies and plaques for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, displayed before and during the event, really get the players competing with each other. And the prizes need not be lavish. Even more economical prizes, such as homemade award certificates or ribbons make all the difference. Most FLGS owners will, if asked, also donate tournament prizes or gift certificates to the event.
Keep the action rolling – The wise tournament judge is prepared to keep the action moving at a brisk pace. Adventures that have been specifically written for the tournament format will aid in this by being specifically constructed in a way that discourages parties from splitting up, or that do not challenge players to engage in emergent role playing (normally a worthy goal in a typical adventure scenario).
Later this year, Goodman Games will be coming out with special tournament swag awards that you can also use at these events, such as special tournament pins and buttons. Watch for the kickstarter announcement for these items at goodman-games.com.