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I Wanna Be Your Dog: Canines in DCC

Last year I started a Dungeon Crawl Classics group with my friends. For those that don't know, Dungeon Crawl Classics is meant to be D&D like it is 1975, and touts the catch phrase, "Deadliest Game Alive". During Character Creation one of the characters in our 0-level funnel came up as a herder with a herding dog. The dog, Fetch, has outlived their herder master, and became a beloved Character in a very lethal game. Not surprisingly, the players pushed for Fetch to have the ability to advance. Here is the first draft of the rules if you are interested in my take on Canine Player Characters in DCC.

I Wanna Be Your Dog
Canines in Dungeon Crawl Classics by Nick Baran
Art by Nerdgore

You’re running a 0-Level Funnel for a group of players who are all dog people. One of the Characters comes up as a Herder with a Herding Dog, and before you know it, the dog is the most cherished member of the party. Treasure be damned, as long as the dog survives!

CANINE

Canines 
include any type of dog. Working dogs are domesticated breeds that faithfully herd, guard, or guide their bipedal companions and reflect the lawful canines among us. Social strays often join the groups of people out of a desire for scraps and mutually beneficial companionship and protection. They are fickle creatures, leery of most humanoids and when in doubt will do what is best for their own survival. Lastly, there are a variety of chaotic wild animals from the genus Canis, like wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingoes, and feral dogs. These canines often hover on the periphery of a group, waiting to feast on the injured or dead, but don’t build bonds with the party.

Hit Points: A canine gains 1d6 hit points at each level.

Weapon training: A canine uses only their bite and paws in combat.

Alignment: Canines can follow one of several paths based on their alignment, which in turn affects their title and life path.

Luck and Wits: This is identical to the Thief Ability by the same name.

Sneak Silently: This ability is identical to the Thieving Skill by the same name.

Hide in Shadows: This ability is identical to the Thieving Skill by the same name.

Detect or Follow Scent (Intelligence): The canine can detect or follow the scent of any nearby creature, identify them, and approximate their number. DC10 for familiar terrain, DC15 if the canine is not familiar with the terrain, and DC20 if their are overwhelming scents that could mask the scent they are trying to follow, like incense or smoke from a large fire. Remember that the canine may know the information but may not articulate it beyond barking, growling, pacing, and other dog behaviors.

Pounce (Agility): The canine may end its movement toward an enemy with a leap, jumping on or into the enemy. If the enemy is human-sized or smaller, the canine may force them to lose an Action Die for the Round. If they have no Action Dice remaining, they should make an opposed test against the canine’s Pounce roll, modified for Agility. If the opponent fails, they are knocked Prone. Pouncing is part of the canine’s Movement and uses a D14 to hit.

Tenacious Grab (Strength): Canines have a powerful bite and are adept at using their weight and strength to restrain their enemies. After a successful bite they may immediately attempt a Grapple if they so choose, as per Other Combat Rules (DCC rule book page 96).

Quick: A canine has a base movement of 40’, as opposed to 30’ for humans. This should be adjusted for tiny dogs or those with tiny legs.

Small Size: Canines range in height from 6” to 3’ tall and have a chest width from a few inches to 2’. They can weigh 150 lbs or more but most breeds stay under 70. Their small size allows them to navigate narrow passages and openings too small for bipedal humanoids.

Small and Agile: Canines have a natural Armor Class of 12.

Languages: Bark and Growl. The language of dogs is a complex series of barks, whines, growls, and visual cues. Though they can often convey their wants and needs to an attentive person, communication is limited. Similarly, some canines can learn simple words and their meaning in most languages, but they cannot speak. Understanding between canines and upright folks will always be limited.

Table 1: Canine
Level
Attack
Crit Die/Table
Action Dice
Luck Die
Ref
Fort
Will
1
+0
1D6/Table I
1D20
D3
+1
+1
+0
2
+1
1D6/Table I
1D20
D4
+1
+1
+0
3
+2
1D8/Table I
1D20
D5
+2
+2
+1
4
+3
1D8/Table I
1D20
D6
+2
+2
+1
5
+4
1D10/Table I
1D20+1D14
D7
+3
+3
+2
6
+5
1D10/Table I
1D20+1D16
D8
+3
+3
+2
7
+6
1D12/Table I
1D20+1D20
D10
+4
+4
+3
8
+7
1D12/Table I
1D20+1D20
D12
+4
+4
+3
9
+8
1D14/Table I
1D20+1D20
D14
+5
+5
+4
10
+9
1D14/Table I
1D20+1D20
D16
+5
+5
+4

Table 2: Canine Titles
Level
Lawful
Neutral
Chaotic
1
Whelp
Mutt
Cur
2
Pup
Stray
Mongrel
3
Pooch
Flea Bag
Haunter
4
Hound
Mange Carrier
Beast

Table 3: Canine Skills by Level and Alignment

LAWFUL
Skill
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Sneak Silently
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
Hide in Shadows
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Detect/Follow Scent
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
Pounce
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Tenacious Grab
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13

NEUTRAL
Skill
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Sneak Silently
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
Hide in Shadows
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
Detect/Follow Scent
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Pounce
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Tenacious Grab
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13


CHAOTIC

Skill
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Sneak Silently
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Hide in Shadows
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Detect/Follow Scent
+1
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
Pounce
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
Tenacious Grab
+3
+5
+7
+8
+9
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15

Here is a link to Google Docs for printing purposes. 
I Wanna Be Your Dog: Canine Player Characters in DCC
Let me know what you think on Facebook or Instagram:
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@broken_contract Instagram
Thanks for reading!
-Nick

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