Another aspect of the DCC RPG I enjoy is the varied, dangerous nature of magic. There’s nothing cookie-cutter or generic about spells in Dungeon Crawl Classics:
Every spell is powerful. No one tempts the greater powers by using spells for mundane purposes like lighting a hallway, since any casting can result in some nasty side-effects if the dice are against you. As the rules say, if you need light: “use a torch fool!”
Every spell is unique. When a wizard gains a new spell he rolls to determine special traits that apply only to that particular spell. Your version of fireball isn’t necessarily the same as the mage in the next valley.
Spells aren’t ‘pass/fail’: Spells results grow in power the higher you roll, leading to a huge variety of outcomes.
It’s a dangerous world: As wizards grow in power, they’ll need to seek out powerful magical patrons to further their pursuits – but of course the sort of help these powers provide brings dangers and obligations. Role-playing opportunities abound.
Some have wondered if each spell having it’s own table of results will slow down play, but I’ve found the reverse is true. A mage’s spell book is not particularly large (it’s difficult and arduous to master new spells) so it’s simple to print out each spell for easy – and quick – reference and results.
I believe mercurial magic is one of the strengths of the DCC RPG, and I’ll be including a new spell or two in each M-series adventure to add to the fun!