Guess what? I finally got a chance to run this yesterday...with my wife and kids and one of my son's friends.
That's right...horribly complicated, overly lethal 0-Level, thoroughly unmodern DCC...with a bunch of newbies and neophytes.
Let's see, my kids are...let's say beginners. They've played games here and there and are familiar with the general concepts. They've played DCC but at higher level. The friend, I'll call her K, had never played an RPG before. However, she has shown interest in that she had previously invited my son to play Warriors next weekend at her house. When we decided to play DCC, it was a last minute thing to invite her but she was happy to try it out. My wife...dislikes...RPG's. Not in some active, hostile way. She does not like to play them and is always reticent. But it is for the kids! (for the record, the players number three females and one male).
I warned them ahead of time that 0-level is deadly. As I explained the Hit Points, most of which were in the 2-4 range, I said, "This measures the distances between you and death." My daughter (I think it was) said , "But I only have two hit points." Then they all stopped and you could see the little light go on. So they played it careful. The new girl, K, actually said for one of her character's actions, "...and the alchemists cowers in the darkness just outside the door."
One of the nice parts of the 0 level play is that you don't get into all the Class stuff yet. So much of the complexity is slowly introduced or introduced later. I mean, why worry about encumbrance when all you own is a holy symbol, a hammer, and a flask? I'm not sure if Mr. Goodman intended it that way, but it's the way it kinda works out.
They started with 16 characters...4 each. I used this wonderful character generation tool
a while back to create a bakers dozen, each with four characters. They looked at them and picked the ones they wanted. They've done really well, having only two deaths so far (in three rooms). I was a little light on them at the entrance due to the wording of the FRPG Day module (which, it turns out, is the same one I played in for the first DCC playtest I did 2 GaryCon's ago) and they got really lucky in one room where the damage die did not roll above a 1 so they were able to take multiple hits - otherwise more deaths would have occurred. One character even sacrificed his life so another character's dog would survive because on some innate level, they get the character funnel. That is, they got it when I explained it was deadly. So they look at the 4 as a pool, kinda decide who they want to survive, and act accordingly. In fact I had to house rule (I'm not sure if it exists) that looting was player-specific first. That is, when one of a player's characters died, his other characters got dibs on the equipment. Because they took to looting like experienced pros.
They had a blast....with this horribly complex game aimed solely at hard-core gamers.
So there are a couple of dwarfs in the party. Two of them are talking about what to do next. They come up with a plan that's a bit...well...crazy. My son puts on a slight accent of unknown origin and says "hold my ale whilst I attempt this..."