• Beware the assassin’s blade

    DFRPG idea: “Assassin’s weapons”. Has small notches, grooves, etc. on blade, supposedly to carry more poison. Probably not real, but let it be in game.Add cost to blade. Gives +1 to Poisons roll to use extra poison (Practical Poisoning, Exploits p58). Also lets poison survive 4, not 3, blocked its (Adventurers p116). However, Armory (Melee Weapons) +5 roll (= IQ) makes purpose clear; gives negative reactions!  You may have heard of the “assassin’s weapon” or “assassin’s blade” or some such: a blade etched with grooves that help carry poison and more effectively deliver it to the target. This isn’t necessarily something that was used in real life (or so I’ve…

  • As Good As Done: New Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) perks for GURPS

    GURPS Power-Ups 2: Perks introduced a new perk that I loved immediately: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This one-point beauty lets you specify some task or action that your character performs as a matter of course, even off-screen – reloading weapons (good for action heroes), sitting with your back to a wall (good for paranoid heroes), and many more – without your having to say that the PC performs the action. “Cool”, I thought. “It’s automation for characters.” There aren’t a lot of SOPs offered in Perks, but they’re easy and fun to think up. Here’s a giant handful of SOPs to keep your PC busy, on and off screen. But first,…

  • Idea Pot: Earn-as-you-go disadvantages for GURPS

    In a game like GURPS, what do you get for saddling a PC with a disadvantage? A more interesting character, of course, but also a more immediate benefit: instant character points you can spend on stuff that makes you awesome. Not everyone’s crazy about how that works, though. Like this SJG forum commenter: I don’t like buying disadvantages at character build time… I’d much prefer a system (or option) which rewards disadvantages as they come up during play rather than as a big chunk of bonus points beforehand. Hmm. Could that work in GURPS? I think it could. Even better, I think it could work alongside the game’s tried and…

  • Books we want: An updated GURPS LITE

    Edit 2017-08-03: Added the sad discovery that LITE’s weapon list lacks a rock. Also added a substantial section on the many more goodies that the older LITE for 3e, a veritable worker of miracles in 32-page format, used to offer players. (Including that rock.) Do we really need a new GURPS LITE? No. There’s nothing about GURPS LITE that demands a new version. It has always been, and still is, a well-made and perfectly playable introduction to GURPS. A read through the work, though, suggests a number of ideas for small improvements, additions, and, yes, subtractions. Even if none of those are pressing, LITE has been out there for a…

  • Magical Mystery Tours: Three GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure Seeds for Bards

    Three… bardventures? No. Let’s not do that. What we have here is simply three adventure seeds that highlight PCs of the musical persuasion, though of course other Dungeon Fantasy professions may be involved. The scenarios came up while I was writing Dungeon Fantasy: The Musical! feat. Bards, a look at all things bardic that could go into a future Bards installment in the Dungeon Fantasy Denizens series. I didn’t include the storylines in that article because the Denizens series doesn’t deal in adventure seeds, and because no one would use these ideas anyway. But what the heck. They do no good sitting in my slush pile. So here you go: a…

  • Dungeon Fantasy: The Musical! (feat. Bards)

    Ooh, look! Yet another “They oughta write a book” article from me! Because it’s so darn easy to lay out the work that someone else should do for my amusement! You know the still-nascent Dungeon Fantasy: Denizens line of books, each showcasing an adventurer archetype? The next installment ought to be Bards. Actually, when the line first launched with Denizens: Barbarians, I thought Bards would be next. You see, I drew on my knowledge of game industry publishing, brought the full breadth of my intellect and reasoning skills to bear, examined and analyzed all relevant factors, and arrived at a deduction: “Bard” comes after “Barbarian” in the alphabet, so that…

  • A blogger’s dozen (Part IV): 13 ideas for RPG articles

    Yikes, I forgot I have a big list of this stuff remaining in my scrap pile. Here’s installment no. 4 in a series no one asked for: ideas for gaming bloggers/authors facing a dry idea well. (As if such gaming bloggers exist…) 40. Mundane stuff with non-mundane stories Create a weapon, crown, or other mundane item, and imbue it with a back story. (A complex back story with specific persons, locations, etc. is fine if aimed at an existing game world; otherwise, more vague “fill in the blanks” description may provide a better fit for readers’ game worlds.)  Example (with appropriately malleable place names): The Sword of the Alliance was…

  • Books we want: How to Be a GURPS Player

    The first time I suggested “There oughta be a book” was here, with a suggestion for more mini-books on Yrth cultures and societies (because, hey, I like Banestorm). Time for another suggestion! How to Be a GURPS GM by Warren “Mook” Wilson is a great book. It’s packed with invaluable advice and insights for gamemastering GURPS. Well, with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game set to ignite (?) an explosion (??) of demand (???) for our favorite game system, perhaps it’s time to release a dedicated guide to playing GURPS. A book that would fill three roles: Help existing players become better players Offer a smooth intro for newcomers to GURPS (“Oh…

  • Tiny GURPS idea: A better Outdoorsman

    Edit 2019-01-14: Added notes on Outdoorsman in Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, and on other talents of use to outdoor types. Edit 2020-01-23: Added further ideas on beefing up the sparse Green Thumb talent with two druid-friendly skills. While we’re on the topic of back-to-nature barbarians: GURPS offers the nifty Outdoorsman Talent (B91) that boosts seven relevant skills for 10 points/level. That’s a great bargain over buying up the individual skills at high levels. Yet it feels expensive to some gamers, especially in any genre that prioritizes success in combat or social dealings over competence at the campsite. GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Barbarians even calls out the issue on P21, suggesting two…

  • Gaming Tips: Taking your chances on 3d6

    Edit 2017-08-05: Added quick internal links (a few short paragraphs below) before the boring stuff, for those who want to skip probability tables and jump to the conclusions. Whether you’re a GURPS GM or a player entirely new to the system, you’ll find a fast and convenient summary of what 3d6 and dice mods mean for chances of success. “12 or less? That’s good… right?” If you come from one of those popular games that uses a twenty-sided die to whack monsters and roll other checks, and you step up to one of several games that uses three six-sided dice instead… you might feel a little lost. We deal with…