31 reasons why you want to pick up Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (and fast!)

Monsters 2 for DFRPG

Gamers! If you missed the first appearance of Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG), fate and Steve Jackson games (SJG) have granted you a second – but fleeting – chance to pick up a box. It’s happening through a successful Kickstarter campaign that will reprint the boxed set, launch a new Monsters 2 book, and offer a bunch of add-ons. (The campaign ends Sat, March 23 2019 7:13 AM UTC!)

Why do you want this game? There are as many reasons as there are flavors at that one ice cream chain. There are so many reasons, in fact, that only a logorrheic hack blogger could list them all. 

That’s my cue!


2019-03-16: Added a few nice “pull quotes” in the text, and began a list of handy links at bottom of page. Please suggest more!

2019-03-17: Updated text to reflect the happy news that the project has funded! 

2019-03-19: Added TL; DR summary at end.

2020-05-11: Link to above TL; DR summary broke somewhere along the way. Fixed now.


The below draws from the content of DFRPG and other products, information from SJG, comments and reports from SJG representatives and fans and third parties, my own reviews and writings and play experience with the game, etc., etc. – but it all boils down to my own understanding and opinions, and not those of anyone else. Blame me for anything that’s incorrect or just plain ridiculous!


Want the short version? Jump to the end.

31 reasons why you want to pick up Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (and fast!)

Official Dungeon Fantasy RPG logo

Storm Dungeons, Slay Monsters, Seize Treasure

Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game product page

1. Its lineage is impeccable. The game’s full title is Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, Powered by GURPS. That means Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) is built on the award-winning, genre-spanning, massively-supported Generic Universal Roleplaying System (GURPS) that’s been honed and improved for three decades by industry veteran Steve Jackson Games (SJG). That heritage brings a lot of advantages to DFRPG (read on). But DFRPG isn’t GURPS. It doesn’t require you to own a single GURPS book (even Basic Set), or have a lick of GURPS experience, or care about GURPS at all. DFRPG is its own new game.

A dungeon crawl RPG boxed set, with high quality maps, art, cardboard counters, etc., and it is based on my favorite RPG system (GURPS)! This is the best RPG product I’ve gotten in a LONG time.

Review on Amazon.com

2. It’s all-in-one. A lot of games make the claim, but DFRPG goes the distance with a full book on building (and customizing, equipping, and improving) characters, a big volume on how to do everything (especially fighting and looting!), a packed spell book for magic slingers, a tome of monsters to keep players busy (and scared) for a long time, and a ready-to-play adventure. Along with gorgeous giant play maps, stand-up figures for PCs and monsters, and dice. There’s nothing else you need to buy (though you’ll want to bring more of your own regular d6 dice to the table).

@SJGames’s Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game makes #GURPS easy to start; it was always easy to play.

Turhan’s Bey Company on Twitter

3. It loves classic dungeon gaming. DFRPG is packed with homages to the tropes of fantasy fiction, RPGs, and even dungeon-themed video games like Diablo. It begins with classic professions (think “character classes”), each filling a unique niche in an expert team of monster-slaying looters: crazy strong barbarians, bewitching bards, undead-turning clerics, spooky druids, evil-slaying holy warriors, stalwart knights, mysterious martial artists, sniper-like scouts, daring swashbucklers, sneaky thieves, and learned wizards. You’ll also find powerful potions, cackling liches, secret doors, floating eye monsters, chests of gold pieces, and that feel-good moment of every fantasy game, the thief’s devious backstab from the shadows.

4. It puts a fresh spin on classic dungeon gaming. Players (like me) who began with popular “old school” games will also enjoy what’s different in DFRPG. Things like: PCs built from individually selected traits and capabilities, not levels and random stats; a magic system that feels (and in fact is) old-school but powers spells through tactical use of energy (not limits like “once per encounter”); realistic tactical actions at the heart of combat (instead of whittling down hit points or calling on special class feats); attacks and defenses as explicit actions; arms and armor that work like the real things (and are available to any profession); and a hundred other features that make an old genre fresh.

You are a gamer. You want this.

5. It’s streamlined for focused delving. DFRPG strips down and curates the vastness of GURPS to leave only what you want: hack-n-slash dungeon delving for loot and power. It gives the boot to things like lawyering and science skills (boring!), bleeding rules (not heroic!), and unadventurous spells (why delve if you can conjure gold and magic items?). Abilities that remain – even unlikely-sounding skills like Panhandling, Speed-Reading, and Heraldry – get clear, specific uses in dungeons or towns. The 400+ spells are fun and meaningful in a dungeon setting. Physical feats, combat actions, gear – everything is filtered through the question “is this interesting for dungeon delvers?”

6. It’s simplified for fast play. DFRPG simplifies GURPS rules for things like status, wealth, and crafting. It replaces GURPS multiple levels of language fluency with a simple “you know the language or you don’t” purchase. Abilities like poison and disease resistance work without change, but with simplified costs (a fact appreciated by dwarf and half-orc PCs). For many special character abilities, DFRPG dips into GURPS rich systems for skill techniques and designing powers, but hides the fancy systems, presenting just the final abilities and their costs. (Monsters-only special abilities don’t even bother with point costs.)

The Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game has a premise that’s exactly like that of Basic D&D (one of the most popular OSR darlings), married to a ruleset that does everything most editions of D&D do in a way I find better. It’s point-based! It has a unified mechanic! It has a good skill system! Warrior-types are actually better at combat than spellcasters!

Review at Octopus Carnival

7. Character creation is fast. DFRPG presents each PC profession as a template that mostly builds a character, then walks you through finish-up choices (“Choose 30 points’ worth of advantages from this list”, “Choose one of these three weapon skill packages”, etc.). Variable items like your running speed or your final level in Survival skill are worked out by the template. If you decide to depart from your template, you (and the GM) don’t have to fret over what’s allowable or balanced. Just pick out the goodies you want to add, drop stuff of equal point value that you can live without, and – with a thumbs-up from the GM – you’re good to go.

The character templates in the DFRPG take a huge load off of the players (and to a considerable extent the GM), so everybody can get to actual play–which is remarkably easy–faster.

Matt Riggsby in thread on EN World

8. Character customization is the best in the business. Each of the 11 professions is packed with choices that make your PC yours. Each also offers customization notes for realizing specific types of barbarian, thief, etc. – not mechanical contrivances like “prestige classes”, but suggestions for the choices that will make your scout a better bounty hunter, ranger, or sharpshooter, or turn your druid from a natural generalist into a focused beastmaster, elementalist, or green druid, right from the start. Next up: Take your choice of 9 PC races. Still not quite you? No problem; GM willing, you can modify professions and races all you like, or invent wholly new ones, using the ton of advantages, disadvantages, and skills in the set.

Some of what’s in that big square box.

9. Characters are epic and unlimited. DFRPG doesn’t ask you to slog through “Level 1” adventures in mortal combat against three kobolds and their bandit boss. Beginning PCs start at the level of full-fledged hero material, a real threat to local monsters. (Some monsters. Others will pick their teeth with you.) Likewise, DFRPG doesn’t have “For characters up to Level 10” ceilings. PCs can grow endlessly, buying ever more of the many power-ups that beckon. That means DFRPG is your starter, intermediate, and expert set, all in one.

10. Customization is for more than just characters. Turn favorite weapons or pieces of kit into signature gear and power items. Choose from mix-and-match customization options for weapons and armor. Buy armor quickly as a simple suit with single price and weight, or as any wild combination of parts. A dwarven plate breastplate with mail arm pieces (one elven, one regular), off-the-rack leather gloves, a dragonhide helmet enchanted for extra deflection, and scale leggings with custom fit to reduce weight, accented by boots of the finest spider silk? Sure, if you’ve got the money (and the fashion courage).

The customization possibilities are practically endless, and the character creation process seems like a wonderful kind of adventure all its own. . . . An interesting aspect to all of this is that there’s no random element (die rolling) to creating your character: Everything about your character is based on a choice you’ve made. . . . 

What Is Dungeon Fantasy – Powered by GURPS?” at Geek Dad

11. It’s got kit. DFRPG has enough kit to pack a Samwise’s Warehouse Club to the ceiling. Camping and survival gear, adventuring combat accessories (mundane and special order), covert ops gear, esoteric and scholarly supplies, and much more. Kits for first aid, medicine, field alchemy, lockpicking, and trap disarming. Manuals, tomes, and maps (of varied usefulness). Weird chemicals, poisons, potions, scrolls, and magic items. More weapons than should be legal even in a dungeon, including weird ones like lasso, bolas, net, trident, whip, boomerang, tonfa, and katar, plus variant arrows, bolts, and sling stones.

Which leaves gear — a ton of it. The catalog includes every muscle-powered weapon in Characters, a bunch from GURPS Low-Tech and GURPS Martial Arts, and a couple of made-up ones (everybody loves combat shovels and humongous clubs!). Shields. All the armor you could want, piecemeal or in complete suits, and consistent with the well-received Low-Tech rules. Everything so far is modifiable, too — if you want a hatchet that’s also a climbing aid, and spiky armor, go for it! Plus there are pages stocked with miscellaneous equipment, including items from the entire Dungeon Fantasy series. Oh, and magic items for wealthy starting adventurers.

Sean Punch, DFRPG designer, at “Dungeon Fantasy Designer’s Notes 2: Eleven Flavors of Munchkin, a Golf Bag Full of Swords

12. It’s got exploits. DFRPG tells you exactly how to score extra cash (legally or otherwise), find quests and sponsors (you can even advertise!), identify and sell loot (again, legally or otherwise), camp and forage, map and scout, execute feats of parkour, bash and bend obstacles, find and disarm (or set) traps, make friends and influence monsters, tie up and interrogate prisoners, exorcise cursed alters, cast hundreds of spells, call on divine help when none of that works, and way, way more. (There’s combat, too.) 

From the original Kickstarter (DFRPG + GM Screen + DFRPG Companion + extra dice and bases)

13. It’s got evil. As in, more monsters than you can shake a Flaming Blade of Smiting at. Giant and mutant animals. Man-eating mushrooms and deadly molds. Slimes and oozes. (SJG has a thing for slimes and their friends.) Undead, demons, faerie, constructs, elder things, and the rest. A few standouts: exploding demonic doomchildren, skull-crushing spheres of madness, and dragons that could challenge an army. (And now: a new batch of evil in Monsters 2!)

As far as I know, you won’t find as-Sharak, ciuaclán, crushrooms, doomchildren, electric jellies, eyes of death, mindwarpers, peshkali, slorn, spheres of madness, or watchers at the edge of time anywhere else.

Sean Punch, DFRPG designer, in “Dungeon Fantasy Designer’s Notes 5: Jaws That Bite, Claws That Catch

14. It’s got every known way to die. PCs will meet with sanity-blasting fright checks, fatigue effects, curses, poisons, diseases, shock, stunning, unconsciousness, knockdown, knockback, crippling, dismemberment, afflictions, incapacitating conditions, mortal conditions, flame, lava, acid, falls, suffocation, starvation, heat and cold, traps, supernatural hazards, and wandering monsters. Fortunately, you also get to spring those things on the bad guys. (Even that last one. Dungeon delvers are the real wandering monsters.)

Something to keep in mind for GURPS – and the Dungeon Fantasy RPG as well – is that tactics that work well in the real world will also tend to work well in the game. Ambushes, ganging up on someone, creating choke points and so forth – all these will make a clear and measurable difference in a fight.

Jürgen Hubert in thread on RPG.net

15. Combat is exciting. DFRPGs round-less combat is all about smart positioning and tactics – where to attack, with what, and how. Don’t just chip away at a huge beast’s hit points; try to cripple a leg, lop off a foot, crush the brain, pierce the heart, or blind the eyes. Take advantage of feints, deceptive attacks, disarms, waits, weapon length, rapid strikes, and rear or side attacks. Use grapples, slams, takedowns, throws, and pins to wrestle heavily armored foes into submission (and then slip a blade into an armor joint). Exploit esoteric knowledge to pinpoint monsters’ weaknesses. Use specific psychological skills to taunt and intimidate. When the baddies finally strike back, don’t wait passively for the GM to tell you how many hit points you lose; pick up your dice and actively defend yourself with shield blocks, parries, dodges, risky acrobatic tricks, retreats, cover, and (of course) magical protection.

The most beloved activity of adventurers, fighting, gets its own chapter. However you like your violence — frontal attacks or ambushes, armed or unarmed, melee or ranged, on any battlefield — it’s covered. So are related feats, such as swinging from scenery and taunting foes.

Sean Punch, designer of DFRPG, in “Dungeon Fantasy Designer’s Notes 3: Fighting (and Other Activities)

16. Even non-combat is exciting. DFRPG loves classic dungeon combat, but it’s got enough non-lethal activity to fill a session with nary a sword unsheathed. Beg, busk, gamble, scrounge, shoplift, smuggle, pick pockets, counterfeit coin, seek quests, ferret out rumors, research hidden secrets, chat up sponsors, haul scrap, sell maps and songs, forage and fish, prospect for ore, assess loot, analyze potions, brew medicines, read omens, haggle with merchants, buy and sell on the black market, heal up at a temple. . . . DFRPG keeps these quick and simple, as befits an action-oriented game, but they’re real activities that call on individual skills and abilities. They’re fun.

A peek at the new Monsters 2 book

17. It pampers gamers. DFRPG goes extra miles to work things out for gamers in advance, specifying exactly how to resolve this case, or what to roll for that task, or how some trait affects what skills. The books tackle inevitable player questions in advance – not just the countless topics covered by GURPS obsessive completeness, but specific dungeon world stuff (“Can I sell junk? Can I make my own armor? What happens if I’m caught shaving coin? Can I do something with Poetry skill? What if I attack the chest’s hinges?”) Monster write-ups include simple-English notes on what to roll for special abilities, to what effect. The Character Sheet repeats handy game information in the margins. Optional (but useful) GM amenities include an Adventure Planning Form, GM Control Sheet, records for Wandering Monsters and Random Traps, Room Record Sheet, and index card-sized forms for original Monsters, Traps, and Diseases/Poisons.

Dungeon Fantasy RPG does all the work for rules for the GM, reorganized them for digestibility, and then provided niche-protecting templates for again easing the front-loading of character generation.

Douglas Cole, author of DFRPG supplements at Gaming Ballistic

18. It’s packed with gaming tips. DFRPG is loaded with advice on pre-game prep, dungeon planning, balancing monsters vs PCs, making every PC useful, keeping heroes alive, handing out treasure (and reining in oops-too-much treasure), and much more. Pull quotes, in the voices of pre-made PCs, look like “color” text but deliver actual tactics for fighting and looting. Even the included adventure contains advice on running combat, scaling encounters, and dealing with unexpected player decisions. It handily repeats stats for monsters that appear; at the end, it gives a neat summary of all available treasure, detailed guidelines for character point rewards, and hooks for extending the adventure. It’s all great stuff for a new GM.

Optional add-ons include How to Be a GURPS GM, a super-guide that works with DFRPG, too!

19. It welcomes munchkins. Given that the Munchkin game series is SJG’s biggest product line, it’s not surprising that DFRPG has a love for healthy power-gaming. Its sample PCs are nicely optimized for tactical tricks and squeezing out every point of damage (with notes telling how it’s done). The game anticipates, and tries to accomodate, clever ruses that munchkins love. (Like, “Can I put multiple doses of poison on my weapon?” Many games would say “No, that’d be exploiting the poison rules.” DFRPG says “Sure, slather it on! Here’s how.”) Money-making schemes are welcome too. (I think it all works largely because, over 30+ years, GURPS has worked out how to stretch along with power gamers, without breaking.)

Sometimes you want an intricate fantasy setting that encourages roleplaying and characterization – one with lovingly detailed cultures and plots, enabling you to give each hero a past, a family, and a home town. Sometimes you want to use every rule, making the game richer and more realistic . . .
. . . and sometimes you just want to play a combat-monster warrior who stomps monsters and takes their stuff!

Product page for the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series (the immediate “parent” of DFRPG)

20. It’s physically awesome. You don’t often get this sort of swag in a game. Five books. Giant double-sided maps for exploration and battle. Dozens of heavy, stand-up character and monster counters with plastic bases. Dice (though you’ll want to add more of your own). The soft-cover books have solid bindings and full-color, lush artwork on par with the industry’s best. A big, sturdy box holds it all.

From my table

21. It’s built for ease of use. DFRPG improves on GURPS character templates, using layout and color for easy reading. Stats in Monsters have similarly improved layout (and initial images from Monsters 2 show even better presentation). The books are well organized, with the thorough indexing and page references that SJG is known for. Color-coded page edges make finding the right sections of books easy. Exploits includes a collection of key tables; Spells ends with a master spell list. The back covers of DFRPGs books are “cheat sheets” of key rules, useful tables, and more, perfect for instant reference in play. (Every game should do this.)

22. It’s built for sharing. The use of multiple shorter books is a hit with GMs and players. GMs can keep the Monsters book (and the included Dungeon adventure book) to themselves, while players pass around Adventurers, Exploits, and Spells. (Often, a glance at the handy back-cover “cheat sheets” is all a player needs.)

Grab extra copies of the most-shared books

23. It’s got the simplicity of GURPS. That’s right, the simplicity of GURPS. Some gamers mistake the wide scope of (optional) topics covered by GURPS for complexity, when in fact doing things is very easy. There’s just one kind of dice, the bog-standard d6 that anyone has lying about, with no futzy special die faces or dice pools or other permutations. Just toss ’em and total ’em, typically to succeed at a task by beating a skill level (or other target number) written on your character form. That’s play in a nutshell. 

I’ve also introduced the game at our middle school gaming club where it has been embraced enthusiastically. (Indeed, the school bought some sets before they sold out; see a photo below.). . . . The basic mechanic of rolling below your skill is easy for new players, regardless of their previous gaming experience. Everybody enjoys the character generation system, especially the disadvantages and quirks. They add so much depth to the characters and provide roleplaying hooks for the other players and potential adventure hooks for the GM.

Dalin in thread on RPG.net

24. It’s got the detail of GURPS. “Detail” here doesn’t mean complexity in resolving individual challenges. It means there’s a stunning breadth of challenges that the game thinks out for you in advance. Like the vast range of available combat actions, out-of-combat activities, and dangers noted earlier: when these pop up, DFRPG gives you “here’s what to roll, and here’s what happens”, not “um, make something up”. Combat does get into crunchier detail, with rules that make positioning, weapon choice, attack location, weight carried, and so on matter – because tactics are fun when choices matter. (But even in combat, the heart of things is simple: “Roll against this number on your sheet to parry the orc’s swing. Okay, now roll against this number to clean his clock.”)

Available from the current Kickstarter campaign – if you move fast!

25. It’s built on the best, most up-to-date rules. GURPS has undergone little revision (as opposed to expansion) since the start of 4e, but some improvements have appeared as optional changes. If you know GURPS, you’ll appreciate that DFRPG draws from the latest improvements, like newer-style special bonuses for talents (instead of the older reaction bonuses), select perks from later GURPS supplements, and updated weapon stats from GURPS Low-Tech. (Side bonus in all this: If you’ve been curious about GURPS but aren’t sure how to dip a toe in its vast waters, DFRPG makes for an excellent test dive!)

26. It’s got great physical support. Fun DFRPG add-ons are available from the Kickstarter campaign. There’s a beautiful and ridiculously sturdy Dungeon Fantasy GM Screen, which includes a nifty Character Creation Cheat Sheet booklet for super-fast character building, and the spiffy Delvers to Go booklet that lets you skip character building altogether and use one of 13 pre-made PCs (whose design notes also serve as mini lessons in optimizing characters). Then there’s the Dungeon Fantasy Companion that compiles a book of devious traps, a tome of wondrous magic items, and a sequel to the adventure included in DFRPG. (You get to play a second adventure on those beautiful play maps!) The campaign also offers back issues of Pyramid magazine featuring adventures, new professions, and more for dungeoneering with DFRPG and GURPS. Plus more stuff. Go check it out.

Would you like a GM Screen with that?

27. It’s got great online support. On the SJG Forums, you’ll find an active, friendly, and newcomer-welcoming DFRPG forum and GURPS forum. Lots of helpful answers and advice come directly from the GURPS product line editor, the author of many GURPS books and also DFRPG. On SJG’s Warehouse 23 site, you’ll find back issues of Pyramid with dungeoneering content for GURPS and DFRPG. SJG also does a fine job of publishing errata for its products online, with free updates for its PDF products.

Pyramid issues with more scenarios, character options, everything! 

28. It’s got third-party support. Young publisher Gaming Ballistic LLC has put out a licensed DFRPG product, The Hall of Judgment (complete with 16 ready-to-play PCs and a special bonus: upgraded grappling rules for any combatants, even dedicated wrestler PCs). A second product, The Citadel at Norðvorn, is available right now through a Kickstarter campaign. Both of these offer adventure scenarios in a micro-setting that expands the DFRPG game world. (Mmm, Viking-flavored.) The publisher says there’s more to come this year, too. Will there be even more third-party publishers of DFRPG material down the road? I can’t say, but this is a fine start!

Hall of Judgment, the first third-party supplement for DFRPG. The second is on the way!

29. It’s instantly and massively expandable. As a pretty new game, the Dungeon Fantasy logo is stamped on a small number of products so far. But if it’s expansion you’re looking for, there’s – you guessed it – the entire GURPS line. Start with the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series of PDF books. DFRPG already borrows heavily from it (as the names suggest!), but the series stands ready to add more professions, options, magic, settings, and more from its dozens of books. From there, you can branch into GURPS Magic (more spells!), GURPS Low-Tech (more gear!), GURPS Martial Arts (fighting styles and more mayhem), GURPS Basic Set (more . . . everything), and on to books about guns, sci-fi, time travel, superpowers, bio-tech, and whole game worlds. Go nuts.

With Dungeon Fantasy you get a game that has everything that you need to play for months and years, and on top of that you get a system with GURPS that has hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of support that you can use to expand and enrich your games. Dungeon Fantasy is a well-designed game that is based upon many hours of play-based experience, which can be a rarity in tabletop role-playing games. The GURPS rules are a finely tuned play experience that gives what it says it will give.

Christopher Helton in “Delving Into Worlds Of Dungeon Fantasy With GURPS”

30. It’s a professional product. DFRPG is attractive, well laid out, and polished – just like the three decades’ worth of GURPS books backing it up. SJG books are legendary for great indexes, copious page references, and thorough errata-squashing. (And I’ll note this: you won’t find text like “Player’s can use there points to role an extra dice” in an SJG book. The company knows how to write and edit.)

If we’re going to release our first boxed RPG in over two decades, we want it to be worth our while and yours, with solid content, good-quality components, and attractive, full-color art. Therefore we have no intention of compromising by omitting important professions, gear, spells, critters, combat rules, or anything else — or of squeezing things in using tiny, hard-to-read typefaces and cheap layout tricks. 

Sean Punch, DFRPG designer, in “Dungeon Fantasy Designer’s Notes 1: What, Who, When, Where, Why?

31. It’s a heck of a value. What’s the catch behind all the above? As in, how much? Unfortunately, the second printing of the game is going to cost more than the first did. You can pick up a box in the current Kickstarter campaign for $95 (including the $20 Monsters 2 book). That’s not pocket change for most gamers, but it compares very well with, say, a D&D Gift Set (which does offer hard book covers and a DM screen, but lacks DFRPG’s ready-made adventure, maps, figures, bases, and dice). And I’ll repeat: From there, you have everything needed for years of dungeon raids and open-ended PC growth.

Bottom line: if you’ve been curious about GURPS or wanted to try but were afraid that it was too complex, Dungeon Fantasy RPG is the introduction point you needed to get over the hump. If you are an experienced roleplayer and love the hack-and-slash genre, DFRPG will excite you with a level of character detail and creativity that is hard to replicate in other systems. 

Series: Dungeon Fantasy RPG Review at Just Roll 3d6

One of the Kickstarter promo graphics. Get your DFRPG boxed set reprint + Monsters 2 book!

Go kick that start!

So there you go. In closing, let me add: If this doesn’t spur you to buy DFRPG through the Kickstarter campaign (What? Three-thousand-word essays aren’t the key to reaching hearts and minds?), do at least jump at the chance to score Monsters 2! Even without DFRPG, you’ll be able to use the book with GURPS (especially the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series). Or just have a cool book of monsters to look at.

Questions? Comments? I welcome it all, but your best place to get feedback from lots of friendly people is in the comments at the Kickstarter campaign page. Gear up and wade in!

Handy links

A starting list. More coming!

Goods from Steve Jackson Games

More goods from Gaming Ballistic

DFRPG reviews

DFRPG on this site

Got more links you’d like to see here? More great quotes you’d like to see in the main text above? Leave a comment!

“Too long, didn’t read” condensed list

Here are those 31 reasons again, in TL; DR form. Which means it’s condensed for easy cut-and-paste into your own uses of Propaganda skill. Spread the word!

1. Its lineage is impeccable. DFRPG is powered by 30+ years of GURPS (but is its own new game; no GURPS books or interest required).

2. It’s all-in-one. DFRPG has books for characters, exploits, spells, monsters; an adventure; giant play maps; figures with bases; and dice.

3. It loves classic dungeon gaming. All the character types, action, dangers, and treasures of traditional dungeon delves.

4. It puts a fresh spin on classic dungeon gaming. DFRPG offers a point-buy system for unique characters, realistic tactical battles, & much more.

5. It’s streamlined for focused delving. DFRPG borrows just the parts of GURPS that are fun and meaningful for hack-n-slash delving.

6. It’s simplified for fast play. DFRPG simplifies many GURPS rules and systems to keep the action moving.

7. Character creation is fast. Use templates to take most of the work out of character building. (Or not; it’s your choice.)

8. Character customization is the best in the business. 11 professions x 9 races x endless options = infinite characters!

9. Characters are epic and unlimited. DFRPG starts PCs at hero level and takes them to any epic level, right out of the box.

10. Customization is for more than just characters. Tons of customizations, mundane and magical, for weapons, armor, & gear.

11. It’s got kit. DFRPG has adventuring & covert gear, professional kits, weird concoctions, tons o’ weapons, and much more.

12. It’s got exploits. Criminal shenanigans, urban socializing, money hustling, underground parkour—always something to do.

13. It’s got evil. 80+ classic dungeon monsters and original weirdness, plus variations—and more nasties arriving in Monsters 2.

14. It’s got every known way to die. Fright, curses, poisons, diseases, dismemberment, suffocation, lava, traps… Good luck!

15. Combat is exciting. Countless tactical attack and defense options are available to everyone on the battle map. 

16. Even non-combat is exciting. Beg, busk, gamble, shoplift, smuggle, counterfeit, haggle, forage, research, craft, & more.

17. It pampers gamers. DFRPG goes extra lengths to work things out for gamers in advance, and gives GMs plenty of play aids.

18. It’s packed with gaming tips. Loads of advice on prep, planning, combat balance, hero survival, rewards, tactics, more! 

19. It welcomes munchkins. DFRPG anticipates power-gaming hacks (like multiple doses of poison on weapons).

20. It’s physically awesome. Five sturdy, full-color books, giant double-sided maps, dozens of stand-up characters with plastic bases, & dice.

21. It’s built for ease of use. Easy layouts & stats; great organization & indexing; color-coded page edges; “cheat sheets” on back covers.

22. It’s built for sharing. Multiple books let players easily pass around references for characters, spells, and exploits.

23. It’s got the simplicity of GURPS. Success is “beat the target number on 3d6”, with no special dice or funny mechanisms.

24. It’s got the detail of GURPS. Countless situations & conditions are addressed, so players’ choices and tactics matter.

25. It’s built on the best, most up-to-date rules. DFRPG incorporates the latest improvements to GURPS (and adds its own). It’s also a great way to try out GURPS!

26. It’s got great physical support. The Companion book compiles three great supplements; the GM Screen includes 2 more.

27. It’s got great online support. Enjoy friendly online forums, published errata, and more content in Pyramid back issues.

28. It’s got third-party support. Gaming Ballistic is publishing licensed DFRPG setting/adventure products for DFRPG!

29. It’s instantly and massively expandable. Add any of countless GURPS supplements for fantasy – or sci-fi, tech, anything.

30. It’s a professional product. DFRPG is attractive, well laid out, & polished by veterans, with high-quality writing & art.

31. It’s a heck of a value. DFRPG rewards your budget with all-in-one awesomeness that (IMHO!) beats the big-name games!

Freebie pic!

During the above Kickstarter campaign, SJG’s Daily Illuminator web page featured this very article. That was pretty cool, I thought, and so took a screenshot.

Thanks to SJG for their plug for . . . uh, for my plug for SJG. : )


    • tbone

      Thanks for the kind words! As I noted at your site: I had to drop and consolidate things to reduce the greatness of the game to a mere 31 items. I just keep finding more and more that I like about it.

  • Matthias von Schwarzwald

    All right, GURPS and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy add to it, but does it add to GURPS and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy?

    • tbone

      That’s a fine question! It’s one that the game’s writer could answer in detail; me, I haven’t really cataloged what DFRPG adds back to GURPS/DF. But my short, guess-ish answer would be: Yes, DFRPG adds to GURPS/DF. But not a lot.

      There may be some new monsters, maybe a few new small rules bits; maybe even a new item of equipment or few? Not sure. Most of what it “adds back” would really be just simplifications for those who want it. Some simplified trait costs (like Resistance to Poison/Disease), a simplified bard template, a simplified Fright Check rule, etc.

      But otherwise, I’m drawing a blank on wholly new content. It’s got simplification, it’s got new and improved presentation. . . . but the content goes pretty much one way, from GURPS/DF to DFRPG, not the other way around. If content alone is king for you, and you’ve got GURPS and the DF line, there may not be much point in buying DFRPG.

      (For anything I’m overlooking, corrections are welcome!)

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