• Tiny DFRPG idea: A better Green Thumb

    Following up on Tiny GURPS/DFRPG idea: A better Outdoorsman, let’s take a brief peek at the somewhat wan Green Thumb advantage in the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG). in GURPS, this 5-point talent boosts a nice five skills: Biology, Farming, Gardening, Herb Lore, and Naturalist. In DFRPG, a shortened skill list means means fewer boosted skills – three, to be precise: Herb Lore, Naturalist, and Pharmacy. (That latter is the skill of making mundane herbal medicines.) These are good skills, but the advantage still has a wilted feel. Let’s water it and give it some sun. Cultivating Green Thumb I’d like to see Green Thumb made more verdant with two…

  • A modest proposal: Friendlier character trait blocks in GURPS

    Players of GURPS know that the RPG has a simple rules set at heart, yet its reputation as complex lingers on. True, the system does have rules bits that delve deep into detail, though those are typically optional bits. The system also covers a vast breadth of topics, which many gamers unfortunately confuse with complexity. And there are perhaps a few spots where the game presents an appearance more daunting than the reality. Here’s a quick look at an example of the latter. It’s a small part of the game that doesn’t involve “complexity”, yet can induce a moment of dizziness even in me at times. I’m talking about long,…

  • Three Dungeon Planners: A Review

    Steve Jackson Games (SJG) recently dropped two nifty dungeon planner products, one for its (GURPS-derived) Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) and one for its (GURPS-spawning) The Fantasy Trip (TFT) system. Around the same time, a Kickstarter campaign let me pick up a system-agnostic adventure planner from a different (but not unrelated) source: the Dungeon Crafter’s Sketch Book by Philip Reed, CEO of SJG and launcher of many personal RPG products on Kickstarter. Dedicated planner books, for a task that graph paper and any old notebook have always handled just fine? Let’s see what these products bring to the table. And after that, let’s indulge in unhinged thoughts on creating the…

  • Books we want: The big list of everything (GURPS/DFRPG )

    Here’s an evergreen topic in gamer conversations and in SJG Forum threads: What titles would we like to see next in the huge and eternally-growing library of GURPS (and DFRPG) supplements? My little wish list follows. Common-sense disclaimer: This is not some deranged plea for SJG to drop everything and make these supplements, nor a suggestion that these would be successful supplements, nor even a claim that they’d be good supplements. This page is just a place to dump ideas for our mutual amusement. So, without further thought or ado, welcome to the imaginary bookstore. Version history See bottom of the page. General GURPS stuff An updated GURPS LITE There’s…

  • Game design musing: “Sims” (with a sample sports sim for GURPS)

    In this post, I muse that it’d be interesting to see examples of ways to game a sporting match in GURPS (or whatever game you like). By which I don’t mean some per-second simulation of every dash and tackle and kick by every player on the pitch, a la RPG combat. (Lordy, just imagine trying to play out a combat turn-based simulation of two 40-minute game halves. “Okay! We begin with Turn 1 of 4,800!”) No, I refer to some abstract simulation that resolves a complex activity in far less detail than what RPGs typically lavish on combat systems, while offering more of interest than a simple “Roll vs your…

  • GURPS/DFRPG resource: New weapons

    Edit 2020-10-08: Moved the update history to the end of the page. Minding the gaps This page concocts a handful of new weapons for GURPS and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG). These aren’t built from any fancy “design system” (including GLAIVE), nor are they conjured out of thin air; they’re simply extrapolated from the games’ weapon tables to fill in “gaps” among existing models. Wherever possible, data from the newer Low-Tech, Martial Arts, and DFRPG is used as reference, superseding information in Basic Set. (Some of the existing weapons discussed don’t appear at all in Basic Set.) In short, these serve no great need, and are some of the most…

  • GURPS/DFRPG resource: New perks

    Looking to ply your PC with new powers but can’t pay the points? Perk up! Whether you call them perks (GURPS) or just 1-point advantages (DFRPG), single-point purchases make for interesting differentiators and even snack-sized superpowers. Below are some perks of my own invention, for your consideration and use. Leave a comment if any seem particularly interesting! Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), introduced in GURPS Power-Ups 2: Perks, specifies some task or action that a 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. This lets the…

  • A questionable resource: Names for things in fantasy games

    Collecting collective nouns So we have collective nouns for animals, from the mundane “herd of cattle” and “flock of birds” to the twee “pounce of cats” and “cackle of hyenas”. Gamers have taken up the baton to suggest similar words for fantasy beings: “a band of bards”, “a convocation of clerics”, and what not. I hereby suggest a few of my own, with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game foremost in mind. Below is my beginning (and not-too-serious) mess of monikers for your collective consideration. (You can expect – if not exactly look forward to – updates as more names come to mind.) Characters a quarry of dwarves…

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

    Why this again? Because I still have a couple installments’ worth in this odd series of idea fodder for RPG bloggers. As in, “stuff that would make for good RPG blog posts, but which I’ve already dabbled in or am not likely to get around to dabbling in, so maybe someone else will“. As always, the ideas will be pretty old hat to many RPG bloggers. But who knows, maybe one or two will suggest an interesting article for your blog. 66. Resource list for a setting or campaign recipe Is your game system packed with books and supplements? You can help out GMs by suggesting which resources to combine…

  • DFRPG resource: Questions and answers!

    I read and play the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game . . . and I have questions! Riddles in the dark! (Fine, more like “riddles of the dork,” if you must.) DFRPG dishes up its rules with admirable clarity and completeness. Still, its text covers a lot of exploits, powers, monsters, and more, and the inevitable uncertainties arise. This page is an ongoing record of questions I’ve posed (generally on the DFRPG forum) and the answers I’ve received. The focus is on official rulings and clarifications (i.e., answers from line manager Kromm), but I’ll also be listing answers from other sources, as well as questions that remain unanswered. This will be…