• Bridge battle

    Game design musing: Simplifying ST-based thrust and swing damage (GURPS)

    Here’s a small simplification GURPS could make: Replace the two damage scores (thrust and swing) attached to ST with one damage score. Huh? You mean do away with GURPS’ distinctive difference between a weapon’s swing and thrust damage scores?  No, nothing of the sort! That thrust-vs-swing distinction adds fun considerations to the choice and use of weapons. It’s one of my favorite features of the game’s combat system, right up there with defense rolls. Let’s keep it! But I think the game could remove the small complication of two damage scores if it wanted – not from combat, but from character stats.  I’ve made mention of this somewhere in the…

  • Fight

    Game design musing: Swing vs thrust damage: What’s the difference? (GURPS)

    Welcome back to Dork Labs (a name you can count on to mean “spreadsheets will follow”). In writing an upcoming post involving strength and damage, I had reason to revisit an old question of mine: in an ideal GURPS, how much should ST-based swing and thrust damage differ? It’s by no means a pressing matter at anyone’s game table, but on the off chance that someone finds this of interest, and continuing this site’s hallowed tradition of yammering incessantly about all things ST for reasons only Yog-Sothoth can divine, here’s what the numbers show. Swing vs thrust, by the numbers The table below is self-explanatory. At left are ST-based thrust…

  • general

    Game design musing: Meeting weapon ST requirements (GURPS/DFRPG)

    Hand-held weapons in GURPS and DFRPG have a ST requirement. The rules let Striking ST help meet the requirement. But the rules should give that honor to Lifting ST instead. You: “Cool! A topic that’s both trivial and boring!” Yep. I seem to be outdoing even myself on that front here. Grognard gamers who recognize this as some long-retired, fiddly rules ephemera will be happiest heading back to the gaming table and playing things however they always have. Newcomers to GURPS/DFRPG (or RPGs), meanwhile, are encouraged to skip this because it’s terribly unimportant. (Just play the rules as they’re written, and revisit this page some day after you, too, have…

  • DFRPG components

    Swarm of observations: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game

    In RPG activities, Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) continues to dominate my attention and my table. When there’s always too little time for the hobby to begin with, it’s nice to have a slick, all-in-one game to fall into. I jot down observations and notes born of playing/reading/character-creation/etc., thinking “hey, here’s something to play with later, or write about online.” This practice has left me with… a big useless pile of scraps in my Notes app. I’ll plop the scraps here onto a page for the possible amusement of passers-by. (There’s no particular theme or organization, so I won’t even call it a new entry in my DFRPG review (see…

  • Possibly the mythical Magery 4 spell

    DFRPG resource: Wizardly Spell List

    In Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG), what spells can a cleric or druid access with a given level of Power Investiture? We’ve got handy lists for that! And what spells can a wizard learn with a given level of Magery? We’ve got… well, not a handy list. Because it’s a little complex for the wizards. Learning a given spell requires a given level of Magery and, often, one or more prerequisites (which aren’t always even spells). So a list of spells by Magery level still wouldn’t let wizards just pick out spells like clerics and druids do. On top of that, such a list would be long, as wizards blow…

  • Delvers to Grow

    Grow a delver – fast! – for the best dungeon RPG out there

    I’m late wth this post; the Big News in question is a Kickstarter campaign with 60 hours to go. But better late than an ogre punch upside the head (or something like that), as they say. Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) is the best dungeon RPG out there, for a ton of reasons. Its competition in the market includes a lot of truly great games (including a really big name or few), but DFRPG out-dungeons and out-dragons them all. (Yeah, that’s an opinion. Got lots more where that came from.) Characters in DFRPG are rich and detailed (like this guy!), and that’s a beautiful thing. Creating those unique personas can…

  • general

    GURPS resource: New techniques

    Getting technique-al The skill sub-sets called techniques (pp. B229-233) are a fun part of GURPS. This page lists new techniques of my own invention. I’m no guru at technique design. My new techniques here are all simple creations, built without complication as a bonus to some existing use of a prerequisite skill, or a reduction of some existing penalty. Easy stuff. The only parts calling for a little thought are setting the maximum number of levels, and deciding whether the technique is Average or Hard. I’m still winging it, so feel free to modify my ideas, especially my arbitrary maximum levels. And please comment if you see flaws in my…

  • general

    Books we want: Character journal for DFRPG (plus TFT Deluxe Character Journal: A review)

    I earlier took a look at three dungeon planner products for mapping out fantasy adventures, and added thoughts on what I’d pack into an ideal planner for a game like Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG). Let’s look at a similar product: the character journal. Picture a slim notebook that includes all the offerings of a full-featured character sheet, plus more space for back story, adventuring records, artwork, and… hmm, what else? That’s the topic. Why a journal? Nothing’s wrong with the old way of maintaining your adventuring alter-ego: character sheets! Purchased in pads, photocopied from books, downloaded and printed out, scrawled at home, it’s all good. Plain old sheets –…

  • general

    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: just the trio of Herb Lore, Naturalist, and Pharmacy (the skill of making mundane herbal medicines). These are good skills, but the DFRPG advantage has a wilted feel. Let’s give it some water and sun. Cultivating Green Thumb I’d like to see a more verdant Green Thumb that rakes in two more skills to…

  • general

    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,…