• 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: Edit 2020-08-26: Added note that a Power-Ups: Techniques supplement should definitely delve into non-combat-skill techniques, and could explore the idea…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • GURPS/DFRPG resource: New Talents

    Talents in GURPS are advantages that boost skills and typically offer some additional benefit. Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG) has Talents too (even if that game just calls them “advantages”). This page will hold any Talents that I’ve created or revised. In addition to the expected information, I note where the Talents have been introduced earlier on other pages. Reading those may offer additional background on the thinking behind these Talents. This page may be updated with new offerings at any time, so check back now and then. Edit 2020-07-22: Added talents Underworld Gift and Underworldly for weird tunnel-crawling freaks like pallid troglodytes, eyeless cave lurkers, and delvers. The Talent…

  • Rules Bit (GURPS/DFRPG): Better Aim

    Intro This tiny little rules tweak that I use is one so small that I can’t come up with any clever-ish title or subtitle. It’s so trivial that I tend to forget it’s a house rule, not official rules-as-written.  With that lack of ado, here it is: The rule Change the TH bonus for the Aim maneuver to +1 per second of aiming (up to +3 for 3 seconds). Reworded, that’s nothing more than “add +1 to the Aim bonus”. Do that, and the bonus now ranges from +1 to +3 instead of the official +0 to +2, before the addition of weapon Acc. Notes  By the book (Basic Set…

  • Three new talents for GURPS/DFRPG: Graceful, Lithe, and Life of the Party

    For your character-building pleasure, and apropos of nothing in particular, here are three new talents for GURPS and Dungeon Fantasy Releplaying Game. Two talents are variants on a single physical concept and the other talent social, but they’re all good for PCs who like to entertain or just stir up fun. (They’re also pretty simple and obvious ideas; maybe you’ve already come up with similar talents for your own games?) Edit 2019-07-15: This article originally had two talents, Graceful and Life of the Party. Now there are three, as one was a poor buy in DFRPG (containing several skills not found in the game). With that split into two versions, here are three talents for…