• 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…

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

    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! Updates 2019-03-16: Added…

  • Dungeon Fantasy RPG Character: Leonidas of Nemea, Cat-Folk Barbarian

    Edit 2019-01-14: Added note on tweaking the Outdoorsman talent. Hey, look! It’s a fully-fledged character for Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game—or GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, with maybe a small tweak or two. Yes, you’re looking at a cat-folk—a lion-folk, that is!—with He-Man’s goofy pageboy haircut instead of a noble mane. There’s a reason for that . . . Leonidas of Nemea 250-Point Cat-Folk Barbarian The dry plains of far-away Nemea are home to cat-folk—fierce, strapping lion-folk, in fact. And at six and a half feet in height and 250 pounds, the lion-boy Leonidas stands tall even among . . .  Wait a second. Isn’t “Leonidas” just too twee a name for a…

  • Dungeon Dining: Exotic Eats and Remarkable Rations for Fantasy Travelers

    The dungeon is an eat-or-be-eaten world. Eat your rations, or you’ll get all woozy and a fuscous slime will eat your lunch. And your legs. Delvers far from the nearest inn don’t need to worry. Travel-ready rations are cheap and light: just $2 and 0.5 lbs. per meal in the worlds of Dungeon Fantasy (DF) and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG).  But . . . What is that stuff? Hard cheese and harder bread, again? With some over-salted, meat-like stuff you dismiss as Dire Pemmican?  It gets old. So you dabble in dwarven rations, stocking up at that one Costco a mile under Ghrimmbil’s Gate. At $5 and 1 lb.…

  • The Talented Thief: Stealing the Spotlight in GURPS and DFRPG

    You know how it goes. You think “Hey, I’ll toss out some quick new talents for thief characters”… and the next thing you know, it’s an essay on where weaknesses lie in the fantasy thief template, why you would want to nab more talents, what’s already available, how new ones should be designed, how much your thief should spend on them, what else can boost the profession… Yeesh, it’s already looking like some unsolicited (and low-rent) first draft of Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Thieves down there. Well, this article may not be the shortest thing you read today, but it’ll slip you a swag bag of valuable (?) new talents for characters (even…

  • 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…

  • 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 sub-series of books, each showcasing an adventurer archetype? The next installment ought to be Bards. Actually, when the sub-series 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” alphabetically, so that should be…

  • 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…

  • Get Religion with Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics

    Who’s your sky daddy? If you’ve got dungeons and you’ve got clerics, then you want GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics by Phil Masters. At just 37 pages, this supplement lets you trade in your bland and no-brand McPriest for a uniquely devoted servant of . . . Wait a second, why do clerics get their own special book? I mean, sure, there are dedicated books for Barbarians and Swashbucklers, but those are part of the offshoot GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Denizens sub-series that will (I presume) eventually showcase all of the adventurer archetypes. But of the PC types in the main Dungeon Fantasy series’ Adventurers book, why do clerics alone get…