• RPG reality check: Are falls deadly enough in GURPS?

    Well, are they? Over a wide range of fall distances, impact surfaces, character sizes, etc.? I dunno. But here’s one interesting piece of data – an expert’s claim, anyway – that we can use to match one real-life situation against the results generated by an RPG simulation, and see how the two compare. So go get your favorite GURPS characters, nonchalantly lead them to the rooftop of a four-story building, and push them off! Let’s see how many survive. Falls and the LD50 The AV Club article “Allow this trauma surgeon to ruin a few of your favorite action scenes” introduces a video in which trauma physician Dr. Spiros Frangos…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Why GURPS defenses use half skill: A half-baked idea

    Continuing the Games Diner’s fine tradition of bringing you the most inconsequential gaming gab out there… Why does a Parry or Block in GURPS – figured as 3 + half your skill with your weapon or shield, respectively – use half skill, something seen pretty much nowhere else in the game? I asked that question in FEND, a bit of fun with rolling defenses like anything else, using full, normal skill. There, I opine that GURPS‘ use of half skill is simply a matter of making defenses play well: with their range flattened by the halving and the resulting too-low score boosted by the +3, the final defense scores are not…

  • 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…

  • Unasked-for silliness: A GURPS logo

    EDIT 2018-10-13: Minor changes, to swap the locations of the pyramid and the die spots, and add a touch of color. Over on the forums, a player ponders whether GURPS should have its own logo mark – something more graphical than just the word “GURPS” in a beveled box. A crude image immediately came to my mind, which I can now show off via an even cruder abuse of “graphic design” <cough>. The shape is obviously the d6 that is core to the game; its angle creates a six-sided silhouette (highlighted with a bit of color) that also evokes a map hex. The two graphic elements are the famous SJG…

  • Dungeon Fantasy RPG: The Notes (Part VI)

    What? I still have unposted “review” notes on the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG)? Let’s make this the last installment. Sure, there’ll be more to say about the game – thoughts, content (monster and character ideas, etc.), play reports, lots of stuff. But it’s well past time to close up this World’s Slowest Unboxing™. What’s left to talk about? Not details of spell lists or combat options, but meta-stuff. And comments on artwork. Wrapped up with thoughts on the game’s future. Before the big stuff, a few more random observations:  Miscellaneous stuff Huh? The weapon tables don’t offer a thrown rock? I hereby register my permanent vote for rocks on…

  • Zen and GURPS and the Art of Blowing up Death Stars

    The setup for Luke Skywalker’s Death Star run isn’t complicated. Luke and his rebel pals need to shoot a wee little exhaust port to end the menace of the Death Star. (“That’s no moon; it’s a space-opera stand-in for Smaug and his vulnerable weak spot!”) But the shot is a really tough one with major penalties on the TH roll, and the heroes keep missing as both the clock and the stock of rebel pilots run out. (Even their fancy targeting computers aren’t help enough. No, not even computers with astounding vector graphics technology from that far-flung future known to Jedi prophecy as “the 70s”.) “Use the Force, Luke! Let…

  • Dungeon Fantasy RPG: The Notes (Part V)

    It’s time for more notes on Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG), Steve Jackson Games’ condensation of the GURPS roleplaying system and its Dungeon Fantasy (DF) series into an all-included, standalone game. The first four articles looked at specific books and components; this installment will add a few observations on the product as a whole. And even then, I believe I have another installment in store for later. (Just think of this as the slowest unboxing ever.) The dire elephant in the room We can’t jump in without mentioning this big piece of DFRPG news, announced in the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) Report to the Stakeholders for 2017 just a few days…

  • 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.…