RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy 18 February 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time, to support the forthcoming Dungeon Fantasy RPG, it's all about dungeon-bashing.

You All Meet at an Inn (Matt Riggsby) is an introductory adventure: assorted misfits spend the night at a remote inn, and have to work together to fight off waves of zombies, presumably coming out of it as a party. It's all pretty straightforward stuff.

The Monstrous Monstorum (Christopher R. Rice) offers fifteen new things to bash, from the Bandit-Snatcher (seemingly aimed squarely at the "Can Be Stolen" gadget limitation) to the Windroot (a new kind of roper). Well, you can bash them, and that's about it. Though I'll probably steal the night-soil elemental.

Eidetic Memory: Grave of the Pirate Queen (David L. Pulver) is a short adventure with a sea-coast theme. Rumours, caves, monsters, treasure, you get the idea.

Building a Long-Term Dungeon Fantasy Game (Peter V. Dell'Orto) is a condensed version of some of the advice Peter's given on his blog: start small, expand only as needed, and make sure every character has something to do. Also, keep the focus on the dungeon, with limited interaction with the outside world. Peter specifically advises that the GM keep things dungeon-bound rather than moving over to more complex plots… since getting away from the dungeon-bash paradigm and doing more interesting things is exactly what I like about most of the games I now play, I'm obviously not going to agree, but it works for him and his players.

Random Thought Table: Back to Basics (Steven Marsh) recommends various ways of keeping games manageable: a cheat-sheet listing all abilities (I sometimes do this for my convention games, at least for advantages and disadvantages, but Steven takes it further with skills and history as well), and various sorts of token for ways of keeping track of hit points, fatigue, time, and so on.

I may find some of the monsters usable, but there's nothing here I really expect to bring to the table any time soon. Pyramid 98 is available from Warehouse 23.


  1. Posted by PeterD at 10:38pm on 18 February 2017

    Thanks for the review.

    To be precise, I don't say to keep it the dungeon only and don't move over to complex plots. I say, if you want to expand the game and let it develop into more complexity, do that - it's a natural consequence of continuous play. My advice is how not to let that happen if you don't want it to. And why you might not want to let it expand that way. I say that at least three times, because it's all about getting the game you want. And if you want simple and long, you do really need some actionable methods to keep it that way.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:30pm on 23 March 2017

    Fair point - let's say that you find that keeping things to the dungeon can be fun (clearly, because you and your group are happy with the game), whereas for me it really isn't.

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