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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Denizens 1: Barbarians, Peter dell'Orto 15 October 2015

This GURPS Dungeon Fantasy supplement expands the Barbarian archetype with new options and powers.

So yeah, it's a splatbook. It combines material from other Dungeon Fantasy volumes, and Pyramid, into a single book, and adds some new material too.

It starts with templates: the standard Barbarian, the Rage Barbarian who's focused on berserk-like actions but with a number of options for ways to channel that (spellcasting, animal transformation, etc.), the Savage Warrior who's more of a war-leader, and the Survivor who's entirely focused on the wilderness, acting as a scout. Lenses such as Berserker, Refined Savage, Sea Raider, Shirtless Savage and Short Barbarian allow further customisation, with side notes explaining how to achieve particular styles of barbarian (like an armoured fighter, a flail specialist, or an unarmed combat type). Next comes Cross-Training, which lets barbarians take on some abilities from other classes (barbarian-bard, barbarian-druid, etc.)

Power-Ups make up chapter two, with things to add on to an existing character: perks like Mountain of Meat and Battle Cry, and new abilities such as Bear Hug and Bone Breaker. Rage Power is a new power modifier with special abilities, both spellcasting and shouts of power. As a GURPS author I find the technical aspects of these power builds fascinating.

The final chapter is Gear: new things for barbarians to drink, paint on themselves, and fight with.

I've said before that I think the basic dungeon bash is better catered for now by computer games than by actual live RPGs. I still feel that way, but if I wanted a dungeon-bashing RPG then GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is definitely the approach I'd take. Since I'm not, though, what I'll get out of this is some interesting power builds, and lists of skills to use as suggestions if I run a less-over-the-top fantasy campaign.

I probably wouldn't have bought this if I weren't a GURPS completist, but there's still interesting stuff here for the non-Dungeon-Fantasy player. Dungeon Fantasy Denizens 1: Barbarians is available from Warehouse 23.

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