RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 106: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game II 31 August 2017

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's the second of the three issues promised during the Dungeon Fantasy RPG kickstarter.

Designer's Notes: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (Sean Punch) discusses the history of the game (the idea is older than one might have expected), and how Sean went about cutting GURPS down into just what was needed for a relatively simple dungeon-bashing game… and then adding back exact details for how to do dungeon activities (picking locks, exorcising curses) that aren't laid out specifically in core GURPS. There's also a description of what's in each book.

Quick Equipment Kits (Peter V. Dell'Orto) introduces a few new items, but is mostly a version of Loadouts for Dungeon Fantasy: the Basic Delver Package, the Medical Package, the Thief Skills Package, and so on. This kind of thing is very handy if you're creating characters in a hurry, say for a high-lethality dungeon game.

Deathtraps (Christopher R. Rice) lists seven traps, each with detailed GURPS stats. Speaking as someone who has all the Grimtooth's Traps books and was making up stats for traps thirty years ago, eh.

Eidetic Memory: Demi-Human Dungeons (David L. Pulver) looks at the atmosphere, size and style of dungeons built by dwarves, halflings, elves and gnomes.

Secrets of the Living Tomb (Steven Marsh) extends the background from the solo adventure in Pyramid #3/104 with new threats for player groups to encounter.

Undead, Undead Everywhere (Sean Punch) adds six new types of undead enemy: drowned, frozen, of large herd animals, mummies, will-o-the-wisps, and… trees? Well, why not? These are all good examples of how to make monsters more interesting than a bag of hit points and special powers.

The State of the Dungeon (uncredited) is another progress report on the DFRPG (it's on a boat from the printer in China).

Random Thought Table: Keeping It Simpler, For Starters (Steven Marsh) suggests ways of getting a gentle start in the DFRPG: using pre-generated characters, having "no-PC-death" zones, and reducing encumbrance.

I like GURPS, but not because it can give me exquisitely detailed adventures in a genre I haven't cared for since the 1980s; I like it because of all the other things it can do. I hope the DFRPG makes a lot of money for SJGames, but I worry that if it gets too popular it will drag GURPS in the direction of intricate combat mechanics and oversimplified everything else. Anyway, I can use the undead from this article, but the rest is unlikely to be of immediate relevance in games I run. Pyramid 106 is available from Warehouse 23.


  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 11:51pm on 31 August 2017

    I've had Pyramid since backing DFRPG at the "I want it all" level. I haven't read a single one of those Pyramids, indeed I haven't even downloaded any of them from SJ Games yet. That says a lot about the opinion I've formed of it. It just doesn't do anything useful for me, and your reviews if anything reinforce that view.

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