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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Encounters 1: The Pagoda of Worlds, Matt Riggsby 23 November 2017

This first Dungeon Fantasy Encounters book deals with an abandoned (but monster-infested) tower offering portals into other worlds.

This is a Dungeon Fantasy Encounter, not a Dungeon Fantasy Adventure, but the main difference seems to be one of size: it deals with just a single monastery, though there may well be multiple fights within it. And there's little call for subtlety here: huge spells may destroy fragile clues, but there's still plenty of scope for fireballing everything that moves. (There basically isn't anyone to talk to.)

The initial location is an abandoned monastery ("dedicated in roughly equal proportions to contemplation of cosmic infinities and beating people up") filled with wandering monsters, minor loot, and clues used to unlock the Pagoda itself.

That, as the title implies, gives access to a variety of strange places; each level has its own hazards, and a portal of some kind at the far end of them.

Three pages of new monsters, and that's it: 14 pages of gaming material plus cover, contents page and an advertisement. Looked on as a narrative element this is more of an enabler than a conclusion; there's no truly amazing loot, but the pagoda itself may prove to be useful in the long term and this area might make a decent bivouac point for adventurers who wanted to explore all the ramifications.

I can't see this being particularly useful outside a Dungeon Fantasy game, or at least one that includes a fair bit of of monster-thumping and looting. The maps themselves are appropriate but not hugely useful without their context. But in that context this is a good example of something that's just a little more sophisticated than "go down a hole, kill everything, pry up everything that's left, go home".

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Encounters 1: The Pagoda of Worlds is available from Warehouse 23.

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