RogerBW's Blog

Pyramid 113: Dungeon Fantasies 24 March 2018

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's back to the dungeon, looking at both the Dungeon Fantasy RPG and the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy series. OK, not really an exciting theme for me, but let's see how it goes.

Five Easy Pieces (Sean Punch) allows the construction of DFRPG characters by assembling five 50-point modules – much in the manner of the excellent GURPS Action 4: Specialists. Several of these can be selected multiple times, to add bonuses in a particular area. If I were playing the DFRPG I'd welcome this degree of customisation, even if I don't find the individual packages particularly inspiring; they're more like a Bézier curve, allowing characters who blend together elements of the various existing archetypes rather than adding anything particularly new.

Simple Spell Components (Peter V. Dell'Orto) is a deliberately lightweight system for allowing power boosts from expendable (and expensive) spell components, while not getting into finicky tracking of just how many spiders' legs you're carrying. You buy a "single-spell component", a "college component", or a "general component" (druid or wizard or priest), with increasing generality but also increasing cost. It's a good worked example of a GURPS rules extension.

Eidetic Memory: Monsters as Treasures (David L. Pulver) gives writeups for seven monsters that have some value beyond their treasure: their corpses, their eggs, and so on. This mostly means that they need to be killed carefully.

All Wet (Charles Saeger) gives writeups for ten underwater monsters. Yay, more stuff to kill.

Designer's Notes: Dungeon Fantasy Traps (Christopher R. Rice with Jason "PK" Levine) is a description of how the book was written, and a few more traps cut for space.

Random Thought Table: Can You Spell Thrills With No Hill? (Steven Marsh) is a plea to signify the end of the dungeon with an escalation of tension and a big battle, rather than to have a succession of similar challenges and a "that's all folks" – and a series of suggestions on how to do it.

Well, if I were playing a dungeon bash, or planning to, I'd like this, particularly Simple Spell Components. But I'm not, and there's not much here for games that aren't based on the traditional fantasy violence model. Pyramid 113 is available from Warehouse 23.

See also:
GURPS Action 4: Specialists, Sean Punch

  1. Posted by Peter Dell'Orto at 01:54am on 28 March 2018

    Thanks for your comments on my article.

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