Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sola Scriptura II

Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers

Chapter 2: Dungeon Delvers’ Cheat Sheet

Mercifully for me, this is a shorter chapter, mostly a few lists, and thus a shorter blog post.

The chapter starts with three new advantages. The first is Heroic Archer, which is Gunslinger for bowmen. This is for the Scouts, and lets them play Legolas. As this is one of the few GURPS advantages in Dungeon Fantasy that I’ve tested from the other side of the screen (I’m usually the GM), this is begging for the “No Nuisance Rolls” perk. A Scout won’t miss too many rolls to load fast, and you’re rolling often. If someone has also bought the Quick-Shot power-up from DF11, I’d let him then buy No Nuisance Rolls for this too.

The next is a talent, Born War Leader. As Born War Leader raises three skills in Dungeon Fantasy, it isn’t a great bargain, though I can see a character having Savoir-Faire (Military) in Dungeon Fantasy even though it’s not on the list. Both Holy Warriors and Knights have this talent, so if someone plays one of them with any soldierly bent, have a few professional soldiers to take advantage of the reaction bonus and maybe Savoir-Faire (Military) too.

Last is a perk, Weapon Bond. This has an issue since murder hoboes are always trading up their weapons. It's only a point, but if a Swashbuckler trades up his sword a few times, he'll be down a few points.

Now, the trait lists. These are all pretty boring, but they do the job of pruning away the traits that faux-medieval munchkins don’t need. They also limit the number of traits that need house rules.

More interesting are the sidebars. The first is Disadvantage Limit. This talks about what is says on the tin, and what disadvantages accomplish. One thing that Dungeon Fantasy did was acknowledge that disadvantage limits equal to 50% of the starting point total gets hairy fast. I ran a game with 300-point space marines with -100 points of disadvantages, and we wound up ignoring most of the disadvantages they took. It was a freak show. (We also didn't need that many points.) I like the flexibility of not hewing hard to -40 like 3e did, but looking back, keeping it low made sense.

One thing that has been an obsession with me is making sure pure roleplaying disadvantages balance out against pure game mechanical ones, and in this area, Dungeon Fantasy needs help. Frankly, GURPS as a whole needs help here. See my two posts on this, as well as the notes I made about Honesty and Vow (Vegetarian) in the last installment.

The next sidebar is Everyman Skills. This gives a short list (Climbing, Hiking, Stealth, First Aid, Gesture, Observation, Scrounging, Search) of basic tasks that are skills in GURPS. It also says that if you don't have these skills, you might be screwed out on an adventure. It also signals to the GM that these skills should and will be handy, and folks should be lining up to roll against them. These also will call out for good ones for house rules.

At the end is a list of wildcard skills (aka bang skills). They represent all the main skills for a template, and handle talents. After fiddling around with these, I chose not to go with them for my game. For one thing, instead of loads of individual skills, you now have one big skill with a long graf of tasks it entails. Most have more than one score, as different attributes govern the wildcard skill for different tasks. They don't include all skills that the character has, and there isn't rhyme or reason to which ones they include. Most don't include weapon skills, but some do. Therefore, in the end, it struck me as easier to go with the traditional skill lists, leaving bang skills for quick NPCs, where they're always handy and ad hoc (like Beggar!-11 for some meandering mendicant who isn't much of a mendicant). YMMV, of course, though the later Dungeon Fantasy supplements are erratic on whether or not they include a bang skill for a template, which suggests that many others don't use them either.


  1. There are No Nuisance Rolls perks for Scouts in Pyramid 3/61 - Flawless Fast-Draw and Flawless Nocking.

    1. Thanks for point that out. Stuff like this is one of the points of this silly exercise.

    2. When I've got some time I'll read the whole series through carefully and see if spot anything else, if that'll help!